Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Best Way To Attach A Lav Mic

At first, attaching a lav mic to your subject may seem simple, and it can be. But the following links and videos can help you improve you audio when using lav mics.

First off, where do you attach the mic? Dave Curlee, head of production at Geek Beat TV Studios answers that question in this video: 

WHAT'S A "BROADCAST LOOP" forum member, John Willet shares some helpful tips and explains the value of a Broadcast Loop:
The first important point is that you have to decouple the microphone from the cable to prevent any cable noise getting to the microphone itself.
The way to do this is to make a small loop and trap this by the teeth of the tie clip - if the mic is pointing up, loop the cable up and then down again behind the clothing and trap the cable in the jaws of the crocodile clip...This means that the cable beyond this point is totally decoupled from the mic itself and any clothing or rubbing noises are not transmitted up the cable to the microphone.

The Broadcast Loop
via John Willet/

Here's a video from RØDE Microphones on lav mounting and Broadcast Loops:

The video was taken from this article from RØDE Microphones.

If you're subject is a heavy nose-breather, you may also want to point the mic downward to avoid the rushing air.  Since lav mics are often omnidirectional opointing the mic away from the subject shouldn't adversely affect the sound quality. Windscreens can address this problem too but typically make the mic more visible.  Rycote and RØDE also sell several solutions for hiding and dressing a mic properly.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Adobe Update on Quicktime for Windows

"Recent security issues related to Apple’s QuickTime 7 on Windows have been of concern to users...we’re pleased to announce that Adobe has been able to accelerate work that was already in progress to support native reading of ProRes. This new capability is fully licensed and certified by Apple, and barring any unforeseen issues during pre-release, these fixes will be included into an update to the relevant products in Creative Cloud shortly."

image: Studio Daily

Complete post is here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Use A Game Controller As A NLE Control Surface Or...

Casey Faris shows how he programmed a USB game controller for use as a Premiere Pro CC control surface.

Seems a bit odd to me but maybe if you're a hard core gamer and have a USB game controller laying around, maybe this is the way to go. He uses Xpadder to program the interface.

A while back, Mark Zimmer at Pro Video Coalition published an article on how to use a midi controller as an NLE control surface.

Pretty cool although I think more of a viable solution if you already happen to have a midi controller laying around. 

On the subject of USB control surfaces, check out Xkeys. Xkeys can be used for a wide range of applications. I recently helped complete a studio build that included a custom Xkeys interface - basically a simplified switcher control surface for a Newtek Tricaster 460. 

Here's the interface they offer for Photoshop which is pretty cool. 

And of course there are a number of solutions ready to go right out of the box from manufacturers including JL Cooper and Contour Design.

And if all else fails, you can sit down and learn your NLE's keyboard shortcuts.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Free Textures

Here's the link to another site that offers free textures for your work. 

" is a website that offers digital pictures of all sorts of materials...fabrics, wood, metal, bricks, plastic, and many more." You can download up to 15 images per day. 

And the cool part is that it's free of charge. 

Saturday, April 30, 2016

"The Nik Collection is now free"

Actually it's been free for a couple of weeks, but that's still probably welcome news. The Nik Collection is a suite of plugins for Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. 

Back in 2012, Nik Software was purchased by Google. Pre-Google, the complete Nik Collection cost nearly $500. Then in 2013, Google slashed the price to around $150. Now it's on the house.

So why free? In this case it may be a good news/bad news scenario.  Hard to beat free, but some also believe that this latest giveaway by Google may signal Nik's relegation to the land of "abandonware"

Even if that's the case, for the time being the Nik Collection is a high-end suite of software tools that you can take advantage of. You can download the Nik Collection here.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Apple Quicktime? U.S. Government Says Windows Users Beware

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recommends that Windows users remove Apple Quicktime after two new bugs were discovered in the software.  Bugs?  No problem. Won't Apple patch its product? According to TrendMicro - Nope

Unfortunately, a number of video software tools use the Quicktime codec.  Here's Adobe's contradictory response.

“native decoding of many .mov formats is available today (including uncompressed, DV, IMX, MPEG2, XDCAM, h264, JPEG, DNxHD, DNxHR, ProRes, AVCI and Cineform)”...

“Unfortunately, there are some codecs which remain dependent on QuickTime being installed on Windows, most notably Apple ProRes. We…have no estimated timeframe for native decode currently.”

Adobe isn't alone in it's misguided reliance on Quicktime for Windows. For instance, a number of Blackmagic Design products rely on Quicktime. Speaking from experience, Blackmagic's Intensity Shuttle is little more than a plastic door stop without it.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Cool Sites - School of Motion

I'm always on the lookout for great tutorial sites and School of Motion is definitely one of them.

Founded by Joey Korenman, School of Motion offers bootcamps in animation and character animation for a fee, as well as loads of free tutorials for aspiring motion graphics artists. Membership is free, but you don't get bombarded with a mountain of email spam.

 Make sure not to miss 30 Days of After Effects.