Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed for SparkDialog Podcasts! I look forward to talking to you. Use the following to learn about how the interview will be conducted and to schedule your interview time.
A few days the interview, we'll do a "sound check". This will be a very quick test call to make sure things are working correctly, and give you pointers if we need to improve your sound quality. Make sure you are in the same place and have the same setup as the day of our interview during the sound check so I can check all aspects of your sound.
Things you'll need:
1.) Wear headphones. This is not optional. Without headphones, I will be able to hear myself in your recording. This will cause an echo that cannot be removed. It doesn't really matter what headphones you have (earbuds are ok), but don't use headphones with a mic on the cord. These mics tend to pick up a lot of noise from movement, such as hitting your clothes or your jaw.
2.) A laptop or computer (not a mobile device) and Firefox or Chrome.
3.) A good recording location. This consists of a wired internet connection (if possible) and a room with "warm sound". Empty offices are bad locations to record. A much better location is a bedroom or a living room - a place with lots of soft surfaces to absorb sound. If you have no other option but to record in an empty office, bring a pillow, a blanket, or some other soft material and drape it behind your desk and computer to absorb echo. It makes a huge difference!
4.) If you have access to a microphone (not the built in one on your computer) the sound will be much better. You'll notice the difference! If you do lots of podcast or Skype interviews and you want an inexpensive mic, I recommend the Audio-Technica ATR-2100. It's a great quality mic used by many podcasters. Often times you can also find used mics at Guitar Center. However, I don't expect you to go out and buy a mic just for this podcast! Often, if you are associated with a university, there will be departments that have great equipment you can borrow for the interview - they can get you set up! Sometimes, they even have places you can record in. Perhaps you have a friend or a colleague that has a mic! But, if you can't find a mic, that's ok. If you follow the rest of the guidelines, we should be ok.
5.) During the interview - remember - sounds in the background will get picked up by the recording. In the past, I've heard people's phones go off, squeaking chairs, people drumming on their desk, fiddling with a pen, or even have someone put away silverware in the background! These sounds are very difficult, if not impossible, to remove, and will make people stop listening to you. Quiet is good! Let's have our listeners focus on you, not annoying sounds in the background!
Now, for the technical details. I’ll record using a web interface called Zencastr. On the day of our interview, look for an email from me with a link on it. Clicking on that link will bring you to the conference room where the interview will be recorded. Your side will be recorded locally (this will minimize any distortion from an internet connection). Once our interview is finished, there will be a prompt not to close your internet window until your side of the interview is uploaded to me. (This is automatic, you don't have to do anything but wait.) A dialog box will appear when it is safe to close your window.
Note that I also ask for your Skype name below. We'll use the VoIP in Skype, which is typically more stable. If you don't have Skype, please let me know.