mad in pursuit journal


Audio Tools

Katherine Hepburn LetterSo I took Kate's advice and sat on my couch till I had a 1-page script that I could use to give structure to a video/animation project.

Next challenge. Record my voice.

Some time last March I had a spell of device-mania and simply HAD to have a tiny digital Edirol R-09 sound recorder. I tested it a couple times... wasn't that impressed, compared to my dictionary-sized minidisc recorder... I put it away for another day, which turned out to be Sunday.

Took me a while to reacquaint myself. The R-09 will directly record a 24-bit .wav file. Pop out the SD card, plug into my computer's card reader and voila.* Ready to edit.

Wanting more precision than the R-09's internal microphone, I attached a small stereo mic that I used to use with my video camera... Yadda, yadda, yadda... When I finally tried to combine my voice with a few musical beats, I was frustrated.

My voice is... my voice. I'm reconciled to that. I have a good ear (thanks, dad) but not necessarily an educated ear. The voicetrack would not stand out from the music track but I didn't know what to do about it.

Monday thought. In my audio toybox I have a little adapter cable I once bought to connect a professional mono microphone (with a 3-pronged XLR plug) to the mini-stereo mic jack on a video camera). Never used it. But I pulled it out yesterday so I could attach my best microphone. Zounds! What a difference! My recording went from muddy to crisp in an instant. Yay!

Today's lesson. Craftmanship fine, fine, fine... but good tools, yowza!


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* With optical minidiscs, you have to play the recording into your computer via the line-in, which involves knowing a bunch more settings and magical incantations.