Some recent listener feedback
Firstly let me start with reference to something that Bruce had mentioned, I think in episode 137.
You were quite concerned with the audio quality that you were able to present to listeners from the portable recorder used at Echuca, the audio on that episode was fine.
I have recently dabbled with other podcasts, and have since canceled all of the downloads except Shutters Inc.
Bruce the quality of the audio delivered by you leaves all others far behind, keep up the good work.
Thanks for the great pod casts not only in the information passed on but also the technical quality.
Bruce, I can only say, in my opinion, that the services you are providing are greatly appreciated.
Building the pod
I've only recently decided to get back into music production after a prolonged absence.
So, when it came to choosing a DAW, it came down to a choice between FL Studio and Audition.
Dollar wise, quite similar although FL Studio does offer more in the way of virtual instruments for this price range.
But I chose Audition for two clear reasons.
1. I really like the look and feel. The layout is just easy on the eye and made sense to me very quickly.
2. I knew I had a great teacher. I discovered Building the Pod through the Adobe web site and soon found Sine Language.
I have to thank you sincerely for your weekly tuition.
It has turned a somewhat severe learning curve into managable bite size pieces.
I simply can't overstate how thankful I am of your weekly podcasts.
Bye for now.
July 28, 2009
OK, here it is, as promised.
A slightly reworked version with the horizon straightened (photoshop made some weird decisions when it overlapped the various component images), and some subtle cloning across the waves to try and smooth out the irregularities there.
Sunrise panorama - v2
July 27, 2009
Sunrise over the lake
Max, in the first rays of direct light
New day arriving soon
Max in early morning light
Max and Aztec in the early morning light
Max and Aztec, late afternoon
Aztec, late afternoon 1
Aztec, late afternoon 2
Moody sunset clouds
July 20, 2009
We got here Saturday arvo.
Yesterday (Sunday) morning, Max and I went down to the beach to shoot the sunrise.
What a vision we were treated to!
What was that Shelton? Find the light… and something something?
BTW, don’t look TOO close! There’s a few “glitches in the matrix”, so to speak.
I’m going to re-work this when I get home.
July 19, 2009
This week, a short episode featuring a heap of positive feedback on the Integrate ’09 vendors episode.
Then, Bomar asked if he should buy an audio interface with some DSP that he can track through, or should he just record clean and use plugins later,
and David McKeitch brought us up to speed on his indie-film tracking project.
Oh, and a reminder that there’ll be no podcasts at all next week, as Cath, Max and I are away on holiday.
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In this episode, we wrap up the ‘going pro’ series (unless of course you ask for something else on the topic we haven’t covered yet).
The discussion includes what type of business (sole trader or company) and the pros and cons for each,
the issues surrounding coming up with an image or brand for your business, and some ideas on how to maximise the design potential,
a few tips and tricks with regards to dealing with print houses for the production of your business stationery,
a few thoughts on the different ways to market your business,
plus some of the various methods of establishing and maintaining an online presence (truth be told, we’ve probably only just scratched the surface of this one!).
If there’s more you feel needs to be discussed, then sing out!
You know where to find us!
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July 12, 2009
Not sure if you were all aware, but Shelton is up in Queensland at the moment conducting some workshops, so alas, there is no SI again this week.
Should (fingers crossed) be back on deck next week.
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This week, a couple of listener e-mails answered.
For those wanting to hack into their registry for import/export of keyboard shortcuts, the address you’re looking for is:
For anyone wanting to learn more about Mastering, Brad Blackwood’s forum is here.
Then, a quick look at the Quick Filter.
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July 9, 2009
In the last 2 weeks, I’ve recorded several interviews at 2 different trade shows. Those interviews have ended up in episodes of both Shutters Inc and Sine Lanugage.
In the wake of this, I’ve had a couple of enquiries from listeners as to my technique for recording interviews on flash-based field recorders like the Zoom H2.
These listeners have commented that they never seem to achieve the same level of results as I have managed, and have asked for some insights.
So, I shall endeavour to outline the pitfalls as I understand them.
First off, tempting though it may be, do not record to mp3!
Remember, mp3 is a lossy format, and we don’t ever want to save production audio (clips which still need further work before release) in a lossy format.
And for that matter, don’t record at 16 bit wav either.
No, your preferred option is to record 24 bit wav.
Yes, it will chew up your memory cards quicker, but memory cards are really not that expensive these days, so carrying a couple of extras shouldn’t represent too much of a burden, either physically or financially.
If your recorder of choice does not offer 24 bit wav, then fall back to recording 16 bit wav instead.
Secondly, your recorder SHOULD offer a choice of microphone gain sensitivities.
The Zoom H2 offers low, medium and high.
Low will turn the sensitivity down (useful for really loud sources), medium is what it sounds like, and high turns the sensitivity up (for really quiet sound sources).
I have found that the medium setting usually works well for these trade show interviews, but obviously, judge each on a case by case basis.
Remember, we are recording at 24 bit, so we don’t NEED to peg the meters at zero!
Peaks of -20dB to -12dB are just fine!
Third, if your recorder of choice has a headphone output (I don’t imagine there’d be any which do not, but you never know), then absolutely have some form of monitoring with you when you are recording.
This may be a set of lightweight street headphones, or even a decent set of earbuds.
Me? I use my trusty old Sennheiser CX300’s, with just one earbud stuck in one ear.
The reason for that is that through that ear, I can hear what the microphone is picking up, and through my other ear, I’m hearing the world around me.
Now, because you are monitoring (via your earbud) what the microphone of the recorder is hearing, you are able to move the recorder around as necessary througout the interview to make sure the talent stays ‘on mic’.
Now, you might be thinking that people aren’t going to like having a flash recorder stuck in (and moving around in front of) their face.
I would contend that if they have agreed to do an interview, then they are probably going to be ok with it.
My technique is to hold the recorder at chest height between myself and the talent.
That way, you SHOULDN’T get any plosives (pops), but the mic should be able to hear the talent fairly well, while keeping the ambient noise reasonably under control.
If you talent is a very soft speaker, then you may have to move the recorder closer toward them, and that may feel a little uncomfortable at first.
If the talent keeps backing away from the mic, stop the interview, explain to them that you NEED the mic that close in order to hear what they are saying without being drowned by background noise, then recommence the interview.
Thing is, MOST of the time, the person you’ll be interviewing is from the marketing department or the sales team and they generally don’t speak that quietly!!
OK, so now you’re back at your desktop (or in your hotel room working on your laptop) and ready to edit and mix.
Drag the files into your DAW of choice.
DO NOT go and normalise the waveforms!
Remember, they’re 24 bit files, so it’s all good.
In your multitrack (which is also mixing at 24 bits or higher, right? RIGHT??), lay up your interviews where you want them.
Adjust the gain so you’ve got peaks around -20dBFS to -15dBFS off each channel. At this point, you should have NO processing on your master output.
Put in some per channel automation to keep each interview roughly in the bacllpark in terms of output level. You don’t have to get too finicky with it, just ‘in the ballpark’ will be good enough at this stage.
Now, if your final audio piece is going to feature other pieces of audio as well, I’d suggest setting up a submix (buss) for just the interviews to go through.
Then, slap a peak limiter across that buss with an output level set for -15dBFS, and the threshold set so that you’re getting about 4-6dB of gain reduction on that peak limiter.
Then, AFTER the peak limiter, put a compressor with a moderate attack (~20-30ms), moderate release (~100-150ms), a medium ratio (3:1-5:1) and again, enough threshold to give you another 3-6dB of gain reduction.
Your interview submix should now be exhibiting tightly controlled dynmaics, but not sounding squashed.
Go ahead and mix it in with all your other audio bits so that everything sounds roughly equal in apparent volume.
Slap a peak limiter across your master output, and you should be cookin’ with gas!
July 7, 2009
In episode 115, I caught up with some of the exhibitors at Integrate ’09; a pro audio, video and lighting trade show in Sydney.
00:00:44 Ben Sneesby – Bees Neez Microphones
00:02:48 Andy Eastwood – Dynamic Music
00:07:59 Mick Wordly – Mixmasters
00:19:37 James Hicks – Oceanic Distribution
00:22:46 Ben Redzic – Lightsounds
00:25:04 Joshua Fielstra – Native Instruments
00:31:55 Steve Vranch – Yamaha
00:35:26 Maxwell Twartz – Technical Audio Group
00:39:50 Leon Hart – Amber Technology
00:44:22 Filip Saelen – Amber Technology
00:52:02 John Fuller – Sound-Music
00:55:14 Brian Zolner – Studio Connections Australia
01:07:23 Greg Cato – Major Music Wholesale
July 5, 2009
Sorry to the SI gang… just didn’t have time to scratch myself this week. So busy in fact, that I didn’t even get around to ringing Shelton to see how he was placed for the week!
And BTP will be back next week.
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In ep 114, how NOT to attend a trade show,
my man in Hollywood gets back to us on track laying for motion picture,
and JR asked about the best way to record some character interviews outside of the ideal studio environment.
A couple of links for you:
FMR Audio (makers of the RNC compressor)
The Wiki article on dBm,
the Wiki article on decibels,
the Wiki article on Dolby Surround (including info on LtRt), and
the Wiki article on downmixing (which also includes info on LtRt).