Please indulge me whilst I go on at great length about the car crash that was yesterdays podcast.
I’ve been crazy busy as the woods are literally and figuratively looming. Included in the list of all the things has been using Descript to record and edit multiple talks.
If you aren’t familiar with Descript here’s the software trailer:
Being able to edit audio and video based on the text transcription is absolutely wild.
Descript is a MAGIC piece of software, the sort of thing promised in the early 00’s. I know Holly and Mat use it to edit their Interdependence podcast and its found a place in other folks I know workflows too.
I’ve been paying for a creator licence since August 2020. Big thank you to all anyone who supports this blog! But last year Descript just wasn’t quite able to do all the things I wanted it to do. Parts of the UX made me itch and I felt it was missing some features.
‘Room Tone’ was released in February 2021. A feature that in the olden days of the web marketing would have called ‘Automagic’.
Every time I’ve used Descript it has got better and more capable. I’ve been using it to transcribe and edit video interviews for my upcoming worldrunning.guide project. I’ve been recording and transcribing zoom calls for work and play. And I’m planning on using it to edit Season 2 of Come Internet With Me.
Recently, improvements to the video editor mean that I feel that Descript was ready to meet my needs.
I’ve been wanting to produce a video version of the podcast for a while. (The dream would be for ‘thejaymo’ to be non human VTuber and I just dump the audio file into it and have have it lipsync automatically). But the open questions have always been: how? and what?.
Permanently Moved is 301 seconds in length which as you can imagine, means it’s tightly scripted and edited so tolerances are quite tight. Removing two or three stray breaths can sometimes make the difference between landing the podcast ‘in time’ or it coming in at 303 seconds.
I have also tried really hard to make it sound like ‘radio’ with 0 budget. By this I mean I’ve spent a lot of time trying to get consistent ‘dry’ recording quality. So my set up looks like this when I’m recording – LOL – but as you can see from the photo my cameras position above the pillow fort doesn’t lend itself to compelling video.
On the other hand, I release the whole thing as a 170-210kbs Mono MP3. So most people aren’t going to care about a dip in production values I don’t think?
I figured for the purposes of the experiment, if the audio quality was going to take a dip. Why not just trash the quality of the whole episode and go back to the shows roots and try and make it off the cuff? Speaking to camera is hard enough as it is, so any and all practice is valuable. Plus, I felt that all the long pauses between sentences would be easier to edit.
So I decided to record the whole thing in Descript, experience the workflow from start to finish and just see how it went.
Apart from the whole thing being an absolute car crash I’m REALLY pleased with the result.
A+ for effort, C– overall.
The content isn’t great, but its better than the very first Episode in 2018 so thats a win.
Some of the audio edits are fucked – which is kinda bad seeing as its a podcast – I cut my self off a few times. But they are no worse than some of the mistakes I’ve made in the past. I just need to get a better handle on using the software.
It’s also the first time I’ve placed a practical light behind me and that turned out alright too. I really like the shadows up the wall. I’ll be doing this again for the rest of the CIWM videos too.
I’m not setting out to make a Vlog but the idea that I can make the podcast show and produce a video version ‘for free’ is really exciting to me.
The learning curve i think is going to balancing making the audio of the show as I’ve always made it and thinking about how it appears on video. For example: I added a zoom in on my eyes when I say my name in the intro. It made me laugh out loud and I’m going to do it every time now.
I would like to branch out into making video at some point so this seems like a good low effort transmission period.
Thanks to the folks who have reached out with comments already. This seems like a go.
In other news, I think our Clivia is going to flower the week we are away! Typical.
An exciting car cash of an Episode. Over the sound of the wonderful accident I talk about Etsy buying Depop.
The Ministry Of My Own Labour
So busy. Delivered a research presentation, Wrote 2 talks recorded 1. Sent off a PDF of research for another client.
I still owe people things and I’m running out of time!
I’m going to have to record my Intonal Festival talk the day I get back from the woods.
My essay ‘Solarpunk! The Vibe Dislocates the Present in Order to Refuture the Future’ was published in the Regeneration [And Its Discontents] collection this week. The book was funded by The Architecture Fund and The Lithuanian Union of Architects.
The launch party was on Friday.
Dipping the Stacks
She Stalked Her Daughter’s Killers Across Mexico, One by One – The New York Times
Armed with a handgun, a fake ID card and disguises, Miriam Rodríguez was a one-woman detective squad, defying a system where criminal impunity often prevails.
China’s gigantic multi-modal AI is no one-trick pony | Engadget
Wu Dao is flat out enormous. It’s been trained on 1.75 trillion parameters (essentially, the model’s self-selected coefficients) which is a full ten times larger than the 175 billion GPT-3 was trained on and 150 billion parameters larger than Google’s Switch Transformers.
[Letter from Los Angeles] The Anxiety of Influencers, By Barrett Swanson | Harper’s Magazine
According to a poll released in 2019, some 54 percent of Americans between the ages of thirteen and thirty-eight would, if given the chance, become a social-media influencer.
The Scholar’s Stage: How I Taught The Iliad to Chinese Teenagers
For students intimidated by the large size and imposing reputation of the Iliad it was important that we read the most accessible and fluid version of the poem.
How Facebook killed blogging—and Twitter reinvented it
One big consequence: blogging became less social. It became much less common for writers to recommend and critique one another’s work. Twitter picked up much of the resulting slack; the kind of intellectual discussion that once happened on blogs now largely happens on Twitter.
I finished re-reading Wonders of Spiritual Unfoldment by John Butler. I read it last year but decided to read it again (which is very unlike me).
Ignota’s Books asked me for my books of the year back in jan and wrote the following:
A remarkable book. A collage of autobiography, poetry, diary entries and spiritual instruction by a gentle Christian mystic. John Butler was an early pioneer of British organic farming and this book tracks his colourful life and spiritual journey. Now at 83 years of age and 50 years of meditation later, his life continues to surprise. Butler was the breakout Meditation Youtuber of 2020.
I read The War Of Art this week. Amazing book.
thejaymo.net Spotify Playlist
Heavy Air by Burst Synapse
Fucking hell this 3 track EP is AMAZING. Its Pig Destroyer meets ShitMat.
If you are up for absolutly bananas Grindcore then this is the band for you.
I think its a one man bad. Either way right at the top of the list of bands to see live.