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a-ha!

Posted on Monday, July 18th, 2005

Dave!Since I am only home for a day to clear off my desk at work and grab some clean clothes, there's not much time for anything else. I pretty much had two goals outside of that: 1) Set up my "recording studio" and 2) Catch up on my TiVo.

Setting up audio recording on the computer-side of things was as simple as I had thought it would be (hey, it's a Macintosh). But since I am a complete novice at this type of stuff, the hardware was a bit more difficult. First I had to figure out how to get it all connected. Then I had to play with all the various dials and switches to try and figure out what they do (the documentation was surprisingly sparse). And then I had to learn the software and experiment with the hundreds of filters and effects to see what works. In then end, this is what I'm working with...

Audio Studio

My initial efforts sound a hundred times better than what I was getting before I bought the proper equipment. The recorded sound is much, much warmer and pleasing to listen to (even if it is me). But all is not perfect. The microphone is very sensitive to even the slightest ambient noise... the whir of the hard drive... the click of the mouse... everything is recorded. Some of this can be filtered out, but not all of it. Adjusting the gain doesn't seem to help. Before I can get serious, I'm going to have to either find a quieter spot or figure out a way to lessen the distracting noises.

Then it's time to start animating the tooncast.

Catching up on TiVo was far easier, because there's very little new stuff on TV. About the only thing to see was INXS: Rock Star and The Family Guy. Both were fairly entertaining (though I thought Wil was more talented than some of the other INXS wannabes, and shouldn't have been voted out so quickly). But it was The Family Guy which blew me away. The show is famous for pop culture homages and quirky parody, but their use of a-ha's Take on Me video was pure genius. Chris goes to get a carton of milk when a strangely familiar hand reaches out to him...

a-ha!

a-ha!

Friggin' sweet!

So much left to do before I fly out again...


Categories: Television 2005, TooncastingClick To It: Permalink
   

Comments

  1. Fender says:

    The “Take On Me” thing had me on the floor. Family Guy just keeps getting better and better.

  2. Sayuri says:

    Sweet!!

    Ps. Keep MEMS up!! LOL

  3. Kevin says:

    Thank you for saving me from posting about Family Guy. That was a great scene and you have far better screen caps than I could ever hope for.

    As for your mic… it’s omnidirectional, isn’t it? I wonder if there is a way that software can account for this and have it treat the mic as though it were unidirectional. I somehow doubt it, but it would be worth looking into. May not cut out all ambient sound, but enough to make your editing job easier. I guess now it’s time to build a recording cubicle for just you and your mic. Just when you thought your expenses were over and done… muahahahahahaha.

    Nice cube, BTW. I loved those things when they came out. Never known anyone who owned one though.

  4. Brandon says:

    Damn, I missed Family Guy again. That looks hilarious. I love that show but always forget to watch it.

  5. mrjerz says:

    Two questions: Where did you get that equipment, and how much?

  6. Dave2 says:

    I was originally a ZZounds customer, but they frequently have problems processing my orders, and then don’t bother to tell me about it for days after the order was placed.

    I’ve since switched to Musician’s Friend, and have nothing but good things to say about them. Excellent prices. FAST processing. Quality merchandise. And everything arrives in perfect condition.
    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/

    The equipment I purchased was as follows:

    • Behringer B1 Large Diaphragm Condenser Mic ($99)
    • Musician’s Friend Black Die-Cast Metal Mic Stand ($8)
    • Behringer Eurorack UB802 Mixer (w/ phantom mic power) ($49)
    • Alesis Smashup Compressor Unit (DISCONTINUED!) ($39)
    • Assorted Musician’s Friend Brand Cables ($26)
    • Rogue Amoeba’s “Hijack Pro” Audio Capture Software ($32)

    Audio Hijack Pro is SWEET, because it has dozens of built-in filter effects that can be stacked just like their hardware counterparts! Very cool, and there’s a free demo:
    http://www.rogueamoeba.com/audiohijackpro/

    I spent a full week researching the microphone, which is no easy chore, because everybody has their favorite and seems to hate everything else. I eventually settled on the Behringer, due to a friend’s recommendation, and do NOT regret it. Comes with a case, wind screen, and bungie stand included… and records lovely, rich, warm sound. I sound “almost good” when using it, which shocks even me!

    Unfortunately, the Smashup compressor box has been discontinued, but I kind of question the need for it, because Audio Hijack has a terrific set of filters that work great. I’ll probably end up tossing it.

    Of course, I’m just goofing around… and it may be overkill to some people wanting to podcast. But one thing is for certain, there is NO comparison to the quality of the recording now versus the built-in mic or the iSight mic I tried before! You can spend a lot more than this, but I think I got an excellent value for the money.

  7. Kirkkitsch says:

    OMG, I was dying laughing when this scene came around. I also LOVED the Asian Trix Rabbit commercial (“You share now!“) and The Goonies/Chunk/Truffle Shufle reference. LMAO! One of the better of the new episodes.

  8. Derek says:

    Hey, regarding your ├╝ber-sensitive mic. If you open your track info dialog and turn down the details arrow, the first option available to you is “Gate.” This is a noise gate which specifies how loud a noise must be to get picked up. It’s really useful for getting rid of guitar buzz if you’re running electric and for blocking ambient noise on an open mic.

    Just be careful not to set it too high, otherwise you get weird clipping in the softer ranges of your recording.

    Hope that’s helpful. Keep up the Garage Bandin’

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