Opinion

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JJ Abrams Star Wars - The Musical

JJ Abrams and Darth Vader get ready for Star Wars Episode 7 with the Disney Princesses! How do you feel JJ directing both Star Trek and Star Wars?! Download this Song: http://avbyte.bandcamp.com/track/jj-abrams-and-star-wars-the-musical Starring Josh Israel (as JJ), Alex Gibson ( Darth Vader), Tanja Nagler ... More

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MUSIC TO YOUR EARS: The quest for 3-D recording and other mysteries of sound

ABSTRACT:ONWARD AND UPWARD WITH THE ARTS about Edgar Choueiri and three-dimensional recording. Of all the amazing things the mind does, the most amazing may be that it can take sound and turn it into music, and then take music and turn it into meaning. Edgar Choueiri, a rocket ... More

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From Raindrops to Robots to Old Ticking Clocks

From Peter Pan to War Horse and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol to Lincoln, Gary Rydstrom, sound designer and re-recording mixer at Skywalker Sound, has worked on a plethora of modern classics. Here he talks about his long-term collaboration with Steven Spielberg, and how inspiration can come from the ... More

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Studio Monitors: Do We Expect Too Much?

Once upon a time I had money burning a hole in my pocket. I had less faith in my monitors than I do for a guy with a suit on in Washington. I HAD to make a big change and I was afraid that maybe my monitors at the time were too cheap. I HAD to know if a $4k monitoring setup was going to be a life-changer. I made ... More

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Why Do Certain Songs Give You Goosebumps?

Anyone who claims to know exactly why you and I love listening music is lying. It helps get through daily life sure, but how and why does it make us feel better? Humans have been listening to music for as long as we have been writing. The oldest examples of musical instruments are in excess of 40,000 years old, ... More

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Top 15 Things That Annoy the Shit Out of Your Local Sound Guy

Imagine for a moment that your job's sole requirement was to make live bands sound great every night. Pretty awesome right? Late nights, live music, and an endless supply of nightlife encapsulate a typical day at the office. Then after actually doing it for a few minutes you start to realize ... More

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"The Pirate Bay: Away From Keyboard" Documentary Trailer

The Pirate Bay: Away From Keyboard is the new documentary being released by Nonami. It follows the story of the file sharing site known as The Pirate Bay, as it goes through a massive Lawsuit with Hollywood. Peter Sunde is the founder of the The Pirate Bay. This man is quiet the character, and should ... More

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J.J. Abrams defends secrecy: 'You're ruining it before it even exists'

Ever wonder why writer-producer J.J. Abrams is so ultra-secretive about his projects? And how he’s able to keep literally hundreds of cast and crew members from spilling details online? Abrams (Fringe, Star Trek) was taking questions from a few reporters following his TV press tour panel ... More

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The Road to Analog-Sounding Digital: Are We There Yet?

To say that a digital source "sounds like analog" has always struck me as coming up short. The notion that one format sounds like another is not really sensible or even ideal. While I love listening to LPs, there are some physical attributes of vinyl that, ideally, you don't want to reproduce. You know ... More

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Accuracy Is Not the Answer

Before 1982, when the Compact Disc arrived, I didn't love LPs. Analog was already very old tech, and while every trick in the book had been applied to turntables and LPs, they still wowed & fluttered at 33 1/3 revolutions per minute. Vinyl's deficiencies were legion: warped LPs were more common than truly flat ones; surface ... More

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The Entire Run of Jon Favreau’s ‘Dinner For Five’ is on YouTube

Before the days of Twitter, which allows access to the daily opinions of some of our favorite filmmakers on an immediate basis, many of us relied on Jon Favreau for connection to one part of the film world. Several years ago Favreau was still an indie darling, almost a decade away from the Marvel ... More

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When does 4K Matter?

Over the past few months, leading CE manufacturers began announcing the availability of new Ultra HD televisions capable of displaying 4K content. You might have already read articles either outlining why you should invest in an Ultra HD set, or on the opposite spectrum, why Ultra HD televisions are not necessary for the average ... More

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The Ultimate Productivity Tool

I have a confession to make and it’s probably fair to accuse me of bragging. But I take a nap every day, sometimes two. My inbox is always at zero. I can’t remember the last time I used an alarm clock, and outside of the time I spend writing this column, I would classify a four-hour workweek as being slammed. Yes, I ... More

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IMAX 101: Theatre Geometry (Video)

Have you ever wondered exactly what’s different about an IMAX® theatre? Well it’s not one thing; it’s a combination many elements, most of them unique IMAX inventions and patents. We recently discussed our proprietary sound system in the IMAX 101: Sound post and today we’re going to discuss what goes into the design of an ... More

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Sound For Film and Video: The Importance of Getting Good Audio

How many times have you sat down to watch a video or budget movie, only to find that the camera work and picture editing is great, but that the sound is so bad it takes your attention away from the picture? You might even stop watching it altogether, or at least turn the sound way down. Watching ... More

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Why Mastering Sucks in the 21st Century

This is a rant. If you don't like rants, don't read it. The first argument goes like this: Mastering is just a matter of balancing tracks with each other using EQ, compression and limiting I can get mastering EQ and compression plugins free with a pint of beer, nowadays Why would I pay someone else to do my ... More

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Crash Course in Analog Tape Machines

What if you were enlisted to assist on an analog recording session? One of my students is headed out of state to do just that. It’s been a year since we’d ‘analog’d’ together, so I figured he needed a few mental refreshing bullets, so here goes… ###FIRST THING - Make friends with staff - LEARN HOW TO THREAD THE ... More

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Spoiler Alert: First 3-D Printed Records Sound Awful

The needle drops and a series of high, repetitive whines come from the album. Then a crackling sound, and a muffled guitar riff. Finally, Kurt Cobain’s voice — audible, but distant and hollow, like he is singing in a tunnel with a scarf over his mouth. It’s about the worst version of “Smells Like Teen ... More

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5 Unwritten Rules For Composing a TV Commercial, Ident or Title Sequence

As TV composers and course leaders we come across many unwritten rules that are simple but sometimes forgotten when working as a TV composer. Some of you will agree that these are very simple but it sometimes make sense to go back to the basics. 1) When you read the brief try to ... More

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Every 3D Movie is the Same

Watch enough movies, and you’ll find that you occasionally walk out of the theater sometimes with the vaguely disappointing feeling that you’ve just shelled out $14 to see a movie you’re already seen before. Sometimes, it’s no surprise that a film looks derivative — did anyone really expect Underworld: Awakening to wow us with ... More

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The hum that helps to fight crime

A rape victim has come forward to the police. She says she has confronted her attacker and has secretly recorded him admitting his guilt. A suspected terrorist has been taped planning a deadly attack, and the police want to use this evidence in court. Or someone has been captured on CCTV threatening an ... More

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The Science of Productivity (in a 3 Minute Video!)

In today’s busy world, we seem to be obsessed with the idea of “productivity” and “work hacks”. 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 to do the things we love outside of work. The problem we run into, however, is that it is easy to get motivated, but ... More

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What I Learned About Mixing in 2012

2012 has been full of learning experiences for me, both personally and professionally. Usually when someone uses the phrase “learning experience,” they actually mean “painful experience.” It’s so true, right? Any time I learn a powerful lesson, there’s almost always some sort of discomfort that comes along with it. ... More

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The Daily Adventures Of Mixerman – the Audiobook Dramatisation

You’ve probably heard of Mixerman. If not, now is the time to find out ! I first came across him way back in the early days of the Mastering Engineer’s Webboard(*) where he sparked a minor controversy by refusing to give his real name and credentials – in fact I remember things got pretty ... More

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Box Office Report: 'The Hobbit' Opening Sets December Record, Sort Of

###WINNER OF THE WEEK: J.R.R. Tolkien The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey made a not-at-all unexpected journey to the top of the box office chart. Its debut, estimated at $84.8 million, set a record for the largest December opening weekend ever, though that record comes with a couple ... More

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The Science of High Frame Rates, Or: Why 'The Hobbit' Looks Bad At 48 FPS

The hero of Jean-Luc Godard's Le Petit Soldat declared “The cinema is truth, 24 times per second,” as The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw noted while pondering frame rates and cinematic standards last year. Peter Jackson insists that it’s closer to 48 frames per second, as demonstrated by the ... More

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How much headroom is needed before mastering?

In other words, where should the peak level be after mixing before the file is mastered ? -12dB ? -6dB ? -3dB ? -0.3dB ? 0dB ? There are three simple answers to this question. Well, two really simple ones, and a third still-quite-simple one. Here they are: ###1. The Simple Answer Just ... More

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6 Ways to “Reboot” Your Studio

When you think about your studio, what comes to mind? I’ll admit, it’s easy to hone my attention on the things I don’t like about it. Perhaps the fact that a few of my mic stands don’t work very well anymore. Or how I need to stain the wood on my homemade gobo/booth. Or that I don’t have a dedicated monitor switcher box to ... More

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Recording Studios May Die, but the False Mythology Around Them May Not

Between its 1969 founding and its 2011 closing, Los Angeles's Sound City was the recording space for the likes of Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, Santana, Pat Benatar, Rancid, Weezer, Bad Religion, Nine Inch Nails, and Johnny Cash—just to name a few. Classic albums including Neil Young's ... More

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Proof That the “Inception Sound” is Taking Over Movie Trailers

Everyone likes to poke fun at the fact that a lot of movie trailers have now taken the BWAAAAAAAR sound from the original Inception trailer and used it for themselves. But I did not realize that this style went this far or this deep in the action movie genre. The video below shows almost every ... More