I sometimes find it quite amazing that people are still using my edit software, hz37edit. It has made it onto several released records, which is quite nice to know. You can still download it here, a free Windows installer. It still works in Windows 8.1.
If it doesn’t make sense, here’s a track I edited with my own software:
I stripped all the bullshit from my earlier correlation meter attempt, so here is a simple audio effect for Ableton Live that displays the phase correlation.
You can adjust the interval (just drag the number), but 200 samples seems to be a great starting point. You can download the effect here for free and dissect it if you have max-for-live. Combine it with a Utility plugin (Ableton Live -> Audio Effects -> Utility) to control your stereo image.
Back in the old days I used to have a mono flanger guitar stomp box. Of course I put it on everything, so a lot of disgustingly mangled music was emanating from my teen angst bullshit room those days. Anyways, we skip further three decades and here’s my very basic but useful similar sounding stereo max-for-live flanger. Free to download, use and edit. It uses gen~ technology. It is fully automatable in Ableton Live.
I made it for this coursera course I’m taking. Here’s a video about it with a pre-version that looked more ugly and didn’t have live.dials yet:
It’s got all kinds of meters (VU, BBC, LU, Nordic, K12, etc.) and look amazing:
So how do we get max/msp to talk to Spectre? Spectre uses AUNetSend by Apple. On the max side of things, you don’t even need to know where this Audio Unit file is. A vst~ object with AUNetSend as its only parameter works just fine:
The open message will open the Apple supplied dialog of AUNetSend, which you use to connect Spectre with max/msp. If you open it in max/msp, it will tell you it’s listening:
Just leave everything at its default. After you’ve started Spectre, go to Preferences – Audio:
Network should be [v] Enabled. Click on Configure…:
As you can see, Spectre is “Not Connected”. Select the AUNetSend in the Directory list (if it isn’t already) and click on Connect. Max will probably ask you if all this is allowed. Of course we click Allow:
Now Spectre and max/msp are connected! Yes!
All the audio you send to Spectre (via the vst~ object) will now be displayed by those gorgeous meters you selected.
Here’s the max patch just in case you want to fiddle around with it:
You need to crop an image in Photoshop or GIMP but you need some precision with the rectangular selection, so you zoom in. This makes it cumbersome to make a select, because you need to drag-hold-scroll until the lower right corner is visible. Crazy! Here’s an easier way. First select a small rectangle upper-left:
Just make sure the upper left corner is right. The lower right is random. Now find your way to the lower right of your picture. No need to hold the mouse down. Again make a small rectangular selection where only the lower right is important:
And you guessed it: the Crop command now crops as if you had selected a larger rectangle! Works in both Photoshop and GIMP:
I needed to insert an image (a photo of a signature) into an existing PDF. There are tons of tools that cost something, crippled 2-page converters or online web services that will make you tear your hair out. So here’s how to do this for free. I must warn that it takes some command line and open source hacking around.
Step 1) Convert the pages in the PDF to separate TIFF files. I did this with the free GIMP program. It runs on just about any operating system, so that shouldn’t be a problem. GIMP gives you several options for importing the PDF pages. Be sure to adjust the resolution and Open pages as images. Unless of course you love layers and know exactly what you’re doing. If you go for a default resolution of 100 dpi, you might lose some quality. Don’t worry if you get gigantic TIFF files. They’ll be compressed back later.
Step 2) Within GIMP edit the page you want to insert something into. If you can’t work with GIMP, export all the pages to TIFF and edit them in your favorite image editing program. Either way, you should end up with a separate TIFF for every page in your PDF. Exporting to TIFF in GIMP is easy if you know how. File – Export As… and then Select File Type (TIFF Image). Check if your TIFFs are all beautiful. They should have increasing names, like page01.tif, page02.tif, etc.
Step 3) Move all the TIFFs to a single temporary directory which you can access from your command line. Now we can do this in OSX or Linux. I happen to have both on my Macbook Pro. If you don’t have at least one Linux distribution at your disposal, it is time to change this. In this day and age one meddling with computers should at least know some basic Linux. The command we need is convert and it is part of a wonderful open source program called imagemagick. To install imagemagick in OSX I highly recommend homebrew. First we run of course:
osx_prompt$ brew update
Then followed by:
osx_prompt$ brew install imagemagick
Of course osx_prompt$ is the name of your OSX Terminal prompt.
In Linux (Debian in my case) it is (as a super user):
Or you may choose to run this as a normal Terminal, because your Desktop probably is not “root@debian” so you might find that your pdf is now not owned by you. Also in OSX you can now simply run:
osx_prompt$ convert -compress LZW *.tif new.pdf
There it is, a beautiful PDF to mail to the eagerly waiting other party! Two things to note:
- We do an LZW compress because else the PDF would be of a monster size. Especially for b&w page scans you can compress a lot using a simple LZW.
- If all your TIFFs end with .tiff, you can say convert -compress LZW *.tiff new.pdf of course.
I looked at all the options, but CrashPlan by Code 42 is hands down the winner. I’ve been using it for some years now and it has never failed on me. When you start hunting for a backup solution, you’ll quickly find that several of them are interesting but do not allow you to backup external harddrives. Not so with CrashPlan. It’s exactly what it is: unlimited storage for a good price. They do version backups, have an awesome application that runs in the background, have an iPad app and restoring is just plain easy.
In Pro Tools you always have the option to use an equal power or an equal gain crossfade:
From experience you will quickly learn that coherent (the same source) and/or time continuous material requires an equal gain crossfade, because an equal power crossfade will result in an unwanted rise in level in that situation. Incoherent (different sources) and/or time discontinuous material on the other hand requires an equal power crossfade, because an equal gain crossfade would result in an unwanted drop in level in that situation. In post production, dialog noise that is time discontinuous needs an equal power crossfade, else you will hear a small but certain drop in level.
So why is this?
For coherent material (i.e. the same or pretty much the same waveforms, in phase) it is a simple matter of arithmetic. 1 + 1 = 2. The instantaneous level at any point doubles, so we get a 6 dB rise, because 20 log(2) ≈ 6.02 dB. For incoherent material (noise from different sources) we immediately meet the central limit theorem and this only yields a 3 dB rise.
I made a max/msp patch to see how this could be implemented. The equal gain is a pretty simple afair i.e. a linear fade. The equal power uses cos(x) and sin(x) because of the trig identity cos^2 u + sin^2 u = 1.