Hey Bald Move, long time fan.... Just wondering if you've gotten any feedback on your volume levels? When I'm listening on a device, I notice that I have to crank it up a bit more compared to other podcasts/music. This isn't really a big deal, but I especially have a hard time hearing LWJ&A when watching on a computer/laptop turned all the way up. Again, if I'm the only one with this issue, then disregard.... it must be me and I'll just shut up hahaha. In any case, keep up the good work!
"The action of a compressor is to reduce high levels in a signal so that they are closer to the lower levels. We say that the compressor 'reduces the dynamic range'.
The problem now is that the signal now sounds quieter because the peak levels are lower. So we need to amplify the signal back up. This is called 'make up' gain.
So now we have a signal that is as loud as it was before in the peaks, and the lower-level sections are louder too.
The problem is that the compressor has no way of distinguishing between the low level signal that you want, and low level noise that you don't want. Every signal contains some noise. There is no such thing as a noise-free recording."
So ditching the compressor cuts down on production time, because with the compressor somebody has to listen to the entire podcast and cut out unwanted sounds. (Mostly mouth noises.) The problem with not using compression is that if you try to increase the volume (gain) of the signal, the high end will begin to crackle and/or feedback. That is why BM podcasts sound quieter than others.
There are ways to help reduce the mouth noises (mainly hydration) during the recording, but it would still require more editing or have the mouth noises present. It would also require BaldMove to purchase new higher end equipment. From baldmove.com/studio (assuming this page is up to date):
"Our mixer & interface is one of the most important components in our setup. All of our audio runs through this thing at some point and if it doesn't sound great there's no fixing it in post. It's the component that takes the audio from everything and runs it into the computer for capture.
After we had a couple Behringer mixers die on us, we decided to spend a bit more money and upgrade to a higher-end interface. What we lost in features (inputs / outputs, compression, etc.) we gained in pristine audio quality. Compared to this thing, the Behringer was a noisy piece of crap. After swapping it out, I no longer had to run any noise reduction or other cleanup effects on the final tracks, which saved me time and effort. Of course, we did lose our hardware compression for live shows but that was a minor, and easily fixable, problem.
Now that I've used it for a few months, I don't know that I'd recommend the Scarlett 18i8 for all uses. If you want to run your sources out of the 18i8 and back in, it's not easy. There are plenty of inputs but no real source ouputs other than L/R Monitors. So it's not great for live audio where you need EQ / compression but that's not really what it's intended for. For our recording purposes, it's a great unit."
Personally, I don't care that much about the mouth noises, however without some serious studio soundproofing upgrades, compression will pick up a lot of ambient sound in the room, including the hum and hiss of A/C, refrigerators, computer fans, etc and make for a lower quality overall sound.
I would like to return to the days of hardware compression. It makes a lot of the live stuff we do better and I think we sounded better when using the old behringer stuff than we do now, absolutely.
On podcasts, it seems BM is about 25% quieter than pretty much any others. LWJ&A on youtube it's about 50% quieter than others.
I listen to podcasts every morning while I'm showering via bluetooth to a speaker embedded in the bathroom exhaust fan. (<---What a sentence...) If the podcast switches TO a BM cast while I'm sudsy, I can't clearly hear it over the shower running. If it switches FROM a BM podcast, the next thing is loud enough to aggravate anyone else in the house. Outside of the showering issue, I can easily just adjust the volume and it's not really a problem at all. I've just gotten in the habit of almost subconsciously making sure whatever I'm listening to will run longer than my shower to keep it from happening.