If you follow the Limitless Adventure Twitter, you probably know that we had promised to get another episode of the show out this week. I can now confirm that this will not happen. The episode we originally recorded and intended to publish will never be made available. It wasn't an easy decision to make, but I believe that this is ultimately a good thing. I'll tell you why.
Charles and I record our own separate tracks each week, and communicate via Skype. While it would be much easier to use a Skype recorder and just slap that together, recording separate tracks ensures that we both maintain a consistently high audio quality that doesn't degrade if either of our internets decides to act up (this occurs relatively frequently). We both do mic checks before the episodes start to make sure we sound good, and then we record the show. Charles then emails me his track. I sync the tracks up and edit.
This week, when I received Charles' track, I realized something had gone wrong in the process. The audio quality was horrendous. Some setting must have gotten switched between when Charles checked his mic and when he began recording, because it was obvious that the input got switched from his podcast mic to the built-in mic on his Mac. Those built-in mics are decent in a pinch, but aren't great for a podcast. The audio was tinny, frequently too quiet to hear (since he was speaking away from his Mac, and at a level intended for a much better microphone), and no amount of tweaking levels made it better. Between the clarity of my microphone and the degraded quality of his, the disparity made for a very unpleasant listening experience.
Now, I was willing to edit as much as possible to make it listenable, but there was another, much more glaring issue: the episode just wasn't very good.
I'm not claiming each episode we produce is gold, but we feel good about them all by the time they're released. For whatever reason, this time we struggled to find topics we were truly passionate about discussing, and each time we managed to build up energy and momentum, the conversation would be interrupted by repeated lag and drops of the Skype call. So we'd end up having to start over again. Between the two of us (mostly me) getting more and more frustrated by our amassing Internet woes, the banter we usually share became more and more arduous to produce. Even if the audio quality had been stellar, this was not a good product.
We came to the conclusion that we were not proud of what we produced this week. It's important to the both of us that we keep creating episodes that are high quality, interesting, and fun. Episode 17 does not meet those standards.
We have some notes set up for the next episode, and I know we are already both far more excited about the topics we've come up with, compared to what we had before. And now we've learned to triple-check our recording setup to ensure no audio mishaps happen again.
I hope you'll bear with us as we get the next episode recorded over this coming weekend. We'll keep plugging away to make something great to listen to.