[bct] Re: FW: A grant to purchase recording equipment for the list

  • From: "Sun Sparkle" <sunshine@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 19 May 2006 13:17:13 -0500

Messagepaul, i would be interested in the stereo mics could you contact me off 
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Allformats 
  To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
  Sent: Friday, May 19, 2006 10:26 AM
  Subject: [bct] Re: FW: A grant to purchase recording equipment for the list

  No problem.


  Things in the UK are fine.  Sunny and Showers, possibly thunderery at times.  
Should be great for my weekend at the Lake District.




  -----Original Message-----
  From: blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
[mailto:blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Neal Ewers
  Sent: 19 May 2006 16:32
  To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  Subject: [bct] Re: FW: A grant to purchase recording equipment for the list


  Paul, I did receive your message, but I'm doubtful that everyone did, so 
thanks for re-posting it again, and also thanks for your kind offer to help 
people with recordings if they need it.  I too would be willing to help in this 
regard.  Hope things in the UK are well.





    -----Original Message-----
    From: blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
[mailto:blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Allformats
    Sent: Friday, May 19, 2006 8:57 AM
    To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
    Subject: [bct] FW: A grant to purchase recording equipment for the list

    Hi Neil 


    I wrote the below to you a couple of weeks ago, when the list was changing 
over and consequently, don't know whether you received it or not.


    Let me know what you think.




    Paul (Birmingham UK)




    I think what you are suggesting is a fantastic idea and I will think about 
solutions too.


    As ever, what you are saying is always said with care, consideration for 
others and well thought out.


    People on this list are amazingly resourceful and knowledgeable and will 
come up with ideas and solutions for your good thinking.


    A few immediate suggestions for consideration I have are:


    1. I would be more than happy to help with editing and clearing up 
recordings (where possible using audio software solutions) if people want to 
send them to me.  


    2. I have a minidisk recorder and stereo Mic which I could loan/hire and 
would be happy to edit and submit the results to BCT subject to the approval of 
the author of course.  The Minidisk I have is easy to use and has a manual 
level control which you can adjust on the fly.  I appreciate that there would 
need to be some thinking about getting equipment out to people and having it 
returned in good order and such.


    3. I have found a really good source for very affordable stereo Mics which 
I can supply if anyone is interested.  People can listen to a recording where I 
used the Mic in question by finding my Cathedral Podcast either on the BCT site 
or on my site at:



    Hope the above helps.



    Birmingham, UK



    -----Original Message-----
    From: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 
[mailto:blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Neal Ewers
    Sent: 11 May 2006 15:57
    To: Bct; blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
    Subject: A grant to purchase recording equipment for the list


    This is something I have been thinking about for a while.  However, even if 
one could find the funds to use for this, one would have to justify why this is 
needed.  So, what I am about to say is not directed at people who record 
podcasts.  The comments are directed at the equipment alone.  In addition, in 
order to secure possible funding, one has to show why it is needed.  So one has 
to talk about some of the problems we have in recording some of the  podcasts 
that people really do want to hear. 


    I think there are a lot of worthwhile podcasts on this list that could 
educate people who see about the lives of people who have less vision.  , I get 
a lot of off line questions from people who are not blind but who download some 
of the podcast they think might cause them to think about an important issue 
from the point of view of a person who is blind or who has low vision or 
hearing that is less then perfect.  I know that some of these people do not 
continue to listen to certain recordings because of the poor quality of the 
recording or the background noise that almost makes the commentary 
unlistenable.  So, they miss the truth of what is there.  I am not faulting 
these people either.  It is quite hard to listen to a podcast where the 
listener has to strain to hear what is being said.  So, I am constantly 
explaining to people that we can only use what we can afford.


    I believe there are perhaps a number of reasons for this less than perfect 
quality that some would like, but one stands out in my mind.

    First and foremost, I am not bad mouthing the person's recording I am going 
to talk about.

    Secondly, I know that the Olympus recorders are all that a lot of people 
can afford.  So, given that, this is obviously what is used by a lot of people 
on this site.


    The problem with the Olympus is that it is totally driven by it's automatic 
volume level.  Because it has a limiter, one can often get rather strange 
recordings if what one is recording is a constant sound that is loud enough to 
cause the limiter to try to turn down the volume.  The problem comes in that 
because the sound is constant, the recorder also then tries to turn the volume 
back up, but as the sound is still loud enough to cause it to want to still 
keep the volume low, the recorder basically has to fight with itself about what 
to do.  This is obviously not technical terminology.  The resulting sound is 
exemplified by the two ocean podcast recently loaded on the BCT site.  Through 
no fault of the person recording, the sound is very wavy and unnatural.  Those 
are not individual ocean waves you hear, it is the recorder trying to adjust 
and then readjust itself to the loud, constant sounds of the ocean.  In 
recordings where there are no loud sounds, this is not nearly as much of a 
problem.  I don't know if an Olympus recorder was being used, but whatever the 
recorder, it had the same exact problem.

    I would give a lot to find an inexpensive recorder that does not do this.  
Actually the Iriver 799 and 899 both have manual record levels.  However, there 
are two problems here.

    First, the unit is not nearly as accessible as the Olympus.  You have to go 
find the recorder in the menus and then there is no beeps to let you know if 
you are recording or not.

    2.  If you set the volume too high, you get distorted sound.  For the most 
part, however, I find that the iRiver can be used to make recordings of a much 
more constant volume in these loud situations.  And of course, there is a 
problem with the iRiver also.  If you load the firmware that allows you to use 
the recorder as a drive, the recording quality is limited to 96 KBPS.  


    All this is to say that I am constantly on the trail of an inexpensive 
recorder that has manual record levels and it reasonably easy to use.  Of 
course, the Edirol R1 and the MicroTrack fit the first case.  They can make 
some very nice recordings.  However, they cost a lot more than many can afford 
and are thus out of reach of people's use.

    It sure would be nice to get a grant to purchase some recorders that people 
could borrow to make special, hard to record podcasts.  Of course, you would 
then have the problem of how to get the recorders to and from people on the 
list.  But, I haven't given up thinking about this.


    Again, I am not meaning to rain on people's parade.  But I get lots of off 
line messages asking why people can't make recordings that are better then some 
of them are.  The answer is always the same.  We can only use what we can 
afford and, at this time, what we can afford has some problems we will just 
have to live with.

    I'll let you know if I find a recorder that might work at a low price.  I 
hope others will do likewise.  I'll also let you know if I win the lottery and 
want to start a fund to provide people with recorders.  And, if anyone on this 
list has any ideas about funding, please let me know.


    So, let's all sit back and enjoy the wonderful podcasts people put up and 
realize that people are getting the best sounds out of the recorders they have.





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