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give in to the tech side

For a long while now I've avoided writing about techy things on my blog, mostly out of respect for my regular readers. But y'know.. I am a techy type person. A geek, a nerd, a whatever-you-want-to-call-me.

With that said, I'm going to write about some tech stuff. So there. 😛

Before I do, always remember:

Q: When is a geek not a geek?

A: When you have to ask one for help.

Right then. On to the tech.

Follies with Apple QuickTime Pro

QuickTime Pro is really ticking me off. Does it work? Yeah. Does it do what it's supposed to do? Yeah. Does it do it fast? Absolutely not.

As I've come to find out, when you try to encode an iPod-specific file (m4v) from a video (avi), it takes f-o-r-e-v-e-r for it to complete. I did some research on this and yes, it's the software's fault - not Windows, not AMD, and not anything else. It's the frickin' software.

I only encode m4v's because my job requires it. Else I wouldn't bother. Well.. that's not true. I probably would bother, but I still don't have to like it. 🙂

Journey into the world of green screen

I finally have video editing software that does green screen easily, as in you shoot video of someone standing in front of a screen that's colored bright green, and then substitute that green for something else.

An example of a green screen in action is when you watch your local news on television and see the weather guy standing in front of the map. He's not actually standing in front of one. Rather, he's standing in front of a green screen that's completely blank, and the map is applied to it. What the weather guy is actually looking at is a small television monitor that's off-screen to give the appearance he's looking at the map. Got it? Good. Let's move on.

So anyway, I've got this software that'll do green screen overlay and I'm all sorts of happy about that. Reason? It used to cost thousands of dollars to do it. Now it costs only hundreds, and you don't need a big studio either. Cool, eh?

My first run with green screen overlays will be with an upcoming DVD that I'm doing for my job. Should be interesting, to say the least.

Alesis Fusion book will be completed soon

I wrote about this already, but here's a follow-up. The book is coming along, and I think the end result will be a really decent product. I write in a way that's much easier to understand compared to stock reference manuals.

I've noticed the Fusion has attracted a lot of people who've never used a workstation synth before, mainly due to price. If I'm not mistaken, I think the Fusion was the first true-blue workstation to bust the $1000 mark in a full 61-key setup. The new-to-workstation players get real intimidated by something this technical. And yes, it is intimidating. Safe to say that it takes a while to get comfortable programming sequences into the system among other things. In addition, most don't realize that workstation synths can, in essence, do almost everything. It takes months to learn this stuff.

However..

My goal is to shave that down to weeks, and for some, days.

The book I'm writing concentrates primarily on getting your music idea into the synth. After all, nothing is more frustrating than having an idea only to fight with your synth just to get it in there. And by the time you finally do, all the energy you had is gone and you just say "fuggit".

With that in mind, I inform on how to push ideas into the sequencer and multitrack recorder really, really fast. I include everything with illustrations. (Yes! Pictures! ROCK!)

With the tutorials are explanations of what things are and what they do, such as the quantize function. Newbies to workstation synths have no idea what that word means or how it applies. To us guys who've been playing for years, it's second nature to know what that is. As I've been writing this book, I constantly remind myself do not assume the reader knows what [this, that, the other thing] is.

I think this is going to come out a-okay. Should be super helpful to all who get a copy of it when it's done.

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