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Get Natalie a proper microphone

by LV V / May 27, 2009 5:17 PM PDT

I'm not even going to comment on the whole Molle thing(Bring her back!).

But please. Could you get Natalie a proper microphone? Her voice is fairly loud, which makes for quite unpleasent listening when she seemingly isn't using more than a normal desktop microphone.

Tom and Jason are chrisp as hell, and doesn't make me have to turn down the volume. But when Natalie then speaks, I have to turn it down, due to the high pitch.

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by n74jw / May 27, 2009 11:54 PM PDT


Could the issue have anything to do with her not being in studio? I am sure the CNet engineers have her set up with a decent mic, at the very least...

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It's a combination of things...
by raygun01 / May 28, 2009 12:32 AM PDT
In reply to: Locale?

The tech explanation:

We use an ISDN line/box to bring Nat's voice into the SF mixer. The ISDN box has different codecs. The old codec (the one we used for years when doing this type of thing) has low latency and a flat sound, esp. in comparison to the mics in the SF studio. We started using a new codec a few months back that seemingly bumped up quality on Nat's mic considerably and keeps the latency low too. The only problem is, every once in a while, the ISDN unit in NY reverts back to the old cruddier codec and troubleshooting it when we're rushing to get the show going sometimes doesn't solve the problem. So we go with the old codec in that situation (like yesterday).

Also, am training 3 different people on my job for while I'm gone so some of the levels and such might not be perfect. I'm trying to have them do it all so when I'm gone, they know what its like... then I can answer questions afterwards.

So hang in there. Sorry about your ears.

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by n74jw / May 28, 2009 1:44 AM PDT

Thanks for the note! Is the line a PRI, or BRI interface? PRI ISDN is probably the case as it is very similar in bandwidth and performance to a T-1. I've heard ISDN stands-for "It Still Does Nothing".

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These boxes are definitely BRI
by Slikkster / May 28, 2009 4:36 AM PDT
In reply to: BRI/PRI?

A standard ISDN codec box (Telos Zephyr-Xstream/Musicam/Comrex) has two "bearer channels" at 64kbps, and one "D" "data channel" at 16kbps, aka BRI.

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Are you using Telos Xstreams?
by Slikkster / May 28, 2009 4:21 AM PDT

If so, I'm assuming you're going with the relatively newer "AAC-LD" codecs. We use AAC-LD Mono 64 a lot...good quality and only uses one phone line/B Channel. For a couple of kHz more bandwidth (16kHz vs. 14kHz) and the second B Channel, you could go with AAC-LD Mono 128. Doesn't bump the latency up all that much.

Best scenario for her (if using the Telos Xstreams) is to have her Transmit AAC-LD Mono 64 or 128 and send her back G.722 from the West Coast. That will give you the best studio quality and lowest latency. She doesn't need studio quality to her ear. G.722 is fine. You only need it on your end, as you know.

The Xstreams also have an IP web interface where you can control them remotely. Of course, the machine needs an IP address that you can either get to in-network or over the internet. But it sure comes in handy, rather than having to talk a host through a setup long-distance. We all know how frustrating that can be.

If you're not using Telos Xstreams, Emily Litella applies.

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Re:Get Natalie a proper microphone
by IWantToGoToThere / June 5, 2009 5:53 AM PDT

Here's the proper settings for Natalie's remote ISDN studio.

Microphone placement is critical as well. It varies from person to person, depending on their microphone technique.

In Natalie's case, the proper location should be secure...preferably one that she's not aware of. This location should be locked to prevent accidental usage.

The ISDN codec should be powered down, disconnected, and returned to it's original packaging.

In SF, the pot on the board where Natalie is brought up should be potted down. Some gaffer's tape over the pot would ensure that the pot is avoided at all costs. Or it could be re-purposed for some other more useful audio input.

The soothing whine of a refrigerant compressor comes to mind. Perhaps a mic could be placed behind the CNet refrigerator.

That is all.

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by Nicholas Buenk / June 5, 2009 11:39 AM PDT

Works great for Twit and No Agenda. Sounds great.

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I guess you missed...
by Slikkster / June 5, 2009 11:04 PM PDT
In reply to: Skype

his not-so-subtle anti-Natali post.

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Yeah I did
by Nicholas Buenk / June 6, 2009 10:06 AM PDT
In reply to: I guess you missed...

I thought it was a rant about ISDN. Wink

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