2018-10-24

Better audio

I was getting pretty good (I think) with some of my videos, using two cameras and so on, but as I have said before, audio is always an issue. This is largely because my "man cave" is quite echoey.

I did get a lapel mic, and that improved things a lot, but I figured I could do better.

As an example, with the previous mic https://youtu.be/mYBRTz2ReZQ

But with the new mic https://youtu.be/mjJaOKZ4S0c

The new lapel mic is itself a lot better it seems, a lot clearer. But also I got a shotgun mic. So when recording messing with cards I pointed the shotgun mic at the cards for sound effects, and it hardly picked up any dialogue at all, perfect. My first attempt at mixing in an effect track with a dialogue track. I'll get the hang of it yet.

The new lapel mic is Movo LV8-C and the new shotgun mic is RODE NTG2, but also needed an XLR lead and mic holder.

I also got a Tascam recorder, as it seems able to do 4 tracks of 96kHz/24 bit with no problem, which is nice. It actually seems like quite a nice recorder, but I seriously doubt it is a factor in sounding better.

Of course, this is also the kit I have here for when I do live TV broadcasts from here :-)

30 comments:

  1. I think it's a "lavalier mic" not a "lapel mic".

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    1. Wikipedia: A lavalier microphone or lavalier (also known as a lav, lapel mic, clip mic, body mic, collar mic, neck mic or personal mic) is a...

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  2. I love those videos where there are 2 cameras. My favourite one was the one where you spin in your chair a little to face the other camera when the discussion changes to a different topic/point. Really professional and impressive! Very informative too, I learn a lot from these blog articles.

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  3. Does anybody know a good way to automatically record calls on an iPhone please? Ideally not just sticking it on speakerphone next to a dictaphone, something where the audio quality is as good as the call itself. And not something where you have to call a premium rate number or merge the call with your voicemail either. Just something so the user can record all calls automatically. Please note I am inquiring about technical solutions only. Most internet articles on the subject are made by clueless people who instead talk about the ethics and law aspects because they don't know the answer to the technical question presented to them. I just need to know the technical options for doing it. Thank you.

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    1. No idea on the actual phone itself, sorry. I just use an A&A SIP2SIM in my iPhone and so all my calls are recorded in a-law stereo WAV format and emailed to me at the end of the call.

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    2. Is there a product guide and price list somewhere I could browse please? This sounds really useful!

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    3. See aa.net.uk for details. SIP2SIM is a mobile service that connects to a VoIP back end and we also offer VoIP (even with a mobile number) that does call recording as standard. Take note of pricing, eg some cost for incoming calls to mobile.

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    4. Not sure about iPhone but on my Android phone I use an app called Cube ACR.

      I use it because of my ongoing dispute with a local bathroom fitting firm and I warn them that they are being recorded.

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    5. Yes, something exactly like that but on iPhone would be ideal!

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    6. As far as I know, there is no way to record a call "on the iPhone".

      If you didn't want to do SIP2SIM, you could lease a phone number from A&A, forward your mobile to that phone number, and then use the SIP platform for the recording? You'd need to terminate the call on a VoIP app though, which may be sub-optimal.

      Alternatively, you could lease a mobile number from A&A, and forward that to your actual mobile number. You give out the A&A mobile number instead of your own. Same outcome, but without needing a SIP app for termination.

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    7. This A&A solution looks really good so will be looking into that... thank you

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    8. I wanted the ability to record selected calls on my iPhone. I use the app Softphone by Acrobits and a SIP number from A&A. Softphone can record calls, and A&A's SIP back end can also record them. Once I had Softphone working I made the settings available to the wiki here https://support.aa.net.uk/VoIP_Phones_-_Acrobits. I also contacted Acrobits and asked if they would include A&A as a preconfigured provider, which they did, so the app works straight away. Just select AAISP and put in your SIP username and password. A similar app also by Acrobits is called Groundwire.

      Although I initially imagined that I wanted to automatically record all calls, I found that in practice I use it to record selected calls, and use my normal iPhone mobile number the rest of the time. I have Softphone set not to alert me if it's not running, and a generic voicemail greeting on the SIP number at A&A, so any unexpected calls go to A&A's voicemail and are recorded and emailed to me as an mp3. I can then call them back on Softphone if I want to have a recorded conversation.

      As Neil says you could, if you really wanted, arrange for your SIP number to forward to your mobile but be aware that you will pay for each incoming call as if you were calling your own mobile each time. SIP2SIM avoids the need for Softphone and you are using A&A's backend to do the recording.

      Recording in Softphone will record what you hear. Recording at the backend will hear what the server hears. They should be the same but in the event of a scrappy connection you will find one recording has things the other doesn't, so personally I like the flexibility of client-side recording with Softphone.

      Apple uses a security framework for things like audio access and its own native apps don't support call recording, hence the need for a third-party app and call solution, such as Softphone and an A&A SIP number. You can read more on Apple's security here https://www.apple.com/business/site/docs/iOS_Security_Guide.pdf

      Another option which avoids SIP could be to find a bluetooth accessory which handles calls and performs call recording, and use that to handle all your calls. I'm sure there will be devices such as speakers or headsets which can do this.

      I hope that helps.

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  4. I often find myself in situations where I would like to replay a conversation I had with someone (anyone). I'm sure you know the sort of arrangement, someone tries to dupe you or says something which only makes sense later on when it would be helpful to know the exact words they used. I'd quite like something I can carry around with me all the time (like my phone!) which records all the audio going on around me and makes it searchable according to the real time (like 3.22pm rather than 1h 14m into the recording). Doesn't really matter if the device has to have loads of memory in order to retain a few weeks worth of audio, 128GB micro SD cards and suchlike are cheap these days. Any ideas for how to do that, guys?

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    1. As I say, one way is an A&A SIP2SIM and VoIP account which would record all calls automatically for you.

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    2. Sorry, I didn't explain this one very clearly. It was a slightly different question to the previous one. The previous question was about recording phone calls. This one is about having a device on my person which just records all the ambient noise around me, at all times and wherever I go. So the next time I get taken by surprise by someone who treats me unjustly, or the next time someone tries to bullsh*t or pull a fast one on me, or the next time I find myself in an unexpected and sudden confrontation with someone (the world is a funny place these days), I have it recorded for my own personal reference.

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    3. I think several such devices exist with audio and video. Legality of covert face to face recording is a different matter (I have no idea).

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    4. Would only need to be audio and the person with the device would always be physically present (i.e. not being used to spy on third parties). Basically just a continuous audio recorder so that conversations and other interactions can be played back as an aide-memorie if ever needed.

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    5. A couple of years ago I was called as a witness in an industrial tribunal. In that case the ex-employee had made covert voice recordings. Although he didn’t seem to get into any bother over them they were not admissible as evidence.

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    6. These would be more for my own purposes... such as when I want to remember something exactly as it was said but can't quite recall it properly

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    7. From an evidential perspective, English law does not have the concept of "fruit of the poisoned tree". The main questions are whether the material is relevant, and whether it is fair to rely on that information in the proceedings.

      Whether it would amount to "domestic purposes" for the purpose of data protection law is an interesting one... untested, but if it is to aid one's own recollection of events, clearly arguable, IMHO.

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    8. Please could we focus on the technical solution - i.e. how to do it - rather than legalities and ethics etc. Genuinely not being rude but am only interested in how it could be done, not the philosophical side of things or 'man in the pub' type legal opinions (honestly absolutely no disrespect meant here at all). I figure that if it's OK for me to walk around with a bodycam then it's OK to walk around with a dictaphone type device in my pocket. Am hoping there's some sort of continuous loop recorder with large storage capacity that I could keep on me for convenience, maybe running as an app on my phone seeing as I always have that with me these days. Thank you

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    9. Neil is not "man in the pub" legal opinions, he is a lawyer!

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    10. Oh, I quite understand. To me, the legal side of things is just as interesting, and is worthy of debate, as a technical solution which cannot be used safely may be less optimal than a different technical solution which could be used.

      By all means ignore those bits of any discussion though, if you just want the technical stuff!

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    11. Ahh, sincere apologies, I was just concerned about the conversation starting to drift away from technical solutions and how something could be done, to the obviously very important but nonetheless separate matter of whether it's permitted to do that sort of thing.

      Now I know Neil is something of an authority on these matters, I would in fact be very interested to hear more!! (Apologies to both ContextSwitch and Neil if my previous message might have come across as a bit abrupt... genuinely wasn't intending to be rude or anything).

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  5. Please can we have a separate blog so Neil can explain "fruit of the poisoned tree"to us :-)

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    1. Not sure there is enough "free space" on the internet for that one :D

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    2. I was intrigued by this, too. Managed to find the following via google, which seems to be fairly complete at a first glance:
      https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/commentary-and-opinion/fruit-from-a-poisoned-tree-unlawfully-obtained-evidence/5062566.article

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    3. It seems crazy for a legal case to deliberately ignore facts, however obtained. Discouraging unlawful means to obtain evidence should be by prosecuting those that acted unlawfully in obtaining it as a separate matter. I assume that is how we do it in the UK?

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  6. For echoey spaces, you can't do better than:
    http://www.woollyshepherd.co.uk/
    Literally, fluffy clouds.
    No affiliation, just a huge fan.

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