Mar 28

Zoom is optimised for speaking.  If there is any other noise (e.g. a guitar) Zoom will think it is background noise and try to remove it!  To share a movie or song via screenshare you need to change some settings.

Go to Zoom/Preferences/Audio Advanced and select the following options…

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It’s best to turn off background noise suppression when playing music like a guitar. “Enable Original Sound” will put the audio from your mic or movie directly to Zoom without noise and echo cancelling.

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Thsi is what it looks like when ‘Original Sound’ is turned on.

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When sharing a video click these options as you share it to include the sound and optimise the quality.

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Mar 24

With COVID our church has moved to putting the talks online.  The most important thing when recording talks is good audio quality.  Your eyes can put up with poor video,  but poor audio gets irritating very quickly.  Thankfully it’s very easy to get clear sound.

The key is to use an external microphone so that the mic can be close to the person who’s talking. Don’t use the mic that’s built into your laptop or phone.  This is especially important if you are in an online meeting where you are listening as well as speaking.

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Jan 14

You can usually adjust the audio level of your Macintosh computer using the sound slider bar and also using the volume keys on your keyboard. But if you plug in a USB audio device (Focusrite, Presonus, Behringer, Rode etc) the built in Audio controls are disabled. This is so that the full volume can be sent to the device digitally which is important for professional audio applications.

But if you are just using your USB just to listen to music it is possible to adjust the volume for your own listening comfort. Here’s how to do it using a free audio utility called ‘Soundflower.

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Sep 13

I just purchased exactly the same song from iTunes and Google Play Music to compare them. If you are interested, here are the differences.

iTunes uses AAC, while Google Play Music uses mp3. Google Play uses a slightly higher bitrate, but that probably compensates for AAC being a better algorithm.  I can’t hear any audible difference. Read on to see the actual specifications of each music format.

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Sep 29

This article is about the kind of cable you need to plug your iPhone or iPod or laptop into a stereo.

If you look on any iPod, or the back of a Mac mini, or the side of your Apple laptop you will see a round hole where you can plug in headphones. iPhones unto the iPhone 6 have a headphone socket as well. For later iPhones (the iPhone 7 and 8) you just need this adapter which turns your lightning connector into a headphone socket, and then the rest of this article applies to you as well. If you get a dock for any model iPhone including 7 and 8 it will also have a socket like this on the back.

The technical name for this socket is a 3.5mm or 1/8 inch stereo jack.

You can see one of these on the left of this iPod dock below:

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Jan 02

There are a stack of bluetooth speakers available. Here’s how to pair one to your Apple laptop for better sound quality and volume. Continue reading ⟩

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Dec 20

 

 

Last week I was down in our local JB hi-fi buying a small sound system for my son’s 18th birthday.  I wanted something that would look good, sound good, and last okay into the future. The stand out for me were these Marley Get Together speakers. I first noticed them at a friend’s house.  If you are after a good looking and good sounding small speaker to give someone for Christmas around the $200 mark, I’d recommend these. Also works very nicely with a Macbook or Macbook air. Continue reading ⟩

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Sep 18

 

Good external microphones for the iPhone/iPad are expensive – not the kind of thing you want to buy and find out they are no good! Here’s a comparison of three external iPhone microphones: The Apogee MiC,  Fostex AR-4i and Tascam iM2.

They were all tested on my iPhone 4s by recording into the FiRE iPhone recording app at full quality. On the microphones that had a volume adjustment, I adjusted it to be at the top of the green range in FiRE, quite conservative, no chance of clipping. I had the mic placed approx 20cm in front of my guitar sound-hole at the same height in all the tests. The Tascam doesn’t give any indication of levels, the Fostex has 4 LEDs on top to show the levels and the Apogee has a single LED on the front. The single LED on the Apogee seemed to give a better indication of input level than the three LED’s on the FOSTEX because the difference in brightness was easier to discern on the Apogee LED.

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