Jeff Zaslow and Reaching for the Best

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/03/04/opinion/greene-zaslow/index.html?hpt=hp_c3

Great article by Bob Greene about Jeff Zaslow, the author who helped Randy Pausch write “The Last Lecture”. If you haven’t read the Last Lecure, I highly recommend it.

Bob Greene’s article talks about doing your best at all times. He says it’s not often that it pays off, but it’s an admirable endeavor.

“The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problem.” – Ghandi

165 Million Year Old Cricket Song

http://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2012/8210.html

Excerpt:

The love song of an extinct cricket that lived 165 million years ago has been brought back to life by scientists at the University of Bristol. The song – possibly the most ancient known musical song documented to date – was reconstructed from microscopic wing features on a fossil discovered in North East China. It allows us to listen to one of the sounds that would have been heard by dinosaurs and other creatures roaming Jurassic forests at night.

Q&A: How to play AAC audio files on website?

Email question received:

no problem getting my site to play mp3 files, but what do you do if you’ve got an AAC file that you want people to hear.

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Response:

Hey there, great question! What I found is that Adobe Flash supports AAC, so you could use a flashplayer to stream your AAC music files. From what I read it appears there are some other players also but they only support internet explorer. I’m assuming that you want your solution to be cross platform. It also looks like Orbis may have some players but you have to purchase them.

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Acoustic Treatment for Audio Mixing Room

As part of my Critical Listening class with Berklee Music Online I’ve been spending a lot of time tweaking my audio mixing room. The point is to level out the environment at the listening position for an audio response that minimizes comb filtering and nodes that cancel out frequencies. If the problem is not minimized, at least knowing the frequency problem areas can give you crucial information so you don’t over adjust in the final mixes.

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Kung Hei Fat Choy 2012

The entire company of Zaia wishes you a Happy Chinese New Year. Kung Hei Fat Choy!

I had my noodles at the local Chinese restaurant and let off bottle rockets into the water of Macau. Happy to report no rockets hit me this year.

Good Bye ZED

ZED had it’s last performance December 31, 2011 at Tokyo Disneyland. I was lucky to travel to Tokyo in October 2011 to see this Cirque Du Soleil show and meet the artists and musicians. The show and music were so fantastic. Consensus is that this was one of Cirque’s best shows. It’s an artistic crime that it is closing. I mean it was fantastic beyond words. It had that Cirque “magic” through out.

There are always hopes with the fans that the show will resurrect somehow – but Cirque has redeployed many of the artists to other shows and the ZED theater was built for the show which makes it difficult to move somewhere else. Artistically I know in my heart that whatever happens the original magic of ZED will have to be a time capsule for the short time it ran – about 3 years. A new magic can continue but you can’t go back and recreate the same magic.

To the musicians, artistic team and cast of ZED I say what you already know: You created a one-of-a-kind masterpiece that you can always carry in your theatrical heart. You were part of something truly magical…

In this video the various Cirque Du Soleil shows say goodbye to ZED, including the show I work currently work on: ZAIA.

I Want to Quit Smoking

I really want to quite smoking. I’ve been smoking for 26 years at a pack or 1.5 packs a day. Today was my quitting day. I made it 7 hours. Was dizzy, disorientated and thought about smoking almost every second. I’m smoking a cigarette now as I write this.

I don’t want to die from a smoking related disease. I have a lot more music work to do. Any tips from people that successfully quit smoking?

Bruce Swedien – Keeping the Mix Primitive

Audio engineer Bruce Swedien talks about keeping the mix primitive. Years ago I had his video series on microphone usage. The big tip I picked up from that was to use microphones to capture part of the room. Using microphone pairs to combine the source and ambient reflections. Also started to record keyboard parts going through amps rather than direct to the console.

I think it’s a wonderful approach to sound design and engineering. I’ve also always enjoyed Bruce Swedien’s low profile presentation. Most of us producing music these days are guilty at one point or another of getting too involved in the gear. I guess like with most studies the key is to study the details and geeky procedures as much as you can – but then forget all that and do your thing when it comes to your productions. Swedien really emphasizes the important of not losing the root passion of the music.

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2001 Space Odyssey Opener

I find this incredibly disturbing so I’m posting it in the hopes that it incredibly disturbs you as well. And now ladies and gentlemen, the official 2001 Space Odyssey opener. (Mmmm…Also Sprach Zarathustra or something like that)

Pan Law – Recording and Mixing

Pan Law, in practical application, states that  an audio source, of equal amplitude and phase, that is played in both channels of a stereo system and panned from center to left or right  will sound natural to increase 3db.

Read the Wikipedia link below for more details. (Actual change is 6.02db for perfect response and perfect acoustics, but practical application for most speaker setups is to think 3db).

Read more at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_law

SWTOR Massive Beta Testing Begins November 2011

BETA testing just opened for everyone that signed up early and opted in. See you soon in The Old Republic!

SWTOR.com is Star Wars the Old Republic – an new MMORPG game from Bioware, Electronic Arts and Lucas Arts. Video above are some of the design team stating their opinions of the Sith Inquisitor vs the Trooper. Mmmm……I think I’m sold on the Sith Inquisitor. For those of us playing SWTOR that used to play Warcraft (which is probably most everyone) this seems a little like the Orc Warrior vs. a Rogue with some Mage abilities.

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Email Q&A: Who wrote Ave Maria

Email question received:

I read quite a few articles on the internet but still not sure who actually first composed Ave Maria, despite so many name changes to the music.  I read that Bach, Schubert and Gounod were at least the three persons  associated with Ave Maria but separated by hundreds of years apart.  The music on Youtube and other places are the same for all three.  Can you tell me?

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Justin Bieber raps

Justin Bieber raps live during an interview with Power 106FM. I know we all like to make fun of the Bieber but this is actually a pretty good rap. I’ve run a rap artist forum for over 10 years and members there were like “ORLY?” – they give respect to the Bieber.

I think Justin should hire me to orchestrate a hip hop album for him. Now THAT would be very cool. Wouldn’t surprise me if JB ends up having a very long career like Frank Sinatra.

Guy LaLiberte – From Street Performer to Billionaire

Barbara Walters interviews Cirque Du Soleil founder Guy LaLiberte.

“One of the things that makes billionaires successful is their reaction to failure.”
– Robert Frank, Wall Street Journal

That is such a great quote. Maybe not in the context of billionaires, but in the context that to be successful there is usually a lot of risks and with that comes occasional failure. It’s how we react and use those failures that can help propel us to each new chapter and goal.

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