Cell Phone to Sound Board for only $20!

I have successfully finished yet another garage-shop electronics project that actually WORKS!

Tuesday, Pastor Mike at Rez announced that in two weeks, when they’re on their short-term missions trip to India, they’ll be performing yet another Skype call in to 6:33 pm. However, the last two or three times they’ve been anywhere, they’ve tried this, and every time it’s been a rig. Here’s how they did it: a laptop on their end runs Skype, the Mac computer on our end runs Skype, but the bandwidth is low enough that we can only manage video. The audio cuts in and out. So for audio, we do a regular cellphone call (and use the headphone jack on the phone to pipe it into the sound board at church). And on top of that, we relied on the built-in mic in the cell phone to pick up any audio for the overseas guys to hear. A really poor setup to say the least. And each time, I’ve promised to come up with a better solution for next time.

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Step Seq

A few days ago I discovered an amazing music program hosted on the game site Kongregate. Apparently the creator, the guy who runs QuickFingers.net is in some sort of contest for a LOT of money to see who can make the coolest music game on that site. Well, his was on top when I checked a few days ago, and I tried it out. It was AWESOME!! The game he created is called Step Seq (try it at https://www.kongregate.com/games/quickfingerz/step-seq).

Really, this is just like any hardware-based step sequencer, which is apparently some sort of grid of buttons that you can press and it will modulate a midi device and play back notes. Each row on the grid is a single note, while each column is some sort of time index. The sequencer part is based on a concept that the grid will play itself over and over and you can change the settings each time.

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Soundcards and Shoutcast

Yesterday I received an Amazon order in the mail. It was my first ever ExpressCard device!

A few years ago, I burned out the left channel on my laptop headphone jack, so if I wanted to listen to anything with a pair of headphones at the library or something, I couldn’t without putting up with just one side of the stereo mix. So last week, I went on Amazon and found a Creative (Soundblaster) ExpressCard sound card. Just yesterday, it came in the mail and I got it up and running! And I have to say it has excellent quality. 

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Idea for New Computer

So we’re having this BIG thing at church where a group of probably seven to ten guys are going down to Argentina in about a month or so. They’re trying to set it up so that the Tuesday when we’re meeting and they are gone, they’ll Skype us during service and we’ll be able to put it up and talk with them live. I think this is pretty cool. However, we were running into a few security bugs last week when we tested (security locked me out of being able to open Skype up). We’ll be testing it again tomorrow night, and I think the IT guy at church fixed it. Anyway, he said he’d look into it this last week.

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