Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Needless Things Podcast Episode 2: New York International Toy Fair 2013

I suppose every one of these podcasts is going to include a certain amount of drama and stress. If I could just record them and then shoot them out of my computer and directly into your brains I would be extremely happy.
As I stated last time, I have no schedule for these things. If there’s something I feel like I can record a show about,. I’m going to try and do it. And I definitely felt like Toy Fair was something I could record a show about. I’ve been following Toy Fair for fifteen or so years now and providing coverage of one kind or another for maybe five. Every single year me and my toy dork buddies end up discussing the reveals at length and the obvious next step was just to record one of those conversations and then upload it.

            Easy, right?
HA , HA, no.
Originally I had five guests lined up with the potential for Monkey to be a sixth. While I was stoked to have a full panel of folks, I also understood I would likely lose one (or more) and was ready to just babble on by myself if need be. Things actually worked out really well on the guest front, with The Oncoming Storm’s Josh Wilson, long-time friend and toy dork Ryan, Belligerent Monkey Jay, and honorary Needless Things co-host Beau Brown all there for the live recording and Reverend Dan Wilson from Poddy Humor providing a special segment on Hasbro’s Marvel offerings.
We had a great time recording and managed to cover all of the stuff that was important to us.
Once we were done I headed upstairs to spend some compensatory time with Mrs. Troublemaker. We watched Arrow (which was very good) and then The Campaign (which was great until the last twenty minutes or so where it got a bit full of itself). After the missus went to bed I went back downstairs because I was still excited about the podcast and wanted to go ahead and start editing.
This is where things started to go not well.
When I played back the MP3 recording I found that my voice was at a slightly loud but normal level. Everybody else was nearly inaudible. It was pretty fucking disappointing. But I didn’t despair. I assumed that there was technology out there that could fix this problem to an acceptable degree. I sent my podcasting mentor - Director Faber - a message asking what to do and he directed me to some lovely freeware called Levelator. I downloaded it, ran it on the file, and got a result that was… well, at least listenable. Obviously it would be better if the problem hadn’t occurred in the first place, but at least I’ve got something I can use.
And at least I learned a lesson, because I think I know what caused the problem. This is the first time I’ve run a call with more than one other person. The Amolto Call Recorder that I use activates automatically with a Skype call, so it was running when the first person called in. Then, when the second called I answered without realizing I was suppose to add them to a group call. Once we got it all sorted out the original caller had hung up and called back in and I think that’s what effected the sound. For whatever reason the group call was considered secondary and the audio was bad. I feel lucky I got anything at all. So I’ll know better next time – which hopefully will be the Le Sexoflex episode.
The next thing that was a letdown was that when I recorded the intro for the first episode I went straight into dialogue rather than saving the music/show intro as a separate file. So I have to do that all over again. This sucks because it took me a ton of tries to get it exactly right and I don’t want to do it again. I was quite happy with what I had.
So that stuff kind of bummed me out and stalled my momentum. I had planned on getting most of the editing done on Sunday night after Reverend Dan sent me his report, but ended up drinking R&Rs and catching up on Parks and Recreation after trying and failing to play WWE ’13. Every time I tried to modify scheduled matches in Universe Mode the game would just sit there loading. Dammit.
So I figured a couple of days distance would be healthy and ended up doing my editing Wednesday night after we recorded the final regeneration episode of Earth Station Who.
Side Note: This is a daunting occurrence in and of itself, as it means we are out of planned episodes to cover and now are on to research-intensive topics like “Five Episodes You’d Recommend to A Whobie” and “Top Five Favorite Villain Episodes”. Ain’t Nobody got time fo’ dat.
So everything finally got put together and I have a podcast to present to you.



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