Monthly Archives: March 2011

Recording Bass Guitar with the RODE K2 and NTK

from RODE University

“Using the K2 on a bass amp is absolutely phenomenal. By getting it up close to the bass amp we get alot of that low frequency from the proximity effect whilst still getting an overall tone of the low, mids and highs.”


“Alot of engineers tend to use slight EQ curves sometimes to boost the highs or cut some of the mids. Using the NTK, you get all those frequencies so you can actually go in and carve out the frequency response as you see fit.”


JVC Releases World’s First 3D Camcorder

JVC today announced the availability of a new 3D consumer camcorder, the first on the consumer market that offers 3D video recording in Full High Definition. The new JVC GS-TD1 uses two camera lenses and two imaging sensors – one for each lens – to capture three-dimensional images in much same way that human eyes work.

3D video shot using the GS-TD1 can be viewed in 3D on any 3D TV. What’s more, the camcorder can shoot 3D video that can be burned to a Blu-ray disc or DVD-R for 3D playback on a compatible Blu-ray player.

The camcorder uses a F1.2 JVC 3D Twin HD GT Lens that sets a new standard in high-resolution lenses, with extra-low-dispersion glass for crisp, high-contrast images, as well as multiple aspherical lenses for fine image reproduction. The combination of the fast F1.2 lens and the back-illuminated CMOS sensors provides the GS-TD1 with outstanding low light performance. The GS-TD1 also features round iris diaphragms that enable beautiful bokeh effect (background blurring) shooting of video and stills alike.

Read the whole press release at the JVC site.
Be one of the first people in Australian to own a JVC 3D camcorder.

BlackMagic Design Videohub iPad App

Control your Videohub broadcast SDI routers from your iPad!

Videohub Control uses a familiar push button interface that’s fast and easy to use. Simply tap a destination button to show the connected source, and then change sources by pushing any of the source buttons! If you want to lock a destination, then double tap! For more destination and source buttons, just swipe!

Installation is simple, and all you need to do is select Videohub in your iPad settings to enter the IP address for your Videohub router. Be sure your iPad is on a wireless network that has access to your Videohub router first! To configure each interface button, just press and hold to select source numbers and icons.

Download the app here
Check out our BlackMagic Design Videohub range

Using the Edirol UA-25EX in your Home Studio

The Edirol UA-25EX was released a few years ago, but is still a great choice for use in your home studio, especially now as the price is within most home budgets.

from Roland

Rugged, compact, and feature-filled, the UA-25EX is a portable-interface powerhouse. Ideal for computer-based audio engineers who appreciate mobility, this 24bit/96kHz USB audio interface is equipped with pro-grade microphone preamps, a newly-developed analog compressor/limiter, and ground-lift functionality for studio and stage.

  • High-resolution 24bit/96kHz performance with pro-grade mic preamps
  • Onboard analog compressor/limiter with variable attack times and threshold control
  • USB bus powered, low-noise, wide-range power supply
  • Two mic preamps and XLR/TRS combo jacks with 48V phantom power, Hi-Z port for guitar-direct connection, S/PDIF optical I/O, MIDI in/out
  • Ground lift for studio and live stage use
  • Bundled with Production Plus Pack from Cakewalk By Roland



We have Australia’s best price on the Edirol UA-25EX

Top 50 Special Effects Shots

This is from an older, but excellent, post on Den of Geek listing the top 50 special effects ever.

Some highlights include:

46: The Fifth Element (1997) – Bruce Willis’s air-taxi pulls out of the garage.

The Fifth Element (1997) - Bruce Willis's air-taxi pulls out of the garage

The surfaces and lighting are flawless in this shot of the flying yellow-cab setting off for work, but crucially it’s the accuracy of the physics that sells it. As the cab brakes to avoid an oncoming vehicle, its weight settles back into its own suspension before forward-thrust takes it off again for a right turn. It’s a little thing, but it makes a huge difference, and is arguably one of the biggest barriers CGI has yet to confront. Another excellent example of correct weight and movement in an exit is the 180-degree turn that the Millennium Falcon makes when exiting the Death Star in Star Wars (original 1977 release). That’s ironic, since it’s turning in zero-gravity and should have no weight. But then, there’s no sound in space either.

40: Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) – Entrance to V’Ger

Star Trek The Motion Picture (1979) - Entrance to V'Ger

The entrance to the inner heart of TMP’s monstrous space-urchin follows the organic motif established so impressively in Douglas Trumbull’s (perhaps excessively-used) footage of V’Ger. The thing is, it’s very hard to tell how that organic aperture is actually working. Is it an iris of some kind or are the ‘petals’ actually changing shape? Truth is that the gate segments are actually cones spinning in unison. Since the camera remains perpendicular to the circular bases of the cones, the secret is hard to guess.

29: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) – Entering the airlock without a space-helmet.

2001  A Space Odyssey (1968) - Entering the airlock without a space-suit.

The pioneering rotoscoping and miniature work of Douglas Trumbull, Wally Veevers and Les Bowie often overshadows one of the most effective zero-gravity shots ever filmed – and, unlike on Apollo 13, the film-makers had no need to hire NASA’s ‘vomit comet’ to obtain it. In the movie Dave Bowman – Keir Dullea – is forced to re-enter a spaceship without a space-helmet, and does so by depressurising his lungs and blowing the explosive bolts of his EVA vehicle, which is pressed hard to the airlock. The shot was accomplished by positioning the camera directly beneath the pod and airlock set and ejecting a roped Dullea from the prop pod with an accompanying puff of propane. The angle hides the support wires, and the lack of any sound (until the cabin repressurises) is what really sells the shot. Arguably the ejection of the oxygen in one blast might have moved the pod away, but that’s perhaps an unreasonable quibble. There are too many other SFX shot contenders from 2001 to even begin to list them here.

11: Return Of The Jedi (1983) – ‘There’s too many of them!’

Return Of The Jedi (1983) - 'There's too many of them!'

To give some idea of how hard a composite matte shot with 40+ elements was in the days of photochemical special effects, check out our interview with John Dykstra. Even with ILM’s improved compositing techniques, getting that many elements to combine when the failure of only one could mean starting from scratch, is a huge achievement.

1: Jurassic Park (1992) – T-Rex investigates the light.

Jurassic Park (1992) - T-Rex investigates the light

One of the oldest clips from the world of bitmap-textured CGI animation, and – to my mind – simply the most convincing ‘impossible thing’ ever committed to celluloid by Hollywood. The segue between the withdrawing of Stan Winston’s animatronic head and the appearance of the CGI version is effective and seamless, playing both technologies to their strengths. The movement of the musculature in the T-Rex combines with the very prosaic illumination of the car headlights to sell the Rex, and the camera judder combines perfectly with the footfalls of the massive beast. Rain and darkness have sold many a special effect before, and they certainly do no harm here, but the result is pure movie history.

Read the full post at Den of Geek

Understanding Soft Light

Lowel Lighting have posted another excellent lighting article, this time explaining how soft lighting affects the subject of your photo/video.

Soft Light Explained
A soft light source would be one that appears larger in relative size than the subject being lit. Being larger than the subject, the light source is covering it from a greater angle and, as a result, filling in more of the potential shadow areas.


This effect is called wrap around lighting, because the coverage of the light source appears to wrap itself around the subject. A light source that is smaller than the subject cannot wrap light around it and fill the shadows.



While shadowless, or flat, lighting can be a legitimate lighting style, light that is too soft can rob an image of its sense of dimension and depth. The shot lit by the overcast sky is an example of this.

Don’t forget that your image is 2 dimensional, and you are giving the illusion of depth thru the creative use of shadows and contrast. These details are also what give the viewer clues about the form and textures in fabrics and food; or surfaces like weathered wood and rough stone.

Lighting is not always either hard or soft. There is a whole range of creative possibilities in between these 2 extremes. Note the visible differences in the shadows behind the 2 statue images above. Moving the soft light back created a smaller source, making the effect of the output harder and the shadows stronger.

Read the whole article here
Check out our Lowel Lighting systems

Convergent Design Unveils Gemini 4:4:4

Convergent Design today unveiled Gemini 4:4:4, a revolutionary uncompressed video recorder/player. Gemini enables videographers and cinematographers to capture at the ultimate video quality, in a small, low-power, lightweight package, at a very affordable price. Gemini features a built-in high-brightness 5.0” 800×480 24-bit LCD touch-screen for monitor and playback, and introduces an industry first – the ability to simultaneously record to two removable solid-state drives – creating instant backups; an invaluable insurance against lost footage, as well as, opening new workflow options.

Read the full release at the official Convergent Design site
Pre-order your Gemini now

Matrox Announces Matrox MXO2 Mini for Avid Media Composer 5.5

Matrox® Video Products Group today announced support for the newly released Avid® Media Composer® V5.5 editing system. Matrox MXO2 Mini turns a user’s HDMI screen into a professional-grade video monitor with unique color calibration tools. The small, lightweight, external box is ideal for file-based workflows in studio, on set, in the field and in OB vans. It provides HDMI, analog component, S-Video, and composite output and cross-platform support for Macs and PCs, laptops and workstations. Users can also take advantage of the Matrox Vetura Capture application for quick and easy capture to Avid DNxHD or other popular Avid-supported codecs. Media Composer V5.5 adds support for new 720p and 1080p workflows with Matrox MXO2 Mini including the ability to select PsF or true P output in 1080p modes.

“We spearheaded our openness initiative with the Matrox MXO2 Mini and this decision has proved very fruitful. This platform has given Avid Media Composer release 5.0 an excellent HDMI monitoring tool for digital workflows,” said David Colantuoni, Director, Product Management, Avid Technology. “In addition, our new release of Avid Media Composer 5.5 brings new format and frame rate support and unique H.264 delivery options with Matrox MAX technology. Our continuing relationship with Matrox is a benefit to our mutual customers.”

“Avid’s support of Matrox MXO2 Mini was the talk of NAB and IBC 2010, giving Media Composer users a very cost-effective HD monitoring solution at just $449,” said Wayne Andrews, product manager at Matrox. “But that’s not the only benefit of Matrox products for Avid users. The version of Matrox MXO2 Mini with the built-in MAX H.264 encoding accelerator option at just $849 lets Mac users deliver H.264 files for the web, iPad, iPhone, and other mobile devices, directly from Media Composer at speeds up to five times faster than software alone, without sacrificing quality. Matrox MAX even lets them deliver directly from Media Composer up to three times faster than other popular encoders.”

Matrox MXO2 Mini for Avid Media Composer V5.5 will be demonstrated at NAB 2011 in the Matrox booth SL2515.

Key features of Matrox MXO2 Mini for Avid Media Composer

  • Turns an HDMI screen into a professional-grade video monitor with unique color calibration tools
  • Small, lightweight, external box for use in studio, on set, in the field, and in OB vans
  • Cross-platform support – Mac and PC; laptops, desktops, and workstations
  • HDMI, analog component, S-Video, and composite output
  • Stereo RCA and up to 8 channels of HDMI audio output
  • Three-year hardware warranty and complimentary telephone support
  • Matrox MAX option for lightning fast H.264 encoding directly from Media Composer on the Mac

Buy the Matrox MX02 Mini for desktops or the Matrox MX02 Mini for laptops
View all our Matrox products