Sunday, September 12, 2010

CodeRage - Audio/Recording Equipment

I was just accepted to do two CodeRage Sessions, I am excited about both of them.
  • Building Robust Applications with Customized Exception Management
  • Continuous Integration with DUnit and FinalBuilder
I hope everyone gets a chance to attend some of the sessions, the exact dates and times of my sessions are not known yet. The conference is scheduled for October 4-8, 2010.

What I used in the past and will still
use to monitor broadcast audio
Right after I graduated from high school, I attended university as a theater major. That lasted about 2 years before dropping out to become a full time Delphi programmer. :-) But my love for Theater is still in my life. I volunteer at our local theater, building sets, running shows, and many other things.  As such, I developed an appreciation for quality sound.

One of the things I observed in my past recordings was my audio quality was not what I wanted it to be.     I also don't have a huge budget to turn my office office into a studio, but I did make some investments to try to improve the quality of the sound.  About $280 later this this is what i have:
The New setup

I have now done some test recordings, and I really pleased with the quality of my voice.  If I were only doing an audio podcast I would have a near perfect setup. But with a good microphone comes some problems, related to the acoustics of the room,  I now can hear the keyboard, mouse, the squeaky chair, the fan on the computer, and a slight echo.  I also can hear the kids if they are talking in the room next door.  To get the audio in my office where I would want it would be another $400-$700 not something I am going to spend any time soon.

So some tricks I have learned:   A laptop keyboard is much quieter than my desktop keyboard so I most likely will be presenting on it instead of my desktop.   Strategic placement of hung blankets helps with the Echo of room which reduces other noises.    I suspect some WD-40 on the chair will help with the squeak or I will just switch chairs.     If I am recording noise reduction will remove most of the noise from the computer fan.  This but it won't help with the live presentations, so I might pull out the longer cables I have. to isolate the computer, as I still need it even if I am not typing 100% of the time on it.

Overall I hope that future live and recorded sessions of mine will have better audio for everyone.    Even if I am the only one that may notice the difference in the end .