Max4Live device for using MIDI Shaper plugin in Ableton Live 9

Posted by Rick Burnett on March 21st, 2013 filed in Ableton Live
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The beauty of Max4Live is in augmenting the capabilities of Live in ways not imaged by the authors, and when using the MIDI Shaper plugin by Cable Guys I found that the work-around required to control internal synths/effects was a bit more than I wanted to endure.  So, not one to leave a challenge unanswered, I took to modifying Live’s “Expression Control” max patch to something specific for controlling MIDI Shaper.

For version 1.0 I created 18 slots for routing between a CC and a parameter.  For those interested in more details and/or downloading this patch, go here.


Bursters … or how I lost my head …

Posted by Rick Burnett on April 19th, 2010 filed in General News
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Once again I have delved into the acting world as an extra in Christopher Moore’s new short horror film called ‘Bursters’.

My role was ‘Cell Phone Guy’ which is now up on IMDB.  This was an awesome short to be involved in and I got to work with many people, including Todd Tinkam and Jim McQuad.  In addition to having my amazing lead part in this production (I jest), I also provided credit music for this film as well:

Bursters Credits

I can’t wait to work with Christopher Moore again, he has some great projects in the works from what I have seen.

Here is a shot of me during filming by Camden Watts.

The initial screening of the film went over well and I look forward to seeing how well it does at the Cape Fear Film Festival in about a week.


And so the score was settled…

Posted by Rick Burnett on April 19th, 2010 filed in General News
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Finished up last week another score for the short film BOUT by Mike Chrisco.  I really enjoyed working on this film as it really touched in some areas I had not worked before.  Most of my material has been either horror or science fiction.  Needless to say, I look forward to seeing the final product.  The cinematography and color grading were phenomenal.

Initially I wrote some credits music that didn’t fully fit with the feeling of the end of the story, as with short films, scoring seems to be quite a bit different.  Needless to say, I am happy with it and maybe it will get used for something else:

Old Credits for BOUT

Going back through the film a few times, I changed direction and went down this path instead.  It definitely adds more closure to the end of the story and really sums up the feeling at the end:

New Credits for BOUT

Writing music for film is such an amazing experience.  I now understand why Danny Elfman has done so much of this work.


Music Video Shoot: Hit and Run by Jessica Ridley

Posted by Rick Burnett on January 25th, 2010 filed in Hit and Run Music Video
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This last weekend I had the opportunity to work with All Aces Media as a camera operator for Jessica Ridley’s upcoming video for her song Hit and Run to be shown on CMT. The crew and actors were great to work with as well as working with Jessica Ridley, a writer/singer from Canada who is making her US debut shortly.

This is the first paid job with the Canon 7D and I have to say, I am absolutely impressed with the results.  As I have mentioned, the 7D does have limitations that have to be watched out for, but working around those, we were able to shoot some amazing video without having to use a ton of lights or additional equipment.

Here are a few screen grabs from the video I shot during the day:

There is no color correction to these shots.  The last shot was near the end of the day, I’d have liked a bit more light, but we really didn’t have a choice at that point.  In any case, I am really happy with the shots.

The first shot was done with the Sigma 30mm F1.4 lens.  The last shot was done with the Sigma 10mm-20mm Ultra Wide angle (F4.5) and was at 10mm zoom.  I am really happy with the Sigma lenses.

We have some additional shoots coming up soon that I am looking forward to shooting.  I was very happy with the follow focus I used, although I was having trouble with the gear ring on the stock Canon lens that came with my 7D.  I need to figure out how to fix that.  In addition, I think a Pelican case might be necessary for the lens as they are VERY wide and unruly with the rings on them.


Filming with the 7D, Compositing and After Effects…

Posted by Rick Burnett on January 4th, 2010 filed in General News
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As it has been quite quiet on here lately, that is because most free time has been spent outdoors shooting video or indoors playing with it.  The 7D is truly a camera to behold.  As I have mentioned before, it certainly has its limitations, but which camera system doesn’t?  Knowing them, working around them, and avoiding them is your only choice.

A few words before I get into too much detail.  First, shooting in 1080p or 720p with a very deep focus WILL cause aliasing/moire patterns in locations where there are lots of straight lines, like buildings, power lines, stripes on cars.  I shot a lot of footage with deep focus and didn’t realize I was having the problem until I got home.  I am planning on ordering the Caprock 2.0 filter to see if I can minimize this.  Micah Moore, from MediaTribe, also has a 7D and shared a little trick with me.  Before starting a shot, use the zoom buttons on the top left to not only get critical focus, but to also check anything in the scene to see if you are getting these problems.  Since I use the Sigma 30mm F1.4 lens, which in combination with the 7D has horrible night time auto focus, I manual focus everything.  Most of the shots in the next few videos are either the 30mm F1.4 or the stock lens (for the day shots in the snow).

Also, if your lens does not have image stabilization, you should tripod as much as possible.  The more narrow the lens, the more this gets worse and worse for jello or skew.  It’s manageable, but be aware of this.  I picked up a Velbon DV-7000 tripod and have been extremely happy with it.  The fluidness of the head works well with the 7D.

I also bought an adjustable ND filter for the F1.4, and it seems to work real well for static shots.  I have not spent a lot of time doing pans or tilts with it yet, but that is coming.  I am worried that since it is made with two circular polarized filters that if there is glass or water in a shot, it’s going to cause problems.  More info to come after testing.  It may be better to just buy a good set.  The 7D is extremely sensitive to light (which is good), so if you want to use the F1.4 during the day with a very shallow DoF, you are going to need to ND filter it.

Here are two test videos we shot, one during the day and one at night.  Both were just run on the fly with whatever was around.  We have shot more test video as well and will be putting that together as we continue to test out more scenarios.  We want to get more daytime shots as well.

Untitled from Media Tribe on Vimeo.

7d Night Tests - Available light from Media Tribe on Vimeo.

Given the fact we used NO lights and NO reflectors, and also did NO post work on the second video, I am just floored at the quality.

Outside of this I have been working on some compositing.  I am doing a very intricate promo video for Relativity in the essence of the movie.  In doing that, I wanted to force myself to get into the finer details of compositing.  I’ve done A LOT of 3D work in the past with 3D Studio and Maya, but have not spent enough time in After Effects honing the quality of results.  I have used quite a bit of Motion as well (and am using it in this project), but I will be honest, AE is better in my opinion.  It’s just more powerful for anything detailed.  Sure, you can pull off some quick stuff with Motion, and it looks great, but you start trying to push into it and it will bring your computer crying to its knees!

Here is a frame from downtown Raleigh of a pan shot that I took.  I am creating a composite of downtown Raleigh that will eventually have a Dark City / Bladerunner feel to it.  I did this with a pan on the Boylan St bridge:

There was a little stuff below, but in this shot I had already created a clip mask to just get rid of it.  There is train tracks below, but it was REALLY dark and didn’t pick up a lot of light.  Given this was when I first got the camera, I think I could get a bit better video quality, but I was happy enough with it for what I was doing.  Without the Caprock, and clearer focus would have caused aliasing/moire.

Now, here is a frame with composited buildings from a multitude of public domain sources that I just roughed in the color correcting for now.  In addition, I created a cloud map for the sky which is also not colored.  The water at this point is Psunami which a professional plugin from Red Giant that is used in MANY film productions.

Psunami generates some AMAZING waves, but the one problem I have with them is the texture mapping of images to the surface makes no sense.  I have it off here, but what happens is that it perspectively alters the image and reflections from buildings are a mirror image in water and NOT perspectively drawn.  To me, this makes absolutely no sense that the plugin does not allow for rotation of a texture into the water, but, because of this, it made it useless for me.  I tried a million different combinations and tests but nothing ever felt right.  Then, using some water tutorials online, I used my own methods with fractal noise, which produced this:

And there you have it, which I am absolutely amazed with the outcome of.  And all of this is animated, so it looks even more breathtaking than what you see here.  For you AE heads reading this, I pre-composed the city, flipped it over, then used a mask to remove some of the bottom from it.  I then used a solid layer with a gradient above it and used this to fade out the layer using the alpha matte from luminance of layer above. Next, I created a gaussian blur on the flipped image and only allowed it vertically so the lights spread into the water more.  Next I created a 3D solid layer and put the fractal noise effect on it.  Again, I pre-composed this because the displacement mapping layer will only use original layer content and no effects.  The fractal noise I set up to look like waves (there are good tutorials for this online).  I added displacement mapping to the flipped image, using the lighteness of the pre-composed fractal noise, added some gaussian blur to match the rest of the footage and used the film grain to give it a bit of noise as well.

This is still very early in the stages, but wanted to provide some examples of using the 7D with compositing and such.  Hopefully the whole video will be done before too long.

In addition to these tests, I am in the process of building a slider AND a dolly and I’ll have more information on that soon as well.

I know I say it a lot, but I have to say it again, these are exciting times for the film industry.


The World of Digital Film making…

Posted by Rick Burnett on December 4th, 2009 filed in General News
11 Comments »

In the world of filmmaking, it goes almost without saying that 2010 will be the year of some amazing digital technology.  I have most closely been following the release schedules for the Red Scarlet cameras and have enjoyed the detailed conversations that Jim Jannard has had with us potential Scarlet customers.  November 30th was the next installment of the news for the Scarlet series and at this point in time, the Scarlet 2/3 Fixed looks like May/June.  I still think this might be a bit aggressive, but nevertheless, I will hopefully be ready for that purchase then.  If you haven’t seen how these cameras look, here is a render of one configuration from Red.

Red Camera Mockup from Red Digital

Red Camera Mockup from Red Digital

That said, we have a need now for three shorts, some demo footage, and two features we’d like to either finish or at least run some test footage.  This has led me to the decision to get a Canon 7D to use for video instead of the D90 which had extreme skew and image jello.  The 7D has a smaller sensor than even the D90, however, the quality of the sensitivity is amazing.  It’s as good in low light as the 5DMarkII which is unbelievable.  Not to mention, there is actually control of the aperture, shutter speed and exposure which you cannot do on the D90.  We have welcomed Ben Spicher into our production group who has a 5DMarkII and we’ll be using these cameras along with a few other 7Ds and an HV30 for some crazy stuff I will be talking about soon.

By itself, the 7D is not so user friendly with regards to holding it, or the fact that the back image is really hard to get to.  While I am not fixing that just yet, I have in route some solutions to fix some of the issues, and outside of that, I am waiting for some code to be written that will help me overcome some of the limitations.  Also, if you’d like to save some money purchasing one of these, Best Buy carries them and online you can find many 10% downloadable coupons.  In addition, although out of stock, if you search for Dell through Bing.com, you can get a 20% discount!

Canon EOS 7D

Canon EOS 7D

Handling

One of the biggest problems I have with a DSLR for video is holding it.  It’s not very versatile.  Looking at the available options, many of them are in my opinion way too expensive.  The Red Rock stuff is beautiful, no doubt, and highly configurable, I just think the cost is over the top.  Same thing with the Cinevate options as well.

For people looking to spend very little, I recommend checking out the indiSquare from http://www.indifocus.com.  I have their rail system and it’s a decent construction and an excellent value for the money, no doubt.  For $99 there is NOTHING I have seen close to what they give you.

indiSquare

indiSquare

I plan to use their rail system when I eventually decide on a matte box.  I actually think that I am going to go with their matte box eventually if we are having sun problems outdoors.

If you want something a little more thought out with a lot of holes for mounting and such, then I recommend the U-boat commander.  I didn’t need the quick release system do I bought the direct mount, and I cannot wait for this to come in to work with.  Here is some pictures from their website at http://www.idcphotography.com/kart/

U-Boat Commander Type 2 Configuration

U-Boat Commander Type 2 Configuration

I did not get the viewfinder, but everything else in the image I purchased along with some extra shoe mounts as well.  For $350 this was by far the cheapest option, and I honestly feel the best.  I wanted an above handle (which can be used at the bottom as well) and two side gripes.  This thing was WELL thought out and there are some great videos on the site to explain a lot of the thoughts and other options for it.

My only gripe was I did not want metal handles as it has.  To fix this, I just did what Red Rock did and found some good grips to go on the different parts.  Red of course to make it look nice.  These are by OURY and seem to get pretty good reviews.  I purchased two sets of the mountain bike variety (so I will have an extra).  You can find these online for about $9 a set which is not bad.

OURY Mountain Bike Grips

OURY Mountain Bike Grips

ND filtering

Given the camera is not absolutely the best in high light conditions, this is easily solvable with ND or Neutral Density filtering.  It allows you to open the aperture up and get some great shallow DoF and lets you run the shutter speed a little longer to get motion blur.  This is VERY important for cinematographic shooting.  Given I do not have a matte box yet, I cannot use square filters.  Instead, for now, I went with round screw on 72mm for the default lens that comes with the 7D.  Initially I was going to buy a set of 2 4 and 8 ND filters, but then I saw the results of a variable ND filter using two polarizing filters.  This works perfect.  Many results from Vimeo show that it is NOT sub par.  There are a few companies that sell them but I did not read one negative review about the one produced by Light Craft Workshop who claim to be the first to produce it.  You can purchase from their website at http://www.lightcraftworkshop.com/site/Home.aspx however, they are all over eBay and that is where I bought mine.  They claim the outer class is larger to prevent vignetting on wider lenses.  We do have access to wide lenses so we will be able to test this.

Fader ND using 2 Polarized filters

Fader ND using 2 Polarized filters

For the cost of $93 you just cannot beat that.  I hope it has markers on it to indicate the stops (or just ND values), but I imagine I will probably have to figure out how to do that myself.  Moreso for repeatability.  Although, from some of the usage models I have seen, this might not be necessary if I just remember the ISO, shutter speed and aperture that I use.

Sound

This is actually one of the weakest parts of the 7D camera.  Monaural on the camera, and automatic gain plus noisy amps.  On the 5DMarkII it had the same problem, but Magic Lantern firmware upgrade over at http://magiclantern.wikia.com/wiki/Magic_Lantern_Firmware_Wiki solved this along with additional hardware for the 5DMarkII.  I anxiously await that code ported to the 7D.  For now, audio will be directed into a Sony PCM-D50 recorder and I will be using the onboard audio to sync it up for now.

Sony PCM-D50

Sony PCM-D50

The microphones on this work fantastic and will be utilized for non-boomed recordings.  I use this recorded to get ambient sounds and it’s very low noise floor and long battery life are amazing.  A lot of people use the Zoom recorders like the H4, but I found that for ambient (like room tone) the noise was too high if I needed to add gain.  This recorder however surpassed them all.  I do need a windsock for it.

That said, along with this I want to use XLR for use with a Sennheiser boom mic that Andy Coon uses.  For that I was torn initially between the options from Beachtek or Juicedlink, however, in looking at some of the spectral results and the fact it has been very well tested with the magic lantern firmware, I plan on getting the JuicedLink CX231 from http://www.juicedlink.com/

JuicedLink CX231

JuicedLink CX231

This model can provide phantom power.  The important thing to note here is that I can use this with either the Sony PCM-D50 to add XLR inputs to it and use other (boom) mics OR I can use this with the 7D with the future magic lantern firmware.  Their firmware will turn off the automatic gain AND the gain in the camera which means the juicedlink will provide the gain.  This will be the ultimate solution eventually.  This version runs about $299 but that is cheap compared to Sony’s version of the same thing for just the PCM-D50 (and it works better than the Sony option).

Memory

I wanted to take a quick second as well to talk about Compact Flash.  The prices at local stores are so high, it was not even funny.  I’m talking 4x to 5x times the cost.  You do not need the fastest cards to record video, however, be careful because not all cards work as rated and some different sized cards from the same line do not work well.
After scouring the internet for hours reading every review I could find, the best choice was the Kingston 32G 133x CF cards.  They look like this and can be found all over online for about $75.  This is an excellent price, so I got two.  Everyone has talked highly of these cards so I’d recommend them as well.

Kingston 23G 133x CF

Kingston 23G 133x CF

Also, if you have FireWire, get a FW reader, preferably FW800.  32 Gig is a lot of data and most people have commented that USB just doesn’t transfer fast enough.  Of course, having multiple cards is the best bet.  I’ve not done side by side comparisons, but I bought a FW800 CF reader just in case.

Monitoring

This is definitely another weak spot with the DSLR setup.  I don’t like using a viewfinder, I prefer a monitor so I did not buy any viewfinder options.  iDC photography above makes one as does a very popular one from Zacuto.  Instead I do plan on using a mounted HD monitor that provides false color and other function for helping with focus, exposure, etc.  While I do like the monitors made by IKAN, without doubt I will be working into the budget a Marshall

marshall V-LCD70P-HDMI

marshall V-LCD70P-HDMI

This particular model has been on my want list since working with the HV30.  It has so many features, so easy of calibration, battery options, connectivity.  It is amazing.  This will make monitoring video a no-issue.

Matte Box and Follow Focus

I don’t do run and gun at the moment for anything, and I need to experiment with where we are shooting to see if I need a Matte Box.  I will need a follow focus and I have started building one, but the one at indiFocus along with their Matte Box looks like the path I might end up taking.  For now, these can wait.  The price range is so huge it is amazing in these categories.

That said, if you want a limited feature matte box, the Lee boxes are pretty cheap, but have no flags.  They look light so they might not be a horrible option

Lee Hood

Lee Hood

Although I have to say, I really think the indiFocus one is the best for the price.  I’d need to look through more details on it and understand the issue with the side flags, but with a swingout arm for changing lens, this thing is really unbeatable at that price.

indiMatte

indiMatte

And while I am at it, they also came out with a follow focus that is cheaper than ANYTHING I have ever seen (including the one I have been building).  This one will get SERIOUS consideration!

indiFocus20

indiFocus20

Final thoughts

Most of the thought process here has been use the 7D for very shallow DoF.  It can have problems with Wobble/Jello and rolling shutter/skew, but we are going to work around these.  This is one of those issues where using the ND filters will cause us to run in settings that these things will be a little worse, so we’ll have to find that right balance.  There are plugins available to help us fix some of this in post, but it wont always be the case.  Also, with the H.264 compression in the camera, we’ll have to worry about color correction issues.  One solution is to record out the HDMI from the card playing back internally.  This seems like a pain and would require either two cameras or a lot of cards (cause down time is unacceptable during shooting schedules).  I think we can live with it.  Eventually the Scarlet Fixed will probably be our action camera and the 7D for more static shots or very low light shots.  Also, we are using the HV30 since it does HD for whatever crazy location or configuration we want to try.  You can put this camera in record and toss it around even.  It’s light, cheap, and has a GREAT picture quality.  Canon really knows how to make a camera.

For those who want to rent a professional rig with the 7D for testing it might want to head over to http://www.abelcine.com/, here is one of their full rental 7D kits.  That just looks awesome.

AbleCineTech 7D Cinema Rental Configuration

AbleCineTech 7D Cinema Rental Configuration

We’ve got a lot of testing to do so in the days to come, be prepared for sample footage.  This includes shooting some of the props for Relativity. I hope our research will help others in this emerging field!


Celtx and the disaster that was almost…

Posted by Rick Burnett on September 24th, 2009 filed in General News, Relativity
5 Comments »

For the record, being someone who has done a lot of software development and support, things happen, and many times those things are outside the control of the program you wrote and/or are specific to some condition happening on the machine at the time.  Given the extensive research I have done on Celtx, I have not come across someone else who had the same thing happen to them that happened to me.  Therefore, since I cannot repeat it either, I’m going to let it slide and give a huge thanks to the Celtx developers who were amazingly responsive in helping me.

The simple problem was, I hit save then exited Celtx.  I reopened the document and I got the spinning beach ball of death.  I waited awhile and saw nothing, so I killed the application and restarted it.  Somehow my script had been overwritten by an incomplete set of files and it would no longer open.  You can imagine the panic that ensued at this point.

Maybe during me force quitting the application, the OS did something to the file.  I am done speculating on this point, but from this I learned this major lesson.  Back up more often.  I also use a service called Drop Box to keep off-site copies of very important work.

The crazy part is some quick thinking on my part allowed me to save my script.  In case anyone else gets into a situation where the file is gone, or destroyed, if you act quickly, you can possibly save it as well.

I ran a utility called Data Rescue II on my drive and let it scan all the free space (which takes just over an hour on my 320Gbytes drive with 80Gbytes of free space). I took a look in the CBR directory it creates which had an ARCHIVE directory containing a ZIP directory under there. If you did not know, a Celtx file is just a renamed zip file.  There was a few hundred zip files. One thing I noticed was that the majority of the files were the exact same size 24.1 KB. Well, knowing I had set the autosave to 5 minutes and I had left this script up in Celtx on my machine for about 2 days, I figured this HAD to be the file. This would mean it wrote out the script probably a good 500+ times.  Of course, I had to be correct on which one I wanted to undelete since the demo of Data Rescue II lets you recover ONE file of <5Mbytes. I picked one of them and recovered it, and sure enough, there is the script! I checked and it has ALL the changes I had made.

Hopefully if anyone else loses their script, they can use this method to get it back. Data Rescue II does cost, but depending on how much time you spent, it is probably well worth it.  Also, Time Machine is another good alternative, or running daily backups on your machines (incremental of course). But there you have it. Now back to being productive.


Final pass at Relativity script and a move to celtx script editor…

Posted by Rick Burnett on September 23rd, 2009 filed in Relativity
4 Comments »

After working on loglines, taglines and synopsis for the film, I’ve gone back through and cleaned up the script with all the changes to shape the story into a cohesive idea and to incorporate all the great ideas I received at the first reading of the script.

When I started writing screenplays, I used scrivener, which is an amazing tool I have used when writing my second novel (and my started third and forth).  But to be completely honest, it lacked a lot of the automation I’ve used in Final Draft that I really enjoyed.  The problem I had with Final Draft is I felt it was overpriced for what it did, the key commands were not always the best, and I felt like I had to fight with it.  The last thing you want to do is fight with your editing software as you want this to be as transparent as possible.

In talking with Lee Brian, a North Carolina resident who is following her dreams in the film world, she introduced me to a, can you believe this, free application called celtx for doing screenplays.  Like every other person who has written about celtx, I was certainly hesitant at first.  While free things are generally cool, for what I consider a production environment, they can be a nightmare since they generally have little or volunteer support.

That said, I was absolutely amazed.  I took a PDF of my script and copied out the text and pasted it into celtx.  While it didn’t pick up all the formating that Final Draft had put into my document, it was VERY easy to fix as I went through.  I really like their use of the tab key in setting text types.  Most people say as an editor, Final Draft is still ahead of celtx in many respects.  I’m not sure what those limitations are as I never felt like was working overly hard to write the script.  Maybe I’ve just not reached that level of a power user yet.

Where celtx will begin to shine for me is with production schedules, casting, prop lists, storyboarding, etc.  The next step in my journey is to go through the tutorials so I can understand the paradigm that the developers followed in creating celtx.  Many professionals use celtx, and through their message boards I see that there is a lot of support and help both through forums and their wiki.  Given the size of this project, this is a perfect project for testing something like this as we will be doing compositing, 3D rendering, effects generation, and all sorts of stuff above and beyond that.

Now I need to get my camera ready to be used, and test, test, test it.  The only thing I can say is I actually wish we had a Red One, or that the Red Scarlet’s were out, but that unfortunately is beyond our budget for this piece.  We’ll work on that for the next one.  Of course, who am I trying to kid.  We’ve got the right tools, it’s just sometimes it takes longer with things that aren’t specifically setup for speed!


Moving forward…

Posted by Rick Burnett on September 16th, 2009 filed in General News
4 Comments »

As always, there are more projects going on at one time than there is time to get them all done, but nevertheless, I do what I can to keep all the balls rolling!  Some new projects coming, some old project updates, and a little of this and that.

Music

First and foremost, I am still working towards the release of my full length CD.  Some other projects came about that had deadlines that put this off, but this is back on track and I am preparing to send more data to my mixing engineer.

In addition to this, I am also working on a remix for the band Red This Ever.  This is turning out to be quite a fun project.

 

Film Scoring and Sound Design

I was shocked to find out that I was up for an award at the Action on Film festival this year for Sound Design, along with Andy Coon.  While we didn’t win, just being nominated felt really good.  After all that hard work, it was nice to see that it paid off in some recognition.  We also won action film of the year at the Fright Night Film Fest.  I know the film is still moving around the film festival circuit so I hope to see some more nominations/wins to come in.

I also worked with Adam Hulin on his film It’s Hour Come Round, which is a HD 3D film.  I was very happy work work again with Chris Hurn scoring the film and me adding additional scoring and sound design.  We’ve still got a bit of ADR to do in the future, but the film looks awesome, and the 3D quality of the film is very spot on.  The film has a strong Twilight Zone presence to it and I happen to have loved both old and new Twilight Zone.

Two new films are coming my way shortly from Mike Chrisco that I will be scoring.  Both of these projects look like a lot of fun.  I will be spending some time working on some more ethnic arrangements and also a boxing film.  Variety does make film scoring a lot more interesting.

Relativity

Things are progressing on the film.  There are a few changes to the script I need to make, that are minor, driven by the logline creation that Micah Moore has been helping with.  Currently there is only a few props left needed for filming to get started so I am getting that together as well.

The amount of talent that has been pouring out of the wood work to be involved with this is amazing.  I honestly did not know just how many talented and willing people there are out there, and I really look forward to combining their visions along with mine for the final product.

Technical Round-up

Lastly, I have put off a lot of upgrading in the studio lately.  For someone who uses more than 100+ plugins from a variety of people, needless to say, upgrading to a new OS is a LONG and PAINFUL process.  Luckily if you have multiple drives, it is ALWAYS good to keep a working setup around that you can go back to.

I have picked up Logic Pro 9, but have not started using it yet.  I really want to get into the flex tools and some of the other interesting additions they have added.  I am a little afraid of compatibility issues with Line 6 plugins that I do use.

I also picked up Snow Leopard and have begun using it on an external drive.  IT IS FAST.   However, for my studio machine, I think I am going to break down and buy an SSD drive from Intel to act as the boot drive (80G)  because the speed enhancements are great. Especially since pro-audio software likes to crash so much, applications will come back up lickity split.

I also see that Native Instruments is about to release updates for both Absynth and Kontakt which I use both.

There are some other updates here and there, but I haven’t moved a lot on those.  One thing I’d like to say that I want to see that I don’t see is synths for the UAD cards.  I’d REALLY like to use their power on some raw synth sounds.

The newest addition to my synth lineup is Largo by Waldorf.  Haven’t even installed it yet, but given I own a yellow Q and an orange MicrowaveXT, I am LOOKING FORWARD to the sound generated by their engineers.

In Closing

As I said, there is a lot going on, which is why I’ve been so quiet on here.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to start directing people to where this stuff is released!


Cornucopia of progress…

Posted by Rick Burnett on June 24th, 2009 filed in General News
11 Comments »

There are a multitude of projects that are all moving at a very fast pace at the moment so instead of talking about them separately, I will talk about them together

Elektromigration Debut CD in Mixing:

After my last evening spent talking with Steve Archer, he told me “It’s time to release something” and with that  advice, and a few recommendations, these songs shall sit on my studio server no longer.  I’ve begun the long task of bouncing out the tracks, re-recording the vocals, making all the last minute changes to the songs, and everything in between. I have contracted with Dan of the Dark Clan to mix and master this release, as he has come highly recommended.  There are definitely a few months ahead of me of work and collaboration with another on one of the songs, but finally, it will be complete.  Which reminds me, I need to start collecting artistic examples for Vlad who is going to be doing the art work for the release.

Collaboration work with AnIon on a possible future EP or CD release:

Me and AnIon have begun a collaboration music project with some hard hitting tracks.  The best way I can describe these are take Combichrist, mix in some Wumpscut then maybe sprinkle on some IAMX and that is where my mind is at.  Not sure of the direction, but something should definitely come from this later in the year.  We’ve got about four tracks already in process and might bring something out to a local club soon to give it a demo listen on the big guns.

Round Two; Making Music for Video Games:

Once again I have submitted two tracks to a video game development company for some new game they are working on.  I am very happy with the tracks and the initial feedback is good.  Unfortunately, the chain of decisions is long and clouded, and the parent company has huge existing resources so we’ll see if anything comes of this.  If not, I will roll them into one of my other projects where I am doing more big dance material (think Underworld).

Scoring Work:

I’ve got three scoring projects coming up, however, I don’t have all the names of the projects yet (final names I should say).  Two of these are from my good friend Mike Chrisco who I’ve been working with for years.  They both sound fun so I look forward to working on them.  The third project is from one of the unfinished films from Adam Ross who passed away recently.  This is a 3D film and I’ve seen the rough cut of it, which looks great.  This film is VERY heavily influenced by the Twilight Zone which almost has me giddy to work on it.  I have no clue when this work will start as I am sure Adam’s estate and projects will have to go through a bit of restructuring and deal with legal issues to make sure everything is okay.

Relativity; Filming to begin shortly:

For the past few months I have been gathering the props for some of the scenes of the movie.  We are about to start shooting the first few scenes and I am ecstatic about this.  We have the first few set locations picked out and I am putting in an order for the last few pieces we need to get this started.  I have also submitted the project to IMDB and as soon as that is updated, I will begin putting up all other relevant information since a lot of the initial pre-production is mostly done.  I’d like to also announce that Andrew Comstock has begun the fabrication of some of the more complex props and we should see some stuff soon.

For some of the other scenes we will be holding some casting calls soon to fill out those rolls.  In addition, we’ve got a photoshoot coming soon and Micah Moore will be preparing some new promotion material.  We are also going to get Ben Spicher to do some on set photography and such.  The last big hurdle is finishing the camera construction.

iPhone Apps; More in Work:

I have sold a few copies of my iXposure app, but given the niche market that it fits, this does not surprise me.  As soon as my camera is done, I will be using it more and placing some sample footage online showing how it is used and such.  

I also have 4 other apps in development (at random stages).  I think two of them I will finish, the other two are more for test.  In addition, I’ve been contacted by a few people about working with them on some game apps.  Sounds like that would be a lot of fun if I get a bit of free time (haha).

Random Notes:

I’ve begun using Drop Box (https://www.getdropbox.com/referrals/NTEzMjI4NDg5) for sharing data with the people I am working with.  It works AMAZINGLY well.  It is like Rsync in a way, but basically files in particular folders go out to everyone who is using your dropbox (or you theirs).  I cannot stress enough how awesome this is.

If you use the link above (which is a referral from me) you get 250MB more for free (and I get 500MB for free) up to 6 GB more.  The default free account is 2GB.  I am paying for the 50GB since I have SO MANY files in there now (working with so many different people).

In other news, the studio is fully functional in its new location.  We have not moved to surround capability yet, but that is planned for later this year.  I am very happy with the layout and it is very conducive to productivity (as you can tell).  There are some acoustic issues I want to solve soon and am working with a company that creates custom acoustic absorbers to deal with it.

That’s about it.