Came across this little video via Bobby Owsinksi’s blog. For many, many years I was coiling my cables the wrong way and suffering for it every time I went to uncoil them and use them. You see, if done properly you can uncoil your cables and have no tangles, snags, etc. This is not only efficient when going to mic up a cabinet or whatever, it also removes frustration, or as I call it.. the cable woes.
Me and cables have an ongoing feud and always have. I hate cables. Almost as much as I hate paper (I’m a digital guy). Their both messy and and cause tons of frustration and chaos at points. But, this little knowledge of how to coil a cable, helps reduce the headache and is one more weapon to use against my nemesis, the cable.
I recently took the plunge and bought IK Multimedia’s ARC 2 System for my project studio. What exactly is this, you ask? Well, allow me to explain.
ARC stands for Advanced Room Correction and a while back I wrote a post where I touched a bit on it while discussing room treatment for my home studio. At the time of writing that post I even reached out to mixing guru, Bobby Owsinksi, regarding his thoughts on the product. He wasn’t too much a fan, but for good reason. I agree with his comment in that one should use acoustic treatment first and foremost and attempt to correct any room issues that way before splurging on some digital gizmo to do it for you. So, I did just that. I added some acoustic treatment first and foremost and it knocked out a large portion of my frequency issues. Hooray! However, my budget and expertise in room treatment is limited and lo and behold, there was still some nagging frequencies roaming my room. Like most home studios, my room is not perfect and it would take some major time, money and know-how to knock out the remaining frequency issues via acoustic treatment. Enter ARC 2, to polish it all off. The theory is this gizmo will tell me where my room acoustics are now that the treatment is in place and correct the remaining issues for me.
So, how does it work? Essentially, you set up the accompanying omni-directional microphone and it picks up the sequential “chirps” that the ARC software spits out of your speakers and uses this to measure your room acoustics. After each set of “chirps” you move the microphone around the listening spot you are attempting to measure. Once all of those measurements are done, ARC then analyzes the data and gives you a measurement reading of your room acoustics. You’ll see this measurement reading once you open your DAW and instantiate the ARC plugin at the end of your mixing chain.
You want to instantiate the correction at the end of the mix on your Master Channel, as I’ve done here, and be sure to remove it once you are ready to render your mix to mp3 or the like.
The process of using ARC 2 can seem a bit convoluted, but its actually very, very simple and quick to do. Here are a series of videos that do a better job of explaining the process and the product than I could ever do.
The idea is that ARC EQ’s your mix to eliminate the troubling frequencies that essentially hinder your listening space when mixing. So, if you have a huge bass buildup around 300Hz, it will EQ that out in an attempt to make a flat EQ response coming out of your monitors (ideal for mixing). That buildup at 300Hz is the bass bouncing around your room and back to your ears, not the actual mix. If you take that mix and listen through headphones you’ll not hear that bass buildup. So theoretically, by using ARC 2 you won’t be upping the levels of your higher frequencies in order to compete with the lower frequencies that aren’t really present in your mix in the first place. Thus, helping you achieve a better mix more efficiently.
At any rate, I did the measurements the other night and I must say that once I put this plugin on my mix there was a definite audible difference. In fact, I liked it because upon bypassing it I could hear all the bass buildup that it was removing. This can be seen in the photo below.
My room frequency is the orange line. The white line is the correction by ARC. Notice the buildup of bass between 50Hz – 300Hz. Also, notice how unstable my room acoustics are. Ideally you don’t want ARC working that hard to give you a flat response. I really need to eliminate as much of that instability as possible to bring it closer to a flat EQ response before adding ARC.
I don’t think my home studio is too far off from your average home studio in regards to the EQ measurement I received: plenty of low end. Ideally, one would want to just add the treatment needed to fix the issues and not mess with any fancy plugins in your DAW. In this ideal scenario, you would just use ARC 2 as a measurement tool only, not a correction tool. But, as I’ve stated earlier, this ideal scenario is beyond most home studio budgets and know-how, which makes the combo of room treatment and ARC 2 a great alternative. I’m pleased with the results so far. ARC 2 does what it says and its actually well-priced. You can pick one up here.
I recently finished up a cartoon that will be used in an educational video at AIMS Education Foundation. It’s a 1st Grade math video and this particular cartoon is to help exemplify in visual form what the on-camera talent is explaining to the viewer.
So, being geared to 1st Grade means the art must be simple and fun which tends to make cartooning easier. This is the longest one I think I’ve done yet and it’s not even that long. It’s amazing how much time is needed to draw and ink all the art that goes into a cartoon. The actual animation doesn’t take that long, thanks to Adobe After Effects and the like. Inking is really the longest process, which I do in Adobe Illustrator.
At any rate, this first video shows the rough animation using just the drawn art I did with pencil and paper which was scanned into Adobe Photoshop to tweak and then placed into Adobe After Effects to animate.
That rough was then used as my guide for the final which is below. I used the same After Effects project and just swapped the old art with the new inked art. However, this always poses a few issues in that the images don’t typically swap seamlessly, so tweaking and reanimating here and there often occurs.
I believe this project took me a couple of weeks if not three weeks. I’m not entirely sure, but again, the animating was done around 2 or so days; whereas the inking of the art took 1 1/2 weeks or so. I love doing this sort of stuff and always invite the opportunity to do some animating. I hope you enjoyed watching as much as I enjoyed making.
Oh, and before I forget, the lovely on-camera talent in this video is Erin Heasley.
The animator of this piece is Micah Buzan a local in Kansas whom my brother met not too long back in a life drawing class. His animation is all hand drawn and has a very ethereal, esoteric feel to it. Reminds me of a mash up of 70s experimental animation and 30s Disney.
At any rate, he apparently won some contest to make an animation to go with the Flaming Lips song ”Look… The Sun Is Rising”. I’m taken aback at how much synchronization he has to use on something like this. According to the description, this is the result of over 2000 drawings. wow. At any rate, he’s quite talented and thinks a lot differently than I. Enjoy.