April 12, 2011

NABster Pt. 2

by Chris Randall

Day one of my trip to NAB is in the bag. Those of you that follow my Twitter stream saw the highlights. Pretty much the same shit as last year, for the most part, and the show is somewhat smaller, as well.

Last year, the catch-phrase was "streamlining your digital workflow." I could't walk 10 feet without hearing some permutation of that phrase. This year, the word is "cloud." Everybody and their second cousin's babysitter has some sort of "cloud" solution. Even companies that were already fairly cloudy to begin with (e.g. AT&T) had all kinds of cloud motifs around their booths. I got a demo of AT&T's media caching/clouding/whatever service, and actually left the booth with less understanding of the service they offer than when I went in to it, taking in to account that I'd never heard of it when I went in to it, so my understanding baseline of their "cloud" media service was zero.

The Microsoft Cloud stuff felt kind of pained. That sort of shit just isn't their style, and there was mute embarrassment all around. I'd like to get all the guys from the New Cloudy Companies together and give them a crib sheet. They could say "it's like Amazon S3 only we charge more," or they could say "it's like Amazon S3 only we charge less." It would really save everyone a lot of time and energy all around. YOUR SHIT, OUR SERVER FARM. LET'S GET IT DONE!

It's really surprising that I'm not a professional pitchman.

I was going to put a little thing up on that Edirol video sampler (the which is sort of like an SP-202, but for video instead of audio.) Except that after I played it, I decided it was basically tragically unplayable, and is a rare miss for their Edirol division. There's like a 1 second pause when the clips start. Maybe it's a software bug and will get fix. I tried to ask one of their booth Bettys, but he was too busy trying to give some lard ass a demo. So I guess we'll never know.

I didn't really see anything else that would be of general interest here that we don't all already know about, I'm sorry to say. The audio side of things was the usual suspects; nothing new. This is the show where the broadcast divisions of all the names you know come out, so you see a slightly different side of Yamaha, SSL, whatever. Kind of fun, but ultimately, it's rather tedious talking to those guys, because you have to put a translation layer over all their terminology.

Anyhow, back at it tomorrow, then back to Tempe in the afternoon to rest my tired feet.


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Apr.13.2011 @ 12:23 AM
I like the .mac version of cloud, where everything can be shared but there's still a local copy. I need access to my calendar, contacts, etc. even when there's no wifi.

Still haven't gotten to leave my booth except for Diego's presentation about the DTS soundlogo. The only cloud I'm experiencing is the cloud of cigarette smoke, Situation-brand cologne and failure in the casino where I have to sleep.

Apr.13.2011 @ 9:59 AM

Don't get me wrong, all this stuff is tools, not religion. Take what works for you, leave what doesn't. I have just recently been surprised to find some well implemented tools that work for me better than I thought they would.

Apr.13.2011 @ 10:26 AM
Chris Randall
Indeed. I'm retracting my previous statement. I am no longer with bongo_x. While I agree with the general sentiment, there are certain Cloudy things I'm all about. Chief among them is Dropbox, which is the most awesome thing since awesome things were invented. We use it heavily in AD, since we have a dozen computers using 5 different operating systems between everyone. It's much, much easier than dealing with sending things back and forth or an internal FTP site.


Apr.13.2011 @ 11:17 AM

From your comment I obviously came across more strongly than I feel about it. The story of my life. Please don't think I was in any way criticizing you.

I'm sure I'll end up eating my words about Dropbox someday, but for now FTP is actually easier and suits my needs better.


Apr.13.2011 @ 12:55 PM
I'm with CR.

Dropbox has made my life SO much easier. Where I work (a mid-size bike company the sorta rhymes with boner) we rely on it heavily. Compared with trying to show someone how to use the FTP server for the first time Dropbox is dreamy. None of the creative group lives anywhere near the office so Dropbox really serves as our hub.

We also use Box.net for sharing spreadsheets and such and S3 for second level backups.

You gots to be like Judy Collins and look at clouds from both sides.

Apr.13.2011 @ 4:08 PM
Dropbox is amazing. It is an example of S3 with a different front-end.

Apr.13.2011 @ 5:10 PM
Dropbox rules as well. Works great for swapping sessions with bandmates, handling schoolwork, archiving PDFs of manuals, and all that jazz.

Not to mention the whole DropQuest stuff they do every now and again is really cool.

Apr.13.2011 @ 5:21 PM
Totally off topic but I was offered either a Ensoniq SQ-1 or a Matrix 6R as potential trades for the RM1X sequencer I have on CL. Anyone here have experience with either of those synths that has good things to say? I'm gonna check them out in a few days in person but thought I'd ask here since someone probably has a few words to say.

Apr.13.2011 @ 5:47 PM
Jason Duerr
I really enjoyed my RM1x for a while. Keep it if it is handy to have a GM / standard sound set around. Otherwise, it's not very extreme. The SQ-1 is great if you are planning on doing roots industrial. No experience with the M6R.

Apr.13.2011 @ 6:31 PM
Chris Randall
The Matrix 6R is a bit of a bear to program, unless you use a dedicated programmer of some sort. (Several software solutions exist.) It is an analog synth, but has a fairly hollow sound. Some interesting mod possibilities, though. If you want the bog standard Roland ripping filter lead shit, it can't do a very good job of that.

The SQ1 I only know because, as Jason said, every industrial band of the early mid 90s started out with one. ROMpler in the vein of the D-50 and M1, although somewhat more advanced than either. All Ensoniq stuff of that era has really nice keybeds, at least in my opinion. As to whether they're usable or not, hard to say. It would be a lateral move from the RM1X, sound-wise.


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