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Instrumental Invasion, 9/21/22 September 22, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Animation, Audio, Comedy, Film, Game Shows, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Radio, TV, Video, Western.
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The September 21 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded on July 24 (third and first segments) and 25 (all the rest) with a pickup on the 26th.

The playlist was created simultaneously with last week’s show on July 17. Annotations followed on the 19th and the talk break script was drafted on the 22nd. I didn’t realize I had put so many blank-and/n-blank songs in the playlist until drafting the script.

I made another cartoon reference this week – to Freakazoid! – while talking up “Primal Scream” by Maynard Ferguson. The “Candle Jack” segment of episode 2 starts with Joe Leahy announcing that the cartoon would be “presented in SCREAM-O-VISION.” The excerpt leading into “Primal Scream” had Jeff Bennett as the prompter – “scream” in deadpan – and Tress MacNeille as the screamer. The day after I recorded that segment, I learned that David Warner, voice of The Lobe, had died of cancer. Paul Rugg – writer, producer, creator, and voice of Freakazoid – reminded his social media followers of The Lobe’s musical turn in episode 14, “Dexter’s Date.” In the spirit of “Hello, Dolly!,” Lobe, Freakazoid (as Louis Armstrong), and ancillary characters (including Jeff Bennett) sang “Bonjour, Lobey“:

Regarding the Dancing with the Stars tangent I went on in the third segment, a premiere date for season 31 hadn’t been announced when this week’s show was recorded. That date ended up being earlier this week – Monday, September 19. It’s their first season on Disney+, and that platform’s first live show. As noted last night, there are two hosts again, but the dynamic has shifted. Tyra Banks remains in the lead host role originally held by Tom Bergeron with Alfonso Ribeiro (season 19 champion) in the secondary role last held by Erin Andrews. Jessy J had a tenor sax solo during one of the dances!

In a similar vein, playing “Treasure Hunt” by Dan Siegel allowed me to refer to the two iterations of the game show Treasure Hunt. The New Treasure Hunt had a great closing theme: a jazzy rendition of Elmer Bernstein‘s “Main Title” piece for True Grit.

For the second week in a row, songs made their return appearance:

In between the two songs, I played “Don’t Stop” by Paul Brown, leading to my early Mike Chimeri Show anecdote. Go to the 2:13 mark in “anecdote” for my “wouldn’t you know it, they stopped” quip. Jay Mirabile also brought it up at the WCWP Hall of Fame Ceremony in June.

Click here to download this week’s scoped aircheck or listen below:

For airchecking, I scheduled timer records in Audacity on my computer and the one in the guest room. The loopback recording on my computer was flawless, so I deleted the alternate guest room recording, loaded what I kept into Adobe Audition, and went through the usual post-production process.

Instrumental Invasion, 9/14/22 September 15, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Animation, Audio, Audiobooks, Books, Comedy, Computer, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Technology, TV.
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The September 14 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded from July 22 to 24. The fourth segment was recorded on the 22nd because I rightly anticipated it would be the longest. That was followed on the 23rd by all but the last segment, which was recorded on the 24th along with pickups. I started recorded next week’s show later that day.

An additional pickup was recorded on August 26, the day after the untimely death of organist Joey DeFrancesco, who appeared on Lee Ritenour‘s “78th and 3rd” with drummer (and future collaborator) Byron “Wookie” Landham.

The playlist was created simultaneously with next week’s show on July 17 with annotations on the 18th and 19th. The talk break script was drafted on the 20th and 21st.

Three songs made their second appearance, one of which I’ll elaborate on in the next paragraph (two weeks in a row with a false memory):

I played “Angela” in order to correct my January 19 mistake, a mistake I also made in my pre-recorded 2019 Homecoming Weekend show. Listening to Jimmy Burrows‘s memoir on Audible, Directed by James Burrows, set me straight about the “Blind Date” episode of Taxi, featuring the titular character Angela Matusa (Suzanne Kent). (Oh, Suzanne was an original member The Groundlings! No wonder she did Pee-wee’s Playhouse!) Angela wasn’t literally blind; just gruff and cynical, the opposite of her answering service persona. I don’t know where the false memory originated, but I regret the twice-told error.

Nowhere else will you get a reference to SpongeBob SquarePants after playing “Secret Sauce” by Paul Brown (adjacent to the Krabby Patty secret formula that Plankton tries to steal) or to Phineas and Ferb after playing “Candice Dance” by Richard Elliot and a song featuring guitar solos by Perry Hughes (hence, the Perry the Playtpus reference). As noted on the air, Candace Flynn spelled her name differently.

After recording last week’s aircheck on my new PC, I noticed that audio levels were bumped up when certain songs faded out or on vocal pauses in liners and talk breaks. Those bump-ups were replaced with audio from an alternate aircheck on the Dell PC in the guest room. I chalked it up to an audio enhancement setting and thought to have that enhancement off this week. Sadly, the problem was still there this week. I wasted nearly three hours figuring out how to stop that from happening. I now assume it’s related to the motherboard’s “Audio Boost 5” feature.

Finally, at around 2:45 this morning, I came across this webpage. The solution was option 2:

Don’t have a Stereo Mix option? No problem. Audacity has a useful feature that can record the audio coming out of your computer – even without Stereo Mix. In fact, Audacity’s feature may be even better than Stereo Mix, assuming you’re willing to use Audacity to record the audio. This method takes advantage of a feature that Microsoft added in Windows Vista named the Windows Audio Session API (WASAPI) [link added by me]. The feature also functions in Windows 7, 8, and 10, and helps make up for the lack of a Stereo Mix option on modern Windows PCs.

In Audacity, choose the “Windows WASAPI” audio host, and then choose an appropriate loopback device, such as “Speakers (loopback)” or “Headphones (loopback).”

Click the Record button to start recording the audio in Audacity, and then click Stop when you’re done. Because you’re using Audacity, you can easily trim and edit the sound file when you’re done.

How to Record the Sound Coming From Your PC (Even Without Stereo Mix)

It’s ironic that the solution came via free software while a program I paid for years ago – Easy MP3 Recorder 2.0 – and one I pay for monthly – Adobe Audition – are no longer useful on the new build for recording system audio.

The angst caused by the problem is the reason this post wasn’t published until afternoon. I still needed to add these paragraphs and then scope the aircheck.

Click here to download that scoped aircheck or listen below:

The adventure of building my own PC September 10, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Computer, Internet, Personal, Photography, Technology.
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NOTE: This is a long post.

For 3 1/2 years, my bedroom/home studio desktop computer was a Dell XPS 8930 that I had custom built by Dell. All my PCs since 2011, laptop and desktop, had been customized and bought from either Dell or HP.

My needs have grown over time. Media production requires top-of-the-line parts. A video shouldn’t have a render time that’s triple its running time. Photo editors shouldn’t struggle to load files and apply effects, nor should they flicker when operating. On the audio front, it’s frustrating if the computer freezes while airchecking a radio show. That’s one reason I’ve been recording on my computer and the computer in the neighboring guest room: an HP Envy 750-170se, which was even slower than the XPS 8930. And the most annoying thing about the XPS is how its cooling fan screams during an intense task.

Thus, in July, I began searching for a new computer. I had already planned on buying a mirrorless Nikon Z7 II with IBIS (in-body image stabilization), higher maximum resolution, and lower minimum ISO. I’d get it with an FTZ II lens mount adapter so I could keep using my F-mount Nikkor all-in-one lens. (The vertical grip is enticing.) I eventually learned the Z cameras lack a built-in flash and I’d have to buy a speedlight attachment, as well. Review sites like this one recommend a top-of-the-line model, but Nikon recommends what the review site considers #2.

The potential customizations for Dell and HP PCs (desktop homepages here and here) were expensive, but limited in maximum storage and memory. My friends in the Discord chat servers for Technology Connections and Game Dave recommended building my own PC with individual parts. Newegg lets you create, save, and share custom build lists. I shared my build with the TC Discord and they suggested tweaks, which I made. I thought I’d need to double the RAM (random-access memory) of the XPS, from 64GB (gigabytes) to 128GB, but they said 64GB would be fine with the CPU (central processing unit) and GPU (graphics processing unit) I had in mind. 128GB would be overkill.

On the morning of August 27, I had an epiphany: buying the camera before the computer was putting the cart before the horse. I should buy a more powerful computer now (that morning), and save the more advanced camera for later (my birthday in November or Christmastime in December). I made final tweaks to the build to cut costs. I still had highly-rated components, but not as flashy. It all cost $2,890.79, with taxes and shipping yielding a grand total of $3,156.96. The shared build list can be viewed here. If you’re not on a smartphone or don’t have the Newegg app installed (iOS, Android), click the center arrow for full descriptions. 12:30 PM UPDATE: I’ve been told the Newegg build list link doesn’t work for some readers. So, here are direct links to each part (with Newegg’s descriptions):

All but one component arrived between August 30 and September 2:

Yes, I made a gargantuan oversight when picking a tower case: I didn’t check the dimensions! It’s 23.27 inches high, 9.84 wide, and 22.24 deep. No wonder it has straps for carrying at the top. Still, my dad told me that cases that big are better because they allow for more maneuverability during assembly.

The lone late arrival was the mechanical gaming keyboard, scheduled to arrive on Tuesday, September 6. Unfortunately, I wasn’t home to sign for it. Everything else arrived in the evening while I was home, but the UPS driver reached my house in the afternoon on a day when I was out. So, I had to pick it up the next day at my local CVS, a UPS Access Point location.

In the meantime, I was willing to use a spare keyboard temporarily and an old Dell wired USB mouse that I found in a basement storage box as the mouse for my build.

I could have started assembly on Friday, September 2, but bought a new FireWire (IEEE 1394) card on Amazon (this one) rather than swap out the one in my Dell XPS 8930. Amazon is also where I bought an ESD (electrostatic discharge) anti-static wrist strap (this one) to wear during assembly (clipped to the case) and two use licenses for Laplink PCmover Professional, my go-to data migration software since getting the XPS in February 2019 and an HP Omen 15t-dc000 laptop that January. The laptop was superseded by a Dell Alienware m15 R3 in December 2020. I mistakenly sprung for Dell Update, which wasn’t as good as PCmover. I held on to the Omen laptop until cleaning it out last week – uninstalling extra software and logging out of my Microsoft account – and donating it to my sister.

Exactly one week after my purchases – the morning of Saturday, September 3 – I prepped my desk’s computer compartment for its much bigger inhabitant. I unscrewed the door hinges (years after taking out the door), took out the drawer above it (uninhabited for about five years) and unscrewed the supports, removed the plank below the desk center, and unscrewed its supports. There was a cardboard backing behind the compartment that had been partially cut open when I first got the desk in 2004. There was clearance for the back of all computer towers until my build. So, I ripped out what was left.

When the FireWire card was delivered in the afternoon, I began assembling the computer on the guest room L-shaped desk. I had no idea what I was in for.

Hours passed as I struggled to decipher the manuals and juggle parts in my lap, falsely assuming it wouldn’t take long to assemble this to that. I had big trouble with the CPU cooler manual, reading the instructions left to right by column rather top to bottom by row. Somehow, the thermal paste held when I finally figured out how to secure it to the motherboard.

I mistakenly assumed I had to unscrew the motherboard’s back panel exterior before attaching it to the case. No! Why else would the screws be so small?! I had to unscrew the motherboard, re-screw the back panel exterior, then re-screw the board to the case.

Inserting the GPU/graphics card required unscrewing and removing a vertical expansion slot compartment, then removing multiple inserts to house the card. It was a pain fitting the card into the PCI Express slot, then re-screwing the open inserts and re-screwing the vertical compartment. I didn’t bother with the included bracket; the card stood up just fine.

The graphics card made RAM insertion tough, having to finesse them in.

I couldn’t properly screw in the SSD. I settled for barely connecting it with mismatched screws.

The easy parts of assembly were unscrewing the disposable parts of the tower case, screwing in the power supply (the first two things I did), inserting the SATA (Serial ATA) HDD, and attaching most connectors to the motherboard, whether for the components or the case’s front panel. The power LED positive and negative connectors were impossible to secure, but somehow I did.

I usually eat dinner around 4 or 5PM, but it wasn’t until 7PM that I paused assembly to cook and eat it. Then, back to work.

Thinking I had assembled everything, I closed the tower case at around 10:30 and prepped for bed.

After some sleep, I woke up Sunday morning, September 4, ready to turn the computer on, install Windows 11, and start migrating data. It wouldn’t turn on. Thankfully, with the help of Ganiman and Filbert from the Game Dave Discord, I attached connections to the power supply that were mislabeled and I thought were incompatible, but by golly, they all fit and the computer turned on! What a relief!

Notice that the BIOS build date is last December 17. It turns out that predates compatibility with Windows 11. My attempt to install yielded an error message. I figured out on my own to update the BIOS by downloading the latest firmware on the Dell, putting it on a flash drive, and loading it to the new build.

That did the trick. I actually had to install Windows 11 twice (another redo). I initially had it on the HDD, but Ganiman said the SSD is the better option for storing the OS.

After that, the long process of data migration began while I relaxed in my room.

After another night of some sleep, I resumed work on Labor Day morning; Monday, September 5. I moved my desk chair out of the way, disconnected and unplugged the Dell and moved it to the guest room. I left it on the floor and lugged the build into my room.

There’s very little space between the back of the desk and my wall, and less maneuverability for connecting cables. The tower case was too wide to turn towards me. The previous ones could be turned, allowing me to see the back panel from my contorted position to the left of the desk. This time, I had to consult the motherboard manual and connect by feel. Before I could do any of that, I considered placing the case outside to the left and moving the items that had been there – power strip, 8mm camcorder (for digitizing home videos), external FireWire converter (for analog video and audio from camcorders and VCRs) – into the compartment along with the external Blu-ray writer. Realizing that would be a waste of space, I put the tower back in and moved the camcorder and converter under the desk below the keyboard stand, where two 4-head Hi-Fi VCRs were situated. The camcorder went to the left of the VHS VCRs and the converter was seated on the right end of the top VCR. A/V cables were moved to the back.

Three hours later…

It was finally time to open PCmover on the HP Envy and Dell XPS (with the second use license) and transfer from one to the other. In order to see what I was doing, I connected the computers to an HDMI switch that I connected to the monitor, and alternated between them. An error message in PCmover on the Dell said there wasn’t enough room to transfer everything, even when I specified what data would go on the small 512GB SSD C: drive and the bigger 2TB (terabytes) HDD D: drive. Attempts to uninstall and pinpoint folders with the most data didn’t help much. Still another hour had passed once I gave up and transferred anyway.

While that was going on, I made up for lost time by eating a late breakfast in my room and heading to the basement for a treadmill run and weightlifting. After a shower, I checked on the transfer. Despite my specifications, data intended for the D: drive still went to the C:. There were only 10GB left on the C: drive, but clearing unnecessary data brought that number back to around 100GB. I cut and pasted the pictures, documents, music, and videos folder contents to the D: drive along with any other storage folders.

Satisfied, I turned off the computers, unplugged them, and disconnected cables. Then, I got an ultimately-time-consuming idea. Why not take the HDD out of the HP and put it in the Dell as a secondary data drive? Opening the two towers and removing the HDD was easy. Getting into the Dell was where time slipped away. I needed to print out pages from the XPS 8930 maintenance manual to figure out how to seat it. Attempts to remove the graphics card bracket failed, meaning I couldn’t took out the drive slot to screw the drive in place. After attaching the built-in power supply connector and using a spare SATA cable from the motherboard assembly kit, I opened the bag of unused zip ties (cable ties) from my tower case assembly kit and tried to secure the HDD to the slot with them. It worked, but I couldn’t put the right-side cover back on. I seated the drive upside down and the cables were in the way. I tried in vain to swap the straight and right-angle ends of the SATA cable. The zip ties had to be cut off. That’s when I gave up. The HDD would sit loosely in the slot, period. Now, the cover fit back in place and closed securely.

I screwed the HP Envy’s right-side cover back on (much easier), prepared for future disposal, and set up the Dell XPS in its place. I formatted the HP’s HDD and it was ready for use. The only problem was I accidentally allowed PCmover to transfer the built-in HP Recovery software and couldn’t remove it from any drive, not even the “new” one after formatting. Oh, well. I can live with that, too.

Ironically, all my hard labor took place over Labor Day Weekend.

Before I get to the aftermath portion, here are the rest of Monday’s photos:

Aftermath

Things seemed fine on my build once I acclimated to it, but I made another oversight that led to another living nightmare.

The first sign of trouble came Monday morning when I tried to change the built-in FireWire driver to a legacy driver I had used on prior computers. I would just disable the driver and make the change. Wrong! Disabling the drive crashed the computer and forced a reset. I did a test video capture with the irremovable driver and there weren’t any capture freezes (where it thinks there’s no signal) or dropped frames. So, I accepted my fate with the new driver.

The next sign of trouble came that evening when a trial version of Topaz Video Enhance AI froze while loading. Ending via the task manager (Control-Alt-Delete) seemed to help as it worked fine upon reloading. I used the program to test video upscaling speed; only slightly faster than on the XPS desktop and Alienware laptop.

The nightmare came on Tuesday, September 6. Apparently, my computers’ desktop folders are tied to my OneDrive account. Program shortcuts in that folder are visible on all computers. If the program isn’t on the computer, the shortcut goes nowhere and has a blank icon. To remedy this, I either deleted shortcuts or installed the software. The one program I thought to install on my build that was on my laptop was the Nox Android emulator for watching the Optimum TV app. I had been using Bluestacks 5, but at some point this year (when the app was still called Altice One), an update was introduced that rendered the app unusable beyond the login screen. A month ago, I looked for other emulators and found Nox. The app works on there. If Nox worked on my laptop, surely it would work on here. Blue screen of death wrong!

My first attempt to load the program caused the computer to lock up, but not prompt a BSoD. So, I simply reset. I immediately tried to load it again after logging back in and this caused a BSoD! I looked online for solutions and one told me to create a code that allows you to open “Windows without Hyper-V” instead of Windows 11, which I blamed for the nightmare. Hyper-V wasn’t even checked, but I put the code in anyway. It seemed promising when the load progress approached 90%, but bam!, another BSoD. I uninstalled Nox and removed the “Windows without Hyper-V” boot option. I shouldn’t have an emulator to watch the Optimum TV app on a computer in the same room as a DVR (digital video recorder).

At any point during assembly when I ran into trouble, hopelessness and self-doubt kicked in. In those moments, I thought I shouldn’t have done this, that I should have just bought from Dell or HP like I always had. I could add expansions once the pro build arrived. Well, when I entered BSoD hell Tuesday evening, the self-doubt and buyer’s remorse came back with a vengeance. My irrational mind screamed that I blew my money on a lemon, or that I’d have to pay a technician clean up my mess.

Someone in the Technology Connections Discord suggested I update the CPU chipset. All that did was lead to faulty audio and a BSoD with a different stop code, one that I remember: KERNEL_MODE_HEAP_CORRUPTION. The same one came seconds after logging in upon restart, and I didn’t even open anything. After that, I repeatedly typed the delete key to prompt the BIOS menu before Windows could boot. Then, I asked the Discord what to do next. While waiting for a response, I turned off the computer. When I turned it back on, the Windows Recovery environment launched. I was able to roll back to Tuesday morning, before I installed any problematic software. Then, I ran the Windows Memory Diagnostics Tool. As it ran, the TC Discord – I was chatting on the Dell in the guest room at this point – recommended I download and install drivers for the motherboard and graphics card; yet another oversight. I should have done that on Sunday.

I downloaded the drivers, copied them to a flash drive, and installed them all on my computer once the memory diagnosis was complete and no problems were found. Then, I restarted and didn’t get a BSoD in the 20 minutes I was logged in before one more try at disabling the FireWire driver. That still caused a reset, but no BSoD afterward. I took two screenshots of the audio enhancing software included with the audio drivers and called it a night:

Overnight, I had dreams about BSoD and tweaking the motherboard. I woke up early Wednesday morning, September 7, and turned on my computer. There were no BSoD in the three hours it was on before leaving the house for the day. Topaz Video Enhance AI seemed to freeze, at least somewhat, when I tried it out, so I uninstalled it. If I want to upscale video, I’ll buy DaVinci Resolve 18.

Back at home that evening, the mechanical keyboard felt nice. It will take time to get used to and cut down on typos. The accompanying wrist rest, which attaches magnetically, was too thin and firm for comfort. So, I bought a cushy replacement.

I took a photo of the keyboard once I set it up, and screencapped a typing test:

As with the tower case, the keyboard has RGB backlighting and I chose static red as my color. Even the keyboard needed a firmware update, exemplified by a random disconnect and reconnect when I took my first break from typing. That hasn’t happened since the update. Part of the update is a program that lets you save your color preference and that regulates the backlighting, which turns off after five minutes of inactivity and turns back on next time you type.

The replacement wrist rest arrived yesterday – Friday, September 9. I tested the feel lined up with the keyboard and with the keyboard and rest separated by 3/4 inch. The second test felt better, so I secured it with three pieces of mounting tape; left, center, right.

Here’s the result:

As of today, September 10, my BSoD-free streak is intact (knock on wood), but there was no power to keyboard when I tried to log in after turning on the computer, requiring a disconnect and reconnect before entering my PIN. A minute or so later, neither the keyboard nor mouse functioned properly, and both had to be disconnected and reconnected. Checking Windows Update revealed that a USB driver update was pending. That must have been the culprit.

Here’s hoping my build lasts as long as five years before any replacements are necessary. I will surely replace my desk before then, an open kind with easy access to the tower. (Maybe this one?) Until then, thank you for reading about the week-long adventure of building my own PC and the growing pains that followed.

Instrumental Invasion, 9/7/22: Dan Ingram Tribute September 8, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Game Shows, History, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Pop, Radio, Rock, TV.
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The September 7 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was a tribute to the late New York radio personality Dan Ingram on what would have been his 88th birthday. The tribute came 18 years after I played my re-creation of his closing theme edit of “Tri-Fi Drums” by Billy May and His Orchestra (from Wild Stereo Drums) to close The Instrumental Invasion that aired on Dan’s 70th. This tribute covered most of the show. The theme was songs that start with a letter in any of the call letters of stations Dan worked for. Talk breaks were supplemented by edits of jingles, led by my mashup of a WCWP jingle with the bell at the end of the WABC Chime Time jingle:

As I said on the air, thanks to Allan Sniffen and Jon Wolfert for their inspiration. I absorbed Big Dan’s lore from repeatedly listening to archives of The Life and Times of Dan Ingram: In His Own Words that Allan produced for Rewound Radio, and Jon’s The History of Musicradio WABC Jingles, also for Rewound Radio.

The show playlist was created on July 5 and annotated on the 6th, followed by the talk break script draft that carried into the 7th.

Unlike previous weeks, the show was mostly recorded sequentially, two segments per day from July 8 to 10. I recorded the last segment before recording the fifth because I anticipated going over or cutting it close. Instead, I was 14 seconds short, increasing my surplus to 22 seconds. The fifth segment dropped the surplus to 12 seconds. In the process of recording pickups on the 10th, with 12 seconds left to make up, I remixed the second and fourth segments that I painstakingly tweaked to run exactly 18 minutes during initial recording. The third talk break of the second segment was originally speed compressed and I cut my quip about most Love Connection contestants going home solo (a false memory, as the linked entry reminds me) – playing off the name of Julian Vaughn‘s album with “Love Connection” on it. I redid the entire talk break at regular speed with the quip included. Thus, that segment went 8 seconds over and the fourth went 4 over, completing the 18-minute average I strive for.

Speaking of “love,” “jeg elsker deg” (pronounced “yale skaday”) means “I love you” in Norwegian and the “I love you” vocal in Nick Colionne‘s cover of “Hurry Up This Way Again” (on Arrival) allowed me to reference Dan Ingram’s on-air affirmation while married to Norway native Anita Strand.

Enough talk. Click here to download the (tele)scoped aircheck MP3 or listen below:

This was my first aircheck (mostly) recorded from a new computer. More about that in an upcoming post.

Bonus material:

Instrumental Invasion, 8/31/22 September 1, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Education, Football, Internet, Jazz, Media, Personal, Radio, Sports, Travel.
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The August 31 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded over three days: two segments on July 2, three on the 3rd, and one on the 4th before intermittent daytime fireworks began. Pickups were recorded on the 4th and 5th.

The playlist was created on the morning of June 27 before the marathon recording session of the August 17 show and last week’s first segment. Annotations began on June 28, but were delayed until July 1. First, on the 28th, an opportunity arose to record the second hour of last week’s show. I was preoccupied with ripping and editing tracks from two Maynard Ferguson CD album bundles on the 29th. (The bundles contained releases between 1974 and ’79.) On the 30th, new Bluetooth reference monitors arrived and initially worked, but interference led to incessant stuttering. Plus, without a wired connection, I couldn’t record computer audio from “stereo mix.” Installing a virtual cable worked temporarily, but didn’t last. I exchanged the Bluetooth monitors for their cheaper wired equivalent, even though the ones I replaced also had wired connections. Then, I got a 6-foot male-to-male Y-splitter to run from the computer to the input jacks on the left monitor. The computer end is 1/8-inch TRS and the monitor end is dual 1/4-inch TS.

The talk break script was drafted on July 1 and 2.

I recorded the segments wildly out of sequence because I knew that the last talk break would be really long, though not three minutes long! Even by removing ancillary sentences and speed compression, the segment still ended up 57 seconds over! With that in mind, the remaining segments were recorded in order of what I presumed to be shortest. Most anecdotes and callbacks were scrapped from the script, but among those left in were the Penn State allusions: about returning from my sister’s graduation in 2005 and about the legendary 1994 season of Nittany Lions football. Their 2022 football season starts tonight (Thursday night) at Purdue!

As the playlist shows, the other segment recorded July 2 was the fifth segment, making up 13 seconds. On July 3, I worked on the third segment (adding back six seconds), fourth segment (making up 15 seconds), and second segment (making up 21). I was left with a net overage of 14 seconds, but I removed one further anecdote from the last talk break, and that allowed me to break even. All that remained was a tight 18 minutes on the 4th, which I accomplished. Hallelujah. Incidental to that first segment, Fred Wesley, the trombonist on “Theme from Good King Bad” by George Benson, was born on the Fourth of July!

For the third week in a row, I swapped out the second 2017-present segment, this time opting for a second 1985-95.

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below: