Past few weeks, I was exploring an alternative platform to share my knowledge with you. I wanted to organize my content in form of Tutorial. I was practicing my communication and presentation skills to work on an interesting concept. Given the pH factor in my blood doesn’t let me settle at one place, I was in search of exploring options to improve my blog content. I confess, sometimes the habit impacts my blog adversely – My Posts gets delayed for longer duration. But this time, I could able to materialize my experiment. I felt accompanying my blog with visual elements and making it more interactive will add value to what I really want to convey. I started my own YouTube channel – Carbonrider. Though I am yet to churn out exhaustive output, let me share few glimpse of my experiences till now.
Explore… Explore… Explore…
Having no prior background of Audio/Video presentation, I went through lot of websites to unearth what it really takes to create a video. Few questions popped up in my mind like
- Which software should be used to capture Screen?
- Which tools are available for Audio recording?
- Do I need to process my Audio after recording and why is it needed?
- How to edit videos?
- Are there any resources available for embedding into Videos (Music, Sound Effects, Powerpoint templates etc.)?
- Which microphone should I use to record my voice? (This is the most troublesome part and I ended up spending too much on this. But I am happy that I learned a lot. wink… wink…)
- Do I need speech prompting software or hardware?
- Do I need to write script first and then start recording? and list goes on…
I was also interested in identifying cost effective options, not because of limited budget but to ensure that I do not end up buying Softwares which would prove of little help for beginners.
Cost of assumptions
Nothing hurt me badly than taking decisions based on few assumptions. Assumptions which were baseless. While I ended up paying price in monetary terms, I also realized that not doing sufficient research or able to network with people experienced in this area, led me to an early stage failure. I ended up buying 3 microphones – 2 of them are of professional grade quality. I am actually using 3rd which also cost me good amount of money. The microphone helped me to bootstrap few videos. I will start using the professional grade microphone once, I gain good clarity about tuning appropriate settings to get best quality out of it.
My exploration to identify recording software, helped me to venture in all together a different world that I have never seen before. I felt lucky to have came across awesome Softwares like
(The list is exhaustive, but lets Keep It Short and Simple). And I bow down to the creators of these Awesome Softwares, not because they made it available free. These Softwares can easily compete with professional grade equivalents and still prove far superior.
The countless hours of efforts invested in building these Softwares, definitely requires dedication and strong will power.
All these Softwares work like charm on leading operating systems, so go ahead and give them a try. Off late, I came across another wonderful software – OpenShot and I am definitely planning to include it in my agenda.
What I thought could be an easy ride, turned out to be a bumpy road. As I said earlier my bumpy ride began with Microphone selection. I ordered a nice professional microphone with stand. The microphone turned out to be Condenser microphone which produces low quality sound if not paired with Phantom power supply (Phantom what???). Remember, I was alien to this world. Everything looked to me like a newborn baby. No idea of what to do with this good Microphone, I started Googling again. Few posts suggested to buy USB Audio Interface and few said to go with USB Audio Adapter. Great!!! the confusion just got multiplied to another level.
USB Audio Interface VS USB Audio Adapter
USB Audio Interface VS USB Audio Adapter one more topic got added to my search list. But that wasn’t bad, in fact it helped me to understand the finer level details. Now my childhood queries about how people are able to combine multiple devices and produce great sound quality got resolved. I ended up buying USB Audio Interface from Focusrite – Focusrite Scarlett solo.
I bought solo because I just wanted to plug microphone and not any other device. But there are other great products, if you need to plug multiple devices.
The product is definitely cool and it gave my Microphone the much needed power supply – 48V. But wait, I needed one more accessory – XLR cable. I noticed that the cable which came with my microphone cannot be plugged inside the USB Audio Interface. Ok, I bought that too. Finally my microphone worked, pretty well. Butttt…. The happy moments didn’t last long. I noticed that recording at my Home is near to impossible. The constant buzz of vehicles, TV etc. was getting in the way of recording. I even tried to record at midnight or rather late night but that too didn’t work. Carrying Microphone + Stand + Pop Filter + USB Audio Interface + Desktop at quite places wasn’t feasible.
You can edit the voice, remove unwanted sounds and still produce better quality sound. But wait, this wasn’t like coding in Java or bunch of those programming languages that I code in. Remember I am noob in this Audio/Video world. Plus another suggestion of buying foam at this stage seemed to expensive and not suitable for the place.
TS, TRS and TRRS… is this some pattern?
This led to another search for buying clip microphone. I zeroed on Sony ECM-CS10. This is a great clip microphone. The build quality of the microphone is unquestionable. But again, I hit the roadblock – The microphone simply denied to work with my laptop and desktop. Just like my first microphone, it produced very low sound. Seems I was missing something again. I stumbled on this great video, which talked about TS, TRS and TRRS connectors. What??? you never heard those terms, don’t worry you ain’t alone buddy, because me neither knew about it.
I never paid attention to my Microphone or headphone or headset cables before and now when I know about it, I always do :).
(This reminds me of my first experience – building custom PC. I thought deciding on processor is an easy job, I will go for best Intel I7. And then I came across stuffs like black, K series, overclocking and most scary part Socket compatibility with motherboard. I was fortunate enough to survive that phase, just because I researched a lot while buying the processor and other accessories.)
Well, another video from Curtis Judd influenced me to buy Microphone from Aputure – A.lav clip microphone. I got lucky third time. This microphone is mind blowing, it comes with its own power supply, a good clip with microphone and bunch of independent connectors for mobile, laptop and charger. Isn’t that nice.
I needed another machine
Tadaaaa…. the bumpy ride is still not over. I needed a good laptop (I already have monster desktop whose power is contained because of SATA drive, but I know the day I will add SSD, it’s going to race like Ferrari. I have one hybrid which is good for portability but it restricts my ability to code. And there is another ancient laptop which doesn’t work…. and then Raspberry pi. Ok, I swear, I will stop).
Search starts again and here my constraints – Budget limit 90K, Fast processor with integrated graphics card, Good memory (at least 8 GB), SSD much needed, secondary large storage (at least 1 TB), Dedicated graphics card, Big screen (at least 15 inch), Thin bezel, lightweight, best build quality, comfortable keyboard, trackpad and on… and on… and on…
At one moment, I considered buying Mac Air, but its limited disk space was my big concern and I didn’t want to go for external drive.
I already have (or had) one and it is eating dust. I feel external drives are good for backup storage but not for constant read/write access. I ended up corrupting my external drive, just because I was using it like an internal one. So sorry Steve, not buying your laptop at this moment. I finally zeroed on Dell Inspiron 15 – 7570. Great laptop and value for money. Most interesting fact was, I got it on EMI with 0% interest rate.
With great power comes great misery
Does that mean – end of my misery? Oh, well certainly not. Here is the next speed breaker. OBS Studio worked well on my desktop (powered by Ubuntu 18 LTS). It never complained of having two different graphics cards, worked smooth like a butter. I started fresh on my Laptop, installed OBS and bunch of other Softwares, plugged my microphone and started recording screen & my voice, checked the first recording and it was all blackkkkk like black black. Only voice, no picture. I just went crazy whats happening??? Why my screen is not getting recorded??? Ok, Google again.
I sometimes get scared to death, what I would have been without Google. Enough of drama, I would have Bing(ed). I do sometimes 😛
I realized both OBS and target software like Browser, Powerpoint slides should be running on same graphics Card to record it properly. I realized most of the Softwares was running on Integrated dedicated Intel Graphics Card, while OBS was running on NVIDIA graphics card. Well there is a hack to solve this problem – run OBS on Intel graphics card and let go NVIDIA :(. May be next time when I will record Game or any other graphics intensive software, I will point OBS to NVIDIA again.
The drama is still not over, but I guess I should put an end to what I went through. Somehow, the urge to come out of the routine and build another habit, I had to face all those challenges. Unless I won’t taste the water, how would I know where I stand OR all of that is just illusion.
First Playlist on my YouTube channel
Here is the link of my First Video Course – Introduction to TypeScript. The work is still in progress. More and more videos are getting added on weekly basis. I am exploring creative ways to make it interesting and appealing.
The videos are far from being Perfect but I need your support to go through it and provide your feedback. Your comments will help me to expand my Matrix to another level, so keep it raw and genuine.