audio

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?

Episode 1068

Chris from Miami, FL
Google Chrome

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.

How can I improve the quailty of my streaming audio?

Barry from Ulysses, KY

Episode 1003

Barry is the IT at his church and needs to improve the audio capability so they can improve their mp3s online. Leo says that hardware probably isn't the issue if people in the church aren't complaining about the quality of the audio. So that means it's likely the interface, and it sounds like the settings are overdriving, forcing the record to "clip." He should try a line input instead of mic input, and maybe install a preamp to go in between the sound system and the computer itself.

What's the best way to get sound throughout the house?

Episode 982

Mike from Denver, CO
Sonos

Mike wants to wire up his home for sound. His house is already wired for Cat6 cable, but is wireless better? Leo says that Wireless is pricey, but it works. The Sonos, for instance, works great, but it's $400 a room. Each speaker has it's own wireless network built in. He can do it on his own, but the money he'd save is taken up in time building it himself. That's why Leo says if he can afford it, the Sonos Play5 is a great way to go.

How can I get more professional audio from my computer?

Brad from San Diego, CA

Episode 966

Brad has an Apogee duet professional sound card. He'd like to upgrade to a Duet 2, but there's other less expensive options out there. Leo says that professional audio is a very specialized niche market, which makes it hard to offer mainsteam options. He also says that while newer Macs have more speed, Firewire is dead now. Quality audio processing is key, and he recommends looking at a DAC from ApogeeDigital. Low latency is also important.