Xbox One Audio Review

Posted: Saturday, January 4, 2014 by Dylan Benson in Labels: , , ,

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: , , , ,

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: , ,

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: ,

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: , , , ,

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

Top Five YouTube Video Audio Mistakes

Posted: Monday, September 23, 2013 by Dylan Benson in Labels: , , , ,

We have been at a technological point in our history for some time now where anyone can make a video and upload it to video sharing sites like YouTube.  Many people have taken this opportunity to create “high quality” productions.  Many people spend so much time focusing on how good the video quality is, they forget about the audio!  I will now share with you what I find to be the top five audio mistakes for YouTube videos.

1.  Pops and Click During Transitions
This has to be one of the BIGGEST annoyances to me when it comes to video editing.  This happens all too frequently, even in big budgeted projects.  This is very over looked.  For the most part, the art of long continuous camera shots and single takes are gone.  Everything now is fast paced, and multi camera angles.  A common YouTube video format is harsh edit points that trim off every conceivable second of unimportant video.

When people do this, they forget to add some type of audio fade between clips.  Most video editing software allows a user to place an audio transition/crossfade right onto the end of an audio clip!  There is no excuse to ignore this easy step!  Not doing so will cause the audio waveform to be cut off in the middle of its data causing a very unprofessional pop or click. 

Think of it as running your finger over a smooth and jagged piece of metal: your finger will gently glide over the smooth piece and be pleasing to the senses, but run your finger over the “unfinished” jagged piece, and your senses will be shocked as it cuts into your skin!

Sound Design – Unique Clap

Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 by Dylan Benson in Labels: , ,

I love post audio and sound design, but every now and then, I like making some music.  When I have the opportunity to fuse the two together, then what could be better?  A while back, Indaba Music offered up the opportunity to remix Young London’s “Let Me Go”.  I decided to give this song a whirl, and I gave it a different remix feel.  This is not my best work, but below is what I ended up with as my final product.