Aphex 230 – Making the Connection

New Media Gear


Aphex 230

Aphex 230’s in Studio1A*.

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Maybe you have, or are thinking about adding, the Aphex 230 to your studio. The Aphex 230 Master Voice Channel puts your voice at the forefront, giving it smooth tube-driven amplification, compression, a de-esser and gate, not to mention the audio magic of the Big Bottom, voice tailored EQ and Aural Exciter.

That’s a lot of technology, so this show will concentrate on the “out-of-box experience” first.

You’ve bought the 230 and mounted it. Now what?

Join me for the first Aphex 230 show, where we talk about the basics of making the proper connection and taking the first steps in setting levels on this powerful vocal tool.

There will be much more to discuss on the 230, but trimming it out and flying straight will be the first step.

Drop me a line, any time with comments, thoughts and suggestions:
mark at newmediagear dot com

Best,
MarkJensen
Sig


*Photo Credit: Bob Garas for Studio1A Productions, LLC. All rights reserved.

Podcasting and Internet Broadcasting – Gear for the Job

New Media Gear


New VAIO AW and Sound Forge

The New Sony AW Series Laptop and Sony Sound Forge Make a Great Recording Combo in Studio1A*.

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With a new lineup of solid-state audio recorders, inexpensive headset/mics, next generation broadcast consoles and studio monitors, this year is already off to a great start.

Join Laura and I for a post CES and NAMM show as we discuss a Studio1A makeover and a new focus on Internet Broadcasting.

Best,
MarkJensen and Laura
Sig


*Sony and the Sony logo are trademarks of Sony Corporation.

Compression Wars – The Subtle Art of Sounding Big

New Media Gear


New Media Gear

A Beautiful Crosley Radio in Studio1A

It seems like yesterday. AM radio stations (long, long ago) played music …and lots of it.

During the Good Old Days, there was a very real rivalry between same-market stations. The station jocks were in a constant state of competition both on and off the air. It was a great time in history for broadcasting.

Music Directors would speed up music to make songs sound “dull” on other stations. No chairs were permitted in the control room, because everyone needed that stand-up energy to talk up music right to the post.

Engineers were dragged into the game by management to pump up the audio, sometimes to ridiculous levels of compression and limiting. A stations processing strategy was a coveted secret and always highly guarded. Just how “hot” could the amplitude get? Pretty hot.

As formats and music style changed on the AM band from early live concerts and plays to the Big Band Era, Rock and Roll and the Big Hair bands, the Sun was setting for music on AM. Frequency Modulation struggled, then capitalized on its high-fidelity standard and forever changed the way we listen to the AM Broadcast Band. Ironically, AM came back, stronger than ever as a strange new form of syndication, called Talk Radio, began sweeping the nation.

People often ask me why I run the processing a little hot at Studio1A. I always smile a little and think back to the days of the big AM sound, when loud was king. Don’t get me wrong, there is a line between strong processing and inducing listener fatigue. That line is always a little lower or higher, depending on your tastes, background and goals.

Just what is the right mix of processing for New Media? Perhaps history has already begun to repeat itself? I remember the early Podcasts and Streams with little or no compression and limiting. Just a few years down the road, the sound is remarkably more refined, thanks to processing.

Could there ever be another round of compression or codec wars in New Media? Extremes are rarely good in any venue, but we all like to punch the accelerator sometimes.


Best,
MarkJensen
Sig

Making the Mix – Recording, Broadcasting and New Media

New Media Gear



New Media Gear

Broadcast Central at Studio1A



As thoughts turn from Winter and the Holidays to the promise of Spring and Summer, I can’t help but reflect back, not quite 4 years ago, when iTunes included that curious new category called Podcasting to their [already] immensely popular music platform.

Here, in Orlando, New Media had its start even before the year 2000 with our cable companies experiment in delivering on-demand, interactive, data and non-OTA (over-the-air) exclusive programming.

Where do we go from here? The sky is the limit. In a World where packets of TCP and UDP data rule not just the Internet, but our music, movies and even phones, …there isn’t much we can’t accomplish with an IP address and a fiber backbone.

As I read and search out information on both traditional and new media, the lines become less defined every day. Some of us get our morning News from paper, while increasing numbers simply click a link from a web browser. Our entertainment, both audio and video, increasingly relies on MPEG streams and MAC addresses rather than amplitude or frequency modulation.

Even our Public Safety and commercial sectors rely increasingly on real-time voice communication codecs, mesh and cell data rather than the product detectors of old.

During our commute; some listen to traditional AM/FM radio, while younger demographics prefer their own on-demand libraries/playlists or the signal from a geosynchronous digital satellite stream high over our heads. Professionals get their email and more from the 3G connected smart-phone, while their kids endlessly text away to friends at a pace that would put my thumbs in a painful spasm.

Just before writing this, I was reading about HD Broadcast Radio. I still don’t own one, oddly enough. The supply of reasonably priced HD receivers is painfully slim, but getting better.

Television is just getting ready to go Digital as I tap this out, but most of us won’t notice the difference if we are connected to Cable or Satellite. It’s interesting to note the difference in programming material too. While many of us already have 1080i/1080p capability, the video source material varies widely from 480i on up.

Which brings me back on topic. What is Podcasting? To me, it’s broadcasting …plain and simple using an advanced delivery medium. How about the word itself? I thought that by now, the word “Podcasting” would be out of vogue and a more neutral term would be needed, such as New Media. However, outside my group of early-adopter friends, many people really don’t understand the word Podcasting.

Why do I mention all this? The pulse of Podcasting and New Media is not only strong, but it is bulging at the seams. We are simply witnessing a natural progression from hobby to commercial, vertical and corporate venues. The drop in hobby Podcasting simply strengthens the maturity and commercial viability of the medium. I can’t help but remember high-tech rumors of the mid-90’s, when the death of the Internet was predicted prematurely.

As we warm up the processing rack and send audio down the RSS feed, I feel even more confident, in 2009, that Podcasting, New Media, Netcasting and Broadcasting will not divide – but converge with OTA delivery mediums to provide more rich media than ever before.


Best,
MarkJensen
Sig

New Year, New Gear

New Media Gear


New Media Gear


What a year!

With inventory out of the way, NewMediaGear is poised to demo more gear, tweak more knobs and pass on the best broadcast techniques to our audience (that’s you!)

Starting a New Year is filled with challenges and rewards, but mostly, I see incredible growth for New Media, Podcasting, Social Networking and Viral Media.

We can hardly wait to show …and tell you what’s on the way to Studio1A.


Best,
MarkJensen
Sig