Bruce (kor27) wrote,

Bits and Connectors

I got to markobellydance and celticnoor's place around 10:30pm last night. The party at that point was them, Roger, candiddani (with some very intriguing price stickers), and jefferson. Then Lisa and Jefferson left within 10 minutes of my arrival.

I really need to look into a better deodorant.

timenchanter showed up not too long after I did, and Kristi started us playing several rounds of Asshole. Fun, even if I never quite figured out all the rules. It's hard to get my brain to take games seriously enough to incorporate them.

Which would matter if I cared at all about winning.

Anyway, a very pleasant few hours with them, then back home, where I, well, did more shopping. It is one of my favorite time-wasters.

I believe the latest bit started with the microphone. As I mentioned, the announcement mic has been cutting out on me lately. It's happened a few times before, then cleared up, and I've never really been able to get a good handle on what's failing. I've thought at various times it was the XLR connector on the board, the mute button on the board, and, on Thursday, it felt like it was the on/off switch on the mic.

At one point a few months ago I was even pricing new mixer boards. A hint: They're not cheap.

So, anyway, with the "microphone is the point of failure" theory in hand, I started looking at microphones. I've never liked that one anyway. It's supposed to be a cardioid mic, but it's a bit too omnidirectional, and simply having it on can spawn feedback through all of the enabled mics.

I of course eventually found a Sennheiser I liked (I'm such a sound equipment label whore - and I'll take Sennheiser over Shure any day), and after several hours of digging, found a place that would sell it to me for under $70, including shipping.

OK, there was another one I liked quite a bit more, but it was also quite a bit more expensive, and it's hard to justify the additional cost when the primary purpose of the thing is for announcements. My voice may be low, but an 80Hz floor should be quite sufficient, as opposed to the 40Hz floor on the other.

I had all of that narrowed down and ready to go when some saner part of my mind (damn it) decided it would be a good idea to hook up the present mic and cable, and see if I could play more with failures. And, as it turned out, I couldn't. Damn thing was totally and 100% reliable.

So I'm going to have to put off purchases until I actually discover what the hell is actually going wrong. Maybe spray a little contact cleaner on the connectors, while I'm at it.

But I still hunted down and bought an official Sennheiser wireless mic clip. It's gotta be better than the one I've got.

Somewhere in there I tried sleeping for a bit. Didn't take.

So I bought some discs. is having a sale on some slightly out-of-date Pop Hits Monthly discs, they had some songs I wanted, and I got a $6 off coupon with the last shipment. So for only $2 more than the Thursday night tips, I managed to score 32 songs, over half of which are new to the collection.

Not that anyone necessarily wants to sing Fergalicious, but ya never know.

And then on into DJ land. I've been considering trying my hand at simple mixing, since everyone and their brother seems to want dance mixes. Somewhere in the boxes around here is a fair fraction of my old music collection (granted, Lene Lovich isn't all that danceable, and most people don't know how to dance to Silly Wizard), and I could start haunting Rasputin to build up some cheapish 80s tunage.

I've been looking into this on and off for a month or two, and have held off mostly because of the prohibitive cost of most halfway decent mixer programs. Last night I ran into Mixxx, an open-source program.

It looks like a good solution for simple mixing. The problem right now is the matter of getting a separate sound stream for the headphones. My motherboard supposedly provides that, but it looks like it only does so for the main output vs. the front panel headphone connection, which is kinda hard to test because I don't have a front panel audio connector on my case.

I don't even want one, I want a nice feed out the back that I can run to my mixer board, where I can play with volumes, and quickly prescreen mixes. It should be a $10 piece of hardware, if it exists. I'm just having some trouble finding it. Everyone seems to be busy moving back-panel connectors to the front, instead...

Meanwhile, I haven't had a whole lot of sleep (too restless), and I need to get myself together to visit the 'rents this evening.

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