Mac Workflow

A place to discuss non-Moho software for use in animation. Video editors, audio editors, 3D modelers, etc.

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dm
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Re: Mac Workflow

Post by dm » Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:56 am

Mics: take a look at Rode, Blue, Mojave. The Earthworks SR20 (about $600, or even a TC20-which is cheaper) is a very nice mic. Versatile, and it's a great sounding mic-it would do well with your listed audio desires.

Interface: Check out Edirol, PreSonus, MOTU, Apogee, Alesis. If you want midi, you should be sure that's included in the interface.

There are lots more out there. The listed ones are decent, and would fit into your budget. Sort of depends on how many tracks you want to record at once. If you can manage with two inputs at once, it's not too expensive.

You can also ignore all the computer interface stuff and get a digital recorder and just transfer tracks in later. Zoom, Tascam, Roland, Yamaha (or even an iPad with an interface).

Don't forget to include cables, stands, wind screens / pop filters, room tuning (hunks of foam or whatever to control acoustics and echoes and such). Headphones or near field monitors help. You might want a mixing board...

Further on microphones: Oktava and MXL both have some OK mics. I know someone who has both of those that the electronics were replaced in, and they sound pretty good (especially considering the price). I think the stock sound from them is OK, but they benefit from 'cleaning up', and it's not too hard or expensive to do.
dm
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Re: Mac Workflow

Post by dm » Sat Jul 06, 2013 11:29 pm

$1,000 for audio isn't bad.
A functional setup:
Logic Pro 200
Earthworks SR20 600
M Audio M Track Plus 150
Boom Mic Stand 25
Mic cable 15

You could even cut out Logic, since the interface comes with ProTools 'lite'. Or, take a look at Reaper (60) You have GarageBand, right? That would work too. Or, even use Audacity. Maybe you want to get a couple of cheaper mics instead. But I don't think they would sound as good as the Earthworks. I have several microphones. They all sound noticeably different. You can post process the sound, but it's never the same as the original capture. I think the microphone you use is important. I rarely notice 'good' sound, but I always notice 'bad' (and it's always distracting).

NLE's: http://kdenlive.org (free, or donate-limited file format support)
http://www.forbidden.co.uk/products/forscene/ (cloud based, I don't know how they charge)
http://www.blender.org/development/rele ... ce-editor/ (free)
http://lives.sourceforge.net
And, Premiere, Final Cut, Avid, Smoke, etc.

Audio-wise:
Logic Pro $199
reaper.fm $60
Adobe Audition $325
Don't ignore GarageBand
Protools, but that starts getting expensive.
If you got an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, you'd get most of what you need. Audition (their audio software), Premiere, After Effects, etc.

Audio interface: M-Audio M Track Plus $150 (includes ProTools 'lite') has phantom power (for a microphone), Midi in and out, 48KHz sample rate (note that 96K or 192K would be nice options, but 48K works fine). Only 2 channel. But, how many do you need?

Earthworks SR20 would be my recommendation. $600. It will handle voice and instruments both, and fairly well. It has a 'clean' sound, fast response. Sometimes, it sounds too clean (sterile). A boom mic stand is cheap and will be versatile enough to get by. You can also buy mics used. Guitar Center usually has a functional assortment available. Pro-sound.com, musician's friend, B+H photo, etc. too. I wouldn't get a [live] performance mic. Get a recording mic.

Note: large diaphragm mics tend to be more sensitive, and warm up the sound some. They're often the wrong mic for an instrument (but not always). Good for voices though. Rode NTK is a popular mic. Blue Spark, too. Both are functional voice / instrument mics. http://www.gearslutz.com is a good place to poke around for that sort of info. You could get something like a Shure SM81 too. Good sound, not as warm as the Rode or Blue. $350 or so.
dm
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Re: Mac Workflow

Post by dm » Sun Jul 07, 2013 12:01 am

Oh, what I use for audio:

Edirol FA66 interface.
AKG K712 and K240 headphones
Yamaha near field monitors
a couple of mixing boards (I think Yamaha) (even a Korg or Akai mini-controller is cheap, and does the job)
Keyboards and drum pads.
a bunch of acoustic instruments

Logic Pro
Adobe Audition (new to that, with CC subscription. Seems nice enough)

some of the mics:
Earthworks QTC50
a U87
PZM something or other (Crown, I think)
Blue Snowball (USB, not a very good sound, but functional for what it is)
Rode Shotgun
some MXL instrument mics
Beyer dynamic mic
a few others...
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slowtiger
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Re: Mac Workflow

Post by slowtiger » Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:05 pm

I just have to share this:
http://bit.ly/16mtXKE
It all started with https://twitter.com/nome_home/status/354507394509844480 and https://twitter.com/slowtiger/status/354510557157662721. Made with Logic in just 2 hrs, recorded with my SPL Nugget.
Image
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dm
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Re: Mac Workflow

Post by dm » Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:37 am

up the resolution? I like that. I could see you performing that outside RAPP (which has so many different levels of meaning)[-they're an ad agency with locations all over the world-including Berlin-for anyone who wasn't aware].

But hey, isn't this mostly 'vector land'? What's 'resolution' mean to the vector-based?

It's beyond me how no one seems to know what they need delivered until after it's done.

Sadly, some companies are now insisting on 4K resolution for everything (for covering themselves with 4k TVs that no one owns, and that have virtually no media or hardware to watch 4K with)

Can you up the resolution on your song? Can you make it 3D? Did you record it at 192kHz? What's DSD? 5 something MegaHertz? How about that?

yeah, your song got to the point. Thanks for that.
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heyvern
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Re: Mac Workflow

Post by heyvern » Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:25 pm

3D tv is such a flop. The Nielson ratings can't track it. There is more 3D programming than people who own 3D televisions. The numbers are so low they can't really figure out the ratings for 3D tv programming. Even if they all watched the SAME show the numbers are lower than the measurable threshold.

I honestly don't know where 4K is going, it is different from the failure of 3D because you don't need "glasses" to see it. Haven't even seen a 4K tv picture yet or how the quality compares. Apple of course is jumping on it with the new machines and OS. Apparently their new Mac Pro can drive 3, yes 3, 4K monitors at the same time.
(My feeling is... if I could afford a top of the line new Mac Pro and three 4K monitors... I could afford to hire someone else to do my work while I spend the day on my yacht fishing with my gold plated fishing reel, drinking champagne and eating caviar. ;) )

Option 1:
With computers getting more and more powerful, hard drive space cheap as heck, there is no reason not to render or produce content as large as possible... I do feel bad for Pixar and other 3D animation companies. They must have huge warehouses filled with gigantic googelflops of harddrive space to store all the rendered content... right next to the huge gigantic warehouse filled with render farms ;) .

Option 2:
Wait to see what happens. Create content "normal" size and simply scale it up if you must. I am amazed that scalling from what use to be "HD" maximum quality to 4K doesn't really lose that much quality (hard to say without owning the equipment to view it on). Yes, it's a tiny bit soft but still, at those resolutions you can barely see it. All kinds of filters to sharpen so the quality isn't that bad.
dm
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Re: Mac Workflow

Post by dm » Fri Jul 12, 2013 4:22 am

heyvern wrote:I honestly don't know where 4K is going, it is different from the failure of 3D because you don't need "glasses" to see it. Haven't even seen a 4K tv picture yet or how the quality compares. Apple of course is jumping on it with the new machines and OS. Apparently their new Mac Pro can drive 3, yes 3, 4K monitors at the same time.
I have a feeling that Apple only cares about the never-ending obsolescence of their machines. What do you sell when processor speed doesn't go faster? Cores? How many pieces of software take advantage of multi-processing? Not very many, and virtually none that any 'normal' person cares about. So, now throw GPUs at us, right?

4K TV holds the promise of better color space. 4K is a new 'feature' that will be profitable (or at least they hope so). 4K might deliver 'glasses-less' 3D. 4K is new and improved... If it catches on, just think of all the junk they can sell to support it. New players, new programming. Hopefully, new suckers are being born every minute. I can't wait to see the compression artifacts for 4K. Next comes 8K. The more K the better. (incidentally, I have seen 4K capture (from an f65) on a 4K [PVM-X300] video monitor, and it is a whole new experience). But, I don't really care. I hardly ever watch TV.
heyvern wrote:Option 1:
With computers getting more and more powerful, hard drive space cheap as heck, there is no reason not to render or produce content as large as possible...

Option 2:
Wait to see what happens. Create content "normal" size and simply scale it up if you must. I am amazed that scalling from what use to be "HD" maximum quality to 4K doesn't really lose that much quality (hard to say without owning the equipment to view it on). Yes, it's a tiny bit soft but still, at those resolutions you can barely see it. All kinds of filters to sharpen so the quality isn't that bad.
"Quality isn't that bad" doesn't cut it. I did it, it's got me attached to it, and it needs to be right as far as I can control.

I've had this happen a few times:
Editorial specs delivered before the job: 1920x1080 29.97FPS Progressive. Protect for 1.33 ProRes 4444
After the job is done, I get a call. "Hey, can we get that footage at higher resolution for an in-store banner?" "It needs to be 60" tall x 30" wide @300 DPI". Or, they want to pull a section for a vertical TV monitor display (so the original 1080 needs to turn into 1920)

OK, Now my 1080 needs to be scaled up to 18,000 (I know I can get away with closer to 9,000 pixels high, but either way it's not scaling up to that and keeping my line quality or gradation subtlety, or any other bit of 'quality'.) They're pulling a vertical out of a horizontal format. Great. Or, they need a frame for a billboard or a magazine or some other print thing. And they always want the entirety of the footage bigger so they can 'pick and choose'.

So, a couple of problems with this. One, they didn't specify that nonsense in the first place, so it's just absurd. They don't want to pay for the extra, so it's absurd. My contract specified a regional ad with a play limit. Stills weren't part of the contract. They don't want to pay extra, so it's absurd. Do I need to do everything in 16K resolution? No, 'cause nothing even supports that. It's all absurd.

Regardless, I don't 'up-res' for stills. They pick the frame they need, and I recreate it at the proper resolution. Sometimes it frightening who ends up being 'your boss'.
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slowtiger
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Re: Mac Workflow

Post by slowtiger » Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:20 am

That's why I mention stuff like this explicitely in the contract - under "gets paid extra".
(I have a client of two times who gets a good price for the planned animation - and an extra payment for every second over that. Saved my ass, when it became 90 sec instead of 60 last time. Know your client, extend your contract, happiness everywhere.)
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Thrashador
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Re: Mac Workflow

Post by Thrashador » Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:52 am

First of all, thanks again for the update and your suggestions. I've been on vacation and away from my local music shops, but I fully intend to go on a "deplete my savings" spree soon. I'll be looking for the works: new guitar for studio recording, studio monitors, audio interface, headphones, cables, microphones, and maybe even a DAW. Sadly, I'm such a noob at all of this that I fear I won't know what to do with all this great equipment even once I have it... :(

As for your side conversations in this thread, don't mind me! :) I enjoy observing your professional opinions on matters of future technology and animation work.

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heyvern
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Re: Mac Workflow

Post by heyvern » Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:20 am

I have to admit I was late to the HD format. I had invested so much in my DVD collection. Now that I have gotten use to it I hate DVD quality... unless it's the Andy Griffith show. You don't need 1080p for Andy and Barney. ;) Some movies I watch on DVD are such horrible quality I have no idea how we put up with it for so long. I suppose once I see 4k movies... I will have to jump on that one as well.

One huge issue regarding 4k is bandwidth. Currently nothing can really be "broadcast" at 4k resolution. The pipes just aren't fast enough. It could be years before cable or fiber can even broadcast 4K resolution. Currently even 1080p hd is not streamed at full bit rate. You get quality degradation with fast motion depending on the compression. We will need a new faster internet (google's working on that I think) and a new type of disk format and compression technology for 4k movie content.

Get ready to throw out your Blu-ray for OuchThatHurtsMyEyes-Ray®. ;)

p.s. And yes, you will have to buy yet ANOTHER copy of Star Wars. I have 4 copies of that dang thing; video cassette, laser disk, DVD and Blu-ray... yes... laser disk. I have to flip the disk over to watch a whole movie. Most of Cameron's epics required 2 laser disks. :)
dm
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Re: Mac Workflow

Post by dm » Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:55 am

4K bandwidth isn't a problem. They're just going to compress it more. HEVC seems to promise 4K @ 30 Mb/sec. Remember when DVCPro was 25 Mb/sec, and that was just SDTV? What would that make it, 400:1 compression ratio for 4K? And people think they're getting something more? Right...

HDTV broadcast is running around 20-25 Mb/sec these days. Cable 16 Mb/sec, Fios 15 Mb/sec, Dish/DirecTV 8-10 Mb/sec.

What I find interesting is that an F65 captures at up to 5 Gb/sec (Alexa and Red in the 200-300 Mb/sec range). I look at footage out of those cameras, and I still am annoyed by the image quality. (digital cinema projectors peak at 250 Mb/sec-and I don't like going to the theater to watch a digitally projected 'film' because of the obvious artifacts) Oh well, people will end up watching everything on their smart phone and Google Glasses, so who cares?
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