Jim Willis https://www.jimwillis.org virtual basecamp since 1996 Fri, 27 Mar 2020 13:18:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 159492268 Recording Music/Video with GarageBand on iPad and video on iPhone – Part 1 https://www.jimwillis.org/recording-music-video-with-garageband-on-ipad-and-video-on-iphone-part-1/ Fri, 27 Mar 2020 13:18:08 +0000 https://www.jimwillis.org/?p=2498 If you’ve spent anytime at all on YouTube watching videos of guitarists you know that they range in quality from quick and dirty iPhone videos to more elaborate multi-screen, multi-track presentations. Until this week and being quarantined and all with the Coronavirus pandemic, I had never really given much thought to posting my own videos […]

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If you’ve spent anytime at all on YouTube watching videos of guitarists you know that they range in quality from quick and dirty iPhone videos to more elaborate multi-screen, multi-track presentations.

Until this week and being quarantined and all with the Coronavirus pandemic, I had never really given much thought to posting my own videos or how one might even go about doing so.

Over the past few days, I’ve hit on a pretty good middle-ground between the quick and dirty iPhone video and the more elaborate, high-production quality videos and figured I’d share how I do it.

Here’s an example of a video I recently recorded of Bob Dylan’s Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright using the setup detailed below.

I’m going to break this HowTo into 3 sections:

  • Part 1, recording guitar and vocal into GarageBand on iPad using 2 external microphones
  • Part 2, recording the video component
  • Part 3, synchronizing the audio and video component and publishing the final product.

Part 1

Recording guitar and vocal into GarageBand on iPad using 2 external microphones

I record my audio using Garageband. By design I don’t do a lot of tweaking to the default settings. I use the preset “lead vocal” setting for the vocals and the default “nice room” setting for the guitar. I don’t fiddle with the EQ.

Here are some details from Apple on using the “Audio Recorder” function of GarageBand on iPad. Some very useful stuff here and worth looking over.

Recording into an iPad Pro with external microphones requires some kind of Audio Interface to convert the XLR or 1/4″ inputs of your microphones into USB for the iPad.

I have an older Zoom H4n Pro that does double duty as field recorder and an audio interface (here’s how to set it up). I got lucky, I had no idea it had the audio interface feature when I bought it, but it does.

So I didn’t need to buy an interface. If you need one, for under $200, the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is referenced on a lot of websites/videos as being a good safe bet.

Once you have your microphones and XLR cables, here’s a diagram detailing how I get them into the iPad.

Once you have all the hardware hooked up, you can just record into GarageBand.

You can, of course, go down some really deep rabbit holes of which microphones to use, mic placement, eq, etc. Feel free. I’m using a Shure SM-58 and a Sennheiser 609 that I usually use for mic’ing up my amplifier but seems to work just fine for vocals. Very easy to start chasing marginal gains with this kind of stuff. My advice is get it good enough and start recording.

There are a couple of minor settings changes you need to make in GarageBand to do simultaneous multitrack recordings. This guy has a fantastic video. If you’re not super-familiar with GarageBand and don’t want to through your iPad out the window trying to sort out multitrack recording on your own, I highly encourage you to sit through this guy’s tutorial.

Ok, so that’s the audio part! I’ll write up the video and synchronization stuff as soon as I can.

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Friday Links for Mar 20, 2020 https://www.jimwillis.org/friday-links-for-mar-20-2020/ Mon, 23 Mar 2020 13:28:41 +0000 https://www.jimwillis.org/?p=2491 10 Ways to Ease Your Coronavirus Anxiety – These simple tips will help you relax and put things in perspective — in between washing your hands, of course. A Guide to Managing Your (Newly) Remote Workers – Good tips from HBR A cough, and our hearts stop: Coping with coronavirus anxiety and fear – More […]

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  • 10 Ways to Ease Your Coronavirus Anxiety – These simple tips will help you relax and put things in perspective — in between washing your hands, of course.
  • A Guide to Managing Your (Newly) Remote Workers – Good tips from HBR
  • A cough, and our hearts stop: Coping with coronavirus anxiety and fear – More tips
  • How to Introvert & Save the World – Didn’t read yet.
  • Spacejoy – Get expert help to design and decorate your Home online | Interior design services – Looking at redoing my office, need help.
  • @jeffjarvis/COVID / Twitter – Jeff Jarvis has a good list of COVID experts on twitter.
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    Friend of the Devil — Martin D-18 https://www.jimwillis.org/friend-of-the-devil-martin-d-18/ Tue, 17 Mar 2020 12:42:26 +0000 http://www.jimwillis.org/?p=2489 We are on mandatory lock-down here in NJ to help flatten the curve. Yesterday, late in the afternoon I made the mistake of looking at Facebook. I should have known better. Facebook just seems to bring out the worst in people. So I figured I might try to tilt the scales a little bit more to the positive […]

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    We are on mandatory lock-down here in NJ to help flatten the curve. Yesterday, late in the afternoon I made the mistake of looking at Facebook. I should have known better.

    Facebook just seems to bring out the worst in people. So I figured I might try to tilt the scales a little bit more to the positive and record a song and post it. I am going to try to do more of these while we are locked down at home.

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    Friday Links for Mar 13, 2020 https://www.jimwillis.org/friday-links-for-mar-13-2020/ Fri, 13 Mar 2020 13:39:57 +0000 https://www.jimwillis.org/?p=2486 Desktop-Class Productivity for iPad – Things Blog – Cultured Code – Release notes with cool tips. Individual vs collective climate action – Those who are concerned about the climate crisis need to do a better job at highlighting that more than 70% of the climate problem is caused by just 100 corporations Not a ‘math […]

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  • Desktop-Class Productivity for iPad – Things Blog – Cultured Code – Release notes with cool tips.
  • Individual vs collective climate action – Those who are concerned about the climate crisis need to do a better job at highlighting that more than 70% of the climate problem is caused by just 100 corporations
  • Not a ‘math person’? You may be better at learning to code than you think – New research from the University of Washington finds that a natural aptitude for learning languages is a stronger predictor of learning to program than basic math knowledge, or numeracy.
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    Conveying Presence/Availability During Remote Work https://www.jimwillis.org/conveying-presence-availability-during-remote-work/ Fri, 13 Mar 2020 12:19:09 +0000 https://www.jimwillis.org/?p=2481 One of the challenges of working remotely is conveying your presence/availability to your colleagues while working at home.

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    My day job is Business Systems Architect at Princeton University Press. As a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, all staff in the Princeton office have been asked to work from home for the next month.

    The team I work with at the Press consists of programers, analysts and project managers. The Press has a robust infrastructure built up around Zoom to support remote meetings and many of us regularly work from home. That said, a month away from face-to-face interaction with my colleagues is going to be a different kind of experience, for sure. As such I’m documenting here the friction points, possible solutions, tips/hacks, etc. that we discover during this month-long exercise.

    User Presence

    I believe that once you get the various communication infrastructure established for remote meetings, remote file access, etc (of which I’ll write more as the days go on here), one of the challenges of working remotely is conveying presence/availability while working at home.

    It is easy to walk by a colleague’s desk at work and get a sense if you can comfortably interrupt with a question or comment, much harder to do so when working remotely. There are many tools that could be used for this. Many programming shops use Slack, others Skype. At the Press, all staff are on Zoom and some are regular users of Microsoft Teams.

    So I am looking here primarily at conveying user presence in Zoom vs Teams:

    Both Teams and Zoom offer a “chat” section in their applications where you can set your availability and view whether or not your co-workers are available, away, busy, etc.

    Zoom Status Guide

    Zoom’s status options don’t synchronize well across devices. Meaning, if you set your Desktop Zoom application to “away” and then close Zoom on your desktop because you are expecting to use your mobile device, co-workers will continue to see you as “away” until you re-open your desktop Zoom app and change your status to “available.”

    Meaning, your availability on your mobile device is not conveyed to your other co-workers.

    The best way to think about Zoom status is: whatever your Desktop status is set to (or was last set to when you closed the app) is how your co-workers will likely see your status appear in the Chat section of Zoom.

    Teams Status Documentation

    Team’s status is the hands-down winner here. It almost-instantly synchronizes across all devices (mobile/desktop) when you change it (using the Desktop app you change your status by clicking your initials in the upper right corner of the application).

    Also, the Teams iPhone application seems to be much better at providing chat notifications when the app is in the background then Zoom. Zoom chat alerts on the iPhone are pretty inconsistent in my experience.

    Likewise Teams offers a very handy “Set status message” that you can fill out so that if someone messages you in the Teams chat area, they will get an auto-response to their message.  Meaning you could set your status message to “letting the dog out, back at 1:55pm” and if someone chats with you they’ll get that message as a reply automatically. Much more useful than a generic away/available status icon.

    I have spent an equal amount of time using the chat function on Teams as I have on Zoom. They both have their benefits but clearly when it comes to conveying user-presence, Teams is superior. This opens up questions such as:

    • Do we standardize on one tool for chat even though multiple staff regularly use Zoom for chat?
    • Or, do we maintain user-presence/status in two apps and hope that we remember to set them both correctly?

    We’re only on Day 1 here, so I don’t have a clear answer yet but, stay tuned.

    Disclaimer: I’m writing about my experience of mandatory remote work at Princeton University Press during the COVID-19 pandemic, any comments and opinions here are entirely my own.

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    Friday Links for Feb 29, 2020 https://www.jimwillis.org/friday-links-for-feb-29-2020/ Mon, 02 Mar 2020 12:44:19 +0000 https://www.jimwillis.org/?p=2478 A High-Resolution Audio Primer – a report on a scientific article presented at last year’s AES meeting, in which the authors used test tones and a modest audio system (albeit in an anechoic chamber) to prove that listeners can discriminate between high-rez and CD-rez audio. Don’t think twice – Billy Strings – I recently learned […]

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  • A High-Resolution Audio Primer – a report on a scientific article presented at last year’s AES meeting, in which the authors used test tones and a modest audio system (albeit in an anechoic chamber) to prove that listeners can discriminate between high-rez and CD-rez audio.
  • Don’t think twice – Billy Strings – I recently learned how to play this. But not like Billy does. 
  • My Ordinary Life: Improvements Since the 1990s – Gwern.net – Worth a scroll through
  • A Text Renaissance – “Text though, is definitely going through a renaissance, and as primarily a producer of text, that’s what interests me the most. What comes out the other end may or may not look anything like blogging. It might be a case of a New Blogging as an Elder Medium in an explosion of new textual media.”
  • Overview of how ONIX handles various rights attributes – Some work-related research. 
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    Friday Links for Feb 21, 2020 https://www.jimwillis.org/friday-links-for-feb-21-2020/ Fri, 21 Feb 2020 14:04:15 +0000 https://www.jimwillis.org/?p=2472 Beatings, Burns and a Broken Promise – Powerful reporting from the NYTimes on mistreatment of people with developmental disabilities. Amazon: How Bezos built his data machine – Whoa. This is a fantastic read about data harvesting at Amazon. What We Lose by Hiring Someone to Pick Up Our Avocados for Us – I use Prime […]

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  • Beatings, Burns and a Broken Promise – Powerful reporting from the NYTimes on mistreatment of people with developmental disabilities.
  • Amazon: How Bezos built his data machine – Whoa. This is a fantastic read about data harvesting at Amazon.
  • What We Lose by Hiring Someone to Pick Up Our Avocados for Us – I use Prime Now for grocery delivery a few times a month, this piece clarifies some of the fears/thoughts I’ve had around using the service. Will I stop using it? Probably not until it’s too late for it to matter.
  • How to Deal with Running Out of iCloud, Google, and Dropbox Space – TidBITS
  • reddit.com -Bluegrass guitar resources
  • Introducing my Blogger Workflow – Always interesting to read how other people handle writing/posting/curating.
  • Scatterbrained: Revisiting the “doing” CLI – This post was part of my inspiration for finally sitting down and polishing my iOS shortcut for logging to Day One.
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    Logging throughout the day with Day One and iOS shortcuts https://www.jimwillis.org/logging-throughout-the-day-with-day-one-and-ios-shortcuts/ Wed, 19 Feb 2020 16:18:12 +0000 https://www.jimwillis.org/?p=2466 Spending some time on the Day One community page on Facebook it seems like for those who journal multiple times per day–adding notes, thoughts, activities throughout the day–there are two schools of thought for capturing throughout the day: 1.) create a new entry in Day One for each of the day’s multiple entries 2.) append to […]

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    Spending some time on the Day One community page on Facebook it seems like for those who journal multiple times per day–adding notes, thoughts, activities throughout the day–there are two schools of thought for capturing throughout the day:

    1.) create a new entry in Day One for each of the day’s multiple entries
    2.) append to a single daily entry throughout the day.

    I fall firmly into the second camp, using markdown bullets and a time stamp to log entries to a single entry throughout the day.

    Unfortunately, for all of Day One’s strengths and features it does not make it especially easy to automate the process of appending thoughts/notes to a single day’s entry throughout the day.

    In the past, I might have relied on a bit of AppleScript or Keyboard Maestro to solve this problem. But now, my time is split evenly between sitting behind my Mac and using my iPad.

    Apple is making it harder and harder to write one-size-fits-all automations that can be used on the Mac and on the iPad and iPhone. Automation is now platform specific: shortcuts on iOS and some combination of automator, AppleScript, keyboard maestro, Alfred, etc. on the Mac.

    But whether I’m in front of my Mac or my iPad, I always have my iPhone with me. And while it’s not the best device for capture, I decided to focus my “capture and append” automation efforts on the iPhone rather than string together a bunch of hacks on my Mac.

    I wrote an iOS shortcut I wrote does the following:

    • checks to see if a Day One entry exists for today
    • if one doesn’t exist it prompts you to create either:
      • a blank entry
      • an entry using a few prompt questions
    • prompts for log entry
    • asks if you want to put time with the log entry
    • appends the time/log entry to the end of today’s journal entry

    If you are going to use this shortcut you must expand the six “Day One” actions in the shortcut and change the “Journal” field to match the name of the journal you’re using in Day One.

    You may also want to edit the questions in the “A new entry from prompts” section. Just make sure to split them up with a line break.

    Once you make those changes, it should just work for you.

    The big caveat here is that if you use Day One on both iPad and iPhone, this shortcut seems to only work on one device. It works great on my iPhone. But if I try to use it on my iPad and I haven’t yet opened Day One on my iPad the shortcut doesn’t realize that I’ve already created an entry for today on my iPhone.

    This seems to be related to background syncing of the journal contents. The solution is just use it on one iOS device OR make sure you open up Day One and that it syncs before running it on that other device. That being said, even when I do run it on the iPad, the appended line doesn’t show up on the entry, which is weird because if I view the entry on my iPhone, it’s there.

    Again, syncing seems to be the issue here. Day One support has been helpful (as always) in helping me troubleshoot this but it seems like iPadOS background syncing is just flakey right now.

    Here’s a link to the shortcut. Ok, happy logging!

    Note/Update: the shortcut now copies the entry to your clipboard. Occasionally it seems like the shortcut doesn’t actually append the log entry as expected. I don’t know why. Restarting my iPhone seemed to solve the problem so probably syncing related but in any case, by copying the entry to your clipboard if for some reason the log note doesn’t appear when the entry is opened, you can always just paste it in from the clipboard. Lame, I know. I wish shortcuts were more reliable.

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    Friday Links for Feb 14, 2020 https://www.jimwillis.org/friday-links-for-feb-14-2020/ Fri, 14 Feb 2020 22:45:38 +0000 https://www.jimwillis.org/?p=2463 Opinion | Who’s Profiting From Your Outrageous Medical Bills? – Who’s Profiting From Your Outrageous Medical Bills? The same people who should be fixing them. Why are pop songs getting sadder than they used to be? – Alberto Acerbi & Charlotte Brand | Aeon Ideas – Are popular songs today happier or sadder than they […]

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  • Opinion | Who’s Profiting From Your Outrageous Medical Bills? – Who’s Profiting From Your Outrageous Medical Bills? The same people who should be fixing them.
  • Why are pop songs getting sadder than they used to be? – Alberto Acerbi & Charlotte Brand | Aeon Ideas – Are popular songs today happier or sadder than they were 50 years…
  • How Google Got Its Employees to Eat Their Vegetables – The tech giant is engineering a way to encourage its employees to eat healthier — and it might just help the rest of…
  • Mac Open Web, by Brian Warren – Good collection of apps, all of which are useful in a variety of ways for independent web writers/coders.
  • Publish To Apple News – WordPress plugin | WordPress.org – Started pushing out my RSS feed to Apple News this week, here’s how.
  • 100 greatest bootlegs: #127 BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS – Paul’s Mall, Boston 1975 (Flac) – Building up my collection of lossless live show recordings.
  • Pollstar | Hotstar: Billy Strings Goes Beyond Bluegrass – Good read on a great guitar player. Billy’s origin story gets richer every time it’s told.
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    Friday Links for Feb 7, 2020 https://www.jimwillis.org/friday-links-for-feb-7-2020/ Sat, 08 Feb 2020 00:21:40 +0000 https://www.jimwillis.org/?p=2456   Getting the iPad to Pro – excellent review of the iPad usability issues by Craig Mod. Pollstar | Hotstar: Billy Strings Goes Beyond Bluegrass – more backstory than I’ve ever seen before on Billy. 5 Cheap(ish) Things to Make the Perfect Cup of Coffee – The New York Times – I switched to black […]

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    Other stuff? My dog ate my Kindle. I had the base model and upgraded to the fancier Paperwhite. Since I use the JUMBO FONT to read without my glasses on, that extra 300dpi really looks nice! Highly recommend paying the extra $30.

    Also, been doing a lot of work building out my HiFi setup with an Intel NUC running Roon/Qobuz and loving it. Will do a writeup next week when I’m not so busy. 

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