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Is it just me or has anyone else noticed a significant increase in the audio quality in the last month or so? The recent collection of trinity casts seem to be especially vibrant...in particular the intro music is on steroids. Just for fun I re-wound to an '05 cast and the difference is night and day!

Jeremy

HMac's picture

Agree. I think there was a mention of having invested in better microphones, maybe on that "practiced emergency cast" about a month ago that was put together cold in the hotel room.

On one of the other threads, somebody mentioned they could hear background noises - like looking through drawers or something. I noticed that too - and attributed it to better microphones.

Jeremy - if you haven't yet answered the survey M/M sent out last week, take 15 minutes to do so (and everybody else too!). Let's help these guys by telling them what we value in Manager Tools.

-Hugh

jbpowell's picture

Yessir I did. I'm a good Tooler! Hope they post some results, I'd be interested to see the opinions of others.

DanStratton's picture

I noticed the last couple weeks the quality is way up. I too heard someone filing in the background and found it a little distracting - and that was on a bus! I kept looking at the guy behind me wondering what the heck he was doing back there. Finally, I realized it must have been on the cast. :-)

HMac's picture

So Dan - what was the bus ride like for you a month or so backwhen the roosters were crowing in the background? :lol:

tcomeau's picture

I started noticing sound quality after the "rooster" incident. This week I could hear what I think was a chair squeak, and what I suspect was pens or pencils rolling on a desk.

I'm hearing things I never heard on other podcasts, too. Heidi Miller's "Diary of a Shameless Self Promoter" includes what I think is a steam heater cycling, and one of the Economist podcast guys seems to be a compulsive pen-tapper.

While I do think sound quality has improved, I also think I'm more aware of background sound now.

tc>

mauzenne's picture

Thanks folks ... I appreciate the conversation. Funny enough, someone suggested to me recently (at the conference, I believe) that the "extraneous" sounds in the background were purposely included to give it a more home-spun sound. Rest assured, it wasn't on purpose. ;-)

[GEEK MODE: ON]
For those curious, I can't explain an increase in quality over the past month. However, the last *two* casts were edited on the Mac (Soundtrack Pro on the Mac vs. Adobe Audition on the PC), with Compressor for MP3 compression, vs. Lame on the PC. Additionally, the Music is probably more vibrant because I changed the process slightly and the music is in stereo. Previously, mixed everything down to mono, then back up to stereo. I won't go into the details here, but the process reduces the files a bit in size. As well (and I almost forgot about this), I'm compressing to sample rates of 96Khz vs. 64Khz. Frankly, although perhaps I should be, I'm obviously not as focused on reducing file sizes.

Wasn't sure it would be noticed ... I guess I know now. ;-)

Best Regards,
Mike

[GEEK MODE: OFF] Now back to finishing the latest Harvard Business Revew :-)

tcomeau's picture

Okay, now I find I'm really listening to the background sound in the 'casts.

I'm listening to the "Significant Accomplishments" cast (Interview series) and at 4:50 there's an alarm bell -- probably new mail, but maybe a calendar event.

The most interesting thing, though, is listening to Mark breathe. I noticed yesterday, when listening to the "How To Attend a Conference Cast" (pre-MT conference series) that Mark has a "breathing style." At the end of a long discourse, his first breath is a deep one, then he settles down into a slow, regular pace while Mike speaks. Then when he's starting a new series of sentences, he'll take a quick half-breath before he starts.

Mike doesn't seem to have a pattern, and he'll interrupt himself to breathe during a long piece. There's also a bit more of a whistle in Mike's breaths.

I suspect the real difference is that Mark speaks a lot, so he's learned to pay attention to breathing, both for better articulation and in order to stay comfortable when he has to talk more-or-less nonstop for an hour. It reminds me a bit of some of the exercises I used to do in acting and voice classes.

It's not that I get distracted by the improved audio quality, but I am noticing more of the background.

No more roosters, though. :D

HMac's picture

Tom: more hobbies. You. Now. :lol:

mauzenne's picture

Hah!

Tom, can I use that as an example of High C behavior? ;-)

Mike

SteveSherry's picture

[quote="HMac"]Tom: more hobbies. You. Now. :lol:[/quote]
I second this!

altough I had noticed the rooster, it conjured up an image of Mark & Mike sat in a barn converted into an office, chicken clucking around outside..............

tcomeau's picture

[quote="mauzenne"]
Tom, can I use that as an example of High C behavior? ;-)
[/quote]

Heh. I suppose it is a good example.

Though, a real high-C would point out that you're not recording in a "sterile" environment, so you're not really putting out a high-quality audio -- that you've traded recording quality for output quality by introducing all these "extraneous" noises.

I, on the other hand, find it mildly amusing. Must be the "D" leaking through.
:D

tc>

lazerus's picture

[b]High D:[/b] Why are we talking about roosters here?
[b]High i:[/b] Oh! I live near a guy with roosters, lemme tell ya a story about it!! Last Saturday, blah blah blah
[b]High S:[/b] Is everyone cool with the rooster sounds?
[b]High C:[/b] The average podcast has 4 .6345345 extraneous noises, but we need more info to determine how that actually affects the listener's experience.

:lol:

ctomasi's picture

Brilliant, Lazerus!