Dealing with subscriptions

Today I’m starting to look at any subscription costs that might have crawled into my life. You have to stay vigilant and fight off ongoing subscriptions. It is one of those things that you need to do from time to time. After spending a few minutes working on that endeavor, I started to think about audio recording. Those two things are probably not related. I’m not sure how I ended up switching from one thing to the other. 

A few notes on my Audacity: Noise Reduction settings… 

Here are my settings on Step 2 of the Audacity software noise reduction effect:

Noise reduction (dB): 8
Sensitivity: 12.00
Frequency smoothing (bands): 2

This is what I am using right now for recording audio related to this weblog.

Thinking about microphone isolation

This is a recording of my blog from December 18, 2019

My testing efforts to figure out the best way to use the Stedman proscreen XL pop filter have been going ok so far. One of the things that might help is building a noise reducing housing. That would pretty much entail building a cube with acoustic noise canceling panels that the microphone could sit on during the recording process. Working with that type of enclosure would remove the vast majority of rebounded sound or ambient noise within the room. I’m not entirely sure that is necessary to make basic recordings that use the Audacity application, a condenser microphone, and a pop filter. Building a sound canceling box is probably a next level action for more professional sounding audio. I started looking around for some DIY options to build a sound recording booth box or isolation filter cube/box. People have built all sorts of interesting things. It will require a bit more research before I’m ready to figure out what path to take.

Thinking about pop filter distance

This is a recording of my blog from December 16, 2019

This morning I started to wonder what the space should be between the Stedman proscreen XL and a microphone. Some of the content I found online seemed to indicate that a 2 inch gap should be introduced between the microphone and the pop filter. I was using maybe half of that if not a little bit less to do the last few recordings. I’m going to do some tests with the screen out a little bit farther to see if it improves performance. The one thing I am sure about is that making this change will cause the volume level to be reduced on the master recording by a little bit. This examination of audio level is pretty easy to test out for yourself. Just say something move back a bit and say it again a few times. You can watch the audio level drop off as you get farther away from the microphone. If the audio level does not drop off, then you are using some type of processing in the background that is standardizing the input level.

Welcome to December

This is a recording of my blog from December 1, 2019

What do we know about actual market capital vectors and the economy? Earlier this week I was reading about how the number of publicly traded companies was shrinking. That made me wonder about market vectors and what types of things are consolidating or moving large amounts of capital. This might not be the most useful expenditure of my time, but it is what I got focused on recently. I spent some time sketching out flows of capital and thinking about the economy. At this point, those notes are not worth sharing. 

I’m testing out a new feature of the weblog right now that includes a little bit of audio for each post. At this point, I’m reading the blog post after I’m done writing it and recording it using Audacity and a Samson USB studio condenser microphone. Setting up a new project in Audacity is really easy and exporting to mp3 takes just a few seconds to accomplish. I’m not entirely sure if adding audio to each post is a worthwhile endeavor, but it is something that I’m committed to trying out for a few posts to see how it goes. 

One of the reasons that I’m getting back into the audio recording and editing game is that it seems like now is a good time to convert some of my older books into audiobooks. I have wanted to start making audio books again for some time. One of the things that I have been looking for is a new audio pop shield that attaches to my microphone stand. People seem to really like the Stedman proscreen XL pop filter. Right now that is my number one contender to get purchased at some point. Instead of using a pop filter with the microphone I’m just using the noise reduction feature built into the Audacity software. It works pretty well to generate reasonable voice audio recordings.  

Some thoughts on website backups

Right now I am thinking about giving up social media in the month of December. Maybe a solid 30 days without it is a good way to focus on writing a little bit more in preparation for a really big year in 2020. Before I start working on walking down that path a little bit of housekeeping is in order for the day.

I am going to archive the weblog today and make sure the backup is stored in a couple of places. Right now I’m using two methods to backup this rather large weblog. First, I’m using the standard export tool in WordPress (Tools → Export → All content) which produces a very large XML file. RIght now that method is producing an XML file with a size of 14,075 KB. Second, I’m using a plugin called “Print My Blog” which errors saving an actual file with my weblog, but does create a single page that combines 1,863 posts that I have been able to cut and paste into a Microsoft Word document. Between those two methods of content extraction that is how I’m backing up my this weblog content. Alternatively, the entire thing is backed up as a website on the server, but I do not view that as a solid cold storage plan for the content. Formats like XML and Microsoft Word will be machine readable and easy to work with for decades to come.

A few more notes on “Print My Blog” and the steps I took to extract content from a weblog the size of mine…

Step 1: Open Tools then select “Print My Blog”

Step 2: Select format paper and click “Prepare Print-Page”. This will take a couple of minutes depending on the size of your page.

Step 3: When “Print-Page Ready” shows up I simply hit “Control-A” followed by “Control-C” opened Microsoft Word and pasted the content into the brand new word document using “Control-P”. At that point, Microsoft Word got sad (non-responsive) for about 8 minutes and then was ready to save. This method has worked for me on three separate occasions producing more than 2,000 page documents. I just changed the font size for the entire document to 12 point to make it easier to manage.

(Alternative) Step 3: You can try to click print and save the page as a PDF. For research purposes only, I tried to do that again today and the screen is just non-response and says loading preview and is essentially waiting for me to “exit page” via the Chrome unresponsive prompt, “You can wait for it to become responsive or you can exit the page.” I gave it a couple minutes and then exited the page.

Alternative path: I did just try to save the whole thing as a PDF vs. the above method which helps me put the content into a Microsoft Word document. The process failed, but the other method worked so all is well.