Author Topic: Recording Game Sessions  (Read 123090 times)

Armos Black

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Recording Game Sessions
« on: February 07, 2010, 05:18:38 PM »
Sorry if this has already been covered.

I am new to RPPR and I like the Actual Play podcasts.  They are easy to listen to which I find is a problem for many other APs.  Listening to them, I thought I could get some use out of recording my game sessions.  Can someone tell me a quick and cheap way to do this?  We usually sit around a table and play for about 4 to 5 hours. I would also like to put them on my computer.

Thanks in advance.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2010, 05:31:23 PM by Setherick »

Kroack

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Re: Recording Game Sessions
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2010, 06:03:03 PM »
Well, Ross uses some expensive area sound recorder thingie. It's like the h2 something or whatever, I don't actually know much 

Mckma

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Re: Recording Game Sessions
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2010, 06:27:49 PM »
I used the mic on my laptop and set it kind of in the circle of six of us and it recorded just fine (have the previous generation MacBook Pro, if you were curious).  It was a little loud on the people closer/facing the mic, but it worked out pretty well nonetheless.

Murph

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Re: Recording Game Sessions
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2010, 10:53:03 PM »
I've had some success using the recorder that comes with the iPhone.  The sound is surprisingly good.

Tadanori Oyama

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Re: Recording Game Sessions
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2010, 11:06:45 PM »
Go to a RadioShack and you can find omni directional mikes for recording meetings and stuff. Plug that into a PC and download Audacity (which is totally free) and your set.

nbneil

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Re: Recording Game Sessions
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2010, 11:42:51 PM »
I use the Blue Snowball for my Mic and like it a lot. Any omnidirectional mic is good. I personally dislike Audacity because it crashed constantly on my PC. I love WavePad. Even the freeware version had most every tool you'll need to do editing if you need to. That's my two cents. You can check out my podcast to hear how my setup sounds. www.nerdbound.com
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clockworkjoe

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Re: Recording Game Sessions
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2010, 01:44:42 AM »
I've used a variety of solutions

You can get a voice recorder for 50 bucks or less - listen to the Little Fears AP to get an idea of what that sounds like

You can also get a boundary mic (also known as a PZM mic) like this http://www.overstock.com/Electronics/Audio-Technica-ATR4697-Boundary-Microphone/4179108/product.html?cid=123620&fp=F&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=12177814

The problem with boundary mics is figuring out a way to convert it to a digital file

The optimal solution for me is a zoom h2 microphone http://www.samsontech.com/products/productpage.cfm?prodid=1916

It uses standard SD memory cards and records directly to mp3 or wav and best of all - records 360 degrees around the mic and can be set to record human voices at an optimal level while minimizing other sounds

Zoom H2s are are ~150 bucks


robotkarateman

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Re: Recording Game Sessions
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2010, 02:51:17 PM »
My first handful of recordings were done on an Olympus DS50 I scored on eBay for $65. I'm really surprised by how well that thing did with just the stock mic.

However, I upgraded to Giant Squid's Podcasting mics and the difference is amazing. They're worth every penny. I've got them mounted from the ceiling above the gaming table and it's completely eliminated table thumps and dice roll washout. It took some finagling to find the right settings in the DS50 for those mics, but once I found the sweet spot our recording quality went way up. Unfortunately, it was like 10 episodes before I dialed it in.

I'd say you can get away with a cheap recorder provided it A. has enough memory to store decent quality recordings and B. has the option to upgrade the microphones.
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Tadanori Oyama

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Re: Recording Game Sessions
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2010, 04:42:57 PM »
You can squeeze more quality out of a cheaper mike by using some programs if money is an issue for you.

Levelator is amazing for the price (free!) and helps put the quiet people on the same volume as the loud people.

ristarr

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Re: Recording Game Sessions
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2010, 09:40:38 PM »
I just got an H2.  Do you have any settings advice?  We play on a dining room table.  I was thinking 320 or VBR MP3 2 channel or should I go with on of the lower WAV settings?  We normally play about 5 hrs, so that is pushing the WAV file size ( although the 16 bit is about 7 hrs on a 4Gb card ).

Any other info would be helpful too.

I am also planning to use it for recording some live music in clubs.  Most of that would be of the stealth variety.  Have you tried any of that ( I am sure there are lots of setting post on the live music sites but thought I would ask ).

Thanks

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Re: Recording Game Sessions
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2010, 10:08:18 PM »
Read the manual to get a basic idea

For RPPR AP I use the following settings - windscreen is on - I use the little screw on stand and place it in the center of the table.

MP3 160 kbps - a $10 dollar 2 gig SD memory card will record 27 hours worth of content at this setting - BE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT DELETING FILES OFF A MEMORY CARD - IT IS EASY TO LOSE A RECORDING BY CLEARING A MEMORY CARD YOU DIDN'T BACK UP - I have 4 memory cards that I alternate between - I only delete the one with the oldest recordings when I fill one up.

2 channel 360 degree recording
AGC - Speech 2
Lo cut filter - ON

I plug the H2 into an AC adapter because batteries won't last a 3 hour game - I also set the LED light to ON so I can read the screen easily during a game and make sure it's still recording.

Armos Black

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Re: Recording Game Sessions
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2010, 10:49:28 PM »
Can you get one of these H2s in a store like Radio Shack or the like?

ristarr

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Re: Recording Game Sessions
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2010, 11:02:18 PM »
Thanks Ross,  I would never have thought of putting the windscreen on.   Using your settings will help bring me up to speed fast.  I will be trying it out during this weekends game.

Armos, I did not really find any for a reasonable price locally.  I ordered it from amazon for $143-ish.  I saw it on microcenter.com for $230, which I assumed would be around the price I would find it at the bricks and mortar stores.  I did not really look to hard since I frequent amazon a lot and they were competitive with the other online sources.  I did try a couple of (small) music stores and did not see one.

clockworkjoe

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Re: Recording Game Sessions
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2010, 12:33:17 AM »
Can you get one of these H2s in a store like Radio Shack or the like?

I've seen them in music stores - they do a great job recording audio - not just speech, but music or whatever. Someday, I'm going to get the Zoom h4 n2 - it has 2 XLR inputs so I can plug the 2 mics I use for RPPR episodes into the recorder directly.

You see, right now the biggest problem to me recording RPPR is laptop fan noise. I record directly to garageband using a macbook pro with an external hd - the problem is that the laptop heats up after all and you can hear the fan noise in the background - I've learned how to minimize it but I can't get rid of it entirely. So when you hear a consistent low level hum on RPPR, that;s the fucking fan.


Kroack

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Re: Recording Game Sessions
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2010, 04:10:04 PM »
I know it's pretty basic stuff, but all this audio lingo makes Ross sound like a technobabbler.