Reaper DAW By Mike Jones Much like video editing systems, the tools for crafting, mixing, and multi-tracking digital audio projects - be they music, audio or sound for video endeavours - have reached a very mature stage in their development and evolution as technologies. The Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) market has grounded itself in all-digital workflows and common production practices whilst, at the same time, diversified into an array of major players. ...Read More »
VIZIO VF550XVT1A 55-inch LCD HDTV By Heath McKnight I'm a big fan of "America's number 1" LCD HDTV provider, VIZIO, and its wide range of home entertainment products. I've reviewed two previous LCD HDTV models (a 42-inch and a 47-inch), but I wanted to review something bigger and better. And I got the opportunity with the monster 55-inch XVT LCD HDTV, which has an incredible picture and sound. ...Read More »
Tritton Technologies AX 720 Gaming headphones By John Virata Time to upgrade your old gaming headphone? Then put your ears on the new Tritton AX 720s from Tritton Technologies. This headphone features Dolby Digital and Dolby headphone technology to ensure high quality two channel surround sound. ...Read More »
iZotope RX Noise Reduction Tips By Jeffrey P. Fisher As an audio-post-production professional, I'm often called upon to clean up the dialogue from the documentary, corporate, and narrative videos that come my way. The work requires a lot of patience and access to both basic and advanced audio tools. For me, the one must-have gizmo for audio cleanup is iZotope RX. This tutorial looks at ways this indispensable tool solves typical noisy problems that conspire to ruin your video soundtracks. ...Read More »
Sony Sound Forge 10 By Jeffrey P. Fisher Sony Creative Software has reached a major milestone with its September 2009 release of Sound Forge 10. Few applications survive all the way to high version numbers. But not only has the latest version of Sony's audio recording and editing program survived, it continues to thrive with a bevy of new features that keep you wondering how you ever worked without them. ...Read More »
Altec Lansing inMotion Classic iM620 iPhone/iPod speaker system By Joshua Virata Altec Lansing has brought back the "boom-box" style stereo system in a new modern age design. The inMotion Classic portable stereo not only serves as an iPhone and iPod dock, it also has a built in FM tuner, and an adjustable handle. Now, by "boom-box" style stereo I mean the big boxes seen in the 70s and 80s being carried around on shoulders or their handles, by people listening to the loud music and going with the beat in the street. ...Read More »
Apple's Soundtrack Pro 3 By Kevin McAuliffe Soundtrack Pro 2 was a great application. You could harness its power for not only Final Cut Pro timelines, but for any editing application that could export an OMF file. What Apple had essentially given us was a professional, production-ready application to take any audio project to the next level. But, I had one concern. Where would it go from there? ...Read More »
Building a Better Mouse: Contour Design RollerMouse Free By Jeffrey P. Fisher Like me, you've probably been mousing around for some time. You may have even tried some mouse alternatives, such as tablets, trackballs, and their ilk. But, eventually you found yourself back with the mouse in hand. I know, it's not an easy habit to break. But now there is an alternative that is well worth considering: the Contour Design RollerMouse Free. ...Read More »
Round-up of USB mics By Jeffrey P. Fisher For many people, connecting and recording mics is too complicated. They have a simple question: "Why can't I just plug a microphone right into my computer like a mouse?" Well, the industry listened and responded with a bevy of USB-based mics that are, for the most part, plug and play. ...Read More »
Lenovo ThinkStation S20 workstation By John Virata The Lenovo ThinkStation S20 is the company's mid range workstation that works well in a variety of creative environments, be it video and special effects creation to CAD and animation. Configured with the right graphics card, the unit will fit well in any creative environment. The S20 is larger than most mid-tower cases, and sports ample room inside for user upgrades. ...Read More »
Use Dropbox to store and share your files online By Heath McKnight I came across Dropbox because I am always looking for an online solution to upload and share video files, music, documents--any type of file that I would want to access remotely. Dropbox is a free program you can download to your Mac, Windows PC, or Linux system, and use it to upload and share all sorts of files with multiple computers you use, or people whom you'd like to share those files with. ...Read More »
Altec Lansing Expressionist Plus speaker system By Joshua Virata Altec Lansing has just released its new 2.1 channel/subwoofer music system, the Expressionist PLUS, FX3021. Different from run of the mill computer speakers, the FX3021features dramatic piano black cone-shaped drivers and subwoofer. The system's subwoofer utilizes a floor facing 5.25-inch, long-throw driver that produces powerful rich bass. When coupled with the the pair of 2-inch speaker drivers, the system delivers clear, distinct sound. ...Read More »
MacSpeech Dictate 1.5.1 By Ko Maruyama I had previously used an earlier version of MacSpeech's software on my laptop with great success, and found many interesting features within software, including the ability to customize recognized libraries of words, and shortcuts in order to make the software run more smoothly on the existing hardware. On a Mac Pro, the new version runs more quickly than you can possibly imagine. ...Read More »
13-inch MacBook Pro By John Virata Over the years, I've had always had access to a Macintosh computer, starting way back with the PowerBook 140, to the dual 450 G4, to a 15-inch MacBook Pro with illuminated keyboard. I used the systems for testing the latest software from Adobe, Apple and others. I've never really became a Mac user, because I have been using Windows computers since 1994 and became used to that OS. But the new MacBooks piqued my interest in part because of their use of aluminum. ...Read More »
Bias Peak Pro XT 6 for Macintosh By Heath McKnight Bias Peak Pro XT 6 is a powerful set of audio production and mastering software applications for the Mac. You can create and master music, mix audio, fix bad sound, and so much more. This is unbelievably great software and should be a part of every Mac audio professional's digital toolbox. ...Read More »
AstoundStereo By Joshua Virata AstoundStereo is designed to improve the audio from any application on a Mac or Windows. In a way AstoundStereo uses its own set of equalizers and filters to turn relatively flat stereo channels into a dynamic stereo surround-like sound. ...Read More »
Lenovo W700ds mobile workstation By John Virata Lenovo has long been known for innovative notebook computers harking back to the days when it (IBM) came out with the ThinkPad notebook computer. This machine served notice that it was at the top of the heap when it came to design and functionality. The current crop of ThinkPad workstations maintain that innovation as well as some features that could be called obscure, such as the one with the W700ds that I'm reviewing here. ...Read More »
Sonopedia: The Encyclopedia of Sound Effects By Kevin McAuliffe A while back, I took a look at Sound Ideas Ultimate SFX Collection on Hard Drive, and I liked it. On the heels of that review, I was contacted by a representative at Blastwave FX who had read my review, and they let me know that they have their own sound effects collection called Sonopedia (The Encyclopedia of Sound Effects) on hard drive, and wanted to know if I was interested in taking a look. I said "absolutely", and in no time flat, I was powering it up to give it a spin. Let's see how things went. ...Read More »
G-Technology's G-Drive mini SSD 120GB By John Virata When I first reviewed an 8MB flash based USB thumb drive from M-Systems and IBM back in 2001, I was astounded at its durability. I dropped the device, went surf fishing with it and got it wet, and basically abused it until the plastic casing came off and all that was left was the memory module and the USB arm. It still works today, but at 8MB, it has since been replaced by several drives at varying capacities. ...Read More »
Sony ACID Pro 7 By Heath McKnight The seventh version of Sony's ACID Pro is a great update to the software. Sony's famous DAW (digital audio workstation) gives users even more control over their musical and sound creations. Combined with an extensive loops and MIDI library, along with multi-track recording and mixing, this version is worth getting. ...Read More »
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