Monday, December 31, 2012

How Audio Multi-band Compressors Work

I get asked this question every other day and it is a tool I use for my mixes in the studio.

This is a great link that explains what it does and ways to use it.

I have used a multi-band compressors in mastering for film audio where I am dealing with peak levels with very dynamic sections.   The above link is worth a read and I will follow up with some examples of how I use it at Binary.

I am a big fan of UAD plug-ins.

Binary Recording Studio is a Audio / Video Production Company in Bellingham Wa.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Edelkrone new Slider PLUS+

I am very excited about this slider.  Something you can put in a backpack.  check it out!


Binary Recording Studio a Video / Audio Production Company in Bellingham WA.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Canon officially discontinued 5D Mark ll

Canon has officially discontinued the EOS 5D Mark II to continue with the 5D Mark lll. The 5d Mark ll possibly the most popular and influential DSLR in history.
I have spent many hours shooting with this camera and will continue using it for many of my projects.  It was a big game changer in video production. It has spun the industry into a direction that has put creative tools in our hands at a price that we have not seen before.
When Canon built this camera they had no idea that people would use it the way they did.  Serendipity?  

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Aliasing and moire video footage DSLR Camera’s

Aliasing / moire is a problem with DSLRs because the cameras were designed primarily to shoot still photos at much higher resolution than their video mode allows. So, in order to drop from 5616 x 3744 in still mode to 1920 x 1080, the camera skips lines which causes this effect.
I was on a shoot a few months ago and moire was picked up on the actors tweed shirt, ( a rainbow vibrating spiral)  I didn’t notice it while shooting but in post it showed up on a few clips
Now what I have been using when I think there may be a problem like this is a filter built by  Mosaic Engineering.  I gave them a call to ask them about any cropping issues etc...  they said there could be a problem with some wide angle lens.  I have used it with a 28mm lens with no problems.
At Binary we are very impressed with this filter and would recommend it for scenes that don’t allow alot of setup time to avoid the evil moire.
If you unclear of what moire effect looks like there are plenty of video examples online, check it out. 
                                          The filter made by Mosaic Engineering

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Audio Compressor least understood misused audio processors

Audio Compressor is one of the least understood and most misused audio processors.
Many people don’t have any idea how to use compression in their recording projects.  I have a friend with a home recording studio that said “ I don’t know what it does but I put it on my tracks, what does it really do?”
Well its something that is hard to explain in a few words but I will give it a try.
Compressors are specialized amplifiers used to reduce dynamic range--the span between the softest and loudest sounds.
There are four basic parameters on all compressors: compression ratio, threshold level, attack time and release time
Ratio: A way to express the degree to which the compressor is reducing dynamic range. Ratio indicates the difference between the signal increase coming into the compressor and the increase at the output level. A ratio of 10:1 would mean that it would take an increase of 10 dB coming into the compressor to cause the output to only increase 1 dB.
Threshold: Threshold is the level of the incoming signal at which the compressor amplifier changes
The compressor has no effect on the signal below the threshold level setting. Once threshold is reached, the compressor starts reducing gain according to the amount the signal exceeds threshold and according to the ratio control setting. Threshold level could be thought of as the "sensitivity" of the compressor.
Attack Time: Attack time refers to the time it takes the compressor to start compressing after threshold has been reached. Example: set a slow attack time on a snare drum so you get the hit of the snare dynamic .  If you have a fast attack time on a snare hit you will notice a diminished or shortened attack of the hit.
Release: Release time is the time the compressor uses to return to unity gain after the input signal has fallen below threshold.
This is a quick explanation to get you started.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Sync DSLR Camera footage with audio from another recording device.

Lining up your audio in the editor when in post with you footage and separate audio can sometimes be a hassle for some folks
Using a slate to mark sound for a take is a must when using a DSLR and recording dual-system sound.  In the studio here we just look for the click of the slate board in the audio line and line up the audio with the video clip, which has never been a problem.  One program,  Final Cut X has a audio sync feature that will line up your audio with the video footage but many of the other editing programs do not.
 Sometimes you may end up using many camera’s for a shoot with lots of data and sound.  If you are in a time crunch to get a edit out you may want this cool tool, PluralEyes 3.  Many editors use this program and I think it can be useful in a time crunch.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Free weekly music stems for your project!

Free weekly music stems for your project.  Luke Neumann is a music composer and film maker who has decided to share some of his music for you to use in your project.  I like his stuff so check him out at,

Binary Recording Studio is a Video / Audio Production Company in Bellingham Wa.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

What are the peak audio levels for DVD's

What are the peak audio levels for DVD production?  If you talk to 7 different audio engineers you will most likely get different answers.
I have produced audio post for film, video, broadcast and internet / streaming. Each final format of these delivery has different peak audio levels. Why? because each has a different output system or compression they use at the output stage.  These are the levels that we use in our studio.
 Here are some basic starting audio peak levels for these formats.  Using the current video editing software never push your peaks to - 0db for final render.

For film and broadcast which is delivered in 5 to 1, 7 to 1,  or stereo has a -12db level for dialog with the dynamic pecks not going over -6db ( explosions etc...)
Make sure you check the network you are delivering to because they often have their own requirements. Example: PBS is different then the Discovery Channel.

DVD’s you can safely have your peaks go to -6db or -4db.  With the internet,  like YouTube you can peak at -3db because they use a compression with their conversion to prevent distortion.

These are basic levels.  There are some other post audio methods that are used in the  process to maximize the dynamics without surpassing the peak levels. These are methods that are more then can be covered in this short article. Good luck and rules are made to be broken!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Why hasn’t the Blu-ray players gone mainstream?

Why hasn’t the Blu-ray players gone mainstream?  We all love the home movie experience with our big flat screen monitors.  Maybe they were never that good? 

Recent research has shown that a large percent of viewers still watch movies on disc, meaning there's hope for Blu-ray. On the other hand, after years of Hollywood studios fighting the trend, the future is clear: Movies and video are moving to online streaming services.  No more discs and store late fees. 
Simply rent or buy the movie online Netflix’s etc....US internet users watching online video to the tune of 182 million viewers in the last 12 months. It won't be as sharp a picture as that offered by a Blu-ray disc, but you don't have to get off the couch. 

There wasn't enough of a qualitative difference between the picture quality offered by an  DVD and that of a Blu-ray disc for most people. Sure, analysts can tell the difference, but it isn't  enough difference to make viewers sit up and take notice. It wasn't like the jump from VCRs to DVD players or from giant tube TVs to flat screens.
And now it may be too late for Blu-ray.   In the studio here we decided that it wasn’t worth investing in the Blu-ray delivery for clients.

                                                             How about bringing the Laser Disk back!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

ADR Audio Post at Binary Recording Studio

At Binary we do post audio work for film and many times it is ADR work.  We have done this for TV series, feature film and commercials.  ADR stands for Automated Dialog Replacement or Looping.
Sometimes the audio on set can not be used and the actors dialog need to be replaced.  Perfect example of this:    How come you can hear the actor's dialog so clear as they are standing next to a helicopter running, ADR replacement.

An actor watches the image repeatedly while listening to the original production track on headphones as a guide. The actor then re-performs each line to match the wording and lip movements. Actors vary in their ability to achieve sync and to recapture the emotional tone of their performance.  

James G. Stewart, head of post-production at RKO Studios, talks about one such challenge when working with Orson Welles on "The Magnificent Ambersons."

There were six principals involved in the dialogue, and I recorded each one separately to the picture. This was done without Orson being on the stage. I then combined these tracks and rerecorded them with the necessary motor noise of the old-type automobile. 
On running the result with Orson, he said "It's all right technically, but it's no good from the standpoint of realism. I don't feel that the people are in the automobile. There's no sense of movement in their voices; they're not responding to the movements of the car. The voices are much too static." 
So I went back to the recording stage and redid all of the lines. This time they were done with the actor or actress and myself seated on a twelve inch plank suspended between saw-horses. As we watched the picture I simulated the movement of the car by bouncing the performer and myself up and down on the plank. After a week of bumping, I had a track which I then rerecorded and ran for Welles. His only comment was "That's very good". Orson was not given to exaggerated praise of anyone's efforts. 

Binary Recording Studio a Video Production Company in Bellingham Wa.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

CD's are over, Digital downloads the future?

Nevertheless, it’s clear that the CD is on its last legs. With iTunes the largest music retailer in the U.S., having sold billions of songs, and with iPods selling like lattes in a neighborhood coffee house, the music industry is rethinking its distribution. Are we tired of devices that play disc that go around in a circle?  Many years ago sitting in the studio we would talk about the future of music delivery and dreamed about having the whole Beatles library of work on a computer clip or something like that.  We are a multi tasking mobile type people who are requiring a portable listening experience!  

Binary Recording Studio a Video Audio Production Company

Monday, December 10, 2012

Foley Sound for film at Binary Recoding Studio

We do audio post for films and video's. It can be a short or a feature we often end up doing foley sound effects.
We have a huge sound effect library but often they just don't work. When it is about timing, getting the right sound for the scene and the ambience foley sound will often be alot faster then editing together 400 footsteps in sync.

Here is a video of Gary Hecker doing his thing, the man behind the sound ( Empire Strikes to Robin Hood)

SoundWorks Collection: Gary Hecker - Veteran Foley Artist from Michael Coleman on Vimeo.

Binary Recording Studio a Audio / Video production Company

Friday, December 7, 2012

Binary Recording Lummi Tribal Nation Songs

The Lummi Tribal Nation of the NW. Salish indians are recording some of their songs, language and stories at Binary Recording Studio.  We are very pleased to be involved in this project with their rich unique voices and music.  Short video clip talking about the Flood Song.

  Binary Recording Studio a Audio/Video Production Company

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Orignal Music for your film

Many independent film makers come to Binary Recording Studio for their post audio work with no idea what to do for music for their films.
I have composed music and have purchased music rights from major artist for my films,  example: ("Hungry like a Wolf" Duran Duran)  so I understand publishing rights etc..... But I really enjoy working with other composers for the idea's they bring into the project.  This is a website that can hook you up with some composers.  I like how this site is laid out. It allows you to audition the composer with an example of your footage

   Binary Recording Studio a Audio/Video Production Company

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

World's Fastest Dolly Shot

Being a user of film and video technology, when I read a headline "World's fastest dolly shot" I am in for the read.  The use of high speed camera's and a dolly that is moving 60+ miles per hour allows us to enjoy something we have not seen before.  Enjoy this clip and how they made it.     To view content click here


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Canon 5d with pixel sensor spots

We received some video footage that was shot on a Canon 5d with dead pixel sensor spots on the footage.
It looks like little red dots and depending on the sensor problems it can be many or just a few.  This footage we were ask to work on had about 4 little red dots in a close cluster. Trying to build a mask to fix the problem was not working because of all the movement in the shot and hard to track.  We ended up fixing it using Photoshop CS6 which has a video editor in it now.  Its one frame at a time but the footage was saved use the clone feature.
Binary Recording Studio is a audio/video production company in Bellingham Wa.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Binary Recording Studio Filming at Chocolate Necessities

Binary Recording Studio is doing some filming with Kevin Buck at Chocolate Necessities in Bellingham Wa.  Kevin has been a chocolatier for about 30 years and it shows in the quality of his creations.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Seattle True Independent Film Festival Screening Binary Recording Studio Film

A great film festival STIFF in Seattle Wa.  Binary Recording Studio will be screening their new film "Balloon Man" May 12th. at the Grand Cinema.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Happy to be invited to screen my new film at this years STIFF FILM FESTIVAL 2012. May 4th-12th.
Hope to see you there. One of my favorite film festivals