Thursday, February 28, 2013

Generic Update + Three Year Plan for studio upgrades.

Things have been going well recently. Claws & Convo continues to grow as the show approaches it's 10th episode in three weeks. Our good friend Bear has been helping us out a lot, even covering our lodging for Anthrocon and helping to find precious computer hardware to improve the broadcast.

Meanwhile, it would appear that I may have a job opportunity (though probably temporary) working in a workshop in Bloomfield. If that goes through, I'll need to find  a place to live in the aria. I rather live in a regular house rather then an apartment, though with out a room mate I won't be able to afford it. Low rent housing tends to lack valuable studio space, which I'm going to need for the kinds of things I'm planning. I'm running out of space as it is.

If I'm able to find a room mate, then I'll look for two bedroom with a dining room which I'll turn in to a studio with a computer workstation. It'll be used to broadcast shows like Claws & Convo, recording and mastering music, and as a computer network room. It'll give me all the space I need to start working on computers again. I'll also have the space to have several dedicated systems for handling a live broadcast, including servers for shoutcast, IRC, and Teamspeak, as separate systems for recording and streaming audio & video (...eventually).

Studio Plans

Speaking of Strikepaw Studios, we are definitely going to need a good deal of support in order to put the thing together. Just off the top of my head, the complete studio system is likely going to consist of 5 separate computers dedicated to the following:
  • Main Broadcast
  • Media (BG Music, video, etc)*
  • Skype (Call-in machine)*
  • Shoutcast, IRC, & TS
  • Recording & Archiving

*may be combined initially

I'll have a video output on the media and skype machines likely running through a cheap USB video mixer, set up as a camera shot in UStream Producer on the broadcast machine. This should eliminate any latency problems.

Audio from the call-in and media computers will need to be tied in to the main mix with the microphone feeds. My old Xenyx 502 should suffice for the task. Having media from the secondary computers tied in via secondary mixer to the main mix will also allow me to pre-monitor.

We'll also need many monitors. Two for the main broadcast machine, two each for the call-in & media machines, and one for the servers & archive computer. In addition, two more monitors (possibly TVs) facing the set will duplicate the secondary monitors of the broadcast & media stream respectively.

Since it's going to take awhile to accumulate the entire system, we'll start with the broadcast machine. At first, it's going to handle the broadcast, skype, and all media (though I may use my laptop for bg audio) in addition to doubling as my gaming rig for playing Planetside 2. It'll be set up with two or three monitors, one of which dedicated to desktop presenter (ie videos and skype) during the show.

In the second year, if we're able to obtain a USB VM and the proper cable adapters, we'll tie in a second computer for Skype & media. This one won't need to have high specs, thus will be much cheaper.

In the third year, I hope to be able to get a shoutcast server up and running. With it will come the live audio-only stream, and the addition of Strikepaw Radio. Also, we should be able to put together a machine for recording audio & video independent from the broadcast, saving the raw files in an off-line archive.

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