Monday, December 10, 2007

Too much coffee, audio editing, Terra Incognita, Praedari and Christmas

I've managed to drink too much coffee today whilst editing the narrative for episodes/chapters 21, 22, 23 and 24 of Terra Incognita. The practical upshot of that is that whilst I feel tired, I know I can't sleep (perhaps that's self fulfilling?) But, such is life! Episode/chapter 21 of TI has been uploaded to and should be live on the site in the next couple of days. I've also uploaded it to, as with all the other episodes, and it can be downloaded from there - each of the episode/chapter pages on my web site has a link at the bottom to the mp3 for that episode/chapter hosted on

I'm hoping to get at least another three chapters edited together this week, and Kevin has reiterated his desire to complete the narrative recording before Christmas. With any luck, and a following wind, all thirty-six chapters will be complete by 31st December 2007 and released on an unsuspecting audience... That means a fun schedule to complete fifteen chapters in twenty-one days. Not too bad, editing the narrative for each chapter takes around forty minutes and editing that together with the dialogue and sound effects takes another three to four hours for each episode/chapter :-D

When TI is complete, I'll be taking a break from audio editing for a couple of month - I could do with a bit of a break from constantly thinking ahead to the next episode/chapter and the one after that and the one after that and... This will also give Kevin a fairly good chance of getting a fair chunk of the narrative pre-recorded for Praedari, although it will mean I'll have a bit of catching up to do. Thus far, everyone who's voiced one of the major characters has agreed to reprise their roles for the sequel. I've also had a few offers of extra voices, which will help a great deal.

I'm also going to be investing in a new bit of kit for the PC...

This is a XENYX 1204FX Premium 12-Input 2/2-Bus Mixer with XENYX Mic Preamps, British EQs, 24-Bit Multi-FX Processor and USB/Audio Interface and it is what I would have bought this year for recording TI, if only I'd known it existed... The major advantage (for me at least with this bit of kit) is that it has XLR connectors for microphone input and the output is a standard computer USB - so no more line noise. Although I suspect I'll be needing some new XLR audio cables as well :-( This is a Behringer bit of kit and more details are here.

So come February if anyone reading this wants the 4 channel mono mixer I have and can give it a good home...

This isn't a bad bit of kit by any means, I'm simply looking for an upgrade ;-) and will pass this one along to a good home. I bought it from Maplin here in Ireland and it works nicely - line noise being a function of cables without enough shielding!

The page on the Maplin web site for the mixer is here...

Praedari picks up the story started in Terra Incognita a couple of months later, I'm hoping that I'll be able to release it through under the Creative Commons License (as with TI). I'm also going to be having the manuscript for TI professionally edited and reviewed by John Jarrold. It's kind of a deeply seated hope that John will be interested enough in TI to consider it for representation... But that is in the future and as we all know, there are no guarantees in life!

I should mention that both of the images used for Terra Incognita and Praedari are the work of Peter Sharpe who is an exceptional digital artist. His web site is full of examples of his work and it may be found here.

I'm now officially excited about Christmas, all the money is spent, the cats are enjoying redecorating the front room with the Christmas tree as well as the wrapping paper that was until recently securely around presents... As a result, I'm starting to get into the spirit of things ;-)

I read on the BSG Wiki the other day that the intention is to finish the series at the end of season 4. A great shame, but infinitely better than continuing and being axed before the end of the story may be told to everyones' satisfaction (Farscape and Firefly are two that spring readily yo mind). Still there's always Tony and Ciaran at Starship Sofa to roll out the science fiction in the weekly Podcast. The Geordie Duo have a couple of stories by Michael Moorcock for download (mp3 format) and they are both pretty good to listen too ;-)

I finished Eifelheim by Michael Flynn the other day, very good read and an intriguing idea. Really enjoyed the book, although I was a little miffed at first with the alternating to present day, until that plot thread began to link in a more defined fashion with the core of the story. I'd highly recommend it as worth reading; although I do have to say that it comes (for me at least) a very good second to Blindsight by Peter Watts. I've now moved onto Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse 5. I've not read any of Mr Vonnegut's work before so it promises to be an interesting experience!

Best get on and get some sleep, the working week is fast approaching!



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