In this episode, the HPR_AudioBookClub discusses The Call of Cthulhu.
Pop Culture References
- Lil' Cthulhu
- Metallica's "The Thing That Should Not Be" (Master of Puppets, 1986)
- Call of Cthulhu (RPG)
- South Park, 3 ep arc
- Arkham Horror
As usual, the HPR_AudioBookClub took some time to review the beverages that each of us were drinking during the episode
- Thaj: Plain old water..... boring as usual
- x1101: Rising Tide Calcutta Cutter IPA. Pine and citrus flavors gently accompany huge doses of hops
- pokey: Wallgreens generic hot flu remedy (comparable to Theraflu). Its gritty and tastes bad, but it helps if you're sick with a cold or flu.
- semioticrobotic: Harney & Sons Pumpkin spice herbal tea. semioticrobotic also recommends letting one of these tea bags steep in hot apple cider.
- pegwole: Black Coffee
THINGS WE TALKED ABOUT THIS TIME
Coconut Oil, Red Dwarf, Batman, Dr. Who
OUR NEXT AUDIOBOOK
Cybrosis by P. C. Haring
Cybrosis by P.C. Haring
This episode was processed using Audacity https://audacity.sourceforge.net/. We've been making small adjustments to our audio mix each month in order to get the best possible sound. It's been especially challenging getting all of our voices relatively level, because everyone has their own unique setup. Mumble is great for bringing us all together, and for recording, but it's not good at making everyone's voice the same volume. We're pretty happy with the way this month's show turned out, so we'd like to share our editing process and settings with you and our future selves (who, of course, will have forgotten all this by then).
Mumble uses a sample rate of 48kHz, but HPR requires a sample rate of 44.1kHz so the first step in our audio process is to resample the file at 44.1kHz (Tracks > Resample > 44100). Resampling can take a long time if you don't have a powerful computer, and sometimes even if you do. If you record late at night, like we do, you may want to start the task before you go to bed, and save it first thing in the morning, so that the file is ready to go the next time you are.
Next we use the "Compressor" effect with the following settings:
- Threshold: -30db
- Noise Floor: -50db
- Ratio: 3:1
- Attack Time: 0.2sec
- Decay Time: 1.0 sec
- "Make-up Gain for 0db after compressing" and "compress based on peaks" were both left un-checked.
After compressing the audio we cut any pre-show and post-show chatter from the file and save them in a separate file for possible use as outtakes after the closing music.
At this point we listen back to the whole file and we work on the shownotes. This is when we can cut out anything that needs to be cut, and we can also make sure that we put any links in the shownotes that were talked about during the recording of the show. We finish the shownotes before exporting the .aup file to .FLAC so that we can paste a copy of the shownotes into the audio file's metadata. We use the "Truncate Silence" effect with it's default settings to minimize the silence between people speaking. When used with it's default (or at least reasonable) settings, Truncate Silence is extremely effective and satisfying. It makes everyone sound smarter, it makes the file shorter without destroying or distorting any actual content. It makes a conversation sound as fluid during playback as it was when it was recorded. It can be even more effective if you can train yourself to remain silent instead of saying "uuuuummmm." Just remember to pass the file through Truncate Silence ONCE, and ONLY ONCE. If you pass it through a second time, or if you set it too aggressively your audio may sound very choppy, and un-natural.
At this point we add new, empty audio tracks into which we paste the intro, outro and possibly outtakes, and we rename each track accordingly.
We adjust the Gain so that the VU meter in Audacity hovers around -12db while people are speaking, and we try to keep the peaks under -6db, and we adjust the Gain on each of the new tracks so that all volumes are similar, and more importantly comfortable. Once this is done we can "Mix and Render" all of our tracks into a single track for export to the .FLAC file which is uploaded to the HPR FTP server.
Remember to save often when using Audacity. We like to save after each of these steps. Audacity has a reputation for being "crashy" but if you remember save after every major transform, you will wonder how it ever got that reputation.
A Small Room in Koboldtown (Escape Pod podcast Episode 157) by By Michael Swanwick & read by Cheyenne Wright
A Small Room in Koboldtown
Thank you very much for listening to this episode of the HPR_AudioBookClub. We had a great time recording this show, and we hope you enjoyed it as well. We also hope you'll consider joining us next time. Please leave a few words in the episode's comment section.
As always; remember to visit the HPR contribution page. HPR could really use your help right now.
P.S. Some people really like finding mistakes. For their enjoyment, we always include a few.