Robert is an aspiring filmmaker and he uses a DSLR to make his films. He's planning to upgrade to a better platform, but wants to know how he can improve his audio. Leo suggests Beachtek. They make devices that will allow him to run real XLR microphones into his camera's minijack and take advantage of better preamps as well. That's the best place to start.
The question of the day is: what's more important, video or audio? Scott says that a movie without sound is called a silent movie. But on the other hand, a movie without an image is called radio. So Scott believes they are equally important, like the Yin and Yang of home theater. However, the bad audio can really make the home theater experience terrible, which is why surround sound and home theater really exists.
Marty has a DSLR camera and when she shoots video, she hates the quality of the audio. What can she do? Leo says that the on board microphone is terrible, but most DSLRs have an external microphone minijack that will allow her to add an external microphone. Rode has a great one called the Video Mic Pro. That's the simplest solution.
Michael has an older MacBook Pro and he's looking to get a new MacBook Air for DJing. Would it be sufficient? Leo says that MacBook Air with 4GB RAM should work just fine. But doubling up on the RAM certainly wouldn't hurt. Audio isn't that big of a power draw. The 13" MacBook Pro is a great option too, as it's thin, light, and has a gorgeous screen.
Charmagne listens to a recorded radio show and she wants to move past the commercials. Leo says that every player usually has the ability to move forward. Scrubbing is one way, which she can do by grabbing the dot on the playback bar and dragging it forward. She could also go into the settings of the file and mark it as a podcast. That will enable her to bookmark it so she can pick up where she leaves off.
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.
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.
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.
Karen's new computer only has one port that she can connect and record from. How can she record and hear at the same time? Leo says to use a USB Mic. It'll do both, and it's digital. Far better than the minijack port for the microphone. Karen can use Audacity and it'll record directly from the source.
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.