Saturday, December 30, 2017

Video recording woes

Getting the audio right shouldn't be this hard...

I've spent a considerable amount of time lately creating machine generated Morse code videos for copy practice.

I've created videos of the top 100 Words, 500 Words and today, the top 100 most common words in a QSO, at different speeds.  I'm machine generating rather than keying them by hand because I would make too many mistakes.  I do this through my memory keyer connected to the computer via a terminal application and capture the text being sent along with the audio.

Getting the audio right has been hard. When I record screen captures on my PC it wants the audio to be recorded at 44 kHz but when I transfer that to a Mac to use my video editing software, it expects the audio to be recorded it 48 kHz, and converting the audio in the video just doesn't work well.  I use an H2 USB mic for the recording.  If I set the mic and the PC screen capture software to 48 kHz I get no audio. So I have had to record at 44 kilohertz on the PC. I'm sure there's better screen capture software that could be used on the PC but I haven't been able to find it for free. I guess I'm too cheap.

This has caused my videos to have popping noises in the transferred audio. While I've tried to fix it during the editing process, it still sounds bad to me.

So, you may wonder why haven't I just recorded the videos on a Mac from the beginning rather than using a PC?  Well, I haven't been able to get the OSX terminal application to talk to my 1990's MFJ Super Memory keyer via the serial cable. For some reason my Mac doesn't have a driver for the usb dongle I used to talk to the old memory keyer but my PC does. I searched a bit more and found a non-free terminal application that will let me connect to this serial cable.  Now I connect from the Mac and capture the keyer output.  I'll spend hundreds of dollars on ham gear but ask me to shell out $30 for computer software and I balk.  And after all, I'm a software developer, shame on me.

So, starting today, my new videos should have improved audio and be at a higher resolution than previous videos recorded from the PC.  

These practice Morse code videos seem to be popular with folks, so I hope they're helping people. They're a lot of work but I guess they're worth it.

That's all for now...

So lower your power, and raise your expectations

Richard AA4OO 

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