Entries in audio (30)
This week while bumbling around the Internet I stumbled across what I believe could be a total revolution in audio over network technology.
Although still in development and not available until December 2014, Audinate makers of the Dante audio networking hardware and software most notably used by Focusrite in their RedNet range of Interfaces have released a “Heads Up” promo website to show off this new breakthrough.
Simply named “Via” the technology hints at being able to share any connected audio interface whether it be Firewire, USB, Thunderbolt etc available with any other network attached computer.
What Is Dante Via?
So for example you workstation in room 1 of your facility that has a USB attached audio interface could share its audio i/o with the laptop someone is using in room 2 quite simply down a normal Ethernet connection, No proprietary or 3rd party hardware required just a network and Dante Via.
In Audinates own words:
“Dante Via creates a flexible software audio bridge for your computer to connect with local USB, FireWire, Thunderbolt and analog audio interfaces, transforming them into networked devices.”“Dante Via breaks down traditional physical barriers and allows for flexible networking of sound to and from any connected PC or existing Dante endpoint. Send, receive, and monitor any track while also recording. Use your Dante Via to connect to other media applications, such as Cubase, Pro Tools, Logic, PowerPoint audio or Skype. Connect your existing Dante network with Dante Via and extend sound from your Macs and PCs. Or use it to as a tool for monitoring any local or remote channel. Dante Via allows networked audio to be sent anywhere within facilities like schools, houses of worship, meeting centers, conference rooms and court houses. Dante Via makes it easy!”
Find Out More
For more info go take a look at the Dante Via website, watch the video and sign up to the mailing list to get new info as it becomes available.
Things just got very exciting! - Neil Hester
Earlier this year Avid filed a patent application for what they describe as “Metrical grid inference for free rhythm musical input.”
The Problem Of Being Constrained By The Metronome
The basis of the patent revolves around the restrictions often placed the user when recording, in the application for the patent Avid state;
Systems that enable a user to record music for playback or for producing musical notation require that a tempo and a time signature for the music be supplied before the user can start recording. Once the user starts recording, he is constrained to play in time to a metronome click. This is an impediment to recording new ideas, as decisions about changes in tempo and time signature have to be made in advance and the user is unable to introduce timing variations that are a natural part of a performance. If the user opts to turn off the metronome click, he can record in an unconstrained manner, but the recording system is unable to interpret the musical data for quantization or displaying notation because the input is not aligned with an internal tempo map. The requirement to pre-select a time signature and tempo is particularly difficult for less experienced users, who may not be familiar with music theory or even with musical notation. There is therefore a need for musical input systems that free users of this constraint.”
What The Technology Aims To Do
The patent goes on to suggest how the algorithm would work;
A free rhythm musical input system enables a user to record in a natural manner by not requiring the user to make decisions about tempo or time signatures. It also removes the constraint of playing at a constant tempo that follows a metronome click. In such a system, the user is able to indicate to the system that he is ready to start recording, e.g., by hitting a record button, and take his time to prepare this thoughts, at which time he can start playing in an expressive manner The system then interprets what the user plays to infer the locations of the measures and beats, and the corresponding tempos and time signatures that best represent the musical intentions of the user.
Audio Or MIDI?
As to the kind of input types the patent suggest both MIDI and Audio;
In the system described above, the free rhythm music is received in the form of a sequence of MIDI events, in which the temporal locations of the notes and their duration are provided explicitly. It may also be possible to receive the music in audio form, and use audio analysis tools to determine the temporal locations of the note onsets and, in some cases, also the durations of the notes within the audio, thus broadening the applicability of the described techniques to acoustic performances or recordings.
Other Similar Software
Other similar software is made such as UJAM technology which allows the user to sing/play into a microphone and then places the music around the free form performance. AudioScore is a similar technology that already ships with Sibelius.
Where Will We See This Technology?
The patent is unclear as to what Avid products would implement this technology, although Avid have been working to create core solutions that can be used in various products such as Pro Tools and Sibelius.
A Point To Mention
The inventor of this technology is Paul Walmsley, who was part of the disbanded Avid Sibelius team and now works with the new team at Steinberg.
There’s a lot of discussion doing the rounds at the moment about the quality of recorded music. It all starts with the source material and how well the people making the music know what to listen for.
Philips have create the cool website where you can take some test to see how well you detect changes in sound on the same piece of material. It isn’t perfect and it won’t get you a degree but it’s an excellent way to give your ears a spin.
Furthermore, if you want to help your friends who listen to MP3s hear how different things can sound then this may be a great way to introduce them to critical listening.
A few years ago the iPhone and iPad were inheard of and yet in a matter of years it has become a ubiquitous part of modern life. Part of the attraction is of course the huge selection of Apps available, it wasn’t long before Apps were appearing to make music and to record and edit audio.
Avid have made some small steps into the world of iOS with Sibelius support but nothing for Pro Tools users to date, other brands have tried to do more to give their DAW users an iOS experience when working on the move.
So has iOS been the music and audio dream come true for you, or did you dabble and find yourself disappointed?
Please complete our poll - we’ve broken it into professionals (those making a living from music and audio) and enthusiasts to see if there are any trends that emerge. Of course, as ever please leave comments to give more flesh to the poll.
RX guru Mike has created another RX video for our friends at iZotope showing how to master this awesome plug-in.
An unwanted noise in the background can ruin what would otherwise be a perfect take. In this video, Mike shows you how to use RX 3’s Spectral Repair module to fix problems like a cough or a sound glitch.
If there’s one thing those of us working in audio like to think is that we have great ears.
We know when something is right and when something is wrong… or do we.
Watch this cool video from AsapSCIENCE - it will mess with your ears and your mind.
Perhaps you are new to recording and you wonder what all these different microphones are about.
In a recent post we talked about the importance of microphone placement and how simply moving the microphone can make a difference to the sound.
Microphones in this examples include a Dynamic, Small-Diaphragm Condenser Microphones, Hi End Condenser microphone a budget Condenser and a Ribbon microphone.
You’ve been asking for more sound examples, so in this test we simply put 5 different microphones in front of an acoustic guitar and record both picking and strumming. This isn’t a shoot out in the case of ‘which one is best’ it’s more to show how different microphones change the sound. Even more interesting when the playing style changes so does the character of the microphone. So one microphone works better for the strumming and another for the picking.
There is no EQ, compression or effects on any of these recordings, simply the microphone peaking at -10db.
Check them out, there’s no right or wrong, simply differences.
Which do you prefer?
Considering one of the principal uses Pro Tools is put to is as a multitrack recorder I’d always encourage a new user to get straight in there and actually record something. However there are many users for whom very little of the audio on their timelines will actually be recorded into that system. While importing audio into Pro Tools is straightforward there are still a few things to be aware of.
Importing Audio - The Import Dialogue
The way I recommend people start importing audio, and the way I still tend to do it, is using the import audio dialogue (File > Import > Audio, CMD+Shift+I/Ctrl+Shift+I). Although this might be seen as slower than some other methods it makes the user aware of some details which might otherwise be missed. There is important information presented in the import audio window which other methods do not draw the user’s attention to in the same way, like the difference between adding a file to your session and copying a file to the session. Pro Tools works with either .BWF files (broadcast wave files - basically a .WAV but with additional metadata) or .AIFF files. The current recommendations are for the use of BWF over AIFF as BWF supports time stamping and AIFF does not. Historically mac users used AIFF and windows users used .WAV but there is no longer any reason to to this. In the Import Audio dialogue the user selects files using the window’s browser, files can be previewed if necessary and the wanted files are added to the clips list. Files can either be added, copied or converted for use in the session by using the add or the copy/convert buttons. The copy button will automatically change to “convert” if the selected file is not a type which can be used natively within Pro Tools. Compressed audio files such as mp3s are not natively compatible and must be converted first before use.
Add, Copy and Convert
Add - The audio file will remain in its original location and the .ptx will reference that file at its original location (i.e. it is not in the project’s audio files folder)Copy - The audio file is left in its original location and a copy is made in the project’s audio files folder and it is this copy which is used by Pro Tools.Convert - The audio file is left in its original location and a copy is made in WAV or AIFF format and this converted copy, which is stored in the project’s audio files folder, is used by Pro Tools.If a file is compatible with Pro Tools you have a choice to add or to copy. Which is best? Well like most choices you are presented with it depends but for the overwhelming majority of new users I would recommend always copying.
Pros And Cons Of Adding Vs Copying
AddPros - Quick, uses less drive space. Can benefit collaborative workflowCons - File management becomes less straightforward. Potential to have missing filesCopy/ConvertPros - allows use of incompatible file types. Backup and moving projects is simpler.Cons - Slower. Uses more drive space.
Why is Add Not Always Available?
In a Pro Tools session you can freely combine files with different bit depths but files with a different sample rate to the session would play back at the wrong pitch if they were imported directly. In this case a copy has to be made with appropriate sample rate conversion applied. In practise compatibility issues are easy to understand as the import window displays helpful information about the properties of the currently selected file and its compatibility with the session in the file properties section of the import audio window.
It seems everywhere you look now on social media there is some post that has the words ‘you must watch this video’ or ‘you’ll never guess what happens next’ - in most cases I don’t watch them on principle.
But when community member and mastering engineer Bob Olhsson posts “This could be the most valuable hour anybody who does audio for a living could spend this year.” I take notice.
In this video JJ will discuss our present understanding of human auditory perception, pointing out how the way we actually work encourages a dichotomy of knowledge that no longer exists. He goes on to suggest some ways that education can bring artistic and technical approaches together, apply some of the technical things we know on the artistic side, and learn what the artistic side of the business needs and wants….” —-from the Audio Engineering Society - Pacific Northwest Section Meeting Recaps page.
It’s not for the faint hearted, but well worth setting real time aside to watch. Thanks Bob!
Holger Lagerfeldt is a Danish Grammy nominated and Multi-Platinum certified mastering engineer, but you might want to add to that ‘all round good guy’ as he is offering a PDF on audio levels completely free.
In the document he addresses the most common questions asked about recording audio in the digital domain, he offers solid advice and debunks some myths. Subjects include;
- Metering in the DAW
- How to avoid overloading a plug-in
- How to avoid overloading your mix buss
You might be new to recording on a DAW, you may be a seasoned professional, there’s something for everyone in this FREE PDF on Levels in Digital Audio.
Source: Logic Pro Expert