Opinion

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Producer Pharrell Williams covers Complex Magazine in interactive digital cover

No wonder Pharrell Williams feels like "a room without a roof." Over the past eleven months the eternally youthful 40-year-old celebrated the 10th anniversary of his Billionaire Boys Club/Icecream fashion brands, produced and sang some of the biggest hit songs of 2013, married ... More

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Randy Thom talks supplementing sight with sound

O, brave new world that has such people in it — such people as Hollywood sound-designer Randy Thom. He sees the film industry as changing in response to new technology and theories of sound. Specifically, sound design is a field in which traditional notions of sound as merely “icing on the cake” are being ... More

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Why We Create Music

"Why We Create Music" tells the story of the absolute importance of music with the individuals who create it. Fifteen musicians, ranging from Bill Withers to Aloe Blacc to Lady Antebellum, sit down with the director, Michael Marantz, to discuss their labor of love, songwriting and composing. Each featured artist was asked to contribute ... More

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Giving music away for free: Is it worth it?

The steady decline in the monetary value of the global recorded music market has been plain for all to see over the past decade. Piracy has helped bully the halcyon days of the £10 CD out the door in the UK, leaving behind a near-bankrupt retail giant (HMV), and making megabucks album marketing budgets largely ... More

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Beastie Boys send copyright threat to toy company that remixed "Girls"

The Beastie Boys have sent a legal threat to toymaker GoldieBlox over the company's extremely clever ad, which parodies the Beasties' early track "Girls". The ad rewrites the lyrics (which are pretty terrible in the original) to insist that girls should take control over their world, ... More

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Three Reasons Why The CD Is Still Important

Why the Shiny Piece Of Plastic Isn’t Dead Yet Everybody knows that the Compact Disc has died, replaced by a digital world where files and streams are the main methods of music delivery. The only problem with that statement is that the CD is not yet deceased by a long shot, and it’s still a real tool in the ... More

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Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative with Martin Scorsese and Walter Murch

What does a film editor do? Walter Murch, editor of many iconic films, and his protégée, Italian film editor Sara Fgaier, provide succinct descriptions of the complex skill of constructing a feature film, the focus of their year-long mentorship. For American master of ... More

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33 1/3 Short Film about Vinyl Records Enthusiasts

Check out a cool film about music enthusiasts who play vinyl records and find out why they prefer the medium and discover the essence of vinyl and the art of listening in the process.

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The Keys To A Great Sounding Drum Kit

As the heartbeat of almost every song in music today, the drums have to sound great in order to really give the song the punch it needs. Unfortunately most engineers and musicians, and even a surprising number of drummers, aren't sure what makes drums sound the way they do. Of course tuning is most important in getting ... More

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What If Getty’s Awful Stock Videos Had Sound?

If you’ve ever had the misfortune of working with a cheap-ass client who wouldn’t pony up funds for even the cheapest-assiest shoots, well then, you’ve dealt with the HELL that is stock videos. Stock videos, of course, don’t have sound. Stock videos, if anything, are actually more soul-crushing than ... More

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'Gravity' Movie: Alfonso Cuarón Narrates a Scene From His Film

When making his science fiction thriller about an astronaut stranded in space, the director Alfonso Cuarón was met with several challenges. One was how to shoot a feature that takes place in an environment where everything is in constant motion. In this video, Mr. Cuarón narrates an early sequence ... More

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An Analysis of Alfred Hitchcock’s use of Sound

William Friedkin, Steven Spielberg’s Sound Designers Gary Rydstrom and Randy Thom, and Hitchcock biographer Donald Spoto look at the maestro’s use of sound to create chills in his films. ###Analysis of the Hitchcock Style: THE SOUND w/ William Friedkin, Spielberg's Sound Designers - PT.1 ###Analysis of ... More

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Nile Rodgers on Working With Michael Jackson: 'We're Weird Guys!'

In the history of pop second winds, Nile Rodgers may be setting a record. From the mid Seventies through the late Eighties, Rodgers' footprint was all over the charts. First, he was the co-founder of the iconic disco band Chic, the man who co-wrote and played guitar on "Le Freak," "Good Times," ... More

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Steve Jobs on the Rise of the Personal Computer: A Rare 1990 Interview

In early 1990 Steve Jobs granted a very rare interview to the makers of a PBS NOVA miniseries called The Machine that Changed the World. The producers of the series had a tough time getting Jobs to talk with them. They had already interviewed Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak and most of the ... More

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Red Beans & Rice: A Documentary on Record Collecting

Red Beans & Rice is a film which tells of the world of record collecting as seen through the eyes of the collectors themselves. Listen as they share there thoughts on the subject of vinyl digging as you enter the realm of the last true culture where music is key and collecting is a part of life. Enjoy ... More

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15 Steps To A Better Mix

Audio mixing is one of the most interesting of all operations when completing a recording. For the rare few it's purely intuitive and comes out great without much thought, but for most everyone else, it's an operation in which you only get better by comparison and repetition. Many musicians and beginning engineers will often ... More

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Modern Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Stéphane Bouley recuts the British comedy classic into a modern-day action movie. What if "Monty Python and The Holy Grail" would release in 2013 ? Fake trailer who sells a tragic and epic blockbuster with sounds effects who goes POOOOOWWWW !

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What Does A Song That Costs $5 Sound Like?

Last week, Sony Corporation announced a new line of high-end audio components that promise to deliver a better online audio experience. The announcement comes amid growing evidence that music fans are tired of the crappy sound they hear on their portable music players. Case in point is the success of Cookie ... More

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Music can make good movies great

"Hitchcock only finishes a picture 60 per cent," composer Bernard Herrmann liked to say. "I have to finish it for him." The pair worked on eight movies together, creating some of the 20th century's most enduring matchups of image and music. Hitchcock so valued his composer that he showed Herrmann early cuts of his films, ... More

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Kickstarting a free, open archive of recordings of all of Chopin

Erik sez, "Three years ago, Musopen raised nearly $70,000 to create public domain recordings of works by Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, Schubert, and others. Now they're running a new campaign with a simple but ambitious objective: 'To preserve indefinitely and without question everything ... More

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Sad music makes us happy

Minor music is sad, and major music is happy, right? It's never been that simple - and a new study sheds more light on the link between music and emotions. Woman crying Listening to music that's seen as 'sad' might release positive emotions. According to a study by researchers in Tokyo, listeners perceived the sadness in sad ... More

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A layer of tiny grains can slow sound waves

In some ways, granular material can behave much like a crystal, with its close-packed grains mimicking the precise, orderly arrangement of crystalline atoms. Now researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have pushed that similarity to a new limit, creating 2-D arrays of micrograins that can ... More

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Does Your iPhone Need a Composer?

John E. Low had composed music for movie trailers, 30-second commercials, television, and his original songs before it occurred to him to write music for the iPhone. Ringtones may only be two or three seconds long, but there are few songs played--and repeated--more often. “I wanted to minimize how annoying that could be,” ... More

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Did You Hear That? It Was Art

Shhh. Listen. Nothing? Listen again. Note the sound of your computer’s fan amid distant sirens. Hear your spouse in the next room, playing the Bowie channel on Spotify while chatting on the phone with your mother-in-law. Farther off, a TV is tuned to the news and a stereo plays Bach, while a mouse skitters inside a ... More

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The Science of Productivity

In today's crazy world, productivity is on the minds of many. So what can science tell us about the human brain and productive work? How do we become more efficient at working, and spend less time working overall? It’s easy to see why: being able to get more done allows us to get ahead in life, and even gives us more time ... More

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Wonderland - A Short Form Doc on Creative Commerce

In Spring 2013, filmmakers Terry Rayment and Hunter Richards set out for a month to make a short educational piece providing a glimpse of what it is like to work in the creative industry. The idea was born out of our own questions and struggles on how to deal with things that may seem out of your ... More

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David Lynch and the Independent Filmmaker

Room to Dream: David Lynch and the Independent Filmmaker features original interviews with acclaimed director David Lynch. See and hear how Lynch brings his unique vision to the screen with technologies that are now within easier reach for independent filmmakers. Interspersed with behind-the-scenes footage from a ... More

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Walter Murch: searching for the sound of the God particle

To relax, Walter Murch likes to sit in front of the TV. With a stopwatch. Counting the number of times a politician blinks as they give a speech. "I'm just fascinated by it, clinically," he says. "I'll be: 'Can you believe it? He blinked 80 times a minute!' Our normal rate is about 15 and so clearly ... More

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A Brief History of Sound Delay

In this video, take a trip back to the origins of 'delay' as an effect and the technologies that led us to where we are today. ###Early delay systems The first delay effects were achieved using tape loops improvised on reel-to-reel magnetic recording systems. By shortening or lengthening the loop of tape and ... More

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Going Deaf, Sound Expert Races to Finish His Life's Work

In a busy world filled with the sounds of traffic, airplanes, construction equipment and crowds, noise pollution has emerged as a leading environmental nuisance. However, quiet places remain...if you know where to look. Eight years ago, audio engineer Gordon Hempton identified the quietest place ... More