It saddens me to have to write another entry about the death of a favourite so soon, however very few choose their own time for passing.
Grant Imahara was why I watched MythBusters. I mean everyone was great - but he really piqued my attention to different things. I saw him speak for an hour at a local comic con in Perth and he made such an impression on me - I wish I could have been friends with him. It would have been awesome.
He achieved so much, but has gone way too soon. 13th July 2020. Vale Grant Imahara.
Ennio Morricone passed away 6th July 2020. He wrote so many fantastic movie scores. In the line of fire and The good, the Bad and the Ugly amongst my favourites.
He worked tirelessly to conjoin visuals and music in cinema and subtly express emotion through composition. His work will be forever remembered by the rewatching of movies who were fortunate enough to have him as their music composer. Vale Ennio Morricone.
Where does sound fit into the learning system? I believe the common path of most teaching institutions incorporating a long or short form audio course as an academic subject is wrong.
Sound is like painting or music composition. There are no hard and fast rules for the creative part of it. Sure there are technical requirements and standards and there is some aspect of sound that is academic - however it's the technical side that falls into the sphere of academic study. The creative side is by far the most visible (audible really!) aspect of what you do as a person crafting a mix.
If you're connecting fibre cable to digital consoles and remote stage boxes - it either works or it doesn't. There are rules that govern how the communications takes place and over what sort of cable the signals are transmitted. If the 48v is not present for a phantom powered microphone it will not work. Buzz and hum loops can occur when signal earths from different power systems mix. These are all academic things - yes I agree and the information related to these aspects of sound is best conveyed in an academic way.
However most of the time sound is about mixing, microphone placement, eq, compression, effects like reverb or delay, desk routing and configuration setup is a personal preference. There are a multitude of other creative based decisions made and some that quite often seem counter intuitive academically.
The decisions that drive all of these things is creative.
Mixing cannot be academic.
There is no right way to mix a voice and music for a commercial. Small (sometimes considered insignificant by observers) tweaks to eq and compression are often used to compensate for changes in source material such as the position of a commentators head set microphone or a different presenters voice. It will sound better but listeners don't know why.
The process is creative and requires input from the operator to decide what is wrong and what needs tweaking to correct it. The art of mixing is difficult to learn and master - throw in the standards requirement for loudness or having to do a live sport mix with 12-15 effects mics, 4 commentators, 2 sideline presenters, a panel of 5 people, video playback from 3 streams and adding music - all by yourself on the console. You can't just load someone else's console file and bingo everything mixes itself.
Many video editors struggle with sound. I have yet to hear top quality and well produced material leave any video edit suite. I can hear you scoffing and feel your disbelief. Well unfortunately, just loading a plugin and choosing a preset is not enough. "I've got the compressor at 6" the editor says or "I'm using the 'get rid of wind eq' preset" - but those things don't mean anything and surely need tighter changes than the generic plugin rubbish they place on our audio tracks. Like the video edit itself, the process involves creative input to achieve and while the video edit is where they excel, with sound they have no idea. The academic side of this is the operation of the software or edit facility. Something that is usually not that hard to grasp.
Plugging in a large setup and debugging could be considered academic although boundaries are crossed when it comes to mic choices and placement. Everything else including mixing can be learnt, but not from an academic. These are all creative decisions - that academics do not do well.
It is about time that creativity in sound was recognised by all institutions and taught in a way to get the best of a persons abilities. Not just for example "push the fader to -20" to achieve a mix.
Most people fall into one category or the other - they are either really good technically or really good creatively. This is why Im not painting pictures or producing sculpture to place in the Louvre. But it's also why other people should not be mixing sound.
Batty in Blade Runner only a glimpse of his abilities. The dialogue delivery prior to the characters death is so succinct and so insightful as to what it means to face your end. It left me in the theatre as a young boy speechless and full of emotion.
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.
It has been a long time since I wrote anything here because I've been busy at work and play - and busy is extremely understated. Seven weeks went by without days off; working for the man. Next a two week much worked for holiday with family - fantastic break with immaculate timing. Then immediately into two weeks work for a large broadcast.
All successful too.
Careful planning and preparation are the keys to making every job go well.
Now - my garden is overgrown, weeds everywhere - I've a lot of work to do.
All successful too.
Careful planning and preparation are the keys to making every job go well.
Now - my garden is overgrown, weeds everywhere - I've a lot of work to do.
It is not without considerable thought that I write this entry down… The total lack of consideration for others and their property. When people of that disposition are confronted by others they turn to faked police phone calls and telling others they have been assaulted when all that has been said in a calm and without raised voice is for them to "Fuck off." and every response to everything they say is the same - "Fuck off.". They literally don't know where to turn or what to do and launch into this outrageous behaviour to mark the other innocent person as the troublemaker? Calling the police they say? Telling strangers walking down the street of assaults? I have often been heard to say that nothing surprises me anymore. And to be brutally honest - neither does this.
I've nearly finished a four week straight run with only three days off in there… somewhere. Now I cannot even recall when they were or what I did. Every day is a chore and arriving home late every week night is draining the life out of me. I am unable to function in my own space and I miss the time I would normally get for myself during a week.
When you take a job, you're never quite sure what the impact of it will be. That is not to say that I'm ungrateful though. Work is how we pay or way and have the things we want as well as need.
I've put all my efforts into the jobs I have completed but I am looking forward to returning to my normal way of life.
And that holiday…
I can't wait to get back to Ōsaka, Japan. I miss the best drink ever crafted by the hands of humankind. Chūhai. The Kirin grapefruit is my poison although the extensive list of flavours does whet my appetite. I've one can left in my fridge that I brought back from my last trip 12 months ago and don't want to open it; can't open it, until I can refill the void. I need a holiday…
The Theory of stuff. It's powerful, relevant and obvious. A lot of people don't know how or why something works - they just accept that they don't understand and get on with it. It is not necessary either; to understand everything. Mobile phones, cars, deep space communication, cancer treatment, microphones, foreign languages, making cakes and pastries, why are fridges cold inside, how feature films are made and produced. You will be able to find a large number of things that you use or do regularly, but don't understand with any depth; or, just take for granted.
But then this is why when you are looking to do something, and a person who has knowledge and experience in their field of expertise speaks - you must listen. You must pay attention and defer to those who do know. It is quite ok to take that information and push the boundaries - change things up and make it work your own way. Although push them in your own time and space and not at the expense of others money, time or work. Learn something from those who have been there before. There is no need to write the same story…again.
I cannot count how many times I've been overruled with decisions made by people who have absolutely no clue about what they're talking about. And when the process goes wrong due to that decision, they are nowhere to be found or they push the error as your incompetence to their superiors. This unacceptable behaviour is becoming increasingly common as more and more people find their way into the workplace. It is a sad state an industry finds itself in when I look at the incoming workers and see their lack of basic understanding in their field.
What is a compressor? What is an IFB? What is OP 59? If you can't answer these back down and do some homework.
I try to do my work to the best of my ability and I do not expect to receive awards, accolades or even thanks for the work I do. I do need however to get paid to help support my family. I am disillusioned by those who want to take my work away and then not do it properly because they don't know, don't understand or have no interest in it - but do it only for the money; ironically, usually less. Maybe the reality is they are not putting as much into the job, so they are worth less - in monetary terms and as a person with a working social and moral compass.
To end on lighter note, this is what is wrong with where I work.
Its never ceases to amaze me how closely wound the strings of narcissism and delusion are on some people. Together they create a very real sense of continually being punched in the face on behalf of someone else.
The time is nearing when people such as these should be called out not only for the forgery that they are but for the hoax they are perpetrating on others as they grease and slime their way into others work, replacing them in a disgraceful manner.
To quote as I've seen written far better than I could ever articulate:
"If someone has deluded you, you can point out the facts and straighten them out.
If someone has deluded themselves, you've not got much of a chance."
Roger Moore sadly passed away today aged 89. I will remember him from his role as James Bond. He is one of my unforgettable childhood movie memories. He will be fondly remembered.
It also brings to the forefront of my mind the quick passing of one's life and others. Is this what getting old is about? Seeing others that you have grown up with pass away into memory? Is it a punishment metered out to remind us of our own mortality?…
Sorry I don't have an answer for you. I just know that I feel a sadness as reality becomes memory. More and more sadness…
I have slowly started to bring all my old written material together into some sort of cohesive grouping to put online for everyone (?) to troll through and pick to bits. It's taking longer than expected but at least I've started. I know for a long time I thought that the paper was only useful as tinder but as my eyesight has deteriorated and I've got older I can see the importance of some of these short word parties. I'm hoping that within the next four to five months I'll have at least a dozen items prepped for the website. Sounds slow, but I have to work too and work lately is becoming harder with age and decreasing confidence in my ability to perform at my best…
The website needed a change to to modernise the device support and to reflect the fact thats it's now 2017. I think it works well although there are still some changes and tweaking to be done.
Just like the broadcast industry changes that have happened in the past, the changes that are coming (sooner than a lot of us would want) will affect us all comrades. Make hay while the sun is shining.
Britons' vote result on the 24th June 2016 is to leave the European Union. Whilst I may personally agree with the vote result, it is more pleasing that a government headed by David Cameron and who is against the idea of leaving the European Union agrees with the referendum result and calls for it to be heeded and respected - and to "make it work" - a message to his successor given he will resign in a few months. It is true that his position has become untenable given his desire to remain in the EU. This is not a victory of one side over another, especially given the result, it is a result for what the majority of people want and that is all you can ask for.
I hope that the parliament does not try to walk around the leave vote and try and maintain ties with the EU for goods, people, services and capital (single market), as these are what people voted to leave for - the conditions imposed on them by EU membership.
David Cameron is to be applauded and personally I think it is a shame to see him go. Whatever happens now, the majority cannot complain as the result is what they asked for.
by Jean Jullien
Ok, just so we're clear - you can't go putting people on your resume as referees if you haven't asked them first. At first you might think it will get you the job - and you know what - it will. But then you get found out and the little world you've crafted will fail. Those who discover what has happened will probably not want anything to do with you anymore. A very sad, sorry situation that should never occur. Ever.
In the freelance world, taking a job on means keeping your word. Once you sign up and agree to take that job, bailing out without negotiation can only end up working out badly for you. If you are booked for a job and something else comes up, you need to speak with someone; don't send an email or message declaring you're suddenly not available. Ask if they are able to find another crew member to do that job and if they get back to you with a yes then you've done the right thing. If they can't get someone to fill your place; remember that you agreed already to do the job; and by then fulfilling your agreed role you've done the right thing.
Do not expect them to employ you again if you bail on them.
From an employers perspective, once an employee bails they become unreliable and who says the next time that employee is booked on a job what stops them from doing the same thing and leaving you with a problem. There is also nothing worse than finding an employee bail on you and discovering that they've taken another job that runs across yours. That shows a complete lack of respect for you and the company you represent.
Always discuss the issue by speaking with someone.
Never, ever bail on your employer.
You won't be getting more work from them.
Conversely some things can be made to be easy and some made to be hard.
So the question that arises is why make something hard when it can be easy - and conversely why make something easy when it can be hard.
I see a lot of configurations and arrangements that are extremely intricate and hard to understand. Occasionally though, I see where a very complex setup has been made simple to use and understand. These are the people that I want to talk to. They are the one's I want to pry information out of; I want to get how they thought through to the point where simplicity overcomes the Byzantine. It must be a very, very hard thing to do as so many fail.
Sometimes what makes sense to you, is not what other people need to grasp a concept. It takes a certain mind and mindset to create a thing that appeals to our sense of reason and can be well grasped.
A lot of people create things that are hard to understand so that they can be irreplaceable, required and continually called upon. People like this, that create a mess so no one else has a clue as to what is going on are not people you want on your side or on your team. They are lazy and impenetrable. They are verbose, loud and flamboyant.
Remove the confusion.
I'm from the school of less is more, not if you have it you need to use it.
Now the question becomes have I made a complicated subject matter harder or easier to understand?
I know governments think they have the right to do whatever they want whenever they want. But really - capturing my metadata and other Mr Nosey things sucks big time. Quite frankly I don't do anything wrong so why are you looking at me? Your time would be better spent doing real police work, instead of collecting idiotic tweets and other junk. Besides, I'm no social media butterfly, you won't find me there. My email is hosted by myself so you don't get that. I use Threema or Apple iMessage for messages so you can't get those. I use a VPN when I browse the net. So what are you really capturing about me? Surely that money is better spent on teachers, police and other useful things that we really do need, not to mention the fact that criminals will just get around it - thats right - they will do or use something else. It just won't work. Dumb criminals will always get caught but you don't need data retention to do that.
I also noticed that according to Article 12 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights that I should not arbitrarily have my privacy interfered with. Is Australia a signatory to this document? Yes. So WTF are we doing Mr Government?