Stupid Computers


To say that I have been frustrated the last twenty-four hours would be understatement at best. At times I have been down right hostile and even, as Ben and I discussed the word last night, furious.

Why?

Okay, so we did the fundraiser to purchase a new computer for Podcast 99. The old one, the famed Groger-9000 was just on its last legs, with dead USB ports and locked into Windows 7 with no upgrade ability to handle the correct audio software we use. Mostly though, it had developed a nice 60Hz whine that comes through on recordings and makes them basically unlistenable. Thanks to the generosity of some donors and a White Knight investor, we were able to get a brand new machine that should last for years.

We'va all been there, eh?

We’ve all been there, eh?

I spent most of yesterday setting it up and plugging in all the inputs and outputs and installing the software and doing the interminable Windows 10 updates. Then I went to test record to get ready for Monday.

And, of course, it wouldn’t record anything. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Not a peep.

Cables were checked, software settings were rechecked and eventually I got it to record, but it sounded like… well, pardon my French but it sounded like shit. A phasing issue made it sound like I was in a tin can with a low level vibrator attached to my skull. For good measure there was an added helium balloon-like sound that kept coming and going. It took hours, but I got it all dialed in and went to bed.

Got up Sunday, turned it on, waited for the inevitable Windows 10 update and started to practice again, only to find that it was back to not recording anything again. This is the point where my “fury” more or less entered in to the the picture. I would change a setting, test it, get more frustrated and angry. Eventually I walked away from it to watch the Giants game, which obviously did not help my mood at all.

Finally in desperation, I hooked up my laptop to see if I could get that to record, thinking that I would then copy over the settings. This is that moment when people who are familiar with the literary concept of “foreshadowing” will understand that I am about to have a “eureka!” moment. The recording on the laptop sounded every bit as bad as the one on the new Roger-9000 (no “G”).

Aha.

So I dug out my small mobile mixer I use when I need to go out on the road and record, hooked it in and voilá, everything worked like a champ.

Of course.

So my beloved 16 Channel Peavy analog mixing board*, that I’ve had since my days as a failed professional musician with Coby Gill & The Slippery Fish Band (2000-2007), is apparently dead. Or at least very sick. In any case, it can’t be used for recording anymore. Luckily I had a replacement board in storage. I dug it out and have it installed, and things seem to be working. For the moment. I’m almost afraid to go to bed.

So… IF everything goes according to plan, at some point tomorrow morning I can sit down in the studio and push “RECORD” and actually mean it for the first time in months.

Keep your fingers crossed!

 *It is actually the one you see in the picture at the top of the page!

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Posted on January 8, 2017, in News & Notes and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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