Hey awesome person! Thanks for being on ShopTalk with us!

The Most Important Thing

The best conversations we’ve had (and thus the most compelling shows) happen when everybody can hear each other clearly. That mostly means good internet and a quiet environment to focus in. It’s ideal if you can have a plan to be in a place with reliable internet, no background sound, and relative privacy.

Way may need to abort and reschedule a show if we can’t get a good connection and sound happening. A pain, but it’s worth it for all the fine people who listen in.


We record the show with Zoom, which has a free client. You should also go into Zoom Preferences and turn off the checkbox that says “Automatically adjust microphone settings”. That screws up levels for long-term audio recordings like we’re doing.

We’ll send you a URL to the Zoom room shortly before the show over email.

Microphone / Headphones

It’s really splendid if you can wear over-hear headphones and talk into a microphone. If you don’t have a microphone, you can use the built-in Mic on most computers, but definitely toss on some headphones. The sound quality is way higher when it doesn’t have to deal with feedback.

Internet Tricks

Anything we can do to help with speed and latency issues, we should.

  1. Jack right into the router with an ethernet cable.
  2. Restart computer and Zoom right before we start.
  3. Pause Dropbox (or whatever other syncing service) and quit other internet-using apps. Slack is pretty heavy on internet usage these days.

Recording Locally

We need individual recordings of each person (including you!) so that we can stitch them together in post and do fancy audio things to make sure the final show sounds as good as it can.

On a Mac, open QuickTime Player and go to File > New Audio Recording.

  1. Click the tiny arrow next to the record button and select Quality Maximum and the correct microphone
  2. Drag the volume slider all the way to the left (off)

As you talk (whether you’re recording or not) you should see the white bars move on the recording window. Make sure they are going up, but at about 75% of the way on average. Not filling all the way to the top and not barely moving. If you need to adjust that: System Preferences > Sound > Input > Input Volume (slider).

On a PC, Dave will be able to help out.

Any questions at all…

Let us know, we can help.