PoducateMe: Practical Solutions for Podcasting in Education
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Before purchasing any card, make sure it is the right kind (PC Card or ExpressCard)
for your system. In addition, if your computer accommodates an ExpressCard, make
sure you get the right size (34mm or 54mm). Note that /54 slots will accept /34 cards,
but /34 slots will not accept /54 cards. PC slots are only designed to accept PC Cards
and will not accommodate either size of ExpressCard.
(C) A PCI card interface fits into a PCI slot inside your desktop computer.
(D) PCI card interfaces may also include a breakout box, which is a component that
operates outside of the computer and attaches to the PCI card via cables.
The number of mics, guitars, etc. you can connect to an interface will depend on the
number and kind of inputs (ins) and outputs (outs) the unit supports. Unless you plan to
add electronic instrumentation to your podcast, you likely wont need a MIDI port.
As a podcaster, you will probably only need to utilize one or two microphone inputs (one
for you and one for a co-host or guest, if necessary). You dont want to pay for inputs you
wont be using, so consider your requirements, allow room for expansion if warranted,
and choose wisely. Above all, make sure the interfaces microphone preamps, which
boost the mics signal to a usable level, are of superior quality. A poorly designed preamp
is likely to introduce radio frequency interference (RFI) into your recording and can make
even the best microphone sound lousy. RFI interference includes noise from AM and FM
radio stations, cell phones and pager transmitters.
A good audio interface will usually feature more Input and Output (I/O) options than those
that come built into your computer. Figure 13 illustrates a theoretical setup for a system
direction of the flow of audio signals into and out of the device. As noted earlier, most
podcasters will probably require only the microphone(s) and headphone(s) used in this
rig, but heymusic teachers and students create podcasts, too. A more sophisticated
setup may add other components, such as a mixer and/or audio processor.