Oct 16, 2009 David Lang

Booking Time in Dr. J's Studio

Back when I was developing our first two Accordance video training DVDs (the video from which is now freely available online), I recorded the audio in my bedroom using a reasonably good microphone setup. This meant recording either when my wife and kids were not in the house or after the kids had gone to sleep. (If you listen carefully, there are a few sessions where I sound a little sleepy myself!) The quality of the audio was passable and we thankfully had someone who knew how to clean it up.

I recently needed to record some audio for another project, but found myself faced with new challenges. First, we have an eight-month old baby whose crib is just around the corner from my desk. I couldn't record in a whisper to avoid waking the baby, and I couldn't have the baby crying or cooing in the middle of the recording, so finding a good time to record became even more of a challenge. When I finally did find some time to record, I discovered that my setup now picks up sounds like my MacBook Pro's fan and hard drive. No matter what I tried, I just couldn't get a clean recording.

That's when I contacted Tim Jenney and asked if I could book some time in his recording studio. If you've watched any of our podcasts, you know Tim as "Dr. J" and have benefited greatly from his clear teaching and radio-personality voice. (Be sure to check out the latest podcast on using Accordance's Slide Show mode). When Dr. J began recording webinars and podcasts for us, he put together his own professional recording booth. I knew Dr. J was just the man to help me overcome my recording challenges.

Dr. J happens to live in the same small town where my father grew up, a little over an hour south of Orlando. So I spent the long drive down reminiscing about my grandparents and some of my more memorable childhood visits. When I finally arrived at Dr. J's house, he led me into an office with a dedicated recording booth that reminded me of the bridge of the Starship Enterprise! A real audiophile, he talked enthusiastically about his setup, explaining how various pieces of equipment worked and discussing some of the challenges he had overcome. Half of what he said went right over my head, but he did manage to reassure me that my recording woes were challenges he too had faced. He then got me set up, showed me how to use everything, and gave me permission to adjust various knobs I had no intention of messing with! Once I was comfortable with everything, he left me alone to record my audio.

Compared to what Dr. J does in his podcasts, I had it pretty easy. All I needed to do was record about twenty minutes of voiceover narration. I wasn't taking video of myself speaking as Dr. J does, so I didn't have to worry about looking good or looking up from my script to gaze into the camera. I had the luxury of repeating the same sentence four times if I needed to and cutting out the bad audio later. Even then, I found that several hours flew by while I worked to get decent-sounding audio. Frankly, I don't know how Dr. J does everything he does to make our podcasts come together.

My pilgrimage to Dr. J's recording studio gave me a new appreciation for all the work that has gone into the creation of our podcasts. Dr. J really knows his stuff: not only about Accordance and Biblical scholarship, but also about audiovisual stuff I don't begin to understand. Best of all, he's passionate about what he does and works hard to deliver the best learning experience possible. If you're not taking advantage of these weekly training podcasts, you're seriously missing out.

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Archived Comments

Ron Bailey

October 20, 2009 4:43 AM

I have enjoyed both your and Dr J's tutorials.  I had Accordance for over 2 years before I listened to your tutorials and was only using a tiny percentage.  Your different personalities and and study methods are very complementary.  I would often recommend Accordance but feel I had to say 'but it takes a little getting in to...'.  Now I recommend Accordance with a link to the podcasts.  I recently recommended I Dr J's introduction to IBS to folk who don't work Macs; it is an excellent introduction to the whole field of Inductive Bible Study. Many thanks to both of you.

Vic Watford

October 27, 2009 10:32 PM

I must affirm what Ron said. Accordance is the clearly the best Bible program going, period. However, I think that many of it's users may not be getting all they could out of it because they think they know enough to get by, and don't realize what good teaching is there to help them learn. Lighting the Lamp should be included with every Accordance program delivered. It is not too techie, progresses evenly, and makes learning the program a joy. I can just barely wait for the next one to show me something else new. The old training DVD (I have release 1) was helpful, but the podcasts presentations just work so much better for me. BTW: although I can view them on my iPod, just watching them full screen in iTunes where I can stop, toggle over to Accordance, try it out and toggle back, makes a perfect set up! 


November 05, 2009 3:33 AM

I like the tutorial videos a lot, really glad you guys are doing them!

However, calling it a "recording studio" seems to be quite a stretch. :)

Generally, having an old sheet hanging for a backdrop doesn't cry out "studio", heh.

Keep up the great work, you guys rock.

P.S. I thought the original training DVDs were totally fine (even without perfect audio).  They just didn't cover enough.

I happen to prefer screencasts that use the whole screen to show what needs to be seen.  This does not include seeing the person actually doing the talking, why waste screen space?