When WNOD began in 1988, our preferred method of recording was audio tape recorders. Cassette tapes were great because they were cheap, portable, and reusable. But they were terrible because they picked up the sound of the recorder, resulting in a constant hiss noise on most recordings. Also, the magnetic tapes would deteriorate over time, and the plastic parts would often break. It was quite a task maintaining them.
The Sony model pictured to the left is the first one we got our grubby little hands on. You can actually hear us playing with the handle in episode one.
The General Electric model on the far right got a lot use for quite a few years. It was sturdy as hell and it sounded great.
The Panasonic model in the middle was a very short-lived recorder, mainly because the recordings sounded terrible.
The Aiwa model on the left was our main recorder for much of the later episodes leading up to 2001. It was a solid piece of hardware, and it came with a detachable stereo microphone that sounded great.
Even as we acquired newer hardware, this one stuck around for awhile due to its high quality tape dubbing, which allowed me to do some editing.
Throughout WNOD's run, we also occasionally recorded home movies. Some of the audio from those videos ended up on episodes of WNOD. I do not have any photos of the camcorder we used, nor do I remember the make and model.
Later, during the digital dubbing process, all of these tapes would be converted into 50 digital episodes. Most of the content that was cut was licensed music, stolen jokes, and audio clips from movies and TV shows.
The photo to the left is the computer setup that was used to turn all of the old cassettes into audio files. The PC was a custom-built gaming PC. The grey cassette tape near the chair was an Ion Audio Tape 2 PC USB cassette deck. With this I was able to slowly convert all of the tapes to audio files. It was a very lengthy process that took years to complete.
During that process, my friend Greg liked what he heard and suggested that we make our own podcast. I liked this idea, but I wanted to finish up the WNOD project first. Unfortunately, Greg moved away before we could start our own show, but he had successfully planted the podcast seed in my head.
I also repurposed my tiny dining room table as a recording table. The tablet you see there was an Android tablet that we used as a soundboard.
I also abandoned my mixer and microphones, as the show had evolved to be almost exclusively recorded via video chat. I ran through a series of gaming headsets before finding the excellent Corsair Virtuoso RGB wireless headset. The standout feature on this is the "broadcast quality" microphone, which produces really good voice recordings.
The 4K LG monitor was gone, having been replaced by three 1440p screens, one of which was a Dell 165hz gaming monitor.
During a typical recording session, I have the agenda and music files on the left, OBS Studio on top, and Skype and sound effects on the main display. This allows me to keep Gabe's handsome face front and center.