Audio Recording with Bammsters

Welcome!

If you are here, on this page, it is because you’ve been invited to participate in an audio-recording with Bammsters for any reason.
On this page is a set of technical and procedural information that you might find useful for preparing for a recording session, though if you have any questions, don’t be afraid to ask.

Voice-over-IP (VoIP)

The first thing to know is that most recordings are done via the internet, using 3rd party software. We normally use TeamSpeak3, due to the quality and availability of the software, but others can be used (Skype, Discord, etc). The TeamSpeak3 software is available for free for most desktop computer systems.
Final details for the VoIP session will usually be sent along with the actual calendar event by email.

Prior to the actual recording, someone from Bammsters will be on hand in the VoIP session to talk you through what is going to happen and what is needed, and he or she can also help you adjust your sound-levels and answer any questions you may have.

Scripts

If the recording is a scripted event, a script will be provided by the relevant writer (either someone from Bammsters or from your side), and prior to recording it will be reviewed in plenum.
If the recording is non-scripted, e.g. an interview, there will usually be a set of notes available upon request.

Recording

HindenburgEditingTo ensure quality, we strongly recommend that every participant do a “local” recording of themselves during the interview; this process usually involves having a separate application running, recording just your voice.
Your computer may have a built-in option, such as Quicktime Player on Apple OSX, but if not, we suggest using Audacity – it is open source, free and again available on most desktop computer systems. If you do select to use Audacity, do not worry about post-processing the recording; we have people for that and we are told they are good at their jobs. 😉
If you use a different application for recording your local audio, just make sure it can save as a lossless file format, e.g. WAV.

Note: During recording, someone from Bammsters will conduct a “master-recording” with all participants in it; this is done as base-line for the editors, and can be made available upon request. When using Teamspeak3, an announcement will happen in the application that the recording is being done.

Recording Technical Details

Recording applications naturally vary in the options and qualities they provide. In general we ask that your local recording and/or final file save follow these minimum requirements:

  1. If you have more than one microphone connected (e.g. built-in and USB), make sure the better one is used for both your local recording and the VoIP application (e.g. TeamSpeak3).
  2. Test your voice levels. We will naturally be able to help with this.
  3. Recording quality (this may only be visible when saving/exporting the file) should be 16 bit and 48KHz. Mono is fine as you will most likely be using a single microphone but stereo is ok too.
  4. File format should be m4a, mp3, flac, or wav. Other formats are ok as well if they retain enough quality (128-196kbit).
    Wav files take up a lot of storage space so should be treated as a ‘last resort’ option.
  5. Check your microphone settings again! 🙂
    After all, it is in our best interest to publish the best quality version of your voice we can possibly get.

 

Equipment

You do not need any special equipment for the recording session. If you do have a fancy mic and an anechoic chamber, by all means use it, but really any mic will do. If you’re on a laptop, we would recommend using e.g. a cellphone headset instead of the built-in mic to avoid fan-noises, and if you use an external mic, consider using a generic headset for listening to avoid feedback.

Mistakes

During the recording session, it is not unheard off that someone makes a mistake, or requests the option of making a 2nd attempt at answering a question. Because it is pre-recorded and then edited, do not worry about making mistakes or asking for a re-take; our sound-editors are highly skilled, and will make sure only the final takes get into the finished version.

Uploading recording

After recording, we will, naturally, need a copy. We recommend using DropBox or Google Drive or any other similar discreet file-sharing tools. If you do not have access to any such, let us know and we’ll arrange for a place to upload it.

Editing and Approval

After we have collected everything, a sound-editor will be tasked with editing the whole thing together. Part of this process results in a “Raw-Cut”, which is not yet finished but has all the final content. We usually make this available for a couple of days for you to review and approve; alternatively, if there is anything you wish to have re-edited, you can let us know and we’ll see to it being revised according to your preferences.

Release

When the final version is released you will get links to all copies. Bammsters usually release content on multiple platforms, such as this website and YouTube, and spreading it via Social Media. If the recording is part of official Bammsters content, we will not consider you under any obligation to spread the links, and if you do, you may use any of the provided links and content, or create your own at your discretion.