I thought that some of our listeners would appreciate knowing more about the technical details of the show, so here we go! Note that links do not imply endorsement from any of the companies I link to.
For the first ten episodes, we recorded the show using three mics. The first was a Marshall 990 cardioid condenser microphone. It's about the size of a can of soda and we mounted it on a standard mic stand. We put one person slightly to the left and one slightly to the right so that it picked them both up (someone gets to sit in the middle when we have a guest). The other two hosts were mic'd with a pair of SP-CMC-2A lapel mics and a pocket preamp. All three were piped into an Edirol FA-66, which was connected by FireWire to whichever machine we were using to record that night.
Episode 11 marked the beginning of a new process. I got an Allen & Heath Zed 14 mixer along with a few Nady dynamic mics, more stands, and a ton of cables. Yeah, they're cheap mics, but as a result, I was able to get enough to mic five people and podcasting doesn't really need better microphones. We take one mic per person and run it through the mixer, panning each one slightly differently to give a bit of stereo separation. The mixer has two balanced XLR outputs, so we run the pair out to the FA-66, which is still FireWire to the computer.
Of course, after the burglary, all of that but the FA-66 was gone. We ended up getting the same mixer, some Nady SP-5 microphones, some Mogami 2552 microphone wire in bulk which a friend and I terminated, and a new bit of hardware, a Behringer MDX4600 dynamics processor. That last one is covered in blinkenlights and is highly distracting, so I have to hide it. It really improves the quality of the audio going into the mixer, though, and the episodes should sound more even as a result.
Starting with episode 2, we have been using GarageBand for the actual recording (24-bit, 44.1 kHz), since it's stupidly easy to set up and has some decent vocal enhancement AudioUnits. Plus, it has a really nice ducking feature. Once it's recorded, I tweak the effects a little then apply a lot of amplification and a lot of compression. No, this doesn't mean compression like MP3 or AAC, but rather level compression to get rid of loud peaks when people laugh and so forth. This is similar to what the MDX4600 does, but done after the mixer combines all of the tracks.
Now comes the editing. Very rarely do I edit out actual content. These four actually make these sorts of jokes in real conversation and we try for a fairly raw, conversational tone to the show. Most of the editing is clipping out the lead-in and lead-out on either side of the actual episode content. We go back and record an intro for the song and a promo for FurAffinity then mix in the song (GarageBand's ducking feature helps a lot here). Finally, I render everything as a set of 16-bit, 44.1 kHz monophonic AIFFs, pop them into iTunes, tag them, and convert to MP3 (64 kbit, mono, 44.1 kHz) and AAC (32 kbit, mono, 32 kHz). As of episode 11, I have also created another AAC, this one 64 kbit, stereo, 32 kHz.
Podcasts are a bit more than a set of files, though, so I use Podcast Maker to add even more metadata like the episode descriptions and the chapters. Most of that stuff goes into the podcast feed rather than the file, but chapters and art get merged into the audio. Podcast Maker actually has FTP publishing built right in, so I hit "Publish", it uploads the file and pings the iTunes server to let it know we've updated. I upload the MP3 by hand, modify the web site with RapidWeaver, and there you have it.
If you're wanting more information or advice for starting your own podcast, I'm always up for discussing audio techniques, hardware and software. ;-) You can reach me at Audio@FoxStuffers.com.
KnotCast's Tech-Savvy, At-Risk Panther