Techno-Babble-On-Final-220Thanks for joining us on the maiden voyage of this new section of the Babble-On Recording Babble-Blog. The overall moniker we’re hanging on this feature is, “Technology.” Now, before you snap your “back” button ’cause you feel this is just geek fodder or simply a huge snooze, let me toss out something that might make this a more pleasant journey for both of us.

See that “comments” link at the bottom? You can use it to, get this – communicate with us. That’s right – we’re dying to know what you want to know. Things you find confusing, techno trends about which you’re trying to play catch-up, or areas where you feel we’re dragging our asses. (And yes, Windows laptop users, we’ve now deigned to let you onto our secure WiFi network without undue hoop-jumping.) So, tell us what you’re curious about – we’d love to be your techno whipping boys.

Just to prime the pump a bit, here’s a topic that’s caused a little head-scratching for voice-over talent, writers, producers, et al. When we ask for what format the final mix, splits, voice-over recording, or ISDN Digitial Patch material should be provided in, we’ll hear something like “our client needs AIFF files on an audio CD.” Whoa! – seems simple enough, right? Well, in that simple statement there’s a full-force collision of incompatible terms; an audio version of Matter meeting Anti-Matter. If you were Scotty? – You’d be freakin’ too.

When we say “Audio CD,” we mean the type that’ll play in your mama’s boombox, home theater or car stereo. It’s very specific. It’s by far the most widespread, least common denominator for audio in a digital format.

However, throw the term “file” into the mix – whether it be AIF, WAV, MP3, Windows Media Player or Quicktime files – and you’ve stepped away from what’ll play on a standard CD player and into the arena of audio for which you’ll need a computer in order to play it: something called, (fanfare please) – A “Data CD”. Also known as a CD-ROM.

This is just a disc of audio that’s been converted into files. You can copy, duplicate, email, backup, and treat’em as you would any other photo, word processing, or spreadsheet file. Now, in this day and age, the vast majority of computers out there will also happily ingest a standard “Audio CD” too. They are able to play it or “rip” (copy) the audio from it. So, your computer will easily handle either an “Audio CD” or a “Data CD.”

Man, I feel smarter just writing this.

Nevertheless, insert a Data CD in your ’95 Buick and you’ll be fetchin’ up some nasty screeches rivaling the dulcet hash that pours out of a fax machine – music to somebody, sure, but nothing Daft Punk’s going to be looking over their shoulder at. Fortunately, most modern CD players know better than to even try playing a Data CD, so this’ll be one of those ripe old chestnut-types of experiences that we’ll relate to our grandkids someday via our iChat implant.

So, next time your client tries to throw you off the scent of their techno-illiteracy by offering, “files on an audio CD” – you can calmly reply, “Sure, would you like to listen to that CD on your way home? – (dictating an audio CD)

Or, do you need .wmv’s and MP3’s of the radio spots to e-mail to the client and marketing department?” – (dictating they get a Data CD)”

No mercy, folks. Nail down what they really need ‘cause they can’t have it both ways.

Wow, you made it! (Let’s do a cool down). See? Now you can rock the digital audio technobabble just a bit sweeter than you could just two minutes ago.

Please feel free to comment below or send us an e-mail to let us know what else you might like to know from the world of audio technology.