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When first envisioned, the idea behind Intellectual Icebergs was to get very intelligent people to make interesting conversation about technically complex concepts. As the production of the show progressed, the scope broadened to cover topics of social complexity, and to help these guests relate their knowledge in a more accessible manner. Jim Vance's friendly, congenial manner of asking questions was a great addition to the show, both by acting as an excellent foil for the conversations, and by providing us with a better handle on the kind of information that people are interested in on any particular topic.
The interludes are something that we threw in for the purpose of pacing. Robert has a collection of short subject writings that has never really had an outlet, so we decided to turn them into short spoken word presentations set to music. We're glad we did because they've become one of the most popular portions of our show.
In order to protect the interests of our contributors, Intellectual Icebergs is released under a Creative Commons license. Reproduction and reuse is allowed, but not for commercial purposes. Full attribution must be provided with any use. Any reuse of our work must be under an identical license.
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The Zen Room
This is where we record our podcasts. Our recording involves two Behringer B-1 microphones plugged into a UB802 mixing board. This passes through a T1952 Tube Composer (compressor), which levels out the signal so we don't have to do so much post-production work. It's then passed into a Yamaha UW10 USB AtoD for conversion into digital sound, and into whatever laptop happens to be sitting on the USB hub/cooling pad a the moment. We also pass an audio feed out of the Yamaha into a Behringer HA8000, which allows up to eight people to listen to the show simultaneously, although it's generally just Jim, his guest, and whoever is doing the sound engineering.
We use Audacity to record our podcasts, to edit all extraneous noises out of the resulting wav file, to adjust final levels, and to mix in our chosen music. We then use Poikosoft's Easy Audio File Converter (which earns the name admirably) to convert the final wav to an mp3. We currently spend about fifteen man-hours per episode, not counting music search time, but we're learning ways to reduce that without sacrificing quality.