Thursday, March 26, 2009


Greetings from Hawaii. What a crazy long way from home this is, but how simple it is to get here (put it into your favorite mapping program, it will tell you to just go straight across the Pacific - not a problem, but a jet helps). It's just another state. So everything works, U.S. money, bank cards, cell phones. The Outrigger Waikiki Beach hotel where we are staying is extremely hospitable. This should be a fun visit.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Live Recording with the Zoom H2 - Epilog

See previous

Last Saturday I took the H2 to the House of Blues in Cleveland and recorded Dickie Betts. Dickie allows taping, but I thought I'd try out my stealth since they have overly strong security at that venue. I had no issues with stealthiness.

In general, I would say that recoding with the H2 is much less prone to error than with the Rockbox iRiver. Once it is set, just turn it on, press record to arm and press record again to confirm. I used the same levels I used for the last show (78, and it is set at the least sensitive level).

I have not used any of the compression or limiting and there hasn't been any issues with overload. The levels also haven't been too low. Just no issues (so far).

The recording is great. Betts brings a three guitar, two drummer (plus bass and keys) ensemble. They can do "Allman Brothers" style music very effectively, and as my friend Nick said, he obviously just loves to play.

Monday, March 09, 2009

How Bad Is it?

8.1% unemployment. That's bad. Unemployment was much worse not that long ago. How about the entire period of November 1981 through December 1983. What was that like? In the media it was always somewhat gloomy, but it seems like the media negativism is worse this time. And even more mindless.

There have been some economic extremes in my lifetime. How about 18% mortgages? Or double digit inflation year after year. Globally. And whatever happens to the U.S. is usually much worse in most of the rest of the world.

Most people in the U.S. do well all the time. Some never do well. During such crises, there is a bit of crossover of the mosts to the somes. If the media didn't over play it (and we "mosts" never looked at our 401k statements), the mosts would hardly be aware of the crisis. 

I truly believe that contributions from the media towards a negative psychological state of the masses are significant to overall trends. Most of it isn't news from a well-informed source, it's just drivel. 

So the answer is, it's not that bad. Who do you trust, TV writers or me? At least I have an MA in economics. If you have some dough and can figure out some winners, it's time to buy!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Live Recording With the Zoom H2 (Part Two)

See also Part 1

My second recording with the H2 was a bit of a clandestine affair. Instead of bringing a mic stand to the show, I used the very nice, discrete black cloth bag that comes with the H2. This particular venue is a pretty laid back club - no strip search, metal detectors, etc. and I recorded there many times with my Rockbox. But sometimes it's best to take a "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

So the little, thin bag that comes with the H2 fits loosely on the device. It is acoustically transparent, so once I set levels, I simply left the bag on the table pointed towards the stage. I had recorded in this club many times so I knew that the best place to sit is right by the sound board. 

The recording came out far better than expected. Usually this room has a very boxy sound to it - there is nothing that can be done, it's a very boxy room. In this case the recording is much better than any previous I had made. Again, the mics pick up nicely and the 24 bit digital sounds smooth.

I am convinced the H2 was a good choice. I have several big shows coming up (check my calendar) so I hope to give it a workout. 

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

New Photos From the Ice!

I posted a couple new albums last night. The first is from a rec league all star hockey game at Quicken Loans Arena (where the Cavs play). the second is also the Q ice, the U.S. Figure Skating Championships from January. Both sets were taken by me with Gayle's cool Casio camera. It has a long zoom for a ultra compact camera (7x). Still, it's hard to get really great results without a faster lens, more light, etc.
All Star

2009 US Figure Skating Championships