New Media Gear 22: Blue Microphones Spark Digital Studio-Grade Condenser Microphone for Apple iPad and USB 2.0

New Media Gear 22: Blue Microphones Spark Digital Studio-Grade Condenser Microphone for Apple iPad and USB 2.0

I don’t often currently have the need to record high-quality audio to my iPad or iPhone, but I know a lot of podcasters who record to their mobile devices as a matter of course. The Spark would certainly add a level of quality to mobile recording while removing the need for mixing boards, phantom power and other encumbrances that make location recording difficult. The Spark plugs directly into the data connection of both older iPads using the 30-pin connector and also newer units with Apple’s Lightning Connector.

I have always liked Blue’s products, including a Blue Snowball that I currently own, and the Spark looks like it could be another great product. 

Listen to audio samples from Blue Microphones web site

From Amazon.com…

  • Features Blue’s legendary studio condenser capsule and electronic components
  • iOS compatible with iPod touch (4th Gen), iPhone 4/4S, iPad/iPad2/iPad (3rd Gen)
  • Use the Apple Lightning Adapter (sold separately) for compatibility with iPhone 5, iPad (4th Gen), and iPad Mini
  • Work with Garage Band and other recording applications
  • Focus Control switch offers two sonic signatures in one mic, plus onboard control for volume, gain and instant mute
  • Headphone jack for zero-latency real-time monitoring

Click for more information and reviews on this product.

Blue Web Site

Previously on New Media Gear:

News: iTunes Podcast Show Submissions on Vacation from December 21-December 27, 2013

Just got this email from the iTunes Store crew. Please note that this only effects the submission of new entries to the Podcast Directory, not submissions of episodes on existing shows.

iTunes Podcasts

Dear podcast provider,

Submit a Podcast will be temporarily unavailable from Saturday, December 21, to Friday, December 27, 2013.

During that time, Submit a Podcast will not be accessible and you will not be able to submit new podcasts. Processing of metadata changes to existing podcasts will be delayed.

If you have any additional questions, contact us.

Sincerely,

The iTunes Podcast team

Video: WordPress Wednesday 3: Backing up with WordPress Database Backup Plugin

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Short WordPress tips to ease your way, especially if you are just getting started with WordPress.

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I show how to install and use WordPress Database Backup plugin to protect your WordPress. You can back up manually or set it up to automatically backup your data via email.

WordPress Database Backup Plugin

See previous episodes of WordPress Wednesday in this playlist

 

Music: “Go Kart” by Kevin MacLeod (http://incompetech.com) under Creative Commons License.

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Video: WordPress Wednesday 2: Update to WordPress 3.8 this week

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Short WordPress tips to ease your way, especially if you are just getting started with WordPress.

WordPress 3.8 has just been released. Here is a quick demo of installing the new update. it is so easy that everyone should do it and anyone can.

Wp wed title 002

 

 

Music: “Go Kart” by Kevin MacLeod (http://incompetech.com) under Creative Commons License.

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Video: The Ox: A documentary on Eric Hollenbeck is a master woodworker who owns and operates the Blue Ox Millworks in Eureka, CA.

Excellent short documentary by Ben Proudfoot about Eric Hollenbeck is a master woodworker who owns and operates the Blue Ox Millworks in Eureka, CA. Eric talks about work, life and finding a place to fit in when it seems you don’t fit anywhere.

The Ox  DEC 11 2013

Discovered via Kottke.org

Gift Guide 2013: Moleskeine Journals

Moleskeine Journals of all sorts

No matter how much technology i have at hand, I always find myself falling back on my paper journal as a data gathering, thought-provoking and capturing, friend. Yes, I carry and iPhone, but there is something about writing things out longhand in a paper journal that makes you think more deeply and locks in the information more completely. Moleskeine journals are the sine quo non of paper journals. Their quality is high and they have been carried by artists and business people for generations. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, lines and more, including day-to-day calendars, travel journals and city guide. 

My favorite is this large, lined journal. Right now I have a Lego Moleskeine waiting to be put into service as soon as I fill my current journals. I can’t wait!

 


More 2013 Gift Guide Items:

23 of My Favorite New Media Things for November 2013 – Douglas E. Welch

My Favorite Things 

As always, let me know what types of interesting items you would like to see and I will keep an eye out for them especially. — Douglas

It’s Christmas Time Again with Grant’s Advent Calendar Podcast

Grantsadventcalendar

Whatever your religion, you probably have some traditions that center on the Winter Holidays — whether Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Winter Solstice or just seeing it as a time for celebration for being “halfway out of the dark!”  One of our traditions has a New Media twist to it.

Every year for the past 4 or 5 (I would guess) we have subscribed to a podcast by Grant Baciocco — Grant’s Advent Calendar. We first met Grant through his great work on The Radio Adventures of Doctor Floyd — a pioneer podcast that brought all the fun and silliness of old time radio to the 21st Century.

Grant’s experience with the Dr. Floyd podcast led him to podcasting one of his Christmas traditions. Each  year his parents would fill an Advent Calendar with trinkets and he would open one door a day, much like many other kids. Grant’s grown up now, but he still brings his “childlike excitement” and silliness to the Advent Calendar each year.

Grant produces a video a day from December 1-25 where he opens the appropriate door on the advent calendar and shares its contents with us. But he also does more — so much more! Each video contains a skit, a parody, a musical number, an on-location opening — you never know quite what to expect each day — which is exactly what an Advent Calendar is all about.

Visit Grant’s Advent Calendar on the web! Episode 1 for 2013 is already available.

 

You can also catch Grant’s other series, Uncle Interloper Space Explorer on the same channel!

 

Gift Guide 2013: Rode Podcaster Microphone

Rode Podcaster USB Dynamic Microphone

The Rode Podcaster is a very popular microphone among both podcasters and YouTube video producers. It has a deep rich sound that makes nearly anyone sound better and more professional. This USB mic plugs directly into a USB port on Windows or Macintosh computers so no mixing  board is necessary.

The Rode Podcaster also has an innovative work around for one of the downsides of a USB mic. Due to the design of a USB mic, you cannot monitor yourself i.e. listen to yourself using headphones, as you can with traditional mic and mixing board combinations. This is due to the fact that there is a delay caused by the computer processing the signal directly. The Rode Podcaster, though, includes an earphone jack directly on the microphone itself. From this you can monitor yourself as you speak without any delay being inserted. A nice touch.

More 2013 Gift Guide Items:

Gift Guide 2013: MXL Studio 1 USB Desktop Microphone

MXL Studio 1 USB Desktop Microphone

Another nice, entry-level microphone for the podcaster or other media-maker in your life. 

From Small Business Trends, Podcasting Microphone: Review of MXL Studio 1 Red Dot

“I am not a sound expert, but I have used several external microphones over the years to record both audio and video (well, the audio portion of my videos).

But I have to say that this little microphone kit is now one of my favorites. It comes bundled in a durable carrying case, which is a small point. But one that makes a lot of sense given that most podcasting types are probably also mobile types. The company sent me a media review unit for this post.”

Read the complete review 

More 2013 Gift Guide Items:

Video: WordPress Wednesday 1: Updating Regularly

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Short WordPress tips to ease your way, especially if you are just getting started with WordPress.

Today’s video quickly shows how to update your WordPress, plugins and themes using the WordPress Dashboard and how to tell when there are updates waiting to be installed. More tips and more detail coming with future episodes in this series.

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Music: “Go Kart” by Kevin MacLeod (http://incompetech.com) under Creative Commons License.

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Gift Guide 2013: Zoom H6 6 Track Portable Digital Recorder

Zoom H6 6 Track Portable Digital Recorder

While this item is a bit pricy for a holiday gift, it is an amazing device. I have used several of the Zoom recorders in the past, including the H1 and H2, but the Zoom H5 looks to be the recorder I have always wanted. If you have a podcaster, YouTuber, or other new media creator in your, extra special, gift list, this might just be the ticket to make them very, very happy.

Features:

  • Interchangeable input capsules that can be swapped out as easily as the lens of a camera
  • Six-track simultaneous recording
  • Four mic/line inputs with XLR/TRS combo connectors
  • Gain controls (real knobs!) and -20dB pads for each input
  • Phantom power for all main inputs: +12/+24/+48V
The addition of XLR connectors with Phantom power opens up large opportunities for high-quality remote recording outside your “studio” including interviews, live shows and more. The interchangeable capsules also provide a high amount of flexibility in how you might use the recorder.
 
I must admit that the Zoom H5 is definitely on my own personal wish list!
 
 
From Amazon.com…
The ground-breaking Zoom H6 handheld recorder will change the way you think about portable recording. With interchangeable stereo X/Y and Middle-Side microphone capsules included, plus Shotgun and Dual XLR/TRS Combo input capsules available separately, the H6 is the ultimate chameleon of the audio world — and its advanced preamps make it the best-sounding one too. Whatever your application — live recording, professional film/video work, or broadcast ENG (electronic news gathering) — the H6 can handle it with ease. The H6 offers four main inputs (1-4), plus two additional inputs (L, R) that are derived from whichever capsule (X/Y, MS, Shotgun, or Dual XLR/TRS Combo) is plugged into the unit. The supplied XYH-6 X/Y capsule also provides a secondary input for connecting an external mic- or line-level signal via a stereo 1/8″ Mic/Line In mini phone jack. When a connection is made to that jack, signal from the X/Y microphones is muted. The H6 Line Out is an unbalanced stereo 1/8″ phone jack, located on the bottom of the H6, beneath the LCD display. It carries the analog stereo output signal, as determined by the H6′s internal mixer. The H6 USB port, located on the side panel to the right of the LCD display, provides a digital output of either a stereo mix or the six individual input signals, depending upon the setting of the “Audio Interface”function in the USB menu. In addition, the H6 provides a headphone output with a dedicated volume control, located on the side panel to the left of the LCD display. Connect your headphones to the stereo 1/8″ mini phone jack for private monitoring of the stereo output signal. The H6 even has a built-in speaker, located on the underside of the unit, for fast monophonic monitoring of the recorded signal without the need to make any connections whatsoever. This speaker is automatically disconnected when connection is made to either the Line Out or Headphone output.
 

More 2013 Gift Guide Items:

Gift Guide 2013: Blue Yeti Microphone

 
Another great USB microphone from Blue. Like the Blue Snowball microphone mentioned in earlier Gift Guides, this mic connects directly to the USB port on your computer — either Windows or Mac. The Yeti gives a full, rich sound and is compatible with all the typical New Media uses such as video conferencing, podcasting and recording voice or music. The Yeti is very popular with podcasters and live streamers and can often be seen in these productions. I think its classic styling, unlike the futuristic look of the Snowball make it more popular for video production. Its design  harkens back to an earlier day of broadcasting.

More 2013 Gift Guide Items:

News: WordPress 3.7 Update Now Available

WordPress has been upgraded to version 3.7 and I saw notification of this in my WordPress Dashboard today. As usual, this is for users who host their own, local, copies of WordPress. If you you use WordPress.com, your blogs will be updated automatically.

Here are a few updates available in this new version…

  • Background Updates
    • Automatic updates for maintenance and security updates.
    • Daily updates for developers using nightly builds.
  • Stronger Password Meter
    • New password meter to encourage users to choose stronger passwords.
  • Improved Search
    • More relevant search results.
  • Better Global Support
    • Localized versions will receive faster and more complete translations.
    • Background updates will include translations

For a complete list of the extensive updates, view this page at the WordPress Codex, WordPress Version 3.7.

Upgrade your locally hosted WordPress sites today!

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Subscribed 44: Wavelengths Speakers Series from Pepperdine University

Subscribed 44: Wavelengths Speakers Series from Pepperdine University

A close friend of ours is producing this fine series of videos for Pepperdine University. They cover a wide topic area and recent videos include Dino Djalal on Lessons from Indonesia, Director and screenwriter, Nelson Oliver on Bigotry’s Continuing Influence and William Least Heat-Moon on Survival.

From the Wavelengths Web Site…

“Great writers. Inspired thinkers. Dynamic speakers. Pepperdine University Libraries brings them to campus – and now to you online. Wavelengths are webisodes of insight, inspiration and wisdom from speakers at Pepperdine Libraries.”

LinkWavelengths Speakers Series from Pepperdine University

Least heat moon

What are some of your favorite Subscriptions? Share them here in the comments!

Previously highlighted on Subscribed:

Subscribed is a Careers in New Media series  highlighting the Podcasts, YouTube Channels and Blogs that I follow on a daily basis. Check out this entry, and past entries, for some great New Media Content — Douglas

New Media/Social Media Jobs Available – Search by Location and Keyword

Check out our list of New Media jobs (and others) available via SimplyHired.com.

Enter your location for jobs close to you. You can also search on other keywords.

Newmedia jobs

Video: Interviews with authors of “Cut to the Chase” and “Inside the Room” from UCLA Extension Writers’ Program

Below are YouTube playlists for a series of videos we produced for the UCLA Extension Writers Program to accompany their new books on television and screenwriting, Cut to the Chase and Inside the Room.

There will be 18 videos from various chapter authors released over the next several weeks.

Interviews with Authors of Inside the Room

Interviews with Authors of Cut to the Chase

Buy the books!

  

More WelchWrite Work Examples: UCLA Extension Writers’ Program – 20th Annual Publication Party Videos

Below is a playlist of some additional work we recently produced for the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program — recording and editing individual author videos from their 20th Annual Publication Party. Six videos are currently available with another 12 coming soon. You will eventually see all 18 videos on this playlist.

If you a writer, I highly recommend subscribing to the UCLA Extension Writer’s Program YouTube Channel for more great content like this and the author interviews we produced for their new books television and film writing, Cut to the Chase and Inside the Room.

Pub Party Intro Screen

Subscribe to the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program YouTube Channel

 

Subscribed 43: Digital Photography School

Subscribed 42: Digital Photography School

While I am not a highly dedicated or professional photographer, I always like learning a bit more about everything and Digital Photography school provides a wealth of information. I regularly find myself saving and sharing articles from the site. The tips range form hardware reviews, to lighting, to lens to tips for specific shooting situations. A great addition to your subscriptions.

Digital photography school 

What are some of your favorite Subscriptions? Share them here in the comments!

Previously highlighted on Subscribed:

Subscribed is a Careers in New Media series  highlighting the Podcasts, YouTube Channels and Blogs that I follow on a daily basis. Check out this entry, and past entries, for some great New Media Content — Douglas


Tip: Add YouTube Subscribe badge to your site and blog posts

Every YouTube Producer knows how important it is to gain subscribers to their YouTube Channel. Subscribers drive the views, minutes watched and likes that help to raise their channel above the other noise on YouTube. One great way to increase your subscriber is to include an easy-to-use subscribe button alongside your video blog posts and on our blogs and web sites. It’s even easy to do.

You can create your own YouTube Subscribe button by visiting this Google Developers Page

Youtube subscribe

You’ll find a few configuration options there…

Youtube subscribe config

…and even a tool to help you create the HTML code for the button. Simply enter your channel ID (in my case, dewelch), set your size and color options and the HTML is created for you to cut and paste wherever you wish.

Youtube configure

Here are the results for my own channel.