audio

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1113

Scott Wilkinson

Scott is back to talk about compression. Leo says that MP3 (or AAC for Mac) powered the music download revolution because it eliminated over 90% of the file size through compression. But now that we're in the broadband era, could we get back the lossless compression like FLAC? Scott says that the dirty secret about hi-res audio is that in many cases, music companies are taking the same CD files and just resamplling them. So you're not really getting a lossless file. Leo says that would be a rip off if it's true.

How can I record better audio for YouTube videos?

Episode 1106

Mark from Moorsville, NC
Beachtek adapter

Mark's son is doing YouTube recordings of his drumming. Leo says that kids using YouTube is all the rage now and a point and shoot camera does spectacular video. But the audio is another story. Leo says that a BeachTek adapter with a minJack out/XLR in will allow him to use a Sure SM57 mic. He'll want to sync the audio as well by making a loud clap at the beginning so he can align the audio and video tracks properly. He'll also want to think about lighting as well.

What speakers should I get to mix my audio?

Episode 1098

JR from Detroit, MI
Cambridge Audio DAC Magic

JR is building a gaming system and he wants to add some great audio. What about the JBL speakers? The one's he's looking at are made in china and he's concerned about the build quality. Scott says that just because they're made in China doesn't mean they're no good. There's good and bad speakers from anywhere. Scott would recommend going with larger 8" woofers to go deeper in the bass. He also needs a digital audio converter.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1087

Scott is going to be attending THE, The Home Entertainment show. It's down in Newport Beach this week, and Scott says there's going to be a huge resurgence of Hi Resolution audio. Leo says an example of this is Neil Young's Pono Player, and even though he bought one, he's not so sure it's going to make the music any better for the average listener.

Is there a good wireless microphone I can get for recording audio on my phone?

Paul from San Diego, CA

Episode 1075

Paul also wants to know if there's a wireless microphone option for a phone. Leo says to give up on that. They're too expensive for a good wireless lapel mic. Leo says a directional shotgun mic is a good option. He likes the Apogee MiC. It can record via USB to a laptop, but also straight to an iPhone or iPad.

How can I figure out what tab audio is coming from in my browser?

Chris from Miami, FL

Episode 1068

Chris has noticed that when he visits a web page, he'll start hearing audio but he doesn't know which tab it's coming from. Leo says that's very annoying and it's becoming quite a problem because sites will auto play video. Google Chrome actually puts an audio icon on the tab that is playing the audio, so Leo recommends using Google Chrome as his browser.

Have you heard about Bob Weir's Tamalpais Research Institute?

Episode 1067

Tom from San Jose, CA
mixer

Since Leo was talking about Neil Young's Pono player earlier in the show, Tom wanted to know if Leo had heard about Bob Weir's Tamalpais Research Institute, or "TRI." Bob Weir has built a beautiful state of the art streaming performance studio in Marin County in California. The Greatful Dead have always been huge supporters of high quality audio. They were notorious for having the best stage sound system anywhere. Bob is continuing the tradition by broadcasting live video and audio concerts in high quality. It's at tristudios.com.

Is it legal for me to download software from the Internet Archive?

Episode 1045

John from Poconos, PA
WayBack Machine

John wants to know if the software available at the Internet Archive is legal to download. Leo says that the Internet Archive is a very interesting project. A record of life in the 20th century. It saves websites, audio, video, and even computer software. It's fantastic. But it may not be legal to download software from it. Since it's archival, Leo says it's probably safe to enjoy since the industry basically ignores it. Sooner or later, it'll have to be addressed by both parties, though.

Will Ultra High Definition be worth getting?

Hamit from Denbury, CT

Episode 1015

Hamit is blind, but he's interested in getting a 4K UHD TV. Hamit got Blu-ray for the audio, and he wonders if he'll need to use UHD. Leo says that with 4 times the resolution, he'd get 4 times the data. With UHD, more dots equal more data and the content will come down via streaming or a new disc that will handle 4 times the data. Leo suspects that compression will get better and better and storage will get better as well. All those things will meet in the middle and once UHD is mainstream, the workflow will be there to support it.