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Grant Imahara

grantimahara
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

enniomorricone
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.

University. Academia. Creativity. Sound.

brain-2062057
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.

Rutger Hauer

rutger-hauer

Sad day.

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.

rutger-hauer-blade-runner-1-1200x520



All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

Lossless music published

I have started releasing my music tracks since January 2019 in Apple Lossless format. They are created from the wav file masters at 48KHz, 24bit. They should play on all computers running iTunes and on any iOS device since iPhone 7. Support for other devices is unknown.

The files are large compared to the compressed formats but still manageable. The benefits for the average listener are debatable and more than likely unnecessary - so I imagine most users will continue to use the AAC files (the red icon on this website).

However for those amongst us who strive for the best - this is the best I can do. So other than the musical content, the Apple Lossless files are the best possible quality.

Happy listening…

Endorsements

Just to be clear for everyone - I don't endorse people; in writing, on the web or for others to repeat in general conversation or in work applications.

Conversely, I do not expect to be endorsed by anyone else - so if someone says something about me make sure to check it out for yourself. You are welcome to make up your own mind about my work, skills and ethics by having a conversation with me or reviewing my previous work.

The only possible way I would pass on information about someone is by speaking with the concerned third party in person or in a phone call. Anyone who says "Paul says this" or "I know Paul and he gave me your details" or anything at all really, you should red flag the information.

Ring me and I will tell you straight up about anyone, but do not take anyone's word on who I know or what I think about them or their work ethic. Get my opinion from me directly.

Goodbye Alan

Goodbye Alan Hurley. I remember starting work at my first job and you were a cameraman there. After many years you left and became a director (at a different network). Then re-meeting you many years later as your daughter is the same age as my son and they went to play group together. You were a wonderful father and I'm proud to call you my friend. You are missed but not only by those very close to you but others like me who knew you just for a catch up chat now and then. Rest well.

Goodbye John

John Rowley from Soundequip was all about the audio. Never ever let me down with my purchases over the years, quite often shipping items before payments had gone through. Always long conversation about the goings on. Very shocked and sad to hear of his passing. Big loss for the industry where he cared more about the people and gear than profits and money. Rest well my friend - you were a light in the darkness of commerciality - and will be sorely missed.

10 Years!

Over 10 Years of Heard of Audio! Hard to believe it has gone by so quickly and with little fanfare or acknowledgement. As a birthday, today I migrated the entire web and email server from a virtual Debian server to a hosted platform. Should make management of the behind the scenes bits take far less of my time. More time for work I suppose…

Long time between breaks

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.

Enough!

2-2-fingers
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.

Holiday required

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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…

The best there is.

chuhai
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…

Theory of stuff

Radioactive materials
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.

Long time no blogs

More time just ahead
Yes it has been a while, but I have been busy. Some agenda items have had to be pushed further down the to do list until time reappears in my calendar. I have to take care of my family first, work second, me third and then everything else in a quasi random list of things I would like to get done. Now that I have space to always give time to my loved ones in my schedule, I can find other moments that I can devote to some previously deferred items. Bring on the second half of 2018.

Deluded

Narcissistic universe
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."

New album "The Photon Principle"

The Photon Principle_small
It's been three years since my last album release but The Photon Principle is all new material that has been written and produced during this time. I've tried to make something that follows a story of sorts and has meaning and purpose. Not an easy task, especially for an amateur composer. I guess the best description of the style is electronic new age, but really it's more like an electronic soundtrack; something you might hear during a movie with the occasional theme that rises to the surface.

I really enjoyed creating these tracks and hope you enjoy listening to them. A sample track can be heard at The Photon Principle home page where there is further information. Paul Huxham, September 2017

Mike Cockerill

Mike Cockerill
Mike, it was a pleasure throwing your commentary fader for the last 8 years. Easy to work with, voice that sat easy in the mix and never too much trouble for a last minute microphone check. For me, you were the sound of the A League…A big loss, so early.

Drew Morphett

Drew Morphett
Drew, I hardly knew you. And it is so sad to see that you have gone. Ill never forget the watermelon joke from the 90's before your last Seven Network Perth AFL commentary broadcast in the channel seven compound at the WACA…Thank you for the great memories.

Goodbye friend

Tony Alvaro, father of my son's friend during Primary School sadly passed away in his sleep. My thoughts are with his wife and son during this time. Why does there have to be so much sadness in our world… Why can we just not see our years through… Too many… And now Tony. So sad.

Roger Moore

Roger Moore as James Bond
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…

Word parties

Notebook and pen
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…

Changes afoot

heard of audio-volume white on black
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.

The beginning

heard of audio-volume white on black
The website is finally up and going. It has taken longer than I anticipated but it's been a learning curve to use my publishing tool. Ive started a number of new projects and I'm trying to allow space in my schedule to allocate time to them all. Music, writing, sound all take valuable time. And time is a precious resource I'm finding… One that is difficult to divvy up. I see progress in each project though so I think while not being successful with the division I am at least making headway. And I would rather it this way than just sitting and vegetating at home on the couch. (Although come to think of it, that has merits too!)