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> Recording game sessions, Advice?
knasser
post Mar 25 2010, 10:26 PM
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I'm thinking, if my players agree, that I'd like to record my next game session when my campaign restarts. I don't know anything about how I'd do this other than it presumably involves microphones at some point.

Can anyone give me some advice about what I'd need and how to do this? I have one good vocal mic from a friend if I need it.

We should have six people including me. Session will probably be around six hours. Environment is my living room.

Anyone know anything about this sort of thing? Thanks for any help,

K.

EDIT: The plan, btw, is to share the recording assuming any of you all would be interested in hearing session recordings. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) I don't know how large a six hour recording would be though or whether I could host it or not.
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Squinky
post Mar 25 2010, 10:37 PM
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Audicity is a good start for recording program.

I listen to podcasts like a fiend (best way to keep me drawing) and this site had a good post about how to get started doing that:

http://nlcast.com/2009/06/how-i-podcast-2009/

I would love to hear it, but I would think you should break it off into smaller episodes. I've listened to a few other podcasts of folks playing tabletop games, and the only thing that ever kinda sucks is when something funny happens and your headphones explode with uncontrolled sound (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

Good luck man, I've thought about doing the same thing for awhile now.
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Malachi
post Mar 25 2010, 10:59 PM
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I like listening to other people's games to see how they run them. I have heard Audacity is good, too. Also, your mic makes a big difference: get a good one. "Good" generally eliminates most standard computer microphones. A good one will be bulky and feel heavy when you lift it. Also, editing will be required to make it "listenable." Cut out parts where you pause the game so someone can go to the bathroom, where some drops their soda loudly on the table, and crank down the gain when everyone laughs and the sound level goes through the roof. Also, depending on how sensitive an audience you're going for, you could think about bleeping out the swears but that's up to you. I'm already looking forward to it!
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TeOdio
post Mar 26 2010, 12:59 AM
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If there is nudity involved, use a camera, if livestock is involved, better avoid it all together.
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nemafow
post Mar 26 2010, 01:38 AM
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I'd be interested to have a listen to how someone elses session is run
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knasser
post Mar 26 2010, 06:07 PM
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I have (borrowed) what I am told is a good mic. It's certainly not a "computer" microphone. It's a big fat thing with Sennheiser written on the side of it. I've tried it out and it works very well with me talking into it. But how well will a single microphone deal with several people positioned differently around a room chatting away. I was expecting people to tell me I need a mixer or an amp or whatever. Does anyone know a bit more about this stuff?

K.
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Khyron
post Mar 26 2010, 06:56 PM
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Set up the mic in various places in the room doing sound tests from different locations to find the best possible location to pick up multiple people sitting in different spots. The type of mic will also help figure this out. Is it a boom mic? An omnidirectional? A shotgun mic?
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fistandantilus4....
post Mar 26 2010, 07:33 PM
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Get an omnidirectional, test it out with it hanging over the table, or on a small stand in the center. Just make sure it isn't a directional mic. If you've got any friends in a band, they should be able to help. Having everyone around a table should be the way to go obviously. Try and stay on the subject, tangents will get pretty crazy. Remember that if you've only got one mic, everyone talking at once is going to be a pain in the ass to understand. Other than that, do a dry run first, maybe just a ten minute conversation, before the night you guys actually plan on running the game.
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tete
post Mar 26 2010, 07:41 PM
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Theres a zoom microphone that seams to be all the rage for recording gaming. I think its this one http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000VBH2I...VTTAZM46SWYGQX5 and I will second Audacity is great for editing especially for the price of free.
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Bob Lord of Evil
post Mar 26 2010, 08:26 PM
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I tried it, first few games people were very self conscious about it but they did forget about it after while.

It would be interesting to setup a camcorder and record it...from a GM perspective it could help identify things...

Am I getting around to including everyone?
Who looks bored? (i.e. playing solitaire on their laptop)
Does the session drag anywhere?
Who steals my frickin cheese nips!?! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/rotfl.gif)
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Dwight
post Mar 26 2010, 08:47 PM
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QUOTE (nemafow @ Mar 25 2010, 07:38 PM) *
I'd be interested to have a listen to how someone elses session is run


Try here: http://www.hiddengrid.com/

I haven't listened to them extensively but they are the only SR centered podcast that I know of.


@knasser

The above podcast has a subforum on this message board. You might try asking the General subforum. With all those podcasters there they could likely give lots of tips. Not only for recording but editing, setting sound levels on the final audio, etc. I think the Hiddengrid current actual play sessions are recorded from the VOIP stream, I haven't dug back to know how much experience they have with live recording.

You can try over here, too. I've listened to their podcast and their audio is pretty good so they have an idea of what they are doing: http://www.swingandamiss.net/forums/ . I'm intending to play with them some day, hopefully soon. I met them through a con session I ran recently (a redux of Reservoir Dogs).
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LurkerOutThere
post Mar 26 2010, 08:47 PM
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Man if I recorded my session I'd probly get only about a two to one gametime to tangent/innuendo ratio.
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Dwight
post Mar 26 2010, 08:57 PM
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QUOTE (LurkerOutThere @ Mar 26 2010, 01:47 PM) *
Man if I recorded my session I'd probly get only about a two to one gametime to tangent/innuendo ratio.


Editing, your friend. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Catadmin
post Mar 26 2010, 09:15 PM
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QUOTE (Bob Lord of Evil @ Mar 26 2010, 04:26 PM) *
Who steals my frickin cheese nips!?! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/rotfl.gif)


Umm, do you really think you're going to catch out experienced SR players that easily? Seriously?

These types of people know how to play a GM. It's their job. They won't leave a shred of evidence.

...maybe I should have said "crumb" though... Nummy. These are some good cheese nips saltines.
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knasser
post Mar 26 2010, 10:40 PM
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Thanks for all the helpful replies. Dwight - that looks like a goldmine of advice on the subject, thank you. Fist, good to see you again - been a long time. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) We don't play around a table, we play around a circle of sofas and my GM table, but it's probably okay. I'll stick the mic on a little stand in the middle. Everyone talking at once... I don't know what I can do about that, but maybe I can use the microphone as an excuse to try and keep some order. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif) Nah, it wont work. But never mind, losing parts of it is inevitable.

tete That link is very useful - it's good to see the sort of thing I'd need. I could buy one of those if I wanted. I'd prefer to find some way of trying it out first though. I'll see if any local shops carry it.

Does anyone know how much space a five hour recording would take up at a reasonable quality. My friend would probably be willing to host it for me, but I'd prefer to not ask if it's going to use up a lot of bandwidth. I understand if I used bit torrent that would reduce the bandwidth a lot. I have my website on my own server so that shouldn't be a problem, I'm thinking. I've no idea how popular this would be. Some of my PDFs get downloads in the hundreds, rising up to things like the Matrix Examples which passed a thousand fairly easily. I'm looking at an MP3 on my phone which is four minutes long and takes up 6MB. At that rate, five hours of recording would be 450MB. That sounds like a lot. What are the chances if I used bit torrent that people would leave this seeding?

Sorry - I'm asking a lot of unknowns now. Never mind. I'll see if there's any way I can try out one of those mics If there is and it's good, I might try this. The sessions are usually a lot of fun. I'm sure people would enjoy listening.

But video is out. Too much blackmail potential. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)

K.
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Wandering One
post Mar 27 2010, 12:12 AM
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Knasser, couple of things to look into if you're not fully setup still.

First is if you work in an office of some kind, usually you can get the 'older' conference room phones, or at least borrow one for the weekend if you're good with the techies. The cheap ones run at least $260 or better, so not something most people would pick up for a one shot, but you can usually work them into a phone recorder on a computer if you've got a fax/VOIP line. they're built specifically to pick up a large group at a distance and might help you with what you need. An example of some: http://www.google.com/products?rlz=1T4GGLT...ved=0CCEQrQQwAA

Another thing you can do is with sound editing software is reduce the # of channels down to only the needed ones, and that can help shrink the file, depending on what you record it with. I'm not experienced at it myself but a buddy of mine chews my ear off occassionally about it, and I remember that being a key to dealing with the final file sizes of them.

Hope that might help a little.
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