Author Topic: Audio issues with EP231: Solitary as an Oyster  (Read 20562 times)

stePH

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Reply #25 on: December 30, 2009, 02:57:14 PM
StePH please, we all know it sounded pretty bad.  You can say that, as others have, without being quite so offensive about it.  I'm glad you stuck with it, though, and liked the story.
I thought it warranted special mention because it was, bar none, Alasdair's worst recording ever.  It made me wish for that run of bad Pseudopod intros we had a while back.

And I just remembered I forgot "Santa in My Pocket", which was #2 to "Heartbreakers" before last night; now displaced to #3.

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kibitzer

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Reply #26 on: December 30, 2009, 11:45:36 PM
Sorry, no bans today.  :)

Your comment is fine.  I personally don't know what the plans are for a redo of this episode, but it may be into next week (or longer) before anything is decided or announced.  I know that Steve was sick over the holidays last week, so he is probably making up for lost time with family, etc.

Ah well (to the no bans today comment :-).

I sympathise with sickness and I understand EA is a largely volunteer operation, so I'm not looking for anyone to blame, honest.

I will put my hand up to re-record the story, if EA would like. I would start on it straight away. (This is about offering another pair of hands, not dissing Al or anyone. Oh, and I would really like to. Heh. :-)
« Last Edit: December 31, 2009, 12:11:25 AM by kibitzer »



Wilson Fowlie

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Reply #27 on: December 31, 2009, 02:25:06 AM
I will put my hand up to re-record the story, if EA would like. I would start on it straight away. (This is about offering another pair of hands, not dissing Al or anyone. Oh, and I would really like to. Heh. :-)

Ditto! :D

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Scattercat

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Reply #28 on: December 31, 2009, 03:07:57 AM
Love EscapePod.  Love it.  My life is different today because I know that there is high-quality free audio fiction available, so if the clamor for a better-quality version confuses and dismays Steve, Allistair and crew, I would have them ignore the clamor. 

If anything, that clamor is pretty high praise; everyone expects really high-quality stuff from the "crew," as it were, and the reaction to an unexpected misstep is shock and dismay (and "Please, we want to hear the story!  We trust you that it's good, but we can't hear it!") rather than "Meh, what do you expect for free?"

I don't think anyone is suggesting that terrible jobs are the norm around here, nor that this is anything but a rare confluence of problems resulting in a hard-to-understand podcast from individuals whose work is usually impeccable.



alllie

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Reply #29 on: December 31, 2009, 03:09:00 AM
I wonder if a new mic would solve the audio problem?



kibitzer

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Reply #30 on: December 31, 2009, 03:27:18 AM
If Al needs a new mic I'll happily buy him one. :-)


alllie

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Reply #31 on: December 31, 2009, 11:29:25 AM
If Al needs a new mic I'll happily buy him one. :-)

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langly

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Reply #32 on: December 31, 2009, 01:13:45 PM
Unfortunately I couldn't pay the attention required to hear the episode through but from what I could hear, I look forward to a redo please! Just for what it's worth it sounded like either a sound card setup problem or there was some noise on the original, and someone went WAY overboard with de-noise software settings. I've done it myself just to see what happens. I've heard some casts (not escape artists) that probably had some fan noise or AC in the background that could have been easily ignorable after a few minutes and the de-noiseing made it sound so unnatural the artifacts were far worse than the original background. One has to be able and willing to listen critically when it's 'done' and make changes. What I REALLY dislike is when I listen to a 'finished' piece and once or several times during it there is a retake. It shows no one listened to the complete project, just slapped it together and out it goes. Adds to the belief among professionals that podcasting is at best amateur in the worst way when it can be so much better!




Father Beast

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Reply #33 on: December 31, 2009, 04:45:36 PM
Unfortunately, I tried 3 times to listen to the first 2 minutes and got about 1 word in 3.

Historically, there has been a fix come up in the next few weeks, and I'm confident this will be done similarly.

I really like the Mur Christmas stories and am still looking forward to this one. :D



SerTyrion

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Reply #34 on: January 01, 2010, 02:26:06 AM
I'd love another copy/version of this as well.

I couldnt make it out either. Alasdair is one of my favorite readers and his intros and outros are why I love Psuedopod so much... but I just couldnt do it in this one. But from time to time, his are so hard to listen to. I messed with various EQ settings on my player to no avail, just too much noise between the words. Ends up sounding like one long mumble. Which makes me feel bad for saying, cuz i LOVE Al's readings.



kibitzer

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Reply #35 on: January 01, 2010, 09:14:29 AM
If Al needs a new mic I'll happily buy him one. :-)

Blue Snowball?

That is exactly what I was thinking... and what I proposed. But I suspect Al is too English to accept a helping hand :-)


Swamp

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Reply #36 on: January 01, 2010, 04:53:03 PM
Okay, people, that's about enough of this.  Look. I appreciate all of the request for a redo because it means you care about listening to this story and the podcast.  I even appreciate offers to help out as EA is primarily run by generous volunteers.  But there will be no more personal comments regarding Al or any other staff members.  How rude!  Kibitzer, you are on notice.

The episode is barely a week old.  There's been two major holidays in the last couple weeks.  Expecting action to be taken this soon is not realistic.  Please, be patient.  I think most of you are.  We will let you know when a decision has been made.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2010, 07:11:52 PM by Swamp »

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Talia

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Reply #37 on: January 01, 2010, 05:01:14 PM
I think he was joking....

(I guess thats the peril of the Internet, you never know how you're going to come across...)



washer

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Reply #38 on: January 01, 2010, 05:24:38 PM
The word "unlistenable" was exactly what I was thinking as I tried to muddle my way through it.  I'm not expecting an instant fix, I just wanted to pitch in.  I've been listening to this podcast less than two years, so last year's Mur story was my first, and I loved it!  I couldn't wait to hear this year's, then found that I could hear at all, so I gave up.  I've heard Alisdair introduce a bunch of pseudopods, and read a bunch all over, and I really do like his voice.  No complaints with his readings ever.  But um, yeah, if his recorder's dying, I'll totally lend him a new one for all time.



SFEley

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Reply #39 on: January 01, 2010, 06:33:40 PM
There's going to be a re-recording.  Sorry for being so quiet on this issue up to now.

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Swamp

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Reply #40 on: January 01, 2010, 07:16:00 PM
I think he was joking....

(I guess thats the peril of the Internet, you never know how you're going to come across...)

I figure he was, too, but it still comes off as condesending.  I struck out the "on notice" verbage above, but I just get tired of the negativism toward individuals, even in jest.  Not the way I wanted to start the new year.

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kibitzer

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Reply #41 on: January 01, 2010, 07:32:26 PM
Sincere apologies to Al. It wasn't meant to be condescending but I can see how it comes off that way.


nanr42

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Reply #42 on: January 02, 2010, 12:51:05 AM
Thank you Steve for the great news about the re-recording and reposting of Mur's story. And thanks to Al for going through all this. And thanks for putting up with all the rudeness. You're right. People need to chill, for cryn' out loud.



OsamaBinLondon

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Reply #43 on: January 02, 2010, 07:34:08 AM
Poor Mur, she must be wringing her hands in frustration listening to this.   

Mr Stuart has been using this $2 mic for... well since i've been listening to Escapepod and Pseudopod.  I tolerate it but it really impacts the quality of the podcasts and taints the professional ethos the site has managed to acquire.  For god sake buy him a decent mic.



ahutson

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Reply #44 on: January 02, 2010, 08:38:58 AM
At first I thought this was an intentional effect to simulate the echo and autotuning of a robot talking.  :) How creative!

But with Steve's comment it seems it seems there will be a re-recording.   The other posts I've read are all guessing about reasons.  Is it a mic?  Is it encoding?  File size constraints?  There can be so many variables that listeneres are unaware of.  Sorry, I'm kind of new and unsure of how these episodes get produced.  Do you all have a studio?  Or do people do it at home and send the files?  How is it that some people come across sounding so good?

For a while I really enjoyed Pseudopod and listened just for Alistair's comments.  But for the last six months I have stopped listening to Pseudopod because of the sound quality of the recordings.  I never commented because I assumed that people were aware and it would get corrected, and didn't really want to nag if there wasn't anything constructive I could add.

If the problem is a mic, lack of preamp, etc, maybe narrators without access to equipment could find alternate ways to use high-quality equipment through sharing with other organizations or borrowing from libraries.

I used to volunteer for a nonprofit radio program for visually impaired listeners.  Some mornings I'd read parts of the newspaper around a table, other times I'd record magazines in sound booths.  Not sure if those kind of programs are widespread, but similar programs might be cool with allowing recording, knowing that escape artists is a nonprofit.

Also my university allows students to check out media material, including professional sound equipment that can record to a computer or to various formats.  I've seen this at quite a few universities.

I'd be willing to do a little digging and see if any resources were out there...

There's going to be a re-recording.  Sorry for being so quiet on this issue up to now.



Anarkey

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Reply #45 on: January 02, 2010, 12:43:41 PM
Poor Mur, she must be wringing her hands in frustration listening to this.   

Mr Stuart has been using this $2 mic for... well since i've been listening to Escapepod and Pseudopod.  I tolerate it but it really impacts the quality of the podcasts and taints the professional ethos the site has managed to acquire.  For god sake buy him a decent mic.

You are out of line.  Implying that Alasdair Stuart is anything but the consummate professional is not only mistaken, it's also rude, and a personal dig.  While commenting on the episode or the narrator generally is fine, calling one of our staff members unprofessional, a staff member who for years has shown themselves willing to take on an incredible amount of work for the sake of the podcasts, is not.  Cut it out.


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OsamaBinLondon

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Reply #46 on: January 02, 2010, 01:21:31 PM
Quote
You are out of line.  Implying that Alasdair Stuart is anything but the consummate professional is not only mistaken, it's also rude, and a personal dig.  While commenting on the episode or the narrator generally is fine, calling one of our staff members unprofessional, a staff member who for years has shown themselves willing to take on an incredible amount of work for the sake of the podcasts, is not.  Cut it out.

Ridiculous!  I am most definately NOT out of line.

I have implied nothing other than to state the FACT that the quality of the recordings he has submitted have been substandard.  Additionally!  My comments about professionalism relate quite specifically to the site and not him, and then to how the site is regarded by the public and subscribers. 

I have been listening to Escapepod and Psuedopod from the very begining.  Since the shaking audio quality productions of the first few dozen episodes (Escapepod), and the transition from Ben Philips and Mur Lafferty (Psuedopod) the site has acquired a standard of quality, particularly with regards to audio recording, that rivals that of podcasting outfits with sponsorship, substatial advertising and conderable finacial resources. 

Other than the 'occasional' recording submission for readings where 'I imagine' quality is outside the bounds of control for the production, the quality of Mr Stuarts recordings are of consistenly lower standard than those established by the podcast , and this has ALWAYS been the case.  Like it or not this DOES impact the overall level of quality the podcast reflects.  The site's 'professionalism', is called into question by recording quality, and in fact makes the sound appear rather more Amateurish which is something I don't believe the site is for a moment.

Finally my comments are not personal.  They deal very particularly to the quality of his recorded content and in NO WAY make any reference to his 'consumate professionalism',  his competenctence as a narrator or host, nor his character.

You 'Mr Moderator' need to get that bee out of your bonnet, read more carefully, and consider that my opinion as a listener and subscriber is not only true and factual, but shared by others who listen to these podcasts... in spite of that fact that you may not like what you read.     



MacArthurBug

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Reply #47 on: January 02, 2010, 02:02:50 PM
I appriciate the follow up in the feedback during the Flash special. I am extremly happy to know this will get a re-record. It is above and beyond of Al to be willing to not only do this extra once but TWICE. Wow! As someone who enjoyed this story I'm really looking forward to hearing it "properly".

Oh, great and mighty Alasdair, Orator Maleficent, He of the Silvered Tongue, guide this humble fangirl past jumping up and down and squeeing upon hearing the greatness of Thy voice.
Oh mighty Mur the Magnificent. I am not worthy.


Anarkey

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Reply #48 on: January 02, 2010, 02:11:11 PM
Ridiculous!  I am most definately NOT out of line.

That's not your call to make.  It's mine (and that of other moderators).  And I just made it.

If you think I don't know that you stated your position obliquely, referring to the site's professionalism instead of Al's directly so you would have this fallback position of claiming you were not acting like a jackass, then you think I'm stupider than I am.  I suspect that my calling you on it has made you angry, and that accounts for the increase in typos and the generally less coherent follow up post you've made.  It is not my intent to anger you, and I'm sorry if my confrontational nature has put you off.  I'm not a kid gloves handling moderator.  We have different styles.  Nonetheless, you did insult Al.

The logic of your argument is as follows:  The site is wonderful and professional.  Except when Al narrates.  The obvious implied therefore is Al is not professional. 

I'd have had more respect for you if you'd owned up to your disparaging remarks.   I'd still have asked you to quit it, mind you, I'd just have acknowledged your courage also.

I suppose it's possible that you have so little control over your written expression that you honestly didn't mean to impugn Al's professionalism.  If so, then you should take my noting your implication as a good chance to tender an apology to Al for an unintended insult.  Otherwise, you may wish to consider my earlier recommendation to cut it out.  This is the second time I've asked you.  I recommend you walk away from the keyboard.

Sound quality varies.  Recording equipment varies.  Some people do better than others.  This episode excepted (and this episode is being re-recorded, Steve has already said so), Al's narrations/intros/outros/etc. would not be airing if EA staff didn't think they conformed to EA standards.  Your idea of EA's standards may not be met, but your idea may not be quite so factual as you wish to assert. 

It's true.  I'm minimally tolerant of veiled insults because we lose staff and volunteers over it.  Posters freely cast aspersions, moderators allow them to do so because those aspersions are thinly veiled commentaries, but the people to whom they are directed read them and see them for what they are, and decide that this is not a fun place to work, where they put hours and hours in for little to no compensation and all they get for it, in Monty Python's words, is "a boot to the head". 
« Last Edit: January 02, 2010, 02:25:31 PM by Anarkey »

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OsamaBinLondon

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Reply #49 on: January 02, 2010, 02:34:34 PM
Not angry in the least!  In fact it was my impression that from your response I had made you angry.

But, the fact that you have decided to descend the conversation into one of name calling, posturing and type nitpicking means I have touched a raw nerve.  As for your attempts to define mY logic, my written expression... well!  Clearly I have you irked. 

As for it being your call to make; well stand on that pedastal of power if you like but I don't have time for it.  I won't even bother to read the rest of your rhetoric because you clearly have an axe to grind about being called into question, which in my opinion undermines your credability. 'Mr Moderatory' Oh how powerful you are.  My points stand and clearly from the posts here, others agree with my opinion.