Friday, March 24, 2006

> Melodyne 3: Absolutely Incredible Audio Editing

At the risk of sounding like an old guy...or like my father, who to me was always an old is amazing what they can do these days with recording. When I was a kid it was the amazing sounds that the Beatles, Beach Boys and Phil Spector got onto vinyl that amazed the old man. Today it is things like Melodyne that makes me quote, word for word, the old man's, "It's amazing what they can do these days with recording".

Except it is no longer, "they", it is "us". We can all do it...and it is amazing!

Here's the official marketing pitch but I will distill it down to the Wow-Essence after the quote:
"Recording artists and engineers have known about Melodyne for years. Until now, though, it was only monophonic vocal and instrumental parts that could benefit from Melodyne’s much-admired editing algorithms: algorithms capable of everything from minor corrections of intonation to extreme pitch shifting and from the subtle modification of grooves to drastic time stretching. With Version 3, Melodyne is no longer limited to melodies but offers a unique algorithm that can perform high quality time stretching on full chords and complex audio signals; so now harmonic material (such as rhythm guitar or piano parts) — whether monophonic or polyphonic — can be transposed (without altering the tempo), slowed down or sped up (without altering the pitch) and even quantized. What’s more, all this can be done in real time with the sound quality for which Melodyne is famous."

What that means is that you can move individual audio notes up and down, ahead and behind with a simple point and click. If you are familiar with audio editing I am going to let that set in for a spell. It is really quite astonishing. Intonation problems? No problem. Need that trombone to sound like a trumpet (and who doesn't?), no worries.

Lastly, before I go back to hours and hours of uninterrupted playing, Melodyne 3 allows you to edit a virtually unlimited number of tracks at the same time. It is amazing what we can do these days with recording.

Want to know more? The Technofile has a great post on Melodyne 3.

> MicroMedia Paper/Digital Paper

I have spent the last year or so creating catalogues and...whew, I have certainly learned a lot. Besides all the technological advancements in digital workflow, I found myself wondering, "Why DO we spend all this money on postage and printing?"

Well, according to the good people at the MIT Advertising Lab who seem to have answers to many of my musings, by 2015 that will all change.

"MicroMedia Paper
This snapshot-sized display can play music, movies, and more
Price: $50 for a 10-pack
Designer: Lunar Design
Executive Summary: Wafer-thin display and storage finally brings digital media to the familiar format of paper
Tech Barriers: Flexible, disposable displays; radical new GUI; millimeter-thick batteries
Target Market: Photo-sharing families, 35 and up, plus execs wanting fancy business cards
Projected release: 2015"

And according to Forbes, "There is no shortage of designs for futuristic electronic paper. Various designs of this magical stuff will allow entire books to fit on a single memory-enabled, polymer sheet, displayed using infinitely reconfigurable magnetically-charged pigments; or futuristic printing technologies that will allow mass-produced super-cheap color screens that could be applied like wallpaper. One of the more interesting e-paper concepts comes from the techno-futurists at Lunar Design, who have imagined a product for the year 2015 called MicroMedia Paper. Available in packs of ten for around $35, these ultra-thin, mini color screens would work using replaceable "power sticker" batteries and would be controlled using touch sensitive buttons and a volume dial that adjusts the integrated speakers. Video, pictures and teleconferencing imagery could be transferred using a built-in wireless connection."