How I produce Fans Without Borders

A few episodes ago, on my podcast Fans Without Borders I moved a significant part of my production to my iPad Pro and the app Ferrite Recording Studio, a professional podcast app. There was a bit of a learning curve, but overall it's allowed me to achieve the same level of quality while at the same time speeding up my workflow. However, it did create a couple of challenges that I needed to resolve first.

I do the actual recording using Audacity on mac. I've looked at both GarageBand and Logic Pro X from Apple, but GarageBand was missing some features that I wanted (most importantly, strip silence), and while Logic Pro X had those features, it's $200 price tag was more than I was willing to invest. Perhaps the greatest reason at all for choosing Audacity though is that's the program the other producers from The Suicide Squadcast Network use, giving access to someone with experience in the program I can take questions too. After I have the recording, I take both my track and my co-hosts track and put them in Ferrite (which does have all of the professional features I am interested in, and lots more I'm still learning). I keep the skype track as a backup. There are various ways to accomplish moving the files but I typically move them via iTunes with a Lightning cable, as that's the quickest.

The single biggest problem I had however has to do with bookmarks. While recording, if I notice something I want to be sure to go back and fix, such as a cough or if we were interrupted by my daughter, I will drop a bookmark in the middle of recording and write a brief note to myself. Exporting these is simple, however they are formatted in a way that Ferrite doesn’t read them.


I searched around google and some audacity forums, to find out if there was a way to convert them. While I didn't find the exact answer, I did at least find out that the actual numbers represent time in seconds. I never did get a satisfactory answer as to why they are there twice, and frankly I quit looking as I had already thought of a solution. Because it's a text file, getting this into my favorite iOS app, Workflow, is trivial (and syncing via iCloud Drive, it's fast enough that it might as well be instantaneous). Once I had it in workflow, it became a matter of figuring out the actual workflow to split these lines, drop the duplicated timestamp, and format the timestamps into something Ferrite could read. If you're curious you can look at the actual workflow. I warn you though, it's certainly not elegant. But it works. You can see the before and after here.


After I have it formatted, I simply drag the text file onto each track. I put the bookmarks on both tracks because if I remove a section of audio on one, the other will retain the bookmark for me.



And on the editing screen.  


Afer I do my main edits (stripping out silence, fixing the bookmarks, dropping in music, etc) I just have to export the completed mp3 and upload it to the website. I then zip up all of the related files and File them via workflow to iCloud Drive. Once in iCloud Drive, they are archived in a folder on my iMac.