I Learned Something New Tonight!

I'm currently doing something that I don't normally do -- take two weeks off straight for vacation.  For me, I tend to take one week off, go somewhere, and then it's back to work.  This time, I padded on an extra week following my treasure-hunting trip out to Montana.  (No, I didn't find the treasure).

So, I have a whole week to do whatever, which means it's work on Random Waves time!  I've got three interviews this week to cover three upcoming episodes.  Two will be in-person (thank you, Connecticut libraries!), while one is going to be over Whatsapp.

Now, I barely know how to use Whatsapp, and I certainly don't know how to record a phone interview.  Transom.org, usually a helpful site for audio making, was a bit short on the grittiest of details with their article on recording equipment for phone interviews.  So, I was left to figure things out on my own.

The good news is that I'm now able to record a phone conversation directly into Logic.  The even better news is that I had all the equipment needed on hand already!

Just in case you're curious, in the photo above you can see my setup.  I record to two tracks -- one for me and one for the phone.  For me, the signal flow goes: Microphone => XLR cable => Presonus Firestudio Mobile 1st combined input.   For the phone, the signal flow goes: Whatsapp => iPhone 7 => Lightning to Headphone dongle => 1/8 inch TRS to 1/4 inch Guitar cable => Presonus Firestudio Moble 2nd combined input.  From the Presonus, a firewire cable goes to a firewire/thunderbolt dongle and into my MacBook running Logic Pro X.  Each signal goes to a separate track, and the are recorded simultaneously in mono.  I can adjust the levels of each track on the Presonus, and I need to make sure I am loud-enough on the cell phone at the other end -- I have no audio feedback of my voice from the iPhone speakers, so I don't know how loud I come through to the other person.  You don't think you get that feedback when you make a typical cell phone call, but I certainly noticed it when it was absent!

So this is one of the cool things that happens when you start making audio pieces.  You get forced to learn new equipment or techniques to produce a story in a new way.  I wouldn't have bothered with this technology otherwise!

Cool beans.  Indeed.