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October 11, 2005

Table of Contents

The Moving Picture: The Art of the Realtime Edit
Boris FX to Assume Media 100 Technical Support Obligations
Advanced Media Introduces RIDATA Micro SD Card
Creative Network Design Announces NetMix Pro 3.4
SoundToys Announces TDM Effects Bundle for ProTools TDM
Open Labs Announces First 64-Bit Dual-Core Keyboard Production Stations
Creative Network Design Supports Associated Production Music Library, Introduces New Workflow Integration For Music Tracks
MOVAVI Releases ConvertMovie 1.2

The Moving Picture: The Art of the Realtime Edit

One of my favorite EventDV articles of the last year is Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen's piece on The Art of the Wedding-Day Edit. It offers practical suggestions from three experienced pros on editing wedding videos fast enough to show at the reception. It offers insight into a way that most event videographers may not have considered to expand service offerings, explore new creative outlets, and boost the bottom line all at once.

My favorite line is a quote from Mark Von Lanken that hints at both the artistic and practical joy of showing your work to an assembled crowd: "The client actually pays you to show your work to hundreds of their closest family and friends." But that payoff doesn't come easily. A same-day edit takes a lot of work and a lot of time, and creates a situation where a lot can go wrong without thoughtful planning and execution. Nonetheless, just about any video artist or businessperson can probably relate to the positives.

The meat of the article discusses various approaches, such as a template-like approach that combines heavy doses of already assembled footage with typical ceremony shots that can quickly replace timeline placeholders. Interestingly, however, it doesn't explore what would surely be the quickest option for turning around a wedding day video: live switching. But of course, why would it? Live switching may be the production reality for news programming, sports, and live daytime talk shows, but it would be rather impractical at most weddings, and for several reasons.

First, there's equipment. You'd need to have a 2-4-channel switcher console that would likely cost at least $1,500. (Focus Enhancements' MX-4 DV and Edirol's LVS-400 have FireWire inputs for DV cameras have street prices around $2,000 and $1,600, respectively.) Second, running the cables through the church or wedding site for lockdown cameras is problematic enough with a crowd of people moving in and out, but even worse for the necessary handheld shots that produce the most effective close-ups. If a cable is tripped on and a feed is lost, so is your edit. Switching an event live is far from error-proof, even for seasoned professionals at highly choreographed events. For a wedding video, the risk vs. reward would be rather high.

Still, live switching can be both exhilarating and a highly efficient use of time. An hour event takes the same hour to shoot and switch. There's no logging of clips, no assembling of bins, and no work after the event beyond duplication. In fact, live switching can be such a time-efficient way to assemble an "edit" that in the old days of linear editing, I'd often switch instead of edit multi-camera shoots after the fact. Admittedly, I never did this for wedding videos, but it worked great for lectures, panel discussions, and even concerts.

Before an event my colleagues and I would point all the cameras at one person who would overtly clap for both a visual and aural sync point. Then, as long as all the cameras kept rolling from that moment on, we'd be set to switch later. We'd put the tapes from the three or four cameras into a stack of identical VTRs, sync them up using the clap point, press "Play" on a remote that controlled them all, and run them all through a switcher. We'd often have to start over a couple times, and hope we didn't make a major gaff well into the real-time switch and have to start over. But at the end of the event we'd have a deliverable product. If we'd had had a way to tweak those realtime-switched "edits" back then, that would have been ideal. But given the expectations of the time, the content was quite adequate.

Today, of course, production values and expectations are much higher. Television-quality graphics, titles, and even effects are not only obligatory to wow clients, but also a way to create a custom look and feel. Editing is expected to be and should be more polished given today's editing software, with program gaps shortened and gaffs removed.

But for event videographers, being more efficient is the true beauty in the new multi-camera editing features of today's nonlinear editing software, particularly Final Cut Pro 5's new implementation, although the multi-cam feature in Avid Xpress has improved, too. With support for multiple formats in the same timeline, Xpress and Liquid Edition offer key advantages to videographers beginning to work with HDV. There's still often extra time needed to acquire or upload footage (unless you work with FireWire drives on the cameras), but doing a real-time "switch" with Final Cut's multi-cam editing feature means you'll have at least a rough cut of a 30-minute ceremony done in 30 minutes. Can you do better than that without logging or previewing the footage from all the cameras first?

Best of all, unlike the old days of rolling decks, you can go to the timeline and make adjustments, move edit points, add titles, add a slow motion effect, correct colors, and everything else that you could do during normal editing. Admittedly, that means extra time, but if you're doing your rough cut while previewing the available footage, you'll be that much closer to basking in the acclaim for your wedding-day edit.

Back to Contents...

Boris FX to Assume Media 100 Technical Support Obligations

Boris FX, the leading developer of integrated effects technology for video and film production, has announced a definitive agreement to acquire all operating assets and the Customer Technical Support obligations of Media 100, a division of Optibase. All Platinum support subscribers and customer phone and email support will continue uninterrupted as Boris agrees to provide the same level of customer service.

The newly formed Media 100 Support Division will operate independently as a business unit of Boris FX. As part of the acquisition agreement Boris FX will continue to purchase HDX video boards from Optibase. Plans call for the release of the Media 100 sw product, a software-only version of the Media 100 HD. The public beta of Media 100 sw, a fully functioning version without FireWire I/O, can currently be downloaded from the www.Media100.com. Support, repair, and sales will continue as before for the Media 100 HD editing system.

Future development of both the HD and sw systems will include improved integration with existing and future Boris FX products. There are currently no plans to continue development of the 844/X editing system that was discontinued by Optibase in January. The existing support and quality assurance staff of Media 100 will be retained to guarantee no disruption in service or a loss of support experience on Media 100 products. The existing Boris Support team will be further trained by the Media 100 experts to expand the support resources available to Media 100 users. "

Boris FX recently acquired Final Effects Complete from Optibase, with all associated trademarks including Studio Effects, Next Effects, and ICE FX. The products will continue to be offered with Boris FX providing maintenance, support and future development.

www.borisfx.com

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Advanced Media Introduces RIDATA Micro SD Card

Advanced Media, Inc., manufacturer and marketer of the popular RIDATA brand of recordable CD and DVD media, electronic storage products, and digital media accessories, has introduced a Micro SD card to its popular RIDATA brand of flash memory products. Approximately one fourth of the size of other RIDATA memory cards, it is the smallest removable storage card available from the company.

The RIDATA Micro SD card provides full compatibility and interoperability with current Secure Digital devices when used with an adapter. The new cards will areon display at Mobile Business Expo Booth# 617 at the Navy Pier in Chicago October 9-12, 2005.

Industry sources predict demand for the new card to grow by over 200% over the next three years, according to Advanced Media. The RIDATA Micro SD card supports mobile devices currently sold by I-mate, Motorola, O2, Orange, Samsung, Sanyo, Sharp, T-mobile, Kyocera, LG, Amor, Segam, and other leading marketers found around the world. The new Advanced Media memory card is compatible with any full-size SD device through the use of an adapter. It also provides support for mobile devices featuring a TransFlash slot. CPRM encryption is in affect when it is used with an adapter.

Other highlights include SD specification 1.1v compliance; 3.3 volts; and low battery consumption, which maximizes battery life in small portable devices. It is available in 64MB, 128MB, and 256MB capacity sizes.

The RIDATA Micro SD card is available now through selected retailers, RIDATA distributors, and at various online outlets. It features popular pricing for a wide variety of quantities. Advanced Media offers a wide selection of flash memory products, including CompactFlash, SmartMedia, MultiMediaCard, SecureDigital, CompactFlash PRO, MultiMediaCard PRO, reduced-size MultiMediaCard PRO, MMC Plus PRO, MMC Mobile PRO, Secure Digital PRO, and mini Secure Digital PRO cards; a flash memory card adapter; a USB card reader; and a thumb-size USB EZ drive.

www.ritekusa.com

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Creative Network Design Announces NetMix Pro 3.4

Creative Network Design (CND), a sound and audio software developer, has announced the release of NetMix Pro 3.4, an enhanced sound effects library management tool for video and audio editors, at the Audio Engineering Society (AES) convention. An upgraded version of CND's NetMix Pro Sound Library Management software, NetMix Pro 3.4 enables editors, on Macintosh and PC computers, to search, audition, transfer, and manage audio files--whether sound effects or production music--with one-click ease, according to CND.

NetMix Pro 3.4 incorporates new features, including the following:

  • a Relational Category Search engine, which provides users with an optimized search method for music libraries;
  • enhanced workflow integration, enabling users to deliver music directly to Pro Tools and Avid,
  • NetMix Pro Project Manager, which was enhanced for music-related project management.

The NetMix Pro Relational Category Search enables users to search music tracks or sound effects by categories and subcategories, supporting unlimited subcategories. Users can conduct fast searches using the Relational Category Search, as well as Boolean full-text search, advanced search, or browser search.

CND has partnered with Associated Production Music (APM) to integrate the APM music library with NetMix Pro, enabling users to benefit from the world's best cross-platform workflow integration with Pro Tools, Avid, and other editing systems, including Final Cut Pro. Pro Tools users can spot music tracks to timeline on Mac and PC including a region selection and sync point for faster spotting to picture. Avid users can drag and drop music tracks from NetMix Pro directly into the Avid bin on Mac and PC.

The NetMix Pro Project Manager, developed with Oscar-nominated sound editor Mark Mangini, now supports management of music tracks by project. Users can add a music track or a region thereof to a project a single click. Projects can be shared among users and are completely searchable. Projects feature a reel-scene-spot structure that allows users to manage music tracks and sound effects. Cue sheets can be printed for every project, allowing for accurate reporting.

NetMix Pro 3.4 allows users to audition a music track in sync to picture. Its built-in movie player with professional transport control can play back any QuickTime-compatible movie, including QuickTime reference movies exported from Avid. Auditioning several music tracks in sync to a scene in a movie is accomplished with start and stop markers using MovieLoop.

The NetMix sequence editor allows a user to edit and mix up to 8 music tracks quickly or to combine a music track with some sound effects quickly and audition the multitrack sequence in sync to picture. A user can pre-edit music cuts on different audio tracks and save the sequence in the database for later use. Everything required for rapid creation of layouts is available is right at the user's fingertips in NetMix Pro.

www.creativenetworkdesign.com

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SoundToys Announces TDM Effects Bundle for ProTools TDM

At the 2005 Audio Engineering Society (AES) conference, SoundToys Inc. (formerly Wave Mechanics), a designer of audio effects plug-ins, is announcing the new SoundToys TDM Effects Bundle for ProTools TDM on Mac OSX. The new professional effects bundle includes nine effects plug-ins for professional audio, sound design, postproduction, and audio for gaming.

The new bundle will be available in early Q4 2005 for $1,195 from all authorized SoundToys dealers, and directly from SoundToys. This bundle includes full-featured TDM versions of SoundToys' entire plug-in line:

  • EchoBoy - Professional echo/delay, comprising 30 different "Echo Styles" and including 300+ presets
  • SoundBlender - Dual intelligent pitch-shifter, filter, delay, and multi-FX
  • FilterFreak - Realistic resonant analog rhythmic filtering, with support for MIDI sync
  • PhaseMistress - A true analog-sounding phaser featuring extensive modulation
  • PurePitch - Format-corrected pitch-shifting and harmony creation
  • PitchDoctor - Realistic-sounding automatic intonation correction
  • Tremolator - Classic tremolo and programmable auto-gate with support for MIDI
  • sync SPEED - Pitch transposition and time compression/expansion
  • Crystallizer - Pitch-shifting time-slicing delay, also supporting MIDI sync

With the individual plug-ins listing for over $3,000, the SoundToys TDM Effects Bundle, listed at $1,195, represents a savings of over $1,800, enabling audio professionals and enthusiasts at every level to own a complete set of studio effects processors, currently used worldwide by leaders in music production, sound design, post-production, gaming, and other professional media fields, according to SoundToys.

The SoundToys TDM Effects Bundle will be available in early Q4, 2005 from SoundToys and its network of distributors for $1,195 MSRP. The SoundToys TDM Effects Bundle currently supports Digidesign's TDM, RTAS, HTDM, and AudioSuite plug-in formats and supports Pro-Tools|HD, Pro Tools|HD Accel, Pro Tools Mix, and Pro Tools|LE. This package is available for Mac OS X only. Not all plug-ins support all formats. For further information about SoundToys and the SoundToys TDM Effects Bundle, or to download the 14 day free demo version, visit http://www.soundtoys.com.

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Open Labs Announces First 64-Bit Dual-Core Keyboard Production Stations

Open Labs, a designer and developer of computer-based music production solutions, has announced at the Audio Engineering Society (AES) conference the release of its first Athlon 64-bit dual-core keyboards, the NeKo64 Gen2 and the NeKo LET Gen2.

Boasting a 2.0 GHz Athlon dual-core 64-bit processor, the NeKo64 Gen2 provides the latest generation of advanced processors, while lowering the price. Available now, the NeKo64 Gen 2 and NeKo LET Gen 2 offer a host of new features that enable performers and producers alike to leverage the NeKo for both live and studio applications, including the following:

  • RunSilent dynamically controls CPU speed and reduces temperature and fan speeds when ultra quiet operation in required
  • PowerRush intelligently detects system load and automatically boosts performance for the most demanding tasks by increasing CPU clock speed on-the-fly
  • Serial ATA 3Gbps support for next generation hard drives that doubles current bus bandwidth for high-speed data transfers

Featuring a new color scheme, the new NeKos will initially be available in 61-key and 76-key versions. Both models are shipping today; the NeKo64 Gen 2 will list for $5,995 and the NeKo LET Gen 2 will list for $2,295.

The NeKo64 Gen 2 includes native DDR2 800 support, universal PCI-E slots, the new Karsyn version 1.5; the Open Labs GUI version 2.0, and a new software bundle. In addition to its Athlon 64 D dual-core 2.0 GHz processor and Windows XP Professional (custom-tuned for music applications), the NeKo64 Gen 2 comes equipped with the following:

  • 512MB RAM (upgradeable to 8GB)
  • 80GB 7200 RPM HDD (with 3 additional 3.5" drive bays)
  • DVD-Combo Drive (upgradeable to a DVD burner)
  • 15" color LCD touchscreen alpha module/linear module/rotary module/QWERTY module 1010 audio I/O Gigabit Ethernet/Firewire/USB 2.0 MIDI in-out SPDIF Wordclock The NeKo LET Gen2 features: 512 MB RAM (upgradeable to 8GB) 80 GB 7200 rpm HD (with 3 additional 3.5" drive bays) DVD-Combo Drive (upgradeable to a DVD burner) 15" color LCD touchscreen
  • alpha module/linear module/rotary module/QWERTY module
  • High Performance Audio I/O including: 24-bit/192kHz 2 ins/2 outs analog
  • 1 Coaxial S/PDIF (switchable to AES/EBU)
  • 1 Optical S/PDIF (switchable to AES/EBU)/USB 2.0
  • Karsyn 1.5 Open Labs GUI 2.0

The NeKo64 Gen 2 can add up to 2 terabytes of hard-drive (HD) storage, while the NeKo LET Gen 2 can add up to 1TB of HD storage. Both the NeKo64 Gen 2 and the NeKo LET Gen 2 are integrated with the recently-announced mFusion, a set of software technologies from Open Labs that allows users to control different musical keyboard devices and software packages through a single interface. Intelligent controls have been added to both the NeKo64 Gen 2 and the NeKo LET Gen 2 for most popular music applications, including Sonar, Cubase Nuendo, GigaStudio, and Reason.

The NeKo64 Gen 2 and NeKo LET Gen 2 have also added greater automation. The Alpha control has been remapped so that dedicated buttons launch applications that are most used, changing the display when a frequently used application is selected. All other controls are automatically mapped to that piece of software when this occurs, including the knobs, faders, buttons, and alpha control joystick, enabling a complete automated session.

The new NeKo Gen2 units also include a high-quality sound library that consists of more than 5,000 preset sounds and hundreds of effects right out of the box.

www.openlabs.com

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Creative Network Design Supports Associated Production Music Library, Introduces New Workflow Integration For Music Tracks

Creative Network Design (CND) has announced at the Audio Engineering Society (AES) convention that the company's flagship software product, the NetMix Pro sound library management system, will now be integrated with the entire Associated Production Music (APM) library. APM will provide its music library as BWF files with NetMix Pro-compatible metadata to its customers by the end of 2005.

The APM library includes more than 200,000 tracks, which users will be able to search with APM's proprietary search and recommended track methodology, which will be built into the NetMix Pro system. The integration with NetMix Pro enables cross-platform workflow integration with Avid, Final Cut Pro, and Pro Tools, among others.

NetMix Pro is also an open architecture search engine that allows users to search and manage their sound effects within NetMix Pro. NetMix Pro customers can drag and drop selected music tracks into a video editing bin--whether Avid or Final Cut Pro--or spot-to-timeline in Pro Tools.

Associated Production Music Associated Production Music (APM), a joint venture of EMI and BMG, provides the United States and Canada with exclusive licensing rights to 22 different music libraries specifically for use in film, television, radio, recording and new media.

www.apmmusic.com

 

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MOVAVI Releases ConvertMovie 1.2

MOVAVI has announced ConvertMovie 1.2, a simple video conversion software application. The core function of the program is changing video formats. Supported input formats are AVI, MPEG, MOV, WMV, and ASF; supported output formats are AVI, MPEG (VCD, SVCD, DVD), WMV, RM, WAV, MP3, and WMA.

One feature of ConvertMovie is an audio extraction function. For example, ConvertMovie can be used to extract soundtrack from a movie and save it in MP3 or WAV format, so a user can listen to it with iPod or another MP3 player. Another popular application for the program is converting video seminars to audio CDs or extracting "noisy" audio, so it can be edited and joined back with video.

ConvertMovie can also be used as a batch converter, allowing users to select multiple video files and convert them simultaneously, applying the same settings. Processed video files can be played back immediately in order to make sure that there the quality stayed the same.

ConvertMovie, which requires no expertise or prior experience working with video and codecs, is available at http://movavi.com/ for free download. The cost of registering program is $29.95 US Dollars. Free email support is available to users who need additional assistance with using the program.

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