Critical Distance Confab – Every Game a Painting

Microphone 29

The November episode of the Critical Distance Confab is finally out. Continuing in chronological order brings up to Mr. Mark Brown of Game Maker’s Toolkit.

I do feel like I should apologize for this podcast being so late. Though probably in the end it was best I didn’t hit the 15th target date as it would have gotten lost in the shuffle. I do want to explain what happened just to have it written down for posterity.

After I finish an interview, I’ve made it a habit to check the audio right afterwords. This is after the disastrous recording corruption of my interview with Dierdra “Squinky” Kiai, episode 15. I didn’t learn the extent of that corruption until months later. I noticed the problem immediately, all three of them. I don’t know how it happened and if any audio engineers would like to check it out and explain it, I have the raw recorded audio saved.

There was this intermittent buzzing. Every second and half there would be about a half second worth of buzzing that would just interrupt the audio. I don’t mean pasted over, I mean interrupt. Sometimes it would happen when neither of us were speaking, but mostly it came between words. Which meant I have to splice together the phonetics of what was being said every second and half of audio. I couldn’t always make them line up properly. You can hear blips during the first half of the podcast. That’s what that is. It ran from minute 2 to minute 27 of the raw audio. By the time I was done that entire section was only 13 minutes long. Half of the recording had to be cut.

Additionally, because of the nature of how the editing had to be done I didn’t get to hear what was being said. I was being disconnected from language itself and only hearing noise. It takes a toll on the psyche, so I could only work in 15 minute chunks before having to take a break and reorient myself. Those 15 minutes would allow me to edit about half a minute or so of audio. It was a pain in the neck.

After that was done, I got to edit the rest as per usual and that went by very quickly as Mark Brown is quite a well disciplined speaker. I got to do that for about 15 minutes worth of audio until it just wasn’t worth it anymore. You see, all that buzzing had caused the two channels to come out of sync and continue to be set further out of sync that by the end of the recording Mr. Brown was answering questions before I had begun asking them. So I had to then move the audio into another editing program to split the two channels up into different files and handle them side by side, adding silence to link up the sections properly. Then reintegrate them into a single file before setting it back into the first program to finish the editing process.

Then I decided to add a few flourishes to this episode. The intro by Mr. Brown himself and a little drop in so you can all hear what Roman Mars sounds like.

I think I’ve grown somewhat during my time in this position. I nearly cried when I heard the audio in Squinky’s interview. This time I heard it and knew immediately how to fix all the problems and estimated a work time of 12-14 hours to do it. (The usual editing time is 3-4 hours.) I was wrong in my estimate. It took 3 days of intermittent work.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the interview and I am completely serious about audio engineers getting in contact with me. I don’t want to do this again. I need to know what caused it. Please.

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