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> Purchase Suggestions, need to buy something and want some advice about what to get?
LoLo
post Aug 24 2009, 04:39 PM
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I find it's good to get advice form other people from time to time over what their experience is with certain products and to make suggestions as to what I might get that will work well. I thought I would make this so people could ask for these recommendations when they need to get something.

I'm going to be getting a set of wireless headphones or ear buds in the next couple of weeks and I'm not sure what to look for when I choose a set. Anyone have any experiences with wireless headphones and could suggest some to me, or at least suggest features I may want to look for, and of course if anyone knows of ones I should avoid?


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Hobbes
post Aug 24 2009, 04:53 PM
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QUOTE (LoLo @ Aug 24 2009, 05:39 PM) *
I'm going to be getting a set of wireless headphones or ear buds in the next couple of weeks and I'm not sure what to look for when I choose a set. Anyone have any experiences with wireless headphones and could suggest some to me, or at least suggest features I may want to look for, and of course if anyone knows of ones I should avoid?


I'd be interested in hearing opinions on this too; I have always avoided wireless headphones/earphones because I fear a loss of quality. But I'm probably living in the past a bit, as I'm sure they are as good as traditional wired ones these days.
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LoLo
post Aug 29 2009, 03:10 AM
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Well as of right now the research I've done has me wanting these. I'm waiting for some money to arrive and soon as it does I'll be ordering something, if these are it, I'll let you know how they work Hobbes.


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LoLo
post Oct 5 2009, 07:10 PM
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Ok so Hobbes, I just got those head phones I linked to and my goodness are they nice! They are comfortable, the sound is great, it's easy to adjust the volume, and I can't hear anything other than my music. On that last point I just have to say that my doors are open and there are cars driving down the street, which is usually noisy, but can't hear them! A semi-truck even drove by a couple minutes ago and I only knew it because the house shook a little and I looked out the window. I do have to say though that that is going to take some getting used to, because it's a bit disconcerting to me to not hear whats going on in the world around me. The only down side I have found so far is that they have brief moments of minor static when I'm on the other side of the house from the base, but I don't see that as a big issue.

I got these so that I can block my mom out when she's home and I'm doing my schoolwork, because she's very distracting and my entire course load is online so I need my attention focused.


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Hobbes
post Oct 5 2009, 07:21 PM
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Thanks for the update! I shall take a look!
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Mata
post Oct 6 2009, 12:33 PM
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I'm pondering microphones. I'm not going to be jumping onto anything too quickly (I've been using the facilities at work) but I think in the long-term I'm going to have to get some of my own kit.

I need something to record decent quality spoken-word recording, pop protection, and other gubbins (can you tell I don't really know what I need?). I'll be recording directly onto a computer. Any help in what I might be looking for would be appreicated!


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Tarantio
post Oct 6 2009, 02:04 PM
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Something we learned a few years back in the audio segment of our course: recording onto a computer adds "noise" to the recording from the innards of the computer itself. Usu more of a problem with big desktop units with lots of wiring and whirring fans etc, but it creeps in to any mic-to-comp recording. You can usually edit this out without too much bother, but it leads on to everything else about your recording environment; basically, as long as you have a decent enough mic the environmental noise is what makes the biggest difference to your recording overall.

e.g. traffic noise, humming from fridges, computers etc, people talking in the background, anything that isn't the sound you want to record. Minimise all of these things and even a cheapish mic can record a good clean sound. We did our recording (before our uni built the sound studio they have now) in a computer lab with upwards of 25 desktop PCs all humming away. Even shutting down all of those bar the ones we were using made a huge difference.

Anti-pop is just a case of buying a screen or not speaking directly into the mic.

I'd reccommend a proper diaphragm mic as a minimum for good quality, the kind you get at karaoke etc. For talking at it, not much more is needed.


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Mata
post Oct 7 2009, 08:15 PM
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Thanks, useful stuff. I had come to similar conclusions myself, and trying to remove all that ambient noise is not easy! I think I'll continue to try and use the studio at work for the time being. They've got a proper studio, and it's really very eerie to hear such silence!


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Hobbes
post Oct 7 2009, 08:58 PM
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QUOTE (Tarantio @ Oct 6 2009, 03:04 PM) *
Recording onto a computer adds "noise" to the recording from the innards of the computer itself. Usu more of a problem with big desktop units with lots of wiring and whirring fans etc, but it creeps in to any mic-to-comp recording. You can usually edit this out without too much bother, but it leads on to everything else about your recording environment; basically, as long as you have a decent enough mic the environmental noise is what makes the biggest difference to your recording overall.

Anti-pop is just a case of buying a screen or not speaking directly into the mic.


Going for a mic that isn't multi-directional will be of help too, because that'll limit the circle of pick-up. Some multi-directional microphones can harness sounds from seemingly all angles, which can be useful in some respects - particularly if it is a stereo microphone, and you are searching for an immediate stereo effect (as opposed to doing things manually in post-production). But for this kind of thing, I am not sure it would be worthwhile. So avoiding such microphones means that's a smaller "field" for noise to be recorded.

As Tarantio says, getting rid of those dreaded pop noises is fairly cheap to achieve. Pop shields are next to nothing, or just stretch some tights over a frame and it'll do the same job. There are some vocal techniques which you can use to help avoid the pop sound, but it would be a hell of a lot of effort to employ them in a spoken word recording, and probably wouldn't go as unnoticed as they do in songs.

Not speaking directly into the mic (i.e. standing at a slight angle, or slightly 'offset') will work to some extent, but it might miss some vocal sounds that DO add to the recording, and can run the risk of losing clarity and volume.
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Mata
post Oct 8 2009, 12:54 PM
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I've been running the recordings through a noise filter, sampling from a 'silent' section of the track, and that has worked pretty well on the recordings. When I tried it using my home-recorded audio it took off too much of the clarity and made everything sound a little muted.

The uni-directional mic sounds like a good idea, thanks. Anything that can reduce the amount of post-filtering I need to do is a good thing. smile.gif


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CrazyFooIAintGet...
post Jan 10 2010, 10:06 PM
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Fellow matazonians, I require your assistance!

I'm looking for a decent, small USB keyboard I can use with my laptop.

It must have a UK keyboard layout, full size keys and not have any keys in stupid places. I care a lot about the location of all the weird squiggles like {}[]#'; as I use them for programming. I'd also like regular shaped shift and enter keys because smaller ones feel wrong and I'm unwilling to adapt to change.

Ideally it would just be regular keyboard with the numpad chopped off, but I'd also accept one that moves the insert, home etc. keys to save space, providing they don't mess with my squigglies!

My current PC keyboard (Logitech deluxe 250) is pretty good but it's PS/2 not USB and it's bigger than it needs to be for laptop usage.

Anyone have any recommendations?


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Hobbes
post Jan 10 2010, 11:05 PM
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As I've always just stuck with my standard provided keyboard with all my PCs, I can't really advise you on what to buy. But, until then, you could get a PS2-2-USB adapter, so you could use the Logitech until you find something decent?
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Tarantio
post Jan 11 2010, 09:15 AM
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Have you considered roll-up keyboards? They're pretty cheap these days and good for laptop use. A quick search turned up this one that would seem to fit what you're after (no numpad, correct full-size keyboard):

Amazon Link

I know what you mean about laptop keyboards, can't stand them myself, even just for word processing. I wouldn't want to even consider trying to use them for coding >.<


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CrazyFooIAintGet...
post Jan 11 2010, 06:47 PM
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Hobbes, I do have an adapter, but I couldn't get it to work with my laptop. sad.gif

I saw some roll up ones but they seem like they wouldn't feel very nice to type on. Do you use one yourself Tarantio? Also, its squishy nature limits my typing habitat to flat surfaces only, meaning I would have to get out of bed on weekends. On the other hand, this comment on amazon is making it awful tempting...

QUOTE
this product is IDEAl for people who want to type like the people on the movies who hack! !!
biggrin.gif

And yeah my laptop keyboard is the worst ever. It's a teeny tiny EEE pc (701), which is great for carrying around but not exactly ideal as a primary laptop.


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Tarantio
post Jan 11 2010, 08:17 PM
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Lol, I saw that comment as well, though my response was more in the region of a facepalm. I don't use them regularly, but I have used roll-up keyboards. They're actually pretty easy to use, though I noticed this one has smaller shift keys a little while after I posted the link. As for squidginess and typing in bed, you can stick it on a hardback book, I guess?

If its only for home use, I'd say try and find a real keyboard instead, but the roll-ups are great for taking out with you when you leave the house.


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