Android Tablet vs. Studio DAW

audioevolutionmobileAndroid devices have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to quality audio recording.

For the better part of two years, hardware and app designers have been coming up with elegant solutions for passable voice recordings on iOS devices (iPhone, iPad).  I’ve written about many of them here, including the Alesis iODock, the Tascam iM2X, and the Rode iXY, and the iAudioInterface2 for iOS from StudioSixDigital to name a few.

So far, Android OS devices have only one app that even comes close, but some might say it even surpasses the iOS offerings.

The USB Audio Recorder PRO — developed by Davy Wentzler — is a gem.  Match it with the Audio Evolution Mobile editor (also by Wentzler), and you have what audio engineer/producer/director Cliff Zellman calls:  “…ProTools on your tablet…”.  That’s a bold statement, but Cliff is no slouch, and he should know about this stuff…his wife works for Samsung.

See my blog about these two apps, along with my Davy Wentzler interview here.

I’m well overdue in posting simultaneous audiofile recordings using the Android tablet v. my own studio DAW set-up. But I’m going to make up for that today.

First, a word of thanks to Don Brookshire who presented on this app/device combo at FaffCamp… who introduced me to Davy Wentzler… and who helped me overcome my own roadblocks in getting the Android recording to work.  The final solution?…an OTG cable.  Simple and inexpensive.

mics

seen from above, Blue & Senny side-by-side

In the comparison below, I’m recording onto a Google Nexus 7 tablet, using a Blue Spark Digital Microphone through my OTG cable recorded onto Audio Evolution Mobile.  My other mic is a Sennheiser MKH416 through a Grace m101 pre-amp, into a Steinberg Mi2 USB interface, routed to Adobe Audition CC on my Win7 machine.

These comparisons are never perfect, but I tried to place the mics at optimal distance for both recordings, and did so

nexus

Nexus7 screen capture of recorder app

simultaneously for the same spoken words.

In both cases, specs were 44,100, 16-bit, mono, .wav.  SoundCloud wasn’t cooperating last night, so I embedded the sound files below using AudioBoo, and I’m not sure what kind of processing they do.  But Audio Evolution Mobile records a .wav file natively, so I left it at that…same with the Adobe Audition CC.  I uploaded the file from my Nexus7 to SkyDrive, and opened in CC…boosting the gain a little from the original recording to match the levels of the AA CC recording.

I used NO processing, no effects, no gates, no filters, no nothing on either of the files.  I did edit out a couple of breath sounds.

First, here’s the Blue Spark Digital as recorded on the Nexus 7.

Now, here’s the Senny416 as recorded on my home studio DAW.

Well…whadya think?

CourVO

Meet Luci Live

lucilivelogoLuci Live is an app for iOS, Mac, Windows, and Android.  Don’t ask me where they got the name, but here’s what it does, according to the website:  “…LUCI LIVE transforms your PC or Smartphone into a high-quality, live internet broadcasting source. With the availability of mobile or fixed-line internet access and the use of LUCI LIVE, the cost of live broadcasting is practically zero…”

The full application for the iPhone is $350!!!  But wait, there’s a “lite” version for only $30, and the difference is that the Lite version: “…removes the record, edit and ftp functions from its big sister, and limits your codec choice to the slightly lower quality G.722. But in all other ways, it echoes the pro interface of Luci Live, providing an extremely easy to use application for budget broadcasters who need simplicity in both setup and operation…”

“That’s great, Dave, but I’m not a broadcaster, and don’t need to send a live signal anywhere as a voice-actor,” you might say.

Hold on there, Bosco… check this out from the grand poobah of ISDN, Digifon’s Dave Immer:

For sheer coolness, it’s hard to beat this little IP codec software app. It’s well designed, easy to use and, with sufficient wireless bandwidth coupled with the right hardware IP codec on the studio side, will provide a stable connection for news LuciLive_iPhonegathering, auditions and production when voice talent is in the field. Now for a few technical details:

1. Since the iPhone/iPad is a mobile device, its connections are wireless – either wi-fi or cellular. I have tried it on a 4G LTE cellular network and it works well – often better than wi-fi.

2. While the on-board mic of your mobile device delivers passable audio, to get studio quality you will need a studio quality mic. If you use a condenser mic that requires phantom power I suggest the handy little Mic Port Pro plus a Plugable USB Hub, which requires AC power. Admittedly this diminishes the portability of the system.

3. Luci Live transmit protocols include SIP and RTP. The SIP implementation needs work, but the RTP protocol operates great with Musicam’s Suprima which features a special Luci Live setting.

I have no idea what SIP or RTP are, but I’m guessing it means Luci Live can sub for an ISDN connection from your phone, in the wild!  How this is accomplished will require me to check in with Immer, but I’m tempted.

I realize this is an extremely geeky blog for only a few dedicated gear-heads, but the point here is that even the most complicated and hi-res audio connections can now be accomplished through a smartphone (works on BlackBerry too).  I dunno… I find that amazing.

Just yesterday in this blog,  I recommended a smartphone as essential equipment for those who are serious about keeping up with their social media content.  Now, this!

Luci Live download page for Apple, Windows, and Android

Luci Live Lite download page for Android
Luci Live Lite download page for Mac
Luci Live Lite download page for Windows

Luci Live for iPhone/iPad

Luci Live Lite for iPhone/iPad

CourVO

Why Adobe Should Talk to CenturyLink

centuryLinkCenturyLink is a relatively small Telecom player, but they are the main provider of traditional (wired) phone service in Las Vegas.  They are also aggressively moving into competitor Cox Cable’s typical realm:  TV and Internet.  Which is why Adobe should talk to them.

You see, Tuesday, CenturyLink’s internet service went down all across the country.  Something went wrong with their core servers, and more than a million customers nationwide lost Internet service…including Las Vegans.  From 1:30am till about 10am tons of people had to make-do without their internet.

So why should Adobe Systems care?  You know…Adobe: the software powerhouse…the developer of Photoshop and Premiere and Acrobat, and — especially for many Voice Actors — Adobe Audition.adobe

Well, coincidentally, Adobe announced yesterday that Adobe’s aggregated Creative Suite software product would be moving to “the cloud”.  That means designers, photographers, videographers, web developers, and voice actors will be getting future versions of Adobe software from an online server, not from an installed CD set.

I get it.  Everybody and their 3rd cousin is moving to the cloud.  I’ve extolled the virtues of the cloud a number of times in this blog.  Overall, I think moving programs, storage, and communication online is a brilliant idea, and a juggernaut that can’t be stopped.

Then…something like CenturyLink’s outage happens.

Alright, then, just so you know…this is the risk we accept by moving to “the cloud”.  If you were expecting to upload your final audio files from your Las Vegas home to a needy client on a Tuesday morning deadline, you would’ve been in trouble.  Maybe if you had a neighbor with Cox internet, and he owed you a favor, you might’ve gotten it done.

Also (and you heard it here first)…if the Chinese keep up their unabated hacking into American Defense systems, you can expect this to happen a lot more…I’d even go so far as to say that future wars will be fought online, not on desert steppes.  In fact, the USA would be hobbled by cyber-attacks on our internet system, water systems, energy grids, you-name-it.

But that’s not today, or tomorrow…just down the road.  In the meantime, if you don’t use Adobe Audition, get ready for Avid, or Sony, or any of the other audio-software developers to go “cloud” too, and within a year or two.

And if I were you, I’d be seeking reassurances from YOUR local provider that they have a back-up plan when their “core servers” go down.

CourVO

 

Whittam Launches VO Studio Tech

Everybody’s first choice in audio technical help is stepping it up.

George Whittam is re-branding his top-flight audio services as VO STUDIO TECH.

This is a smart move by George, and certainly shows a growth in his expertise, his clientele, and his ability to build off EWABS noteriety.

Read more about the announcement here:  Eldorado Recording Services is now Studio Tech.

Either way, think about contacting George when only the best advice will do on your home studio, technical and equipment considerations, audio chain troubleshooting, Source-Connect or ISDN configuration, and much more.

By the way, I’m not just shilling for George because he’s a friend.  I’ve depended on him, and never been disappointed.  Besides, he IS a friend…of all voice actors.

VO STUDIO TECH

Great going, George!

CourVO

 

Wi-Fi Fiddling

Through what broadband configuration are you sending your big audiofiles?

How are you connecting on Skype?

That big Source Connect job?…is it getting hung up on your slow internet speed?

We all just put Wi-Fi in our home and forget it. Your upload/download speeds are probably working fine for most things, but if you’re connecting your VO studio computer through Wi-Fi, you could be choosing a slower speed than would be optimal.

If at all possible, put your DSL, Cable, or Satellite internet modem physically next to your studio computer.  Don’t connect through a wireless (Wi-Fi) connection, rather ,route a Cat5 cable from the modem (or the access point router) directly into a network input jack from your motherboard (typically showing on the back of your computer).  The software re-configuration should be minimal.

For one of the best recent articles on tweaking your Wi-Fi, please read this LifeHacker story now:  TOP 10 WAYS TO BOOST YOUR HOME WI-FI.

My favorite tip?  Set your router to re-boot on a schedule.

CourVO

Next Gen MicPortPro?

JK Audio makes this little gem.  Appropriately, it’s called the BlueDriver in reference to it’s built-in BlueTooth wireless connection.

JK has a fine reputation for all sorts of audio interfaces, things like phone patch devices, wireless headsets, and products for intergrating broadcast, film, and telephone communications.

The BlueDriver comes in a female or male XLR configuration.

The female version fits onto a microphone for sending and pairing with a sound card, phone, headset or really anything equipped with a BlueTooth receiver.  The website states:  “…the 3.5 mm stereo jack contains a mic level output suitable for recording, with the clean mic signal on the left channel and the Bluetooth return on the right…” (comes in 3 or 5-pin model)

The male version would plug into the mic input of a mixer or receiving and pairing with microphone, BT-equipped phone or other device. The JK Audio site says:  “…the 3.5 mm stereo jack contains a mic level output suitable for recording, with the clean mic signal on the left channel and the Bluetooth return on the right…”  (also comes in 3 or 5-pin model).

Ostensibly, you could buy both, and have the ultimate BlueTooth connection, but that’d be pricey…as JK Audio has it listed at $249 each, but you can pick it up on BSW and other sites (B&H, Full Compass, etc) for around $236.

By comparison, the Centrance MicPortPro sells for ~$150 and is not wireless, but converts any XLR mic output to a USB connection.  So these are two different animals save the fact that they have the same form factor, and they serve to translate a standard mic signal to another output.

Have you tried the BlueDriver?  I have not, but would love to know how good the signal quality is.

My thanks to voice actor David Sigmon for the tip that led to this blog article.

Below is a quick product demonstration by a BSW rep.

CourVO

CourVO

Info O’lo

Not to be confused with J-Lo in any way.

Information Overload hits me most days, but lately I’ve been accumulating kernels of factoids that deserve to be shared, but don’t merit a blog article unto themselves.  Hence Info O’lo.

Factoid #1:  Word2Wav founder and wizard Hervé Chain has added some handy new functionality to his already-unique software program. Now you can select any audio-editing program you want from within W2W interface to complete your project.  Chain says:  “…Simply chose the DAW of interest in the Set-up window and Word2WAV will pass the active file in the Recording window directly to this DAW for editing instead of using the built-in editor. Word2WAV takes care of backing up the file before passing it to the DAW, so you just have to edit and save. No navigation required… “ Download the latest version if you already own it.  It will uninstall the old, and install the new with your preferences and registration key intact.  Don’t own it?  Try it fully-functional for a while, then you must purchase to continue. For a general explanation of W2W, and what it can do, see this blog from September of last year.

Factoid #2:  VOICE2012 is practically on top of us considering how fast time flies these days.  More and more great speakers, and panels, and coaches and seminars are being locked-in.  For the latest announcement, try clicking on this VOICE2012 newsletter…fresh off the matrix.

Factoid #3: Another reason it’s been worth EVERY CENT to hire Brett Bumeter as my guide on maximizing my blog reach.  He came to me with the idea of using FaceBook as the preferred platform for hosting comments to my blog articles.  If you look at the bottom of this very article, you’ll see a place to comment through my FaceBook page, and below that, the traditional input method I’ve been using for years on this WordPress blog.  The old version will eventually go away, probably.  Why the change?  SEO.  Exposure.  Social Media. FaceBook has hundreds of millions of potential visitors…my blog does too, I suppose, but more likely I’ll be found on FaceBook, actually…and the back ‘n’ forth linking raises the level of my profile on the internet.

Factoid #4:  Speaking of FaceBook…to see how to maximize one’s new FaceBook Timeline VO Brand page, check out Derek Chappell’s The Voice of Your Business.  He’s worked to add some  nice features, including the posting of his demos.

Factoid #5: Something you can now add to your FaceBook functionality is an embedded VOKLE player right on your page.  Not familiar with VOKLE? It’s in the same family as UStream, JustinTV and other “broadcast-yourself” sites.  Here’s a short tutorial on how to do that.  The word “broadcaster” takes on a whole new meaning!

CourVO

SoundStreak – From the Top

Throw away most of your previous concepts of remote session recordings for this blog article.

This will be a detailed, inside tour of SoundStreak, as told by its CEO, Dan Caligor…and he admits, “…it takes people a while to Grok this.”

Most of you know of my interest in technological advances prompting changes in our VO business paradigms.  I’ve blogged about “7 Disruptive Technologies That Have Shaped the Business of VoiceOvers“, and other product and device reviews.

Yet, one bastion of seemingly unchanging technology is the ISDN session.  Source-Connect has tried, but (in my estimation) fallen short in mounting a serious challenge to ISDN…largely by failing to make the case with influential studios (see also my recent blog on ConnectionOpen).

ADVANCING THE MODEL

Now, SoundStreak is about to break on the scene with an approach that may indeed replace ISDN for ease, quality, and reliability of use.  They’ll likely do it by sidestepping the entire infrastructure behind the TelCo-based (and old) technology of ISDN…and it’s much more, actually than ISDN ever offered.  It’s a system…a collaboration.  As Dan told me: “It’s a service, not a product”.

At it’s heart, SoundStreak makes use of the internet — but not at all in the way you might expect — to achieve it’s high-quality and reliability sessions.

DAN CALIGOR

First of all…let me tell you, I spent more than an hour with CEO Dan Caligor on a Skype call two days ago. No subject was off-the-table.  He led me on a sample session, and openly answered all my questions.  Aside from being a graduate of NYU’s film school, Dan morphed into an advisor to early-stage companies.  He began to work with a man who had developed the idea for SoundStreak as a sort of academic exercise, and eventually became a partner in the start-up company that resulted.  The initial vision for SoundStreak was for implementation in on-air network studios, with the implicit promise of simplicity and ease-of-use.

That original play for SoundStreak ran out of money, but now is back, stronger, broader, deeper, and more ready for prime-time than ever.

Dan himself has grown from a self-described start-up business advisor to an engineer-level technology geek fully fluent in all the idiosyncrasies of our VO corner of the Universe.  He clearly has done his homework on the marketplace, the challenges of our business, and need for a convenient long-distance recording system fair to both parties.

WHAT SOUNDSTREAK IS NOT

  • A costly, complicated hardware system
  • Proprietary software
  • Hard to install
  • Confusing to operate
  • A casting system (yet)
  • A barrier between client and talent

SOUNDSTREAK, THE PROGRAM

Caligor stated to me:  “…we are a capture and collaboration tool offered as a service, rather than as a product…”  (remember:  you must Grok)

Right now SoundStreak is in “private Beta”, which means you have to request an invitation or be invited by a current Beta member (there’s a few hundred right now).  Currently, it’s available as a free download and will install  on Mac OSX 10.6, a.k.a Snow Leopard or later.  Caligor says they’re getting as many requests for older Apple OS support as they are for MS Windows support.  He also says they honor anyone who requests an invite, it’s just a matter of working through the backlog.

The software must be installed on both the talent and the production (the person hiring talent) side.  It’s the  same application.  Once installed and signed on, both parties can see each other.  You are not directly connected to the other party…EVERYTHING runs through the SoundStreak servers (more on why this is important, later).

THE SESSION STEP BY STEP

  • The producer begins the session by choosing a name for the session, and sends you what Caligor calls the “backing assets”.  That could be a video you need to match in your narration…the script… or any other materials you need to perform your voice work for the client.
  • The producer can update those materials…change, add, edit, or otherwise augment them during the session, and the changes immediately take place on both ends. SoundStreak is designed so that the talent and the production side always see and hear the same thing.

    {click to enlarge}

  • It’s important to note that those assets are not “streaming”.  After sending the materials, they reside on your computer till the session ends…so there’s never any latency when matching, say, voice to video.  For security reasons, those “assets” get deleted from the production and talent computers at the end of every session…but the recording you’re about to do does not get deleted from your home computer.
  • You can open multiple scripts and videos.  The system keeps track of which asset you use, so when you play it back, it plays in sync with the backing asset on both ends of the session.
  • Recording is done in .wav, aiff, and broadcast .wav, so you can pass-through time-coding.  You can pick audio resolution all the way up to 96k, 24-bit, but the system resolves to 41.1k, 16-bit.
  • The producer, then, after loading the backing asset, presses “record”.  The system counts you in: 3-2-1, and you’ll read to the copy. You’ll hear it in your headphones as you read, and when you’re through, the producers presses “stop”. During the actual take, the producer listens to you over VOIP.  There is a little bit of latency, according to the broadband pipe.
  • Also, as soon as as soon as the in-session light goes on,  a voice patch is activated, so that the production person and the talent person are talking through the system.  It’s a built-in voice-patch..and it’s a smart phone patch, muting in the right order,with a talk-back button.  Voice patch works between takes and from the first moment of the session to the last.  When you’re not recording, it’s unmuted, but can manually over-ridden.

    {click to enlarge}

  • At the bottom of the screen, there’s a take sheet list.  There, the producer controls playback of different takes. As you do takes, each one is appended to this list as a file.
  • Caligor explains: “…the whole principal of SoundStreak is that all the assets are always playing locally — both the takes, and the backing assets, and the playback is actually being synchronized through very low-bandwidth signals  so it’s always optimized to work with the smallest possible amount of bandwidth…”  Caligor says most of the available bandwidth is used to facilitate the voice-patch.
  • There is never any compression of any soundfiles at any time during any session.
  • After recording is stopped a review copy of the of the take — down-rezzed so it will transfer quickly — is sent to the Production machine within seconds.  Hopefully at some point during the session (arbitrarily set by SoundStreak at 90-mins), the producer hears what he/she likes and chooses a “buy take”.  Selecting that, automatically downloads the hi-res recording of that take from the talent computer — through the SoundStreak servers — to the producer’s computer.  The “buy take” is uncompressed.  It might take 3 to 30 seconds to download, depending on how big file is, the resolution of the file, and the fatness of the pipe connecting talent to the server to the producer.
  • All during this time, all the talent has had to do is set the mic level, accept the invitation, and perform.  This could seriously change the way Voice Actors record on-the-road!
  • Both sides of the exchange have local copies of the takes.  The talent has a hi-res and lo-res of every take (local on their machine), but not the backing assets. The producer only gets the buy-takes…and remember the backing assets are deleted at the end of the session.

    {click to enlarge}

  • As soon as the session is over, both parties immediately receive an automatic email reporting most all aspects of the session: who’s the talent, who’s the producer, the file format, # of takes you did, start times, stop times…which take was the buy-take and more.  The Session Summary email includes direct links to the archived version of each buy take on the server, so anyone you send the email to can download it directly to their machine.
  • Done!

PRICING

SoundStreak is free right now, and probably will be for some time.  Caligor says: “…the reason we’re going to keep it free for a while, is that we understand this is people’s livelihood, and as important as we think our tool is, it’s really just a screwdriver in their box, and it’s not fair to ask people to bet their livelihood on something, let alone charge them to bet their livelihood on something until they’re really comfortable with it, and therefore, we want to make that comfort level really possible easy to achieve.”

Eventually Caligor envisions a token-system of accounting.  Right now, everyone gets 10 tokens, and when it gets down to one or two, you get ten more free tokens.  Their plan is that most sessions, though, would be paid by the producer, in keeping with a similar protocol usually enjoyed by talent during ISDN sessions, where the producer pays for the long-distance call.  One token — from either party — pays for one session, again, set as 90-minutes or less.

SOUNDSTREAK’S SERVER

That every session is commissioned through SoundStreak’s servers is a plus.  Caligor says: “… it allows a lot of archiving and safety and control, and for enterprise customers, it allows people to traverse corporate firewalls. That’s a huge issue at big operations. The guys in IT love us. Instead of opening up new connections in foreign places, which makes IT alarms go off…this is a single IP address…so you’re always talking to the server, not each other…”

Caligor says the entire system from top to bottom, including the server integrity is 99% bullet-proof.  They’re about to end the “private Beta”, and go into a “free trial version”.  They’ve never been able to crash the server, even during multiple sessions.  Caligor says they run across a rare instance or two where the talent’s audio equipment presents a software driver they haven’t seen yet, but nothing that’s stopped the session.  He stressed a number of times during our interview how much they’ve spent in time and engineering to make the product robust.

TESTING AND SUPPORT

The operation is lean…about 6 staffers.  They subcontract out some of the development, and most everyone is taking calls and answering emails.  With wider acceptance and use, Caligor anticipates more staff to handle customer support.

They want lots and lots of users to test the system.  Right now, the majority of users are talent.  Caligor encourages talent to tell their favorite studios about the product, and engage in tests with THEM.  This is key, and may be SoundStreak’s biggest challenge: getting talent, but especially Studios and producers to figure out how to make it work for their business, and get comfortable that it’s not some kind of threat to them.

SoundStreak does require a bit of a mind-shift to understand how it differs from what’s now comfortable.  We’re all busy, and we may not have the time to consider changing to, or buying into an entire new paradigm.  A chicken-or-the-egg syndrome sets in.  Talent won’t work with it until the studios require it, and studios won’t require it until they know talent are comfortable with it.

Caligor is confident SoundStreak is a solid product that will win over converts.  “I would rather have lots of users soon, than a little or a lot of revenue soon. I’m confident that once people try it out, they’ll see its potential.”

CourVO

ConnectionOpen

Even though it’s been in beta since somewhere back  at the end of the last decade, SoundStreak is enjoying a resurgence.  Mentions of voice artists testing the product are showing up on plenty of online forums.  I blogged about SoundStreak on Feb 13th, excited about the possibilities, only to find it’s strictly made for Macs.

Nonetheless, I’ve just rec’d the go-ahead to do a recorded interview with the CEO, Dan Caligor…which we’re trying to schedule.

In the meantime, up pops ConnectionOpen.com!  I picked it up in a post from voice talent Randy Morrison in the VAU Facebook group, and it promptly garnered 60+ responses that were all over the map…including issues with browser versions, JAVA installs, and bandwidth minimums (minimum 3 Mbps down/512 Kbps up).  It is apparently compatible with Mac and Windows, though…and Randy appears to be involved with the company (randymorrison@breakalip.com).

The site claims that with ConnectionOpen you “…experience virtually lagless/lossless communication for a fraction of the cost of ISDN. Create a “studio environment” wherever you are 24/7 using your computer and broadband. Easy to set up, easy to use. A few clicks… and you’re already there…”

I’m all for these alternatives to ISDN, which I see as dying a slow death despite the protestations of established studios and voice actors.  They’re mostly on the East and West Coasts, and in THOSE locations, ISDN is strong.  But everywhere else, installation, costs, and connections are issues. The major Telcos are dropping infrastructure and support.  Source-Connect is there, but it’s never seemed to have caught on.

So give ConnectionOpen a look…just be ready to have to tinker with it, and maybe use tech support to make it fly.  While Randy Morrison and Co., seem to be very responsive to dealing with the glitches…it may not be a turnkey solution…yet.

CourVO

CES for VO’s

My total time at CES this week was 4 hours one morning…maybe more like 3 hours and 25 mins.  That may sound like a lot, but time goes like:

(I think you get the idea).

The microcosm of the Exhibit Floor is like a futuristic city of commerce with all the finest in hucksterism, sales, presentation, hype, sex appeal, and product that you can stomach…and thousands of people — like ants — bustling around like they know where they’re going, and they have something important to do….most of them on their smart phone trying to text or call someone, and finding it pretty hard, ’cause there aren’t enough cell phone towers in the USA to handle all that concentration of traffic in one place.

I put together a little video of a few shots I took while I was there to give you a flavor of the scene.  Its only 1:10.  Check it out, and then I have some unexpected meet-ups with VO people to tell you about.

You saw my story about the Blue Microphones yesterday…after visiting that booth, I wandered.  I had no plan of where to go next, and at CES, that’s bad; you can get lost.  From the cavernous South Hall, I meandered my way to the behemoth Main Exhibit Hall where the Microsofts, the Sonys, the LG’s, and the Panasonics hang out.

A Voice actor named Christopher Flockton had briefly written me on FaceBook that he was working the Haier booth next to Panasonic, and I should stop by if I had the time.  Christopher turned out to be a wonderful conversation.  He was actually working as a spokesman for Haier.  These are good gigs to get as an actor…they pay well, but you’re exhausted by the end of the day.  Christopher had memorized the schpeel for his presentation…which he had to deliver several times during the day.  I’ve done similar work at NAB before with an ear-prompter for presentations, but I actually think memorization is easier.

I had barely said goodbye to Christopher…and walked about 50 yards, when I bumped into Steve Savanyu who (among other things) is the Director of Educational Services for Audio Technica.  I’d first met Steve at VOICE 2010.  He’s a technical whiz, and audio expert, who can quickly get you lost in hi-fi verbiage that maybe only George Whittam and Nikolia Tesla can understand.

In my mind, running into John P (yesterday’s blog), Christopher, and then Steve in an exhibit hall PACKED with thousands was not only beyond coincidental, but underscored for me the place audio and especially VOICE has in the consumer world of  hi-tech.  We matter as a profession, and as a force within the world of entertainment, advertising, elearning, publishing, and on and on and on.

And THAT quickly… 3.5 hours was gone!  On my way out, I stopped by the TwiT.tv location in the main hall.

The set-up was a veritable audio/video delight…mics and cameras everywhere.  And there was the man himself:  Leo LaPorte just ambling about talking to people.  In Las Vegas, some people call me a celebrity, but to me Leo LaPorte is a celebrity.  So, yes, I was shocked when Leo called me by my first name and started a friendly conversation.

‘Turns out he watches me when he’s in town.  I am so grateful for my life…it’s  not all good, but parts of it are amazing.

Thanks for taking the time to read about my wanderings at CES2012.

CourVO