Mono Wins for Business Podcasts – Plus Sonic Bug for Branding

Chuck Scott in Studio

Earlier today I posted the Elliott Scheiner audio clips and am now in the process of archiving the project files when I came across a handwritten note to myself -

Mono Wins :)

The note was written in the middle of the night when the computer was busy rendering the master files and was a reminder to me for the next morning as to where to pick-up and which files would ultimately get published and streamed on this web site.

The original recordings were 44.1khz stereo wave files and I did all the editing at this resolution yet knowing I was ultimately going to kick it down and go to the web with mp3 clips. Thus part of the compression issue became one of stereo vs mono and balancing finished compressed file size with server-bandwidth costs and audio-quality.

Consider the fourth clip – Part 4 of 4 – it was the largest master file weighing in at 212 megs as finished stereo wave cd quality. I knew I wanted FM-radio quality for the mp3 versions (not CD but not AM either) thus rendered all four wave files first to stereo 96kbits 44.1khz for a total file weight of 40.9 megs as compressed mp3s … then I rendered separate versions to mono 64kbits 44.1khz for total weight of 26.9 megs.

While the audio quality is slightly inferior, the mono version was the winner because most of the audio is speech – thus the need for preserving sonic spectrum wasn’t truly necessary except for the killer sonic bug at the beginning of each clip that features me on keys, Jeff Wells on Sax, and Kasha (my 19 month old Labrador Retreiver – or perhpas better stated, “my wife’s Lab …”).

Sonic branding is a term I first heard a couple years back when talking to a staff composer for one of the most successful Soap Opera’s on air. We were talking about his business and skills when he said, “You know Chuck, the best shows on TV have Sonic Brands – that signature ditty that you can hear from another room and know that someone in your house just tuned into Cheers, Seinfeld, Taxi, American Idol…”

He went on to add that from his perspective, not enough American corporate managers are even aware of the importance of this branding let alone using or managing it effectively.

Point noted and ever since our discussion, I’ve been mindful about developing and managing my own sonic brands as well as those for clients for whom I’m retained.

Previous to my discussion with composer friend, I had composed a neat ditty for many of the CoolTea and GoBoardRoom audio clips – one which I referred to internally as “Purple Guy” but when I found myself selling a variation of this mix to a client, I was then at a cross roads for developing a new, more updated, more me, kind of signature for ChuckingIt.com and ChuckScott.com branding.

Hence the ditty, aka Sonic Brand, you hear in the Elliott Scheiner clips.

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