The Log Off Podcast, Ep.5: "The Dallas Stars are Hockey Twitter's team"

Dimitri Filipovic
August 07 2014 10:08AM

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Photo via Glenn James

We've got a behemoth of a show this week that creeped above the 1-hour mark for the first time in this podcast's existence. Some of the stuff we covered includes:

  • The Summer of Analytics (!!) 
  • PK Subban's new, lucrative and well deserved contract
  • A lengthy Western Conference preview in which we sift through the Pacific and Central divisions


Thanks for listening!

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Dimitri Filipovic writes about hockey on the internet, and is the Managing Editor of Canucks Army. You can follow him on Twitter @DimFilipovic, and email him at dimitri.filipovic@gmail.com.
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#1 BuffaloBillsOfHockey
August 07 2014, 01:36PM
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Dimitri, I like your podcasts, but seriously, dude, we need to talk audio quality: Derek is panned dead center but his audio channel suffers from background noise, likely a computer fan with possible noise emitted by light fixtures. Your channel is panned left (for some reason) and suffers from phase correlation issues and is folding back into Derek's mic resulting in delay repeats (echo effect). Many of the edits are abrupt and feature zero crossing artifacts (clicks and pops). Matt's audio channel when he says, "hi," at the beginning is by far the best sounding channel - which sort of makes sense because he's producing the thing - which is totally messed up because he is the person doing far and away the least amount of talking.

Sonics aside, I liked the content a lot. The talk at the beginning about phasing out "lead-footed, defensive-defensemen," and the so-called, "energy guys."

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#3 Goon
August 07 2014, 04:38PM
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BuffaloBillsofHockey:

Producer Matt here! I've sent Dimitri and Derek out to get proper microphones so most/all of the problems you've mentioned should be fixed for next week's podcast. Unfortunately Derek wasn't using headphones for this record which caused the echo and feedback and much of the noise problems - he'll be using them next week! I did the best I could to minimize the noise and echo but it's not something that can be completely eliminated. As for the hard edits, it was unfortunately a tradeoff between having constant noise and echo under Dimitri, or having the edit - I chose to edit. (if you want more technical info - Derek and I recorded at 44.1kHz, but Dimitri's on a Mac which defaulted to 48kHz [I was unaware it would do this, not a Mac guy] and when I went to mix the tracks, I ended up with some problems with sample rate conversion and jitter which caused their tracks to keep drifting out of sync by a couple ms, so I couldn't simply leave Derek's track playing while Dimitri talked without doing *hours* of editing).

As for the panning - are you hearing Derek centre and Dimitri panned hard left? That shouldn't be - I put a very small amount of separation between Derek and Dimitri as I find it helps with clarity when both are talking, but as I said, very small amount. I'll look into why it might be sounding more extreme (I think it probably has to do with the noise on Derek's channel) and make sure it's not an issue next week.

Anyway, thanks very much for the feedback! I've been editing the podcast for a few weeks and trying to clean it up a bit, but this was the first time I actually sat in on the recording. It was really fun and a learning experience and I have a bunch of notes for next week's recording, which should sound *way* better.

-Matt

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#4 BuffaloBillsOfHockey
August 07 2014, 10:37PM
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@Goon

Good to hear from you, Matt.

Yeah, I figured the foldback on Derek's mic was due to monitoring through computer speakers. Proper headphone and mic setups should eliminate these issues, like you said.

I figured you were using the "noise gate" editing as a way to minimize feedback and salvage the situation, as well. Good on you. Honestly, any experienced audio engineer knows that pulling people who were pinned out of the wreckage is a big part of the job, sometimes.

As for Apple, I have it on good authority that Apple defaults with 48K sample rates because we live in an (increasingly) visual society that does more video viewing than just audio.

As for the stereo seperation of the tracks, I understand the concept (hell, I listened to the podcast on my M-Audio EX66's that are set up with my TV) but it induces a problem for those listening in a mono situation. I know you didn't pan Dimitri HARD left, but even 25% to the left means that for those listening in mono, Dimitri is only 75% as loud as Derek at all times. Also, summing the master track don to mono has some added benefits, such as not having to deal with phase-frequency decorrelation right across the entire sample spectrum.

Anyway, nerdy technical gripes aside, a good podcast. I like that you chimed in with a totally valid and interesting question about the Ducks' system, by the way. If you ever want to meet up for a beer and dork out over audio or hockey, feel free to drop me a line anytime, as those are basically my two favorite things in the world.

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#5 Goon
August 07 2014, 11:05PM
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Bill, this is what I find strange - it wasn't the case that Dimitri was panned and Derek wasn't - Dimitri was panned slightly left, and Derek was panned slightly right, by equal amounts. In mono it should just sound the same - there's something goofy going on with the soundcloud upload or something if one of them is panned and the other isn't. I'll probably just mix the podcast in mono in the future though to avoid these issues (and since clarity shouldn't be as big an issue going forward).

Interesting (and good to know) about Apple and the 48kHz default thing.

It's good to know there are other audio/hockey nerds out there! I'm living on the island though, but I do make it over to the mainland on occasion.

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#6 BuffaloBillsOfHockey
August 07 2014, 11:51PM
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@Goon

To be totally honest, I listened on monitors without detented volume control, so each monitor was set by hand. Plus, we're talking M-Audio which isn't exactly famous for it's quality. My old KRK e8's (if I still had them) or my Yamaha NS-10M's probably would've given me something different, but alas, I was listening in the living room. If I'd just listened on my ATH-M30's or MDR-V6's I might've noticed, but that's my fault. Nonetheless, I'd still sum the whole thing down to true mono as it helps out the poor buggers listening on laptop speakers or, more to the point, desktop computers with crappy built-in "soundcards" and a tiny 0.5" tweeter on the motherboard.

As for Apple, despite the forward-thinking image they try to create for themselves, they're definitely contributing to a dumbing-down effect.

There's some really great beer on the Island. I love Driftwood. Lighthouse has some really great stuff as well.

That being said, I live on the West side of Vancouver. Yourself or anyone else affiliated with Canucks Army has an open invitation to meet up at Displace and dork out on hockey, beer, audio or whatever.

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#7 T
August 16 2014, 10:27AM
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I think you mean Jared Spurgeon.

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#8 T
August 16 2014, 10:29AM
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@T

Also great podcast.

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