Hi. More of a personal update.
I've still got a few project sets I'm working, some work related, a couple personal. Can't talk much but that's part of the reason it's been quiet around these parts.
That said, a good chunk of the blame the last couple days can be ascribed to my newly re-acquired music hobby. Talk about a neverending rabbit-hole.
Filed under things I've learned:
First, despite being the kind of guy who could wire up a complex home stereo just by looking at the back panels even back in middle school, I only now discovered several things about music / sound cabling.
First - only tangentally work related but would have discovered this on a hobby basis quite quickly, unlike almost every other damn plug out there (RCA cables, video, miniplug, phone plug) XLR is male-female by default. In other words, it's directional like older pre-C USB 1/2/3, but without the ease of "big spade end goes in computer, other visually completely distinct end is for equipment" going for it.
I know, they look a bit different once you know to pay attention, but geez.
Weirdly, I already knew about balanced/unbalanced, and that's why XLR has three connections, but wasn't aware of how to spot the difference vis-a-vis phone plugs between TS and TRS (tip-sleeve and tip-ring-sleeve), much less that there was a difference to watch out for, and that mixing and matching could result in interesting screwups.
Found that out even as, looking for a audio interface to pipe my guitar into / through my computer, I was trying to make sense of the various input and output options. Only to discover that some of the cheaper ones I thought would work would be perfectly happy to accept "instrument level" signal from a passive-pickup instrument like a guitar via mono/TS phone plug, but would not gracefully accept the line level signal that came out of some other powered non-MIDI instruments/active guitars, or the FX pedal setup I just picked up.
I know it sounds a bit like I'm complaining, mostly though it's the bewonderment of how I could have been so close to that world for so long and not learned that already. The actual skill of playing aside, all the analog/sound technical stuff I've had to dive into learning has been an utter blast.