Introducing Low Volume: A podcast about SFF, and technology's march towards miniaturization



Everyone,

I'm pleased to be able to announce the beginning of Low Volume, a podcast by myself (Joshua), @Aibohphobia (James), and @confusis (John)!

Listeners who download our program on iTunes (once it's live there) will uncover the following podcast description, which we think does a pretty good job of capturing what we're looking to achieve with the show:

An occasional podcast by the co-founders of SFF Forum and SFF Network, Low Volume is a technology show focused on small form factor systems and the trend of miniaturization and ubiquity in the realm of consumer electronics. Discussions range from the newsworthy and interesting, to the humorous and profound.

Several of us have a background in podcasting and radio, and as such we've wanted to do a podcast-like program for some time. With our debut episode on the SFF-related announcements to come out of CES 2016, we've started a periodic show that will act as a sort of director's commentary for the ongoings of SFF Network, SFF Forum, and the technology landscape at large.

To listen to the show, navigate to lowvolu.me, and look for us on iTunes in the coming days as we wait to be added to their catalogue. Our first episode is definitely a bit of a rough cut, as we fiddled with audio equipment and recorded at unpleasantly early hours, but we'll be iterating constantly as we adapt the format, invite guests, and collect feedback from you all!

We hope you enjoy it as much as we did making it. Thanks for listening!
 

Phuncz

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Listening right now !

Some suggestions:
- mouse-clicks and other background noise should be muffled or muted. I'm not an expert on how to tackle this, but I'd guess the microphone needs to be hanged high up in front of your head for this as a minimum.
Or just not use mice or keyboards while recording :p

- I would refer (first) names more often so the listening people get used to the name behind the voice.

- maybe add a summary with the discussed topics to a per-podcast topic for after-discussion and Q&A from the forum.

I'm happy to hear the volume and sound quality is roughly equal among you three.
I'd be eager to see guest appearances by company reps at one point, if that's an option.
 
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Aibohphobia

aka James
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The background noise is tough because we're all using Blue Yeti's. Very good sound quality but they pick up everything and anything. I'm not sure about the other two but I had my mic mounted to my camera tripod so it was up and away from the desk and it still picks up my mouse clicks and typing.

One thing we're going to do for future episodes is clean up the individual audio tracks between when each person is speaking so at least if someone is clicking/typing while someone else is talking that won't be in the final product.

Yes, I realized after listening to it again that we need to have each of us introduce ourselves so listeners can familiarize themselves with who's who. Luckily we don't have the issue with some podcasts where some of the hosts sound almost identical to each other.

We had planned to have a per episode forum post for discussion. Guess we forgot so this thread will do for ep 1.

Good to hear that the mixing was even, though how's the volume? I realize the title is Low Volume but the intention isn't to make people have to crank their volume knob all the way up to hear us :p

Guests is something we want to do but we want to get at least a few episodes in so we have the process down before trying to bring in guests.
 

Phuncz

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I don't know how radio broadcasting remove the background noises, I see them having spit-screens (dunno the name, not really useful I guess) and I would expect a spectrum filter is enabled so only voice spectrum sounds are passed through.

It's indeed handy the voices are distinct but 15 minutes in I was wondering who was who again. Although I recognize John due to the accent.

The volume was good in my opinion. Nothing to add to that.

All in all, a very nice and interesting podcast. It was enjoyable to listen and hear you guys behind the words written here. I tried playing it backwards in slow motion, hoping to uncover the release date for the Nova but all I heard was mumbling about Satan and sacrificing a Prodigy case to the unholy one.
 

Aibohphobia

aka James
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Those screens are pop filters which prevent plosives like the "p" in pop from causing audio clipping. Doesn't help for keyboard noise unfortunately. There are other types of microphones that are less prone to picking up the ambient noise but we went with the Yeti's because they're proven and don't require too much fiddling to get up and running.

but all I heard was mumbling about Satan and sacrificing a Prodigy case to the unholy one.

Huh? You don't do that every full moon too?
 

iFreilicht

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Aren't there rubber-band suspension systems for those sorts of mics that prevent them picking up vibrational noise from the desk? If you're on a mechanical keyboard, that's probably not going to eliminate the noise, but it's about as much as you can do to my knowledge.

Sorry, haven't listened to the podcast yet, I'll provide feedback once I did.
 

EdZ

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IIRC the Yeti can operate in Cardoid mode, so the usual anti-noise precautions apply: mic in front of keyboard and mouse, shock/isolation mount (stick it on a block of foam in a pinch), and something other than a flat solid wall behind you to prevent echo (hang up a blanket, record in front of a sofa, etc).
 

Aibohphobia

aka James
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Aren't there rubber-band suspension systems for those sorts of mics that prevent them picking up vibrational noise from the desk?

There are and there's a few spots in the recording where the mic got bumped where a shock mount would help but those don't help with the typing/clicking noise.
 

iFreilicht

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Just finished listening, it was certainly enjoyable. I agree about the acoustic issues that were mentioned, but that's something you'll figure out.

It was already mentioned that it was hard to know who of you two was James and who was Joshua, it would certainly help if you introduced yourselves in the beginning with your usernames as well, like "I'm Joshua, also known as PlayfulPhoenix" (did I get that right? :D). Doing that every time would also help users that mostly frequent other forums to recognise you better when they find the podcast on iTunes by accident.

What would really help in terms of professionalism is a more defined beginning and ending. I know this was the first episode, but a structured Intro would definitely help. I don't have to tell you that the ending was very abrupt.

For example:
Joshua: "Welcome to the low volume podcast, where we want to downsize so badly we would drive around in Sinclair C5s if we were a biker gang. My name is Joshua Ramirez, also known as PlayfulPhoenix, and I would like to welcome James and John to the show.

James: "Hi, I'm James Schell, aka Aibophobia, thanks for having me."

John: "Good midnight, I'm John Morrison, you probably know me as confusis, happy to be here."

Joshua: "And I'm happy to have you two with me here tonight, else this would be a very short podcast."

And that's how the show begins. Or could begin, just an idea. Once you actually get guests on the show, they would of course be introduced first ;)
It would actually be really funny if you got @Josh | NFC to participate as a guest, that way you'd have four J's.


Other than that, you've got a few awkward silences in there, but that will probably change on its own the longer you do this stuff. Off to a great start!
 
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Aibohphobia

aka James
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where we want to downsize so badly we would drive around in Sinclair C5s if we were a biker gang.

Like this? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinclair_C5#/media/File:Sinclair_C5_jet_engine.jpg

Other than that, you've got a few awkward silences in there

And that's after editing :p

that way you'd have four J's.

Haha, actually @Tek Everything was supposed to join us but due to a miscommunication he woke up at 5am on the wrong day! :eek:

So that would be Joshua, John, James, Jay, and guest Josh. Or better yet we could have @Jeffinslaw on too for 6 J's :D

But yes, I agree 100%, the intro and outro need work.
 
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iFreilicht

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PlayfulPhoenix

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A few notes for changes to episode 2 (that I have so far - will update as suggestions come in, and we think of more things):

  1. Formal structured introduction as a prelude to the program. "On this episode, x/y/z..."
  2. "Theme" or separating interlude that's a bit more substantial than the blips we have now.
  3. Person-by-person introductions - especially since we'll be having guests on future programs.
  4. Audio adjustments to improve noise issues (we'll have each of us individually clean our own audio tracks).
  5. A limiting and editing of "umms" and other conversational interruptions (at least, the ones that are notably distracting).
  6. A slight formalization of transitions between sections (we relied on hard cuts for the first episode).
  7. A transition and sign-off to end the program (at least somewhat) gracefully.
 

mitxlove

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Just listened to most of it (had to come to work, I'll finish it after) but I thought it sounded fun and informative! I think Josh(I believe it was Josh) did a great job of leading the discussion and the topics and transitions seemed pretty decently organized!

The banter wasn't the smoothest but for a first time broadcast it was fine, I'm sure you guys will get better as you guys do this more and more and get more comfortable with it.

Background noise wasn't an issue for me but the volume in general was a little low, had to crank up the volume ..

Excited for the next episode for sure!

P.s the name is so clever lmao Low Volume.. I get it :D
 

iFreilicht

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Oh yes, please! The title is a pun already, you have to keep up the quota! :D

EDIT: Now that I think about it, volume was actually a little low, as mitxlove said. When listening to the podcast, the windows notification sounds were very loud. Just to give a point of reference.
 
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