Code-eh???

When working in audio I feel pretty comfortable working with WAV, raw, PCM, MP3 or whatever compressed/uncompressed file gets thrown my way, and life was relatively neat rowing down the bitstream of audio format. But when I dared dip my toe into the perplex and competitive world of video postproduction it was time to buckle up and ride out the storm for a new, ever changing course of elements.

Here are some basic explanations that I hope can get you through the confusing world of digital video and codec:

What is codec?

The basic explanation of codec is in the name:

  • Co- compress
  • Dec- to decompress.

A compressed algorithm reduces the file size by discarding and reusing information and decompression enables editing and display. Some common examples are Prores and h.624.

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Drone culture: Dexterous Vs Dangerous

With drones quickly transforming from a military piece of equipment, a cheap and easily accessible toy you see rooming around the park, one thing to be certain, they have become a regular part of society. With the price range from approximately £49.00 to a whole heap of military cash near enough anyone can bag themselves a handy little Gopro and a reasonably new aspect to filming. Now I know what you’re thinking, new? This isn’t exactly the beginning of aerial filming techniques, which I appreciate, but it is the beginning of a whole new style of filming widely available to the general public. A community of unrestricted skateboarding, sports loving, animal watching, journalistic, perspective film makers. That trick, the arrangement, that comparison; now drones bring a new dimension to the amateur film maker and oh how we love it.

Courtesy of Joshua Johnson https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnVIKC8ZrpsHmvS5cixXBSg

I was once walking along the side of Buckingham Palace gardens on my way to London Victoria when I spotted drone above the large exterior walls scouting the garden. One can assume this is a common practise by security to guard the palace from potential trespassers, which I’m sure is a difficult task. But this made me think, would this done need a camera facing upwards as well a downward to determine another drone isn’t following the security one? And who actually stated it belonged to the Palace itself?

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I’m Back (Terminator style)

Hello!

Thanks for sticking with me, and in Terminator Genisys style I’m back!

I’d like to apologize for my 6 month absence, due to the passing of my father I decided to take a little time out of my technology based life to spend some well earned time off with the family.

Now I’m back and ready to talk about my next move in the digital world. So bare with me, as this next 6 months will be a packed stream of dissertation topics, job interest and experiences, with the occasional fun GIF or ident.

please feel free to message with feedback (good or bad, not trolling), and i will endeavour to write back.

so hasta la vista!

Idents – small indicators with significant value

idents new pic

Idents are a visual image or video used to identify a television broadcaster, production company or channel. They are short and unique; which gives them ample opportunity to be frequently used throughout programming, with maximum marketing potential. The key to multiple Idents is to maintain the identity of the logo/relatable image operating but with different stories/visuals taking place. E4 are distinguished in this field, with their unique and sometimes controversial E Stings. The channel even gave viewers the opportunity to create and submit their own E-stings, for a 2013 competition, which resulted in many winners having their works represented on the channel itself. Continue reading

Analysis of Black Friday Parody (Artefact no.2)

My second attempt at a spreadable artefact came solely from the disappointing reception of my first video; things needed to change. I decided to use the concept a current trending topic, as this already exhibits huge amount of traffic, which would be a lot easier than starting a trend itself. Then, with a stroke of luck, came the relatively new phenomenon to the UK, gained a mass of media attention: Black Friday. This time I had to respond quick and with only 24 hours after Black Friday I had a parody published to YouTube; here are the reasoning and objectives for Black Friday 2014, Downfall parody:

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Spreadable media- Analysis of Monty the Penguin and friends (Video Artefact no.1)

As posted previously, my first attempt of spreadable media was my animal rights endeavour, using the popularity of the latest John Lewis Christmas advert featuring a penguin to high light the real problems with hunting and over-fishing in the Antarctic. Reason for making this film were on a personal level, however the method I chose to get the point across was using key spreadable media tools.

To decipher the reasoning for this short film further I will divide the film into its preliminary ideas and objectives:

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Inserts Vs Auxiliaries

A few months ago I spoke about signal pathways in the studio, an entity that may frighten an audio novice, but contrary to belief makes sense with time and application. Most studio and MIDI interface users are familiar with the exploit of auxiliaries and inserts, nevertheless it is important to distinguish between the two, as I regularly see studio users mistake the two leading to major connection errors and ,shall we say, un-altered audio.

Inserts

Essentially, an insert diverts a (selected) signal and applies a chosen direct effect, for example, EQ, gate, compressor, flanger (dynamics). This signal is therefore changed by this effect and then returned to the channel with its effect added. Auxiliaries on the other hand are a slightly different kettle of fish. They usually come after an insert on the signal path (if you have used one, that is), and takes two simultaneous pathways; one with the original signal and the other an aux. Signal.

inserts

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Sound categories: Sound Source organising , made easy

Today I’ve been looking over spotting sheets for planned and recorded sounds for a post production project I’m working on. And I realised how handy it would be to have a table of sound types for students and enthusiasts new to the world of audio/video technology; so I made one:

Sound Description
Diegetic Any sound the characters on screen can hear, i.e. dialogue.
Non-diegetic Sounds the audience can hear but not the characters, i.e. narration, canned laughter.
Non-simultaneous Sounds that take place depicting an event that isn’t happening on screen. For example, reading out a letter, like someone is writing it while onscreen someone is doing something completely different, but the letter itself relates to the person on screen.
Direct Sounds recorded at the time of filming.
Synchronous Sound that complement the movement of the character on screen.
Post synchronising Dubbing, Foley, effects all recording in post production, usually in sync with the film itself.
Off screen Sound used to describe what’s going on at the time but emphasising the onscreen action with a different exploit, usually to draw focus the important entity.

These are all key sources for planning audio post production, not only do they assist with spotting, but colour coordinating types of sound facilitates an organised Mix down for that final master.

Foley: bizarre techniques for extraordinary sounds

Foley is an amazing technique of control, a sound designers attribute to emphasizing or oppressing intensity in a film. It’s an aspect unknown to many film audiences but an imperative, and personally, the most exciting, part of post production.

Foley is usually performed by a Foley artist using several Foley props, the props can be near enough anything as long as they make the sound required, or as close as possible. The technique is typically performed whilst watching the film itself so the FX’s can be recorded in time, a good example of this is the recording walking on different surface.

The inventive side of Foley enables artists to use uncharacteristic props for effects, for example, snapping celery for a broken bone, or slapping raw meat for, fist fights. But the creativity doesn’t end there; my colleges and I have sent numerous evening using various audio workstations reversing, EQing, stretching sounds to get that perfect Foley effect. Continue reading

The sonic Spectrum

I’m currently working tirelessly in the studio, and on other digital work stations, polishing off the sound design for an animation. As this is my first audio post production task, without a band in sight, I’ve been somewhat surprised at the transferable sonic components used. As a general rule, the basics to watch out for in both live band recording and audio post production are time keeping, acoustic environments, blend, volume, and balance as a whole. But the entity that has exasperated my week has been EQing and making good use of the sonic spectrum. Although equalising has never been my strongest attribute in the audio world, I’d like to say I’m pretty confident balancing out a standard live recording, however, present me with ADR, foley, FX, atmospheric sounds and music, within a 5.1 mix-down; I start to panic. But never underestimate a woman on a mission; I have decided to break down the sonic spectrum, for those who are new to the audio game and those who need want to develop a good contrast between sounds.

Below is the audio spectrum; humans can hear between 20 to 20 KHz, which slightly decreases with age. Although pitch detection isn’t liner we can recognises octave changes with frequencies that are doubled or halved, this still leaves us with a large scope, but it also means recording in different, but close frequency bands can easily masked or sound messy: Continue reading