Just a Brief Update!

We launched Trek Profiles in early March. Right from the beginning I promised an episode monthly. Here’s how we are doing so far.

Episode Number Release Date Days Elapsed
1 March 10 Launch
2 April 7 28
3 April 27 20
4 May 17 20
5 June 13 27
6 July 7 24
7 July 21 14
8 July 30 9

Having released 3 episodes in July, I felt comfortable taking a little break in August for the Star Trek Convention. However we have 5 interviews lined up in short order, so there will be hot & fresh content coming to you soon from the Trek Profiles oven!

Hard at work

Even when a new episode isn’t in your feed, it doesn’t mean we aren’t hard at work!

Even though it’s spring break and your humble host is on a bit of a vacation, the M5 and I are hard at work, diving deep into Star Trek fandom to bring you another exploration with a featured fan.

I am busy watching episodes that the M5 has determined are critically important to our next guest. Plus, I’m trying to finish the very excellent Desperate Measures book and catch up on some other key issues for the podcast.

Here is a brief status update.

  • Episode 1 – Launched! You haven’t listened yet? Why are you reading this? Listen here.
  • Episode 2 – Post-production is mostly complete. I really enjoyed recording this for you. Unfortunately, I did record this episode before a lot of feedback came in from the first episode, so I don’t have any of your feedback or comments included just yet.
  • Episode 3 – Pre-show prep underway! The M5 and I are transtator-deep into prepping for this episode. We’ve done some gentle internet sleuthing and intelligence-gathering so we are fully ready for a deep dive into another fan’s Trek experience.
  • Episode 4 – Guest selected and early show prep beginning, mostly watching some episodes. (Is that ever a bad thing?)

I am so very appreciative for all of your positive comments and helpful feedback. I asked the M5 if he wanted to say anything to all of you and the only thing he had to add was… “This Unit Must Survive.” Always a fountain of wit, the M5.

Obligatory Technical Post – How the Hasperat is Made

Since more than one person asked me about this already, I thought I would type up a response and put it here in case anyone else has a desire to find out how I’m making the podcast.

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Blue Yeti, Midnight Black

For a mic, I’m using a Blue Yeti, midnight-black edition with a generic pop filter on a stand-up tripod. I like to do my recording while standing. I think it helps by activating core muscles and hopefully results in clearer thinking.  The Blue Yeti runs in cardioid mode. I usually have it pitched at a 45-degree angle, so I can see over it without too much trouble.

I also have a lousy music stand; it’s the cheapest one I could find. This holds all my notes and such while recording.

Over-the-ear monitors are important, so I use Audio Technica ATH-M30s. I have my guest piped into here. But I don’t monitor myself during recording.

Music Stand
Cheap Music Stand

For recording, I use a Zoom account, which can provide separate audio tracks for myself and the guest. This is very helpful for cutting out background noises and such. If I hear myself putting my water glass down while my guest is speaking, I can silence my track for a second and leave the guest untouched. The only downside to multi-track recording like this is that you can make a mistake while editing and lose sync between tracks. There are ways around this, but it is possible to do. Zoom is a bit limited in the audio quality that you can get out of it, so I’m considering Ringr. If I switch, I’ll post about it.

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Audio Technica Monitors

After recording I back everything up three different ways. I’m rather paranoid about that. The untouched originals go into two places and the version I will edit goes into a third.

My hardware is a MacBook Pro, 13-inch, Mid 2010 model with a 2.66 GHz Core 2 Duo. I put in a 1TB SSD and I also upgraded the RAM to 4GB.  This machine is running macOS High Sierra, currently at version 10.13.3. It’s not the fastest machine, obviously, but it records everything just fine. The only times I notice issues such as delays is when doing mixdowns or running processes through my editing software which is…

The latest edition of Adobe Audition. I’d already been using Adobe Audition for years, so it was a natural choice for me. While it really is overkill for just an audio podcast, it does have everything I could ever want with one annoying exception.

MacBook Pro
MacBook Pro, Mid 2010

After importing the tracks, I do a noise reduction on each isolated audio track. I also use the DeEss process and then do some compression. The built-in Dynamics compressor in Audition has some good defaults for this. I normalize it and then we are all set! Running these processes is where my MacBook shows its age.

The one thing I cannot do in Audition is add album art, but it does support text tags. So I’ll bring my finished mp3 file into Fission on the Mac and polish up all the tags there, including the album art before I send it to the Overlords at Tricorder Transmissions command.

And that’s pretty much it!