Last month I went on a short vacation, and decided I'd try to record the Daily Update podcast during my time off. My tool of choice at that time was GarageBand on the iPad, since it provides some great editing tools that work pretty well via the touch interface. Well, unfortunately one day into the trip I received an email from a reader who said that the recording was cutting off about two-thirds of the way through. Sure enough, I recorded another podcast and it did the same thing, so I knew I needed to fix the problem. A quick search through the App Store brought up Bossjock Studio (US$9.99, universal app) and within minutes I was downloading the app to give it a try.
While traditional recording apps like GarageBand are designed to let you record snippets of sounds, layering them, making cuts (to get rid of coughs or mistakes) and doing transitions, that's not the idea behind Bossjock Studio. It's designed to record your podcast as if you're doing a live radio show, meaning that you can have a bunch of "carts" (cartridges) loaded with intro and outro music, advertisements, interviews, you name it, and then meld all of the carts together with your live recording. You can have either eight or 15 carts on the iPhone or iPod touch, or 20 or 35 carts on the iPad.
Extensive settings let you change the amount of time for fade-ins and fade-outs for carts, and the app even provides automatic ducking -- something that was removed from GarageBand in the last update. The app also has automatic gain control to make sure you're not clipping the sound by overpowering the sound input from your mic; I found that it worked well to record about 10 seconds of sound ("testing, testing, one two three four...") to have the app set the mic level properly -- I then cut that extra noise later on.