Sneak Peek of Podcaster Pro™

It’s been a productive week here at Small Batch Audio,
After 16 months of intensive development, we are just a few weeks away from our crowdfunding campaign for the Podcaster Pro™I got pretty excited when I saw Charlie’s message come through on slack
This means that we’re getting very close to putting our first units together to put them through the lab and bench tests. A lot of precision work has gone into this stage, so that the circuit boards align perfectly with the Podcaster Pro™ case.
I was able to snag a partial wireframe/case rendering from the design studio so you can see how compact it is! I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to get my hands on one.
Remember, we need as many podcasters as possible to participate in the crowdfunding campaign, so tell your friends and colleagues to sign up for the latest updates at smallbatch.audio

Look for another update soon!

Legends Of Podcasting Interview

Hear About PodcasterPro™

I recorded an interview for Todd Cochran’s “Legends of Podcasting” this morning. We talked extensively about the PodcasterPro™, including the genesis of the idea and the 10 year journey that has led us right up to our Kickstarter, now just a few weeks away.
Remember to tell you friends and fellow podcasters about our project and make sure they sign up for the newsletter.

You can listen to the interview here. The PodcasterPro™ segment starts at 43 minutes.

Next week I will have photos of the actual device to share!

PodcasterPro™ Specs

PodcasterPro™ Specs are Here!

In the last update I promised to send you the technical specifications of the Podcaster™Pro. Making good on that promise now thanks to our CTO Charlie, with another update on our progress coming tonight!

Remember that we need as many podcasters as possible to learn about our Kickstarter, to ensure we have enough orders to go into production which is only 3 weeks away!

Please post, tweet and toot smallbatch.audio
Have them to signup to the mailing list

Ten years in the making, almost in your hands…

It has been quite the ride bringing my vision of affordable, portable professional podcasting equipment to market. And I’m happy to inform you that we’re almost there!

In 2012 I spoke in Chicago about the combined power of networked consumers using technology to become producers of products and services they want. In less than 2 months that concept will come to fruition when we launch our Kickstarter for the PodcasterPro™

Many of you already know exactly why PodcasterPro™ is needed with today’s exploding offering of podcasts…. a lot of them just have a crappy sound.

I’ve always believed that people speaking in their own natural voice to a radio audience will appeal to the masses. But most listeners can’t get past the poor, often amateurish sound of any chosen podcast. You may not be the next announcer at Madison Square Garden, but you shouldn’t have to sound like a corporate media punch line. Even Family Guy propagates the ‘low quality’ and thus expectations of podcasts.

For you pros who are tired of lugging pro musician equipment around, or worse, resorting to post-production to ‘fix it in the mix’, PodcasterPro™ will blow your socks off.

The entire unit is driven by a Digital Signal Processing microchip, specifically chosen to deliver Zero Latency sound processing.

This allows you to do what you never could with even the most powerful PC: adjust and monitor your ‘sound’ with all processing in place while recording (or live streaming) your show.

Goodbye Post-Production! Hello Pro Sound!

Here’s a list of the powerful features we developed for you:

  • 2 Mic/Line channels. Each has a custom pre-amp with phantom power
  • Full processing chains for each Mic/Line input with individual Noise Gate, Compressor/Limiter and 5 band EQ
  • A single USB2.0 connector puts two Digital Audio Devices on your computer
  • The first sound device is used to get sound in and out of your PC/Mac/Linux computer or laptop.
  • Use the sound out with your favorite audio software. From a simple music player like iTunes, to a full blown soundboard, you use what feels comfortable. The PodcasterPro™ Also has a full processing chain for your PC audio with a Compressor/Limiter and 5 band EQ
  • The sound coming in to your PC is the final mixed sound from your PodcasterPro™ so you can record/stream your final output on your PC. This signal also has independent processing with a Compressor/Limiter and 5 Band EQ
  • The second sound device is for Skype, or any other communications program you like to use such as FaceTime, Mumble or any VOIP application. It is already pre-configured as a ‘mix-1’ in PodcasterPro™, and has its own noise gate, Compressor/Limiter and 5 band EQ to make your remote co-host or guest sound optimal. Hands down, the PodcasterPro™ makes Skype sound better than any phone system and towers above the quality heard on mainstream media. We paid a lot of attention to the Skype sound processing.
  • Since PodcasterPro™ is built by podcasters (gasp!) we’ve put in features that we’ve always dreamed of, like an analog output for recording your master signal to an external device.
  • I despise headphone splitters, so we put in two headphone jacks, one on each side of the case for easy access by the host and a guest. Each has volume control that can be assigned to one of only two control knobs on the case, which are nice and big and allow for your guest to adjust their own volume as required. Any of the three ‘soft buttons’ on the case can be assigned as a  cough button.
  • Our CTO Charlie Thompson will provide detailed technical specs in my next update for those interested in the dB’s and mAmp’s 🙂

What I’m most excited about is that every PodcasterPro™ comes with my personal settings pre-installed. You can use these as a starting point to adjust to your own environment. You can save settings in multiple memory slots for easy recall.

As part of the customizable sound, we developed RoomTune™, which optimizes your sound in your environment. It can make any room sound like a professional studio with our virtually transparent  noise gate.

I’ve tested the technology for over a year, have worked on all the settings and sound, but have yet to hold the actual case in my hands. That will change any day now as we are in the final stages of tooling for our case and evaluating our first prototype circuit boards. I’m excited just writing this!

Gene, Charlie and I have put in all the work in order to bring this powerful device to your podcast, but we need your help.

In order to go into actual production, we need to complete our Kickstarter successfully. And for that, I need your help. We need to expose as many people as possible to the Kickstarter, if we hit our numbers then we go into immediate production and rapid delivery.

Again, we already did all the work, the R&D, the tooling etc.

The Kickstarter is needed to get the best device at the best price with all the features we podcasters need. Not to be bogged down by investors or venture capitalists who have a different agenda. Lets make ALL podcasts sound great.

Please let your fellow podcasters and friends know about the PodcasterPro™, and definitely have them sign up for the newsletter. I’ll be giving my personal prototype to one of our subscribers.

I’ll be posting another update soon, until then, here’s a sneak peek of a video we’re working on for the Kickstarter. Enjoy!

 

AC

Co-Founder Small Batch Audio

 

 

Design Meeting

Yesterday we had a final design meeting about the case for the PodcasterPro. We used Gene’s Austin Podcast Studio to discuss while the 3D model was on the big screen.

Welcome to the Small Batch Blog

As I write this at the end of March, we are approximately T minus 2 months until our Kickstarter of the Podcast erPro™ from our new partnership Small Batch Audio™ LLC.

Most exciting to me is that the Kickstarter will begin with everything in place. We’ve done the R&D, the sourcing of parts, milling of a beautifully designed case and of course manufacturing. From start to finish all Made in the USA and most of it in Austin Texas.

Although Gene, Charlie and I have been working on Podcaster Pro™ for over a year, the journey started over 10 years ago, not long after Dave Winer and I brought Podcasting into existence. I loved that radio towers and transmitters were reduced to an app that works on any device and wanted to find similar, affordable and portable solution for the creation of Podcasts.

I’ve been through many iterations of an ultimate podcast device, but until now, technology simply wasn’t powerful enough to recreate a broadcast studio with software or on a chip.

Manufacturers of audio gear for musicians offer all the individual bits and pieces needed to assemble a good sounding studio, but none of it is engineered specifically for broadcast. The result is always a myriad of boxes and cables that are cumbersome to transport, confusing to set up and expensive.

The cost of equipment and the inability to use a laptop to record in real-time forced podcasters into the time consuming world of post production. Adding compression, noise gate and equalization after the show is recorded is second choice for professional broadcasters. The preferred method is to record in real time so you hear your sound exactly as the listener does, allowing for small level and sometimes EQ corrections while recording or streaming live.

Just like Podcasting itself, my vision was born out of satisfying a need I had. Podcasting allowed me to broadcasting on the internet.

PodcasterPro® allows me to take my sound and my show with me, giving me the freedom and portability to broadcast wherever I am. It will make any room sound like a professional studio with a touch of the “Room Calibration™” button.

WIRED march 2005

I left corporate life in 2010, vowing to never start a new company again. That’s why the three of us embarked on this partnership, with each other and the podcast community.

We put in our time and resources. We have done all the work needed to start production. Now it’s up to all of us.

We chose to fund our endeavor through Kickstarter so that we can build to the demand and deliver at the absolute best price of $495.

Many of you have already responded to my tweets asking me to take your money. While I appreciate the gesture, what we need is for as many podcasters as possible to know about the project, so we can hit our goal and pull the trigger on production. So please help us promote it by sending people to smallbatch.audio.

In my next update, I’ll go into detail about the processing blocks and many cool features of the PodcasterPro®