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02 AUGUST 2013

Making Documentaries for Radio

"Prepared by veteran producer Jack Perkins, this series of tutorials is for anyone interested in making audio documentaries. They include guidance in the technical, practical and philosophical approaches to working with audio, including field recording, scripting, interviewing techniques and the marriage of sound and word."

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TAGS

audio capture • audio documentaries • audio recorderdocumentary • documentary making • field recordinghow toindividual interviewsindividual perspectives • interviewing techniques • intimate lives • Jack Perkins • oral historiesoral historypersonal interviewspersonal narrativespersonal story • radio documentary • Radio New Zealand • Radio New Zealand National • social reality • sound portrait • sound recording • working with audio

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
29 DECEMBER 2012

Dara Ó Briain's Science Club: The Story of Music

"Special guest James May explores how music is inextricably linked to our emotions, materials scientist Mark Miodownik takes apart an electric guitar and neuroscientist Tali Sharot reports on the ground breaking research which treats Parkinson's Disease with rhythm. Plus, science journalist Alok Jha asks whether computers are ruining music."

(BBC Two, UK)

Fig.1 this animation is from Episode 6 of 6 of Dara Ó Briain's Science Club, Tuesday 30 Dec 2012 at 9pm on BBC Two, voiced by Dara Ó Briain, animated by 12Foot6, Published on YouTube on 19 Dec 2012 by BBC.

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
08 APRIL 2011

DSLR Slate App for iPhone and iPad

"The DSLR Slate App (by Chris Bayol) is a digital slate specifically designed for use with HDDSLR productions and works with iPads and the iPhone/iTouch. The app operates as a traditional slate, providing you with all the standard information (see picture above), but it also goes a step further and provides information tailored to HDDSLR production, allowing you to log shutter speed, ISO, aperture, lens, and many other details (which can come in handy while shooting tests). All of this additional information is stored by the app, and then displayed for the camera in quick bursts so that each page of information is captured for only a few frames. This makes slating on set efficient, and ensures that you have all the information you need in post–production.

This app is already quite useful, but I've spoken to the developer and there are already plenty of future tweaks in the works. Personally, I'd love to see the app give us the ability to put in production notes, to auto–increment takes as you go, and of course to find a way to jam sync the iPad to your audio recording device – right now I still use my DENECKE, which is a fantastic but expensive proposition."

(Vincent Laforet, 2 June 2010)

Fig.1 'Alex Walker (28/06/2010). 'iPad DSLR Slate App + Canon 7D Video'

Fig.2 Vincent Laforet (2010). 'DSLR Slate'

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TAGS

aperture • audio synchronisation • Chris Bayol • clapboardclapperclapperboardconvergence • Denecke • digital cinematographydigital filmmakingdigital media • digital slate • DSLR • DSLR Slate • filmmaking • HDDSLR • iPadiPhoneiPod TouchISO • iTouch • markerproductionproductivity • shutter speed • slateslate boardSMPTEsound recording • sound synchronisation • syncsync slatesync soundsynchronisationtime slatetimecodetitle sequencevideo production

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
08 APRIL 2011

Plural Eyes: sync software for dual-system and multi-camera audio

"PluralEyes is a product that can save you a lot of time, especially if you have good clear audio recorded with each camera. If there is too much redundancy in the audio tracks (concert) or a lot of echo in some of the tracks (Church) you may find that PluralEyes will only be able to match a part of the sequence, leaving clips on the timeline that need to be manually synced. When this happens you can try locking the clips that were successfully synced, then exporting the sequence once again in hopes that PluralEyes will find a match for the unlocked clips, but I personally haven't had too much luck with that process.

The biggest issue I have with any type of automated software is that if it's not 100% accurate, you learn not to fully trust it and rightfully so. When you have multiple tracks to sync and potentially hundreds of clips, it becomes a daunting task to have to go through the entire edit – once for each track you were trying to sync, just to make sure that all the clips are in their proper position. It may be just as quick (or as time consuming) to sync up your clips manually as it is to use automated software that might have to be re–run a few times before finally coming close – only to force you to manually go through your piece clip by clip and track–by–track to check its accuracy.

PluralEyes can save you tons of editing time, but it's really important to have good clear audio with each track you want to sync. On the first few projects that I used PluralEyes for CS5 with I was pretty disappointed with the results. I even delayed this review until I had more experience with the software. Now that I have learned not to expect 100% accuracy I have stopped 're–syncing' and 're–syncing' in hopes of achieving it. I let PluralEyes do most of the grunt work, then I go through and just manually sync up the small percentage of clips it missed. It's pretty easy to do since most of my footage is shot in chronological order so I know that clip C will need to go somewhere between clips B and D.

Part of my high expectations with this software was due to the many demo videos I have seen, not just from PluralEyes, but also from other reviewers. Their videos often show PluralEyes successfully syncing up just a few clips, so when I started to test the software with more involved edits it was aggravating to discover a percentage of clips that weren't synced. I wasted a lot of time trying to figure out why and trying to re–sync these projects, which in–turn wasted more time. Once I got over my high expectations I become much more productive. PluralEyes can truly save you hours of editing time, especially once you learn that itis sometimes quicker to manually sync the small percentage of clips that the software misses than it is to fiddle around with re–syncing using different settings."

(Ron Risman, March 2010, Cameratown.com)

Fig.1 Justin Davey http://www.mountstudios.co.uk/

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TAGS

Adobe Premiere Pro • audioautomationclapboardclapperclapperboardconvergenceCS4 • CS5 • digital filmmakingDSLR • dual-system audio • DualEyes • editingFinal Cut Pro • Justin Davey • marker • Media Composer • multi-camera • multi-take • multicamera • music video • PluralEyes • post productionproductivityrecording • Singular Software • slateslate boardsoftwaresound recordingsyncsync slatesynchronisationtime slatetimecode • Vegas Pro • videovideo editingvideo post-productionworkflowworkflow tool

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
01 FEBRUARY 2009

Pioneering audio recorder: the Blattnerphone

"As early as 1900 the Danish engineer Valdemar Poulsen (1869–1942) was demonstrating his Telegraphone at the Paris Universal Exhibition. This machine magnetically recorded telegraphy transmissions on a steel wire. In 1924 Dr. Kurt Stille (1873–1957), a German engineer, developed a practical office dictating machine which was produced by the Vox Gramophone Company. This, too, recorded onto steel wire but the quality fell far short of broadcast standards. The BBC became aware of this machine and closely followed developments in magnetic recording. Its interest increased with the coming of the Empire Service, where the same programme would be repeated several times for different time zones.

Film producer and showman Louis Blattner (1881–1935), a German who lived in England, formed a company to develop and market Stille's inventions. Among the projects that he set his engineers was to produce a machine which he hoped could be used as a source of sound synchronised to film.

In September 1930 a machine was installed for trials at Avenue House, then the home of the BBC's Research Department and the results were deemed good enough for speech, but not for music."
(Roger Beckwith)

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TAGS

audioBBC • blattner • blattnerphone • early recording technology • early tape recorder • history of recording technologyinnovation • Kurt Stille • Louis Blattner • Paris Universal Exhibition • pioneering • recorder • recordingsound recordingtapetechnology innovation • telegraphone • Valdemar Poulsen • Vox Gramophone Company

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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