Review: WireTap Studio Making Podcasts Easier
With the Samsung Meteor microphone on its way for review I realised I had the non-enviable task of trying to find some adequate software to match a premium microphone and must leave the idea to create our first ever podcast was born.
By no means is podcasting a black art but it's certainly not as simple as one would think, so after laying down some pretty hefty cash for a microphone it only seems right that a similar investment was made in terms of software.
Cue Ambrosia’s WireTap Studio ($70). A few of my friends had mentioned this software previously along with several forum posters. Originally I was looking for a simple way to test and microphone but then it occurred to me why not just go the whole 9 yards and produce a pod cast. As always as simple idea then turns into a bit of a complex project as I wanted to record a Skype call for the broadcast.
Wiretap studio sits as an out of the way widgets which proves to be deceptively powerful. The widget effectively acts as a very simple mixer allowing you to select two same sources so, in my case, I can select one source as a microphone and the other as Skype. Selected audio sources can be saved as a separate files, very handy the editing later.
Once audio has been recorded there are a myriad of options to save the audio in a format of your choice. These range from the de facto MP3 standard right up to AAC lossless quality format. If you aren't sure what your destination file type will sound like there is a live preview option to let you make that ultimate decision between the quality of sound and desired file size.
So that's the basics but what Wiretap Studio really does excel at is to add spit and polish to any voice clips.
In my case I tend to do most of my EssentialMac.co.uk new and reviews with the aid of via speech recognition, however, I do have a tendency to pause midsentence to recollect my thoughts into a coherent sentence. Wiretap studio has a feature to automatically remove and cut pauses from the track. By selecting an option from the menu the application delete silences and you can control how long and how quiet passage is before the application considers it a silence and adds the appropriate pause.
Believe me the ability to remove pauses from stuttered speaking during podcasting sessions is a complete boon and this is just scraping the surface of this application. There is a complete sound effects suites which I haven't even started dabbling with.
Of course, software like this, only reaches its full potential with proper, clear and concise documentation and the developers have obviously realised this with a plethora of videos and walk-throughs to get the most out of the software experience.
Disappointingly when we visited their websites to look at the add-on files section it seems that none have been developed from 2005 onwards. Older plug-ins don't always put us off but with USB microphones becoming ever more prevalent in the market plug-ins can make a program look underdeveloped or discontinued.
We aren't quite ready to make this one of our coveted essential applications as this really is our first foray into the world of broadcasting. That being said we did find it a rewarding experience for first-time venturing forward into the audio rather than textbased format. Note. We did encounter some problems running this software after our upgrade to lion however we have been assured by the developers that they are working on this issue.As soon as the Lion compatible version is released we will update this review.