Audio Compressors

I enjoyed the article on headphone monitoring (Ear Monitors, Videomaker, April, 1997). The information was useful, but no one ever seems to mention that voices always get lost in the mix. To solve this problem, I suggest you mention something about compressors. These great rigs compress the dynamic range of human speech, or any other audio source, so that its level can be raised to cut through a mix. That’s how the pros always do it. And compressors don’t cost that much. Next to an audio mixer, a compressor/limiter and a reverb are “must-haves” for post-production editing.

Shannon Burt

Charolottetown, PEI Canada


Camera Avoidance Syndrome

Steve Muratore’s amusing reference to “Camera Avoidance Syndrome” (March, 1997) could apply equally to European videographers. Steve maintains that American amateur videographers use their camcorders for little more than seven hours a year. For their British counterparts, this might be a generous overestimate.

In his editorial, Matt York pricks the same vein. Is the abundance of technical equipment producing an intimidating effect? What can be done to encourage these amateurs to get out there and roll ’em?

How is it that so many camcorder owners fail to appreciate the potential of these marvelous little camcorders? Given a wedding, a local carnival or the annual vacation, these people grab their equipment and sally forth with confidence. “This,” they tell themselves, “is what making video is all about.” But are there no other subjects worth recording?

To me, this reluctance stems from the legacy of the photographic camera, with its time-consuming and costly method of securing pictures. To take photographs, we have to have a reason, and so we tend to reserve our snapshooting for special occasions. But video production isn’t like that. There is no film-processing delay, and, with reusable cassettes and rechargeable batteries, no ongoing costs. And if we don’t like what we record, we can wipe the slate clean and start again. So, given this flexibility, why do our camcorders languish on closet shelves for months on end?

There are, possibly, two reasons. One is the belief that the camcorder should be used only to make movies and that, in taking silly random shots, we are somehow misusing our sophisticated equipment. This feeling of guilt should be firmly dispelled. The camcorder is not solely a tool for dedicated moviemakers; its purpose is to give us pleasure.

The second reason is that, apart from the ritual occasions, we can think of nothing we want to record. This, to me, is incredible. Are we so wrapped up in our routine affairs that we can’t take time out to record the beauty of the world around us?

Forget the audience. Make videos for your own enjoyment. Look for interesting places; talk with engaging people. If writers can make places sound intriguing using only the written word, then surely, by combining pictures and commentary, we can achieve comparable results.

Bernard Wilkie

Surrey, UK


Amiga Update

A few months ago, Videomaker published the news that Viscorp bought the rights to the Amiga computer system. If you look at www.amiga.de, www.amigasupport.com/quickpak or any of the many other Amiga Web sites, you’ll see that your information is incorrect. It is actually Gateway 2000 that had the successful bid and is buying the Amiga (pending regulatory approval, of course).

It is also curious to note that one reason why it has taken so long for Amiga Technologies to be sold off is because it was still making money and the shareholders didn’t want to sell it. It took the intervention of a judge to make it happen. This is indeed a tribute to the Amiga computer. It seems everyone wants this great (and, from my experience, most reliable) machine, yet very few people will admit it. Very curious, indeed.

Jamie Scott Ressler

Internet

We checked our back issues, Jamie, and we could find no reference to Viscorp at all. Your statement about Gateway 2000 being the new owner of Amiga technology, however, is correct.

For the record, Viscorp and Gateway 2000 are two of several companies that were bidding on the Amiga technology, owned by Escom of Germany. Gateway 2000 made the successful bid in late March of this year.

The Editors


Accolades

Your magazine rates number one with me! Special accolades go to Loren Alldrin, who knows and explains audio for video. You have information about every topic, and present it for every level of videographer. As a “tech head” in an area of “don’t-know” sales representatives, my associates, competitors, peers and clients rely on me for all the answers.

Videomaker makes a fresh and reliable source of information. Pats on the backs for your whole team!

Yvonne Marie Keller

Wescosville, PA

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