Thursday, May 25, 2017

Arduino IDE: Best practices and gotchas

Programming for the Arduino is designed to be easy for beginners. The Integrated Development Environment (IDE) provides a safe place to write code, and handles the make and compiler steps that are required to create processor instructions from your C++ code.

This is fine for trivial applications and school exercises. But as soon as you try to use structured code (including classes and custom libraries) on a larger project, mysterious errors and roadblocks become the order of the day.

This article will consider best practices for working within the IDE. I will document a number of common errors and their workarounds. My perspective is of an experienced Python coder who finds C++ full of needless obfuscation. But we can make it work!
Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Valentine's Day microphone test revisited

OK, so this article was meant to be posted months ago. Something happened and it went into limbo. Only one reader, Wojtek, noticed. I am not sure what this says about the popularity of this blog!

In the original Valentine's Day microphone comparison I tested three sets of mics in different scenarios. The files are still available, so you should visit that article if you haven't already.
Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Great invention: flash memory

So, as I got ready for my next field recording excursion I reflected on how much easier things are, now we have flash memory. I mean, what a great invention! Non-volatile, no moving parts, light as a feather, and tiny. Did someone win a Nobel prize for this? I hope so.

It's also truly ridiculous how much memory I carry. For fun I thought I'd do a little inventory.
Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Comments on field recording gear

This article will provide technical details and discussion for my Valentine's Day microphone comparison. First I will outline some requirements for field recording and discuss one useful specification. Then I'll discuss the specifics of the gear, typical pricing, and conclude with some remarks about relative value.

Hopefully this article will suit beginners as well as slightly more seasoned recordists.
Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentine's Day microphone comparison

It's Valentine's Day, which means that spring has sprung here in Ireland. I know my Canadian friends will find that hard to believe! But the crocus are out, the trees are budding, and birds are starting their courtship and territory marking.

So I did what every field recording mammal does on a day like today... I went out for a walk with two different recorders and three sets of stereo microphones. I thought I'd share with you some sounds, since every now and then it's fun to compare gear. Well, in truth I have been in more of a philosophical than technical mindset lately, so this was a nice change of pace.

What follows is a microphone comparison that developed over three updates. I think it's done now!
Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Zoom F8 Firmware Update 3

This is a rather belated post. But, as you can see from my website, I've been rather busy.

In August of last year I wrote a number of articles on the Zoom F8. One of these listed firmware suggestions to improve the recorder. Since then Firmware 3.0 was released, so I've edited that article to indicate which of the suggestions have been implemented. The majority have, which is incredible service on the part of Zoom. (I know some of you are reading this, so thanks!)
Thursday, January 05, 2017

The Devil's Dictionary of internet terminology

This internet business is big money, people tell me. And apparently most of the money is spent by the marketing department, inventing new buzzwords. If I had a penny for every time someone used one of these nonsensical terms, well, then I'd have an internet business model.

To aid in linguistic understanding and to further world peace, I've been compiling a helpful dictionary. The start of a new year seems a good time to share, before we are overwhelmed with a new crop of jargon.

Virtual: On a computer.

The cloud: On someone else's computer, trusted implicitly for your security and privacy.

Platform as a service: On the internet.

Web 2.0: A method of refreshing advertisements without reloading the entire web page.

User-driven: Market-driven.

Market-driven: Profit-driven.