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Blog – January 2017

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Well guys, a new year brings some changes!

New Microphone

You might have noticed a difference in sound quality starting with video #997.  John, our head techie and webmaster, recommended that I stop using the camera’s microphone and get a high quality external model.  With him (and the other techies) chained in the basement, I just took his off his desk and hooked it up – works great!  The sound you’ll hear from now on is produced by a Blue Yeti Pro model on a shock absorbed mount.  All the pops, cracks and junk noise should be greatly reduced.

Sound Processing

Since I’m now capturing a separate sound track, I’m post-processing the file to remove noise and the loud spikes.  YES!  I record the files in the LockLab using Audacity, a user-supported program.  Once done, I’m processing the final sound files with Magix Sound Forge to remove any remnants of noise from the final sound track.

LockLab “Deadening”

The LockLab had a lot of background noise that some of you sharp-eared listeners were picking up.  One of the biggest irritants was the electric clock.  I threw it out so you folks with Spiderman hearing won’t have to hear that tick, tick, tick in the background anymore.  I also replaced the fluorescent light (with the buzzing ballast) with a silent LED light.  Finally, the charger on the far side of the shop (the humming one…) has been upgraded with a solid-state version.

In the LockLab itself I’ve added a rubber mat to deaden my feet and have started using a magnetic “Do not Enter” sign on the door while I’m recording.  No more wife of kids walking in during the middle of a video.  Hopefully.

The only things I can’t control are passing vehicles, overflying aircraft and the random gunfire in my neighborhood.

Lighting

I put in a couple of small LED studio lights to reduce the shadows in the videos.  This should help keep the videos lit from every angle and help the camera’s auto-focus work a little better.

Improved Video Processing

Magix has FINALLY updated their video editing software which allows me to normalize the sound across the entire video so it’s all at the same level.  Many of you wear headphones and the intros were all pretty loud – that’s the default level for Adobe After Effects.   I sent Magix about 50 emails begging for that feature and apologize to all of you with the bleeding ears. Sound-wise, things will be better from this point forward.

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Comment(8)

  1. Hey Bill! Can you explain what you put on your picks to make them more comfortable? You mentioned it in “(776) Review: Sparrow’s Tuxedo Pick Kit” around 5:55. You called it ‘shrinkwrap’ but I’m not sure I’m clear on what that is because here, or in Australia shrinkwrap is the clear stuff you wrap food in, and looks nothing like what you put on your picks.. If you could clear that up that’d be great because I could really use a slightly more comfortable feel on my picks. Thanks a million

  2. Ha, Ha, Ha, . . ..neighborhood gunfire – tell me about it !! I tell out of town residents, visitors to my area to stay inside after dark . . …..uunless they have Body Armor 🗝🔑🔐🔏🔓🔒🔫🔪🗡🔫😲😨

  3. Hey Bill you’ve got me hooked, i have been following your channel for a good few months now and i have got to say Keep up the awesome work *****

  4. Going through some old Blog Comments of Bill’s I realized We Need:
    a SHOUT-OUT. We all faithfully wait for the next video, product review (or bash) and the all important GIVEAWAYS! Is it too much to ask that everybody who’s invested in Bill’s videos – TO INVEST IN BILL’S VIDEOS. We pay $10-$20 for a movie ticket or something stupid we don’t really need. I CHALLENGE the Faithful Ones who enjoy Bill’s efforts, dedication, knowledge, and investment in us to poney up on Patreon with a donation, put a monthly cap on it if you need to, but make an effort to support, and show appreciation for what I have found to have become part of what makes life fun. A great deal of time effort and $$$ has gone into Lock-Lab and the professionalism exemplified by every aspect of the web site. We are “The Tribe” and “Bosnian Bill” is our leader.
    Thanks for your indulgence, and thank you Bill!

  5. Hello, first of all let me say that since I found your channel on youtube I’ve started getting into lockpicking more and more and love what you do. I am in college and my older brother is a year ahead of me. For some of my classes I had to learn autocad so I thought I would make my own pick designs. My brother is in mechanical engineering and has access to the shop’s equipment so he could cut them out of a sheet for me. I can’t afford the stainless 301 that you recommend but I can’t find a decent site to get spring steel. Some recommendations would be great. Thank you

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