184: Sentences are music May 8, 2022 3:13 PM   Subscribe

I didn't edit or write this month's podcast (other than this little bit)! Thanks so much to eotvos for all his work on this; note his note at the end of the podcast about other possible contributions as well! In any case, Jessamyn and I talk about MetaFilter as we are wont to do; it runs the usual 90-ish minutes.


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Podcast Feed
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Projects
- BOKEH game by malevolent
- Reunion Tour by Valrus
- Set Side B by JHarris
- Ancient Animals by moonmilk

Jobs
- Usability and Delops cluster hire by rockindata
- Freelance project uploading to our CMS by Magami (filled)

Metafilter
- Elon Musk wants to buy twitter by joannemerriam
- the fail whale could not be reached for comment by fight or flight
- Harder Drive: Hard drives we didn't want or need by zengargoyle
- Medical Gaslighting by dancing leaves
- Calleafgraphy by curious nu
- I promise you, all of us up here tonight, we WERE that kid! by hippybear
- This is the time, and this is the record of the time by oulipian
- The Onions Has Been Permanently Banned from Twitter by DirtyOldTown
- A LaserWriter dreamscape by furtive
- I’m better at this than you are at everything you do. by Etrigan
- Gonna go down to Black Mesa and get myself a BajaaAAaaAa Blast by cortex
- "...a lot of fuss over a flight with one takeoff and one landing." by jessamyn

Ask Metafilter
- what have you got in your pocketses? by RobinofFrocksley
- Holes found in Net by storybored
- Umbrella/generalist terms for jobs/roles that have distinct subroles? by cortex
- Where is a pot a kettle? by evilmomlady
- Heavy, flat and cheap? by bondcliff
- What media hit you differently the second time around? by jeszac
- Find me gentle, fictional, happy ending TV by rednikki

Fanfare
- Our Flag Means Death: Season 1 by gladly

Metatalk
- Ch-ch-ch-changes! by Eyebrows McGee
-
Transition Team Post #1 by warriorqueen
- Transition Team initial discussion summary and kickoff by cortex
- Masto and other accounts by Fiasco da Gama
- https://metatalk.metafilter.com/26053/Four-years-of-Mefi-Card-Club by Sparky Buttons

Music clips
- Hope After Despair by gt2
- Halt to Start by q*ben
- Chase Music for an Imaginary Low Budget Cyberpunk Movie by thatwhichfalls
- The Only Load the Lord Has Given Me, with Thanks for His Grace by youarenothere
- Plumbium by q*ben
posted by cortex (staff) to MeFi Podcast at 3:13 PM (25 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Woke up in the middle of the night, saw the title of this podcast, and sleepily-mistakingly thought it was the title of a new Boards of Canada album.
posted by Wordshore at 7:56 PM on May 8 [2 favorites]


Re: pot vs kettle, I had never heard of kettle being used to describe something without a spout but I answered it here as oddly I heard the phrase being used in King of the Hill to describe a giant pot for soup without a spout and not hung over a fire. Further Googling indicates there's a "kettle house" in Galveston that looks like a big soup pot.

I'm assuming that this might be a Western or Southwestern affectation, primarily from Texas? It at least brings to mind a bunch of cowboys hanging a kettle over an open fire completely shocked that the Pace Thick and Chunky Salsa is made in New York City.
posted by geoff. at 11:13 PM on May 8


Glad you found someone to edit the podcast!
posted by ellieBOA at 1:26 AM on May 9 [1 favorite]


The surprising thing to me about magic numbers (in the nuclear sense) is how non-intuitive the sequence is. The sequence of the number of electrons that are in noble gases is something undergrads can do as a homework assignment and can be explained pretty well with a few diagrams to anybody. The details of the sequence of magic numbers for nuclei is something most professional physicists who don't specialize in it really understand, or so it seems to me. Which is both very cool and frustrating.

I also laughed at the observation that scientists use the word "magic" so often. I am absolutely guilty of this, but had never thought about it until now.
posted by eotvos at 6:40 AM on May 9 [1 favorite]


It occurs to me that a fine kettle of fish *probably* isn't the tea kettle sort, but that in turn Pete's shocking discovery of a fish in the percolator in episode one of Twin Peaks could be read as Lynch making a real stretch of a joke about that.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:07 AM on May 9


Please fix the filename to match the previous format. The mefi at the start is ok, just not all squished together and lacking the title of the episode. Nitpick.
posted by zengargoyle at 8:53 AM on May 9


Apologies for not linking to moonmilk's Ancient Animals Project. Now rectified.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:54 AM on May 9 [2 favorites]

Please fix the filename to match the previous format.
Sorry - that was entirely my fault, not our mods'. I've only ever listened using a podcast app and have never paid any attention to filenames until just now. All squished together is my default for every filename in everything.
posted by eotvos at 9:56 AM on May 9 [1 favorite]


To be fair, the filename format has always been manually created and essentially arbitrary. It’s probably been mostly consistent because one person (Matt, then me) was doing that arbitrary manual naming, but also only mostly consistent. There shouldn’t be any technical dependencies on the name format that I'm aware of; it could be rando junk string noise dot mp3 and still work fine.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:16 AM on May 9


It's hard to find once downloaded and forgotten for a day or so is all. It would also be nice to settle on some MP3 tags. Just twinges on my documentation/packaging/metadata consistency nerve. :)
posted by zengargoyle at 11:12 AM on May 9


re: blaseball: there was (is still ongoing?) some Blaseball Hall of Fame voting over the last month-ish, so that might've been what sparked the recent traffic. The Garages also have had some vinyl releases.

re: MBMBAM: War with Grandpa.
posted by curious nu at 12:48 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]

It's hard to find once downloaded and forgotten for a day or so is all. It would also be nice to settle on some MP3 tags.
Happy to do so, going forward. I've also never actually paid attention to mp3 tags and didn't really think about that at all either. But, I can't argue against the idea that it's good to be consistent. And, having good metadata/archivability is something folks here are more likely to value than anywhere else that isn't actually a research library. =)
posted by eotvos at 1:15 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


Oh, yay! I think my first mention in the podcast, only made about 41 posts anywhere so not bad.

It seems that jessamyn's volume control thing didn't work. She was loud and cortex was quiet. The whole thing wasn't as loud as usual level wise. I usually have to crank the volume down to 75% or so, this one had to be left at 100%.

On preview, no sweat, just pointing out differences I notice from downloading and playing from the command line. It's not going to be "Josh Mallard's Album" anymore, so seems like a good time for a fresh start. I do sorta like the 'mefi' in the filename, would make tab completion easier.

I could read Hebrew a couple of decades ago, but only the standard every service sort of thing. I hung out at least once a week at a Jewish halfway house (they brought the girls over natch) and eventually got invited to the Friday night shin-dig which was closed to the public. They had a printout of the standard service invocations or whatever with Hebrew, I guess some sort of Latin alphabet representation, and an English translation so guests could join in. Still have some of the tunes that sometimes roll around in my head. It was nice, five stars. Still sometimes think of that girl. I've totally forgotten any Hebrew that I knew.
posted by zengargoyle at 1:39 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]

It seems that jessamyn's volume control thing didn't work. She was loud and cortex was quiet. The whole thing wasn't as loud as usual level wise. I usually have to crank the volume down to 75% or so, this one had to be left at 100%.
Interesting. Thanks for the feedback.
posted by eotvos at 1:51 PM on May 9


It just reminds me of 45-35 years ago running the sound for churches. The last and longest one made tapes and broadcast over the local radio station via a dedicated phone line. Sitting with headphones and moving sliders to make sure the choir doesn't drown out the soloist of vice-versa or the organ, blah blah. It's probably easier live mixing things. I doubt the podcast recording solution actually gives individual audio streams to be mixed later and just gives the mixed-by-itself recording. Two options in that case that I can think of would be for jessamyn and cortex to do a few different tests at different settings until the optimal one is found and to use that for the recording. The other would be maybe to have one on record on the left channel only and the other to record on the right channel only, Make their streams mono from the start so you can work on balancing the left/right separately then mix them at the end. That's probably it unless they both get mics and an audio recorder and upload the separate recordings to be mixed later. Zoom (or whatever software they use) probably makes things hard, or at least finicky.

Thanks for doing the podcast eotvos. I'm sure you'll get your groove on. Pretty sure that's probably all I got on podcast audio file stuff. Good Luck!
posted by zengargoyle at 3:24 PM on May 9

I doubt the podcast recording solution actually gives individual audio streams to be mixed later and just gives the mixed-by-itself recording
Actually, in this case it does. They're using trycast, which records each track separately, and seem to have pretty good mics. (Much better than the crappy laptop one I had in hotel room with a noisy hvac running myself.) I spent a while adjusting levels in different regions so that the result sounded pretty balanced to me. I'm now pondering whether my hearing is actually as flat as I though it was or whether there might be something funny about the headphones I was using. As a solder-monkey in music studios as a teenager I was told that you always listen to stuff on several different kinds of speakers. . . and I didn't actually do that this time. I'll listen to this one on a few different devices and compare. Thanks!
posted by eotvos at 3:36 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Yeah we both have good mics but mine is part of a headset and cortex's is, if I recall correctly, a desktop one that he doesn't sit terribly near. So usually my levels need to be adjusted down or his need to be adjusted up a little. It was fun to listen to this (I'm on a desktop machine and yeah the levels were weird but they often are) and hear your little bit at the end eotvos (and how to pronounce your name) so thank you again!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:22 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


I get way up on my mic usually, honestly, I just lapse into muttering sometimes. I found in the long run I needed to juice my levels relative to Jessamyn's beyond what sheer db would look like at a glance because my lower register doesn't compete; I also tended to compress the hell out of both of us to make up for, especially, my LOUD quiet LOUD quiet instincts.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:10 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]


I was DELIGHTED to hear from eotvos at the end! Not least because now I know how to pronounce the name, but mostly just having another hand and voice in the podcast.
posted by janell at 9:31 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


In retrospect, putting the ENTIRE hiring blog post into jobs was probably overkill! I will put in a summary and a link to the longer post next time.
posted by rockindata at 4:31 AM on May 10


I was really happy to see the return of music clips! It's been a while, hasn't it, and they really add to the whole charm of it.
posted by mochapickle at 6:47 AM on May 10 [1 favorite]


I like to listen over a few days during my commute. Granted my car isn’t t an ideal listening environment, but between the difference in their recording levels overall and cortex’s up and down volume I couldn’t find a volume where I could comfortably listen to jessamyn and understand cortex.
posted by sevenless at 4:37 AM on May 11


Thanks for the audio feedback, everyone. I appreciate it. I'll kill more highs before normalizing and significantly increase the compression next time. I fucking hate compression in general, but I guess there's a reason everybody does it. (I might also sign up for an informal hearing test =)
posted by eotvos at 7:24 AM on May 11 [1 favorite]


Heh, that was part of why it took me a while to get around to cranking the compression as hard as I ended up doing in the long run. It feels like terrible terrible music mixing, just throw out everything you know about keeping dynamic range and natural levels in play and just crunch crunch crunch like your worst loudness war pop producer nightmare. I think I ended up throwing the whole thing through a limiter pass as well at the end to juice a few more db out.

But, yeah, listening to a couple of excitable people talk over each other in different registers over the sound of road noise is basically the anti-pristine audio context to begin with. I wasn't literally running the vacuum while checking the levels on my mixes but that's about the right level of "is there enough compression yet?" for making sure it's listenable in common noisy contexts. In retrospect this is something I could have mentioned to you eotvos, but it was sort of a lobster-in-a-pot accretion of adjustments to the session template I'd been using for a long time.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:00 AM on May 11 [2 favorites]


Carcinisation, but for audio processing.
posted by curious nu at 11:17 AM on May 11


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