Jun 8 2005, 02:22 AM
A while ago, someone mentioned putting some fan movies together for Shadowrun. I suggested a radio play as a cheaper alternative. I've been toying around with the idea (got a plot outline in my head, along with a few scenes of dialog), but never got very far because of a few major problems. Namely, casting, recording, and distribution.
For casting, I'd love to draw on fellow Dumpshockers, rather than get my college age sister-in-law to go drafting acting students. Frankly, I wouldn't rely on anyone other than you crazy fraggers to take the material seriously.
Given the geographically diverse nature of the Dumpshock, recording dialog would seem to pose a problem. Recently, I've heard of Skype-casting. Basically, it's a voice-over-IP (VoiP) conference call, but the sound quality is better than standard phonelines. It's also free. We could distribute the script to all the actors, agree to meet at a set time, then do some dry reads while recording the whole mess. Someone would then have to edit the whole mess (isolating good clips, splicing in sound effects and adding music).
With the advent of BitTorrent and Podcasting, distribution is a no-brainer. Once the shows are written, recorded and mixed, an RSS feed can point fans to a download site, be it Dumpshock or a BitTorrent tracker.
Even if there's no interest in a radio play, what about just a straight "this week on the forums" podcast every weekend? Basically recap some of the more interesting threads, discuss the latest info regarding SR4, maybe talk about real-world tech news and how it would translate into SR, do Skype interviews with various board members, etc.
Jun 8 2005, 04:26 AM
I have no time or energy to do anything active, but I think it's a rocking idea and I suspect Dumpshock would be willing to handle hosting and front page posting in some form.
[Getting the Dumpshock front page "activated" has taken a total backseat to work ... really need to get some interested people to help revive it and handle the day to day stuff, really.]
Jun 8 2005, 06:36 AM
I had actually considered a Shadowrun podcast radio drama at one point, but due to lack of local voice-acting talent dropped the idea, at least until after the launch of my other Shadowrun-related projects. You bring up a very good suggestion about using VoIP to remove the necessity to be in a single location—although it'd be a lot more fun to do it all in a studio, it's probably a lot more practical like this.
I'd be up for throwing my lot in with this.
Jun 8 2005, 07:24 AM
I'd be in for it, though you'd get a werid mix of accents depending on who you picked.
Jun 8 2005, 07:52 AM
You'd have to pick people who either could eliminate their accents or had accents that fit their characters.
The Canterbury Tail
Jun 8 2005, 11:39 AM
One problem, with Skype you can only have 5 people in a conference call (irritatingly as I want six for my game). I think it is theoretically possibly to daisychain conference calls together but I'm not sure how it works.
Jun 8 2005, 12:22 PM
Spooky - do you need foreign language samples?
Jun 8 2005, 01:25 PM
| You'd have to pick people who either could eliminate their accents or had accents that fit their characters. |
Given the multi-national flavor of Shadowrun, I thinnk accents shouldn't be too big a problem (as long as we don't cast someone with a thick Austrian accent as an elite American commando <cough>Predator<cough>
|QUOTE (The Canterbury Tail)|
|...with Skype you can only have 5 people in a conference call...|
Radio plays work best with a small cast of characters. Without visual cues to help you differentiate the characters, the listener gets easily confused. The conference call limit actually works to our advantage; it forces us to keep the script tight.
And if we're doing a 'this week on the forums' type show, 5 slots should be more than enough (2 hosts + 3 slots for guests).
|QUOTE (mattnes pl)|
| Spooky - do you need foreign language samples?|
I'd love to find an actor that can do a good Brasilian/Portuguese accent.
Kagetenshi, expect a PM from me. West, Cant, Matt; thanks for the interest. I'll keep you in mind if/when we go ahead with the radio drama.
Jun 8 2005, 01:41 PM
I'd be willing to lend somethign resembling voice "talent", and if it's a good script my wife might also participate (she's been pushing to find things we can do together in my hobbies as I have with hers)
Jun 8 2005, 02:03 PM
Yeah, SR players are notoriously geeks, and geeks are notoriously bad voice actors... I personally would go find some of my actor friends, sit 'em down in front of blade runner and mad max, then hand them the script.
Jun 8 2005, 02:28 PM
I could do the editing, and to a relatively professional level (my major was in video/film production) I would just have to accquire again a decent suite for it. Unfortunately, my preferred program Pro-Tools FREE doesnt come in a PC compatible version that i know of yet, only Mac's...
Jun 8 2005, 03:09 PM
I could do some voice acting. I've actually got professional experience. I've done several radio commercials in my home town and I played about 4 different characters in the online animated series, Reconstructors
for the toy company, K'Nex
. (Under "COMIX" click "View Episode")
Jun 8 2005, 04:19 PM
|QUOTE (Aku @ Jun 8 2005, 10:52 AM)|
| I could do the editing, and to a relatively professional level (my major was in video/film production) I would just have to accquire again a decent suite for it. Unfortunately, my preferred program Pro-Tools FREE doesnt come in a PC compatible version that i know of yet, only Mac's... |Check again
...or don't. Apparently, it doesn't work on WinXP. Sorry for the confusion.[/edit]
For a weekly talk show, our editing needs would be rather simple - 2 or 3 people using Skype, with one of them recording it and touching it up a bit in post (intros and outros). However, I'd much rather have a pro (or semi-pro) doing the job when it comes to a radio drama. If/when we get to that point, you're at the top of the list, Aku!
Check again ...or don't. Apparently, it doesn't work on WinXP. Sorry for the confusion.[/edit]
heh, no problem, it's really a strange thing Digi-design is doing with that... I've even tried running it on some old compatability settings, to no avail.
the STRANGEST thing is that you can BUY the program for a windows system.
But to be semi on topic, i agree, a weekly "show" of sorts wouldnt need much done to it (perhaps some post balancing if one of you kooks gets a bit too excited and loud, but for a radio play, it would be a bit more involved, likely adding the sound effects etc.
Jun 8 2005, 05:38 PM
Well, the Mac version is for OS 9, so it's pretty clear that they haven't updated it in quite a while for either platform.
true, but atleast with os X, you could boot into os9 and it would work fine. Now that you'd mentioned it, i remember having to do just that when my school had installed osX, a pain in the rump roast, but it worked.
Jun 8 2005, 07:16 PM
OSX is going to be released soon for x86 machines. (Search "marklar" on google.) In theory, the "dynamic shifting program" (a.k.a. emulator) Rosetta, which will be included with OSX for the PC, will let you run OS9 programs. Also, mac is switching to Intel more or less exclusively, although they appear to have the OS set up to run on nothing but Mac-made systems.
Jun 8 2005, 07:21 PM
The developer notes for Rosetta specifically state that Classic is not supported, along with G4/G5-optimized and AltiVec code.
~J, Apple Developer Connection member
(even though this isn't really the right forum)
Ya know, i'm actually rather excited that apple is changing to intel as it's official chipmaker. I might actually follow it enough to be confidant in seeing if i can get it working on a dual boot with my existing windows machine, as a switch to intel means it will now be working with "regular" hardware, which was the main reason i've never really followed macs in the past, i grew up as a pc boy, and can install and build custom systems, but a mac's hardware is...foreign to me. if this means that i'll now be able to buy OsX, install it, and then be able to run Pro tools,, FCP, and everything else i need to be a professional, i'll be in heaven.
I've actually been looking to start my own editing business, but the cost of getting everything (and aprticularly a mac) is rather prohibative.
Jun 8 2005, 07:53 PM
I'm… cautiously hopeful? I do a moderate amount of FCP work myself, and I can say for sure that I'm going to be upgrading on the last revision of PPC hardware so I don't have to worry about markedly inferior vector processing, a quarter of the number of registers, and all the rest of the baggage that will come with downgrading architectures. This could be a very good move long-term, but how it works out short-term will mostly depend on how whether or not Intel can make something decent of x86 in the next two years.
You will not be able to install it on your current machine without some hacking, as Apple has not decided to stop being a hardware company.
Back on topic, does anyone know of any mics that attach to preexisting headphones? It'd be nice to have something that'd move with my head, but I've got no intention of going back to the kinds of headphones that have integrated mics if at all possible.
Ahh, drats, than i misinterurpted the AOTS news segment last night :*(
Umm, i hear duct tape works wonders for all sorts of hardware intergration needs
But i also don't think it would take any major electrical skill to pop a cheap mic out of the holder and attach it to your headphone cable, either.
Jun 8 2005, 08:12 PM
No, probably not.
Has anyone given thought to the best way of recording all this? Scott Kurtz suggests having a separate computer in on the conversation dedicated to recording, but that cuts down max actors/scene to 4 (unless we get creative in splicing segments).
Jun 8 2005, 08:16 PM
Or, we pre-record scenes and segments as separate tracks
I would suggest againist individual recordings, it prevents a natural feeling that everyone is in the room at once actually doing this. The best way is to record the scenes indvidually, , only having the people that need to be in it there at any given time.
Another option might be to do something in like a personal yahoo voice chat room, if it's possible to record those, I'm honestly not sure, nore am i well versed in the quality differences.
Jun 8 2005, 08:38 PM
Quality would not be that great
Jun 8 2005, 10:30 PM
I just saw this and I would be very interested in being voice talent. I took some acting classes and I have ben in a few plays so I do know something about acting. I am also a aspiring writer so I could help out (if wished) on story aspects.
Jun 8 2005, 10:33 PM
You can see my geekdom in action with at the following website...Boomstick Deoderant
I acted in this and came up with a few of the lines.
Jun 9 2005, 12:47 PM
|QUOTE (Kagetenshi @ Jun 8 2005, 04:12 PM)|
| Scott Kurtz suggests having a separate computer in on the conversation dedicated to recording, but that cuts down max actors/scene to 4 (unless we get creative in splicing segments). |
How bad could it be? One host runs Skype and Audacity on their system; everyone else just runs Skype. From what I've heard, Skype isn't that big a CPU hog (can't confirm yet - it keeps abending whenever I try to start it). I've read that it uses ~30% on a 1Ghz P3; that should be a piece of cake for an AMD-64 3400+. As for Audacity, I'd have to do some tests first. What are you seeing on your Mac? Given the Mac's reputation as a multimedia machine, I wouldn't be surprised if you get more positive results.
If we really need a stand-alone system for recording, I've got an AMD-64 3400+ with 1GB and an AMD 1900+ with 768MB set up in my office; I could use one while recording on the other. I'm sure you've got a spare or two lying around as well.
Rethinking that last bit. I'm on a 768 DSL line. Running 2 Skype clients at the same time may choke it. If that's the case, you'd probably need a cable modem connection to run 2 clients. Otherwise, we're looking at a 3rd party recorder which, as you noted, cuts us down to 4 max actors at any time.
Jun 9 2005, 03:48 PM
I'm running on 256kbps upstream, 1.5mbps downstream. I just tested and it looks like the issue is the difficulty of getting both the incoming audio from Skype and the audio from the local mic at the same time—I've looked around, and I don't think Audacity supports grabbing audio before it leaves the computer, but I may be wrong. Give it a shot and let me know if you have any better luck.
Actually—I do have an idea for a workaround, but A) I don't know if Skype would support it, and B) it'd require that I echo all of my audio to myself, and I'm not sure if I can deal with that. It's amazingly distracting, if you've ever had the chance to try it.
More later. We should set up a testing session soon.
Jun 9 2005, 04:06 PM
Take a look at this:http://spider.nrcde.ru/music/software/eng/vac.html
Virtual Audio Cables. Basically creates a virtual patch board for 'wiring' inputs and outputs. Windows only, unfortunately.
There's also this:http://www.hotrecorder.com
Which works directly with Skype, but records in a proprietary format (.ELP). Also Windows only.
Jun 9 2005, 04:11 PM
Yeah, I know of similar solutions for the Mac—the problem is capturing both the audio from Skype and the stuff directly from the microphone. There's also the fact that, at least in my opinion, it's better to capture audio in which everyone has been through Skype so we don't end up with someone's voice having meaningfully different audio quality/volume/etc.
Jun 9 2005, 04:26 PM
I guess at this point all of this is academic until I've got Skype working. I'll dig into it when I get home from work today. The baby's either at her aunt's house this afternoon or hanging out at the bar down the corner (I always get those confused), so I'm distraction-free for a change. After that, I'll check out Audacity and/or hotrecorder. VAC is a last resort.
As for trial runs, I can pencil time in this weekend. Weekdays, I'm available after 6:00.
OK... think I got it. Record Skype with HotRecorder, then feed HotRecorder output to Audacity for the post mix. All free, and supposedly easy to implement.
Jun 9 2005, 05:57 PM
A baby...hanging out at a bar....Ooookaaayyyy.
Jun 9 2005, 06:02 PM
They start hitting the Milk Plus early these days. I hear she's already started playing with the toy steel pipe; maybe she'll get one a real one in a few years.
Jun 9 2005, 06:05 PM
I would definitely love working on something like a radio broadcast or voice acting. Always wanted to try it.
A flash movie is never out of the question. For a great example, www.madnesscombat.com - A friend made a run out of the idea. It was....Many-layers-of-armor-ed.
If you need network stats, I use Verizon DSL with a wireless router. Usually pretty fast, but a thunderstorm can cause trouble (ions mixing with the wifi signal, meh.) and sometimes I just lose connection for a little.
PM/respond if you guys think you might need me.
I've got some flash skills too, the drawing part isn't so great, but the programming/animation of said artwork isn't so bad.
hopefully in the next week ro so, you'll all be able to see what i mean when i unveil a topsecret project.
Jun 9 2005, 07:18 PM
Think I figured out my Skype problem:http://forum.skype.com/viewtopic.php?p=128211
Basically, turning on DEP/NX protection with a 64-bit CPU prevents code from executing out of a data area. Skype appears to be doing this, so Windows spanks it. Turning off NX protection for Skype should get it running again.
Jun 9 2005, 07:32 PM
That's… not a good sign for Skype's quality of coding. Ah well, as long as it works.
Jun 9 2005, 09:43 PM
Good news: Skype is working. So is HotRecorder. Still have to see about posting with Audacity, but I don't expect any problems.
Bad news: my Logitech headset mike is sh*t. My s's are burying the needles.
I turned off microphone boost and that helped a bit, but I'm a little low now. I think we're good enough for a dry run, but I definitely think I need to invest in a better mike. Anyone have any good, cheap recommendations?
Jun 10 2005, 01:41 AM
Well, I'm not a specialist but acoustics might matter in the instance. Get a mic which catches the sound and blocks out echos from walls at the same time (I.E. one with a half-exposed reciever) and that might help.
Jun 10 2005, 12:44 PM
or, if you don't wanna spend money guessing on it, make a small receiver for it out of a non relfective surface (say cardboard) shaped into a cone thats relatively wide. doesn't have to big, just enough that it will funnel your sounds in, and block everything else out.
Jun 10 2005, 01:35 PM
Regarding podcast RSS enclosures in WordPress 1.5:
Supposedly, all you have to do is add a link to the .mp3 (e.g., <a href=”http://www.yourwebserver.com/myfile.mp3">My Podcast</a>) and WP does the rest.
a good overview of how enclosures work under WP.
Oops... forgot to mention that this was in response to a note Adam sent about hosting the podcast file. Sorry if I confused anyone.
Jun 13 2005, 02:03 PM
K & I had a dry run this past friday. Everything went well. There was a minor problem with sound quality, but we think we've got it under control. We've chosen the topics for the first show, and we're tentatively scheduled to hit the studio either wednesday or thursday. Barring any unforseen problems, we should have the podcast ready for download by monday of next week.
Jun 18 2005, 07:16 AM
So who did you guys end up going with for voice talents?
Jun 18 2005, 02:32 PM
I'd be interested in hearing it. Post teh linky when you get it up.
Jun 18 2005, 02:47 PM
| So who did you guys end up going with for voice talents? |
For starters, we're Kagetenshi and I are just doing a straight-up podcast. We've got a few ideas for some simple (30 second) productions, but we both agreed that we should get a single episode under our belts before going any further.
Due to scheduling conflicts this week, we haven't started recording yet. First episode is slated for the 'studio' this Monday. Expect us to post it for downloads sometime next week!
Jun 20 2005, 12:40 AM
I wish you guys the absolute best of luck and think that if this works, you could really make a killing either in both audio-only or in flash-animation type stuff (which is probably more accessable to the masses and might help Shadowrun as a game).
Irony of ironies, I found my headset/microphone (So glad to have done so) and if you guys need me, my offer to VA for you still stands. Keep me posted on this one and, again, best of luck!
Jun 21 2005, 01:40 PM
Grrr... more technical issues last night. We were able to record 75% of the show, but then the recorder program blew up, taking the entire show with it. Hopefully, it was just a nasty fluke. However, to prevent this from happening again, we decided to record the show in smaller chunks, saving them as we go along.
As for the show itself, the opening was a little rough, but once we worked ourselves into a rhythm, we sounded pretty good! We both agreed that it was a good learning experience, even if we lost everything
Kage's schedule is packed this week, and I'm taking a few days off in Atlantic City to hone my poker chops
, so we won't be able to try it again until next monday. Sorry for the delay.
Jun 21 2005, 03:03 PM
Forgive me because I have not read the entire thread (I am trying to be sneaky at work). Will you be making the results of your efforts available for download?