Coming Soon!

Dan and Cynthia’s house move is almost complete which means the main studio will be up and running soon. That means more podcasts!

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My recording station nearly complete.

In the meantime I have almost completed setting up a second smaller recording station at my house but a recent order with Amazon got mixed up and I am waiting for more parts to come in.

In the wake of the lack of podcasts we are going to start a new portion to our main Technobabble show. We will be giving away a pc video game every show. We will announce the way this will happen on the next Technobabble episode so stay tuned for more.

“We skipped over that minute to instantly arrive at this moment in time.” Looking back at 2017.

A lot of things happened over 2017. We went up to producing more than one podcast (then subsequently I got so busy with work I had to slow down production). We picked up dedicated studio recording hardware as well increasing the quality of our podcasts.

AMD vs Intel in 2017

As for tech news there was a lot. Team Red AMD finally came back in to the forefront with the release of their much anticipated Ryzen cpus gaining back an impressive market share from Intel. Team Blue Intel respectively did an emergency release of their 8th generation Core cpus with more cores to compete with AMD. AMD shot at Team Green nVidia as well with their new Vega video cards. Sadly they have and are plagued with supply issues and are hardly even competitive when it comes to price/performance. nVidia poked back with the 1070ti and not too long ago released their first prosumer volta based gpu in the new Titan V.

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A new player has jumped in to the fray as well. Qualcomm had joined with Microsoft to build PCs running Windows 10 on Qualcomm Snapdragon cpus opening the doorway to a possible multi-day battery life for on the go laptop users.

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2017 was also a bad year for hacks and malware. The year began with a huge infestation of malware that locked computers and held their data hostage until you paid ransom. Then Equifax released that nearly every American with credit had their personal data exposed and in Canada while less of a big story several were also effected.

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Last year was also the first time Amazon acknowledged that anyone other than the United States and Britain existed by releasing many of their smart devices in Canada and a hundred other countries world wide. In Canada we received Amazon Prime Video and Music, Amazon’s Echo Dot, Echo and Echo Plus as well as their FireTV stick.

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Sadly we’ve had some losses as well. Towards the end of last year we lost what used to be Canada’s premier online PC hardware store NCIX to bankruptcy. In hind site it was easy to see coming with things not being out of stock or constant back order on their site but they will be remembered as one of the best tech stores for pc enthusiasts as we see Memory Express and Canada Computers move in to NCIX’s old domains.

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In gaming and entertainment we saw Warner Bros finally release a good DCU movie with Wonder Woman. We also saw the release of Thor Ragnarok and Star Wars the Last Jedi. There’s also a new Doctor Who in town being played for the first time ever by a Woman by Jodie Whittaker. Nintendo’s Switch has sold impressively well, and even I (Jeff) ended up picking one up despite warding off Nintendo for their incredibly dismal introduction of their NES and SNES Classic (of which there still is not freaking stock of in Canada).

I’ll put all the links to the stories and a few bonus ones just after this next bit. I wanted to share with you my favourite video games of 2017, besides World of Warships. And I’ll mention my biggest disappointment.

Favourite Games of 2017 (What I played the game on)

  • 5) Call of Duty World War II (PC)
  • 4) Fire Emblem Warriors (Switch)
  • 3) ICEY (PC)
  • 2) Persona 5 (PS4)
  • 1) Sonic Mania (PS4,…. and uh, PC, and uh,… yeah, uh Switch)

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Biggest Disappointment of 2017 (What I played the game on)

  • AMD Vega 56 and 64. Oh that’s not a game…
  • Mass Effect Andromed (PC and PS4). This game was so disappointing that I wrote a whole post about it.

vMLV0Ol

https://www.techpowerup.com/230891/amd-reveals-ryzen-7-family-pricing-and-radeon-vega-logo

https://www.techpowerup.com/230926/nvidia-counts-down-to-geforce-gtx-1080-ti-launch

https://www.theverge.com/2017/2/8/14548376/e3-2017-open-ticket-sales-public-february-13

Zelda will be Nintendo’s final game for the ‘end of life’ Wii U

https://geektyrant.com/news/wonder-woman-is-now-the-highest-grossing-dceu-movie

http://hexus.net/business/news/components/107524-amd-cpus-took-nearly-10-per-cent-share-intel-far-year/

Doctor Who: BBC reveal Jodie Whittaker as first female doctor

https://www.engadget.com/2017/07/21/amazon-buys-sellers-inventories/

http://www.pcgamer.com/playerunknowns-battlegrounds-player-banned-for-team-killing-a-team-killer/

https://redbluegreen.ca/2017/09/09/gaming-lounge-009-andromeda-killed-gaming-for-me/

https://www.techpowerup.com/237136/7th-gen-core-kaby-lake-wont-work-on-300-series-chipset-motherboards

https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/equifax-says-100000-canadians-affected-by-cyberattack/article36296560/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com&

https://www.techpowerup.com/237116/pirate-bay-mines-coins-in-your-browser-revenue-model-of-the-future

https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Intel/Core_i7_8700K/

https://www.theverge.com/2017/10/6/16435690/aim-shutting-down-after-20-years-aol-instant-messenger

https://www.techpowerup.com/238585/amd-confirms-raja-koduris-departure-ceo-lisa-su-interim-rtg-head

https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2017/11/7/16617286/amazon-fire-tv-stick-basic-edition-new-countries

https://www.techpowerup.com/238594/bioware-celebrates-10-year-anniversary-of-mass-effect-with-ten7-event

http://hexus.net/tech/news/cpu/112550-intel-readying-first-mobile-i9-processor-core-i9-8950hk/

http://hexus.net/tech/news/mainboard/112331-intel-aims-end-legacy-bios-support-2020/

https://www.pcper.com/news/Mobile/Qualcomm-Showcasing-Windows-Snapdragon-and-Snapdragon-845-Mobile-Platform-Tech-Summit-Li

https://www.techspot.com/news/72137-ncix-files-bankruptcy-after-closing-all-retail-stores.html

The New RBG Studio

We started recording our first podcast for redbluegreen.ca back in September 2016 and it has probably taken up until now to really get our audio dialed in using the single Blue Yeti recording over USB to PC. We’ve attempted a few Skype call-ins as well and after a few I determined that we would need some better gear before continuing with them.

So Dan and I discussed getting some new gear for the site to really bring production quality up to a new level. It was something that more bugged us than anything. We couldn’t adjust people’s levels individually which really hurt our audio quality sometimes.

So it came down to what we were going to need to actually do this all properly.

TO GET LIST:

1) MIXER (perferably with compression and a shared AUX for all to hear Skype and USB for hooking up to PC. Oh and phantom power)
2) MICROPHONES (three, one for each host)
3) MICROPHONE ARMS (again three)
4) POP FILTER (again three)
5) A PC DEDICATED TO SKYPE
6) A PC FOR RECORDING AND EDITING (editing eventually. right now we still upload to dropbox and I edit from home)

Now these were the minimums really and we already had 5 and 6 covered. Skype will be handled by my trusty old Intel NUC and recording and editing will be handled by CAPSUPREME for which you can see specs on our About page. We also discuss this on RBG Technobabble Podcast 015.

So that left us with finding a mixer, some microphones, microphone arms and some pop filters.

Mixer

We looked at several mixers from different companies. Behringer, Peavey, Mackie and Yamaha. These were all looked at as they had all had the minimum requirements for our setup. A minimum of three microphone xlr inputs and a USB out function for PC is what we had stated we absolutely had to have.

peavey

The Peavey PV10USB had all these things minus compression. While it was quite a professional looking unit we decided against it as we could get compression on on models at half of the 537 dollar CAD asking price of the Peavey. No phantom power also was a knock against as the microphones we were looking at were going to require that.

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The Yamaha MG12XU 12 was a really nice looking unit and looked relatively thought out. It had everything we were looking for including compression which again we really wanted to have on board rather that getting a seperate compressor unit. There was no phantom power for microphones on board though and our ultimate pick had that on board. With the asking price of 420 CAD we had to pass as we would still have to buy some extra hardware to use this board properly.

mkprofx8v2-xl

One board recommended by podcasters was the Mackie ProFX8v2 mixer. This is also a nice looking board. It had everything we needed but compression and phantom power. We could have forgone the phantom power and compression and spent money on some phantom power devices at the 250 CAD pricepoint but out last choice had it all for even less and came even more highly recommended.

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We ultimately chose to go with the Behringer 1204USB. It didn’t include any sound effects that the others did but we didn’t need those anyway. What it did include was everything on our wish list for a the low price of 231 CAD with free Prime shipping. Everything, phantom power, compression and the shared AUX which was a must for Skype. And the unit doesn’t feel cheap either. Now we should mention that the link we have to the Amazon product page is for the 1204USB but we ended up receiving a X1204USB with the sound effects on board. This was a big surprise and even though we don’t need the effects processing we still received a unit that is usually 50 dollars more that what we paid for. One thing of note is this could either be an older or newer version of the X1204USB as the sfx display is actually yellow rather than blue like on Behringer’s website and on Amazon.

It should also be noted that while it’s great to have a mixer you may want to read up on how to use one. Dan and I have an amateur background with these and even so it took us about four hours when all said and done to get it functioning the way we wanted for recording.

Microphones

When we discussed which microphones to buy I insisted we buy some that were relatively good because I believe that the better the audio sounds good raw and unedited the better it will sound after editing and compression. There are several different microphones out there but we landed on one specifically for now and in time we may upgrade to another.

pr40

The Heil PR40 is lauded by most podcasters and even radio broadcasters as one of the best dynamic voice microphones on the market. The PR40 comes with a cost (450 CAD) though and while it wouldn’t require phantom power and wouldn’t pick up others in the room talking in to their mics we just couldn’t justify the cost right now. Down the road when we have more listeners and readers then I will consider moving up.

audio-technica-at2020-348433

The Audio-Technica AT2020 actually isn’t the mic most recommend for podcasting and after using it with a few podcasts I have to wonder why. It has a great dynamic range for a relatively cheap condenser microphone and evidenced (with some minor EQ work) on our latest podcasts it is truly impressive at 140 CAD on Amazon. While I would like to get more bass that can be achieved with more EQ work it really is a great microphone. I have read that it is also good for vocal recording as well where the PR40 is not a good choice in that department.

Microphone Arms

Next on the list were some Microphone arms. Of course another thing we discovered in this process that we would need were shock mounts and of course the XLR cable. Well we found a perfect bundle for us considering we needed three of each of these.

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Neewer has a three pack bundle of their NW35 arm kits that come with the shock mounts and xlr cables. Absolutely a great buy at 76 CAD. That said they are not of the best quality but they will do us for now.

Pop filters

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There are a ton of these on Amazon. We ultimately went with the cheapest one that didn’t look bad that had free Amazon Prime shipping. We ended up with Dragonpad pop filters. The filter was large allowing us to move a but while we talked while still functioning well as a pop filter. At 13 CAD I honestly thing that’s not particularly cheap but it seems to be the cheapest going rate right now.

So all these things end up and by now you have probably done some simple math to figure out what it would cost to setup a small podcast studio of your own. For us we didn’t have the added cost of the PC’s and to be fair you really only need one. I decided to go with two to add redundancy to the system. If the skype computer crashes it doesn’t mean our recording is lost as it is still recording on the other system.

Total Cost? $766 CAD plus taxes (add another 13% and you get what we really had to pay here in Ontario). So yeah it’s not exactly cheap. We started with a Blue Yeti that costed 150 CAD and it’s a great choice for those starting out as it simply gets the job done with relatively good audio.

That of course doesn’t factor in the cost of the PC’s. You don’t need a power house PC for recording, editing audio and running skype. In fact any quad core AMD APU or Intel i5 should do the job nicely. I’d recommend 8GB of memory but other than that and a large hard drive for storing your raw data and final edits there really isn’t any need for much more.

amd-a8-logo

AMD Build 620 CAD – https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/list/wXBnKZ
AMD A8-7600 3.1GHz Quad Core CPU
MSI A78M-E45 V2 Micro ATX Motherboard

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Intel Build 623 CAD – https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/list/YVQWwV
Intel Pentium G4560 3.5GHz Dual Core CPU
ASUS B150M-PLUS D3 Motherboard

Common between both builds:
G.Skill Sniper Series 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory
ADATA SU800 128GB SSD for Windows

So there is a bit of hardware required to really get some good audio but I am really impressed by what audio we are getting now. Have you any hardware that you prefer to use in your setup whether you podcast or perhaps livestream? Let us know.

RBG Update

Hey guys!

Thanks so much for sticking with us. We have had an exciting couple of weeks here and I want to share some things with you on the future of redbluegreen.ca. Due to circumstances this week we won’t be releasing any podcasts but have no fear:

We aren’t going anywhere.

You see, RBG is run by a few enthusiasts in their off time from their homes. Yes, I have a full time job and so does Dan. And Cynthia. And Kevin. So we can get busy from time to time and content doesn’t get posted as much as we’d like.

In an effort to remain relevant to today’s news we started the Technobabble RBG Podcast that has been going for nearly half a year bi-weekly. This way we can communicate to you all directly and share what we think of the news of the last week or so.

In discussions with the rest of the team I worked on bringing some more podcasts to you. After eight episodes of Technobabble RBG, You Me and Tech was launched with Cynthia at the helm. This podcast takes a deeper dive in to the history of technology and it has been a blast to record for you all so far.

After that Dan and I decided recently that we would split the Technobabble RBG podcast in to two podcasts. Technobabble would continue to focus on technology news and the new RBG Gaming Lounge would focus on gaming.

I couldn’t be happier with the new podcasts except for one point. Better quality. Yes, up until now we have been recording in a room in my house on a noisy computer with a Blue Yeti microphone. While the Yeti is actually a very good microphone it’s not really ideal for recording three people in the same environment as Farpoint, my main computer, which records the podcast and gleefully inserts its own fan noise as I like to think it also wants to participate.

While the noise issue can be dealt with in post through filters in Audacity, my experience has been that we lose voice quality overall when I run the filters.

So I am happy to announce today that we have picked up some new audio equipment for testing and eventual use on all the podcasts. We also have a new recording studio in Dan’s secret layer under the CN Tower (listen to the Gaming Lounge for more on that) that promises less background noise. We also have a couple new recording systems that will be much quieter in the studio.

We picked up a USB mixer that will connect to one PC via USB to record our podcasts to Audacity. We will also be using a separate PC to do Skype calls leaving the main studio PC dedicated to recording and editing. With this setup we hope to get better quality Skype recordings with Kevin who lives in the United States (or anyone else that may join in). With this setup we will also be testing a new condenser style microphone. If we are happy with the quality we will be using them for all three of us on the podcast.

Yeah that’s all a mouthful I know but suffice to say we know we need better quality and in picking up these things we feel we will be able to provide that to you.

So now we get to the good news.

When the testing is complete and we feel satisfied with the setup are plan is to shift our main shows Technobabble RBG (now RBG Technobabble, yeah big change I know) and RBG Gaming Lounge to weekly recordings that will hopefully be live every Monday. You, Me and Tech will continue on as a bi-weekly show as it requires more research to be done properly. When the show is recorded it will be posted every Thursday.

So that’s it guys. With all this happening along with other plans we have set for down the road that we are really excited for we look forward to the future of redbluegreen.ca.

Thanks guys,

Jeff

RED BLUE GREEN AND TECHNOBABBLE UPDATE

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First, no podcast this week.

As 2016 has finally drawn to a close we here at Technobabble are excited to reflect on what we’ve accomplished in the last few weeks and look forward to what 2017 has in store.

We have a lot of plans for the website this year that include uploading more content and expanding our podcasts to a couple other topics I think you will all enjoy. More information on that when we can share it.

We also plan on purchasing some higher end gear for the recording of our podcasts and for livestreaming. This will include a mixer and some real xlr microphones. Hopefully this will help with the quality of the recording. The less that has to be done in post the better.

We hope that you and yours had a great 2016 and an even greater 2017.

Thanks for reading and listening,

Jeff, Dan, Cynth and Kevin

Technobabble Podcast Returns! UPDATE!

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UPDATE: Podcast is live on Libsyn.

Back in the day I hosted a technology commentary website here on wordpress called Technobabbleonline. One of the most popular bits to the website was the podcast that I produced along with my sister and brother.

In those days the recording was done in a relatively primitive way. Sure Audacity was still used for recording and editing but the hardware used to record was not so impressive. We often used a Playstation 2 USB headset. In the later recordings a more impressive forty dollar microphone was used but it still didn’t get the best audio quality.

This time around while the recording software remains the same the audio will be captured with a Blue Yeti. This should up the quality quite a bit.

We’re using a better hosting service so the audio track won’t have to be compressed so much. I plan to post the first podcast tomorrow sometime barring any issues with editing. We will be recording today.