Sound at Sea - Part One

Posted: Monday, July 7, 2014 by Dylan Benson in Labels: , ,
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Many of you avid readers may be wondering where I have been.  In short, I have been on a journey, but most of you don’t come here to read things “in short”, so let’s get into where I have been.  For the past month (and for the next five months), I have been working on the M/s Carnival Miracle as their sound tech.  I have decided to start up this series to not only tell you where I have been, but also about life at sea, and the job itself.  So, join me aboard the Carnival Miracle for my journey.

First off, I would like to debunk any negative stigmas about Carnival.  Yes, the media likes to pick on Carnival Cruise Lines because of some incidences in the past, but things happen to every cruise line.  Carnival is one of the biggest cruise lines in the world, and it got like that for a reason: people like the cruises.  You don’t get to be the biggest for nothing.  I am not just saying all of this because I have to as an employee, because I don’t; I am saying this because this is what I have observed.

Book Review: Professional Microphone Techniques

Posted: Friday, April 25, 2014 by Dylan Benson in Labels: , ,
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professional microphone techniques book review stereo mic mixing vocals david miles huber phillip williams

If you are like me, you don’t always have time to sit down and read a book.  However, regardless if you are an armature, hobbyist, or a pro in the recording industry, it never hurts to read a little something every now and then they may give you some good insight.  I know, I know.  Who reads books anymore?  If it’s worth it, you should. 

The book Professional Microphone Techniques by David Miles Huber and Philip Williams really gives some good insight about recording just about any instrument that you can think of.  It is well illustrated, well written, and includes a CD so you can actually hear the different microphone placements.

The book is broken up into well laid out and chronological sections (AKA chapters).  It starts out with an introduction to microphones followed by the basics of them.  To the pros, this may be common knowledge, but to the amateur, or weekend recording warrior, they may now realize why directional microphones work they way they do, or why 48 volts of phantom power should be used on condenser mics.  After you cover the concepts of basic placement, then you get into the good stuff: miking instruments.

Xbox One Audio Review

Posted: Saturday, January 4, 2014 by Dylan Benson in Labels: , , ,
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I have had some time to really mess around with the Xbox One.  Since this is not a game review blog, I’ll stick to the audio side of this.  There is more to talk about then you probably think.  So let’s dive into the expected, unexpected, and just flat out strange audio aspects of the Xbox One.

Microsoft released the Xbox One to the North American market on November 22, 2013 a few days behind Sony’s release of the PS4.  The highly anticipated console had a few unanticipated drawbacks for me.  The Xbox One only has two audio outputs: HDMI and optical.  This for me was a huge let down.

Movie Audio: Getaway (2013)

Posted: Thursday, November 28, 2013 by Dylan Benson in Labels: , , , ,
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I am a huge fan of Fords – Mustangs specifically.  Needless to say, when I first saw the trailers for the movie Getaway (2013), I have always wanted to see it.  However, I only got the chance to see it recently.  Since this is not a movie review blog, I’ll save you my less-than-satisfied comments on the movie itself, and stick to the audio.

It’s obvious that anything big budget these days (this movie cost $18 million to make) needs to have audio that is high quality.  For the most part, this movie did a good job with the audio.  Probably one of the best audio related aspects of the movie was in the car dialogue.  When the two main actors Selena Gomez and Ethan Hawke were sitting in the Shelby GT500 talking to each other, the audio characteristics and reflections of the voices definitely sounded like they were in a car with the windows up.  That was a nice touch.

"I Do" Wedding Rings

Posted: Sunday, November 24, 2013 by Dylan Benson in Labels: , ,
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The visualization of audio is nothing new.  There are simple ways to “see” audio such as recording something into a DAW and seeing the waveform, or going a little more advanced and diving into the world of cymatics.  Either way, it is very interesting to allow another one of your senses to experience what (at one point) was specifically for just one.

Happily married people will often tell you that one of the best moments in their lives is getting married.  Wedding videos, rings, photos, and the like are all things one has to remember the big day by.  Japanese artist Sakurako Shimizu takes things one step further: she engraves the waveforms of the “I do” into rings.  To an audio geek, this is pretty freaking cool.  Now along with your wedding video and photos, you can now forever “see” your “I dos”.

Four Great Audio Blogs

Posted: Monday, October 21, 2013 by Dylan Benson in Labels: ,
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If you haven’t noticed, I enjoy audio: post audio, sound design, field recording, game audio, etc.  If you are here, chances are you do too.  Now as much as I’d love to say you only need one blog to read about audio, and that’s “How’s It Sounding”, that’s a little too egotistical for me.  When I come across a good audio blog, I put it in my blogroll.  Why?  Well let’s find out.

Grand Theft Auto V Audio Review

Posted: Saturday, October 5, 2013 by Dylan Benson in Labels: , , , ,
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Rockstar Games has once again released another game in the Grand Theft Auto line up.  Since GTA V has been out for a little bit now, it seems appropriate to review the audio of this game.  While of course I have things to say about the gameplay itself, this is an audio blog, so let’s stick to that.  Let’s dive into it, shall we?

Well, there’s a good segue: diving.  I am quite fond of how Rockstar designed the sound for underwater.  Everything is muffled with some very prominent low pass filters on all the sound.  There doesn't seem to be any unnatural sounds such giving fish a sound, just to give them a sound.  I love the deep rumbles and scrapes you get when crashing a submarine into whatever you find underwater.

Courtesy of Gotta Be Mobile