Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

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Worrying over BayCon

While my most pressing concern this week is finishing the progress report for Westercon, starting next week I need to start working on Match Game SF for BayCon. This is still "on" for the BayCon Masquerade half-time and aftermath, and I met briefly with the tech team from BayCon at Sunday's meeting.

Past shows we've done have had all of the tech done by Lisa. She has played the music on a couple of cassette players, and she even built a little horn-buzzer thing to buzz wrong answers. But when she heard that BayCon wanted to "promote" the show to a high-profile, high-tech-overhead position, she informed me that she won't do any work on it, and I understand why. She has a single particular way of doing things, and that way would almost certainly conflict explosively with the BayCon tech crew -- or anyone else's crew, for that matter. Rather than cause an explosion, she'll stay out of it.

In a way, it's very unfortunate. Lisa has accumulated quite a bit of tech kit over time, including our own speaker-amplifier set that she knows will work with the tape players she has. She learned by experience that it's possible to short out the buzzer (it's a modified car horn) and improved it. And she's done the show enough times now that she doesn't have to be told what needs doing when. And on top of all that, she's seen the original, so she knows how it works. None of the BayCon people with whom I've spoken have ever seen the original (and they don't have Game Show Network), so I have to work from first principles. I'm not criticizing the BayCon tech team; I'm just being realistic about our challenges.

So the first thing I'll need to do is cut (probably multiple, for backup) audio CDs that contain 3 tracks:

1. Opening Title
2. "Plug" Music (Commercials and closing titles)
3. "Think" Music

Thinking as I write, I may cut two different Audio CDs here, with 1/2 on the first and the second being nothing but the "Think" music. They have a dual CD system, and this would work better for them, with the "Think" music set up by itself.

One advantage of this is that the existing "Think" is really only a few seconds of the same music looped continuously for thirty minutes. There are actually more complex versions of the "Think" music, with variations in them. Thanks to bovil, I have those versions and use the audio-editing software Cheryl bought to cut things together and burn audio CDs.

Then comes sound effects. I had suggested to Lisa that she operate the buzzer/bell, but she said, approximately, "No means no." Therefore, I need a new buzzer and bell sound effect. The bell is just a front-desk call-bell, but the buzzer is more difficult. My emergency backup "no match" has been a bicycle horn, but it's not my preferred solution.

I have as yet been unable to find on the web the two sound effects I want to use. If anyone can find a good clean no-match buzzer and match bell sound, I'd like to know about it. Ideally, it would be nice to be able to put these two sounds into a keyboard or some other piece of equipment so you only have to push one button to make them go, but that's unlikely, and if we have them as digital sound effects, they'll have to be on one of my computers, with someone operating it. I worry about getting this right.

There are other things that must come together as well, but I'll try and do something about them later. I can't fix everything at once.

On the good side, we have four panelists booked now, including Esther Friesner, who I anticipate putting in seat 2, Tom Galloway (seat 1), johnnyeponymous (5), and trinsf (6). I've asked BayCon Programming to make "Match Game Panelist" something that program participants can sign up for. johnnyeponymous says he has an idea for a panelist that would fill the "Charles Nelson Reilly" 3-slot as well, leaving only slot 4 to fill.

The plan calls for potential contestants to sign up at the info desk and for us to try and have a contestant briefing on the afternoon before the Masquerade. I think this will work better than random drawing from the audience, but if necessary, we'll do it that way, probably by row/seat draw rather than deal with the mechanics of signing people up.

Oh, and I had a promising-looking bid on an ECM-51 microphone on eBay when the darn seller cancelled the auction on me!
Tags: baycon, match game

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