Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cell phone as studio monitor?

Earlier in this blog, we discussed “The Truth.” However, there is such a thing as taking this too far. During one huge project, full of theater music and choreography, we were making the 6,487th round of changes while the producers were getting on a plane to fly to the show.

We had pulled two consecutive all-night sessions, and were playing the mixes over one of the producers' cell phones while they were on the plane awaiting take-off. Now THAT's quality audio.

And yes, they made more changes…

-Dave Hab

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The future is here! Sort of…

I recently read a story about a defense contractor that started work on a fantastic piece of equipment – something unheard of in our times. How were they this far ahead of everyone technologically? No one could touch them! Then I read down farther in the story and realized this project had a deadline 50 years from now! Yes, they had made projections 50 years into the future as if they were being fulfilled today.

This, of course, is ridiculous, as 50 years from now no one will remember anything they promised or even the company itself the way mergers and such go these days. But what a fantastic idea! There’s nothing to lose by doing this, they’re not exactly lying (they may well intend to make this device and have started brainstorming about it) and they had worldwide publicity to gain (which they definitely got.)

In light of all of this, I am now announcing that Omnimusic has begun work on a service that will revolutionize the music for film business: The Omnimatic 3000 Mind-melding Music Mapper.

Yes, find the perfect piece of music for that video you’re working on simply by viewing the video while our home page is open in another window. We will be able to read the brainwaves of your sub-conscious while you are viewing the video and will be able to know instantly what piece of music you need - even when you don’t know it yourself!

Imagine the time and effort you’ll save slogging through countless pieces of music that just don’t seem to work. Oh yes, by the way, we don’t intend to have this finished for another fifty years or so…but we’re working on it.

In the meantime, we offer a service that’s close. When you’re stuck, contact us, let us know what you’re working on, and we'll help you find music that will work. No, we’re not psychic (yet) but we do have an enormous amount of experience in music supervision as well as audio and video production, so it’s the next best thing.

“What a great idea!” you say?

We knew you were going to say that.

-Dave Hab

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Best Have the Worst

I've noticed that all the best and brightest producers I've met have the absolute worst stereo systems in their homes. I'm talking about systems that are woefully outdated that appear to have been bought used on a street corner out of the back of the truck of some guy named "Fingers."

This may strike most people as a bit odd. It's certainly not because these people can't afford better systems. In fact, these people have speakers in their studios worth more than a car and that would put even the best consumer systems to shame. Why not great systems in their homes too?

Because they need the truth.

We discussed "the truth" in a previous post, and this is just an extension of that idea. Listening to their tracks on low-end consumer systems gives them a more accurate idea of what their work will sound like in the real world. Very few people listen to music on expensive systems these days - mostly it's low-quality .mp3's through free ear buds.

So if you want the best idea of what the end result will sound like, apparently it pays to buy the worst.

-Dave Hab

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Truth

I once heard about a studio that had beautiful, giant $10,000/pair speakers that could reveal things in the music that had previously only existed in other utopian dimensions. These were the kind of speakers that would give you a religious experience when you heard them.

But this is not about those speakers. This is about the single speaker that sat between them. It was a small, beat-up old piece of garbage with the frequency response of a flounder. Below it was a sign that said, "The Truth."

All of you out there who have had to mix music that is supposed to sound great on a wide variety of audio systems are nodding your heads knowingly. It's not about how great your music sounds on the BEST speakers - nearly everything sounds great on those - it's about how it sounds on the WORST speakers, because if you can make it sound great on those, it will also sound great on better speakers. Unfortunately, the reverse isn't true.

So to the ancients who equated truth with beauty, I can only say, “Not in this business.”

-Dave Hab