The Reign of the DigiCart is Over!
Production Room Instructions
- PrepareIt is advisable to spend at least a few moments preparing before you begin to track your recording. Have a script ready and know what music you want to use if any.
- Start Up Once you get in the prod room the first thing you need to do is power the equipment up. Turn on the computer (it is located under the counter) and flip the master power on the PowerPro unit on the top of the rack to your right. After that press the power button on the speaker control unit.
- Log-on to the Computer and Prepare for Your Session If the computer is showing the Netware Login Screen use the following information:
Next, click on the folder on the desktop that says “Local Production Files”. Find the month of the year and open that folder. Create a new folder with the title of the recording you will be making. This folder is where the data files for your recording will be stored. In the event that you need to make changes in the future, your files will be stored here for 2 months. If it is something you may want to edit again far into the future, it is your responsibility to burn it to CD at the end of your session.
After this is done go back to the desktop and click the icon for a program called audacity.
- Audio Equipment Setup
Now that the computer is ready, we have to set up the audio equipment. While the board we have purchased is very complicated, advanced automation makes it just as easy to use as the board in the DJ booth.
headphones and speakers
Unlike the board in the control room, this board does not automatically mute the microphone to prevent feedback. To solve this problem, all headphones and speakers in this room go through a headphone and speaker amplifier. If you look at the unit it has four identical sections.
The first three are used for headphones and the last one on the right is for the speakers. The only settings you should ever need to touch on any of these units: Output Level and Mute. While recording ALWAYS mute speakers (you have to press both the left and the right mute buttons). When it comes time to playback, you can unmute the speakers (make sure the Mic fader is pulled down – unless you enjoy the feeling of bleeding ears)
Setting the board
In the lower right hand corner there is a set of 8 keys labeled “User Defined Keys”. These keys will automatically take care of setting all levels on the board. #1 is the position for recording to the computer and #2 is used when you want to hear the playback from the computer. Begin by pressing #1.
Ok, the board should now be set in production record mode. You can confirm by making sure the top of the screen says 09-Promo. Mute the speakers if you have not already done so and grab a pair of headphones.
The main advantage to this digital system is the ability to easily edit all the different parts of the recording. It’s far easier than the old digicart system – you had to get everything right on one take. The first step is to record the vocal track and get that right. Move the fader on the microphone channel to the point where the meters on the board are around -12 to -9.
- Recording the Vocal Track Open the audacity program by clicking the shortcut on the desktop. Mute the speakers and grab a pair of headphones. When you are ready to begin recording, either click the record button or press the R key on the keyboard. Wait a second or two and then begin speaking. You should she a waveform representing you voice beging track on the screen.
Make sure that this waveform is neither too small or to large. Either one of these scenarios will seriously impact the quality of your recording. When you are done tracking your vocal, either click the stop button or press the space bar.
- Listen and Edit the Vocal Track
Now that we have recorded the vocal track we need to listen to it and make any necessary changes. First in audacity zoom in or out as necessary to make sure your entire project fits on the screen. On the console press the #2 key. This switches the equipment into playback mode, playing back only the output from the computer.
Once the equipment is in playback mode, press the spacebar or click on the play button. You should hear the vocal track that was just recorded play. If you need to made any changes to audio you can do so but using audacity’s editing tool located in the top right corner. Please see the additional documentation for information about how to edit audio.
- Add some music or more vocals This is where we start to work the multi-track features of audacity. On the console press #1 again to put yourself back into recording mode. Most of our promo and psa have some sort of bed (background music). Use the faders on the console to turn on the volume on the corresponding CD player and cue up the track.
Start the track and record mode on the computer. The computer will automatically start a new track. Record the music at about the same level as the vocal – we can turn it down in just a second. When you have captured all the sound you want stop the recording and put the console back into playback mode.
Use the rhapsody editing tools to move the vocal and music tracks into the correct position. Next use the envelope tool to create your fade in and fade out. Once this complete listen through the entire recording a few times to make sure you don’t want to make any changes.
- 8. Save and ExportNow that you are done with the recording we need to save it in two ways. The first is to save the session in case changes need to be made in the next month or two. The other save is the export for on-air playback.
To save your session select Save Session from the File Menu or press Control-S. Name your session and save it into the folder you created before. These files will remain here for a few months. You may also use your own CD and record these files for yourself. Next select Export as MP3. Name you MP3 and save it into the PSA to be reviewed folder (there is shortcut on the desktop).
- 9. Clean Up, Power Off, Go Away Once you are done using the production room facilities you must do several things. Close all your files and make sure any files you want are moved the appropriate location. Next, turn of the speakers by press the button the speaker control unit. Finally, switch off the master switch on the PowerWorks unit. If it is likely you are the last person for the day using the prod room computer you can go ahead and flip that off too.