Andrew Middleton's blog

Fade out

I just wanted to apologise and say thanks to all at the Webcast Academy. The pressures of work and life have got in the way in the last month or so, hence my fading from active participation. Like others here I guess, I typically take on too much. Congratulations to Anne for the Edublog award. I hope to re-engage at some point, but until then best wishes to all of you for the new year.
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The Dave and Nancy Show

I just wanted to congratulate Alex and Arvind (et al) and Dave Cormier and Nancy White for one of the most engaging audio experiences I have ever encountered. The recording on EdTechTalk was mind blowing- from Alex's wonderful introduction (so powerful and so right) to the remarkable double-header performance by Dave and Nancy. The presentation style and use of audio in this NYCIST 2006 conference presentation (entitled 'The Eight Competencies of Online Interaction: What Should We Be Learning and Doing?') was perefect. The presentation was an example of how multiple voices create more than vocal ping pong when the potential for raport and personality is let loose.
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Success! Me and the Skype Lady on record

Well the Eurozone set out to record both ends of a Skype call using Virtual Audio Cables and I can report success from my end. So Anne and Dennis I can talk through this with you - and indeed anyone else. However I found Jeff's original screencast having done this!. (Had this disappeared for a while?)

Anyway, I created my own shorter version screencast. In Jeff's there are some handy tips so if you haven't seen it, check it out.

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Recording both ends of a Skype call

We've have just finished our Euro-mini meeting and we encountered several difficulties, but here's the good news! Jeff joined us and talked through the recording both ends task. In Windows,

  • Start > Virtual Audio Cables > Audio Repeater
  • Wave In: select your USB mic
  • Wave out: select the Stereo Mix (or WhatUHear) of your soundcard
  • In Audacity select Stereo Mix  (or WhatUHear) as source
  • Hit record!

Dennis, Anne and myself will record a screencast of this process too.

However, there was a question about whether we need the USB mic in this operation. Anne and I both noted that we have an external audio interface in addition to our internal soundcards. Optionally we think it ought to be possible to use those.

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Soundcard woes

I'm thinking aloud here, but if you have any thoughts please comment.

I've recently bought a new, fairly high spec PC running Windows XP SP2. I have three sound capture devices attached: a SoundMax internal card that came with the PC, a Soundblaster Audigy that I've just added and an M-Audio Firewire 410 audio interface, which I have to record my own music. Sounds complicated. Now I also have Virtual Audio Cables which I suppose falls into this list. (VAC keeps saying "Test" btw?)

I was having problems with the SoundMax, hence the addition of the Audigy. The Firewire interface I regard as a separate issue. Everything can work - I just don't know when it will and when it will fail. I was in at the beginning of the small group meeting last night on the Skypecast and had tested Skype with our friend the Skype Lady before the meet. Everything was OK. Previously I had been using the Java-based Elluminate environment to play back some conference sessions. During our meeting I had Web Huddle running.

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Audacity new release 1.3.2 beta

News today that a new version of Audacity is available which 'contains dozens of new features and capabilities' including 92 LADSPA plug-ins for Windows. http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
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Anxiety of recording

First sorry to miss you all last Sunday - as a penance I'm going to get up at 1.30am tonight to join whoever manages the 8.30 EST mini-meet.

But the great news is I did take part on Sunday - albeit asynchronously. Like the student who sends their tape recorder to the lecture, there is always the danger that I may never appear and take part in real time again, but I'm missing you all already. This is why the webcast/podcast model is a valid, valuable approach. As participants I think we understand the significance of the social value of using this technology. The social aspect therefore is equally about the need/desire to give as well as take (or listen).

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