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Category: Nothing In Particular (page 2 of 4)

Post Office Frustration

On March 20th, I received an e-mail from that the pair of digital audio cables I had ordered from them were on their way to me in the mail.

On March 23rd, I came home to see the standard orange/pink-ish slip the post office leaves when they have a package that will not fit in the mailbox that they attempted to deliver (but would not just leave on the porch for whatever reason). I could take this slip to the post office to pick up the package.

On March 27th, I placed an order on Amazon for a new microphone, XLR cable, and windscreen.

On March 28th, Amazon e-mailed me to tell me that the XLR cable and windscreen had been shipped (the microphone would come separately).

On March 30th, I finally had a chance to go down to the post office with my slip to pick up the package with my digital audio cables. I went there directly after work without first stopping off at home. I handed the slip to the nice lady behind the counter, she gave me a box, and I went back out to the car. As I walked to the car, I remembered that the slip had said “oversize envelope” as a description. I was holding a box. I opened the box to find the windscreen and XLR cable. I walked back into the post office and explained to the lady that I was pretty sure I had another package there waiting for me. It was impossible for the slip that I had just brought in (received on March 23rd) to be for an item that had not yet even been ordered at the time (March 27th). The now-sassy lady dismissed me away saying I would have another slip if I had another package, and she walked away without checking for me.

There was another slip in my mailbox upon returning home, this one (obviously) being for the XLR cable and windscreen, which I had just picked up.

I really hope when I go back to the post office that there is a different person working there. I suppose as long as I have a slip with my name and address, they will just give me whatever package matches that name and address.

But seriously. Logic, people. C’mon.

Lack Of (Modern) Literacy On YouTube

The title should come as absolutely no surprise, but I’ve rofled enough to myself in the last couple of minutes that I figured I would share these with you. No, this is not a follow-up to my viewpoints on my own feedback/responses/criticism on YouTube, so don’t worry that I’m bombarding you with more of that nonsense.

YouTube has a post up on their own blog talking about devices and services that enable a consumer to view YouTube directly on their television. Makes sense, right? I mean, we know about Microsoft’s partnership with Netflix to get that service on the 360, and PS3 owners have no doubt seen the YouTube link right when they launch their browser. There are plenty of other set-top boxes and new televisions coming out with integrated services like these, as well. For those of us that live the modern, technology-based lifestyle, none of this requires any explanation.

Remember that the majority of the world doesn’t think the same way we do, though. Plenty of people are quick to point out that you can also hook up a computer to an HDTV, but most appear to be completely clueless. These two quotes stuck out to me (from what I could stand reading through):

great stuuf what is the channel number in the unite kingdom

… and…

what the number of the channel it’s gonna be on? will it work on cable

What I think this really proves is that general consumers still think of “TV” as meaning “a channel I flip to”. It’s easy for us to make fun of or at least chuckle at these types of responses, but for those of us trying to reach new audiences (ones that still don’t understand what it is we’re doing), seeing these types of comments is incredibly frustrating.

Disaster In-Progress: Main Rig Down

Despite it being entirely recorded, edited, mixed, and otherwise fully completed well ahead of schedule this weekend, Episode #0161 of the podcast for Daizenshuu EX is not online. Nor have I been able to help coordinate the forum transfer over to the new server. Nor have I been chilling in the IRC channel like I normally am.

Yesterday early afternoon I was unplugging my laptop’s power cord from the surge protector which the main rig is also plugged into. I accidentally flipped the switch on it, effectively cutting power to everything there. No biggie. Nothing that hasn’t happened before. Flipped the switch, and everything immediately came back on (monitor, computer, stereo, scanner, wireless headphones, etc.). I headed out into the dining room where I was working on hooking up the new HD digital camera to my laptop (sorry; that’s all work-work related, and not play-work related!) and installed a few things.

When I wandered back out to the main rig, it was sitting on this screen:


Very strange. I figured it perhaps just got itself hung up, and I would reboot and go into Safe Mode if I had to. Manually turned it off, let it sit for a minute, turned it back on… same thing. OK, now this is getting bad. I completely unplugged everything and let it sit for a long while, in the meantime consulting some friends online for opinions.

The opinions started pouring in that perhaps the power supply fried itself (or something along those lines). I found it very sad that such a simple little thing would cause such a drastic effect, but I suppose it’s not unheard of. This is also one of the aspects of computer hardware I know very little about; I can install a new optical drive or a hard drive or even a stick of RAM, but that’s about the extent of my internal-computer-knowledge.

(NOTE: Yes, everything whirled-up and sounded pretty normal when I rebooted it. The green lights on the front USB ports indicated they had power. The monitor definitely isn’t “frozen” with a burned-in screen, or anything, because I can cycle through inputs and it changes to show that it has no connected source.)

I ended up at Best Buy and picked up a 700 watt power supply, which was a contrast to the 1000 watt power supply inside my Dell XPS 710 (but all opinions seemed to be that 1000 watt was pretty ridiculous, especially considering I wasn’t exactly launching any spaceships with this computer). I had to spend some time at the in-laws’ after picking it up, but jumped right into potential repairs upon returning home. I eventually figured out that I needed to remove all three of my hard drives in order to get access to pulling out the pre-existing power supply, and it was around then that Jeff was able to run over and help me pull it apart.


Holy Hell.

Long story short, the power supply that came with it is a proprietary 1000 watt monster. I know very little about what I’m about to mention, but it had both a 24-pin and a 20-pin connector (yes, two of them) that went directly into the motherboard, which seemed very different from not only the new 700 watt power supply I picked up, but anything Jeff had seen before. As opposed to the new power supply, The Beast had all of its wires coming directly from one spot (which you unfortunately can’t see off-screen to the left in the above picture), all filtering and twisting and winding throughout the system. We eventually managed to feel them out and get every single last bit unplugged from devices, but now I’m pretty much left with a system that has no power supply.

This is all assuming the power supply was even in the issue in the first place, which I never really got full confirmation on (not that I’d ever be able to). I called Dell customer support out of morbid curiosity (warranty expired exactly a year ago), and after being potentially up-sold to “North American-based premium customer support”, I spoke with someone I could barely comprehend and ultimately had to say goodbye to without any real help.

So now I’m out in the cold all by myself. If it is indeed the power supply, Dell does not directly sell a replacement, so I’m potentially buying a new or refurbished one off of eBay ($50-150). If that’s not the problem… well… what is? And how do I even tell?

I’ve got a GeForce 9800 GT showing up this week, too… I was planning on finishing up Portal with it and running a bunch of other stuff all silky-smooth…

Didn’t sleep much last night due to my frustration. This is on top of a 360 whose graphics card fried itself alive (not covered by Microsoft’s extended warranty, though I’ve since paid the $100 to have it replaced), and a spontaneously-bricked PSP whose current status is theorized to be a fried motherboard (which cannot be brought back from the dead with a Pandora’s Battery, which I’ve already tried courtesy of Corey, and I will thus have to pay $100 to get it replaced or just buy a new one), and a Rock Band drum whose blue pad snapped a wire inside.

(To answer a couple quick questions, yes, if I get it back up and running or can hook up the SATA hard drive with Episode #0161 on it somewhere else, I’ll go ahead and post that show. If not right away, it will be retroactively posted in the future. Yes, I should be able to record another show on-schedule next week if we feel up to it… I can record on the laptop, and do all the mixing on the Shuttle which has all the project files and bumper music masters. Knock-on-wood, but here’s hoping that main C:/-drive isn’t farked… should be completely fine, though…)

Problem Not-Yet-Solved: Wireless Podcast Downloads

I had originally typed this up on my iPhone and was planning on posting it via the WordPress application, but I ran into a little snag: the dreaded “invalid post id” error. Now I’m re-typing it on a standard ol’ computer while looking down at the draft on my phone to make sure it’s all written up verbatim. What a drag. Ah, well. It prompted me to upgrade the WordPress installation on this blog and get image insertions working again, so I suppose it was all in my best interest.


I have had this little issue for a while, but have not been able to solve it as-of-yet. When Apple decided to allow wireless downloads of podcasts to the iPhone from within the iTunes Store, I decided to try it out with Lo-Fidelity.

It worked perfectly fine, except that I am completely unable to locate it for deletion when the phone is connected to the computer and the iTunes application. It is not under “Music” and it is not under “Podcasts”. It simply does not exist, as far as I can tell. Except… ya’ know… it actually is there somewhere on the phone’s drive, since I can still tap and listen to it.


Thoughts? Similar experiences? Solutions? I haven’t tried downloading any more podcasts over WiFi for fear of not being able to delete them. I have to imagine this is some sort of strange, isolated case…

Annoying Phone Messages

While on the way to work (at precisely 8:21 am), I received a call from “Unknown” which I promptly ignored. They left a message (as I expected they would), so I checked it out. Below is a transcription of that (pre-recorded) message:

Hello. Today is Monday, December 15th. We are calling regarding an important, personal business matter. This call is NOT a sales or solicitation call and requires your immediate attention. Please return this call before end-of-business Tuesday, December the 16th, to 1-877-857-9756. You may return this call between the hours of 8 AM and 9 PM eastern standard time. Again, that number is 1-877-857-9756. Thank you.

Please note today’s date. Yes, today is January 21st… not December 15th. There’s strike number one. OK, fine. Strike number one was even calling me in the first place, and this was a strike after many strikes within the actual voice message. But still… seriously? And you’re calling before your actual “business hours” even start…?

When you Google around with the phone number, you get a variety of responses on forums and “Who called me?”-type sites. Some claim it’s a scam, some claim it’s a hijacked (but legitimate) number, some claim it’s a debt collection agency, etc.

Being that I don’t exactly owe anyone any money, that’s certainly not the case with me.

I received a couple of these a few months back, but with personal voice messages as opposed to this pre-recorded one. While en-route between the ceremony and reception for the wedding of a couple friends a couple months back, I decided to actually return the call from that previous annoyance. A very grumpy lady answered with no identification. I explained to her that I kept receiving calls from this number and I would like them to immediately cease. She asked me to confirm my phone number. I told her that if she was unable to see which number I was calling from, there was little chance that they were any sort of legitimate organization and I had no desire and was under absolutely no obligation to divulge any information about myself. She (obviously) started getting very angry, and refused to identify herself or her organization despite my repeated attempts at asking, claiming they “represent” many organizations. I ended up hanging up on her since I was getting nowhere, and I hadn’t received any calls from them since.

I wonder if this is the same place, or if I am just cooincidentally getting hit up again? I know there has been yet another disastrous credit leak due to a keylogger inside the Heartland systems, so everyone should be on their toes with nonsense like this.

Podcasting Friends

Let’s write about something a little more uplifting, rather than the other day’s dive into the depths of internet excrement! Yay!

It’s no secret that I love podcasts. They provide an excellent complement to just listening to music, and for someone who works a job where my ears can be free when I want them to be and can be filled with that I want them to be filled with, I love that choice. What I especially love is when honest-to-goodness friends get in on the action, and especially friends that I don’t get a chance to see every weekend. It stinks that some of us only get to see each other during conventions (and lately weddings!) and a couple other points during the year, so whenever friends like to get in on the podcasting action and let me hear their voices throughout the day, I love it to death.

I just wanted to give a brief run-down on some personal friends who are podcasting, hopefully toss some listeners their way, and remind them that they’re great people and it’s fantastic that we can share something so incredibly nerdy like podcasting.

JEFF: Lo-Fidelity
OK, this one’s kind of a cop-out answer, since now I’m “co-hosting” the show. Originally, Jeff and our buddy Brad (both of whom I’ve known from AMVs for many years now) started up the show to discuss indie music, do some reviews, discussions, etc. I absolutely adored it, because Brad’s one heck of a stand-up fellow, the nicest guy in the world, and has plenty of worthwhile opinions to share. I had an opportunity to guest-host in Brad’s place one episode (I think it was seven), and then I got just a couple more before the show went on hiatus. Almost exactly one year later Jeff decided to start it up again, this time with me filling Brad’s shoes (not an envious position to be in). We’re really hoping to get Brad on the show whenever we can, though, so that’s great. Even though I’m part of the show, it’s a completely different dynamic with Jeff hosting it. I just show up with my equipment, Jeff hosts/moderates it, does all the editing, most of the prep-work, posts it up, etc. I actually feel more “comfortable” (maybe “differently comfortable” is more accurate) with recording this way, as opposed to being the “host” of my other shows (even though I’m surrounded by co-hosts on all of them!). It’s a great dynamic, and when I listen to the show, I still feel like I’m checking in with Jeff to see what’s going on (even though he lives right around the corner and I was right there to record with him).

BRYCE: Otaku Generation
This is an interesting case, because I met Bryce because of the podcast he’s a part of. When Meri and I headed over to Pennsylvania one night to record the show after having been invited on, that was the first time we ever actually met Bryce. Since then, we’ve been able to hang out at conventions, have him over on Video Game Conversations, and just general hang out and chill like any other friends would. It’s been fantastic to gain a friendship through a hobby like that, and is one of the reasons I haven’t completely lost hope in humanity.

KEVIN & BOB: The Appcast
They literally just posted their first episode this week, but it was so great to hear Kevin and Bob (both of whom I’ve also known through AMVs for several years now) doing a show. I was so impressed and proud of their sound quality and organization with the very first show. I’ll admit that a bunch of us are total iPhone dorks, with Kevin and Bob being the obvious leaders (thus, the podcast), so it’s wonderful to be able to listen in on my friends geeking-out.

In a nutshell, I feel like it almost lets me “hang out” with my friends a little bit whenever a new show is out and I’m busy at work plugging away at something. It sounds a little creepy and anti-social, I suppose, but it’s the truth. It’s not like we don’t actually get together in person! Really! I promise!

YouTube Comments & Their Irrelevance

Something I’ve hinted at and plan on doing a podcast on at some point in the future here at WTF EX is concerning the usage, implementation, and overall general idea of “comments”. I’ll save the nitty-gritty for whenever I get around to recording that episode with whomever happens to be on the show (as per the promise of “no set schedule and no set guests”), but I will share one comment that just came in today. First you’ll need a little background, though.

We have a brief series of original video clips over on Daizenshuu EX called “Inconsistencies” (which are placed on our site and also our YouTube channel). They explore changes between the original manga and TV adaptation of the DragonBall series in what we consider to be a fun and visually-interesting way. For a little side-project website, I’d say they’re pretty darn well-produced. We don’t have slick graphics and animated intros like stuff on Game Trailers, but we’ve got motion blur and decent audio!

Ever since the first (of three) clips went live, the overwhelming response has been that of FUNimation English dub fans who take extraordinary issue with someone speaking English and not only referencing terms and names from the original Japanese version, but also showing said Japanese version. General assumed intelligence level pre-conceptions of a FUNimation English dub fan who can still manage to type properly aside, these comments showcase what I feel is a huge problem with the safe anonymity of the interwebz, and especially mass-consumption social networks like YouTube. There is zero accountability, zero sense of self, and zero sense of community (shockingly opposite of what these sites attempt to create: community). I wish I could say it’s just children being children, but it’s terribly far from the truth. It’s difficult to analyze the situation without full knowledge of just who these people are, but I have to imagine it would be naive to assume they are all uneducated, bored, neglected children.

John C. Dvorak has written some interesting things regarding the value online comments, and a conversation between Leo Laporte and Amber McCarther on an episode of the net@night podcast (forgive me for not having the exact episode) placed YouTube comments at the absolute bottom of the totem poll, with absolutely zero value to society. So how about this example? Let’s take a look at it, and give the commenter the unfortunate satisfaction of attention.

Wow. You said Genki-Dama and showed subtitles. You’re a fucking Japanophile. It’s called Spirit Bomb. Stop thinking you’re cool by using Japanese terms. You’re not cool, you’re not elite, you’re just an idiot. DBZ in Japanese sucks. Everyone is voiced by the same 60-year-old constipated woman and the music is way too cheerful and mono quality. Seriously, this video made me sick because of how elite you think you are by saying Goku-sama and stuff. Fucking loser.

FALLACY: The translation of “Genki-Dama” is not “Spirit Bomb”, making the FUNimation term inaccurate. This person simply prefers that name, and therefore claims the original is somehow wrong.

TRUTH: I’m an idiot. Then again, we’re all foolish at some point or another. The verdict’s out on whether or not I’m retarded, though.

FALLACY: Not everyone is voiced by “the same 60-year-old constipated woman”. Notable American voice actor Chris Sabat provides more roles to his company’s production of the DragonBall series than any single Japanese voice actor in their own original production of the show. What they’re really trying to say? “lolz you like the gay goku voice“.

TRUTH: The music is indeed mono. Then again, the show started in 1986.

FALLACY: No-one said “Goku-sama”. They simply ran out of insults at this point and wanted to wrap it up.

I won’t lie; these types of comments do wear down on you after a while. I don’t know the exact phrase or who to attribute it to, but you have to consider that if you don’t think you’re crazy, but everyone around you is telling you that you’re insane, you should really take a step back and re-evaluate the situation. In this case, is the overwhelming negative response from these YouTube commenters the “correct” opinion? Or is it, as I’ve always held to be the case, just a bunch of childish, near-sociopaths flapping their mouths online where they can’t be smacked upside the head? I’ve never had anything more than a single, friendly disagreement at any convention I’ve ever been to before, and since I know these types of people are out there, that just leads me to believe that (a) I haven’t had the chance to be in the same room as them, or (b) they don’t have the balls to say this stuff in real life. Sure, it’s the typical “elitist” standpoint to take, assuming that these “commoners” are somehow “beneath” you… but is there any validity to it?

Furthermore, how do we overhaul the comment system to make it worthwhile? If we do so, don’t we just make it geared towards what we want to hear, rather than what the possible majority actually have to say? I guess those questions will have to be further discussed in whatever and whenever podcast we do!

Part of me wants to invite these people onto a show just to genuinely hear why they think this way and what the basis is for their points, but then the elitist side of me jumps in and just assumes they’re children that wouldn’t be able to hold a professional discussion without nervously squawking their way through, hanging up, or otherwise being useless.

Don’t get me wrong… I’m not looking for validation or support. I’ve been doing this stuff online for over ten years, and have a thick-enough skin that I can move on with my life. Just felt like sharing those thoughts, and on a place with a small-enough readership that I don’t expect that validation :P.

Full-Text RSS Feed

I’ve made a couple changes in the coding of the blog, and you should be able to subscribe to the feed and get full-text entries showing up in your RSS reader (like Google Reader) rather than just the summary.

The feed URL that should should be using (and is now linked throughout) is:

By the way… if you read this blog and haven’t responded over on this entry letting me know you’re here, absolutely do so! I’d love to know who’s checking this thing out. Thanks so much!

My Podcasting Setup

My buddy Kevin has asked me a couple things about my podcasting equipment lately, so I decided it would be helpful to a few people if I just put it all out there. In the end though, I don’t know how “helpful” it will be, since anyone with more experience than me will see my utter incompetence with audio! I have next to no idea what I’m doing, but I’ve somehow managed to create shows that sound at least halfway listenable. You’ve already read about my “podcasting empire”, so feel free to check out any of the shows to get an idea for how it all sounds (keeping in mind that we record Lo-Fidelity over at Jeff’s on his computer, though it’s all my equipment + his own microphone).

So back in mid 2005, I decided I was going to jump on this “podcast” bandwagon with Daizenshuu EX. I was looking for something “new” to try out, and I always liked doing things bigger & better with that site. For our first episode, I’m pretty sure I used a very cheap (~$10) headset I had lying around (which has since broken itself into a million pieces because it was so cheap). After that, I moved on to what most people seem to do when they have no idea: RadioShack!

Before getting into that, I should at least mention the way I record things. With Daizenshuu EX, we try to have Julian on as much as possible (which can be difficult when he’s over in Japan, but we do our damndest). I have found that for me, the best way to record him on my computers has always been to have CPU #1 output Skype to CPU #2, which records Julian on his own audio track. You may hear Dave & Joel do a “1, 2, 3, *clap*” during their recordings; turns out we do a very similar thing. This lets me line up the claps on both audio tracks so I can edit them together in sync with one another. I actually do the clapping myself which gets recorded on both tracks. I know, I know… I just said that Julian gets recorded on his own track. Let me explain.

My main computer is a Windows XP machine (started out using our Shuttle, but have since moved on to our big XPS; this doesn’t really matter, though). All of the recording stuffage from our local side goes into the “line in” port on the computer. Here are my audio properties while recording:

You’ll note that the “Line-In” port is muted on the local side. This is a bit misleading. What it is actually doing is preventing any audio coming in over that port from being output from the line-out port. In a nutshell, it comes in (and gets recorded), but doesn’t go out. This allows me to:

(1) Run Skype on CPU #1
(2) Record myself on CPU #1
(3) Only have Skype’s audio running over the line-out port to CPU #2

Is this a great way to do things? Probably not. Are there better ways? Probably. It works for me, though. It allows me to have separate audio tracks for each of us, which means I can process the audio differently for each of us (there is more “clean-up” that needs to be done on Julian’s than on our own, mostly just due to it being over Skype).

Right now I am outputting to a computer running Ubuntu, which itself records into Audacity, the same as on my Windows XP machine. In this particular case, the OS on CPU #2 is completely irrelevant… it just needs to record whatever I want to send to it.

You might still be asking how I line up my own claps on both audio tracks if I don’t record myself on CPU #2. Easy. I temporarily “un-mute” that line-in on CPU #2, so I’m recorded on both tracks. Once I clap, I just turn it off and it’s back to Julian by himself being recorded on CPU #2.

So let’s get back to equipment. After abandoning crappy headsets for an episode (or two; I don’t remember), I was off to RadioShack. I ended up getting their more basic equipment, which worked perfectly fine for a while. In fact, it still works, but we’ve since eclipsed the sound quality by miles.

I started out with the RadioShack 4 Channel Stereo Sound Mixer ($30). It’s an incredibly basic little mixer that has four 1/4-inch inputs with their own individual volume controls, two sets of RCA inputs, and one set of RCA outputs. I have never really used those inputs, but the output goes from the RCA-to-1/8-inch (standard headset) adapter, which would be plugged into the line-in on CPU #1. For mics, I bought a bunch of their cheapest unidirectional dynamic microphones (~$20-30; similar item). Since everyone was recording into their own mics, unidirectional seemed the way to go (recording from just one, head-on direction). I eventually purchased their cheap omnidirectional microphone ($30), but never did much with it.

That stuff worked for us for… well… I don’t even remember. Quite a long period of time. Maybe two years…? With a combination of tweaking levels and working with other software (things like Levelator), I was able to get it sounding halfway decent. There was a huge room for improvement, though, and once I realized we were actually serious about this, I decided to upgrade equipment.

To this day, though, I still use their desktop microphone stands ($11) and gooseneck microphone extensions ($8). I also have their standard “Heavy Duty Microphone Stand with Cast-Iron Base” ($28), which is mostly used for playing Rock Band, though we also toss Jeff’s mic into it (since his mic doesn’t use a shock-mount like the MXL 990s). Definitely time to upgrade to some boom stands, though. Anyway…

When it was time to upgrade equipment, I figured that since I didn’t actually know the technical ins-and-outs of audio, I should get some quality material, but not go completely overboard. After doing a bit of research, I ended up with the Behringer Eurorack UB802 ($60) for a mixer, and the MXL 990 condenser microphone ($50-70). I am able to get a really nice sound out of these, which is leagues ahead of anything I was able to get out of RadioShack equipment.

That only covers me, though. What about Meri? What about other local guests? Well, I suppose I could have gotten the next step up with the Behringer mixers with additional XLR inputs for mics (I actually did get the 1202 for work earlier this year, which is great), but we have been able to manage. I tend to end up with Jeff’s microphone here a lot, so if it’s here, I toss it over to Meri (or I have another MXL 990 sitting around, which also works). For the record, Jeff has a Shure 8900 dynamic microphone ($50).

More than two of us? That’s a problem, since the 802 only has the two XLR inputs, and I can’t get enough volume/gain out of the old RadioShack mics by plugging them directly into the 802. I need to pre-amp them with… gasp… the old RadioShack mixer.

Yep. For right now, if I have three or more people locally recording, I use a combination of the Behringer and RadioShack mixers. The RadioShack mics go into the RadioShack mixer like always (and up to a volume of about three or four), which then gets output as a whole over to the “Tape In” on the Behringer mixer. That can allow me up to six people locally recording with their own microphones, though this is not an ideal situation. Any more than one extra mic starts to really contribute to extra noise, which is a real pain to deal with cleaning.

So that basically takes us up to today and how we record shows. I do all of my recording into Audacity, and use a combination of its own noise removal filter and Levelator to balance out shows. I actually piece together segments with their bumper music over in Adobe Premiere, since I like the easy drag-and-drop of the timeline more than trying to do it in Audacity.

My typical Daizenshuu EX workflow looks something like this:

(1) Turn off cell phones, test levels, make sure everything’s recording on its proper audio track, etc.
(2) Record actual episode
(3) Export the two individual audio tracks from each computer
(4) Toss each audio track into Levelator
(5) Bring the levelated audio back into a new Audacity project
(6) Run noise removal on each individual audio track
(7) Drag both processed audio tracks into another new Audacity project
(8) Line up the claps from each audio track
(9) Edit episode
(10) Export, encode, etc.

There’s still so much for me to learn and things I specifically want to learn about, but it’s pretty daunting. I’d love to upgrade to a bigger mixer at some point. I would also love to learn about things like noise gates and compressors (I’ve had my eyes on the DBX 266XL Compressor Gate for a while; ~$120). I’ve heard Rym note a few times that for podcasting purposes, dynamic mics are better than condenser mics, so I’d like to investigate that a little more (I do think that my mic picks up more than it should and then messes with the balance a little bit; I also can’t wait to move and not have things like our current loud refrigerator always being picked up). I’d also like to move toward non-analog input. I’ve played with the Behringer U-CONTROL UCA200 USB Adapter (UCA-202; $30 sold separately) that came with the 1202 mixer, and it does help cut out a tiny bit of noise. Unfortunately, the USB interface seems to take over and negate what I’m used to doing with the muting input going to CPU #2, which totally throws off any Skype recording I would need to do.

So that’s basically it! If anyone’s interested, I’d be more than happy to further explain how I do things, but I have to follow that up by saying that I literally have no idea what I’m doing and continue to be learning as I go along. I’d love additional suggestions and clarifications from people if you have anything to offer!

iPhone Hilarity

Here’s an IM session I was having with Julian a couple weeks ago on my iPhone. It was so hilarious, I had to take a snap-shot of it. Wonder how that happened…?

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