Year: 2017

RX 6 Advanced

Workflow to make the audio for your movie sound the best with iZotope RX 6 and Ozone 8

If you are recording audio separately when shooting a documentary, interview or movie, chances are you’ll not only have to synchronise it with the footage but also edit your audio to make it sound perfect in post production. The two apps I use for this are the iZotope RX 6 Advanced Audio Editor and the Ozone 8 mastering suite. To be honest, my workflow will only work well with one or two microphones. If you’re recording a classical concert, you may have more than two mics set up to record audio from different parts of an orchestra. You might also be preparing a soundtrack CD from multiple recordings. That’s not the audio post production I’m covering here as those also require careful mixing. Mixing is less of an issue when you’re recording an interview or a commentary to go with a documentary, for example. What I’m going to discuss is how I optimise such recordings. To create a good sounding audio file, you’ll have to record at a high enough gain. If your gain levels …

ChronoAgent synchronise your Mac and/or access files remotely with your iPad/iPhone

When I reviewed ChronoSync earlier this year, I saw another app on the Econ Technologies website that puzzled me. It’s a small app – more a Preference panel than an app – that allows you to remotely access a Mac from anywhere in the world. It’s quite powerful, secure (encrypted traffic) and is a boon if you regularly work on your iPad even when you’ near the Mac. ChronoAgent is an invisible application that runs in the background on a Mac and provides ChronoSync or InterConneX a direct connection to a remote Mac. That’s the main and major reason for ChronoAgent’s existence. There’s more to ChronoAgent than meets the eye, though. For starters, it provides a much more secure, reliable and indeed faster connection than standard file sharing. And if you’re using ChronoSync to synchronise files between two machines, ChronoAgent is far better at keeping a connection alive than standard macOS remote file sharing. When you install ChronoAgent, you’ll get a new entry in the System Preferences. The new module comes with a number of …

Moom is the window manager that helps you meet your deadline

Moom is the name of an app that may save you a lot of window resizing, moving and organising on your Mac. Moom allows you to resize, zoom, move and organise Finder and apps’ windows exactly — and I do mean exactly — per your needs. Forget about windows management apps in the App Store that cost something like €1.5. Those only contain a list of preset windows with no customisation whatsoever. When I use Final Cut Pro X or Logic Pro X, or when I’m subediting, I have about four to six apps and/or windows open simultaneously. Some of those I cannot hide as the developer hasn’t incorporated standard macOS functionality throughout their application. The end-result is that I lose time over figuring out where a window is that I need at any given moment. Deadlines hate chaos on the macOS desktop. A couple of days ago, I came across Moom. Moom costs €10.50 and it’s 100 times more efficient and effective at solving that chaos. Moom offers presets, but it also lets you …

Scrivener 3.0, the more modern, more powerful long-text editor

Scrivener must be the Mac’s best selling text editor for writing anything from blog posts to 800-page novels. I reviewed version 2 some seven years ago, with the app only having been point-updated in those years. Last week, however, Literature & Latte, the developers of Scrivener, decided the time had come to upgrade Scrivener to a brand new version 3. The new Scrivener has a more powerful and capable compiler, looks better than ever and has been improved in a myriad ways. The new styles functionality and more powerful and flexible compiler are perhaps the most obvious modules in terms of improvements and new capabilities. Scrivener has always made an abstraction of output formatting by separating the editing interface from the publishing interface — two entirely different worlds that run over into each other’s territory with word processors like Apple Pages or Microsoft Word. With Scrivener you can write the way you want — in Markdown, plain text, whatever — and then output to different formats by compiling the document for each specific format, be …

iRig Pre HD

IK Multimedia iRig Pre HD is a good and inexpensive mic pre-amp

A microphone pre-amp is meant to amplify your mic’s signal, not to introduce its own noise and artefacts into the recorded results. You need a mic pre because your microphone has a signal that’s too weak to be captured by a recorder. A preamplifier boosts the signal to a standard line level, which all recorders can capture. The IK Multimedia iRig Pre HD is such a pre-amp. It costs around €100, which is really very, very cheap. But is it any good? I tested the iRig Pre HD by comparing its results with those of my trusted Apogee Duet iPad/Mac. For my tests I made voice recordings only, so everything you read here refers to vocal sound, nothing else. But first the hardware. As with all IK Multimedia hardware, the iRig Pre HD is made of one of the strongest types of plastic. As a result it weighs next to nothing, even with the two AA batteries installed. The device itself fits in the palm of your hand and has only two input controls. The …

DeltaWalker 2.3.2 review

I reviewed DeltaWalker 1.0 over a decade ago. Back then, it was the only application on macOS that could find file content differences and differences between folders. Today, it’s not the only app anymore, with BBEdit capable of comparing files and folders and Path Finder 7 doing the same with files and folders. So, why would you still consider DeltaWalker then? For starters, because it supports 3-way comparisons and also because it can find differences between files, regardless of their format or content.

Luminar 2018: Lightroom beware!

Luminar 2018 has new correction filters powered by artificial intelligence, it’s faster than the previous version, it has a dedicated RAW development module and in 2018 Macphun (soon to be renamed to Skylum Software) plans to release a full-blown digital asset management (DAM) platform. Of course, there are also new features, such as the intelligent Sun Rays filter, LUT support and real-time noise removal. About the only thing that remains unchanged — which is a good thing — is the concept of adaptive workspaces that match your style of shooting of the moment. Macphun/Skylum states that Luminar 2018 has been re-built from the ground up for dramatic performance boosts. I don’t know about the adjective “dramatic”, but Luminar 2018 does load faster than its predecessor. The user interface has been updated too and makes it easier yet to find your way around. A great new feature is LUT support. LUTs are relatively new to photographers — they’re used all the time by videographers. Lookup Table (LUT) adjustments can cater for camera/lens combination-based colour corrections, but …

OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual Mini

Performance of the big in a small package: OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual Mini

How efficient is a small, 2.5in mobile disk station with two disks inside? Very efficient, it turns out. Even more so if you can put those two small disks in one of four RAID modes. And if that external station also delivers on speed, you’re sold — or at least, I am. It’s flat, it’s fanless and there are two 2.5in hard disks or SSDs inside. It’s the OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual Mini, which is a mouthful for a small unit that isn’t much bigger than its two internal disks put next to each other. OWC Digital sent me an SSD version with 1TB of space on its SSDs in RAID 1 mode. This small-footprint OWC device offers USB 3.1 Gen 2 performance and can be bus-powered.