Red Mage Briefs #42 – “Audio Quips”

It’s not about what the equipment does, it’s about what you can do through that equipment. That’s where the soul is.
-Richie Hawtin

 

Got the Monday Blues, NPCs? Well, I’m hear to deliver the Monday Reds.

The above misspelling was intentional because the theme of this weekly update will be all about MAGE CAST. My brother sent me a big box of super-cool equipment for my birthday this past week! He told me he was sending an audio interface but the mic, the cables, and the headphones were a complete surprise.

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That means the amount of equipment I still need to collect has been drastically reduced to a handful of mic stands, some pop filters, and another mic or two. As Earthworm Jim would say: “Gotta go fast!” Time is ticking away and the next episode of MAGE CAST is closer than ever. In case you missed it… here is our teaser:

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At this point in time, we’ve got about five more episodes planned out complete with games and guests, though what they are exactly is a secret to everybody. I’m really just budgeting for the rest of the equipment we need and then I plan to bump up the frequency of our episodes to twice a month, hopefully starting in September.
I have another special announcement to, well, announce, and that is that two of our own have offered to take on extra TWRM duties. I wanted to give them both a shout out here!

abxy1 First, that exemplar of jazziness otherwise known as the ABXY Mage (@ABXY_Reviews) is going to be our sound quality imagineer (I made up that title) for MAGE CAST! He’s been playing around with some of the raw audio from our first, admittedly rough, episode recording, so I’m sure the next episode will be much better. Certainly we’ll have the equipment to improve the audio and now we have an audio expert to aid in the same!

coffeemage Second, that chieftain of caffeine, the Hyperactive Coffee Mage (Games with Coffee) is going to be working on creating an Instragam wing for TWRM! I know a few folks who have found a lot of social media success with Insta, but I’ve never personally been able to really find the time for it. When he offered his assistance with admin-y type stuff, I immediately thought I had to get this dude with his scintillating personality on the social media front.

BBMage I have Mr. Backlog, aka the Badly Backlogged Mage, to thank for putting it forward that there are members in our little mage community who want to help more, despite my awkward inability to ask for help in a less awkward fashion. Anyway, I’m thankful to these mages for wanting to be a part of this adventure with me.

The Hyperactive Coffee Mage and I both finished some #magecrit over this past week: Soul Blade for PS1 and Cosmic Star Heroine for Switch, respectively. We also gained a new magely contributor!

FF3-NES-Geomancer The Optimistically Sentimental Alabaster Mage (@berkough) completed an interesting debut in the form of a thought piece on gaming as pulp entertainment. Check it out and give him a warm welcome!

I want to close by mentioning I got sick last week (for my birthday week, but that’s not important right now!) and so I had some down time to give our Patreon page a revamp! Finally! It needed a slight visual facelift but we also introduced a new reward tier and physical rewards. Lemme breakit down now:

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$1 monthly pledge – the Green Mage tier includes access to our patron-only feed where I post the occasional behind-the-scenes image via Patreon Lens, a spot on our Warriors of Light roster on TWRM, RT backup on Twitter, and the new Warriors of Light Collector’s Card (I’ll be sending these out to our current patrons soon)!

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$5 monthly pledge – the White Mage tier unlocks access to Mage Chat on Discord, plus all previous rewards! This is the perfect reward for those looking for a friendly community. Peek at the innermost mechanisms of TWRM, as I typically use Mage Chat as my sounding board, thought chamber, polling place, and writer’s block rehab.

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$10 monthly pledge – the Black Mage tier casts a monthly Tips n Tricks Writing/Blogging article exclusive to Patreon your way! I get asked for guidance and advice about what I do all the time and this is the real compendium of the knowledge I’ve gained since starting TWRM. Of course I am always willing to help people out when I can, but this tier is the extra-mile crash course for writers, bloggers, content creators, social media junkies, and whatever to find some solid, structured counsel, provided you like what we do here. Plus all previous rewards!

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$15 monthly pledge – the Red Mage tier unlocks all the previous tiers and it also brings you something personal: a one-time reward short story I wrote called “The Bamboo Man”, from my heart to yours. I haven’t published this anywhere else and it made a few people cry. Take that as a sales pitch.

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And then there’s the NEW reward tier!

For $20 a month, the Gold Mage tier unlocks access to Well-Red Merch! Yeah finally… There is a different piece of merchandise that will be sent to you each month: Temporary TWRM Tattoos, Coasts, Decals, Shirts, Mages Swimsuit Calendar, and more! New merch ideas and items will come to the fore over time. So not only are you getting everything from every previous reward tier, but now you’ll have some physical rewards to show off. It’s the ultimate Patreon package! I’ll have some pics of the new merch up soon.

 

I hope it’s clear that we’ve really been successful in utilizing patron contributions to continue to build this dream-vision we call The Well-Red Mage? The site is bigger and better designed than ever. More writers and articles are on their way. Paid contributors are closer than before. MAGE CAST has launched. I’m grateful to everyone who has supported us and to those who are considering it! Even a simple $1 helps, if you’re reading this and thinking to yourself “Man, I’m on a budget, dude.” Hey, I know. You’re talking to the $20k in LA guy. Do what you can and give what you like. We’re not a charity. We’re a movement and Patreon is a part of our momentum.

Anyhow, as Mickey Mouse said, “The-the-th-th-that’s all folks!” Thank you for reading!!
-Moses

SPECIAL THANKS as always to our Warriors of Light patrons, former and current!

 

Did you enjoy this post? Consider becoming a Warrior of Light and join us in restoring integrity and quality to games writing. We specialize in long-form, analytical reviews and we aim to expand into a community of authors with paid contributors, a fairer and happier alternative to mainstream games writing! See our Patreon page for more info!becomeapatronbanner

7 thoughts on “Red Mage Briefs #42 – “Audio Quips”

  1. I’m so pleased you’re on your way with gathering recording equipment. It makes such a difference and it will totally be worth the investment.

    Sound is always the first thing I notice in media probably due to studying music tech/sound recording for 5 years. Having a mic each will improve the quality immensely and pop shields are a necessity.

    I’m looking forward to hearing your next podcast with your new equipment!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw thanks! I am definitely thinking of this as an investment. It’s taking me some time to collect everything but I think it will be worth it once it’s all purchased.

      The sound quality was my biggest embarrassment with the first episode, as much as I loved being a part of that conversation. So I really just want to wait until I get everything before we record a second episode, only some of my friends are champing at the bit to get on the mic haha!

      I really want to pick your brain, if I may. What are some mics you’d recommend and what should I look for in a mic stand? Will a crane that attaches to my table pick up the sound of bumps against the table?

      Like

      1. Of course, no problem!

        Ideally, it would be nice to get condenser microphones, preferably with a cardioid polar pattern to limit room noise. Condenser mics are tailored for voices but I might be getting too technical here.

        The Rode NT-1A is a safe bet as a popular, fairly ‘inexpensive’, professional standard, condenser mic without going OTT, but even that might be a bit overkill for what you’ll need it for. Mics are expensive.

        The XM8500 is a cardioid dynamic microphone. Naturally, they’re cheap compared to condenser microphones, so my advice would be to buy duplicates of this mic for now. This way, all your recordings will be consistent and I think they’ll be fine for what you need them for. If you feel like you still want better audio, then maybe try condensers further down the line.

        As far as stands go, for dynamic mics, I’d highly recommend using a boom stand on the floor as opposed to on a table. Condenser mics almost always come with a shock mount which helps reduce vibration noise, but unfortunately dynamics don’t work the same.

        Pop shields are a must have though. You’ll be surprised at the sounds mics can pick up and how much even an abrupt exhale can affect a recording without one.

        Hope that was helpful. Let me know if there’s anything else I can possibly help with.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I appreciate that a lot, as that’s some really concrete info! Thank you so much!

          Technical sound isn’t my forte or even largely in my history so I’m learning from scratch. Fortunately, I now have two XM8500s and I plan to eventually replace my Yeti mic. To fit everything in my budget for now, I bought two table-mounted cranes for the XM8500s and I’ll use those and the Yeti for the next episode. That at least should be a step up for the next episode, especially with the pop filters I got. Fingers crossed!

          Liked by 1 person

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