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Author Topic: Newbie Needs Advice For Packaging Audio  (Read 1995 times)

Erika305

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Newbie Needs Advice For Packaging Audio
« on: April 11, 2012, 05:24:43 AM »
Hi.

I am new and this is my first post. I know absolutely nothing about what you all do here but I was told that this was the place to be if you want information about products and other tech stuff so I made a donation and here I am.

I am a writer and I have audio that I record and I would like to store it online somewhere and sell it like this woman has. I have no clue how to get started. Does anyone know how to do this, if there is something I need to buy and how to add a cart to my blog so people can purchase.

Thanks for reading. =)
« Last Edit: April 11, 2012, 09:01:24 AM by mouser, Reason: removed link to author page temporarily »

app103

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Re: Newbie Needs Advice For Packaging Audio
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2012, 09:14:59 AM »
Hi, Erika. Welcome to the site.

I got a chance to see the site you are talking about (before the link was removed) and it seems to be using 1shoppingcart.

mouser

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Re: Newbie Needs Advice For Packaging Audio
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2012, 09:19:26 AM »
Perhaps a good way to phrases this is: does anyone have any suggestions for tools/software and just general guidance for someone who wants to sell digital media content like audio or video recordings / podcasting.

Renegade

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Re: Newbie Needs Advice For Packaging Audio
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2012, 09:35:10 AM »
Hello Erika,

First, make certain that your audio is in an acceptable and usable format to start with. e.g. 44,100 Hz @ 16 bits minimum in mono or stereo as is applicable. e.g. Loops should be stereo, while voice can be mono.

44.1, 48, 96, and 192 kHz are the most common sampling rates. Use 16, 24 or 32 bit depths. 16 is usually enough, though some people will insist on higher. Depends on your target market.

Encode your audio in whatever format the sales site asks for, e.g. MP3, FLAC, OGG, etc.

However, you should have lossless versions in FLAC or WAV format for the actual sale (or AIFF or whatever the site looks for according to its audience - e.g. PCM is rare). MP3 is fine to check, and ok for amateur purposes, but professionals will want lossless audio.

If you're making your own site, I'd recommend selling in multiple formats, FLAC, WAV, and AIFF, that include 44.1 and 48 kHz at a minimum at 16 and 24 bits.

That covers most of your bases.

If you're just starting out, I'd recommend using Audacity as an audio editor, but DO NOT encode MP3s with it - use something else. (There's a bug in there and it's nasty.)

Once you graduate to greater proficiency, look into other editors. I use Samplitude, but it's not the only option. I would highly recommend it though.

FYI - I do audio programming, so I know a few things about audio. Check my sig below for a link. There is a lot more to say about things, but the above should be enough to get you started, provided you already have some basic knowledge on the topic of audio and the above isn't totally Greek. :)

For the web stuff, I could go on at length, but you've not provided much information to go on. e.g. What blog software do you use? Once that's answered, someone can chime in and tell you about a few options.

Best of luck to you~! :D

Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Erika305

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Re: Newbie Needs Advice For Packaging Audio
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2012, 03:40:13 PM »
Wow. Thanks everyone! I know nothing about this topic and you guys just WHOOSHED right in and offered expert advice. Sorry if I didn't phrase my question correctly. I'll try better next time.

I am actually interested in coding just a little, but I'll ask more questions later. Please don't be frustrated with me, your world is brand new to me. =)

mouser

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Re: Newbie Needs Advice For Packaging Audio
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2012, 04:22:13 PM »
On thing that Renegade didn't mention, but I know he can talk about, is the ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL issue of having a good microphone.

It is painful to listen to someone who has recorded with a bad microphone, and nothing will send people away faster.

Erika305

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Re: Newbie Needs Advice For Packaging Audio
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2012, 04:26:19 PM »
Ok. So here's the deal. I have no software and I usually use the built in mic on my laptop. I use my bathroom as my recording studio. Do you guys have any suggestions on how I can make everything more professional? Which is a good mic? Where is the best place to record? ~HUGS~

Renegade

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Re: Newbie Needs Advice For Packaging Audio
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2012, 07:22:21 PM »
On thing that Renegade didn't mention, but I know he can talk about, is the ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL issue of having a good microphone.

It is painful to listen to someone who has recorded with a bad microphone, and nothing will send people away faster.

Yes. Mics are CRITICAL!!!

Ok. So here's the deal. I have no software and I usually use the built in mic on my laptop. I use my bathroom as my recording studio. Do you guys have any suggestions on how I can make everything more professional? Which is a good mic? Where is the best place to record? ~HUGS~

Don't even bother using your built-in mic. They're absolute garbage. And that's being nice.

Give it a spin then listen to yourself. You'll hear that it's literally painful to listen to.

The best mic money can buy for bang for buck is the Shure SM58. Period. Nothing comes remotely close for the money. Yeah, you can get better mics for $5,000 or so, but you will never find a better mic than the Shure SM58 for the money. It's about $100 US, and the best bet. Actually, they have another version of it that has an on/off switch, but that's a detail.

Check here for a comparison of a cheap $50 mic and the Shure SM58:

http://renegademinds...ryID/53/Default.aspx

I have an MP3 with a comparison there. It will literally blow your mind. $50 vs. $100 and the difference is out of this world.

I have other mics as well, but for the money, you cannot beat the Shure SM58. It's the standard for vocal mics. It's durable and just works beautifully.

You will need an XLR to 1/4" audio jack adapter though. You can buy cords for that no problem. However, don't buy into the hype on cord quality. Just get a cheap cord as it is good enough. The uber-expensive ones are not worth it.

For your audio card, that's a problem... If your sound is crappy with the Shure, then you need a better sound card. Any sound card with a "mic" jack that's a 1/8" jack will likely sound like garbage. They just don't work. Period. You can try it, but you're unlikely to get any kind of decent quality. I have NEVER had a sound card with a 1/8" audio jack that worked well enough to actually use the audio.

So, for sound cards, look into decent ones. Cards with a break-out box are generally good, or an external audio device is another option.

I use a Edirol UA-25 for my mic and headphones. It's quite good, and not very expensive (all things considered that is).

There are many others that are very good though.

I would not recommend any Creative Labs cards though. I've used them in the past, and had the same quality problems with their 1/8" audio jacks -- they just do not work. You cannot record audio that is remotely usable.

Now, if you're looking for a really cheap alternative, check into USB mics and headphones or headsets.

I've used Logitech and Microsoft headsets in the past, and they're simply excellent for quality - all things considered. They'll run you between $30 and $100 or so, but the audio you get from them is infinitely better than you'll ever get through a 1/8" jack.

Currently, I have a Microsoft USB headset that I bought for my wife as she calls me from her office on Skype, and her computer's built in mic is just painful to listen to. Literally painful. It hurts my ears. I want to scream when she calls. (And she still hasn't figured out that in order to use them, she actually needs to take the headset to the office... grrrr...)

However, the quality is very good, and may be good enough for what you need.

I also have a Logitech USB mic that is quite good, but nowhere near as good as my Shure. It's a cheap option again, but like my Microsoft USB headset, the quality is "good enough for chatting".

If you're recording for professional use, you will likely want to go for the professional mic setup though. You'll want a solid sound card and mic.

Check out reviews for the Shure SM58. You'll very quickly find out that it is the best mic in the world for the price. I am not exaggerating. It really is. However, it is a voice mic. You won't want to use it for instruments. That's what the SM57 is for.

For audio devices, well, there are a bajillion of those out there. You can spend anywhere from $20 to $10,000 on one. But I'd guess that you can get something decent for what you need in the $100 to $250 range. Later you can always upgrade if you happen to need anything more, which is unlikely.

M-Audio is an excellent brand for cards/devices. They have some great gear, and I'd recommend them highly. However, they do tend to get pricey quite quickly. This is likely about what you'd want:

http://www.m-audio.c...en_us/MobilePre.html

It's $180, but you can probably get it for less somewhere. Check online at Zzounds or somewhere.

One of the advantages of buying an M-Audio device is that you get Pro Tools SE. Pro Tools is THE premiere software/hardware for studios. So, if you ever get deeper into things, you're already versed in Pro Tools.

I can't really recommend anything beyond Audacity for you though. I've only ever used professional audio software as every attempt I've made at using consumer-level software has been frustrating for me and I've abandoned it.

However, that was a while ago, so you should check on that. Maybe someone can recommend some decent, cheap software for you. Audacity is free, but... DO NOT encode MP3s with it -- it does NOT work properly. (Perhaps fixed now, but last I checked, no dice.)

But as above, Pro Tools SE comes with most M-Audio devices, is professional quality, and something you won't regret.

I use Samplitude and FL Studio, but there are many other solutions out there. Cubase, WaveLab, Audition, SAW Studio, etc. etc. There are LOTS. SAW Studio is probably THE biggest, meanest one out there. What it can do is just insane. You'll never need that amount of power. Nobody does. Except perhaps for the NSA as it spies on millions of people's phone calls.

If I were to prioritize, I would go this route:

1) Mic
2) Sound card
3) Software
4) Location

Knowing the general prices on things, for a good setup, I'd budget like this:

1) Mic - $100 (Shure SM58 period)
2) Sound card - $100 to $250
3) Software - Free or included with sound card or under $100
4) Location - Not possible to budget for this

For a cheap setup, I'd go this route:

1) Sound card - $100 to $250
2) Mic - USB mic under $100
3) Software - Free, with sound card, or under $50
4) Location - As above

However, for a "cheap recording studio"... What you *can* do is buy a large plastic garbage can or similar object (I'm not kidding) and line the inside with cloth (like a blanket or bed sheet) then hang it upside down and record inside of that. I've heard of people doing that before, and heard the results -- it works. I've not tried it, but I wouldn't hesitate if I needed to.

I hope that helps out some.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

mouser

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Re: Newbie Needs Advice For Packaging Audio
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2012, 07:27:36 PM »
I think a very good solution for the budget conscious would simply be a reasonable quality usb headset with built-in microphone and make sure to position the mic correctly so you aren't blowing air into it.  For $30 bucks or so and you wouldn't need a new sound card.  I think that would be a good first step.

I would just go to amazon.com search for usb headset with microphone, and look for 5 star rated items.

Erika305

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Re: Newbie Needs Advice For Packaging Audio
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2012, 07:28:47 PM »
RENEGADE!!!

How can I like, PAY YOU for this information?!! Like, WOW!

Some of the stuff I have no clue what you're saying but I get the gist of it. I need a mic, a good one like the Shure. Plug it into my laptop? Record inside of a garbage can? Then download it to a sound card on my laptop? What is a sound card? Where do I plug it in? Then edit the audio with audacity?

Did I get the steps right?

Man, I could like, HUG YOU. I am awesome at content creation and writing and coming up with marketing ideas- if you EVER need anything PLEASE ASK ME!

Renegade

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Re: Newbie Needs Advice For Packaging Audio
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2012, 07:46:32 PM »
Ah, right... Laptop... Go for an external sound card then. M-Audio has some excellent devices specifically for laptops.

A sound card is the interface for the speakers/mic/etc. for your computer.

You'll plug the sound card into your laptop, then plug the mic into your sound card, then record (you don't need a garbage can -- your bathroom should be fine), then edit in Audacity or the software that comes with your sound card.

If you want to pay me back, download my software (GDT), have a look at it, then recommend it to any musician friends that you have. :)
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker