Archives for February, 2018

My OBS setup for recording screencasts

published on February 21, 2018.

Last year I started recording my contributions to open source. I wasn’t really regular, so today I published only the 9th episode: OSS Contribution 9.

Anyway, now I’m at the point where I am happy with the overall quality of the recording, both with the video and the audio and I want to write down the current setup so that I can recreate it in the future if I need to.

I’m using a Sennheiser GSP 300 headset and the microphone that comes with it. A really great product, I love it.

PulseAudio is responsible for the audio in my Fedora system. In the “Input Devices” settings of PulseAudio, I have set the “loudness” of the microphone to 25% or -35.94dB. I got there after a lot of trial and error.

As for the recording software, I was first using Zoom, which is a video conferencing and screen sharing tool. Start a meeting with myself, share screen, record. Buuut… I was never really happy with the audio.

I tried out Open Broadcaster Software, or OBS, last week. Again, after a lot of trial and error, I think I have the perfect settings given the hardware that I’m using. I picked it up from Swizec, he’s using it for his live coding sessions I believe.

“Settings > Output”: Output mode: simple, video bitrate: 2500, encode: software (x264), audio bitrate: 160, recording quality: indistinguishable quality, recording format: mp4. “Settings > Audio”: Sample rate: 44.1khz, the rest is all default. “Settings > Video”: Base resolution: 1920x1080, output resolution 1920x1080, the rest is default.

The most improvement came from setting filters on the microphone — “Mic/Aux > gear icon > Filters”. The first filter I added is “Noise Suppression” with a value of -17. The second filter is “Noise Gate” with a “Close Threshold” of -44, “Open Threshold” of -42, “Attack Time” 25ms, “Hold Time” 200ms, and “Release Time” 150ms. These last three might be the defaults, I’m not sure. I did play around with them.

Now, I said I’m happy with the audio, but I know it can be much better. One, I need to speak louder, and two, if these screencast become a more regular thing then I’ll invest in a better microphone. Until then, this will do.

Happy hackin’!

Tags: obs, screencasts, recording, about.
Categories: Software, Blablabla.

Details matter

published on February 19, 2018.

Last week on Thursday the lovely people from Zagreb PHP had me over for a talk. I presented my new talk called “All aboard the Service Bus”. I gave this talk once before at the PHP Srbija meetup in January. I’ve reused the slides, made some minor adjustments based on the feedback I received in Belgrade, and of course updated the footer.

The version from Belgrade had “Robert Basic - PHP Srbija #29” and the version from Zagreb had “Robert Basic - ZGPHP #78” in the footer.

The talk went well. I was a bit tired, as I drove 5 hours, my mind was racing a bit more than what I’d like, but all in all, I was/am very happy with how the talk went.

When I was done with the talk in Zagreb, people came up to me, said it was a nice talk, gave me some feedback, and then asked what’s up with the “29”, where did I get that number? I was confused. What? “29”? I don’t have any numbers on my slides, let alone a specific number like “29”.

“ZGPHP 29, in the footer”, said Luka, “I’ve spent a lot of time thinking what does it mean.”

I somehow managed to update only one part of the footer — changed the user group, didn’t change the meetup number. I apologized, explained, and shrugged it of. It’s just a number in the footer after all, has nothing to do with the actual talk.

On the drive back home, my mind kept going over it again and again.

It might be just a number, a small detail, but a detail that was incorrect, a detail that Luka noticed, a detail that made him think about that number 29 instead of paying his full attention at the actual talk.

Details matter.

Tags: about, talks, meetups, slides, presentation.
Categories: Blablabla.
Robert Basic

Robert Basic

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