Blair Trosper is a long-time Audition user and radio station imaging director in North Carolina. He’s decided to share what he’s learned in a career of radio production (and Audition usage) with the world at his new blog, Generate Noise. It’s brand new but his first posts are already packed with great information so I have high hopes this will be a great resource for the community. Drop by to check it out and encourage Blair to keep it up!
Cynthia Wisehart has posted a new article on Digital Content Producer Online about NAB and Adobe. It’s a great read, and it’s always interesting to see an outside take on what has become a hot-button issue.
We’re psyched for NAB this year. Unlike most attendees, have customers at every stage of the video production line: from planning and shooting, through post-production, all the way out to playback–and those workflows keep multiplying as quality expectations rise and the number of relevant screens grows. There’s no better way for us to engage with and get feedback from all those different customers than at NAB. Broadcast is simply in our blood. We’ll see you there.
OK, small confession time. I am, at my deepest core, a geek. I spend much of my limited free time playing video games, I devour Sci-Fi novels, and I think online comics are the greatest invention of the 21st century. I love it. I’m also enthusiastic, although I admit I don’t follow it as much, about the new “geek culture” that’s been cropping up. I’m fascinated by the new subcultures rising up for previously marginal groups that include all the subculture trappings you’d expect: lore, art, and especially music.
On the music side, if there’s one trend for geek culture that rises above the rest it’s definitely Nerdcore. Nerdcore is the cross between driving, rhythmic rap and, well, resistors, capacitors, coding, and manga. The first Nerdcore rapper I heard about was Optimus Rhyme, and more come up every year. The one everyone talks about now is MC Frontalot. (For the more rock-centric, check out The Minibosses, who exclusively cover themes from original Nintendo games.)
Imagine my delight, then, when a friend pointed out that this past April’s issue of Esquire included an article on Nerdcore with an Adobe Audition namecheck included. It’s always hard to know exactly who’s using our software to make their art, but the rise of Nerdcore is the kind of personalized musical expression I always hope we’re enabling for our users.
It’s a great example of what I’ve talked about so much: now that the creative tools are available to pretty much anyone, new kinds of music are possible. If one of these Nerdcore or other geek-centric music acts had to get through the label system there’s no chance anyone would have ever heard what they were creating. But with available tools to create, and the internet to distribute, new new fanbase is created. And for those who doubt that there are real fanbases, check out the gamer expo site for Penny Arcade Expo. They have 7 acts lined up, and last year the concerts sold out with thousands of screaming fans. If you want to listen, they have samples from all 7 acts.
A recent survey run on www.voiceoversavvy.com and sponsored by Voice123 showed that a majority of voiceover artists use Audition for their work. What’s most interesting to me is that they say that Audition was preferred by 27% of respondents, but down the list they also say that Cool Edit Pro was preferred by 14%. If we hadn’t changed the name we’d be at 41% of respondents, with the next highest at 16%! We’re constantly talking to customers about how Audition (and Cool Edit) turn up everywhere, but since it’s often hard to point to specific numbers seeing independent surveys like this is fun. As they say, Rock ‘n Roll!
This week I realized that I haven’t talked about the Audition 2.0 theme session, which everyone who has the program has heard at least once. Or, rather, seen at least once.
In the past the theme session has been a short piece put together by some of us on the team, and it was designed to show off some of the features and give new users an example of what the software can do. With all the work we were doing to improve the mixing capabilities of version 2 we wanted to do something extra this time around–we thought Audition 2.0 was going to be a great mixing system but we wanted to prove it.
To do just that we teamed up with Grammy Award-winning engineer, mixer and producer Charles Dye to produce, track and mix an original song by the up-and-coming South Florida band eL using beta versions of Audition, and the resulting song titled “Honesty” is the our new theme session. We tracked it at the hit factory in Miami, and then Charles came out to our mixing room in Seattle a couple times to get the song mixed into shape.
Hidden away in the Audition install directory is a PDF that explains exactly how the session was recorded, mixed, and delivered, including all the details from the studio notes. By default it lives at C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Audition 2.0\Audition Theme and is called “Making the Audition theme session.pdf”
Sorry for the gap in posts–I just spent a couple weeks taking a much needed break and feel great for having done it. I spent a while in Glacier National Park and the only piece of electronics that I came into contact with for those days (other than my car) was my camera. There wasn’t a WiFi or cell signal to be had in any case. Glorious unreachability.
But the world moves on! One of the first things I saw in my overloaded inbox when I came in this morning was a link to this great article on PopMatters.com with Roger McGuinn. The interview is fun, with lots of questions about Roger’s Folk Den project where he’s posting a new folk song to the web each month in an effort to keep traditional songs from dying out. He covers subjects from his new box set, which artists from today he thinks will stand the test of time, his early influences, and how technology has changed music production. It was this section that made it cross my inbox, and you can tell which part was my favorite. Says Roger:
I don’t have to go to the big studio anymore. I can fire up a laptop and get the same quality recording that you used to only get in the studio…my favorite one is Adobe Audition, and it’s got so many plug-ins that it’s just like a million-dollar studio in a box. It’s just amazing.
I had the good fortune to spend some time with Roger a few years ago when he was on tour starting some of these Folk Den recordings. He prefers to drive everywhere rather than fly and he came through Phoenix and stopped by the Syntrillium offices there. We spent the afternoon talking his project, our software, and he graced us with a little banjo performance right there in our conference room which I’ll never forget.
Anyway, I’d recommend it as an interesting interview (even beyond the Audition plug). Check it out here!
We’re now accepting submissions for the next-revision of the Adobe Customer Reel! For those of you who aren’t familiar, what we do is compile some of the great work that our customers have done and put it on a DVD to play before (and during) trade shows, hand out at events, post on our web site, and so on.
You can find details for how to submit your work on the main customer reel site as well as watch an excerpt from our current reel. For those of you looking to submit audio-only work, keep in mind that this DVD will be designed to be played on big monitors so there will always be some visual element going. That means that all the audio we pick will need to be paired with video that was submitted by someone else, so some types of work that folks are doing (interviews, books on tape, etc) probably won’t fit smoothly. But we have a serious need for some cool music to pair up with these videos, and if you have something else you think might work for us, please take a minute and send it in!
The customer reel is always one of my favorite things we do here because I get to see and hear all the amazing work all of our customers are doing every day. Picking the relatively few pieces to put on the reel from among all the great work we get is the hardest part!
I’ve known about field reporters using Audition to record and edit their pieces and email them in, but this Radio World article explores some of the flexibility that the new wireless broadband cards give reporters. (Not Wi-Fi cards that require a hotspot, but the ones that tap into the cell networks.) Jim Ryan, the author, talks about how he’s able to use his station’s car as a mobile newsroom, recording, editing, and submitting pieces via FTP from wherever he happens to be for the story. It’s an interesting glimpse into the possibilities that open up when you have an always-connected computer.
This article from The Daily Bruin (UCLA’s newspaper) came up in my Google alert last week. I thought it was an interesting (but short) look at how technology is making it possible for anyone to make music more readily, and then use social networking sites like MySpace to market themselves.
This article got me thinking again about MySpace, which I’ve thought about a lot off and on ever since I read this article in Wired about a band called Hawthorne Heights who has catapulted themselves to success not via the classic recording industry, but by using the Internet (and MySpace in particular) to attract, retain, and manage their fanbase. At the time of the article, Hawthorn Heights had a mailing list of over 200,000 fans which, as Wired points out, is “a direct marketing list that any major-label act would kill for.” Plus, because of the nature of a “friends” list on MySpace they have produced incredibly loyal fans who will come out to see them wherever they go. They always sell out clubs on their tours and were a major act in the 2005 Warped tour.
By using the Internet Hawthorne Heights as done something that many have dreamed of and have become “middle class” musicians. By that I mean that they are not multi-platinum, mansion living, private jet flying rock stars, but they are making a living touring and playing their music.
In the past it was the record labels’ job to listen to all of the music that was created, all of the aspiring musicians and bands, and figure out which ones were good enough to give a shot. But could MySpace or a similar site take over this role effectively and perhaps be enough to create a new, livable, class of musician? MySpace is certainly embracing this possibility with a dedicated music section, and it’s even announced that it will be forming a music label of its own. I certainly hope they, or *someone* can manage to find and tip us all off to more good artists–there’s so much great music out there right now that never gets promoted, but I find it almost impossible to sort out the good from the bad.
Flash Forward was in Seattle last week (while I was out of town–curses!) and some of the Audition team was there to check the show out and meet some Flash designers and developers. One of the cool things that came up was that the guys who do the gut-bustingly funny Homestar Runner had a session on “how we make it” and it turns out they record, edit, and process all the audio in Audition, then export it to animate to in Flash. Cool!
Doing something cool with Audition? Let us know at coolaud(at)adobe(dot)com!