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Ritchiejames

Let's Play Alpha Centauri?

112 posts in this topic

How about "stereo mix" setting?

 

In WinXP: in control panel there is option

 

Sounds and audio devices -> Audio (tab) -> Sound recording, button: Volume.

 

This opens "Recording control"

 

I think having unchecked both mic and stereo mix mute checkboxes can make it possible to record in camstudio both game sound and microphone.

 

I think Stereomix is a Realtek feature; at least it's not part of the Creative products, where a similar feature is called "what U hear". However, my Creative card does not really work, and the "what U hear" option may have significant limitations. Either my mic is muted, or I can record no in-game sounds. Yeah, it sucks! :(

 

Oh, and CamStudio definitely does not recognize my audio setup in any way--but at least it works :)

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There is a free (I believe) Windows Movie Maker program from Microsoft. If it is not in the system, I think one can download it and instal. There is possibility to overlay an additional sound tracks. It has actually quite decent movie editing.

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It's not very difficult to figure out how to do things in, either.

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If there is a copy of Windows Movie Maker on your system, and you use XP, it may not be the newest version. You should download from here if your version number is less than 2.1 (and you use XP, Vista and win7 have a slightly better and different thing) and you want to use it.

 

My flawed audio settings do not allow for live commentaries. This is particularly unfortunate for preference settings and the general game setup, because I got no idea how much there is to say about the menus and settings... unless I comment using a script (and I won't do that). The alternative is to record with the in-game sounds off and do a live commentary.

 

I'd definitely keep the in-game sounds. Perhaps you should consider recording your voice to a different device, like an MP3 player, at the same time as you play the game. You can sync them up later in whatever editing software you're using.

 

If you get an echo on the non-PC recording you could mute your speakers or use a fluffy mic.

 

I have Realtek on my desktop, and it's definitely a bit rubbish. I disabled the stereomix option when I realised it was causing loads of echo on my mic (I use a USB headset now, though, so it's not a problem).

 

About the avatar, you didn't get it from any game? It really reminds me of something...

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Well...

 

Windows Movie Maker has some annoying features that I cannot seem to change:

  • Very limited resolution settings
  • Auto-format (4:3-5:4-16:9-etc.) that messes up certain videos, but can be "fixed" by cropping the raw recording in RAD
  • Very poor compression/encoding. This is my biggest issue as I get very blurry video (poor, poor quality)

It's very easy to use, but the quality is surprisingly poor. If I can find a way to get good quality, I'll probably use Windows Movie Maker.

 

Instead, I'm planning on using:

  • CamStudio for recording video and in-game audio
  • VirtualDub for editing the CamStudio video
  • RAD Video Tools for ripping the in-game audio from the VirtualDub file
  • Audacity for adding commentary onto the ripped audio track while I watch the video without sound

All that's left to do is to replace the old video soundtrack the new (VirtualDub can do this). I hope it works, although I need to rework the audio 3 or 4 times in the process.

 

DrazharLn, the idea of skipping in-game audio in favor of live commentary is only for all the menus, settings, and preference options---NOT for actually playing the game. However, the idea of an external digital recorder may be exactly the solution I've been seeking :b: I have no idea about mp3 players, though, so again, any help here is appreciated.

 

I've got some concerns about live commentating the actual game. I don't think I've ever been able to go into "automatic mode" in Alpha Centauri, playing fast and knowing exactly what to do. I spend a lot of time looking at the map, the bases, the units, etc. while devising a short-term strategy and keeping mental notes of when bases grow, when to switch production, or rush buying, etc. I also consult the Datalinks, view the leader standings, and ponder when and if I should contact someone. So, while my mind is working like crazy, there's nothing really happening on the screen--and if something is happening, it happens very, very quickly. This does not really work for a "let's play" at all.

 

Instead, I am wondering if I should do 10 year segments. I start the recording, play for 10 or so turns. Save the game and stop recording. Think and devise a plan for the next 10 years, while I am looking at the game. Load the save. Rinse and repeat. Something like that...

 

---

 

And I'm not disclosing the origin of my avatar, but perhaps someone can solve the mystery :whistle:

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What didn't you like about Fraps again?

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Instead, I'm planning on using:
  • CamStudio for recording video and in-game audio
  • VirtualDub for editing the CamStudio video
  • RAD Video Tools for ripping the in-game audio from the VirtualDub file
  • Audacity for adding commentary onto the ripped audio track while I watch the video without sound

 

Won't virtual dub just allow you to add two sound tracks? I just did some research, vanilla VirtualDub, but VirtualdubMOD will, at least according to comments on that page and this guy. Audacity will give you more control, but it means you have to do more potentially lossy conversions.

 

DrazharLn, the idea of skipping in-game audio in favor of live commentary is only for all the menus, settings, and preference options---NOT for actually playing the game. However, the idea of an external digital recorder may be exactly the solution I've been seeking :b: I have no idea about mp3 players, though, so again, any help here is appreciated.

I imagine that when recording sound to an mp3 player, the main quality issue will be getting a decent mic. Most mp3 players will record using a tiny little mic hidden away somewhere. So you'd either want one with a good quality mic or that takes audio input by 3.5mm jack (I'm assuming here that you have a decent mic already).

 

mp3 players aren't generally rated on their dictaphone capabilities, though, so it could be hard finding something good. A better first port of call might be your mobile phone. Most of them take audio recordings and pretty much all modern phones will allow you to save that in a contemporary file format and transfer it to PC. Disadvantage is that you might have to hold the phone close to your mouth as not all of them will allow you to give input by 3.5mm jack.

 

A final option as a standalone recorder would be a purpose made digital recorder, but you need to be sure here that you get one that takes jack input (if you don't want to have to hold it), records to some format you can use and most crucially lets you get the data to a PC.

 

Something like this is probably your best bet if you want to go for a dedicated recorder, it's got separate jacks for input and output, it records to a bunch of different formats and it's storage is basically a USB stick, so you can definitely

get the files off later. It will also focus perfectly well as an above averagely big mp3 player, if you want to use it like that.

 

For mp3 players with mics, it's hard to make a recommendation as no one normally pays attention to the mics, and unless your phone already has the functionality I describe (worth a look), I wouldn't expect you to get a new one.

 

I've got some concerns about live commentating the actual game. I don't think I've ever been able to go into "automatic mode" in Alpha Centauri, playing fast and knowing exactly what to do. I spend a lot of time looking at the map, the bases, the units, etc. while devising a short-term strategy and keeping mental notes of when bases grow, when to switch production, or rush buying, etc. I also consult the Datalinks, view the leader standings, and ponder when and if I should contact someone. So, while my mind is working like crazy, there's nothing really happening on the screen--and if something is happening, it happens very, very quickly. This does not really work for a "let's play" at all.

 

Instead, I am wondering if I should do 10 year segments. I start the recording, play for 10 or so turns. Save the game and stop recording. Think and devise a plan for the next 10 years, while I am looking at the game. Load the save. Rinse and repeat. Something like that...

That's a lot how I play, taking my time. I guess you've just got to experiment. If you edit heavily, though, it should be ok even if you take your time, that might be kind of against the idea of the thing, though.

 

And I'm not disclosing the origin of my avatar, but perhaps someone can solve the mystery :whistle:

I'm sure he's a character from a game or a webcomic. Something like that :unsure:

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mp3mymp3 records directly to the computer. The newest is version 3, but version 2 is good for like win XP.

 

commentaries could be recorder later too, while replaying the recorded image.

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I'm getting pretty annoyed with my audio card. Just got the machine back from the repair shop, and I "think" I'm able to record live now--with in-game audio, but the mic humming is still present. Tomorrow, I'll try get an USB connected headset, and hopefully this'll fix the humming issue.

 

---

 

DrazharLn :b: I've mostly been paying attention to video issues because my audio configuration has been faulty so far--and still is. I was actually under the impression that VirtualDub had options for 2+ soundtracks; I'll definitely be looking into VirtualDubMOD! Thank you!

 

As for all the current gadgets... :scared: I'm from the analog times. I've got all kinds of high quality analog equipment for sound recording (microphones, amplifiers, mixers, tape recorders, PA systems, etc.), but I don't have an mp3 player, no iPod (whatever it is), and, uhm, no mobile phone or actually any phone at all.

 

Finally, I want to use free software for the project, because that'll allow for everyone to pick up on similar projects for free.

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I'm glad I was able to help you a little.

 

If only I could tell you why your mic was humming...

Edited by DrazharLn
Unnecessary quote removed

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Internet consolation :D

 

I did a test 1024x768 live recording and it seems to work; mic and in-game sounds. That's good news!

 

Here's hoping the humming is caused by the mini-jacks of my current headsets (which can't be the case at all), and a that a new USB headset will fix it. :fingerscrossed: If not, I may have to return the audio card for a refund, and getting a proper card--resulting in further "let's play" delays.

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quill18 is starting a Let's Play SMAC [Video Playthrough] here

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