Epic promises audio improvements for Fortnite 8.01

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Fortnite
Listen out for the sound improvements this week.
Photo: Epic Games

Fortnite fans are still enjoying last week’s massive season eight update, but many will have noticed that certain things need fixing. One of those is the audio for a bunch of weapons and items, which Epic Games is already working on fixing.

Seth Weedin, Fortnite’s technical sound designer, has detailed a number of big audio improvements that will roll out in a version 8.01 patch.

Popular VLC video player is getting AirPlay support

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VLC AirPlay
VLC will make it easy to stream to Apple TV from anywhere.
Photo: VideoLAN

CES 2019 bugPopular open-source video player VLC is getting AirPlay support “in about a month.” VideoLan, the team behind it, also plans to make it easier for users to switch to VLC from iTunes.

The confirmation comes just as VLC celebrated a staggering 3 billion downloads — around a quarter of which came from mobile devices.

Retro mic turns your iOS device into a portable studio

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Samson Satellite mic
The Samson Satellite USB/iOS Broadcast Microphone brings the studio into the field.
Photo: Samson Technologies

CES 2019 bugFor musicians, podcasters and streamers, “the studio” is an iOS device in a living room, coffee shop or some crazy live event.

Samson Technologies rolled out a new microphone at CES this week that promises to gather studio-quality audio no matter the location.

How to record podcasts on iPad part II: The apps

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The iPad has some amazing tools for recording podcasts.
The iPad has some amazing tools for recording podcasts.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

In part one of this series, we saw how to record remote podcasts using only iOS. It requires using your iPhone to place the FaceTime or Skype call, but you end up with a great result. That post covered the setup. Today, we’ll see how the recording and editing parts work, using AUM and Ferrite on the iPad.

How I record podcasts on iPad only

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The iPad is more than capable of recording podcasts.
The iPad is more than capable of recording podcasts.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The iPad Pro is pro enough for almost anything, but one thing it still can’t manage is making a Skype (or FaceTime) call and recording it at the same time. This is actually the fault of Skype (and FaceTime), but is nonetheless a pain for anyone who travels and podcasts.

There’s a workaround, however. It requires that you use an iPhone and an iPad together. But seeing as how the alternative is carrying a MacBook, too, it’s a pretty good option. It’s also easy, once you get your head around the setup. And you don’t need to travel to use this setup. After some experimentation, this is now my default podcasting method.

Unlock the dual audio outputs in new Macs

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A totally legit audio-routing setup.
A totally legit audio-routing setup.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Up until last year, if you plugged a pair of headphones into your Mac, the speakers were effectively disconnected. There was no way to send simultaneous audio stream to both headphones and speakers. Now, with modern T2-equipped Macs, you can double up on audio. For instance, you could have alerts sound through the built-in speakers, with music routed through the headphone jack, so you don’t get notifications interrupting your banging tunes.

The best part is that its really easy to set up. And, if you prefer the old behavior, you don’t have to do anything.

Apple tech saves you from ever putting headphones on backward

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Apple headphone patent
Apple headphones, as seen in this conceptual illustration, look a lot like the HomePod.
Photo: Martin Hajek

Apple removed the headphone jack. Soon, it may take away something else – the L and R on the headphones.

Microphones in the ear cups would detect which ear is which and send each ear the proper signals, according to an application for headphone technology filed by Apple with the United States Patient and Trademark Office.

This would make the headphones reversible.

How to make your iPhone videos sound as good as they look

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The quickest and easiest way to improve iPhone audio is with a Lightning mic.
The quickest and easiest way to improve iPhone audio is with a Lightning mic.
Photo: Zoom

Your iPhone camera is amazing. Especially for video. Modern iPhones capture 4K video, and pretty much any iPhone from the past few years can easily do high-definition 1080p. It’s also likely that your videos will be stabilized, so they look smooth, like they were shot with a Steadicam, not a shaky human hand.

The sound, though, isn’t as good as the image. The iPhone’s microphones are good, but not nearly as high-end as its camera. Also, the best place for a microphone often isn’t right next to the lens. It’s better to put it as close to the sound source — usually a person speaking — as possible. The good news is that it’s easy to get much better sound on your iPhone videos. Here’s how.