Well, up until now, our format for recruiting community members for the TIGCast has pretty much been hopping onto #tigIRC and grabbing whomever's talking the most. If we want to keep up a steady recording schedule, that's going to have to change a bit. I've noticed a lot of community members asking to join us, but not quite understanding how podcasting works. If that's you, have no fear! Here's a simple set of TIGCast guidelines that will allow you to podcast with the best of them.
1. You need a recording device.
As podcasting is an audio format, there's no way around this. Luckily, most modern lap- and desktop computers come with some form of built-in microphone
, usually located near the top of the computer of monitor (this varies greatly, check your model). However, these generally deliver the most baseline audio quality, and may cause some discomfort during extended recording sessions (imagine bending over your computer to speak every thirty seconds). Therefore, even if these solutions are available, it might not be a bad idea to invest in a headset
of stand mic
to improve your podcasting experience, letting you focus more on the content of the discussion and less on the quality of your audio. For these reasons, try to find a quiet setting to record in, on a computer that doesn't make too much noise - those fans can be surprisingly loud over Skype.
2. You need access to the IRC chatroom #tigcast.
For those denizens of that mosh pit known as #tigIRC, this shouldn't be an issue. For everyone else, IRC is a simple chatroom modem that we use, usually as a lobby prior to each recording session, to make sure everyone's online. There are a variety of different IRC programs available, but not all are free or functional; therefore, I'd recommend an open source program like Nettalk
, for you Mac users out there). Once it starts, find the #tigcast chatroom with this info:
- Server: irc.esper.net
- Room: #tigcast
3. You need Skype.
All of our actual podcasting is done via Skype
, an Internet telephone service that allows you to call anyone from their computer and chat with multiple people at once. This is ideal for podcasting, and is a free program, to boot. Download the latest version of Skype here
Now that you've installed Skype and created an account, you'll need to add either Dragonmaw or myself as Contacts
, so we can link you into the chatroom when the discussion starts. Here are our Skype handles:
- godsavant/Shuming David Zhang: godsavant1
- Dragonmaw/James Murff: hammerchiseled
To be safe, post your Skype contact details in this thread
. This saves us the trouble of hunting for you, and makes it easier to invite you onto the show.
4. You need Audacity.
Although the free audio program Audacity
is generally used as a sound-editing tool, it is a feasible way to podcast, as well. After James' stoic but ultimately tragic attempt to record all of us at once
, all participants in the TIGCast are now responsible for recording their own audio using Audacity.
To learn how to set up Audacity for podcasting, watch and follow along with this short tutorial video
. As instructed, you'll need to download the LAME plug-in for Audacity
, which will allow you to convert your audio files to MP3s to send to James/Alec after the session.
At the beginning of each recording session, the host will usually count down from 3, at which point all participants simultaneously hit 'Record'. AT NO POINT DURING THE SESSON SHOULD YOU STOP RECORDING, EVEN IF THERE IS A MESS-UP OR DEAD AIRTIME
. The whole point of this process is to sync up the streams as much as possible, making the editing job much easier, and getting the podcast out a lot faster.
After the recording and post-game chat, you can stop recording and convert the audio file to MP3 using the "Export" option in the Audacity menu and choosing MP3 as the format. Generally, these will be pretty big (around 20-25 MB for an hour-long show), so they'll be far too cumbersome to send using traditional e-mail clients. Instead, upload the files to an online file-hosting site, like Mediafire
* (you'll need to create an account there), and afterwards, copy-and-paste the direct download link into an e-mail, which should be sent to:
James will download all the audio streams from each person and splice them into a listenable form, and a few trimesters later, voila! A TIGCast is born!
5. You need to be there.
With A LOT of exceptions (which will be posted in the respective session's thread, so check back often), we usually record at 3:00 PM Pacific Standard Time
, every other Saturday. Again check each thread marked UPCOMING for specifics.
No worries if you're running a bit late, it typically takes at least a half-hour to get set up, so most actual recording starts at around 3:30 PM.That's all you really need to know before coming onto the TIGCast, and we hope to meet you soon!
* To those of you who advocated the hobo-run hosting site 'Will Host For Food', WHERE IS YOUR GOD NOW.