Author Archive

Visual storytelling—and lynda.com—at the CPUG Supermeet

Published by | Friday, April 13th, 2012

Eleventh Annual Las Vegas CPUG Supermeet logo

On April 17, 2012, lynda.com will be taking part in the Eleventh Annual Las Vegas CPUG Supermeet gathering, which is an annual highlight of the 2012 NAB Show. A valuable networking opportunity and forum, the Supermeet is a great place for the video post-production community to exchange feedback on each other’s work and get new product previews, such as the sneak peak of Apple’s Final Cut Pro X that was presented at the 2011 Supermeet.

Each year the CPUG Supermeet features great speakers, with this year’s list including Morgan Spurlock, Shane Hurlbut, ASC, and Adobe Premiere Pro product manager Al Mooney.

The Supermeet is organized by the Creative Pro User Group (CPUG) network, formerly known as the Final Cut Pro User Group (FCPUG). I asked Dan Berube, head of the Boston Creative Pro User Group (BOSCPUG), about the name change and what was gained—other than a shorter acronym.

Dan’s take: “BOSCPUG is all about visual storytelling, which comes naturally for us, and we’re very passionate in what we do for our outreach. It’s silly to define yourself by one tool—especially for a creative person. You cannot now just define yourself as one type of editor; you are a storyteller. If we have one motto, it’s: ‘We don’t care what tools you use, we only care what you do with the tools you use.’”

Does this ring true for you? How wedded are you to your editing system of choice? Have industry changes prompted you to expand your set of tools, or switch to new ones?

Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section below, and please make sure to stop by our Las Vegas CPUG Supermeet table where you can have a look at our lynda.com courses, and say hello to our staffers and authors, including CINEMA 4D expert Rob Garrott and video pro Rich Harrington. We also will be raffling an annual subscription to lynda.com along with some other goodies you won’t want to miss!

 

Interested in more?
• All video courses on lynda.com
• Courses by Rob Garrott and Rich Harrington on lynda.com

Suggested courses to watch next:
CINEMA 4D: Designing a Promo
After Effects CS5 Essential Training
CINEMA 4D and After Effects Integration

Brian Lee White talks about NAMM 2012 and music industry trends

Published by | Sunday, February 5th, 2012
Brian Lee White chats with lynda.com

Brian Lee White chats with lynda.com

We recently held a live Q&A on Twitter with Oakland-based mixer, producer, and educator Brian Lee White (@brianleewhite). White is the author of several audio courses for lynda.com, most recently two Foundations of Audio courses: Compression and Dynamic Processing, and EQ and Filters. In this edited transcript, he shares his thoughts on NAMM 2012 and music industry trends.

lynda.com (@lyndadotcom): How many times have you been to NAMM? Why do you go?
Brian Lee White (@brianleewhite)
:
I’ve been going since ’95. In the ’90s, I used to go for my dad’s music store. Now I just go to network and see friends.

David Franz (@undergroundsun): What was the coolest piece of gear you saw at NAMM?
Brian:
I am really stoked about the UA Apollo. I’m a long-time UAD user and really excited about the Thunderbolt technology.
David:
Yeah, that definitely seemed to have the most buzz at the show. Super cool stuff.

Simon Allardice (@allardice): Anything (software, hardware, or company) you were hoping to see appear at NAMM that didn’t show?
Brian:
Good question. The lack of noise about the next generation of Logic worries me a little. It’s been a while since a major release.

David: Do you use an iPad in your workflow? If so, which apps do you recommend?
Brian:
I do. I use the Neyrinck apps to remotely control my Pro Tools rig, and I have a mic stand mount so I can reach it easily. I also use the GarageBand app on my iPad for song writing. It’s really fun.

David: Seems most iOS i/o devices use the power from the iPad/iPhone connector—possible power problems? Thoughts?
Brian:
I’ve yet to see any kind of pass-through connector on the peripherals, but the battery on my iPad is really decent.
David:
Yeah, the only ones I’ve seen that have separate power are from IK Multimedia—great gear and apps!

Simon: Any area (compressor? Guitar sim?) where software still has a long way to go before it reaches hardware quality?
Brian:
I now mix entirely in the box; for me, we’ve arrived. The speed/efficiency of the workflow makes up for any subtle differences. But don’t get me wrong, hardware still has its uses. I would be hard pressed to work without speakers/mics/pres/etc.

David: What is your deserted-island piece of music gear?
Brian:
I have everything in my laptop, a whole studio with instruments and effects…I can produce a song from start to finish.

lynda Audio (@lyndaaudio): There’s a lot of gloom & doom about the music industry. What do you see as a bright spot?
Brian:
There are tons of small companies doing cool things with software and iOS. Web distribution lets them reach the right users.
lynda Audio:
Who specifically comes to mind?
Brian:
Well, little outfits like Cytomic and Valhalla DSP make plug-ins that, for me, are best in class and a great value.

lynda.com: You just released a course on EQ/Filters. Why did you decide to tackle this topic?
Brian:
In my course, I try to get away from the formulaic approach and teach people why and when to use EQ, not just how. EQ is one of the basic tools people think they mostly understand, yet often miss the big-picture thought process.

David: Get In the Mix is a new feature of your Foundations of Audio courses. Can you tell me how they work?
Brian:
Get In the Mix interactive exercise files (or GITMs) are an entirely new way to learn how to use and “hear” how the tools are working, right inside your DAW. Here’s a more detailed explanation of how they work.

lynda.com: Any advice for those looking to break into the music industry?
Brian:
Learn how to—and get used to—wearing many different hats. The old paradigm of getting hired at a studio is gone now.
lynda.com:
Yes, we can all take our learning and careers into our own hands these days.

David: What are you working on now, music and mix-wise—if you can talk about it?
Brian:
I’m not really at liberty to say right now, but be on the lookout for a major release in the next month or so.
lynda.com:
That’s the way—preserve a little of the mystery!

 

Interested in more?
• All audio courses on lynda.com
• All courses from Brian Lee White on lynda.com
• All Logic Pro courses on lynda.com
• All Pro Tools courses on lynda.com

Suggested courses to watch next:
Audio for Film and Video with Pro Tools 9
Foundations of Audio: Compression and Dynamic Processing [with Get in the Mix exercise files]
• Audio Mixing Bootcamp
Digital Audio Principles
Pro Tools 10 Essential Training

Survival tips for artists and bands: A Q&A session with Bobby Owsinski

Published by | Friday, February 3rd, 2012

We recently held a live Q&A on Twitter with producer and music technology advisor Bobby Owsinski (@bobbyowsinski). Owsinski is the author of the lynda.com course Audio Mixing Bootcamp and many audio-related books. In this edited transcript, he shares his thoughts on NAMM 2012 and music industry trends.

MUSIC CAREERS AND THE BUSINESS
lynda.com (@lyndadotcom):
There’s a lot of doom and gloom about the music industry. What’s a bright spot?
Bobby (@bobbyowsinski):
The fact that artists and bands can do so much for themselves without a middleman.
lyndadotcom:
Can you give me an example or two?
Bobby:
Promotion via social media, direct marketing to the fan base, and engagement with the fan base.

David Franz (@undergroundsun): You wrote Music 3.0 about this very topic. What are a few key survival tips for artists?
Bobby:
Make your website the center of your online universe and maintain a single mailing list.

lynda Audio (@lyndaaudio): Any tips for people looking to break into the music business?
Bobby:
Do anything to work for the most important person in the part of the industry you want to be in.
lynda Audio:
Even if it means making coffee and copies?
Bobby:
Absolutely. You’re still learning while doing.


LEARNING AND TRAINING
David:
You have several new books out and an audio bootcamp course on lynda.com. Do you sleep?
Bobby:
Working on books is never work, it’s fun. Can’t wait to start if I’m not in the studio.
David:
What’s the main gist of your lynda.com course, Audio Mixing Bootcamp? Who’s the audience?
Bobby:
It’s mainly for musicians or young engineers who can’t seem to get their mixes to sound right.

lynda.com: How was it doing your first video course? You can demo concepts in way books don’t allow. For example, the Listening Position demo visually demonstrates how to find the correct position in the room for your monitors.
Bobby:
Loved the experience.



Simon Allardice (@allardice):
With amateur home studios, what’s the usual weak link in the chain—the room? Monitors? Interface? Talent?  ; )
Bobby:
Definitely the listening environment, but not having a reference point on what sounds good hurts too.


NAMM AND AUDIO GEAR
lynda.com:
How many times have you been to NAMM? Why do you go?
Bobby:
I’m afraid to say how many, but it’s lots and lots. I go for meetings and to see friends more than anything these days.
lynda.com:
Good point. People can scope gear and learn online, but conferences are still important for personal connections.

Rob Sommerfeldt (@robsommerfeldt): What was the most surprising thing you saw at NAMM this year?
Bobby:
The most surprising thing at NAMM was the large and enthusiastic crowd. I’d say the recession is over.

 Simon: Touchscreen control surfaces (Lemur, Neyrinck, Smithson-Martin) seem to be on the rise. Are you a fan?
Bobby:
Depends. Touchscreens can be hard on the elbow and cause a new sort of fatigue. Great graphically, though.

 lynda.com: You have some great NAMM-related posts. What was one guitar or amp you thought was cool?
Bobby:
The coolest amp was the Milbert GAGA with what they call “unique” circuitry.

David: What was the coolest piece of gear you saw at NAMM?
Bobby:
Definitely the UA Apollo interface in terms of audio.
David:
I agree! Finally a Thunderbolt interface, and using UA plugs too.

lynda Audio: You also made time to scope out the “odd and unusual” at NAMM. What were some highlights?
Bobby:
As for the unusual, I loved the Molecule drums, the stealth piano, and the stained-glass drum heads.
lyndadotcom:
Ah, the stealth piano that looks like a predator drone. Yes, of course!

Predator-drone styled stealth piano from NAMM 2012

Predator-drone styled stealth piano from NAMM 2012

Simon: Can everything be done ITB [in the box] now, or does hardware still have the edge in some areas?
Bobby:
For mixing, yes, ITB, although it’s still a matter of preference. More and more old timers are converting to ITB.

David: What is your deserted island piece of musical gear?
Bobby:
A stainless steel-guitar pick and a Corcedin* bottle for slide.

*A bit of history: In the late 1960s, guitarist Duane Allman of The Allman Brothers Band began using an empty glass Coricidin bottle as a guitar slide. Following Allman, other prominent slide guitarists began to adopt the Coricidin bottle technique. While the Coricidin bottle went out of production in the early 1980s, replicas have been produced since 1985.

 

Interested in more?
• All audio courses on lynda.com
• All courses from Bobby Owsinski on lynda.com

Suggested courses to watch next:
Audio for Film and Video with Pro Tools 9
Foundations of Audio: Compression and Dynamic Processing [with Get in the Mix exercise files]
• Audio Mixing Bootcamp
Digital Audio Principles
Pro Tools 10 Essential Training