I'm producing a podcast with several speakers in the same room. I'm also a complete novice when it comes to audio engineering.
The Original Setup
Originally we used a Yeti microphone set to 'omnidirectional' in the middle of everybody. Now I knew that it wouldn't sound fantastic. We have a very lively discussion and people talk over each other all the time, which is often a pain to edit.
The New Setup
I did some research and eventually wound up with the following setup;
- Shure SM35 (one per participant), connected to a
- Shure RPM626 inline preamp (one per microphone), connected to a
- El-Cheapo 6m XLR cables I bought in a hurry (one per microphone), connected to a
- TASCAM US-16x08 (only one :P), connected to
- A MacBook Pro, running
- Logic Pro X
I did a test run with the headsets and the audio I'm getting is really quiet and slightly distorted. Here's an image of the two outputs in Logic;
Top is the Yeti, bottom is the SM35. This is an example of a (rare) moment where only one person was speaking. I understand these signals are largely incomparable but in this scenario the gain pot on the 16x08 is 3/4 up and the gain on the Yeti is next to zero. The speaker is relatively quiet and sitting maybe 3.5 feet from the Yeti, while the SM35 is barely over a centimetre away from his mouth (the recommended distance according to Shure).
Not only is the audio very, very quiet I can hear the slightest bit of distortion in it as well.
So, I throw myself onto the mercy of SO - what should I check? Have I fallen into a common pitfall? Is it all functioning properly and I'm simply being too unrealistic in my expectations? Is it the SM35? Is it the preamp? Is it the cheap (-ish) cables? Are my sources too loud? Does my sample & bit rate affect my final audio recording (44.1/24-bit, I'm considering going to 96 for that extra bit of wiggle room)?