Podcast #4: Ask Me Anything #1

Thank you for you questions!

  
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Photo of my actual microphone this time, not just a photo I found online… It’s blurry, but you can see the hand gripper that broke on the desk on the right and my old AMD CPU on the left.

Thank you for your questions! 💚🥃

This is my first time doing an AMA like this1. I guess this counts as a 𝕤𝕡𝕖𝕔𝕚𝕒𝕝 𝕖𝕕𝕚𝕥𝕚𝕠𝕟…

I wasn’t expecting questions about the meaning of life, free will, how the world works, and our place the universe, but I like people who are thinking big thoughts.

I gave it my best shot.

I don’t have all the answers, or even many answers — I just want to learn — but it’s more fun to learn together. And sometimes, just asking questions is enough to get the process started, even if it takes a long time to find satisfactory answers (or better questions!).

I recorded the intro in one take, and then I recorded all my answers in a single take too. It’s pretty stream-of-consciousness, with no real preparation (no time for it lately).

I cut some of my answers in post-production, in the interest of time and because on some I just didn’t have much of interest to say.

Being used to text, it feels very weird to realize there’s stuff I forgot to say, or didn’t say clearly, and I can’t go back and just add it in there (or I could, but it’d sound weird and take too much time). Gotta just accept the pros and cons of the medium ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I’m curious to know what you think of this experiment, positive and negative, and whether you think I should do it again at some point in the future.

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What I Learned Recording It 🤔

This is the first recording using my new audio gear.

Big improvement over the $30 computer mic I got in 2006 to do Skype calls.

If you’re curious:

  • Microphone: Rode Podmic (photo at the top)

  • Audio interface: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

  • Microphone stand: Gator Short Mic Stand (with heavy metal base because the Podmic is 2lbs, and with the first stand I bought, it just kept tipping over)

  • In-line pre-amp: Triton Fethead (the Podmic is nice, but as a dynamic mic, it’s pretty quiet without this boost, and the Scarlett has trouble driving it)

If the little intro music and sound effects sound like they come from a toy piano, it’s because they do. I just grabbed my youngest son’s piano and did slides and random notes:

Improvise with what you’ve got, right?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I did the post-production editing in Audacity (compression, normalization of levels, cutting some parts, cutting some crutch words like “um”, slicing in the little piano parts, etc) and final mastering in Forecast. The post probably took an hour.

This is what the final thing looks like:

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It took longer than I expected… The area where I live went into another COVID19 lockdown after a spike of cases (likely due to the more contagious B.1.1.7 variant), so my oldest kid had remote school at home and it became really hard to find the time and quiet to concentrate and record (or do much else, really).