Screenshot of a recording of The Crazy Canucks in progress

During the recording of episode #70 of The Crazy Canucks, I made a quick screenshot of what I see on my end of the conversation to sort of share what it takes to put our podcast together.

Recording The Crazy Canucks #70

What you see are three basic components: Mac OS X 10.5, Ubercaster, and Skype. Conference calling from computer to computer, recording local mics and remote mics on two separate tracks, and I like to keep the sound preferences open in the event that I need to check on something or make any changes.

What you are missing is the only other application in the overall process of editing, Levelator. Then we make the post on the site using WordPress, the RSS feed gets updated, and the podcast episode ends up in your ears, depending on how you listen to it.

I know I’ve posted about this before, but at this point in the overall history of TCC, the process of knowing what it takes to whip together an episode is getting easier to setup, record, edit, and publish. It never ceases to amaze me as to how much fun it is to talk hockey with this crew.

MooseCamp session: Podcasting 101

I gave my first ever, public speaking session at MooseCamp this morning, and things went… ok.

The truth is that I’ve been so slammed with work lately that my mind hasn’t been able to wrap itself around the talk until this morning. Around 6AM, I went running through Stanley Park and took the time to plot out a course in my head as to what I wanted to talk about. Thing is, the neurons in my brain are consistently jumping around, so I’m not sure I said everything I wanted to say or said things that made sense.

Podcasting 101, Host John Bollwitt
Photo credit: Duane Storey on Flickr

I wanted to make a quick post with bullet point links to the things I mentioned and name dropped. There might be additions later.

  • – My initial podcast
  • – The podcast by Canucks fans and for hockey fans in general
  • RSS (Wikipedia) – The one thing that makes your podcast work
  • Ubercaster – The audio production program that I use to produce all my podcasts
  • Castblaster – A PC based program that is great for producing podcasts as well

What does it take to podcast The Crazy Canucks?

A first, sneak peak at how The Crazy Canucks is made

I’ve been thinking of doing a more, detailed post about how a typical episode of The Crazy Canucks comes together, but I’m going to make a simple list of all the gear we use to make it work.

  • Skype – Without this, we have no podcast. With Alanah doing her thing on the island, Dave on the north shore, and the rest of us in Vancouver, this is the crucial piece of software that ties us together. This also allows us to bring on any other guests that also use Skype on their PC.
  • Ubercaster – This is the recording software that I prefer to use. I’ve watched Ubercaster go through the ropes of development and been impressed with every step of the way. It also has a built-in function to record Skype conversations, making it even easier to record our conference call. It is worth the time to setup templates for your podcast because it makes it very easy to fire up the program, open a template, conference call on Skype, and you’re rolling.
  • Levelator – Due to the various setups that everyone has and the fact that Skype is really difficult to control audio input levels on, I always export the vocals first to run them through Levelator. You might not get the best audio quality from our “Voice Over IP Hot Stove”, but at least you’ll be able to hear all of us.
  • Apple iMac – This is the work horse that ties together our recording hardware and software. Speaking of…
  • Behringer Eurorack UB1204FX-PRO 8-channel Mixer – With anything you do in the world of recording and/or broadcasting, you can never have enough inputs. Most podcasters don’t need this much, but I’m a geek. You never know what you’ll wanna try to do, and this mixer has a slew of other nice features as well.
  • Shure SM7 and Behringer XM2000S microphones – I have one of each of these, and perhaps a bit more of overkill for the average podcaster. However, I’ve been doing the radio thing for ten years now. I have accumulated a collection of toys.
  • iPod nano (2nd gen) + Belkin TuneTalk Stereo – This is what I’m using to do mobile recordings these days. The quality is really surprising, and for podcasting, you can’t ask for more than something that sounds good as well as being small and very portable. Records stereo WAV’s at 44.1Khz as well as mono. I also put a standard microphone wind screen over the Belkin add. Additionally, I taped down the small switch on it because it had enough movement on it that it caused a slight rattle in the recordings.
  • FeedBurner – We push our RSS feed through their service simply because they are really good at what they do.
  • WordPress + PodPress – This is the CMS/blogging platform that we use to publish TCC episodes. PodPress is a plugin for WP that we use on the site that allows people to listen to our podcasts from the website as well as download them or make them available in our RSS feed.

Making it all come together has taken me about a year and a half to get efficient at. Every episode has something different to it, and I’m very much a fly by the seat of your pants editor. As the recording is happening, I can envision how I’ll go back and edit something, make a mental note as to where it was in terms of time of the epsiode, and get the podcast encoded and uploaded in about 20-30 minutes after we are finished recording. After that, it’s just a matter of making the blog post and publishing it to the world.

RadioZoom Episode #123 – Rebecca’s Birthday; Donations; Olympic Village; Vancouver Trivia

Squeezed this episode in just before the puck dropped for last night’s Canucks match up with Minnesota. The game sucked, but this recording didn’t. Go listen.

Our first episode back in the studio after quite a while. We’ve been having too much fun with the video podcasts, so it’s about time that we got back into the groove of the strictly audio world. We recorded this just ahead of watching the Canucks play on TV, so you’ll hear the sound of glass bottles clink in the background just a little bit. We’ll leave it up to you to figure out what’s inside of them.

I’m posting this during the second intermission, so I’ll make this brief.

58:43 minutes

The Crazy Canucks #15 – Seventh Heaven

With only two games since the last episode and a seven game win streak, you wouldn’t have thought that this episode would have gone on so long. Good times, and the latest version of Ubercaster has really impressed me. Will make an updated post about that soon.

Yes, we’re on a total high having hit a 7-game win streak this past week. All parties are present to discuss the most recent games, winning in OT and by shut out. Rory’s out of the All Star running, Luongo’s integrity and stamina will last until the summer and it sure is fun beating the pants off another Alberta team.

Record as of this episode: 24-18-1
Northwest Division: 1st
Western Conference: 3rd

On top of the world, we’re looking at tomorrow’s game versus a division rival, and Saturday’s contribution to Hockey Day in Canada.

46:15 minutes
The Crazy Canucks

The Crazy Canucks #14 – Five game streak high

Another one recorded tonight, and I think I’m really beginning to master Ubercaster more and more. You can download episode #14 now.

We all gather around for this episode, but Alanah has technical problems on her end that causes her to dip out early from the fun. You’ll have to ask her the full story, but let’s just call it a conspiracy by her furry friends of the four-legged kind.

Record as of this episode: 22-18-1
Northwest Division: 1st
Western Conference: 3rd

On a five game win streak right now, there is so much to rant and rave about. Edmonton, Calgary, and Dallas have all been our victims since the last recording. Linden’s hot, Naslund’s still struggling, and Burrows finally got that first (official) goal of the season. The rest of the team seems to be waking up, and fans are starting to love the Luongo. We also make some all-star predictions, dissect the mystery of the Northwest Division, and talk a little bit about the World Jr.’s.

44:11 minutes
The Crazy Canucks

The Crazy Canucks #13 – Holiday hangover hoe down

Living and learning with what Ubercaster can do, but I set the mic levels way too high for the recording. The program had some nice tricks to make it sound decent through editing. Check out episode #13 of The Crazy Canucks. This one was certainly a little nutty.

Dave is a healthy scratch for this episode, but there has been so much that has happened since the last episode that it was hard to keep tabs on how long this episode turned out. There were some issues during the recording, but the audio was salvageable. That’s not to say that it might sound strange, but we will keep this in mind for the next episode to take changes into consideration.

Record as of this episode: 19-18-1
Northwest Division: 1st
Western Conference: 3rd

Four games to talk about, three teams played since the last episode: Boston, Columbus, and Calgary. The first two games were painful for Canucks fans, but the home and home series against the Flames was nothing short of pure delight. J.J gives us the inside scoop of his involvement with the CBC story on the whole Vote for Rory campaign, and Alanah seems to be getting a tattoo after losing a bet on Luongo’s save stats in the first half of the season.

This is the last episode of 2006, so have a safe and happy new year! We’ll see you next year, and expect more to come from The Crazy Canucks.

The Crazy Canucks

RadioZoom Episode #122 – Six Song Donut Spectacular: December 2006

Putting my best foot forward, here is this months six song.

This is getting out a little later than normal, but I’m blaming the holidays on that one. However, the theme for this installment is in regards to a blog post that I made regarding music at Vancouver Canucks games. It’s gathered some attention from people who are actual hockey DJ’s from various parts of the sport. I’m putting my money where my mouth is and explored the Podsafe Music Network this morning to quickly find some potential new blood for venues around North America.

52:39 minutes

The Crazy Canucks #10 – Hanging out at the Shark Club in downtown Vancouver

Fighting the pod fade, episode #10 is up and ready.

Ten episodes into the podcast, all of the members join up after the game against Edmonton for drinks and yakking about the Canucks. This was our first opportunity to have everyone meet face to face, and we had a microphone to record a little discussion. Some of us had been there a little while longer than the rest, and our blood alcohol level might have shown it.

Record as of this episode: 13-14-1 (3rd in the Northwest Division)

The Shark Club made for a very interesting atmosphere for trying to watch a unimpressive game, especially on a Monday night where the NFL takes precedence at one of the closest drinking establishments to GM Place. J.J. was still a little wiped out after returning from a vacation to Las Vegas and shares some experiences with catching a couple games in sin city. Dave brings up an interesting point about “we are all Canucks,” and Alanah had a backstage pass to the game that offers up a lot of great insights to the game against the Oilers. Rebecca brings up some good points about our lack of puck luck, and John starts to wonder about a conspiracy to our lack of scoring, but that could be the beer talking.

The Crazy Canucks

The Crazy Canucks #9 – Manic Canucks

We have way too much fun when we record these things. Tonight, there was no plan. Episode #9 of The Crazy Canucks is up and ready for download.

Our boys keep us going on a roller coaster ride only a true Canucks fan can appreciate. A win in Detroit, a disgrace in Nashville and follow up embarrassment in Colorado are all discussed along with the usual banter and opinions. Where we need improvement, what was Viggy thinking and various happenings around the league round out this week’s topics.

Record as of this podcast: 11-12-1 (4th in the Northwest Division)

We’re without Dave in this episode, which may be a good thing since Rebecca takes a little shot at former Canuck, Jovo. We’re looking ahead to a homestand and the return of Anson Carter to the Garage, which excites John to no end. Finally, JJ and Alanah share some controversy floating around the web about the NHL All Star ballot.

The Crazy Canucks