Isolating vlog speech using Krisp AI

On a steam train ride with my mum, she starts telling a story of the trains when she was young. So thinking quickly I whip out my phone, press record, and get her to hold it so I can actually record her voice over the background noise.

It comes out distorted to ever loving shit.

A shot of DaVinci Resolve 17, video editor, with a video and audio track

So this sucks. I have to go back to the original onboard camera mic but it’s SO loud with all the engine noise, cabin chatter, and clanking in the background. Even tweaking all the knobs, you can barely hear mum at all.

Are there any AI tools to isolate voice? I remembered I’ve been using Krisp at work to cut down on the construction noise from next door. Maybe if I run the audio through that…

So I set the sound output from my video editor to go through Krisp, plug in my recorder, and play it through. It’s tinny, it’s dropped some quieter bits, but it’s totally legible! Holy cow.

Now I’ve got an audio track of mum’s voice isolated from the carriage noise. I can mix it back together with the original to boost the voice portion and quieten down the rest. This is kinda a game changer for shitty vlog audio.

This is a pretty convoluted workflow, so it’s really only useful for emergencies like this. But I’m really happy that it managed to recover a happy little memory. And I hope one day Krisp (or someone else, I don’t mind) release either a standalone audio tool or a plugin for DaVinci Resolve.

As an aside, the Google Recorder app is officially off my christmas list. Any recommendations for a better one?

The leadup to a Brisbane summer

I don’t know why, but the washing maching turned off before it finished draining. So the door was locked and I had to run another 15 minute cycle before I could get my bits out.

It was 38 degrees today, for like, no reason. But it was a welcome change. I feel like I’ve barely had a summer since I’ve been in Australia, so I took a walk and basked in the oppressive heat for a bit before taking shelter in my apartment which inexplicably kept a level 25 degrees throughout the day without aircon. I assume it’s a combo of good insulation and the heatsink properties of the massive concrete structure.

So I’m happy. I’m really enjoying being here, in this place and time.

On the weekend I went to visit R on Macleay Island. He moved from the very middle of the city for a somewhat literal sea change. More specifically a bay change.

I never realised how gorgeous Moreton Bay actually is. From Macleay you can see all the islands, Peel, Moreton, North Stradbroke. On Saturday just after sunset we saw twinkling lights on the horizon which turned out to be boats mooring off Peel which is apparently a popular getaway spot.

Apparently there’s a (not so?) secret bar on one of the islands that’s popular with seafaring types. Just float up and grab a meal. My hairdresser owns a boat, so I know these things you see.

Last year I took a trip to North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah) just to take a break. It was pre-vaccine so it was a weird and anxious experience, and I didn’t have appropriate clothes so I came home with a nasty sunburn. To top it off I accidentally and irreparably deleted most of my photos and vlog footage in a freak MacOS accident. So I wasn’t happy with myself, and truth be told it wasn’t a super relaxing experience.

But with my newfound appreciation for the beauty of the bay and the islands, and a bit more of an understanding of what centers me, I think I want to get out there more in some way.

For perhaps a year I’ve had some notes scratched down and a vague hand-wavy plan to do a vlog series centered around the southeast Queensland rail network. Partly as an excuse to get out and travel more, but also because I don’t have a car and don’t want to get one while our weird supply chain issues are making everything increasingly expensive.

So my idea is that even if I can’t drive to all the beautiful places I know exist around SEQ, I can still explore plenty of other options that don’t necessarily get as much love. The concept of travelling to the ends of each line really appeals to me both as a train nerd and also as a poor schlub who doesn’t have his own transit.

My first trip was an easy one, something I’d already done. Back to Macleay Island to circumnavigate it by bicycle.

I wanted to visit Ryan again, but also find my own way under my own power without needing to catch an Uber or a lift. So this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

The day before my trip I found my bike was making a noise, which was super annoying because of COURSE I should have made sure it was in good working order before I set off. The guy at the bike shop didn’t have time to do a service, but he tightened everything up and it fixed it (for a while at least).

The trip itself consisted of bike to South Brisbane station -> train to Cleveland station -> bike to Redland Bay Marina -> ferry to Macleay -> Bike to Ryan’s. It’s a modest 14 km ride on paper. In practice the trip from Cleveland was hilly and without amenity. I lost count of the times I needed to ride on the grass to get back on the path, or a tiny shoulder as cars raced past.

I sent a random email to the council asking what their preferred route is, in case I missed something.

Anyway the rest of the journey was incredible The ferry is starting to show its age, but it’s amazing to be on the water, watching all the islands slide past. The boats everywhere, doing their thing. Some kid on a jetski.

I never realised Stradbroke Island was so mountainous. I was in awe of it in the distance behind the relative flatness of the South Moreton Bay Islands.

I’ve got a vlog planned, I’m not sure how it’s gonna pan out because that bicycle leg of the trip I didn’t have a GREAT time. But I won’t spoil the rest.

My take-away is that Macleay Island is an incredible, weird, surprisingly normal suburban place completely out of place that I enjoyed riding around. Again, it’s deceptively large and I didn’t get as much done as I originally planned, but I had a fantastic time doing it.

Tomorrow I’m leaving on another trip, this time to Gympie (North).

It’s an odd one, because most people don’t realise the trains go up that far. And to be fair, they hardly do. I think it’s two services a day and the rolling stock are OLLLLDDDDD as heck.

It’s an old gold rush town with a steam heritage and not too much else going for it.

But it’s a cheap destination I’m excited to get out there.

I’m sitting on my balcony, the sun is going down casting golden rays across the walls, and I’m watching a tiny money spider bounce around the table in front of me looking for a bug to eat.

I kind of started this post a month or so ago, and checked back in occasionally but only just finished it now. If “finished” is how you’d describe it. Published at least.

But I’m happy. Things are good. And I’m really enjoying being here, in this place and time.


It’s 1am local time on the island. I’m not asleep but also not quite not as I last here composing this tweet. The wind is rustling through the leaves and cicadas chatter gently in the distance. Every so often lightning flashes over the bay illuminating the bedroom. No curlews yet

A very grainy night time shot of some indistinct trees

The Big One

There’s this general understanding in Brisbane that at some point we’re gonna have The Big One. A coronavirus wave of berejiklian proportions, then all this *gesticulates* is going to go away.

Plans are made spontaneously, things we’ve been putting off are happening now. We’re all living in the moment and making the most of whatever time we have left.

Things will come good again, of course they will. But we’ll never forgive Morrison for the bungled rollout, or the NSW Libs for letting it spread (quite deliberately) in the first place.

A memory from quarantine

When I came back to Australia and went into hotel quarantine, probably my only complaint was that I had no way to wash my drinking glass. Bar soap, as it turns out, not good. I asked and they sent up a thing of dish washing liquid which I kept ever since.

It’s been refilled a bunch of times and at some point the cap fell off and went missing. It’s been over a year and it was never designed to be reused as much as it has been but it was a small kindness, and as stupid as it is I’m getting emotional throwing it away.

I’m very grateful to Victoria. For putting me up, but also giving me a thing of soap when I needed it most.

Brisbane Winter

When I first moved back to Brisbane I had nothing, really. Ben was kind enough to give me his old TV that he wasn’t using, and it was probably one of the best hand-me-downs I’ve ever gotten. Thank you, Ben.

Reddacliffe place. The sun has gone down behind the library building. It's very blue and cold, but there's a hint of golden sunlight in the distance.

I have a particular affinity for a good TV. The one I had in Amsterdam was small and bad, so I really appreciated upgrading to the forty-something inch goodness and crisp clarity of the 720p display. I’m convinced everything looks good on a 720p display, it’s the great equalizer.

Now it’s been a bit over a year and I’m back in my place and I want to decorate. I want to mount the TV and cabinet on the wall and have a proper cosy space. But if I’m going to do that, I need to get the right TV first. Measure once, cut twice y’know? đŸ˜…

Looking down George Street. The road is super damaged, and the skyscrapers form an urban canyon. There's a glimpse of sunset on the horizon.

So that’s what I did. I saw there was a one-day sale online, and the model I’d had my eye on was just the right price. So I jumped on my bike and rode into the city to look at them in person.

It was just before closing time, but the guy was very helpful. I suppose he got himself a nice commission from the transaction, so we both win.

The golden sun on the horizon streaming light through the fence at the top of the Kurilpa Bridge.

It’s an extravagant purchase, and I feel like all I’ve done since moving home is buy more stuff. So I’m feeling a little guilty about it. But it’s been on my list for at a year now, and if it’s like the last TV I bought I’m hoping it will last pretty much forever.

It’s getting delivered on Monday so I have a few more nights with the trusty old faithful. Then comes the tricky part, working out how to mount the new one.

An old broken down pier that the party boat used to use before the 2011 floods. The sun is really low on the horizon, casting yellow rays everywhere.

Pictured: some bits from the bike ride.

Wet week in West End

I went out for a coffee to reset my head. It’s a grey and rainy winters day, kinda gives me European vibes. The plants are loving it, though I don’t know where to put them all yet.

Looking into the street through foliage. Grey sky, orange traffic cone in the middle for some reason. Street art on an industrial wall behind the vacant lot across the road.
The coffee place is just a hole in the wall. There’s people standing round under an awning with more street art of a woman blowing rainbow bubbles. A pot plant sits on the kerb to collect rain.
My plants look almost neon green in the rain. I’ve got them all bunched up on the courtyard to collect water.
The sunset was really unusual after a weird, wet week. Pinks and purples and random white clouds.

Goodwill sunset

I bought the iPhone 12 Pro Max for it’s excellent camera array intending to elevate my vlogs, but within the 14 day cool down period I decided it wasn’t for me and returned it. I think I got suckered into the marketing hype.

Instead I decided to get a proper camera for myself, the Sony ZV1. It’s a point-and-shoot form factor designed specifically for video, based on the RX100 line. I wish I did this ages ago.

With a notional risk of community transmission I decided not to meet up with friends this weekend, opting instead for a call and some Animal Crossing. But I still wanted to do something with myself and get some exercise, so I decided to ride into the city and take some b-roll.

A cloudless sky looking along the Brisbane river at Southbank and the ferry stop on the north side.

It was a fun ride, and I managed to use some of the new CityLink paths. They were not especially convenient coming from Roma Street but I appreciated them nonetheless.

I spent a little time in the city, but for the sunset I camped out on the Goodwill Bridge to watch the birds, ferries, and generally life go by. It was cold but nice.

Later in the evening the sun has gone down further leaving a fiery red on the horizon. A CityCat pools into the stop.

There’s no shots from the camera because it’s really only for video. But I got a few good clips you might see in an upcoming vlog.

It wasn’t a spectacular sunset, but right toward the end as the daylight died it delivered the goods.

My phone did a decent job of capturing the magic.

West End Rainbow Footpath

I was taking a walk in West End after having breakfast with Tae when I discovered the old rainbow footpath in West End.

The corner of Vulture and Besant streets with the rainbow crossing visible across the road.
Me standing in front of the significantly faded rainbow sidewalk.

It’s worn down pretty badly. Reminds me of chalk drawings on the road after the rain. But it’s probably fair enough cos it was thrown together by volunteers and I guess they just used whatever paint they had.

I first stumbled on it when it was brand new back in 2017 with Joel, Tom and Shashi. This was just after I got back from Amsterdam for the first time, and I assume Shashi & Tom were visiting for xmas.

Myself, Joel, Tom & Shashi in front of a bright rainbow painted footpath. It's really something.

Not linking to the bad website, but here’s the description from the original Facebook message where Cr Sri got folks together to paint it:

This is partly a political statement, and partly just an excuse to bring a bit of colour to an old stretch of bitumen footpath at the corner of Besant St, O’Connell St and Vulture St.

If you have a bit of spare paint lying around that you can bring down to donate to the cause, post up in the comments with the colours and quantities, or just rock up on the day and lend a hand as you see fit.

It would be good to use paints that are designed for outdoor surfaces and will last a while. We’ll try to paint in segments, leaving one part of the footpath clear until the other painted areas have dried so as not to inconvenience any mobility-impaired pedestrians.

If anyone wants to bring down other things like baked goods or a bit of music to entertain the painters, that would be cool too.

Jonathan Sri, Councillor for The Gabba

It’s still visible four years later. But might need a fresh coat soon.

Blockies with Gav

I have just now finally got my shit together and am just about to leave the house.

First officeworks

Then maybe guzman? idk i need food

My Friend Gav

We had been loosely planning to catch up this weekend, so after some finagling we decided to meet at Office Works and have burritos in the park.

A panorama of a field with trees overhanging. People in uniform playing hockey to the left, and a pair of trash and recyling bins to the right.

It wasn’t an especially beautiful day, but it was nice and cool to sit outside on the bleachers (what even is the Australian word for these?)

There was a women’s hockey game being played nearby which was strangely compelling. I don’t really care for sport, but I was drawn into the action on a couple of occasions. The number of times the sticks went flying reminded me of the SBS feature on concussions in women’s sport from a couple of nights ago.

All in all, a decent way to spend a few hours. Gav mentioned this area always feels like the gross old sporting area, as seen while walking along Enoggera Creek. But it’s quite lovely when you’re in it.

The beautiful old fig trees, or at least I think they're fig trees, along the sides of the field. A couple of bleachers, and a soccer goal in the distance.
The beautiful old fig trees, or at least I think they're fig trees, along the sides of the field. A couple of bleachers, and a soccer goal in the distance.