Samplitude Pro X in August 2012 Radio and Production Magazine

Samplitude Pro X

This month in Radio and Production we look at Samplitude Pro X, a Windows-based multitrack recording software package from Magix that is very complete and capable, yet in some ways very different from more popular audio recording packages. It has the same capabilities as Pro Tools and Audition — in some instances more — but its object-oriented design puts it in a separate class altogether.

Now that it’s in the same price bracket as Pro Tools and Audition, it makes sense to try the free 30-day demo version. You may just be motivated to switch. Get the August issue of RAP to find out more.

May AVT: Will Windows 8 Make Tablets More Useful?

In an article in the May 2012 issue of AVTechnology magazine, we muse on whether or not the Microsoft’s introduction of Windows 8, which includes a version that runs on ARM processors and promises to provide a Desktop environment which will handle the Office suite on a tablet.

The real question would seem to be “Will the ARM version of Office make tablets as useful for content creation as they are for content consumption?” Because otherwise the likes of Samsung, Nokia, and Dell will settle for what’s left of the market after Android and iOS have their share.

PromptBuddy reviewed in RAP February issue

PromptBuddy recordingI just finished reviewing the PromptBuddy product from Wells Park Communications, for the February issue of Radio & Production magazine.

Designed for use by voice artists producing IVR prompts and narrating e-learning projects, PromptBuddy records and automatically trims voice prompts from scripts. It works and is beyond simple to use. However, it does have limitations that may make it unsuitable for some projects. It does not compare to similar products like, for example, Word2WAV. It’s also a bit fiddly to use as a result of its compromises.

On the other hand, it’s inexpensive and does what it’s designed to do.

Three sets of headphones in the November 2011 of RAP

The Ultrasone Pro 750 headphonesWhen the last pair of longstanding favorite AKG K-240 headphones (the regular 240 model) finally gave up the ghost, it was time to go shopping. Yes, I’ve listened to some of the recent crop of celebrity-endorsed headphones — they were uniformly bad with sloppy, overhyped bass — and found them completely unsuitable for production work.

The most interesting production-grade headphones were the beyerdynamic DT 1350 Professional Headphones, the Ultrasone Pro 750s, and Shure’s SRH940. In the November issue of Radio and Production magazine I’ll tell you how I think they stack up.

Steve Jobs

Most of what needs to be said about Steve has already been said by others, and better than I could have done, so I won’t even attempt to add to it.

However, Steve Jobs has been partly responsible for my ability to make a living for the past 30 or so years. That must be acknowledged, and I am grateful for it.

Thanks you, Steve, and Godspeed.

HTTPS Everywhere

As most of you know (or certainly should know), a secure web page is one whose URL begins with https:// where the “s” after the “http” indicates that the page uses a secure HTTP protocol (http over ssl, actually) to display the contents of the page. For example, most webpages that accept credit card information are secure and use https, but most social media sites do not.

Sound Forge Pro 10 reviewed in November 2009 RAP

The November issue of Radio & Production magazine features my review of Sony Software’s latest release of Sound Forge, labeled Pro 10. You won’t find a lot of new features, but there are a couple that are compelling enough. No, the major improvements are in workflow and in the user interface, and these are substantial. I like it.

What’s kinda funny is that Sony pulled a quote from my review and used it in an email campaign advertising a free webinar on Forge 10:

Steve Cunningham, (Radio and Production Nov 2009) writes “Sound Forge Pro 10 is to version 9 as a 2010 Ford Mustang is to a 1969 Boss Mustang… still wicked fast, still sounds like business, but so much easier to drive.”

Don’t misunderstand me… I like publicity as much as anyone, and the pull is a direct quote — yup, I wrote that. What’s amusing is that at no time did I ever speak to anyone at Sony Software, either before or after I wrote the review. Furthermore, I bought the upgrade and paid for it myself (which I think is as it should be). But my contact info is in there at the end of the article. I’d have thought they’d send a note asking if I objected to their use of it, or at least telling me they were going to use it.

Makes me go “hmmm…”.

The most exciting announcement at AES 2009…

The 2009 Audio Engineering Society Convention (aka the 127th AES) in New York City got underway today in the Jacob Javits Center. Early reports from attendees include comments about how much smaller the show is than in the recent past — less than half the exhibit space — which is understandable in the current economy.iPhone Help Wanted

We all know that the recording industry is undergoing a painful transformation into, well, many of us are not sure exactly what it will become. But times are definitely tough… one observer sent me a picture of what they consider the most exciting announcement to be seen so far, shown here.

It speaks volumes, doesn’t it?

Radio: just another iPod app

Microsoft is comparing their new, upcoming Zune HD to Apple’s iPod Touch. In an interview with c|net’s Ina Fried, the GM of Zune global marketing went so as far as to say “This device is created to go head to head with the iPod Touch.” That’s debatable, according to Christopher Breen writing in MacWorld online.ZuneHD

I say, big deal. So the Microsoft Zune flack gets dissed by the iPod/iPhone/iSteve flack. Whatever. What is interesting is the one Zune HD feature that Mr. Breen thinks not much of a feature at all:

Radio. HD Radio, at that. Here’s his quote:

“…Microsoft, from all appearances, is jamming its fingers in its ears and sing-songing “iPod! iPod! iPod! We have radio, iPod doesn’t!” as if radio, of all things, is the killer app (which, if you really want it on your iPod touch, can be had via one of a handful of apps).”

The inference is clear and comes right out of Jerry Del Colliano’s playbook. Radio? That old thing? What’s next? A built-in ashtray and cigarette lighter? Goodness, why did Microsoft even bother?

This devaluation of radio is not surprising, coming from an iPod fan. However, what I find jarring is how quickly radio has become just one of 10,000 other 99 cent apps that can be installed on your iPod.

That is, if you really want it in the first place.