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Podcast recorded...but at lousy quality

So, I got done editing my 5th episode of my podcast, and I've discovered some things - 1) sometimes, despite everything you try to do with a recording, the audio doesn't always come out the way you want it to, 2) Internet speed affects Skype quality more than I realized, and 3) GarageBand is more powerful than I originally thought at helping to clean up background noise - I just needed to learn how to use the tool properly. :) That said, Garbage In still = Garbage Out, so what I got on the recording ended up being less than stellar, but it's workable, and my co-host said he really enjoyed working with me this week on the podcast. :)

Which brings to mind a question for home recording people who may be reading this - I'm thinking more about using a different setup, away from my USB microphone. I know I'll need an Analog-to-digital interface of some sort, and have been trying to understand some of the terms and explanations of what is what.

If anyone understands these terms, can you please explain them to me so I understand them better, and know what I need to look for/avoid?


Phantom power - I THINK I understand this, but I'm not sure. Phantom power means I don't have to have an external power source to push the mic, right? Sorta like having a powered USB hub is needed for certain devices, vs. a non-powered hub? Is that a fair comparison? (again, not sure I understand it exactly, but trying to get a better grasp on it).

2x2 vs. 4x4 vs 2x4 audio interface - I'm GUESSING this means that it can handle 2 or 4 mics/audio sources simultaneously, and output to the same amount of channels? It wasn't very clear in the descriptions...


Thanks in advance for all the help everyone's provided me!

(Oh, and for anyone who wants to listen to my podcast, it's in iTunes, "Talkin' Bout My Generation" or it can be found at

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