Ubisoft Reveals PC system requirements for The Crew

There are more games right now that are dropping off support for a 32-bit operating system and Ubisoft’s racing MMO game The Crew is one of them. You will need a powerful processor with at least a 4GB of RAM and a good graphics card to run this smoothly.

Image source: gamespot.com

Here are the official minimum and recommended specs for the game.

Video: Watch the PlayStation 4 Taken Apart Here

While you’re all waiting for the PlayStation 4 to come out on November 15, the guys over at Wired dropped by at Sony’s Tokyo HQ to get a first exclusive look at the console.

MMA Fighter Nick Diaz Might Go to Jail

Nick Diaz
Image source: Usatoday.Com

After fighting George St-Pierre to a losing cause in the last UFC 158 main event for the welterweight title at Bell Centre, Nick Diaz is probably going to jail. The reason? Not paying taxes.

The MMA fighter has revealed after the post-fight press conference that he never paid taxes in his entire life. For him, it was the perfect timing to tell the world and the U.S. Government about it. He also talked about his poor preparations before the fight which eventually saw St Pierre retaining his belt on a lopsided victory.

Diaz said after the match that he has retired but during the midway of the conference, he said he wanted a rematch with GSP or Carlos Condit.

Dana White, owner of UFC, said he will talk to Diaz’s lawyer to see if he can help.

Breaking sports news video. MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL highlights and more.

Choosing A Portable Digital Recorder For Podcasting

As with all tech gadgets and devices, deciding on what brand or model of portable digital recorder to get can be quite a task. I’m hoping to make things a bit easier for you by giving you a few suggestions. ;)

Zoom H4n (BHPhoto, Amazon) – The H4n is probably the most popular digital audio recorder out of the bunch. This handheld can record up to 4 channels of audio, and has features that one would find from professional recording devices like onboard true X/Y stereo microphones, which by the way can be rotated to a select 90 or 120-degree recording pattern.

 Zoom H1 (BHPhoto, Amazon) – The H1’s most noticeable selling point is its small size, and although few pundits criticize it for its built, one thing about the H1 that keeps getting praises is the amount of features that Zoom managed to cramp in. The size-versus- sound quality and the price leave you no excuse to not bring it with you anywhere.

 Tascam DR-40 (BHPhoto, Amazon) – What most users love most about the DR-40 is its long battery life, its capability to record on 4 channels at once, and its combination of XLR and ¼ inputs, which is why quite a number of DSLR owners use this particular audio digital recorder when they’re making films.

 Sony PCM-M10 (BHPhoto, Amazon) – Also deemed as one of the favorite audio recorder amongst podcasters, the PCM-M10 is said to be great for field or outdoor recording. One thing worth noting about the PCM-M10 though is the internal mic’s sensitivity; it can be a double-edged sword. Some found it as a plus while others found it to be just way too sensitive. If you find yourself to be on the latter’s side, then it might just be a good idea to also get a windshield.

 Tascam DR-07mkII (BHPhoto, Amazon) – One of the best things about the DR-07mkII is that it has built-in auto-leveling which is great for removing unnecessary noise like the sound of wind. It also has a Reverb effect that makes recording or playback most suitable for any event.

Now I try not to say anything about a product’s sound or recording quality since it is something that I believe to be subjective. What I might claim to have 9/10 rating might only be a 7/10 to you, and that is even already assuming that you’re an audiophile. Plus, a lot of listeners could hardly even notice the difference.

Oh, and never compare products solely based on the price tag. Just because one product costs more than the other doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s already the best. For all you know, the only reason why it costs much more is because it has more features, features that you might not even have any need or use for. So before heading out to buy one, take some time to think about what features you really need from your digital recorder.

3 Top Microphone Candidates for the Mobile Podcaster

Contrary to what most people think, not all podcasters do their recordings in the comfort of their own homes. Some on-the-go podcasters do this from various locations for many reasons, one of which is that their interviewees don’t have the option or liberty to leave their current locale.

That’s why in today’s hardware feature, I’m listing three of the best microphones for the roving podcaster. Here they are in no particular order:

The Snowball

Made by Blue Microphones, the Snowball is a true plug-and-play device, quick and easy to setup because it requires no power hub or driver. It is capable of recording 44.1kHz audio at 16-bit resolution and has a frequency response of 40Hz-18kHz. At the back is a 3-point switch that lets you set the recording patterns (cardioid, cardioid with 10dB pad, and omni). In layman’s terms, that means you can set the pick up range from ‘Wide’ for recording two or more people, to ‘Focused’ for recording just one person.

Bottom line is, it won’t replace your studio quality mic but this is a good deal in itself. It wouldn’t surprise me if professional musicians use this to record their ideas and rough demos while on the road.

The Snowball comes in white, silver and black. Also available is a universal shock mount/suspension kit, which helps eliminate external vibrations and noise. Personally, its looks alone is enough to make me want one.


Samson Meteor Mic

Setting its attention-grabbing and undeniably sleek vintage design aside, the Samson Meteor Mic comes with an equally cool integrated stand that provides several standing position options and a neat carry case. Moreover, on its body you’ll find an LED status light indicator, a stereo 1/8-inch zero latency headphone output, and a volume control.

It sports a cardioid pick up pattern capable of 16-bit, 44.1/48kHz recording resolution and frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz. And like the Snowball, the Meteor Mic also requires no driver install and USB power hub, making it ideal for use in VOIP, Skype, and of course, podcasting.


Blue Microphones Snowflake

Last but certainly not least is the Snowball’s cousin, the Snowflake. I guess one could say that Blue Microphones has just found its way into the hearts of a considerable number of podcasters.

Like the two aforementioned microphones, this condenser cardioid microphone is also a driverless device that has no need for any power hub that’s capable of recording 44.1kHz at 16-bit resolution.

Its whole compact design is just ideal for traveling podcasters as it comes with an integrated tray for its 3-foot USB cable making transportation convenient. Plus, its foldable mounting clip allows it to easily rest on your laptop.


Upgrade Your Podcast to Increase Your Audience

You’ve got your own podcasting platform, your listeners, and your topics. You may have been podcasting regularly, but with a few tweaks like those mentioned below, you can still upgrade your podcast quality – and perhaps increase your audience. At the very least, you can increase your existing audience’s interest in your material. Good luck!

1.       Microphone

Invest in a professional mic for better sound quality. There are a number of entry-level professional mics that provide smooth sound output yet won’t strain your budget. Besides, most of these models come from the same companies that produce pricier and high-end recording gear as alternatives to suit everyone’s needs and budget constraints.

2.       Music

Music adds more color and depth to your work. An intro and outro may sound professional but before you take on clips of your favorite song, be wary of copyright laws that cover it. You don’t want to get sued for copyright infringement right?

Instead of using label-owned music, you can use available soundtrack samples from recording software. You may want to check out Royalty Free Music, Freeplay Music , Music Bakery, and Shockwave for podcast-friendly music.

3.       Sound Adjustments

You should learn how to work with editing software. Invest time in it so you can have total control over factors like sound levels, dead air, speaker volume – left and right channel, sound output balance, fading in and out into your intro and outro soundtrack, etc. Good editing can greatly improve your work’s final output and make it sound professional. The same applies to creating videos for your podcast.

4.       Filtering

A microphone screen – or even a piece of nylon stocking stretched over a loop of wire – can help reduce and filter out unnecessary and annoying sounds like popping (loud P’s and B’s) and breathiness in your recordings. You may not notice your little exhalations when you speak, but your listeners can.

5.       A Dedicated Website

Move your podcast from a free service platform to your own blog site. Using a more dedicated website leaves a more professional and authentic impression on your listeners and visitors. Also, this gives you more freedom to include upcoming shows, iTunes subscription links, contact information, events, promos, free downloads, show notes and RSS, all of which can be very attractive to your existing and potential audience.



Mic in Review: The Black Hole BH-2

If you’re a podcaster who considers himself as a hardcore audiophile and is looking for a unique brand of microphone then you might want to check out The Black Hole BH-2 by JZ Microphones. Designed as a condenser mic, the BH-2 comes in a nice-looking cherry wood finish case. Included is a uniquely designed shock mount that snaps into the 2 pins in the mic’s center, making it look like it’s floating from the stand.

It is available with an optional custom blast filter, and it sounds great with the Tube Tech plugin. The cardioid pattern allowed for a nice off-axis leniency and very good rejection. It works well with both male and female voices, with tenors where it almost doesn’t need any further equalizing.

With a street price tag that hovers somewhere around $1,099, this isn’t what you would call your daddy’s microphone. After all, I did say “hardcore audiophile” in the beginning didn’t I? ;)

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