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    Saturday
    Jun052010

    Introducing: Rough Draught

    Hey there, folks.

     

    So after taking a trip up to Tallahassee, Florida last weekend, I'm ready to debut the first podcast of the all-new, all-awesome Crosstawk family. It's called Rough Draught, and I'm pretty excited about it. Each month, Jon Rind, Mike Sklens and myself will pick up three to four beers and then rate them for your listening pleasure. For Episode 1, we picked up three trappist beers, also known as beers brewed by trappist monks inside monastary walls (not to be confused with abbey beers, which are also brewed by monks, but don't meet the same strict criteria). First up we'll be trying out the Chimay Bleue, followed by the extremely rare/expensive Westvleteren 12 and finally the Koningshoeven La Trappe Quadrupel. All three were really great, but you'll have to listen to find out which one was the best.

     

    Download Here

     

    Enjoy, folks, and see you next month!

    Wednesday
    Apr282010

    The Equipment

    So I thought it might be fun to show you guys what kind of stuff I use for podcasting these days.

    Let's start with where it all begins:

    This is the H4n Zoom. I picked it up about a month ago for my trip to Boston for PAX East, and man, this thing is a beast. I brought it along, primarily, to record a panel I was on with Radio Free Nintendo. I handed it over to the audio gurus and they lined it right into their soundboard with a via one of the XLR jacks on the bottom there. I had some difficulties with the stereo recording - it picked up everything we needed it to (with great results), but when we played it back, noise only came out on the left side. I basically cloned the track to also play on the right side to fix this, but I'm anxious to use these XLR inputs again to find out what we did wrong.

    After the panel, we used the H4n for some scattered recording sessions - one at the show floor, and a couple more back at the hotel room. All in all, it performed really well, which I had to expect after dropping like $300. It was definitely worth it, though. Aside from just using it to record external microphones, it's got dual condenser microphones perched on the top. They actually record in 360 degrees, which comes in handy when you're recording with multiple people. When listening to more than three voices, people have a tendency to forget who's who. But if they're all coming from different "directions" then it's a lot easier to place exactly who's speaking. I've also been using the condensers as my default external mic for when I'm recording straight to my laptop.

    And here it is. This is the first of the first MacBooks. Well, not the first, but you get the idea. When Apple ditched the iBook/PowerBook line for the MacBook/MacBook Pro models, I jumped on the bandwagon about two months after the MBs came out. With a 2.0 Ghz Core Duo processor and a really ancient 950 GMA integrated GPU, this thing's really out of shape compared to the newer models, but it's still surprisingly sturdy and handles all of my audio editing without too much trouble. It's certainly gotten a lot smoother after I upgraded to 2 GBs of RAM, but that's not really anything to write home about these days. Within the next few months, I should be upgrading to a MacBook Pro with a Core i7 processor and a halfway decent NVidia card thrown in for good measure.

    Not much to speak of otherwise. I used to have a Samson CO1U Studio Condenser, but I gave it away to one of my old roommates to pay him back for a big favor. I also used to have a pair of really dynamite noise-canceling headphones, but they didn't survive my move to Miami. I'm pretty much using your standard set of earbuds these days.

    So that's that, folks. If you cared to know what I was recording with before, well, now you know. I really just wanted to talk about that H4n. I mean, if you dropped that much on a damn mic, wouldn't you?

    More to come soon. Stay tuned.

    Wednesday
    Apr282010

    Shout it loud, folks.

    There's not a whole lot I need to say right now other than to say, "Hi there," so I'll just go ahead and pull a copypasta from the About Me section. Check it:

    I'm Karl Castaneda and this is CROSS|TAWK.

    There are a lot of blogs and pocasts out there, and my goal with this website isn't to try and compete with them. If you're reading this, I appreciate it, and I hope you'll stick around. For myself, and for the people who I'll be collaberating with to make this website a success, the goal is simple: to create internet radio that we enjoy. If someone else happens to get a kick out of it along the way, well, that's pretty cool, too.

    You might be wondering about the name, so I'll go ahead and explain it. TAWK comes from a podcast I worked on with a few guys I was living with back in Tallahassee, Florida. We only released around 20 episodes, but I enjoyed that experience more than I can ever put into words. We called it TAWK-112, and it was a pretty good time.

    As for CROSS, well, most of the people who I'll be working with aren't right around the corner. We live all across America - some even further out than that. So we'll be crossing longitute and lattitude to get to each other and put together some great material. I also chose "cross," because we all have a habit of putting ourselves up on a goddamn cross when we get too passionate. So there you go. Hopefully the explanation wasn't too Web 2.0 and douchey.

    So hang around. Download a podcast, and if you'd like, read an article. I plan on having some fun, so I hope you will, too.

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