Archive

Archive for the ‘Audio’ Category

Err Card 2 fixed on Marantz PMD661 with A2.03 Firmware

July 5, 2011 2 comments

I’ve owned a Marantz PMD661 for a while now and I was quite bummed to find I could not use any of my SanDisk 8GB SDHC Class 4 cards at the time (about a year ago).

I tried many things at the time, I formatted the SDHC Card in the Marantz PMD661, which worked, but when I went to record audio, I would get a “Err Card 2” message when I tried to record (or it would error on booting the recorder).

The only solution, buy more 2GB SD Cards to use.  Lately I have seen less and less of them in the stores, so I also recently did a last time buy of about 5 of them figuring that many would allow me to use my recorder for years to come (yes, these flash storage devices do wear out).

Well, it looks like Marantz/D&M Professional finally fixed the SDHC issue for most of the cards out there.  On 6/17/2011 they released a new firmware version (A2.03), the last update I had seen on the website was A1.17.  The firmware update was mostly to address the use of larger capacity SDHC cards.

I installed the new firmware per their instructions (used a 2GB card) and now I can successfully record audio using the SanDisk 8GB SDHC Class 4 cards I’ve had for a while now.  With the 2GB cards, I could record a little over 3 hours of 2 channel audio (cd quality – PCM-16bit, Stereo, 44.1 khz), with the new 8GB cards I can now record over 12.5 hours of audio as seen on this picture to the right (not sure I’ll ever need that much recording time).

Thanks Marantz/D&M Pro for the update!

– Dom

PodCampAZ 2010 Summary

November 24, 2010 2 comments

PodCampAZ 2010 was a great event with many people wanting to share their learning & experiences.  Well worth the effort to travel to Phoenix from Albuquerque.  Even though there were less people this year, I renewed many friendships from last year and made many new ones as well.

This year I had the great opportunity to “bask in the awesomeness” of the following speakers:

  • Chris Hewitt – Forget the Experts…
  • Derek Neighbors – New Media is a Connection Point not a End Point
  • Video Genius Panel – Izzy, Clintus, Dave, & Jacqui
  • Jeremy Vaught – Zero to Hero
  • Israel Hyman (Izzy) – How to make a living as a full time podcaster
  • WordPress SEO Genius Panel – Chuck, Charlene, & Sam
  • Kevin Kitteridge – Do It Live!

Some of the more important ideas that I walked away with were:

  • Digital interactions can not replace In Real Life interactions
  • A 3 product approach to developing a viable information product based business
  • A couple new WordPress/SEO plugins to take a look at

I also had the opportunity to jump in, on the last day, and present what I wanted to share with regard to Media & Time Shifted Learning in a Corporation.  The presentation went well, very informal as usual with a couple tangents based on questions.  I have re-recorded the content, I posted it in video format in case you happen to have missed the session or did not attend the conference.  Just a reminder, these are my opinions and are not opinions of my employer.

Media & Time Shifted Learning in a Corporation

Here is the link to the downloadable MP4 video file, it’s 22 minutes long and about 34 MB in size and can be played with the Apple QuickTime Player.

In summary, a great weekend, looking forward to what next year will bring.

– Dom

PodCampAZ 2010

October 25, 2010 Leave a comment

Just a quick plug about PodCampAZ 2010 coming up here on November 20 & 21, a event I will be attending.

I attended PodCampAZ 2009 last year, really by chance.  I had a weekend free and we were already visiting family in the Phoenix area for the Thanksgiving holidays.

Based on reading the website before the event, I figured I’d get a chance to see what the world of new media and social networking looked like since most of my career was spent in data-center technologies.

The event was free, so there was very little to loose other than time, energy, and being away from my kids for a couple days.

The 2 day un-confernece (this is explained on the website) was really amazing, the power of like-minded people coming together to share information and experiences was eye-opening.  I attended presentations on WordPress, Videocasting, Podcasting, and Social Media software.  I also met so many people who were experts in their respective areas.

There is value in the overall socialness of this event and its ability to bring people who want to share, PodCampAZ is a great place to experience & learn from the talent in the Phoenix area first hand.

– Dom

What is the Epiphan VGA2USB LR?

October 12, 2010 4 comments

I recently purchased a Epiphan VGA2USB LR to record presentation video from workshops where multiple people present during the day.

This device is a frame grabber, it takes the VGA input from the computer and makes images, in fact it makes so many images that one can record video at 30 frames per second depending on the resolution.

I have found this device very nice to use with Camtasia.

The particular things I like are:

  • No software needs to be installed on the presentation laptop (this is huge!)
  • The ability to record what is being presented including software demos and videos (most local sw can’t record wmv video)
  • The ability to record a computer without impacting the computer itself, from a performance point of view (local screen recording can be compute intensive)
  • Can record wireless audio on a separate laptop

Here is how the video part is connected, speaker audio can be input to the recording laptop (Computer in this picture) via USB or Mic input.

Here is a youtube video of recording using the VGA2USB LR and Camtasia:

Direct youtube link – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_qDaeeteRw

If you want a in depth review of this little device, check out this blog post by Victor, it even contains a device teardown to see whats inside.

Enjoy!

– Dom

Hat Mics on the road

September 4, 2010 Leave a comment

I recently went on a San Juan River fly fishing trip with my dad and brothers, my brothers traveled separately, so it was just my dad and I for the 3 hour drive from Rio Rancho to Navajo Dam, NM.

My dad was visiting from Florida for more than a week, so it was a great opportunity to interview him and ask random questions to help me and my kids understand his family history as he knew it.  All total I have about 6 hours of recording just talking with dad, I learned many new things that I did not know before.

Since both my dad and I wear baseball caps, it was a excellent chance to use the Hat Mic technique and my Olympus LS-10 as detailed in a previous post here.

There was a fair amount of road noise in the recording from the Toyota Tundra truck.  I also noticed that the road noise level changed as the truck went over bridges and rougher patches of road.

Here is a sample of the recording so you can hear what this particular setup sounds like.

Enjoy!

– Dom

Direct link to the MP3 audio:  http://tribalgrowth.com/files/2010-09-04_HatMicsOnTheRoad.mp3

How to use VNC & Camtasia to record presentations/demos from other laptops

September 2, 2010 Leave a comment

Sometimes there is a need to record the content of another presenter or a group of presenters, and installing Camtasia on each and every laptop is not practical.

I’ve also seen this solved by using a “presentation” laptop, and often there are issues with the presentation & certain versions of presentation software or fonts or formatting.  I’ve done this once and at the end of the recording one presenter was confused with what was seen on the screen, did something and subsequently deleted the recording before I could get to the laptop to save it.

Another solution to this (and one of the more ideal) is through various pieces of hardware like VGA splitters and Frame Grabbers to go along with laptop and projector.  I’ll do a separate post on this later.

One of the more inexpensive solutions to recording content on a remote laptop is to use remote desktop software, in most cases I use VNC since I can connect to Windows, Mac, and Linux based laptops (it’s also free from realvnc.com, though this version does not have encryption).  My other choice when using Windows only is to use remote desktop.

All of this screen capturing is done over a wired or wireless TCP/IP network, and requires a fair amount of bandwidth on the local subnet.  If you were to do this across the internet or intranet, the latency of screen refreshes goes up which could impact the live recording and slow down the presenter.

Below is a little video I put together to summarize what I’ve done with VNC and Camtasia (PC & Mac setup/demos).  In addition I’ve included pictures of my wireless audio setup to capture the audio at the same time as the video.

The hardware pictured is of a Shure PGX wireless microphone system connected via a XLR cable to a Centrance MicPort Pro pre-amplifier which then connects USB to the laptop and appears to the system (and Camtasia) as a external microphone.

Enjoy the video!

– Dom

Direct link to video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HK2bjqgm1Cs

Record in 3’s

September 1, 2010 Leave a comment

One of the challenges of recording any kind of content (video or audio) to be distributed on the internet or a intranet is getting a good natural sounding “take”.

I came across this nice Camtasia audio article by Lon Naylor on capturing multiple attempts of the same audio to get a really natural “take” to be mixed or added to a longer audio sequence later.  The included youtube video is a great example of this (I’ve also included this video below).  The video also shows great microphone and pop filter placement.

This makes a lot of sense, once a person reads a script and gets comfortable with the content or phrase, repeating it will sound more natural the next time (also any nuances or word emphasis would be worked out by hearing yourself).  By the 3rd attempt it should sound good.

Thanks for the article and pointer to the youtube video Lon.

Enjoy!

– Dom

Direct link to video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t926G1FFzL4

%d bloggers like this: