What Say You, Fast and Furious?

Posted on February 26, 2015
Filed Under podcasting, tv | 1 Comment

cropped-a8d85037edc0b89abe9a0f3372385bd61

I really enjoy the What Say You podcast with Brian Quinn and Sal Vulcano. I went about things bass-ackwards, first listening to and enjoying their podcast enough that I decided to try an episode of the Impractical Jokers TV show. I’d expect most people went the other way around. I was already a listener of Tell Em Steve Dave, so I had years of BQ podcast listening under my belt. Still, it seems like a weird path.

Here’s how much I enjoy their show. On their episode 48, I listened to two hours of them discussing the first Fast and the Furious movie. I’ve never seen it. I’ve never seen any Fast and the Furious movie. I laughed and enjoyed it and basically had a great time. These guys are seriously funny and I just enjoy being able to listen to them chat. For being guys with their own television show, their podcast is straight out of the mold of the indie shows that I listen to. They have way more in common with Dawn and Drew or Derek Coward than any celebrity podcasters. I love that, I love their podcast, I love their TV show. For me to say that about a program on a reality show network is not a casual thing. They make me laugh, every single time.

Tags: , , ,

How I Play Music into Google Hangouts

Posted on February 24, 2015
Filed Under podcasting | 4 Comments

tl;dr – This post is about how I finally got a full setup where I can play arbitrary computer audio into a Google Hangout or other conference; save a copy of the audio to my local media with no repeating; and use a single microphone for all of the above. This information is Mac OS X specific.

One of my dirty secrets of my podcast career and earlier is that until recently I had never once recorded a remote interview with my own equipment using a single microphone setup. I have always had two, one that the person on the phone or Skype connection was hearing and then my own local microphone that was recording me. It started as laziness and never was a thing I readdressed until the last few weeks when it became a problem. My Google Hangout with Butler a few weeks ago forced my hand on a lot of this and made me get my act together.

I wanted to get everything together into a single comprehensive recording solution that had all of these requirements fulfilled:

To start with, I used Alex Botten’s video as the basis for getting my computer audio playing into the Google Hangout. He covers it pretty comprehensively in that 17 minute video but I will include the summary here (as much so I can refresh my memory later as anything.) To start with, you need to have Soundflower installed. You need to have Ladiocast installed. (Ladiocast is really the secret weapon of this entire setup.)

Go to your Sound system preferences. You need to set your Input as “Soundflower 2ch” and your Output as “Soundflower 64ch”. I guarantee at times this will seem counterintuitive, just roll with me. Soundflower is basically a sound routing bus that takes the arbitrary channels and mixes them down to a single 2 channel signal. Although the 64 channel is the input and the 2 channel is the output, you do the reverse because you want your system audio feeding Soundflower’s input and Soundflower’s output feeding your system input. Again, just trust me.

ladiocast screenshot

Next, you will open Ladiocast. This program gives you the option of taking up to three inputs and sending them to up to three outputs. It seems like Soundflower and this program are doing the same thing but they are not, they are complementary players in this game. I’ve got a screen capture of my setup. The thing to note here is that my microphone is on “Powerwave Composite” (more about that later) and the computer audio is on the Soundflower bus. You can send each of the inputs (I’m only using two) to any of three outputs (also only using two.) I have my microphone going to Aux 1 and the computer sound going to Aux 1 and Main. Main is the headphone jack and is running to my hardware mixer.

Stop for a breath. It gets more complicated from here. Let’s review where we are at so far. I have Soundflower configured as my system input and output, but I am also using Ladiocast to send my mic to only Soundflower and any further audio my computer plays (music, for example, or the audio coming out of the Hangout) to both the headphone jack and Soundflower.

mixer-photo

Now we are going to talk about my mixer setup. This is the other half of the configuration, and what fulfills the rest of my requirements. As you look at the mixer, input 1 is trusty studio mike. Input 2 is my lavalier mike. Input 3/4 is the output from the computer’s headphone jack. On the right is the mixer output which is going directly into my Marantz PMD 670 (the mixer is sitting on top of it.) At the top, the patch cable running from the adapter is going to the Griffin PowerWave which is then goes back to the computer via USB. (This laptop doesn’t have a line-in jack, so if I had that I wouldn’t need it.) They don’t seem to make them anymore, but a Griffin iMic would do the same function. Lastly are the headphones plugged into the top right jack.

Now, the PowerWave works solely to get the signal from my microphone into the computer. I have the FX return going to it, so I turn that up (third row of dials from the bottom) on any input I want to go back to the computer (in my set up, only the active microphone.) Conversely, the main mix (bottom row of dials) controls what goes into my Marantz recorder. What I am monitoring with the headphones is this. I turn up my mike in this, as well as the computer output and send the whole mix to the recorder. This is my local copy.

In order to close this loop, when you start your Google Hangout or equivalent, set your audio source to be Soundflower 2ch. At this point, the full monty has been achieved. With all this done, I have fulfilled my requirements. I have a single microphone that is recording me for both the local recording and is also going back to the people in the Hangout. I am recording my own audio locally for the whole session. If I play computer audio, it routes it back to the other participants in the Hangout but also plays into my local copy. The other participants in the Hangout are recorded in my local copy. Life is sweet!

It seems pretty complicated but for my use case, this is as simple as it can get. With a physical line-in jack the PowerWave can disappear. If I were recording the microphone on a USB headset, it would be a lot simpler. In that case, I would set that as my Input 1 in Ladiocast and send it to both Main and Aux 1, and could send the line-out directly to a recorder and not even need the physical mixer.

This is a starting point, most people will need to fiddle a bit to get things working. The key parts are getting the Soundflower inputs and outputs set up correctly or you hear nothing anywhere, and using Ladiocast. For a program this remarkably useful, it is shocking I had never heard of it before. Let me know how this works for you. Leave a comment if it worked or it didn’t, and we’ll see what can be done.

Tags: , , , , ,

Rock and Roll Geek Scoring System

Posted on February 23, 2015
Filed Under music, podcasting | 1 Comment

geekshowCircleLogo

By and large, I really like Michael Butler’s Rock and Roll Geek album scoring system. He gives each song a 0, 1/2 or 1 and then adds it up and it almost always comes up with something sensible. However…

I am listening to this episode where he is scoring both the new Scorpions album “Return to Forever” and Black Star Riders album “Killer Instinct”. I haven’t gotten to the end yet but in the middle he has the Scorpions ahead by 1/2 point. To my ears, they are nowhere close. The Black Star Riders is a way better album. I cannot see ever actually listening to this Scorpions for anything other than ironic cheeziness. It’s too bad to be enjoyable and not bad enough to be fun. Butler is giving it good scores on a song by song basis but it is mostly sucking the life out of me. Conversely, when he switches over to a Black Star Riders song I pick back up and reengage. I would put this album on for enjoyment.

It’s worth a listen to see what you think but I wouldn’t score them anywhere close.

Tags: , , ,

Lunch with Punkin

Posted on February 19, 2015
Filed Under life | 9 Comments

A water tower shaped like a ketchup bottle is seen in the town of Belleville, Illinois

Today Punkin had her 4 year old vaccinations and I ended up watching her. I gave her the choice of lunch anywhere she wanted and she chose Wendy’s. Most likely, it’s because our local one has a Coke Freestyle machine and she likes playing with that more than eating.

We had this conversation during lunch:

Punkin: The airplanes leave trails of ketchup in the sky! And french fries fall down like rain?
Me: Really?
Punkin: Yes, and the ground is made out of hamburgers and cheeseburgers. You can pick one up and eat it whenever you want.
Me: And how about drinks?
Punkin: The rivers are Sprite and the creeks are cherry. You cvan scoop it out and drink whenever you want. Isn’t that cool?
Me: Yes, it sounds wonderful. What do you call such a place?
Punkin: Ketchup World!

Tags:

Huntsburger on a Roll

Posted on February 18, 2015
Filed Under podcasting | 1 Comment

huntsberger

I always get a kick out of the Professor Blastoff podcast. After them doing a long run of banked episodes (apparently in July and August they recorded all the episodes for the rest of the year), the first ones of 2015 are Tig, Kyle and David doing a series of solo episodes. Think the KISS solo records but in podcast form.

In the first episode of 2015, David Huntsberger talks to two fellow comedians about Canada. The part of the show that really made me laugh was in the intro, when he re-enacted his take on the Serial podcast but populated entirely with characters from The Wire. I was in the gym when I was listening, and couldn’t keep from laughing out loud on the elliptical machine. Funny funny stuff.

Tags: ,

James Mason Shark

Posted on February 18, 2015
Filed Under tv | 1 Comment

OCTONAUTS_0

Dear Octonauts, I noticed what you did in the “Artifical Reef” episode, giving the sharks all James Mason voices. Thanks for keeping it interesting for the parents, and the older ones at that.

Tags:

Wholly Rolling

Posted on February 14, 2015
Filed Under life | 2 Comments

I’m generally pretty hapless with quad roller skates, doing much better with inline. However, I managed to skate for 20 or 30 minutes at this birthday party, sometimes helping a small child who was very unsteady, without once falling down. I had a few close calls, particularly in the late going when I got tired but 100% upright. I’ll take it.

SciFi Tavern in Charlotte

Posted on February 13, 2015
Filed Under books, sciencefiction | 6 Comments

Here is a Kickstarter I can get behind, even though I am not a direct beneficiary of it. A guy is trying to raise money to start a science fiction and fantasy bookstore tavern in Charlotte NC. Even as Borderlands in San Francisco is planning to shut down, that some crazy bastard is willing to tilt at this windmill all over makes me happy.

I would like the idea of this place getting off the ground. I try to get to Charlotte for Heroescon as often as I can so if it does open, I will need to put this on the agenda. Fellow members of the SF tribe, do what you can. Especially as I have so many friends located around the south, please support this if you have the means and at least spread this if you don’t. Let’s see it happen!

Tags: , , ,

Ebook Errors?

Posted on February 12, 2015
Filed Under books | 9 Comments

People who know about the inside working of big publishing, I need your help.

I have been hearing people talk about ebook editions that appear to have OCR type errors in them. This sounded suspicious to me, in that “publishing can’t possibly be doing what I think they are doing” type way. I have now some examples in captivity. I own all of George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire books in hardcover but I am reading them on my Kindle. Who wants a 10 pound book smashing their face at bedtime? I noticed these errors in the passages of the kingsmoot, where Balon Greyjoy is referred to many times. There is a stretch of two paragraphs with half of them “Balon” and the other half “Baton.” If the image is too small to read, follow to the blog post and click it and you’ll see a pretty large version of it. I highlighted the passage on the Kindle just to make it extra obvious.

The question is this: do the big publishers prepare their texts for commercial ebooks by scanning and OCRing typeset versions of the text? In other words, is there no way for them to capture the final edited version in a soft copy that could then end up in the ebook version? I’m withholding judgement until I understand this better but it seems remarkably backwards to me. If the electronic copy can introduce additional errors from the paper versions, something in the workflow seems amiss to me.

Tags: , ,

Podcasting History Note

Posted on February 11, 2015
Filed Under podcasting | 8 Comments

Dear Len Peralta and Brian Ibbot, re your discussion on Geek A Week about long-running podcats:

You were correct about Dawn and Drew’s show being older than Coverville, however you missed a few. Both my podcast and Michael Butler’s Rock and Roll Geek Show are still going and older than Coverville. There may be others, but these are the ones I know of.

Tags: , , , , ,

Podcast Wisdom

Posted on February 11, 2015
Filed Under podcasting | 1 Comment

6281371310_75a8a81503_m

From Roderick on the Line episode titled “Goofus MacGroofus”:

John Roderick: “I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Gene Simmons is Donald Trump in dragon boots.”

PS – I missed the whole t-shirt thing. I totally would have bought one if I had found out about this limited time offer five days ago. I’m on the “let’s do that again” list. If you join me, maybe it will happen.

Tags: , , ,

Octonauts FTW

Posted on February 10, 2015
Filed Under books, tv | 11 Comments

OCTONAUTS

Punkin has really taken to The Octonauts cartoon. These things come and go in waves (no pun intended) but this one seems to be sticking. We had Octonauts stuff at her birthday party and she spent her birthday money mostly on various Gup vehicles.

What I really like about the show is that every single episode is doing stealth teaching. There is always at least one animal fact or aquatic bit in each cartoon. The other day she used the words “kelp” and “krill.” When I asked her, she was able to correctly define what each was. I would put this as the best cartoon she watches for that reason. Add on that I enjoy it as an homage to all forms of stiff-upper-lip British military fiction (for me, that includes Pertwee era Dr. Who). This show is educational to kids, enjoyable by parents. That’s a win on multiple fronts for me. Now we need to hunt up some of the original books that the show was based on.

Tags:

From Coffee and Cider

Posted on February 5, 2015
Filed Under comics, podcasting | 2 Comments

From the Coffee and Cider podcast episode entitled “Criterion Velocity“:

Rich Stevens: “I feel that my role in our community as a moderately tall white male is to find the creeps and make them creeped out. If I know you are a creep and you are a dude and there are women in this general area, I’m going to make you feel really uncomfortable. Not because the women necessarily need it, but because it is the one thing I can do.”

Tags: , , ,

Pretending To Be An Artist

Posted on February 5, 2015
Filed Under arts | 9 Comments

2015-01-29 16.07.312015-01-25 23.05.302015-01-25 23.20.262015-01-26 00.39.41

A few weeks ago, we made the last minute decision to make Punkin a birthday card with some of her current favorite characters. I’m not an artist, but I know enough about comic books to understand the process and try to emulate it.

I tried to go through the standard cycle as a layman understands it. First I did a quick thumbnail on printer paper to make sure I understood the basic composition of the thing, and more importantly how I understood the sizes of the figures relative to each other.

After that, I took a folded piece of card stock and pencilled in the figures. When I felt good about that, I inked them. After that, I erased a little of my lines and passed it off to the colorist and letterer (which was mommy.) The final product looked pretty decent, if we do say so ourselves. It was a lot of work and made for a later night than anticipated but it was probably easier than trying find a card with the right set of characters. Considering the front is a Paw Patrol character and the inside is a mix of Octonauts and Mickey Mouse, that was probably impossible.

Tags: , , , ,

IT Conversations

Posted on February 3, 2015
Filed Under podcasting | 3 Comments

I miss IT Conversations. I should call Doug Kaye just to have him say “Sathyaish Chakravarthy” to me.

Tags: ,

LetterMo 2015

Posted on February 2, 2015
Filed Under misc | 5 Comments

LetterMo2015square-1024x1024

I just realized with horror that we are already into February. The weekend with two child’s birthday parties – one for my own – left me not thinking too hard about the calendar. That means that if I’m going to do The Month of Letters Challenge I’m already two days behind.

I’ve done it twice and then didn’t do it last year for much the same reason. Somewhere in the middle of February 2014 I noticed that I had never started, and was far enough behind I didn’t pursue it. It is great fun and a great way to connect to friends and family. There is something nice about receiving a nice piece of mail and nice about sending it. Much in the way that I am interested in zines and minicomics because they are somatic and physical, I am interested in LetterMo. So much of my life is digital and on the computer that now and then it is pleasurable to return to the tactile with things like the participant stickers you can affix to your mail.

So, I’m starting at a deficit but I’m doing it anyway. The plan is send mail for 23 days (the shortest month anyway with a mail holiday in the middle.) I’ll do that, and either make up the time on Sundays or go a bit into March. The specifics don’t matter, just doing something does.

I’m in. Who else is with me? A Month of Letters is on Google+ and Facebook, so dive right in.

Tags:

Superbowl Commercials

Posted on February 2, 2015
Filed Under tv | 12 Comments

I didn’t watch the Super Bowl. Somewhere after child bedtime I realized the game was on but I didn’t care enough to even turn it on. I didn’t look at social media at all last night, opting to go to bed at the first moment possible.

Today I see many people predictably talking about the commercials, their favorites, the best. This always mystifies me. Sure, some are more clever and enjoyable than others but so what? Focusing on the best commercial is like focusing on the gentlest ass-kicking. It’s still a beating, it’s still a commercial.

Dana Gould and Eddie Pepitone

Posted on January 29, 2015
Filed Under podcasting | 1 Comment

dghs03e07_360

From the “Peachy Keane” episode of the Dana Gould Hour podcast:

Dana Gould: “Well, that’s one more show I wasn’t invited to perform on.”
Eddie Pepitone: “I have a Google Unalert set up. It tells me about all the shows I’m not on.”

Tags:

Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for January 27 2015 – Interview with Garrick van Buren

Posted on January 27, 2015
Filed Under audio | 4 Comments

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, January 27 2015. This is my interview with Garrick van Buren about his book Rebuilding Blocks. It is a fascinating book that combines personal anecdotes with a business and self-help book as well as a strategy guide for the game of Kubb.

Links mentioned in this episode:

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

Tags: , , , , ,

EGC Interview Tuesday Jan 27th at 10:30 PM EST with Michael Butler

Posted on January 27, 2015
Filed Under podcasting | 2 Comments

I am really enjoying the live video interviews. I’ve done two so far and now there is another one scheduled.

Tonight, Tuesday the 27th of January I am going to do a Hangout with the Rock and Roll Geek himself, Michael Butler. Originally I thought we might do some track by track music stuff but it looks like Google is too hard-assed about music in Hangouts on Air. Still, you can watch along as we talk or view the video afterwards. We’ll talk podcasting, music, movies, comic books – all the good stuff.

The hangout page can be found here. It will be broadcast live on YouTube. I am still trying to get the user interaction stuff working, maybe this will be the one that works. This will be at 10:30 PM EST, 7:30 PM PST, 0330 GMT and whatever that is in your local timezone. The recording will be available afterwards for those busy or asleep.

« go backkeep looking »