thoughts and decisions for a creative edge


Nausea like Birdman

Long tracking shots are cool.. In Birdman’s case it got me a little nausea. Instead of drawing me close, I tried to pull away from being in the bird’s vision.

And by the way how the heck did Alejandro pull this one off with no reflection of the camera rig in the mirror??


OK. So I guess they deserve all that awards for the layers of questions it’s generated. What a bizarre story though.

The only time I woke up from the zombified state of mind through the lengthy shots was when the syncopated jazz drumming soundtrack suddenly fell into place with the side street drummer who appeared into camera frame. Now that, I thought was class. I wonder how the talents were mic’d.. Must have been monitored via a remote mix somewhere in the ‘theatre’.

Technically mind boggling over the tracking shots. But it seems to lose its purpose in its classic effort to draw viewers. But hey, all done for artistic reasons. What did you think about the movie. Over theatrical you think or totally outstanding?

DragonTrek, DragonBattle, Dragon Tug-of-War.. You name it.

DragonTrekYou say you know dragonboat. Right.. But now take away the coxswain. Take away the drummer. Next, keep your best 4 paddler on one end of the boat. Done? Now, allow 4 of your best opponents into the other end of the boat, facing you and your team. Awkward? You’re on a duel into a real face-off like never before. It’s your chance for a total show-of-strength as never tried before. Now you wait and breathe while the umpire tug that boat into the centre of the pool. The spot lights on you. Remember to breathe. But don’t forget technique. And don’t forget you’re still only going to win it if you work as a team. Ready..? You’re off! DragonTrek held by Alkmaar Dragons this winter brought 27 teams together. Dragon Force, one of the four teams from The Dutch Dragons won the Mixed Team category. Congratulations to Ingrid, Liese, Michael and Chiel!

This is a beastly new paddlesport of dragonboat where 2 teams battle-off and show strength. The sudden mayhem is taking over European dragonboat teams by storm. When straight line races are no longer comfortable in blistering winter season, many of Europe’s teams take their dragons indoors, dwelling in public pools before/after the public gets access. DragonTrek or Dragonboat Indoor as it’s called here is gaining momentum as a very popular paddlesport to date. Competitions are sprouting widely in Holland and ever more in Germany and Singapore.

The Dutch Dragons at Alkmaar DragonTrek 2015

Photo credit: Ron de Bruin

Vikings have their longships, Caribbean Indians have dugout canoes, Pacific Islanders and Polynesians got va-as and outriggers, Europeans now have headless Dragonboats bringing the sport into a complete fusion of East and West. Like it or not, dragon boating is getting more and more exposure in the media. Participation in the sport is ever growing with more nations competing at elite level and more corporations are beginning to use it for corporate team-building. Dragonboat is not recognised as an Olympic event. However, prestige competitions includes the World Championships for national teams which are held on odd-numbered years and the Club Crew World Championships, for crews representing their own clubs and not their countries, held on even years. Continental Championships are also held annually.

Face 2 Face is the new Forward.

Recording live ammo.


I’ve had a couple opportunities to record supersonic ammo from assault rifles. Here’s what I learned from recording guns:

The best recordings we were able to get were a PZM 50′ down range; a dynamic near the muzzle; a shotgun facing 180° to the gun about 40′ away; an XY 120′ down range perpendicular to the blast to catch flybys, and a lav taped to the post with the surface of impact.

Things 200′ or more away sounded great (probably better than any other mic) but the signal to noise ratio started getting iffy.

In our recording session we had about 14 different mics set at a number of different positions, and several different types of recorders. I wasn’t able to compare the transient quality of the various field recorder used (zoom H4s, Sony M10, zaxcom max, and sound devices 722 accurately) but the self noise isn’t an issue from any of the devices until you go beyond 120′.

Don’t use the built limiters on any of the devices unless you program in very specifically what parameters you want. The release times are usually designed for vocals and cause a ton of really bad sounding pumping.

Don’t worry too much about clipping on the transients. It doesn’t sound bad. In fact, it’s a quality people expect to hear with guns (not sure about cannons)

What it really came down to with us was you’re recording the gun in the space more so than the actual gun. (you’ll hear this advice from a lot of documentaries about this) There’s a sweet spot where you put your mics based on how much noise is in the environment where you get the best decays without starting to hear things like birds wind etc. and I think that comes down to experience recording guns etc.

Biggest advice is put up as many microphones as you can (even if it’s just your phone) and make sure everything stays rolling.

GoPro Hero4 takes a new target.. Musicians.

Musicians on stage and studio, Time to shine!

Hero4 claims professional audio performance.

Featuring a powerful new audio system, HERO4 Black captures clean, high fidelity sound. Its cutting-edge microphone delivers nearly 2x the dynamic range, while a best-in-class audio algorithm ensures your recordings sound smoother and more natural than ever.* Plus, with its new, integrated ADC (analog-to-digital converter), HERO4 Black is compatible with a wider variety of professional low-sensitivity external mics*** for immersive stereo audio capture and enhanced performance, whether recording voices, an acoustic jam session or a live show.

*Compared to the HERO3+ Black Edition.
**Sold separately.
***3.5mm Mic Adapter required, sold separately. –

Classic Neumann Mic – Exposed

Looking to get one of these sometime. But until we know how to care for them, it seems almost a mystery looking into this vintage condensers which have a long trail of positivity on their studio trails. Don’t know if we’d find any U47 here in Netherlands running around in the bargain corner, but the M149 is what we’re targeting at. Have you got any experience with any of these? Are they worth the bucket of gold?

Suunto Ambit2 S R software updated to v2.0 (Features + Fixes)

If you plan update your unit. Be sure to sync all logged exercises before running the M sync update via Moveslink 2.
It will wipe all previous logged exercises. Other saved datas like Routes,POIs and Custom Sports Mode are well retained.
Ambit Update
Suunto Ambit2 S 2.0.7

New features:
* New startup wizard
* Support for planned moves
* View button long press as menu shortcut
* Language setting in the watch
* Power off in service menu
* Running cadence measured from wrist
* Automatic foot POD calibration
* Fastest km/mi in log summary
* Browse lap information in the watch
* Transitions included in default triathlon sport mode
* Predefined multisport log stop & save after last sport
* Quick navigation
* New Zealand map grid (NZTM2000)
* Compass bearing tracking
* New waypoint navigation
* Navigation menu simplifications
* New compass calibration

Bug fixes:

New Compass Calibration on Ambit2 v2.0

Suunto Ambit2 S 1.5.16

Bug fixes:
- Indoor swimming has been causing extra distance in some cases.
- Certain devices have been suffering from uneven display contrast.

Note! After the update, if the display is too dark or too bright, adjust the contrast:
1. Long press Next button to enter device options
2. Select GENERAL - Tones/display - Display contrast
3. Adjust number so that display contrast looks good

Suunto Ambit2 S 1.5.14

New features:
* New power saving options
* Track back
* Cumulative ascent/descent
* Memory sync reminder
* Automatic scrolling of exercise displays
* Multisport summary to show details for individual sports
* Improved swimming display
* Context-sensitive View-button
* Enhanced accuracy for outdoor swimming
* Bike power slope calibration

Bug fixes:
- Problem with altitude reference setting during exercise.
- Distance calculation problem when pressing pause button while indoor swimming.
- Problem with altitude reading in Ambit2 S when using GPS fix rate 60 sec.

Suunto Ambit2 S 1.0.15

This release improves connection stability to pods and belts

Suunto Ambit2 S 1.0.12

Bug fix

- Apps: Sun Times shows occasionally wrong time

Suunto Ambit2 S 1.0.11

- Bug fixes

Suunto Ambit2 S 1.0.6

- Initial release

37.5kHz Ping – The Frequency of Hope

The world is awaiting the results from the 2 faint ping discovery from Indian Ocean. Families and rescue workers are on their virgil hoping to discover the believe crashed Malaysian Airline MH370. The plane has gone missing for more than 30 days now. Rescue time frame is getting smaller and the hunt gets even more intense. It’s all based on one simple fact that the battery on the Black Box would not last longer than a month under water. Every second, the window closing in.

What I find absolutely unnerving is that this rescue is based on a single hope, of a hydrophone (underwater microphone) towed behind a high tech vessel piercing through the rough ocean surface. It’s goal is to pick up one frequency from beneath the sea, which may give the living their long-awaited closure. This intermittent pinging from a Black Box, if discovered will unveil the story on what actually happened to the Beijing-bound flight. No one know for sure what happened. Let’s hope Australia’s Ocean Shield would make the discovery soon. But its only days or hours before the faint ping would stop.

Remember, it took rescue units 50 mins to find Dutch Prince Friso when he was buried in snow avalanche via his rescue audio beacon (possibly RECCO on skiing jacket). This time its a 72 foot long airplane ‘believed’ buried in the Idian Ocean floor. The task is gargantuan.

Below is a breakdown from L-3 on how audio beacons on blackbox work.

Underwater Locator Beacon
In addition to the paint and reflective tape, black boxes are equipped with an underwater locator beacon (ULB). If you look at the picture of a black box, you will almost always see a small, cylindrical object attached to one end of the device. While it doubles as a handle for carrying the black box, this cylinder is actually a beacon.


Photo courtesy L-3 Communication Aviation Recorders
A close-up of an underwater locator beacon

If a plane crashes into the water, the beacon sends out an ultrasonic pulse that cannot be heard by human ears but is readily detectable by sonar and acoustical locating equipment. There is a submergence sensor on the side of the beacon that looks like a bull’s-eye. When water touches this sensor, it activates the beacon.

The beacon sends out pulses at 37.5 kilohertz (kHz) and can transmit sound as deep as 14,000 feet (4,267 m). Once the beacon begins “pinging,” it pings once per second for 30 days. This beacon is powered by a battery that has a shelf life of six years. In rare instances, the beacon may get snapped off during a high-impact collision.

Table 1 illustrates that, under normal conditions, the existing pinger would not be detectable from the surface in depths exceeding 2km. A transponder, operating at the existing 37.5kHz but at a higher power, would be detectable from the surface in depths down to 5km in normal operating conditions. Alternatively, a transponder operating at 10kHz would be detectable from the surface down to full ocean depth under most operating conditions. A transponder-type beacon operating at the same 37.5kHz frequency but with 20dB greater peak acoustic power output (a factor of 100 in power ratio) is about twice the volume of the existing pinger beacon. A 10kHz transponder would be about four times the volume. See Table 1 below.

Table 1. Typical Detection Range performance


Maximum depth of beacon detection (km)

Normal conditions

Good conditions

Pinger: 37.5kHz (160.5dB re 1μPa)



Transponder: 37.5kHz (180dB re 1μPa)



Transponder: 10kHz (180dB re 1μPa)




God speed Ocean Shield. May the truth finally be told.