Monthly Archives: December 2017

How Good Is This Machine, Really?

I’m a fanboy, but I’m also pretty hard on Apple Inc when it comes to their “Pro” products, and up to now I’ve been pretty unimpressed with the direction they’ve gone. I still maintane that, if Apple is serious about supporting professional media production, they would get back to delivering more traditionally open hardware platforms and forget about looking cool.

They really should deliver iMac Pro in a multi-slotted box with the most up-to-date busses and the ability to natively handle both GL and CL graphics languages. Saying all of that, I still cling to Randi Altman’s review of the newly released machine, and as always, I want to believe.

For our workflows that 10GBe port along with the USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports are what we’ll be paying for if it’s decided to continue to go with the Mac platform. For us it will come down to being willing to pay $$$$ for those updated and built-in items, and get a free iMac with them. Thanks very much for the perspective. There have been rumors that rendering h.264 files is significantly faster than previous iMac or MacPro hardware versions, but so far, I’m not able to find any reliable numbers.

Here’s a link to Randi’s initial thoughts on the new iMacPro: Altman’s iMacPro review

FCPX Logic X Mac Posted Tech Blog

Will The Real Logic Pro X Please Stand Up

Is there somewhere “real” Logic users can discuss all aspects of this fantastic ProTools Replacement … (With one exception.) All of the latest plug-ins, instruments and etc. are completely cool, but Logic is a full featured audio post production tool that needs to be talked about in that context. I seriously wonder how many audio-house post pros are actually aware of that. I cannot remember 9to5 once reviewing Logic, only 3rd party stuff, and rarely anything except instruments. Logic is a serious and complete audio production tool and once that’s realized, maybe Apple will be inspired to do more than just “fix” things, but to also continue to develop it as a truely audio postproduction/production tool set.

Final thought: I so want to get excited about FCPX 10.4’s new Logic plug-ins updates, I really do. And of course this isn’t the first update to FCPX’s audio tool kit – a very good one I might add. But, I can only get to, meh … Why? Because, by now we should’ve been well on our way to a full blown round-trip workflow between FCPX and Logic Pro X.

Audio FCPX Logic X Tech Blog

Has Apple Lost Its Design Mojo – or – Where’s The Real MacPro?

I really do not believe or see that Apple has lost its design mojo for the consumer marketplace, but, the high-end, pro media space keeps getting worse rather than better. (Yes, I know all about the new iMac.) By industry standards the new iMac, while an amazing machine in its own right, still falls short of being a true, top-of-the-line workstation, and that’s before we even get into the ever-frustrating closed hardware that we’re all stuck with now. (And yes again, I’m keenly aware of some vague apologies by top Apple dogs regarding lack of MacPro hardware updates, followed by even more vague promises of some mystery machine that’s supposed to be oderable in 2018 – for delivery in 2019.)

At home, Apple’s a beautiful thing, at work, a lot less so. One thing Apple has always fallen on its face with is, if we love to use Macs at home, we’re going to want to use them at work and not just for photoshoping, but high-end video, film and delivery systems too. I sure wish they’d wake up to this need. Lot’s of us requiring the fastest, most open and workflow-oriented tech would probably pay almost anything to make it happen on a Mac – Still, all I hear from Apple’s back yard is crickets chirping … nada. Oh and, let’s not forget that, Apple makes one of the finest editing suites available to the human race to-date – I speak of course of, Final Cut Pro X, Compressor and Motion. Motion is a potential After Effects killer, but few in industrial-strength workflows will utilize it because the hardware workflows are not there to support it above and beyond what a home power-user would require. Frustrating in the extreme. As a final word for perspective’s sake, this is not about Tim Cook, Apple’s lack of commitment to enterprise customers has always been an issue for those of us that want and need to be able to have consistent UIs across working and personal computing environments.

An Audio Producer’s Take on the AirPods

I’m sure everyone’s dying to know what I think about Apple’s AirPods, so: 1) Amazing sales numbers considering how difficult it was to order a pair and get them delivered in some more normal time frame. (Checkout 9to5mac.com for the numbers); 2) They are the best sounding earbuds I’ve heard, wired or wireless. (“Best sounding” is very subjective so here’s my POV: I’m no audio guru, but I have raised a family and funded an IRA for 30+ years working in audio production); 3) In fact, these earbuds do produce an amazing amount of low end, but as with all earbuds, you’re not going to feel it. However, headphones are NOT required to get deep, emmersive low end. Many earphones that are designed to fit into the ear canal, and seal it, will provide amazing low frequency performance, perceptually. Of course, a good pair of isolating headphones will still beat them, but not as much as one might think.

AirPods are not designed to fit into the ear canal, but if they were, you’d get hammered with a lot of perceived low frequency performance. Find some music with a good bass track, or a cinematic action scene and press your AirPods straight into your ears while changing the angle to optimize the test, and hear for yourself – DON’T HURT YOURSELF THOUGH!. 4) For the money, the hype and considering who the developer is, I’m quite disappointed with the lack of on-board features of these earbuds, and it’s getting to be a typical quandary that Apple puts its fans into [I’m a huge Apple fanboy – no apologies] with their hardware – What it does it does well, but there’s so much more it should be doing for the time and expense that we end up waiting and paying for. Let’s see, what else – Nope, that’s it. Cheers.

Who “Dislikes” Windows More Than Mac Users?

There are others who dislike Windows more than dedicated Macintosh users. As a long-time, old-fart Mac user, I used to think I was the biggest Windows-hater in the world – And then I started following Unix/Linux [nix] admins. Yikes! I almost pity MSWindows … Almost, but, not. And amidst all of this disliking, let’s not forget that Microsoft is an excellent application developer. I just think their OS needs to go away. Cheers!

HomePods, Two Is Going To Be Better Than One

I was wondering how long it would take for someone(s) to wake up regarding the ongoing need for multiple physical speakers. I’m no audio guru, but I have raised a family and put money into an IRA for 30+ years working in and with audio. Make no mistake, what has been done with one speaker is nothing short of great, but for home use you’re almost always going to want at least two units to provide a true listening immersion. Virtual surround sound is amazing, but still doesn’t provide the real-world experience that actual speakers, properly located, are going to provide. Using some rocket-science math, one speaker will indeed do a wonderful job creating a stereo-like experience, but again, still will not equate to the same experience as with two speakers. I’ll bet that the HomePod is going to have very good basic sound reproduction, and, will do a stunning job creating a stereo-like and/or virtual surround-like listening experience – but – to get the full benefit of the product in a, sit-down-and-listen-from-one-specific-area-(repeatedly), experience, as with a home entertainment scenario, you’re definitely going to want two. Now, with two HomePods, and if $$ is as much of an issue for you as it is for many people [read that as, me], then I’m kind of excited to split the difference and experience how well two HomePods might create a surround sound-like experience for those of us on tighter budgets. Deeper reading on Apple’s website leads me to believe that the HomePod is developed to be used as a matched stereo pair as well as a stand-alone system, unlike most of the portable wireless speakers out there. What would be really amazing is to see the HomePods enabled to receive 5.1 or 7.1, and be able to coordinate that many real speakers, wirelessly. For now I look forward to hearing what these little gems will do.