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HPR4121: RODE wireless microphones

Hosted by Clinton Roy on 2024-05-20 00:00:00
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All right. Well, good evening, hackers. My name is Clinton. And this is a very off the cuff episode for me just to announce that I've got a new microphone. So I just wanted to run through a couple of details of that. Make a show, say a little about the microphone while I got it. What I hope to do with it. So this is a roadie wireless go to setup. It comes with three little boxes. Roughly, roughly, you can fit each one of the little boxes inside a matchbox. So there are three of these that come with the set that I bought. Two of them are microphones that you clip onto your lapel. The third is a transceiver. So at the moment, I've got the transceiver on and I've got one of the microphones on. I bought this because I'm going to be going to a conference soon. And one of the things that I do try to do at conferences is to interviews with people. And this is kind of nice in that I can switch these two microphones on. Give one to myself. Give one to the person I'm interviewing. And I don't have to use a single microphone and shove it underneath their faces. And I don't have to swap the microphone between the two of us. The other feature, like the particular reason I've got this model is that each of the two microphone units actually has built in RAM. So it will actually record, like if you've got it set up in the mode, which I do, you can get each microphone to do a backup recording of your presentation. The regular mode for this set of microphones is to actually treat the transceiver as a source and plug it into computer or plug it into your camera as a external microphone. But it has this lovely mode, which I'm recording this particular episode to. We can just turn it on. It's not the transceiver is not plugged into a computer. It's not plugged into anything. And it'll record something like 40 hours of voice. And later on, I can hook it up to my computer as a standard mass storage device and just download the waveform I believe. So it does have some Windows firmware or Mac firmware. I didn't have too much fun getting that to work under Linux. I tried under a couple of different VM products and wasn't having any luck. So try it under wine. I tried under open box. Eventually I did end up installing like a full Windows 10 install onto a qemu image. And that had enough stuff working such that I could install the Rode firmware on it. That let me do an upgrade of the firmware on the two microphones and the transceiver because the first thing you do when you buy something these days is out of the box you have to upgrade the firmware because why would they do that at the factory before they send it out when they can just make the users do that. And there is a phone app but it does not let you update the firmware on these particular hardware models. If I remember the error message correctly it does look like the Android app lets you update the firmware on other Rode microphone devices but not this particular model. So I had to go down the track of setting up a qemu. I did find a good blog post on how to set up a Windows box on qemu. It had a few things that seem outdated so maybe it's a job for future me to write an updated blog post on how to do this. If for nothing else instructions on how to do this in future when I need to rerun the firmware update. The other thing that I really needed to use the software for though is to switch on the recording option. So out of the box these things do not record to the memory that's built into the microphones. So I had to get, I had to update the firmware and then I had to run the software on both of the microphones to switch on the recording option. But now that that switched on I can just hook it up as a USB master device as I've mentioned before and presumably I can just copy the files and delete the files and I won't actually have to run that software. So yeah there's a number of options going forward so I can write that blog post with the updated details. There were a number of hoops that I found that I did not have to go through of the blog post I found so things are getting easier over time. Depending on how in depth I want to go I could potentially one day sit down and install like a USB listening device and see if I can work out how to work out if there are any magic packets getting sent to do the configuration on the device. Do I need to break any crypto stuff or is it just a straight command like plug in the device and send a command with a few funky options. So maybe in the very distant future when I've got no other things on I could try and work out a pure USB non windows solution for setting some of these configuration options. I'm not sure I'd go down the track of updating the family I think that's probably a little bit too risky but you know maybe one day in the future. But yeah basically this set of microphones assuming that it works out okay assuming that it sounds good. I'll hopefully be using these for conferences coming up. Hopefully as well I'll be able to use it for camping and stuff like that so if I'm out and about I'll just be able to pull out these two things transceiver, microphone, a couple of clicks turn them on they talk to each other wirelessly and then start recording something. So it's much smaller than the current microphone that I'm using so it's much easier to travel with. There are two of them so that when I'm interviewing someone it's much easier and it's got recording memory so I don't actually have to plug them into a computer so all up it should be much easier to use. I think it might even give better recording outputs and hopefully like increase the number of talks and presentations that I give on HBO. So that's been Clinton this has been a very off the cuff recording I very much am used to sitting down and writing out a full script for these things so I'm doing this because it's cool new hardware but also because HPR needs more episodes. So yeah maybe other people can do an episode on what particular funky wireless or what particular microphones that they've got that they enjoy using and what the advantages are and disadvantages are. That's it for now. Ciao.

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