June 19, 2018
By becoming a backer you will gain access to:
- 50 (apx) character sheets from all seasons of Trailblazers (including pre-season).
- Over 100 pages of both digital and physical documentation that I used when running Trailblazers over the years. This includes story notes, player handouts, hand-drawn material, player-written backstories, and much more. Includes content from pre-season, season 1, and season 2.
- Show Notes for Pathfinder Academy. These are the very same show notes Caleb & Christian use to record the show!
- Lanris' Journal. A journal Christian wrote from Lanris’ perspective after every session of season 2 of Trailblazers (34 total).
- Much of this content is updated after each new episode comes out!
- Access to a backer-only discord channel and role in the official Trailblazer Network server.
All for only $1.00 an episode!
February 7, 2018
This episode covers the editing techniques I use to edit an episode of Trailblazers. This includes examples of what audio sounds like before and after I edit it, as well as estimations of how long the process takes and how much of the audio is left after all is said and done.
- We record the episode. We use a free program called audacity that allows us to record our audio. Christian and I both use the “U37 USB Studio Condenser Recording Microphone” made by CAD. Tim uses the “Q2U USB Microphone” made by samson.
- After the episode is recorded Christian & Tim export their audio on the insane quality preset. Exporting turns the audio recording into a usable file, in this case we use mp3. Christian & Tim send me the mp3 over google drive.
- I import Christian & Tim’s audio file into audacity. This takes about 1 minute for every 60 min of audio, per each individual audio file.
- I sync the audio. Syncing the audio is simply aligning the audio so we’re not talking over each other, and involves me removing a few seconds off of the beginning of the audio of some of the files to line them up. I then navigate to the end of the audio to make sure the audio is aligned correctly, and if it isn’t I go back and make any needed adjustments. This takes about five minutes.
- I apply noise reduction to each audio file separately. This removes the background noises usually generated by the microphones we use because they’re not top of the line and generate a bit of a hiss, and because none of us are in noise canceling rooms (those are usually small rooms with padding on the walls to reduce almost all background noises). This takes about 1 min for every 27 min of audio, per each individual audio file.
- I apply a function called “truncate silence” to the entire project. This removes silences over a certain length and reduces them down to about a quarter of a second. This takes about 1 min for every 7 min of audio.
- I edit it for content. I start a the beginning of the file and hit play and listen to the entire episode. I edit out UMs, places where we stumble over our words or misspeak, places where we talk over each other, jokes that don’t land or out of game speech that I feel aren’t worth keeping in. I move audio around if we recorded a portion out of order. I add sound effects & music and edit them. I extend silences between speech if they need to be longer than the quarter of a second truncate silence made them. As well as a few other such things. During this time I also silence the audio of people who aren’t talking which is very time consuming. If I didn’t have to silence the audio this would take maybe half the time, for every one person speaking I have to stop the playback and highlight the other two files and silence them. Editing for content takes about 1 min for every 27 seconds of audio.
- I equalize each audio file separately. This makes our voices more pleasing to the ear, each person has their own personal sound profile that requires different equalization. For example I boost Christian’s bass and treble, while for Tim I boost his base but lower his treble. This takes about 1 min for every 34 min of audio, per each individual audio file.
- I compress each audio file separately. This makes the quiet spots louder and the loud spots quieter so that you never have to adjust the volume while you listen. This takes about 1 min for every 68 min of audio, per each individual audio file.
- I import the intro music, outro, and advertisement files. This takes about a minute. I then place them in the appropriate places and small bits of silence as buffer before and after the ads. This takes about 5 minutes.
- I write and record the intro, and repeat steps 5, 7, 8, and 9 to it. In other words I apply noise reduction, edit out the retakes and silences, equalize it, and compress it. Then I put it at the start of the episode. This usually takes around 13 minutes.
- I export the project into a single mp3 on the insane quality preset. This takes about 1 min for every 16 min of audio.
- I upload the mp3 to podbean, a service I use to manage the RSS feed that podcasts use. I fill out the episode information like show notes, season information, etc. This takes about 1 min for every 16 min of audio.
So when all is said and done, from importing christian & tim’s audio to publishing the podcast takes about a little less than triple the length of the raw audio. That’s a gross estimate because those ratios can change depending on how long the audio is, they aren’t really flat ratios.
The final edited episode is little less than 50% as long than the raw audio we recorded.
Episodes with a lot of combat takes more time to edit and result in a smaller percentage of final audio length. That’s because there’s a lot of things that happen in combat that are uninteresting and need to be edited out.