Month: February 2011

The AudioBuddy: Actually Pretty Nice


Metal body with sturdy plastic knobs.  If you were to drop it from over your head, it would probably survive the fall and work fine.


Idiot proof.  If the connection fits, that’s probably where it goes.  Turn the knob to the right for more signal.  If you need phantom power, press the button marked phantom power.  The market is saturated with devices that depend on software or a menu of some kind to gain access to hundreds of parameters, most of which you’ll never use.   But the AudioBuddy (more…)


Why Pre-Mixing Your Electronic Instruments is a Good Idea.

You are a modern band.  In addition to your drums, guitar, bass, you’ve brought along your keyboard, your other keyboard, your drum machine, your laptop, your Thingamagoop, and your circuit bent Speak & Spell.

And all this stuff, as wonderful as it is, is causing a crisis of conscience:  Someone, somewhere told you that you should never mix anything from the stage.  ‘You can’t hear things properly from that perspective’ they said.  ‘Let the pro do their job,’ they said.

But as you look at your plethora of outputs you can’t help but feel as though you’re asking a lot, maybe too much, of the man or woman behind the mixing desk.  So, should you stay true to the ideal of using and objective audio engineer and let them mix everything from their perspective off the stage OR do you solve what you’re fairly sure will be a logistical problem of too many inputs by bringing your own mixer, thereby committing the sin of mixing from the stage. (more…)

Make it Go: Keying Video with Adobe Creative Suite (Green Screen)

You need to key something. You were pretty sure buying the Adobe Creative Suite meant that you had the capability, but nothing seems to work.  Everything you’ve tried gets you get one of two results:

  1. bits of your subject around the edges get keyed out (you don’t want that)
  2. bits of your green background around the edges of your subject are left in (you don’t want that either)

You sought help in various video edtiting and post production forums.  The advice you got probably centered on your lighting.  “You have to have perfect lighting, and a perfectly smooth green background with no variation in shading or color whatsoever,” they told you.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to reshoot (with a different camera or different lights or a different green screen).  You just need to use the right tools. (more…)