Category Archives: Radio

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…”.

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.

AKG Perception mics in April 2009 issue of RAP

In the April 2009 issue of Radio & Production magazine I’m taking a look at the AKG Perception line of microphones.akg_perception_mics

AKG has a long and storied reputation for producing some of the best studio mics around — can you say 414? — but can their latest line of inexpensive Chinese-made microphones maintain that reputation? How well do they stack up against the competition?

The short answer is yes, mostly. Read RAP for the whole story.

US Senate Joins the Webcast Fray

Looks like SoundExchange and the RIAA will be defending their indefensible royalty rates on two fronts — the US Senate has introduced S. 1353, The Internet Radio Equality Act. Along with H.R. 2060 (which is approaching 100 co-sponsors), this bill would vacate the Copyright Royalty Board’s recent decision to charge webcasters both small and large a higher rate than is paid by even satellite radio (and certainly higher than what AM and FM currently pay).

Webcasters are still in need of public support, which you can show here.

Internet Radio Gets a Reprieve, HR 2060

The Copyright Royalty Board has moved the date on which its new, predatory royalty rates for streamers take effect from May 15th to July 15th. This makes it more likely that the Internet Radio Equality Act (H.R. 2060), currently moving through Congress, will indeed pass in time to head off this catastrophe for small webcasters.

Stay abreast of all the developments here, and show your support by taking action as suggested here.

Back from NAB

I don’t go to as many shows as I used to, and I forget how much work it really is to properly “do” a tradeshow like NAB. They’re claiming over 106,000 attendees, and I’m inclined to believe them.

So what was hot? The Red One digital camera, that’s what. Hands down, the hottest item at the entire show.

Rather than list all the feeds and speeds here, I’ll simply point you to their website where you can see it all for yourself. But I will tell you that the images produced by this thing are stunning. These guys really did it right, and the fact that they were able to get a “custom” codec included in Apple’s new Final Cut Studio 2 (one of the other “hots”) represents a coup. I’m much more a sound guy than a video guy, but I want a Red One digital camera, period. Continue reading Back from NAB

CRB + RIAA = 0 x NetRadio

Last Monday the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) declined to hear requests to reconsider its ruling that raises the royalties Internet radio stations pay to record labels by about 300%, retroactive to January 2006. It’s widely believed that this move will put small- and medium-sized webcasters into bankruptcy, and will essentially mean the end of Internet radio as we know it.

This is not about whether composers, artists, and labels should be paid — they should. It’s about how much to pay them. It’s about whether a nascent industry will be allowed to grow, independent of the corporate megaliths inadvertently formed by the ill-conceived Telecom Act of 1996. Continue reading CRB + RIAA = 0 x NetRadio

Are we done with Imus yet?

I really hope we’re done with it. His remarks were ugly and indefensible, and so was the MSM’s reaction and behaviors in response to it. There’s blood in the water, and it’s the blood of the media eating one of its own.

Everybody loses.