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Making Podcast: Noise Gate and what the heck is routined anyway


OK, I’m off making my weekly podcast show and I’ve finally figure out how to turn off all the echos and other things that are on in GarageBand, but here are some notes:

  1. When you create a new GarageBand, the most annoying thing are all the automatic things that are happening. First of all I selected something like Natural Voice which by the way doesn’t sound natural at all.
  2. The problem is that when you try to delete it that isn’t easy, you have to know all the various settings and they live in two places, there are track settings and there are master settings.
  3. The track settings, you get by clicking on a track and then you can see compressor and other controls.
  4. The trick is that there is another tab called master and so you need to click there and then on Controls in the middle. In my case, echo was on in the master, so you need to shut that off. So hopefully this podcast is as natural as possible.
  5. The one setting that seems useful particularly for a noob is Automatic Level Control which even with a good mike is hard to get exactly right.
  6. There is a setting called Noise Gate which basically filters anything out below a certain level. So that you don’t have ambient noise interfering in the quiet passages. At least for my room, -50dB works out great!

What’s all that NOISE!

Even with a nice mike, I was finding there was quite a bit of noise. I have to turn off the heating in the room, but then I noticed my Mac was just fanning away. A quick check of the Activity Monitor showed that I had lots of apps which I closed.

I normally only have Safari open with a window for each blog post and GarageBand, but it was still noisy because of something called routined. Turns out this is some sort of optimization for something that is running locally trying to figure out normal routine operations by geographic coordinates. Like we need this in the COVID era, so I just force quit it and now the Mac is quiet. A good tip is to look for things like this that are running in the background.

And yes, I do wish I had a finless MacBook Air M1!

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