The goal for the SoundWorks Collection is simple; we are dedicated to profiling the greatest and upcoming sound minds from around the world and highlight their contributions. The SoundWorks Collection is produced by Director Michael Coleman of Colemanfilm Media Group in a partnership with MIX Magazine, several audio focused college schools and programs, and the support of the online sound community worldwide.
The SoundWorks Collection takes you behind the scenes and straight to the dub stage for a look into audio post-production feature films, video game sound design, and original soundtrack scoring. This exclusive and intimate video series focuses on individuals and teams behind-the-scenes bringing to life some of the worlds most exciting projects.
As a sound editor myself, I loath using the conventional computer mouse and as a result use a Kensington trackball. My problem with the mouse is that continually scrolling across a desk all day long brings on shoulder and back pain. Using the trackball eliminates this problem with an added bonus of giving me specific function buttons which I can set up shortcuts on.
The Magic Mouse seems (from the video) to allow the user to scroll both horizontally and vertically without having to physically scroll the mouse itself across your desk. The top shell of the mouse is an entire multi touch sensor. Thus working similar to an iphone/ipod touch touch screen. This will allow the user in ProTools (or any app for that matter) to easily screen scroll.
From 11-19th October The Wired Lab <http://wiredlab.ning.com/> will be hosting UK artist Chris Watson as artist in residence. Watson is a founding member of the influential experimental music group 'Cabaret Voltaire', and since the 1980's has worked as a sound recordist specialising in nature and the natural world around us. He records wildlife, the sounds of animals and habitats from around the globe.
Watson has recorded and produced the sound for a number of acclaimed documentary series such as David Attenborough's "The Life of Birds and The Life of Mammals" films, "The Big Cat Diary" and Bill Oddie's "Wildside" bird watching series. He is a renown BBC sound recordist and artist working all over the world. He has worked extensively throughout Central & South America which habitates over half of the planets wildlife.
On Saturday 17th October Watson will give a performance at the Cootamundra Creative Arts and Cultural Centre (CCACC). This will be your opportunity to hear Watson provide two live surround sound mixes from his 'Midnight at the Oasis', a 20 minute time compression from sunset to sunrise in South Africa's Kalahari desert. Along with; 'Oceanus pacificus' recorded on location around the Galapagos Islands 1000Km off the coast of Ecuador, and 10m below the sea surface.
The performance is open to all ages. Come along and be sonically transported to two of the worlds most extreme and complex environments.
WHAT: Chris Watson & The Wired Lab concert
WHERE: Cootamundra Creative Arts and Cultural Centre <http://www.ccacc.org.au/>
16-20 Wallendoon Street, Cootamundra
TIME: 6.30pm for a 7.00pm start
COST: $5-10 door fee, with proceeds to the CCACC, a volunteer run facility.
Here is a Mac widget which will allow you to keep your 3rd party apps up to date. It supports Apple’s software directory, MacUpdate and Version Tracker. It will present you with a tidy link list of all the updates found, enabling you to read release-notes and download the the updates quickly and painlessly.
Amongst the key features are automatic update checks once per day or week, Growl notifications, powerful configuration possibilities, support for Apple’s download pages, MacUpdate and VersionTracker and an extensive documentation built right into the widget (but you can also read the documentation in your browser).
Firstly, I have had a Jim Dunlop Cry Baby guitar "wah" pedal since being a teenager (yes... quite some time). Anyway due to a lack of use, living by the sea and collecting dust my attempt to use the pedal recently was quite futile. The pot inside which creates the iconic "wah" sound had inherited a nasty cheese grating crunch noise, every time I pressed on the pedal! After a quick diagnosis it was apparent that it was just a dirty pot, but a dead pot. Looking around Ebay the replacement genuine Hoy Potz pot was going to cost around $50 AUD. Thinking that this was a bit steep for a part which gets used once a year I decided to test a "non genuine" pot instead. Going to Tandy and ordering a $2.75 part with the same specs had me feeling quite confident. After installing this new pot, my confidence had soared as the sound was identical to the Hot Potz in it's glory days. The only change I had to make was that the nut on the pot has to be tightened as much as possible, as it a slightly smaller fit that the original. But hey, for $2.75 - you can' tell the difference. If you want to know the part I used, it was a 100K ohm linear flat shaft pot.
Whilst feeling confident in this repair, I also had an apple laptop with an external power supply which had frayed cables where the plug inserts into the laptop. Having a second power supply allowed me to simply chop off one cable and splice on another cable (in almost new condition). This doner cable had come from the original power supply. However the power supply decided to internally combust one day after being plugged in for 12 hrs. Many people would simply have thrown these power supplys out and bought another one, however for 10 minutes work I have saved another $50 or so.
With the introduction of digital television into Australia, I have been been procrastinating in my purchase of a video recorder or the like. NOt having even a VHS recorder to my name, I have seen the advertisements in catalogues showing the new DVD recorders, and Hard Drive recorders for sale. What has deterred my from making a purchase is that I didn't want to spend $1000 on a Hard Drive/ DVD/ HD recording device - as I wanted all of these options... not just one or two.
Having an old G4 laptop (circa 2002) in my posession, I wanted to put it to some use without having to retire it to the top of a cupboard. I was ecstatic to read the box of the Elgato EyeTv DDT
which I recently saw perched upon the shelf at my local Apple store. The box mentioned that the USB digital tuner/ recorder (the size of a USB thumbdrive) was compatible with G4 Power Pc's (at SD quality). I don't know about you but this is good enough for me, and at only $130 delivered it beats any $1000 dedicated device!!! Owning an Intel MacBook, I am able to record at HD quality should I wish.
After purchasing the EyeTv over 2 weeks ago I have thoroughly tested the device on both G4 and Intel computers. I can report that my old G4 1Ghz, 768 meg ram runs without a hiccup at SD. I have also set up an external self powered 40 Gb hard drive which I have targeted. Having Roxio Toast installed, I am able to record, edit and burn straight to DVD with only minimal mouse clicks. So if you are wanting a hard drive/dvd recorder and have an old Mac lying around I highly recommend that you check out the Elgato EyeTV.
Please feel free to contribute to this group by adding your own favorite resources!
There are a couple of workarounds though.. .and this may even save you a few $$$. The option I use is to download the Squared 5 MPEG Streamer converter
This is a standalone application which will playback the audio! It also allows you to edit, (unlike QTime Pro with Vob files) and export to many other common file types. Not only that- but it can also playback full screen! So if you haven't purchased QT Pro, you can play back any format QuickTime can handle using this application, and the best news is... it is FREE!!! The only catch is that this application will need the you to have purchased the Apple Mpeg2 component plug-in. Talk about false advertising... you need to buy the Apple plug in in order to play VOB files, however the plug in won't playback audio so you need to download a free 3rd part application which actually works and does what the original plug in should do anyway... weird....
Since I am on the topic of Quicktime plug ins and codecs, I have mentioned this before but if you haven't already done so download Perian - The Swiss Army Knife of Quicktime Codecs.
If you haven't yet seen the preview for the upcoming Apple iPhone 3.0 software, then you may be unaware of a very cool application for the iphone/ipod. Smule proudly introduces Leaf Trombone World Stage, the world's first Massively-Multiplayer Musical Game. BLOW into your iPhone and slide your finger to create beautiful melodies. Or use TOUCH mode on your iPod Touch to play without wind. It's easy to compose and share your musical inspirations with the world using Smule's new online Leaf Trombone Composer. Not only will you be a composer, but you can also judge other users works with the use of emoticons.
See it in action!
Owning several convolution reverb plug-ins, I wanted to experiment with recording my own spaces. My first recorded convolution was recorded using the Waves IR1. Starting with baby steps, my first recording was of course a bathroom. I couldn't believe how quick and easy it was, and how realistic it was!
From the photo you can see an omni direction mic set up at the far end of the bathroom, and a speaker on the left hand side. From my studio I generated a frequency sweep which played through the speaker - and was captured using this microphone and recorded in Pro Tools. This new file of the recorded sweep was then loaded and analysed by Waves IR1. Within a few seconds of analysing, IR1 created a new convolution pre-set of the bathroom! After running some dialogue through this setting I couldn't believe just how well IR1 cloned the bathroom reverb!
I can now see myself recording many, many rooms and old reverb units as this is simply amazing!
After having acquired a new Aluminium 2.4GHz MacBook I thought that I would write about some of it's features and flaws as they relate to a sound person.
Firstly as noted in may of the forums, there are no longer any firewire ports (unless you opt for the cheaper "white model"). This limits the user to only 2 x USB ports. Normally this would be OK, as after all this is a laptop. However my problem with this is that that the USB ports are too close together! So if you want to plug 2 peripherals in ie. an interface and a hard drive, than you may come across the problem of only being able to plug one in at a time. Sure you can fix this with a hub, but then you need to carry a hub with you at all times... Having no Firewire opens up quite a few problems for many as many people I know own firewire drives. Another obvious problem is that if you have a Firewire interface... An advantage of most of the firewire drives was that you could daisy chain several together, the problem with USB drives (well all the ones that I own - or have seen advertised) is that they only have 1 x USB port. ie You can't daisy chain them.
On to a positive note about the new MacBooks... One cool feature which is now standard is the illuminated keyboard. This makes working in the studio very easy now as all of the keys are backlit. Another cool feature is the new designed trackpad. This is not only larger, but it supports multi touch gestures. this includes scrolling, rotating and best of all zooming!!! The zooming is great especially when reading text in Word or on the web.
Overall I am happy with this laptop as the performance for the cost is quite amazing. Luckily I do have several ProTools interfaces and many hard drive configurations so the USB issue isn't too much of a deal... well at least not now that I have shuffled my files around accordingly.
With no set date to start the x0xb0x I decided to continue my quest into electronics by starting some circuit bending projects. After a scrounge around the local tip's 2nd hand section I found myself spending a total of $5 on a drum machine, a "Tickle me Elmo" and 2 x kids keyboards - enough to start tinkering with. Firstly I started on one of the keyboards. Although successful, I wasn't completely satisfied. What I wanted was a Texas Instruments "Speak and Spell". After several months of placing free classifieds I finally sourced a Speak and Read a couple of weeks ago! Although not being the Speak and Spell, it is just as good. So after a couple of weeks of wiring and testing, here are some photos of my new toy - albeit with some brain surgery! Sound files to follow soon...
Apple has just announced new release versions of the Mac Mini, iMac and Mac Pro.
The Mac Mini claims to be the most green desktop computer with speeds of 2.0GHz or 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processors. Further details can be found here.
The iMac is now NVIDIA based and is capable of up to 8Gb of Ram. Processor speeds are 2.66GHz, 2.93GHz, or 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor.
The Mac Pro is now based on Intel's Nehalem architecture. This new architecture apparently will not suffer from the current memory bottlenecks. Processor Speeds are as follows:
8-core: Two 2.26GHz, 2.66GHz, or 2.93GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5500 series processors
Quad-core: One 2.66GHz or 2.93GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 3500 series processor
Ram is up to 32Gb.
8-core: Eight memory slots (four per processor) supporting up to 32GB of main memory using 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB DIMMs
Quad-core: Four memory slots supporting up to 8GB of main memory using 1GB or 2GB DIMMs
Spectrasonics has just released an update to the loop based virtual instrument Stylus RMX. Being a user of this plug, I find it compltetely brilliant and am excited to know that it now does "realtime" time signature changes on the fly, something Spectrasonics claims to be a world first!!! After watching the video, I am sure you will agree that this is a very cool new feature for those who work with loops.
Apple has released the Safari Version 4 in public beta form. This is a public beta, which allows anybody to download and test the software ahead of an official release.
Some of the new features include:
Cover Flow - Cover Flow presents full-page previews of sites in your site history and bookmarks. Flip through them as you do albums in iTunes to find the site you’re looking for.
Top Sites - Top Sites lets you see all your favorite websites at a glance. One click opens a favorite site. And you can drag site thumbnails to customize your Top Sites page.
History View - Take a closer look at your browsing history in the History view. Search for previously visited sites, drag web pages to your bookmarks, and clear individual items. Safari displays your history using Cover Flow, so you can flip through your search results as easily as you flip through iTunes album art.
With over 150 new features, the list is far too extensive to list here. Click here to visit the official Safari features web page.
If you own an iPhone or iPod touch and you are using it as your primary PDA/ diary etc, you are probably aware of some of the limitations in regards to the calendar. One of the most frustrating limitations being that it can only sync up to one calendar. ie iCal or Outlook or Google Calendar. There is however a workaround... a bit of work to set up but a workaround none the less. The basic concept is to have all of your calendars to sync into iCal - and then this iCal calendar will be the calendar which will sync to your iPod/ iPhone.
If your office computer is a PC and you are using Outlook, the easiest way to get Outlook to sync with iCal is to go through Google Calendar. Firstly, you will need to download the Google Calendar Sync software. Once installed on your PC you will then need to sync Outlook with your primary google calendar. You can select whether to sync one way or 2-way and the time interval for sync updates. The great thing with Outlook/ Google Calendar is the fact that it is a 2 way sync, unlike iCal and Google! Once your google Calendar is in sync you then subscribe to it within iCal. The subscription address can be found under your Google Calendar settings.
Now when you connect you iPod/ iPhone your Outlook, Google and iCal calendars will be synchronised!!! Be aware though, that any changes made to your iPhone/ iPod calendar under your Google Calendar sub calendar will not be uploaded to Google as iCal is only 1 way.ie download only (you will need to manually make changes to the Google Calendar using your iPod/iPhone web browser to work around this) . This however is a method for you to keep track of any Outlook, Google and iCal appointments etc...at any one time
With PT8, playlists are far more functional than they were to this version. In particular is the ability to list all alternate playlist under the primary track as a collapsable group of tracks. This allows you to view all tracks at once, and not just simply cycle through the playlist tracks one by one. where this is particularly useful is when recording ADR takes. After going to your "preferences" and selecting "Automatically create new playlists when loop recording", Pro tools will create playlists for all of your takes. These takes can then be made visible, showing up lined up directly under the main playlist.
This is excellent for editing dialogues and ADR (and of course music). What you can do is solo through the alternate playlist (alternate takes) select the portion of the track you like and edit it into a "cut track" or "final edit track". Another great feature is that the main playlist will keep the track coloring from the original playlists so that you are always aware visualy where the edit selection came from. An example is below.
The green edits are original from the main playlist.
However as you can see I have taken edits from the other three alternate playlists and simply placed them on the main playlist. An easy method is by using the "separation grabber" This allows all automation to be tied to these tracks making it easier when shifting tracks (with alt playlists) to various sessions.
To start with, when opening Pro Tools now you are greeted by a splash screen asking if you wish to open from a list of templates or existing session. (This feature can be turned off)
The look of Pro Tools has changed. No longer is the edit window a nice clean bright screen with fine lines and easy to read details, it now has taken a more dark appearance akin to that of Logic 8, with fine lines and text now seeming to be more bold.
A positive to the new look interface though is the addition of a db level range on the mixer.
Once you get over the new look, the fun begins.
Pro tools now ships with many more plug ins. With new virtual instruments including:
Boom drum machine and sequencer
DB-33 tonewheel organ emulator with rotating speaker simulation
Mini Grand acoustic grand piano
Vacuum monophonic vacuum tube synthesizer
Xpand!2 multitimbral synth and sample workstation
Structure Free sample player (RTAS)
FXpansion BFD Lite acoustic drum module
Also included are new reverbs, eq's, delays, frequency shifter and a host of new AIR plugins which more closely resemble a palate of guitar stomp boxes. Some of these new plug ins include:
AIR Dynamic Delay
AIR Filter Gate
AIR Frequency Shifter
AIR Nonlinear Reverb
AIR Spring Reverb
AIR Vintage Filter
BF Essential Clip Remover
BF Essential Correlation Meter
BF Essential Meter Bridge
BF Essential Noise Meter
Celemony Melodyne Essential
A new midi editor now sits below the edit window. (By default this is collapsed) It is very similar the the sequencer to that in Reason, with the advantage to be able to toggle between the midi editor and a score editor.
The top of the screen now houses a new customizable tool bar. This allows you to configure which tools and counters appear at the top of the screen. One handy configuration includes the Universe window.
These new features are only a few hand picked features which exist within this new update. I have been working on music remixes, and thus this initial review is more music related. Over the next few months I hope to write what new features in Pro Tools 8 are more suited to those who work in audio post production.