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Foley shit! Red Bull MTB just got sweet.

Sound makes more than half the picture.
I still agree to that claim 200% despite what anybody else think. Or we’d be out of our jobs! When my eyes go off the screen, I am still engaged with the storyline through audio that permeates the room.
Make sure you watch the processed clip above first and then watch the raw clip with the post production work below. You’d smile on how you’ve been ‘fooled’ to be in the middle of the action. That’s the power of sound.

Great job by Eddie Masters and Dave McMillan. I just wish they shared the RAW audio from the original capture thus to understand the whole process which these foley did. Overall a good overall experience keeping us audience engaged. Sound is magic.

#SoundofSpeed #RedBull

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ProTools’ Facebook 360 & Ambisonics

I know many would wish that AVID unlocks this capability also for non-HD ProTools user.. as many are left to gawk on its incredible usability with today’s growing market. It looks like it should be able to work with latest non-HD version as the final mixdown only consists of 9 Ambisonic audio file and 1 stereo file. But it is the new Track and Bus setup in 12.8.2 that is uniquely required to enable the Ambisonic mixdown and encoding. It might also just be due to safety nets that AVID lock this ability out; should you not have a proper surround sound studio setup which may cause output spatial audio errors either wise.

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Check out the short video how easy it is to use this app. If you’re a 360 design company who’s dabbled with apps like Kolor and similar as Autopano Video, audio plugins such as this is what would make your production stand out from the rest. Delivery to the web is still pretty limited. But looking at the clip, we see that it has been enabled for Facebook and YouTube 360 VR sharings which is fantastic for a start!

 

OASIS go forward. OAXIS stay away.

This is a long one.. ohh yes. Long and frustrating on-going incident. Not the usual happy me here. But a disgruntled me being played by one company from Kickstarter. IF you don’t like to hear other people’s problems, stop reading. If you want to possibly avoid being played by such a company and help echo the bad practise of this company, do share this post around to let them know such practise is NOT welcomed. Anyhow.. make your choice.

Its a new age for startups with the growth of Indiegogo and Kickstarter. It’s a great opportunity for fresh new company to get a shot of actually producing products which they’ve tinkered to produce, but not want to go to the bank to get loans for a product that is not yet done. So it’s a reach to the community public, a petition to gain their trust in a product that they’d hopefully want and in return for a fraction of the price before actual launch.

I have backed many Kickstarter and Indiegogo startups. But this month I came across the most unrespectful company who not only took my money and ignored my plea for help. But also made it clear that I GOT ROBBED in broad daylight.

Before I iterate even further. Let me just say this. I backed the company for a product I wanted. It is a binding agreement when you support their cause to have this item funded, that they should in return have your back at best possible right. You’re one of their micro-investors. But when the product you got is faulty. What is the proper way to handle this situation. You blame the customer? You blame your investor?

I even remember noting that it was a Singapore registered company. Thus I was even more keen to support them. If you follow my blog, you’d know I am a Singaporean myself. Thus hey, patriotic support right? And coming from Singapore, retail is da bomb. No problem to be expected. Things should go smooth, easy, and trust worthy. It should have.

The Kickstarter campaign I’m referring to here is the InkCase i7 Plus: Dual Screen For iPhone 7 Plus by OAXIS.

I was one of the Early Bird backers.
$137 + $14 shipping cost making it a total of $151
But when the day came, DHL asked me to pay shipping tax of €53,46.
That was my first mistake. No clear indication on the box that this was OAXIS’ InkCase. If I knew earlier, I would not have paid this extras and sent it back.

Shipping costs should have been calculated-for in the additional shipping amount that we pay on Kickstarter. That is the normal practise. The company we back would usually cover the shipping cost along with the fulfillment cost. Backer’s ‘shipping & fulfillment cost’ usually brought to a minimal. With OAXIS however, I got a feeling that the $14 we paid to is just for the labelling… and the rest is on us backers.

Seriously I had no idea what was in the package, so I just paid it anyway. I order stuffs quite regularly internationally. So can you imagine how frustrated I got when I realized I paid additional €53+ on tax for this?

pay_inkcase

So I wrote to them:

Sep 20 2017

I had to pay import tax €53,46. If I knew that the package was from InkCase Kickstarter I would have asked them to ship it back.

Now will I get refunded for this amount???? I see that you have more and more people commenting about same problem with the DHL shipping. I hope you have something planned to make up for this extra costs. I have the payment receipt as proof. Let me know how we sort this out.

Hasan – Singaporean in Holland

This was their reply:

Sep 21 2017
Hi Hasan, Sorry to hear about your situation. But import taxes are something beyond our control. Startups like us on Kickstarters often face this problem with their backers as we are just following proper customs paper work. 
We seek your understanding on this.

Thank you and have a nice day.

Amazing right? No I did not add or change anything.. It’s what they say. We seek your understanding.. REALLY

Sep 21 2017

My situation? It’s your situation actually. You already charged the expected shipping costs. We agreed to this. There should be no more additional hidden costs upon receiving it. I’ve backed few Kickstarter projects. And also a few from Singapore and never got into such issue with the shipping. Maybe you should ask how they did their shipping without incurring extra costs for your supporters. And I supported your project as I’m a Singaporean. Your response however reflect the little care or support you give to people who backed you.

It is purely unacceptable that you seek us to understand your situation. We’re the ones paying.

They’ve stopped responding via Kickstarters Reward Message Page after that.. Thus I went on to eMail them. You see there is no wrong in pursuing to know why I have to pay this much. It is the first time that a Singaporean company have just left me to deal with it, seeking understanding from these extra incurred costs. Something was not right within OAXIS. It is not a Singapore company’s etiquette to leave your customers to deal with such problem. We’re afterall in a partnership here. Remember you are their micro investor. But if 1,174 backers are left to deal with such incidents. Will that be a good thing for the company which you invested in?? Of course the only difference here is OAXIS probably take us as a one-time opportunity. They’ve made their cut. The rest of shipping costs is what they have avoided.

It costed me this much. But after a week’s use it broke.

I am rarely angry. So rare that I don’t know how to be angry I think. I thought I just let it go with that extra cost. I will not back them again in future Kickstarter. But the very reason of extra costs incurred for a product that does not even last days triggered me off when it broke and failed badly as I was trying to remove it from my phone.

cracked_inkcase

OAXIS have to understand. We have few cases for different purpose on our phone. It’s not meant to be dorned permanently. If you design a case for a smartphone, it should be easy to put them on and just as easy to remove to serve their daily purpose. I own few other cases. And they’ve all lasted through time and time of use and removals.

I have several cases for the iPhone 7 Plus. The Lifeproof NÜÜD when I go out paddling. For work meetings I have the phone in a ThinOptics cover which holds my reading glasses in its sleeve. The InkCase was supposed to be the ideal reading accompaniment when I’m commuting.. (But it didn’t even get to its paces). Each serving its purpose.

I chose to invest in InkCase because I read a lot. It was the additional features that you can just view your agenda schedule and ePubs easily on the back of the phone that sold me. Not so much of the case itself. It definitely serves no purpose on protecting the phone. We know now that the case cannot even protect its own electronics from daily use! What more the phone in it.

So what do you think about it? Am I wrong to be unhappy about this company for not holding up to its promises? Or maybe just the way it conducts its business after the fact. I am usually not easily ticked off. Fact that I can meticulously write this down to tell the CEO or owners of OAXIS that the way they treat their root supporters as they did is wrong, then I have done my job. I got the fumes out of me (I hope). 

OAXIS have to deal with many more of similar problems that is coming to them. But I hope they would also deal with my problem as I will update on it in time to come… get their act together to deal with their original micro-investors from Kickstarter.

Right now all I have is a very expensive iphone7 plus case.. collecting dust and a lesson for my readers on a company to avoid. It’s also crazy to find this link about somewhat a similar item while digging into the product. Did they actually just made a copy of what the PopSlate was?? http://gazettereview.com/2016/12/popslate-update-happened-shark-tank/

Below is a collective of the complains that I picked out from comments page on Kickstarter which they have not replied or addressed.

In the light of things, after 4 or 5 emails with a few days of silence.. 

OAXIS sent me a mail saying that they have decided to give me a ONE TIME REPLACEMENT.. This was after the multiple rejections in efforts to get myself one replacement. They didn’t realize that we customers / micro investors are human. We get angry at rejection and frustrated when such requests costing ME and few others hundred or dollars are rebutted with obstinate response claiming that it is us at fault for their faulty design. And then there is this policy that if I want that case replaced. I have to mail back that broken screen.

I threw away the case in frustration. It was long gone in the bin the second time they say YOU GOT TO PAY. From $75 to $50 and now Free Replacement… and now they send me the company policy. Who they kiddin’

I sent them my last string of mail. If OAXIS consists of real people to understand the frustration I had in trying to get their help. And when I tossed that case away, it was with a bitter experience of a fellow Singapore company that no longer tells me how trustworthy a Singapore Company is. It’s a sham.. I hope they would make an exception of this policy. Hopefully someday I will regain trust of a Singapore Kickstarter company.

Lightning iPhone7 Interview Microphones

So I’ve been looking at the current options of microphones compatible with the iPhone 7 Plus which I use. There are many, but very few that would give you the quality in par with this selective ones. You could use the built-in mic of the iPhone7 but at times, they are still not good enough when you need that that specific sound capture directionally for blogs and interviews or for proper ambient audio capture. Here’s some that should handle those projects for you. They are made specially to be plugged directly into your iPhone’s Lightning port and would sometime even come with a dedicated app to help you with the task in hand.

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SHURE MV88

As a mini shotgun directional microphone, the Shure MV88 definitely looks the part. It has a 90 degree hinge which allows you to adjust it to your audio source and get the best sound. The solid metal build mic comes with a windshield to use during windy day recordings. Do note that the MV88 is a condenser microphone that doesn’t require a battery, but it does draw on the iPhone’s power supply. Price: €159
www.shure.nl/producten/microfoons/mv88

mic-sennheiser-clipmic-digital

SENNHEISER CLIPMIC DIGITAL

Lavalier, or tie-clip, mics are the go-to mics for many audio and video pros. Sennheiser is renowned for its range of quality top-end microphones, so you should expect top-notch sound from its Lightning connector lavalier mic. The ClipMic Digital provides superb quality and is a bit of a bargain at €239 compared to other studio lav mics. There is no gain control so any volume adjustments will have to be made in-app, but reviews highlight Sennheiser’s tie-clip as an essential accessory.
sennheiser.com/clipmic-digital

 

irigmichd_pr

IK MULTIMEDIA IRIG MIC HD

IK Multimedia provide a range of different mics and accessories to attach your own professional microphones to the iPhone/iPad and Android phones. Its iRig Mic HD is a handheld microphone of outstanding quality that gets great reviews from users across the spectrum. For interviews, voiceovers or music, this handheld is a great option. The Mic HD has a solid metal body so it can take a few knocks. For around €239 it offers a pre-amp for better audio recording and gain control to boost signal
www.ikmultimedia.com/products/irigmichd

 

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ZOOM IQ6

Zoom’s iQ6 is an omnidirectional X/Y stereo microphone that will be familiar to users of the Zoom range of handheld audio recorders. The dual microphones have a crossover configuration that captures an excellent stereo audio image and can be changed from 90 to 120 degrees to get a wider angle. It has a headphone port so you can listen in to the sound you are capturing and at £70 is a quality mic at a low price.
https://www.zoom.co.jp/products/handy-recorder/zoom-iq6-professional-stereo-microphone-ios

 

irigproio_hand

IK MULTIMEDIA IRIG PRO I/O

If you already own a bunch of microphones with or without an XLR connection, then IK Multimedia has something that would be the conduit for your smartphone. It’s most recent Lightning connector is called the iRig Pro I/O. At around €150 it’s a little pricey but delivers incredible quality. It has Its real advantage is in the quiet pre-amp audio quality and built-in phantom power – via a battery or wall plug accessory – so it doesn’t sap the iPhone.
www.ikmultimedia.com/products/irigproio/

What do you think? Have you got any preference mic or adapters that you use with the new iPhone7 or iPad? Let me know if you do! I’m always looking out for something new out there to have a compact rig with me for audio recordings.

Listening through Lightning

There is no sound from Lightning. What we hear is Thunder. – rastAsia

7-plus

Straight to the chase.

While Apple calls it ‘moving forward’ incorporating wireless audio into their latest handy. I smell it as their sly attempt to nudge sales via its headphone accessories. There’s now reason to actually visit the page to see ‘what solutions’ is in store to this new problem they’ve created. Brilliant. So yeah, there’s another trip to your wallet. All the moaning and groaning from new/old iPhone adopters (is inaudible) until now. Yes that headphone jack is missing.

For the record, its clearly mentioned that the Lightning Earpods and Lightning-To-Jack adapter is included in the box. The advertized cool wireless Airpods however would set you back $159. Knowing me, I think it wouldn’t take long before I lose the jack adapter. And I will also lose one side of the Airpods just as quick. My solution? I’ll tape the adapter to the dedicated earphone. Why would I want to conform using the Lightning Earpods when it’s not flexible to be used on other devices, say my laptop?

The rest of the audio world is observing with a smile.

Lastly, here’s a scenario:
If you’re on a private conference call with the Lightning Earpods and the phone battery is suddenly in desperate need to charge, there is no other way but to BT your audio and plug in your charger through the very lightning port. No BT headphone? Then you’re forced to take the call via speaker. The only solution that I can find right now to beat this is via Belkin’s Rockstar dongle which allows simultaneuos charging and talking. It’s a $40 solution to your future complains.

Whoever it is that approved the design to omit the audio jack ought to be applauded – with their face in between these two hands. Anyway, I think it’s also time to get an external flash drive before the phone gets you. You knew that already – no external microSD slot available like that of the Samsung S7.

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Røde Link vs Sennheiser G3

Somebody just told me that Røde Link system is better than Sennheiser’s evolution G3 which we use. 

Really? I thought I’ve been absent far too long from all these new techs going on in Australia. But a short specs googling read-out tells me this..

Røde Link is 2.4Ghz and limited to approx 100m line of sight up to max 8 channels. While I know Sennheiser G3 still has notorious max range of about 300m compared and smart pairing of up to 128 channels customizable. 

So which one was better you said?

But if course with the price point, røde will be more attractive and maybe simpler to use. That’s until you start making deeper system and audio comparisons.

The Frequency Of Fear – A Mythbuster Test

We’re big fans “Mythbusters”. Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman filmed a segment called “The Haunted Hum” during their “Fright Night” Halloween episode. The two test an urban legend that claims that there is frequency around 19 Hz that can produce feelings of discomfort, dread and, yes, even fear. But the thing is, 19 Hz is below the threshold of human hearing, so these feelings are produced without anyone being able to hear the note.

The Mythbusters recruited sound scientist Dr. Roger Schwenke from Meyer Sound to help test the myth, and Schwenke brought quite the setup to a remote area in Northern California. That setup? A group of nine Meyer Sound 11000-LFC low-frequency control element speakers that produce about 40,000 watts of power.Meyer Sound Speakers

Here’s how it worked: a group of subjects were spread out among four cabins, one of which had the group of speakers behind it producing the alleged fear note.

“One cabin was subjected to infrasonic sound while the other control cabins had no sound,” Schwenke said. “Although the cabins were essentially identical, the idea was to ask the participants if one cabin seemed more eerie or frightening than the others.”

Schwenke also described the specifics of the set up.

“We used the U-shape to get the 1100-LFCs as close together as possible,” he said, “and to direct any higher overtones away from the cabin so we could get the infrasonic level as high as possible without anything being audible… We had to be careful with that level because, at around 95 dB, we started rattling the cabin walls. That would have been a dead giveaway.”

The episode aired on October 28, but in case you haven’t seen it yet, I won’t give away whether the myth was confirmed, busted or deed plausible. However, I do have Schwenke’s thoughts on the unheard note.

“I did feel a sense of unease,” he said. “You could tell when it was on even though you couldn’t hear anything. It was more of a whole-body, change-in-the-air sensation, an undefined ominous feeling.”

Spooky.

This isn’t the first time audio myths have been put to the test on “Mythbusters.” Previous episodes have tested whether a human voice can actually break glass, if sound can extinguish flames and if there is really something known as the “brown note.”

If you haven’t heard of that last one, we’re going to leave it to you to check out on your own time.