Nope, I'm not anywhere near close to doing my first podcast. I assembled all of my gear and I wasn't getting any response from the mic. That was so irritating. I didn't want to pack all this stuff up and send it back, so at 4 p.m. I dashed off to the nearest music store (Guitar Center) and had a chat with a salesman. He couldn't really diagnose the problem, but I ended up buying yet another piece of gear ( a mobile pre-amp), and when I got home, that worked.
So, I really might have to ship the mixer back. which I really don't want to do, 'cause that's gonna be a big hassle. I don't want to ship back the mic, 'cause the mic is fine, but it was part of the package deal.
I've been messing around for the last two hours using GarageBand and figuring out recording levels. At first there was an unacceptable amount of background hiss, but I think part of that is coming from the wireless router!
I couldn't understand why I was only hearing vocals through one ear until it dawned on me that to record in stereo, I would need two mics. :) I also accidentally discovered some filters that made my voice sound like a robot. I thought I would need some expensive program to do that when all along I already had it for free on my Mac. Cool.
UPDATE: I'm glad to say I've got the Alesis mixer working. Whew. I have no idea what to do with most of the buttons and knobs, however. I now realize that I probably could've gotten along with something with fewer inputs, but this was the one the podcast books recommended. Hmph.