Giant Robot on Aussie Geek Podcast #008

Today saw the release of the second Lizards From Afar episode of the totally kick-ass Aussie Geek Podcast #008: Revenge. As usual, the guys are both informative AND hilarious. This week saw the return of Cait and what is quite possibly the LONGEST podcast I’ve ever encountered.

This week’s introduction was by none other than myself. I think I really dug deep and came up with an introduction that was truly original and unique. My goal was to show a different side from what Gator presented the week before. Mission accomplished.

So I encourage everyone to head over and download this podcast. The guys are great and we appreciate their support and hope that you all support them as well! (& stickaround after Giant Robot is through for the great blooper reel.)

Get the epic here:

http://www.aussiegeekpodcast.com/2008/11/aussie-geek-podcast-008-revenge/

Your Friend,

Sir Pent

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90 Responses to “Giant Robot on Aussie Geek Podcast #008”

  1. Oh, my! That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard all week! Thanks for the side-splitting laughter I got to enjoy just now, Pent-boy!

    And I still think Giant Robot is my favorite song of ours. Out of all of them, this is the one I can listen to endlessly.

    Just not on the Aussie Geek podcast, where the quality is so reduced I can barely hear anything… except my incredibly loud guitar. But what the hell happened to Chopper’s vocals?

    Those bloopers at the end of the podcast make up for it, though. They had me falling out of my chair.

  2. I thought it was funny…but I wonder if it’s too ‘inside’. That is to say, will anybody other than the three of us and the AGP guys will get it.

    The sound quality was definitely disappointing. I understand why they are doing it, but something HAS to be wrong with what they are doing. The vocals in the verses are almost completely gone. (Or could there be something wrong with what we are doing with the original music?)

  3. Hey guys thanks again for the write up.

    You guys seem pretty critical of the audio. I have been editing and producing audio for the past 5 years. What I can tell you is that the original that you sent me was not the best to work with, which doesn’t help. The reason being that the original recording was over modulated and “clipping” regularly. Or going over 0db (the loudest that you can make a file without distortion. Secondly I can’t have the audio normalized to 0db as it increases “noise” in an mp3. I normalize the show to -1db usually to allow for this.

    Because the original was already clipped it means I have to normalize the audio down by about -1.5db to correct it, or risk clipping and distortion when converted to an mp3. I take the original and convert it to a .wav before I do any manipulation. – This is to ensure that I am working with a lossless format and reduce loss of sound quality.

    The entire audio for the show is in mono format as well. This is again to save in size and because I am working with reduced quality it takes out a lot of hissing and high frequency sounds associated with .mp3 files that would be annoying to the listener.

    I did not do anything else other than the following in summary with your original file (most of the process affects all the audio in the show – not just your file):

    1. Convert to a .wav (16bit PCM audio lossless) to maintain audio integrity.
    2. Listen and check audio
    3. Normalize to -1.5db to eliminate existing clipping
    4. Save changes in normalization as a .wav (as above)
    5. Mix all audio for the show including the music track (doesn’t affect the quality at all)
    6. Render entire mixed track (podcast) as a .wav
    7. Convert podcast to a .mp3 with the following settings:

    – 48kb/s
    – 22.05khz
    – mono

    The result is a 33.8MB file down from an original size of up around 1GB. (I am on the laptop not my production machine so I don’t have the original on this machine or I could tell you exactly).

    Truth is that I do more to enhance quality than most podcasts out there. Most would not have fixed the clipping and most don’t do anywhere near the post production that I do. I see sound quality and production standards as a priority after content. You guys are the first to criticize the production standards of the show in the past 4 year history of the show. (It existed under a different name before the AGP and did 90 episodes under that name). In fact the AGP has been complimented for it’s high standards by most commentators and critics. In great contrast to your summary.

    I have edited I have edited over 200 hours of raw recorded audio which equates to over 600 hours of editing and post production. That’s 0.4 hours per day for the past 4 years. This just refers to the spoken audio that has been recorded – I hate to think what it equates to for the extras like the music, audio comments and other stuff like promos and bumpers that make a show. The entire show takes about 6 to 7 hours to post produce per episode and more to research and plan, about 20 hours per week in total. So yeah you could say that I have some experience.

    No. I am not doing anything wrong. As I have said previously, I have to make the podcast the same bit rate all the way through. Not only that the sample rate is 22.05khz and the bit rate is 48kbps. This is to keep the size down. While the music part would sound much better at something like 64bps and 44.100khz – it takes up a small time proportionately and would also make the size of the file huge. If the show was a music show and half the length I would do this, but it isn’t. it is 99% speaking – it is optimized for the spoken word.

    Also as I previously said – the sound quality is about one 10th the quality of a CD. So it is not going to be anywhere near what is acceptable for a master. It is difficult to get the mix right when you are balancing file size, length and quality.

    So I hope that again makes it clearer. No I am NOT doing anything wrong. Not at all. Just find it a kick in the guts when I consider how important quality is and getting everything as perfect as I can and yet continue to make our show accessible to 99% of people. I will understand if you don’t want your music played on the show.

  4. Dave: We’re a damned critical bunch (especially Sir Pent), so we must apologize. We attack each other ruthlessly, too. At any rate, I’m happy our music is on your show, which I find interesting and hilarious. At the same time, I understandably find it frustrating that we don’t seem to be putting our best foot forward by having the music sound good.

    It sounds like our fault that the mp3 was clipping, which is strange, really, because I don’t think we mixed down from the original tracks with the levels too high. Chopper, our main sound engineer is quite experienced and I haven’t noticed any particular problems with our music–not that I’m an expert, but there hasn’t been any obvious distortion. So I wonder where the problem is. This might even be an interesting issue for discussion on Aussie Geek!

    We would definitely welcome some suggestions about getting the quality up to snuff on the next song of ours to appear on your show. Let us know what to do. I, for one, would love to know more. I’m a musician, but I know next to nothing about sound engineering. When I tried to produce acceptable mixes of our music a few times, the result was garbage–sound engineering is hard work!

  5. Your right it is hard work! Thanks for the clarification. I understand that you guys are working at distance as well – that makes it harder.

    Truth is that I mix audio for podcasts and not for mastering. We have different requirements and I am an expert only with podcasts.

    Most of the music I use on the show is normalized at 0db – as most CD quality masters are – So I always have to beat that down – it is more forgiving if I do. I do not adjust anything in regards to the mix – because I can’t. I don’t apply any filters or EQ – which might emphasize certain frequencies. I don’t apply compression of any description to music – this WOULD change the sound significantly. The mp3 encoding does to this but only a small amount and knocking down the normalization by 1-2db usually minimises this to the point that most would not notice unless they were an engineer.

    The mix as it sounds in the show is the EXACT mix that I got from you guys – I did not change it at all. I can prevent the clipping in my audio – but I can’t get the clipped audio back – clipped is clipped – lost.

    Perhaps take a listen to other shows we have done and see if there is a difference – these have been produced in exactly the same way with the same bit rates and sample rates.

    My personal opinion having seen the original track on the levels – it seems that the individual tracks were mixed then processing done. I would suggest that similar to what I do that the tracks are processed – normalized – and anything else. Then mixed and then the final mix is normalized to a master level. Which is as I have said usually 0db – because that is pretty standard. In my redoing the normalization – just drops the volume by 1db – just a loudness or peak value change and will not affect the mix as such.

    I might be wrong and you may well be doing this already. But from my experience and listening to it it “sounds” like this is what has happened. Which would account for the louder guitar and softer vocals. But please bear in mind that the conversion to a low quality mp3 will have an effect on these audio qualities, but not to the point that you guys are noticing. That has to do with the original mix.

    One other suggestion I would give – is to put the original in an audio editor yourself and take a look at it. Then produce it in the same method I have described above and see what the result is. See if you can duplicate the result. If so you’ll see what I am talking about.

    Plus I am quite willing to put a link into the show notes to a higher quality version for listeners to download if you wish.

    Mate I am not an expert as said – but this is just my opinion knowing what I do and seeing a lot of music masters and adding them to shows and from my own editing and dealing with mp3’s and audio in general for podcasts. So I might be right off base. But it might help you guys.

  6. Well , I get to be the one to Root for Dave here. When he says he did all he could to make the MP3 come out smelling like a rose, its the truth. This aussie wanker has been riding my ass for months when it came down to audio quality. I was a co-host on the show and he constantly was on my case like : KW, your levels are peaking, KW you sound stuffy, KW you should amplify some of your spectrum. Shit like that ! Dave is one of those guys who puts so much effort into audio quality (and mixing stuff down so it sounds just right), he’s almost up there with those audio nerds who buy 1 inch thick speaker cable because they think it makes the stradivarious in Pachebells “Canon” stand out just a little better at 3′ 22″ into the performance. I could say Britney spears offered him a blowjob to mix down her latest album and make her sound even better.. But that would be a lie. ( Even Britney has her Standards ! )

    Just remember : Delivering audio to a radiostation or a record company is a different thing then delivering audio to a podcaster. We deal with different shit, slower pipes , stranger compression rates and even that shit called “mono” and that makes up for some strange sounding audio sometimes.

    So chill !
    And rock on.
    And send Britney over to me , cause she WILL think i’m hot.

  7. Dave,
    Please ignore the comments of the drummer (me) since he (me) is an idiot.
    In retrospect it was a slam against your show and that was nowhere in my mind as I was writing it. It’s still no excuse, but I do apologize.
    Sir Pent

  8. LOL – Knightwise, I’ll take that as a compliment… I think.

    Sir Pent: Apology accepted.

    I would add to what KW said about strange sounding audio – listeners of podcasts know this. They know that music doesn’t sound as good as part of a podcast than it would if they bought it off iTunes. (They would ask for a refund). They don’t see it as a reflection on the artist – but a part of podcasts – as KW says. We deal with manipulating audio in the extreme – few can pull it off – and Knightwise is another who can. Dedicated music podcasts are the exception – they optimise more for music than the spoken word.

    What the music on a podcast can do is get exposure to an audience that you might not have had before. Then they go and buy your track on iTunes! That is the goal at any rate and it works.

  9. choppernewt Says:

    As I’ve said before to the band, my experience with audio processing and bitrates is that this stuff happens and it’s basically beyond my pay grade to understand it, but there’s no way I would agree with the statement that Dave was doing anything “wrong” (and the band will attest that I said such in a lot stronger and more unpleasant language to them this morning in an email).

    Please excuse our comments, Dave and Knightwise – you guys are the EXPERTS, and as the mixer I am certain that any fault in in my treatment as you’ve alluded to. It’s my background in stagecraft that I blame – I get the piece to sound the way I want it by any means necessary, and in doing so I don’t doubt that there are things I’m doing which won’t play nice with bitrate conversion, processing, whatever. My bad.

    To fully change the subject – Dave, your new studio sounds so good after the last couple episodes. As I hadn’t listened before ep 6 or 7, I guess I thought you always sounded that way, all echo-y and stuff. I’m enjoying the new episode right now as I prepare for work, and it sounds awesome. You can also hear the relief in your voice that your place is getting more settled.

    Also, Keith – Blackhawks FTW!

  10. Ha – yeah – we have just completed a massive extension to our house. The echo you heard was the fact that I was on my laptop, in a room that was all walls and big and windowless and everything that is bad for audio. Unfortunately we moved the show to our new site and name just before we started it – so most episodes I sound like shit.

    BUT NOW I have my new studio and I am back to using my broadcast mic and headset, mixer and production PC. Glad you noticed the difference. I would have been worried otherwise. Keith too uses a similar set up. Cait uses a headset but it sounds great.

    And yes I am FAR less stressed and worried. I really enjoyed doing the show this week and It was a pleasure to mix. I emailed the guys and my opinion from our end that it was one the better shows we have done – you have good ones and bad – hopefully the listeners can;t tell – but this one was a ripper from our end.

    Damn it was fun…

  11. choppernewt Says:

    Yeah, I’m attempting to get work as a VO, and I use my computer room as an audition studio – it’s sort of half-finished, but does have a framed, open wall right into the totally unfinished laundry room. When I bought some new equipment to try and make my house up to par for actually doing real recordings and not auditions, the outrageously expensive mic I bought picked up every bit of echo from that unfinished room.

    My solution, being out of cash and time to do any real work, was to build some flat frames out of PVC, and using some big clips to hang moving blankets over them, then sectioning off a corner of the room with these flats and using that corner as a “booth”. It works amazingly well, but the room looks like an ER now (the blankets are that sick light blue color).

  12. Nice mate – but effective. I know a podcaster that has shit acoustics – they record their show with a top mic, under a blanket – yep – with a blanket over their head. Messy but it works!

    The other thing that might work is screens made from room dividers.

    But yeah those great mics are sometimes too good. Does the same apply for music as it does spoken word – decreasing the mic gain to eliminate external noise. For example – I can eliminate the PC noise by decreasing gain and tipping the level up a smidge to make up for it??? Although the new office space sees the PC under the desk and out of range for the most part.

  13. Welcome to the Lizards and Dave Show…

  14. choppernewt Says:

    I bought a Neuman (I forget the number, it’s not the really nice one but it’s pretty damn good) and a Grace 101 preamp, and the room treatments I did take care of pretty much all ambient noise except the computer. For an ISDN session, if I ever get to do one, the computer wouldn’t be on. But since I record on the computer, it is on for my auditions, and yeah the fan noise is the one thing I haven’t been able to address adequately yet. Taking the gain down does help, and for music vocals I’ve recorded right next to the desk, and sometimes with the furnace running, and it doesn’t matter because the music background covers it.

    With my auditions, though, it’s just naked voice and ANY ambient noise at all is present and a big distraction. The noise reduction filters on the computer don’t help either, as they give the audio a weird tinny quality – treble sounds really phase-y, like if you take a breath you can really hear what the NR is doing, and it’s not good. I can bring down the gain, but that’s no fun! I like to be loud!!!

    Next time I get motivated I intend to build a real booth instead of my moving blanket one, and hopefully that will take care of the problem once and for all. Then all that’s left is getting some gigs, which has been a struggle lately.

  15. I won’t get into the audio quality thing, ’cause that’s been done to death. πŸ˜›

    @Chopper: I’ve done the blanket thing too. damn-near suffocated trying to record the show one night. πŸ˜›

    @KW: Britney? Really?! Isn’t that kinda … used goods?

  16. Mic problems aren’t really a problem for us right now, except with regards to vocals as I think all of us are recording direct to PCs either via USB ports or microphone jacks. Chopper and I both use the USB Line6 Toneport for amplifer and tone modeling, which is a wonderful little gadget. So there is no significant external noise whatsoever. There IS interference from the computer monitor on guitar pickups, however, and I’ve had problems with a very noticeable buzz in recordings (in fact a new song we have coming out soon has an audible buzz that I left in, more or less out of laziness because I didn’t notice it until after I recorded–maybe it adds color!). I have to use the Toneport’s noise gate and “hum reducer” to lessen the effect of that weird interference.

    I do think I’ve been recording a little bit too hot: I have the Toneport output levels set at -15.3db, but I think I might take them down to -18db as it could make final mixing easier (Chopper, how do you have yours set?). Certainly the songs we did earlier this year, such as Giant Robot, are quite hot. The only mix I have in uncompressed WAV format, however, is Four H and Fourteen and when I looked at it in my audio editor I did notice it clipped at several points, which surprised me. I assumed my application (which is Mixcraft) simply functioned differently than Chopper’s (which is Cool Edit Pro), so I had to bring the levels down to render an mp3 from that file.

  17. Bring the gain down – then make it loud in post prod. You’ll get rid of the fan noise and get it loud without the distortion.

    It is amazing how low you can have audio and rescue it. The worst I have delt with was an interview and the person we were interviewing had levels of -40 to -45db.

    So even if your audio is -10 it is still totally useable and you’ll have a crap load more control over the finished product. I always aim for levels of -4 to -10db and bring it up with compression and normalize it. That’s the voice stuff and Skype can be a bit weird.

  18. ha now I am starting to see what you guys are using I can see what is happening a bit.

    Ignore anything you look at that says “output” volume. It is all BS when it comes to digital recording.

    Look at the levels. Go by the ACTUAL output that is being achieved not what the box on the input device says. So open the recording application and adjust the levels to suit and give some headroom. Watch the levels as you record. Trial and error I am afraid. Digital recording is far more sensitive to input than analogue – that said – I bet the -15db you got that thing set to is delivering something that is not around -15db… It will be more.

    If I was to go by what my mixer says is right for input it would be permanently clipping.

    The other thing is that initial point – keep the levels down and boost them to master in the final edit for the TRACK then mix it. That way you know the levels that are going in are all the same, or different as you need – but you will know that no single track will be responsible for clipping. Second you can get a cumulative effect from different tracks. In other words – you add one loud track to another loud track – both tracks are pretty lose to the 0db –> separately they are OK -m together they can cause a clip. Hence give yourself headroom in the editing of each track – then mix then normalize to the magic 0 – or a bit less if your creating an mp3 for web use. but for a master 0 is OK, but you can get away with -0.5db…

    Sorry chopper if this is over stepping the mark, and I might be telling you how to suck eggs, but just thoughts…

  19. Can I take just a moment to pop in here to say I have no technical audio knowledge whatsoever, aside from a misspent youth working in a mall “recording studio” where thirteen-year olds would come sing Tiffany’s greatest fucking hits in a tiny foam-covered booth and take a TMX tape away to blast in the car while diving into a box of Boardwalk Fries?

  20. And another moment to say how grateful I am that you guys DO know how to do so, and allow me to focus on the alcohol content of my dinners?

  21. Har har. I wouldn’t say I have any knowledge, either. I just know one thing: avoid getting the sound into the “red.” Green is gold.

    Other than that I only know I like it loud.

  22. As a final note, I’ve also had some experience with noise reduction filters and they really screw up the sound quality. I ran them on the digitized versions of our old tape-recorded musc from the early 1990s and I am not satisfied with the results: quiet sounds started to sound like they were coming from underwater. The filters did get rid of the tape hiss, but seriously degraded the final product. When you start with a shitty recording, you can’t magically make it better. Even so, I’ve considered re-mastering those old tapes again to see if I can get a better result. But would it be worth the time? Doubtful.

  23. choppernewt Says:

    I’ll experiment with the gain as you’ve suggested, Dave, that might be good. I think my opinion had been set back before I was using a real-live mic preamp, just the onboard preamp in my Mackie, and what I had found at that time was that if I took the gain down and jacked the level up in software, all the stuff I was trying to get rid of became audible again. But true, I haven’t tried that again with the new stuff, and maybe I’d get a better result.

    Still want a vocal booth, though.

  24. choppernewt Says:

    Matt

    You can lessen the underwater effect (at least in CEP software) by lowering the “percentage” (I guess?) of noise to be reduced – I’ve tried to find some medium where it gets rid of the real bothersome hiss but not so much as to give the recording that unpleasant wow effect. I can’t get it perfect – especially, as I mentioned, when you have something real treble-intensive like an isolated intake of breath – but you can get more of a balance. I did KTH a long time ago from the cassette and that’s when I figured out that you could make that kind of adjustment, and in the end it was very listenable. Other than the inherent problems with that recording, which are not fixable.

  25. choppernewt Says:

    And finally, no, totally not worth it.

  26. Well, I’m looking forward to a remastering of the master reels of HOIYS when and if you get them from Gator, and can find a machine to play them….

    I’d like to redo KTH with, as you say, less noise reduction, but also some EQ and that stereo imager to widen the sound. Potentially that album has the best sound, mainly because we actually tried to mic Pent’s drums rather than just having a mic somewhere in the room where his drums were.

    But I’m doing nothing for a while, not even picking up the guitar (which I haven’t done since finishing Block Party). Too much real work–but it’s fortunate I finished all my material for the “album,” unless I have to redo something. But come next year, I have some ideas for a new album….

    We need to have an album release party, with us jamming live. That’s a real problem, though, isn’t it?

  27. After having spent nearly an hour reading through these posts, I can honestly say that I don’t understand a damn word of it.
    Stupid drummer.

  28. Yes, yes, I’m getting the tapes to Chopper, hopefully Saturday. Maybe earlier. Probably not.

  29. Fart in the box as you wrap them up.

  30. Oh, it’s more than a fart.

  31. choppernewt Says:

    Unfortunately although we could dress up KTH, the inherent problem, specifically with the first couple songs, is that there is a cassette-sourced phasing of the high-end where the treble comes in and out, which I can’t do anything about. I did my digital version from the metal “master” cassette we made, so unless the old four-track tapes themselves exist and don’t have that, my copies are about as clean as they’re going to get, and they are not good.

    Also there’s the suck factor.

  32. Maybe we should re-record YOKO?

  33. I was thinking…maybe I should be insulting to people that are nice to us all the time! This has been some of the best conversation we’ve had in months.

    Waddya think?

  34. FUSP.

    That’s what I think.

    You keep bringing up the rerecording of Yoko. I guess we should do it. Right after the next album.

    I looked around for the 4-track tapes of, well, anything a while back and could find nothing at all. Who knows what happened to them all.

    Now back to work. And more coffee.

  35. choppernewt Says:

    The next album is going to be called FUSP. Confirmed.

  36. How about Iβ™₯SP instead?

  37. I♣SP.

  38. For the godz sake, I turn my back a minute and craziness erupts….

    FUSP will have to be a song or an EP since I already have a really good idea for the second album and I’m just awaiting the opportunity to unveil the cover art.

  39. choppernewt Says:

    I need Dave to come back and tell me how to make fancy playing-card symbols in my comment posts. I can’t keep up.

    Matt – does it involve a nun?

  40. Hey boys, Herne here just popping my nose in…

    If you want to talk about shyte audio, just listen to MY piece! Isn’t my singing killer? I thought so too!

    I’ve done the under the blanket bit before, it makes me sound better but it’s a pain in the backside to juggle the blanket and keep it from rubbing on the mic boom. I’m also using one of those silly Logitech USB headset/mic sets and Audacity to do my audio… I just send Dave large files and he makes me sound better (almost human even).

    When I listened to the song I thought it sounded pretty good! I presumed the hard guitar intro was part of the whole theme? The vocals could’ve probably come up a bit, but that would’ve probably required a mixer… I obviously don’t have a mixer either otherwise I would’ve dropped the vocals down on my tune a bit. I kind’ve liked the “radio effect” of the vocals though. I must also say that I am also a complete n00b when it comes to audio and I probably couldn’t tell the differences Dave was talking about unless you pointed it out to me.

    I’m also wondering if you originally listened to the podcast through the website or through iTunes. I find that I get mixed results when I listen through the website player. iTunes generally gives better audio results…

    Otherwise, looking forward to the interview on AGP! You audiophiles can talk shop with Dave, and us Canadians will go, “Eh?”

  41. Your singing is fine!

    If you’d like, all of the songs are over at:
    http://reverbnation.com/lizardsfromafar

    They do not have the compression applied so you can make the comparison between the two. (Also…it’s FREE, so download them all, enjoy and tell all of your friends.)

    I listened to it by directly downloading the mp3 file and listening in WMP.

    I’m also looking forward to hearing Chopper Newt be interviewed. I’m sure it will be all about ME because I am his hero.

    Sir Pent

  42. No, it doesn’t involve a Nun… although the return of Sister Mary Bulemia isn’t a bad idea! My idea involves some graffito here in my NYC neighborhood.

    I’ll give the iTunes version a try, but for some reason I can’t fast forward a podcast on iTunes, so the song is an hour and half into the show and I can’t sit here listening to it for now.

    It occurs to me that I’m the only one of LFA who doesn’t go by his Lizard stage name on the blog, which might be confusing to the rest of the, er, world. This is because 1) I’m not quite as geeky as the other guys, and 2) I have an academic blog also on wordpress, in fact, on the same account, and I don’t want my students calling me “Dr. Gecko.” Although now that I write it, I’m not entirely sure why…

  43. choppernewt Says:

    Yeah. There will be some discussion of you.

    Herne – glad you liked the song! I heard your part on my lunch break today. I used to love to do that kind of stuff – when I was in junior high I’d look for 12″ singles of songs I liked where they would put instrumental versions of the song on as an extra track. I used one for “Pac Man Fever” and won the local talent show.

    The next year, I used “Major Tom (Coming Home)” by Peter Schilling and got smoked by a rap crew.

    And I wrote a whole lyric to the tune of “Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker Jr about the Bears playing against San Francisco in the playoffs in ’84 (I think), that was all about how the Bears were going to kick the 49ers ass. It was called “Niner Busters”. I got my dad’s cassette recorder and made my family perform it to tape in the living room. Then the Bears got their collective pants pulled down. God damn it.

  44. Wow, Chopper. Just like DeBarba. It’s like you guys are twins.

    …and I officially think Dr. Gecko is so incredibly badass. It’s like the name of one of the characters on Thunderbirds or Super Car!

  45. @choppernewt: Heh! I’m just a smartass that can do a fair rhyme. When I was a kid I could sing along with the radio pretty well, and I did some “experimental” music in high school with tape loops and synth’s. Best to forget that period of my life, I think. ;P

    I used to do a fair “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves” with Cher… but that’s another story.

    @Matt: If you let the podcast download completely, you can click play and then drag on the slider to just about any point in the audio file without having to listen through the whole thing. You can do the same thing on the AGP website by hitting play and then hitting pause after a couple seconds and it will download the podcast into your cache and then you can click play again and drag the slider.

    @Sir Pent: I’m checking out ReverbNation now. I didn’t see you on CDBaby when I looked, so I wasn’t sure if you were “published”… I’m also on MySpace, but I don’t generally frequent it.

  46. Give a listen to Giant Robot and you might hear what caused the hullabaloo in the first place. (But you should also download all the songs and tell all of your friends to do the same.) And send us a myspace friend req.

    We are not on CDBaby…yet. Once we finish the album we are going to decide what is our best course of action. So get the songs free now while they are still FREE.

    …and you should probably keep the Cher thing to yourself…

  47. Yeah, I’m Dr. Gecko, and don’t you forget it!

    “while they are still Free…” that’s funny.

    I wonder if I could get Geico insurance to promote us in their commercials. I’d like to see the Geico Gecko playing my telecaster. Maybe if we write a punk rock jingle for them…

  48. I have downloaded all of your tunes from ReverbNation as directed!

    I’ve listened to a couple now and I think I’m liking the quality of Clipboard (Unplugged) the best right now… coincidentally is it also the largest file and it has a higher bit rate.

    What’s wrong with Cher?! …I just had an idea for my next AGP ditty. πŸ˜›

  49. Ha! What a compliment to me, since that’s the only one I mixed (and I also saved it at 256kbps, rather than the standard 128). Well, Chopper: you’re fired.

    Just kidding.

  50. choppernewt Says:

    DeBooBoo is a Peter Schilling fan?

  51. Herne,
    Nothing is wrong with Cher. She’s just a well kept secret and we fans don’t want to share her with the general listening public!
    “Half-breed, that’s all I ever heard”

  52. It’s Cait (not Kate)…

    There should be more songs about Robots.

  53. Agreed I loved Giant Robot!! Very cool song.

    Just wanted to also say that I have started a thread on the forums that even your blog readers might be interested in:

    http://aussiegeeks.lefora.com/2008/11/12/questions-for-lizards/page1/

    Thought it might be fun as well. You guys are welcome to contribute. You get a better interview that way, it is not supposed to be a surprise!

  54. Cait: Sorry. (Damn…I’m screwing up with the AGP all over the place. Someone lock me back in the basement!) I changed it from Kate to Cait in the original post.

    Dave: Oh, I have LOTS of questions for Chopper Newt…

  55. choppernewt Says:

    The answers to SP’s questions are no, no, no, physically impossible, and no.

  56. Well, then the questions are:
    – Should I give up on my quest to sing a song on a Lizards album?
    – Have I ever ticked you off with my emails or blog posts?
    – Are you tougher than Sir Pent?
    – Will you ever get over your intense physical attraction to Sir Pent?
    – Do you think you’ll ever stop wetting the bed?

  57. Don’t say “physically impossible” until you’ve seen the apparatus.

    @Sir Pent: You forgot, “When are you going to move out of your mom’s basement.”

  58. choppernewt Says:

    Yeah, with regard to the set up, you’re welcome, Metro.

    And I have my very own basement now, thank you very much. Sadly, mom refuses to come over and clean it.

  59. To return to tech talk, I just downloaded two new vst plugins: a vintage VU meter and a “brick wall limiter” called the “barricade” (great names, really). I wonder if using one of these things is “cheating” and adds too much compression to the music, or if it is a useful way to normalize the output. On the face of it, I’d say it’s quite useful (I’m trying it now with my 202330 tracks, which are very loud). I guess I’d have to mix down and see what the results are. At any rate, I can set the gain (have it now at 0.0db) and the brick wall at -2.0 and there’s no way the song will ever peak anywhere. Is this any different than a “master limiter?” It seems the same, but the one I downloaded certainly works better than the one that came standard with my recording application.

    On the other hand, I can’t figure out how to read the VU meter at all.

    Too bad you can’t use any of these vst plugins, Chopper.

  60. Just back from MA…VERY tired. VERY bad flight.

  61. choppernewt Says:

    Jesus, why don’t you just move to Siesta Key, start eating dinner at 4pm and call it a day already.

    I kid.

  62. Try flying twice a week. After a while I got to enjoy it, really. But with all that flying, I get to experience things in flight that most of us don’t. Last Sunday night we had a terrific tail wind and crosswinds that at one point literally blew the plane sideways so that it started to roll. Pretty freaky, except the plane rights itself, I think, without the pilot having to do all that much.

    Anyway, forget all that tech talk. I’ve been sitting here studying guitar and forgot all about limiters and whatnot. What’s really important is how much I don’t know about guitar even after all these years. Do you realize how many chords I don’t know? And there are chords I’m playing that I don’t even know the name of. And let’s not talk about scales. I make do with major, minor, pentatonic, and blues. But wouldn’t it be nice to use a Ionian scale? Or a whole tone? Ugh.

  63. Sir Pent is not allowed to ask any questions, he has used his quota up… Although they were wondering on the AGP forums if you have your dick pierced? it would explain a lot… πŸ˜›

    You guys should write a song about the whole Sir Pent incident… lol

  64. Chopper: Zing! I pale in comparison to your extreme manliness. (How was this week’s Dungeons & Dragons with DeBarba?)

    Matt: This was the bumpiest flight I’ve ever been on. Nothing “major” happened, but it was like 3 hours of driving down the bumpiest road in the world.
    I was on a flight a few months ago where we hit some kind of pocket, the plane suddenly dropped and everything/everybody in the plane flew up into the air!

    Dave: I was going to have a dick piercing, but they didn’t have anything big enough to fit me…

  65. Such a predictable answer.

    Pent: Why were you in MA anyway? You should’ve made a detour to NYC so we could go out for a beer.

  66. Oh, and about the piercing thing: I bet we’re the only punk band in America in which none of the members has any piercing or tatoos. Am I right? We’re a bunch of old farts, that’s for sure. We should move to Siesta key and begin having dinner at 4:00. We can jam in the assisted living community.

  67. One of the software providers we use quite a bit was having a user conference. One on one meetings with customer support, software engineers, training sessions, and surprisingly little drinking.

  68. choppernewt Says:

    I used to wear an earring.

  69. It was a clip-on, though.

  70. choppernewt Says:

    No, it was real. I still have the hole.

    3…. 2…. 1….

  71. Ye godz, the level of discourse on this blog just gets lower and lower, even when you think it can’t possibly.

    The more important thing to discuss is: When will Pent-boy actually record drums to Block Party (because I’ve already composed some on the drum machine and if he doesn’t record soon, I’m going to fire him and use the drum machine)? And when when are both you guys going to record the rest of Poster Child, presumably the last song to be done for our undoubtedly long awaited “album?”

  72. I just got it uploading. Geesh. I thought Chopper said we could take our time with this one…

  73. It’s uploaded.
    If this does not meet expectations, I will come up with something different.

    Poster Child…haven’t really thought about that one in a while.

  74. choppernewt Says:

    Meet expectations. Funny. Reminds me of my real job. Blorf.

  75. I hope you like it.

  76. It had better meet expectations or you won’t get your commission this week.

    About Poster Child, start thinking. And don’t forget the clap track.

    My flight to Ohio was a rough ride today, too. It was as if the airplane was a stone skipping across a pond. But I slept anyway.

  77. choppernewt Says:

    Site traffic is not meeting expectations today. Demerits for the marketing department and taco day is cancelled.

  78. Well…now I’m afraid to say anything and when I say stuff is when all the traffic starts happening.

  79. choppernewt Says:

    Write another post about Gene Simmons. That shit was gold.

  80. Anyone who calls me an “expert” (at anything) is bound to be right !
    Now Disperse from this thread people .. nothing more to see here .. move along (and get a life) .

  81. Expert = a drip under pressure

  82. Oh I get it.
    These AGP people can say things about eachother…but Sir Pent runs off at the mouth once and it’s throw-down time.

    That’s it. I’m kicking the ass of everybody that has posted on this thread.

    Here’s the order…so you know when you can expect a 5’2″, bushy eyebrowed, half-lunged whirling dervish at your doorstep:
    Chopper Newt
    Dave
    Gator
    Cait (I think I could take her!)
    Herne
    Knightwise
    Matt (That’s right…you’re last. Know fear.)

  83. choppernewt Says:

    “5β€²2β€³, bushy eyebrowed, half-lunged whirling dervish ”

    You forgot “invalid”.

  84. Piercings: 0
    Tattoos: 3

    WOOT!

  85. Come after me last, Pent-up-boy, and I’ll tattoo your face with the imprint of my knuckles. Ha! I laugh at your empty threats. I fart in your general direction.

    And Gator, location and subject of tattoos, please.

  86. Cool Sir Pent is coming to visit πŸ™‚

  87. Careful what you wish for, Dave.
    When the still functioning right side of my body goes into action it’s like watching an epileptic tornado of death!

  88. Give me some warning and I’ll put some steel cap boots on πŸ˜‰

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