I’m Damian, and I am the DM for Adventures in Erylia. This podcast got started because a group of friends wanted to start playing D&D together and I had been wanting to try my hand at DMing. I had been spending the last few months of my free time working on creating a homebrew setting, named Erylia, so I was eager to get a group together to play in it. Originally, we were just recording sessions so that we, as a group, could go back and listen to previous session in case we took a long break and things had been forgotten, but I figured since I had the audio anyways, why not spend some time editing it and trying to get something listenable enough to post online as a podcast. I take a lot of my inspiration from the podcasts Dungeons and Randomness and The Glass Cannon Podcast, as well as the old video game Legend of Dragoon which accidentally inspired some of the plot for the large campaign. I’ve became a player a couple years before the podcast started, though had only DM’d a few sessions before we started recording.
Hello! I’m Caitlin! I like photography, crafting, and video games but never have time for anything because I have a toddler who was a tornado in a past life. When mine and Damian’s son was born we had a hard time keeping up a social life. When his gaming group disbanded we hit the facey book in search of people who would be willing to come to us and play games every once in a while. Turns out I shared a common interest in the show Critical Roll with my coworker’s boyfriend so they decided we could share in mutual nerdiness and they would partake in our game nights. This resulted in jealousy of another coworker and now I have friends who come over every weekend to play games with me!
Hiya, I’m Chantalle. The Mieveht Story was my first experience with Dungeons and Dragons. In the beginning, I was a common participant in Caitlin and Damian’s biweekly tabletop games. Every other week they had a D&D campaign running which I was curious about but never really felt drawn in enough to join. I finally decided to sit in on a D&D session after hearing Christa talking nonstop about her new obsession shortly after she joined up with the D&D group. I was familiar with some of the lore and themes of D&D through books like the Dragonlance Chronicles and A Practical Guide to Dragons series, and games like Skyrim but I really had no clue what I was getting into. I had no prior concept of role-playing games so getting into D&D was like, whoa, there’s so much involved! There’s dice, and stats, and all these rules, but it’s so much fun! It’s taking all the elements from character building in video games that I love and giving them a personality you control and give voice to, in an awesome homemade world created by our DM. My buddies are super supportive and it’s certainly been a journey so far with all of us learning how to interact and hammering out some rules of our own. It was a bit of a fumble getting started but after completing my first arc in the Mieveht Story and running amok in the Erylian Epic, I felt a lot more comfortable with the game mechanics and role-playing. There’s lots of fun to be had in the future and I look forward returning to some old campaigns and starting completely new adventures.
Hey there, I’m Christa. When I heard Caitlin and Damian were wanting to start up a D&D group I mentioned that my boyfriend Chris would love to join the group (and that I would come with my color book and pencils to hang out and watch.) I wasn’t actually interested, mostly because I really didn’t know much about it. I went shopping with Chris to get his binder, pencil, etc. (he already had a set of dice). I also bought him a 5E player starter set like a good girlfriend. Supporting his interests and stuffs. Then it happened. We went to the first night of character creation. I was sitting next to Chris with my color book out, but instead of coloring I was watching him roll his dice and figure out what his stats were. The interest was born. (I love rolling dice, Yahtzee has been my top favorite game since I was a kid.) Caitlin really wanted me to play D&D, but I was still afraid of the RP thing. After about 20 minutes she was able to talk me into at least rolling the dice to see what my stats would be. OMG I ROLLED HELLA HIGH! So yeah, I was easily talked into creating a character as well. And the rest is history!!!! (Unfortunetly, this character is not even a character I am currently playing! She’s taking a break…..somewhere….unless she’s dead….I dunno, only Damian knows this.)
Hi I’m Chris. One of the players in Damian’s games. I joined when Damian and Caitlin decided they would like to host a game night and invited Christa and I over. At first it was a very informal thing with board games and movies planned and then DnD planned for later. (Which Christa was going to sit out of.) Well, shortly into our first session Christa started to show a bit of interest in character creation. It was one of the major factors in Christa deciding to play, and she has fallen in to the scene hard (kinda proud of that) . Anyway, I came from playing rpg games way back in high school, but could never get much going in college as it was mostly drinking and debauchery. So when Christa told me about Damian wanting to try his hand at DMing I told her I thought it would be fun and would love to play. The first few sessions were a little rough but it quickly smoothed out (We sill have more to work on.) Now we are the fun loving group that tries to get together at least once a week for something. The times when we can’t meet up make our weeks feel incomplete. I also like to game on my PC, and when time allows I still jump online and bust out a few games when possible. However, work comes first so I dont have as much time as I’d like to play games. C’est la vie
Adventures in Erylia is currently recorded using the ZDM-1 that is made by Zoom. The ZDM-1 has been a great upgrade for us. It has a hyper-cardioid pick up pattern, which means it rejects noise from the sides more than any of our old microphones. This has helped out a lot when it comes to editing since we are all in the same room together. I highly recommend these mics for anyone else who is recording a show in the same room like we do. We have all been using these mics since June 2021 and have not looked to change them since. The ZMD-1 retails for $80, but can regularly be found on Amazon for $60.
Adventures in Erylia is recorded using the Zoom L-12 Livetrak Mixer. We upgraded to the L-12 because Damian wanted to use something that was more like a traditional mixer that would live in one spot on his desk instead of the portable recorder we were using before. Like our previous H6, it allows us to multitrack record directly to an SD Card, but it gave us many more tracks and digital profiles so we knew where we need to set the sliders when we sit down to record. There are enough headphone outputs that every member of the cast is able to have their own mix for monitoring. The L-12 is also able to record to an SD Card while passing the audio to a computer through USB which has improved our ability to livestream our recording sessions. Since we purchased the L-12, Zoom has released their Podtrak line, which has many of the same features we wanted from the L-12, so while we use and recommend the L-12, we suggest looking at the P-series. Our L-12 retails for $650 while the P8 is $550.
Choosing a microphone stand is going to depend on the space that you have for recording. For Adventures in Erylia, we use table mounted scissor arms attached to individual TV trays. This gives each person their own play space and naturally isolates their microphone from the others. We use some cheap ones from Neewer that run about $15 each, but many manufacturers make the same ones. We have eyed some nicer ones, but never purchased them due to the cost of buying 5 new boom arms when ours work just fine. Our mic arms are one of the only things that we have never felt a need to upgrade.
The shock mount and pop filter kind of goes hand and hand with whatever microphone you are using. Since moving to the Zoom ZDM-1, we have foregone the pop filter and instead use the foam windscreen that comes with the microphone. Our old shock mounts also do not fit the ZDM-1 since their mic bodies are much larger, but we stuck to the same rubber band style. Again, a number of companies produce essentially the same thing, so search for a large diameter shock mount and make sure it is big enough for a 50mm microphone body if you are looking for one that fits the ZDM-1.
Over the years, Adventures in Erylia has gone through a number of gear upgrades. We wanted to provide a list of gear that we used in the past to not only demonstrate that you don't have to start with the gear we have now, but to also give some other starting points if you are starting a show of your own with similar requirements and need something on a lower budget than what we use right now.
Blue Yeti (2017-2017) - While we did start with this, we do not recommend it for a group recording. The episodes we recorded with this are no longer available.
Knox Podcasting Microphone (2017-2018) - This microphone is no longer available, but many similar ones exist today. We would recommend looking at the Samson Q2U. Bonus points that you can use it through USB on your computer for Discord.
Blue enCore 100 (2018-2021) - This was a rock solid microphone for us and honestly, if we didn't start getting a lot of attainable hyper-cardioid broadcast style mics like the ZDM-1, we would probably still be using it today.
Zoom H6 + EXH6 Capsule (2017-2020) - We used the Zoom H6 (with the EXH6 Capsule to let use record all 5 of us) back when we decided to get more serious about the quality of the show. It was a fine device the entire time we used it and we could still use it today if we had to. We believe there are other, better, options for a show like this today, but wouldn't hesitate to encourage someone to use an H6 if it was what they had available.
Hindenburg Journalist (Pro) - Once I learned about Hindenburg Journalist, I was pretty much sold on the exact software that I needed to more easily edit our show. Hindenburg Journalist was made for interview style spoken word audio productions, with a key phrase being spoken word. An actual play podcast fits very well into the category of a multi-person spoken word show. The DAW cuts out a lot of the features that more powerful, music oriented, DAWs have, but I believe those features also make other DAWs a lot more complicated to use. I have actually tried using Reaper to edit an episode, which is a more feature rich DAW that is highly recommended and I struggled with it so much that I ended up scrapping the episode I was working on in order to move back over to Hindenburg Journalist. A couple caveats that I feel are worth pointing out. Firstly, I do not think you need to both with a pro license. Second, I do use a number of plugins that I feel help speed up the process.
Ableton Live - It might be confusing to see two different programs listed here as my "main" DAW, and truth be told, if I used one of the more powerful DAWs that I mentioned before, I wouldn't also be using Ableton, but I did find myself needing a music oriented DAW when it came to furthering the shows sound design. Specifically, I started using Ableton Live as my DAW for using the Krotos Sound Design plugins as they are not compatible with Hindenburg Journalist
The Izotope (Elements) Suite - Izotope regularly offers a bundle of their Elements level plugins for $50 and I see it as a must have plugin suite for anyone who is getting serious about their show and wants some help cleaning up the audio or keeping it clean. Every episode of Adventures in Erylia uses the Voice De-Noise and Nectar plugins on each voice track. There is reason to upgrade, but doing so is a different level of investment and getting the Elements Bundle gets you in the door for many deals later in your shows life.
AudioTrack (Waves) - We use AudioTrack as our gate after the Izotope Voice De-Noise, while also using it to apply a bit of a boost to our track audio. This is used on every voice track.
L1 Limiter (Waves) - Part of the L1 Ultramaximizer compressor from Waves, we use this on every voice track as a compressor/limiter to boost our audio levels up without pushing the already loud parts overboard. This is used on every voice track.
VocalRider (Waves) - The way we use VocalRider is interesting and doesn't make sense to almost anyone I talk to about it, but I feel the difference is noticeable. We use VocalRider on our master track, mostly as a way to keep a balance between our background tracks and our voice tracks, as well as a final bit of lift for audio that is still on the quiet side. It does a good job of maintain dynamic range while bringing up the music levels during silent parts of a scene.
WLMPlus (Waves) - WLMPlus is the Waves Loudness Meter. We use Hindenburg Journalist's built in loudness meter on every track other than the master to help balance out the tracks in relation to each out. We use WLMPlus on the master track to make sure that our overall mix is hitting the right targets that are expected for a podcast.
Krotos Sound Design Suite - I mentioned above that we have started using Ableton Live specifically for use with the Krotos Sound Design Suite. I picked up their sound design bundle during their Black Friday 2022 sale, which gave me access to Weaponizer, Dehumaniser, and Reformer which I have been using along side the large sfx library that I have built over the years to enhance the show in ways that were difficult or tedious to do before. The ability to track an input track and use that to sculpt other sfx into longer randomized tracks has made this a complete game changer.