Parabolic Reflector

Parabolic Reflector

Yesterday I had a lovely job in the Forest of Dean recording a piece about the Dawn Chorus. As well as having a trusty Sennheiser 816 on hand it also seemed like the perfect opportunity to test out the parabolic reflector I have been getting set up over the last couple of weeks. The reflector was rescued from a loft a fair while ago and I recently dusted it off to try out with a few of the mics I had around the place. Nothing I had was suitable for the original microphone bracket that was attached to the dish so the process included the slightly scary procedure of drilling a hole in the dish to provide a new mounting point for a small Rycote suspension. After a few trips to my own loft for some long forgotton microphone suspension parts and one trip to B&Q – mainly for rubber washers from the plumbing section the new version of the reflector was born. The reflector currently contains a Scheops CCM41 mic, it’s a hyper cardioid, but I’ve always thought of it as a bit wider than the shotgun mics I’m used to using for most of my work so I thought it was worth a go. I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the results, so here are a few recordings from the Forest of Dean by way of example. Next though will be to try it out with a cardioid or an omni mic. I also found an illustration of my original dish from an old book on Wildlife recording, You can still buy an almost identical dish...

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Wanted – A family of My Own

Wanted – A family of My Own

Wanted – A Family of My Own is a new ITV series, made by Wall to Wall that I have been working on over the last few months. It’s about the process of placing children for adoption. The team gained fantastic access via social services and it should be an excellent series. First part of four airs on ITV Thursday 24th April at 7pm. More information: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2602298/Adoption-making-Nicky-Campbell-adopted-baby-hopes-new-series-inspire-parents-children-home.html http://www.itv.com/wantedafamilyofmyown http://www.itv.com/presscentre/ep1week17/wanted-family-my-own#.U1LhBse7BDY Wanted: A Family of My Own – Episode one The profoundly life changing process of adoption is uncovered in this new four part series. Following the stories of parents desperate to adopt and children who need families, cameras have been granted access into many defining moments of the adoption process from prospective parents’ meetings with social workers and facing adoption panels, to the moment a child leaves their foster carers and meets their new parents for the first time. Presented by Nicky Campbell, himself adopted as a baby, the series sets out to provide an intimate insight into adoption in Britain today, through the experiences of children and couples followed at close quarters as they progress through the proceedings involved. In showing key stages of each child and each couple’s experience, Wanted: A Family of My Own, offers a rare perspective on the impact of adoption on the lives of those involved. Looking at why children need new families, the range of people who want to adopt and how the process operates, the series builds an understanding of adoption today which may challenge preconceptions. Across the series we meet a gay couple who thought they would never become parents, a single mum who is adopting for the third time, a baby boy who was born addicted to crack cocaine and couples who, after struggling with infertility, are finally getting close to having families of their own. The unique access to each story was acquired by working in partnership with local authorities across the UK over a two year period. Nicky was born in Edinburgh in the 1960s. His birth mother travelled there from Ireland to escape the stigma of being pregnant outside of marriage. After being born in the Scottish capital, Nicky was adopted when he was a young baby. The circumstances leading to children being put up for adoption have changed over the years but a large number are still waiting for new families. Nicky explains: “The shame of illegitimacy back then meant thousands of women across the country gave their children up for adoption each year. Today children are rarely given up for adoption, the vast majority are taken away from their birth parents because of a history of neglect or abuse.” Dan and Ania who have been...

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Get a free plugin!

Get a free plugin!

Soundtoys.com are offering their Little Primal Tap plugin for free until 28th March 2014.  Get the free plugin here. This is one of the most cool and fun free plugins I have seen for some time. You need an ilok account and a soundtoys.com account in order to get the free (forever) license. Intallation was easy into Protools but I did find that I had to log out and back in to my SoundToys account befoe the download link showed up. Inspired by the classic Prime Time* from 1978, Little PrimalTap captures the highly distinctive sonic imprint of this quirky, and well-loved (by those in the know) vintage digital delay. Don’t be fooled by it’s simple interface, Little PrimalTap lets you unleash your creative urges to echo, loop, warp, distort, mangle, or create cacophonous cascades of otherworldly sounds. THE PRIMAL SOUND The Prime Time was used by a wide variety of artists back in the 80’s (that was it’s prime, heh) for rich guitar delay, chorus, flange and such, and it did a great job with those things but the really unique character of it’s sound came from one of it’s limitations. In an attempt to get more out of the technology (and probably stay under budget) it had a feature called Multiply that halved the sample rate each time the delay was doubled. Sound weird? It does indeed. And it’s just the kind of weird that we love.   TWIST AND SHOUT On this little beast, turning knobs is where it’s at and that’s how you get to hear all the oddities it can create. The Multiply knob supplies extra delay time that has drastic tonal changes with each increase. The Adjust knob creates pitch shifts, chorus, or flange when moved. The Feedback and Input drive tie it all together to allow for sounds just not found on any of the “normal” delay plug-ins. Abnormal is the new black.   FEEDBACK LOOP Yes, the Feedback can go infinite, and do everything from classic delay style looping to old school sci-fi space noise. Oh, and we doubled the massive 256ms of delay time from the original (128ms if you had the non-expanded one) to 512ms so you’ve got some serious looping power if you need it. It’s ok to let it get out of control, unlike the old days where you could blow your speakers (or your ears) if you didn’t stay on top of the feedback. Little PrimalTap lets you use it as another layer of sonic color, and even opens the door for synthesizer type...

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ProTools plugins discount

ProTools plugins discount

Today is the last day for Christmas discounts on the Plugin Alliance brand of plugins for may different DAWs. There’s been a different one available each day for the whole Christmas period but until the end of today all the discounts are available – so hop over to https://plugin-alliance.com/en/index.html and check them out. There are a few things going really cheaply. Plus if you want something for nothing they have a few free plugins – there’s a list of all the free plugins from all over the web here...

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