Audio mastering and mix reviews

So, after encouragement from friends and family I am now offering Audio Mastering and Mix Opinion services. This blog is now moved off to the side and the Audio Services page is now the home page for iqi616.com so customers don’t have to search for information.

Do you have any recordings that you want honest and constructive feedback on? Do you have any recordings that you want mastered so that you can publish them on the internet for sale or download? If so, click on Audio Services on the menu and let’s get started.

…Mike.

© Mike Ellison.

Posted in Commentary, iqi616, Recording, Mixing, Mastering | 2 Comments

Daytime Ottawa with Lois and Derick

This week’s challenge was an outside broadcast for Rogers “Daytime Ottawa” show. We were at the Ernst & Young Centre out by Ottawa Airport for the Ottawa Home & Garden Show. This was very different to the other shows I’ve done because everything is planned rather than being reactive.

Sound room of the Rogers TV Delta truck

Sound room of the Rogers TV Delta truck

…Mike.

© Mike Ellison.

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Ottawa 67s at Scotiabank Place

I had fun last Tuesday and Friday at Scotiabank Place doing sound for Rogers TV for the Ottawa 67s hockey team.

We had the big Delta truck hidden away in the Scotiabank Place loading bay. As they were OHL games it was live to air. There was a bunch of feeds to deal with – 6 mics above the ice with 2 camera mics for ambience, 3 commentator headsets, 1 wireless mic in the hallway for interviews, the CD player for the replay swish effect, the cart for the theme music, feeds for sound for the replays, and a mono feed from the PA for the opening and national anthem. The nice thing is that Scotiabank Place is pre-wired through to the loading bay so set-up was a case of getting everything into place and just plugging-in.

Foldback for each of the commentators is a mix-minus. They each get only what they need so they can tell what’s going on and can hear each other.

The priority when doing sound for a hockey game is obviously making sure the commentators are heard clearly. One of the challenges is the range of volume they put out! When things are slow and the puck is being passed around a lot, they talk quietly but of course when someone scores they get pretty loud. I set up each of the mics with a compressor with 2:1 ratio to keep things from going over the top.

The ambience is not so important but a lot of the atmosphere is the swish of the skates and all the other on-ice sound. A lot of fader-riding is needed to follow the play from end to end. The killer is when there’s a goal in front of a big crowd – you have to pull back quickly but tastefully so the commentators can be heard over the noise. Sometimes the spectators are so loud the ambient mics are pulled all the way down to silence and yet the director is still shouting over the intercom for less ambience – it’s all being picked up by the commentators’ mics!

Talking of the intercom, one of the biggest challenges of doing live or live-to-tape TV sound is that you have to keep half an ear on the intercom for direction whilst riding the faders on the mixing desk. Most of the talk on the intercom is to the camera operators but you can’t ignore it in case the director slips in instructions for you. The difficulty is that your brain only has a single path for verbal processing so you have to somehow listen to the loudness of the commentators’ voices while listening to the words of the director’s voice. A lot of things are planned up-front but, being live, a lot happens on-the-fly.

Tuesday’s game was reasonably relaxed – the 67s lost embarrassingly to the Brampton Battalion 3-0. It could have been a lot worse if it hadn’t been for their goalie – Clint Windsor – making 52 saves. In contrast the 67s only made 10 shots on goal. After the game in the truck I played “Bad day” by Daniel Powter – it seemed appropriate.

Friday’s game was a lot more exciting both on the ice and in the truck. The 67s lost valiantly to the Oshawa Generals in a penalty shoot-out. When they faded from 2-2 to 5-2 down at the end of the 2nd period we really didn’t expect anything special from the 67s after Tuesday’s performance but in the 3rd period they fought back with 3 goals to force extra time and the shoot-out.

…Mike.

© Mike Ellison.

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Vimeo: Gerry McGovern — Keynote: Manage the tasks, not the content

There are so many important points in this presentation that it’s hard to summarize. The key thing is that web users are real customers and don’t forget that when they visit your website they have objectives they expect your website to help them achieve.

Of course, that’s easy to say but not so easy to do. I’m sure my website could do with a lot of improvement!

Gerry McGovern — Keynote: Manage the tasks, not the content from Together London on Vimeo.

Gerry really cuts to the chase. A lot of what he says is what customers have been saying for years and definitely a poke in the eye for all those corporations who try to shake-off needy customers by making it almost impossible to get hold of humans to help fix problems (not mentioning any anti-virus software or cellphone companies).

…Mike.

© Mike Ellison.

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TEDIndia: Pranav Mistry: The thrilling potential of SixthSense technology

Thanks to Vic for passing this one to me.

http://www.ted.com/talks/pranav_mistry_the_thrilling_potential_of_sixthsense_technology.html

This idea is so much more practical than all the usual wearable computing tools because it brings the computer out into the environment rather than viewing the environment through a computing filter. That’s a fundamental shift.

…Mike.

© Mike Ellison.

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So when is the Universe supposed to be ending?

So when is the Universe supposed to end?

So when is the Universe supposed to end?

I’m so confused by all these calendars and their predictions of the end of the Universe.

My 2012 pocket calendar only goes to the 4th January 2014 so I was just about to send out invitations to my End Of The Universe Party when they published a 2013 pocket calendar that goes out to 3rd January 2015!

Did they receive new information or something?

What if they take another guess next year and postpone the End Of The Universe to 2016?

…Mike.

© Mike Ellison.

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Rare Le Mans pace-car in Barrhaven

Who would have thought waiting to pick up my son from school would have turned up this rare car? It was a pace car at Le Mans.

There are drivers’ signatures under the hood…

…and special engraving in the wheels to match the paint job…

…those are six-piston brakes that only just fit inside the wheels.

All the rear lights also have superbright flashers in them and the owner demonstrated them but unfortunately they didn’t come out in the photos – I didn’t have a tripod handy to take a long exposure.

…Mike.

© Mike Ellison.

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Who would have thought an old Saturn could look cool?

Until the Sky, Astra, and Aura came out, I had no time for Saturns – they were pretty dorky as far as I was concerned – so I was surprised when I first saw this 2001-2002 SC cruising around Barrhaven. Maybe if the production version had looked like this they would have sold some more!

A Saturn can be cool

…Mike.

© Mike Ellison.

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One last ride before the Honda was sold

A neighbour was selling his Honda cruiser so I took some stills and movement shots and combined them into a souvenir for him to remember his old bike.

Honda

Honda

…Mike.

© Mike Ellison.

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A Tesla in Ottawa

Well, I didn’t expect to see a Tesla in Ottawa so soon. When the lights turned green, off he shot in a roar …of silence! A freaky experience to see something so quick be so quiet.

Tesla in Ottawa

Tesla in Ottawa

…Mike.

© Mike Ellison.

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