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June 10, 2010

Table of Contents

Band on the Run: What the FCC's 700MHz Ban Means to Wireless Mic Users
Show Report: IVA Midwest Expo 2010
Sony Creative Software Licenses proDAD Video Stabilization Technology for Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10
Sony Introduces New Versions of Consumer Software for Creative Content Production
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 Now Available
Singular Announces Public Beta for New Sony Vegas Plug-In
Florical Systems Acuitas Video Servers Powered With Matrox DSX Developer Products

Band on the Run: What the FCC's 700MHz Ban Means to Wireless Mic Users

Band on the RunAs part of the digital television transition that started last year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allocated frequencies to public safety organizations and broadband providers. That spectrum includes the 700MHz band where many UHF microphones transmit. If your wireless mics operate on any frequencies between 698MHz and 806MHz, you may be breaking the law. This frequency range includes the newly defined public safety channels: TV 63, 64, 68, and 69. It’s not that the FCC is going to stake you out and swoop in on you in the midst of a wedding. The concern that videographers have is that instead of hearing the bride and groom stating, “I do,” your mic may pick up a nearby police dispatcher saying, “We have a 5150 in progress.” Wireless systems purchased in the past year or so are probably safe; the mic manufacturers had ample warning to switch their frequencies. However, if you bought your mics before January 2009, it is best to check their frequencies. Even frequency-agile mics may not operate with any other frequencies than those in the outlawed 700MHz band. Look in the battery compartment of the transmitter and receiver for the frequency or channel designation. Below is a link to the FCC that lists mic models by manufacturer.

Event videographers usually have two or three lavaliere (clip-on) mics and one handheld. The lavs go on the officiant, on the groom, and on the reading podium. A bodypack transmitter can connect to the DJ’s board to get a direct feed. A handheld RF (radio frequency) mic enables interviews, or it serves as a backup for those times when you need to aim a mic at the DJ’s speakers. The receivers need to be portable, camera-mounted systems. UHF band is preferred because, in many cases, the DJ or the church has a VHS system. Videographers like to use UHF so there is less chance of interference. Diversity systems help prevent dropouts, which is crucial for recordings that cannot be repeated. Frequency-agile systems let you select a frequency to avoid interference with the DJ’s mic or the PA system in the church.

Videographers don’t plan on upgrading microphones or audio gear—not nearly as frequently as they do cameras and computers. Audio equipment doesn’t have compatibility issues, and many videographers have invested in good wireless mic systems thinking they would last for many years to come. Unfortunately, many of those systems will soon be sent to the recycling center. For current and future system purchases, videographers need to select transmitters and receivers at frequency bands TV channel 51 and below, which are located in the core television band (UHF frequencies 470MHz–698MHz). These frequencies are not slated for allocation, nor has this even been proposed. Nearly all the wireless mic manufacturers now offer transmitters and receivers in this band. Be cautious about purchasing any used wireless mic systems in the 700MHz band; make certain they operate in the 470MHz–698MHz range.

Videographers are not the only ones who will be affected. Churches and live event venues stand to lose the use of their mics too. Faced with having to spend many thousands of dollars to replace their mic systems, a cadre of Broadway theater owners formed The Coalition of Wireless Microphone Users. They sent a formal petition to the FCC explaining that they use wireless mics only for a few hours rather than 24/7. Their reasoning was that performances and churches could be granted an exception to the ruling. That was a year ago, and the FCC has yet to change its position.

The FCC’s Position on the 700MHz Band
The FCC says that using microphones in the 700MHz band “could be extremely dangerous and could even be life threatening.” The commission warns of criminal penalties for violation of this law. It gave wireless microphone users 15 months from the originally scheduled transition to DTV, and even with last year’s 3-month extension for broadcasters to complete the transition, it was still a full year’s notice. As of press time (late April), no extension was offered for wireless mic users.

We spoke with Matthew Nodine, the FCC’s chief of staff for its wireless telecommunications bureau. He said that the new regulations prohibit anyone from buying or selling wireless mics operating in the 700MHz band. While the ban on the use of 700MHz wireless systems goes into effect June 12, 2010, the ban on sales took effect Jan. 15, 2010. This ban is not limited to manufacturers; anyone reselling a used transmitter that operates in the band is breaking the law. When asked what penalties are levied for a videographer who continues to use his or her 700MHz wireless mic system after the June 12 cutoff, Nodine said these will be handled on a case-by-case basis. If a videographer’s mic interferes with an emergency vehicle and the interference results in a death, it would be considered a very serious case.

Nodine said that the FCC reached out to organizations that use wireless devices operating in this spectrum and asked for public comments. However, he could not confirm that WEVA (Wedding & Event Videographers Association) was one of the organizations contacted. We checked WEVA’s website and found that the association’s John Zale had posted a notice in February 2009 about the spectrum reallocation. As part of that post, Zale included information on manufacturers’ trade-in programs.

When asked if videographers who purchase new mic systems in the 500MHz or 600MHz bands need to worry about another spectrum allocation, Nodine said nothing was planned for the near future. He added that the FCC accepts written comments from anyone. “We read all of these.” Videographers may send their comments to the FCC at fccinfo@fcc.gov. You can download a PDF that explains the transition program and provides a link to the list of microphones that operate in the illegal band. The FCC has a FAQ as well as a telephone number to call to help you determine if your mic is one that is affected. The website also includes links to websites that may recycle your electronics. Recycling electronic equipment recovers valuable materials from the circuit boards, metal wiring, leaded glass, and plastics. The FCC’s page with contact information from wireless microphone manufacturers can be found here.

FCC Page on Frequency Ban

The Manufacturers’ Position
It is hard to think of tossing a $1,000 mic system into the recycling bin. So most manufacturers offer a rebate program. The plan is for affected mic owners to purchase a new system and to send their old transmitters and receivers to the manufacturer. They then issue a rebate check; the amount of the check is dependent on the model of the system you purchased and what you returned. Some manufacturers will give you a rebate for the return of a competitor’s brand of microphone if you purchase a new one from them.

Most of the wireless microphone manufacturers are offering rebates if you purchase a new system and send in your old transmitter and receiver. You don’t need to send in removable lavaliere mics, but handhelds with integrated transmitters need to be traded in.

The rebates range from $30 to $1,000 depending on the model of equipment you have and what you want to buy. Some prescient videographers purchased one of the few wireless transmitters and receivers made with the capability of changing frequencies. The rest of us are stuck with obsolete systems. Unfortunately, the rebate programs of several manufacturers were due to expire before June 2010, although some (such as Shure’s) have been extended through the month of June.

We spoke with Audio-Technica’s director of educational service, Steve Savanyu, who said that Audio-Technica ceased making wireless systems in the 700MHz band more than 6 years ago and stopped selling them more than 3 years ago. The company currently has systems in the 500MHz and 600MHz band, such as the ATW-1813 with 996 frequencies. The complete system includes ATW-R1810 single-channel receiver, ATW-T1801 UniPak bodypack transmitter, ATW-T1802 plug-on transmitter, and a lavaliere microphone. Even with the latest generation reliability of wireless mics, Savanyu suggests that event videographers, who have no option of doing a retake, carry along a 50' mic cable. You’ll need an inline power module such as the AT8538, which sells for less than $100.

Audio-Technica's 1800 series

You can find Audio-Technica’s site with info about the transition here. Rebates are 15% off AT products purchased and AT products sent in, and 5% off competitors’ products sent in. The rebate program lasts until Sept. 30, 2010. Sennheiser’s rebate, like Shure’s, expires June 30, 2010. The manufacturer is able to modify the frequencies or a small number of transmitter and receiver models. For information on Sennheiser’s program, click here.

Sennheiser EW112-G3 wireless bodypack

Until June 30, Shure offers rebates as high as $1,000 if you purchase a UR14D or UR24D/SM58 mic combo and return a Shure system. The top rebate for returning another manufacturer’s system is $600. While many rebates hover in the $100–$200 range, the rebate for the purchase of a PGX14 or PGX24 with SM58 mic is only $40. You can download the Shure rebate form here.

Shure 700MHz wireless trade-in program

Samson offers a free replacement for any 700MHz band mics purchased after Aug. 1, 2009; for purchases made between Feb. 1, 2009, and July 31, 2009, the company offers a replacement model for $150. The rebate program for customers who purchased their systems prior to February ended May 31, 2010. As of press time, Samson had made no announcement to extend the program. Its website is www.samsontech.com.

Sony posted this on its digital transition website: “Sony customers with WL-800 Series ‘B’ suffix models who want to modify their existing channels 62/64 or channels 66/68 wireless systems to operate on alternative channels 30/32 or channels 42/44 (on a charge basis) can contact Sony Service in Teaneck N.J. (201-833-5300) to inquire. Sony customers with previous UWP Series systems operating on channels 62/64 or channels 66/68 should consider replacing their wireless systems with new UWP systems that operate in channels 30/32 or channels 42/44.” You can find the Sony transition site here.

Sony Pro Audio DTV Transition page

Lectrosonics may be able to convert some systems to the new frequencies. If not, the transmitters and receivers may be exchanged for new models “at heavily discounted costs subsidized by the factory.” You can read Lectrosonics’ “consumer alert” here.

We couldn’t find anything on Azden’s website (www.azdencorp.com) about the transition, but you can call the company at (516) 328-7500.

AKG has a section on its website explaining the transition; you can contact the company directly for information on rebates. Read more about AKG’s stance here or contact the company directly at (818) 920-3275.

Nady manufactures VHF portable wireless microphone systems such as the WHT Handheld Microphone Transmitter, which operates on a separate single frequency in the VHF 170MHz–216MHz band. It also makes the VHF WLT/WGT Bodypack Transmitter and the DKW-1 mini portable receiver. Nady describes the steps it has taken to ensure FCC compliance here.

Buyers' Guide to FCC-Compliant Portable RF Systems
This is just a sampling of systems that include a bodypack transmitter and a camera-mounted receiver that operate in allowed frequencies. The clip-on mic element is not necessarily included; by and large, lavs are interchangeable. Handheld transmitters that attach to a standard mic and handheld mic-transmitters are included. This list is not exhaustive; check with the manufacturers for new models of transmitters and receivers.

AKG DPT 700 Digital Bodypack Transmitter for DMS 700 Wireless System
• Dimensions 3.3" x 2.5" x 0.86"
• Price: $995

AKG PT 4500 Wireless Bodypack Transmitter
• 1,200 selectable frequencies
• Up to 50mW RF output
• Backlit display
• Uses AA batteries
• Works with WMS 4500 system
• Price: $599

AKG PT 450 Bodypack Transmitter for AKG WMS450 Wireless System
• Band 1/680.200MHz–710.00MHz
• Price: $249

Audio-Technica ATW-1811 Single-Channel Receiver
• Includes: ATW-T1801 UniPak bodypack transmitter and a   lavaliere microphone
• 996 auto-scanning frequencies, simultaneous operation of up to 10 systems
• UHF Band D: 655.500MHz–680.375MHz
• Price: $499

Audio-Technica ATW-1813D Portable Wireless Microphone Combo System
• Includes: ATW-R1810 receiver, ATW-T1802 plug-in transmitter, • ATW-T1802 bodypack, and lavaliere microphone
• UHF Band D: 655.500MHz–680.375 MHz
• 996 channels
• Price: $697

Audio-Technica ATW-1823
• Includes: ATW-R1820 dual-channel receiver, ATW-T1801 UniPak bodypack transmitter, ATW-T1802 plug-on transmitter, and a lavaliere microphone
• Price: $1,795

Audio-Technica ATW-T310 UniPak Transmitter for ATW-3110 Wireless Microphone System

• Uses 2 AA battery power
• Mic/line input connection
• Band C: 541.500MHz–566.375MHz
• Price: $196

Audio-Technica AEW-T1000 Wireless UniPak Transmitter
• For AEW single and dual receivers
• Accepts line- and mic-level signals
• Band C: 541.500MHz–566.375MHz
• Price: $419

Audio-Technica ATW-T702 Wireless Handheld Transmitter
• Price: $162.50

Audio-Technica AEW-T4100 Cardioid Handheld Microphone Transmitter
• For 5000 Series Wireless
• Cardioid polar pattern
• IntelliScan frequency detection
• Band C: 541.500MHz–566.375MHz
• Price: $439

Audio-Technica AEW-T3300 Handheld Transmitter

• For 5000 Series Wireless
• Cardioid polar pattern
• Uses 2 AA batteries
• IntelliScan frequency detection
• Band C: 541.500MHz–566.375MHz
• Price: $619

Azden 105ULH—105 Series UHF Wireless Microphone Combo System
• 105UPR receiver
• 15BT belt-pack transmitter
• EX-305 lavaliere microphone
• 15HT handheld transmitter
• RF carrier frequency range
• 566.25MHz–589.75MHz
• Price $399

Azden 325ULH Dual-Channel Portable Wireless Microphone Combo System
• 325UPR dual-channel receiver
• 35HT handheld and 35BT belt-pack transmitters
• EX-503 lavaliere dual-channel UHF portable
• RF carrier frequency range
• 566.125MHz–589.875MHz
• Price: $799

Azden 1200 Series Slot-In Portable Wireless Lavaliere Microphone System
• 1200BT belt-pack transmitter
• Azden EX-503 lavaliere microphone
• 638.125MHz–661.875MHz
• 188 channels
• Price: $995

Azden 1200BT Belt-Pack Transmitter for 1200 Series Receivers

• 188 DTV-compliant frequencies
• Multifunction LCD
• Price: $299

Azden 35HT UHF Handheld Microphone (566.125MHz–589.875MHz)

• Digital LCD display
• 188 selectable frequencies
• Uses 2 AA batteries
• Price: $229

Electro-Voice REV-BP Bodypack Transmitter for REV Series Wireless Microphone System

• C2 Band: 650MHz–674MHz/TV channels 44–47
• 950 possible frequencies; programmable in 25kHz steps
• Price : $556

Electro-Voice HTU2D-267 Handheld Transmitter With N/D267 Microphone Head
• 1,122 possible frequencies; programmable in 25kHz steps
• Price: $199

Lectrosonics 100 Series UHF Portable Receiver

• Frequency block 22
• 256 selectable frequencies over a 25.6MHz band
• UCR100 UHF frequency-agile receiver
• RF carrier frequency range
• 537.6MHz–608MHz, 614MHz–793.5MHz (in 10 blocks)
• Price: $514.95

Lectrosonics LMa Frequency-Agile Digital Hybrid UHF Belt-Pack Transmitter
• Digital Hybrid Wireless technology
• No compander noise
• Servo bias audio input
• 256 frequencies
• 200, 100, and IFB series-compatible
• Frequency block 20
• Price: $649

Lectrosonics VRS Receiver and LM Transmitter With M152 for Venue System (Frequency Block 19)
• 256 Selectable Frequencies
• Both transmitter and receiver offer 256 selectable UHF frequencies over a 25.6MHz range
• Price: $1,095

Lectrosonics SMa Sub-Miniature Microphone Transmitter
• Sub-miniature design
• Digital Hybrid Wireless technology
• Frequency block 21
• Dimensions: 2.3" x 1.8" x 0.64"
• Price: $1,129

Lectrosonics 400 Series Wireless Lavaliere Microphone System

• UCR411 camera-mountable receiver
• LMa belt-pack transmitter
• M152 lavaliere microphone
• Frequency block 20
• 256 frequencies
• Price: $2,501

Lectrosonics 400 Series Wireless UHF Lavaliere System

• UCR401 portable receiver
• LM Digital Hybrid Wireless transmitter
• M152 omnidirectional lavaliere mic
• Frequency block 20
• Price: $2,056

Lectrosonics 100 Series Wireless UHF Lavaliere Microphone System
• M152 lavaliere mic
• RF carrier frequency range 537.6MHz–608MHz
• Price: $1,260

Lectrosonics 400 Series Wireless Lavaliere Microphone System
• UCR411 portable receiver
• MM400 watertight transmitter 3.03" x 2" x 0.69"
• M152 omnidirectional lavaliere
• Frequency block 20
• Price: $2,837

Samson UM1 Portable Wireless Lavaliere Microphone System

• CT7 bodypack transmitter
• UM1 UHF diversity receiver
• LM10 Lavaliere microphone
• Price: $219

Sennheiser EW112-p G3 Camera-Mount Wireless Microphone System With ME2 Lavaliere Mic
• Band A: 516MHz–558MHz frequency
• EK 100 G3 portable UHF receiver
• SK 100 G3 bodypack transmitter
• ME2 omni lavaliere
• 42MHz bandwidth
• 1,680 tunable UHF frequencies
• 12 compatible frequencies per bank
• Price: $599.99

Sennheiser ENG Package 1 (G: 626MHz–668MHz)

• EK 2000 receiver
• SK 2000 bodypack transmitter
• SKP 2000 plug-on transmitter
• Synchronize frequencies via infrared
• True diversity technology
• Four output power settings
• Mic- or line-level input on transmitters
• Price: $2,497

Sony WCS-999 Camera-Mountable 900MHz Lavaliere Microphone System

• Single-channel
• RF carrier frequency range
• 912MHz–915MHz
• Mixed user reviews, mostly negative
• Price: $101.99

Sony UWP-V1 Wireless Lavaliere Microphone Package (30/32; 566MHz–590MHz)
• UTX-B2V belt-pack transmitter
• Omnidirectional lavaliere microphone
• URX-P2 portable receiver
• Selectable mic/line input
• Price: $525

Sony UWP-V6 Wireless Plug-In and Lavaliere Microphone Package (42/55; 638MHz–662MHz)

• UTX-P1 plug-in transmitter
• UTX-B2 bodypack transmitter
• Lavaliere microphone
• URX-P2 portable receiver
• Selectable mic/line input
• Price: $730

Stuart Sweetow (sweetow at avconsultants.com) runs Oakland, Calif.-based video production company Audio Visual Consultants. He taught video production at UC Berkeley Extension, was associate editor of Wedding and Event Videography, and was a contributing editor to Camcorder & Computer Video magazine.
 

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Show Report: IVA Midwest Expo 2010

Midwest Expo 2010In 2006 I attended my first videography event in Chicago, hosted by the Illinois Videographers Association (IVA), and I was fortunate enough to hear Mark and Trisha Von Lanken and Hal Slifer. That event not only changed a great deal about my business, it also caused me to completely rethink my attitude toward educational opportunities. When I heard last year’s IVA Midwest Expo featured a list of speakers that included StillMotion’s Patrick Moreau and Pacific Pictures’ Kevin Shahinian, I knew I had to be there. I paid the fees to get my wife and me into the event and eagerly awaited the big day. Then there was this little incident the day before the show where I was careless and landed in the emergency room with a missing fingertip. When the IVA announced the speaker lineup for Midwest Expo 2010 and I saw that Matt Davis, Ray Roman, Adam Forgione, and Keith Anderson were headlining, I knew this was an event I had to attend. In the week leading up to it, I was extra careful to avoid any mishap that could possibly sideline me for this one.

The speaker I wanted to hear was Matt Davis of North Carolina’s Life Stage Films, whose much-discussed presentation I’d missed at WEVA Expo last year. Matt was scheduled to lead off the event at 8:30 a.m., and the trek from Stoughton, Wis., to the Midwest Expo venue in Countryside, Ill., was hardly the easy drive through the countryside that you might imagine. Fortunately for us, Matt had barely gotten underway with his presentation when we arrived.

Matt gave us all kinds of tips on engaging prospective customers when they call for information. He stressed multiple times how we need to stop talking and get our clients talking because it will help get them caught up in the emotion of dreaming about their day. Of course, the customer on the other end of the phone is probably trying not to talk to make us do most of the talking because they’re the ones doing the comparison shopping. It’s a funny predicament if you think about it.

Matt described his company’s psychological system for sales over the phone and gave us all kinds of ideas to get our customers talking about their wedding: little things like asking about their wedding details, locations, number of attendees, etc. He tries to get them to imagine how grand their day will be and then try to picture it without a video. Matt stressed that asking all these questions gives you credibility because it shows that you care about doing your best with their memories. Matt’s company has a complete sales tree that each person uses when answering inquiries. It tells them how to respond based on the customer’s answers and responses. There was one particular part of his company’s sales strategy that struck me as interesting yet unusual: At multiple key moments in the phone conversation, Matt or a member of his team will actually give the customer chances to back out of hiring the company. It’s Matt’s way of getting the customer to believe in his company. It’s interesting how he can seal the deal by giving them a chance to back out and hire someone else.

Next up was Adam Forgione from Pennylane Productions of New York. He flat-out rocked the house. Our industry has a few people out there who are such experts at a given portion of the process that they are treasures for us all. Adam is one of those people. Adam started his presentation with a 5–7-minute video introducing himself. I knew he was good with audio, but I was unaware of the amazing audio projects he’s done (you may have seen them on TV or in concerts). His expertise in audio is second to none. He opened my eyes with his techniques for audio compressors and equalizers; even how to take a DJ feed with no ambient audio and make it sound like a live ambient recording mix.

For less technical attendees, it may have been a little more difficult to grasp some of the techniques Adam discussed. But if you’re an editor—even if you don’t consider audio one of your strong points—you have to grasp some of these things and learn them. He made some of those basic things we should know understandable. He delved a little into how music timing is important by showing a nonmusician how a typical song is broken down into pieces and how to fit your edit to those pieces.

Adam showed that editing to music is more than just dropping clips on a timeline and putting a music bed underneath. His presentation walked attendees through finding highpoints in the music to put your money shots on and how to fill in the holes. Being a musician myself, it all made sense to me. But for those who aren’t musicians, I’m sure Adam provided valuable insight into using music to make your clips pop.

Later in the evening, Adam came back for the last session and walked us through one of his 20-minute wedding films. We basically got to hear him think out loud regarding his thought processes for building the film: why elements fit where they did and how they built the story. For each section of the film, he would stop and walk us through the process of how each section was thought out. By the time he was done, you had a nice grasp on how to build a shortform edit if you had never done one.

Matt Davis, Ray Roman, Adam Forgione, Keith Anderson

Next up was Keith Anderson from Wedding Day Cinema in Chicago. He started by stressing how important it is to create a good demo. He then proceeded to deconstruct his demo, explaining how some shots were achieved and why certain things were important in the process of creating a demo. Keith’s presentation was titles, From Start-Up to Six Figures. He explained how to make that jump by describing how he’s built a multifaceted business. He mentioned that the demo was a key part of the wedding side of his company. His main company, All Occasions Video, handles the corporate stuff and basic wedding packages, while Wedding Day Cinema creates the high-end wedding films. He stressed something I have recently learned: Don’t be afraid of corporate America. Corporate work helps you diversify your work so you don’t depend completely on weddings.

One thing he did stress a few times was this: Regardless of whether the work you’re doing is wedding, corporate, or otherwise, give people what they’re willing to pay for. If they don’t pay for it, don’t do it. Establish your price and believe in that price.

The highlight of Keith’s presentation was a little video he created without the customer’s knowledge. Keith and his wife recently added a new section onto their house just for the business so they can have a nice place to meet customers. He set up two cameras, both out in the open, and turned them on record to capture the meeting with the customer. The customer could see the cameras but had no idea they were on. We got to witness a live consultation. The customer was exuberant—the perfect person for this little scenario. But what if she had been a reluctant bride or simply price shopping? It was a great opportunity for all in attendance to see how to pull off a customer meeting and seal the deal the right way. By the time she left his office, there was a $6,000 deal in place for her wedding film. I hoped Keith would do a “happy dance” after she left because he got the contract. Instead, he just came up to the camera and said, “Well, that certainly went well.”

Keith Anderson Wedding Day Cinema

Next up was Ray Roman of Miami’s Ray Roman Films. What can I say about Ray? If you read my A Day on the Job With Ray Roman Films article, you will know I am a big fan of Ray, his work, and the simplicity he uses to achieve amazing results. Ray’s presentation was The Art of Short Form Weddings, but his presentation was more about explaining why short-form weddings are great products and describing some of the techniques he uses to shoot them. He didn’t delve too much into the thought process of the edit, but that was no problem because Adam had covered that in depth.

Ray gave us lots of fun responses for customers mentioning the price of his films and the finished lengths of them. His films are typically 20–25 minutes. When a customer asks Ray why she is getting only a 20-minute film of a wedding that’s considerably longer, Ray has a great response: Hollywood producers shoot a film for an entire year to give you 90- minute film; “I get only 1 day and deliver 20 minutes.” Then they get it, he says. For those who doubt that a short-form can feel complete, Ray showed us a short clip that included two toasts, bride preps, groom preps, guests arriving, and the bride and groom’s first sight of each other. It was all over in 2.5 minutes, but you felt like you were there. It’s the art of storytelling, and Ray has mastered it as well as anybody.

When you hang out with Ray for any amount of time or even listen to him in a seminar, you quickly learn he has some answers to questions posed by customers that only Ray could pull off. You’ll laugh at the truthfulness of his answers, and you’ll wish you could say them to some of your own clients. Somehow, he pulls it off and educates the customer at the same time.

Ray stressed again in his presentation the importance of basic skills and techniques. Without good framing and exposures, nothing will look good. When you watch his work, you see great techniques, but they’re predominantly basic techniques we should all have mastered as professionals. He just weaves them into a story that is pretty amazing. Ray stressed in his presentation the importance of filming lots of great B-roll and capturing lots of great moments so you can pick and choose the best moments of the day to build a story. Don’t just put a shot in because you have to fill a hole in the soundtrack, he said. Either get more shots that work or shorten the soundtrack.

Ray mentioned that when an edit is complete, there will be lots of great scenes that never make the video because they didn’t contribute to the story. Those shots may end up in a bonus footage reel, but if they don’t further the story, don’t use them. Ray is always a treat to hear speak, so if you ever have the opportunity to learn from him, make sure to take advantage of it.

In between the presentations, we had a few hours to explore a small trade show from some of the expo sponsors. For a small event like this, the trade show was pretty nice. Canon was there showing off its DSLRs and the XF300 and XF305, the new prosumer cameras that will be rolled out soon. Roy Chapman from WEVA was even in town promoting WEVA’s 20th Anniversary Expo this year as well as the new and affordable errors and omissions insurance WEVA members have access to. It was fun checking a few things out at the trade show and doing some networking with other videographers at the same time.

At the end of the night, we departed for the drive back to Wisconsin. Our heads were about to explode with all the new information, and our intern was pumped for her first shoot with us the following Saturday. Her only regret was that we couldn’t get out and shoot it the very next day.

Philip Hinkle (philip at frogmanproductions.com) runs Madison, Wis.-area video production company Frogman Productions. A 2008 EventDV 25 honoree, he won a 2008 WEVA CEA Gold in the Social Event category and a 2006 4EVER Group AAA Diamond. He was a 2009 WEVA CEA judge and a featured speaker at WEVA Expo 2009. He is co-founder and vice-president of the Wisconsin Digital Media Group.

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Sony Creative Software Licenses proDAD Video Stabilization Technology for Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10

proDAD, a world-class developer of digital video effects plug-ins and image optimization technologies for professional video editors, broadcast professionals as well as aspiring pros today announced that Sony Creative Software has chosen to integrate proDAD's video stabilization technology into its Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10 video editing software package.

proDAD's Mercalli video stabilization product has long been a favorite of video professionals for removing "shake" from otherwise good video in post-production. Until now, the Mercalli video stabilization technology has only been available as a plug-in for NLE applications such as Sony Vegas Pro, Adobe Premier Pro/Elements, Pinnacle Studio, and others. proDAD has taken its highly effective video stabilization technology and made it available in SDK form to allow creative software companies and camera hardware companies to integrate this highly refined technology into their products. The proDAD Mercalli SDK supports HD/SD video and offers extremely fast video analysis and preview of the stabilized video based on several different stabilization "profiles" and fast rendering with minimal artifacts. The Mercalli SDK also provides effective "rolling shutter" compensation which corrects the distortion often introduced with CMOS-based fixed lens camcorder lens' found in popular low-cost MPEG4 pocket camcorders and mobile devices with video recording capabilities.
Sony Creative Software's Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10 is a complete video editing, audio production, and DVD authoring suite with advanced movie making features including Dolby® Digital 5.1 surround sound mixing and encoding, video compositing, color correction, and editing of AVCHD video. It's highly intuitive timeline-based workflow and helpful "show me how" tutorials make it a snap to produce stunning SD and HD movies in 3 simple steps.

"The addition of video stabilization and rolling-shutter compensation helps Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10 stand out from other solutions" said Dave Chaimson, vice-president of global marketing for Sony Creative Software. "It's not always possible to shoot on a tri-pod so being able to rescue shaky video footage ‘post-capture' means our users can focus on capturing the moment, knowing Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10 has the tools to make their productions shine. We chose the proDAD solution for its superior video output quality, and ease of integration."

Information & Availability
Sony Creative Software's Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10 with the proDAD video stabilization technology is currently from popular retailers or from www.sonycreativesoftware.com.

To learn more about proDAD's video stabilization technology, please visit www.prodad.us/developersolutions.

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Sony Introduces New Versions of Consumer Software for Creative Content Production

Sony Creative Software, a leading provider of award-winning professional video and audio editing applications, today announced new versions of its consumer software product line, providing users with powerful yet easy to use tools for developing and editing creative digital content such as videos, music, podcasts, photos and more.

Each application has been specifically designed to help anyone easily make their creative inspirations come to life. The new software lineup includes Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10 video editing software, DVD Architect 5 DVD and Blu-ray Disc authoring software, Sound Forge Audio Studio 10 audio editing and production software and ACID Music Studio 8 music creation and mixing software. Along with the individual software applications, Sony has also introduced two specialized software bundles that affordably provide comprehensive production tools, including the Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10 Production Suite and the Imagination Studio Suite 2.

Through extensive upgrades to the entire consumer line of products, the new Sony software collection provides users with intuitive and advanced tools to create nearly any type of multimedia project. Each software application easily imports a wide variety of audio, video or still image files for a simple and streamlined process that helps make creating content an enjoyable process from start to finish.

"More people than ever before are expressing their unique interests and creativity by making movies, music, web television and podcasts to share with friends, family and online audiences," said Dave Chaimson, vice-president of global marketing for Sony Creative Software. "These new versions of Sony Creative Software products include upgrades and new features ideally suited for transforming raw footage and audio files into polished, professional final projects. The new software applications have been designed to help new users quickly get started using our 'Show Me How' tutorials, but advanced users can continue to expand their skills by discovering new tricks and techniques through powerful features that have been adapted from our professional line of software tools."

Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10 Feature Highlights
Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10 is an easy-to-use, full-featured video editing application that provides the tools to create professional-looking high-definition projects, as well continued support for standard-definition media. Powerful new tools such as image stabilization, GPU accelerated rendering, slideshow creator, expanded color correction tools, DVD burning from the timeline, enhanced device explorer, and Blu-ray authoring, now offer expanded ways to deliver stunning projects. Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10 includes many new features including:

* Image Stabilization: Users with "shaky" video footage, commonly shot from handheld, pocket and mobile phone cameras, now have the ability to quickly stabilize their files using several optimized presets. Image Stabilization uses technology from ProDAD, a leading provider of video effects plug-ins.
* Slideshow creator: This new feature simplifies the creation of slideshows made from still images. Designed with ease of use in mind, the Slideshow Creator allows users to quickly create pan/zoom effects and transitions across a set of images, and provides the ability to create a dynamic slideshow from a set of images with only a few simple clicks.
* Increased Number of Tracks: Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum now allows up to 10 video tracks and 10 audio tracks so content creators can utilize more tracks for organizational options, or to embrace more complex projects and compositing techniques.
* New color correction tools: These tools provide users with the ability to rapidly fix video originally shot with incorrect color levels. The new White Balance tool can be used to determine what "white" should look like within a video clip. The entire clip is then automatically color adjusted to match. Seasoned editors can also use the Secondary Color Corrector tool for more advanced color modification.
* GPU-accelerated AVC Rendering: Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum can now use the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) in equipped computers to improve AVC rendering performance and speed, which allows final projects to be published faster than ever before. Users with a CUDA-enabled NVIDIA® video card are able to encode to the Sony AVC format using GPU-accelerated rendering.
* Device Explorer: An all-new Device Explorer window allows users to quickly browse the contents of AVCHD, hard disc and Memory Stick devices, creating more efficient ways to retrieve and edit content.

* DVD Burning Direct from Timeline: In addition to delivering projects via Blu-ray discs, traditional file based hard disk and streaming media formats, users can now burn a DVD disc directly from the timeline to quickly author simple menu-less discs, providing a quick and cost-effective distribution option.

Acid Music Studio 8 Feature Highlights
ACID Music Studio 8 provides users with a comprehensive toolset for music and mashup creations. There are several new features, including an audio and MIDI mixing console, enhanced remixing tools, and exclusive élastique Pro timestretching tools that add more options to ensure users are limited only by their imaginations when producing original music projects. The leading software application in multitrack, loop and beat matching functionality, ACID Music Studio 8 now comes with over 3,000 high quality music loops and includes the Studio Devil British Valve Custom guitar amp, as well as the TruePianos Amber Lite piano plug-in. You can also upload your project to the ACIDplanet.com social networking and music website directly from within the interface.

* Audio and MIDI Mixing Console: The new Mixing Console provides an integrated view of all tracks and busses in your project with the appearance of a traditional hardware-based mixer. The look can be customized to provide you with the best view of even the most complex session. The new audio and MIDI Mixing Console has additional routing options, allowing for a more flexible and efficient studio recording environment.
* Zplane élastique Audio Timestretching and Pitch Shifting:, Zplane élastique Pro technology allows users to perform dramatic time stretches and pitch-shifts of Beatmapped tracks while retaining maximum sound quality.
* Enchanced remixing tools: For remixing your favorite songs, only ACID Music Studio software has the Beatmapper tool. This feature automatically finds the tempo of a complete song, making it easy to remix songs with different beat structures. New markers in ACID Music Studio 8 allow you to Beatmap songs with varying tempos and time signatures.
* Cross-Track Event Drag and Drop: This new feature allows users to easily create mixes by simply cutting, copying, or pasting events across multiple tracks for faster editing.


Sound Forge Audio Studio 10 Feature Highlights
Sound Forge Audio Studio 10 offers professional tools for mastering audio projects with ease. The new workflow enhancements, including floatable/dockable windows, improved maximum audio bitrate, and enhanced vinyl restoration wizard, enable users to record audio, edit, and master with pro-level control. The software is perfect for anyone wanting to record, edit, and convert audio from almost any source. Prepare audio files for export to the PSP®, iPod®, iPhone®, and burn audio to CDs or create files for the Web.

* Enhanced Vinyl Recording Wizard: Advanced automatic track detection and editing in Sound Forge Audio Studio 10 now makes it easier to convert vinyl and cassettes to digital files. These new features allow users to adjust the start/end times of tracks and fine-tune adjustments prior to CD burning or converting to MP3 for digital conversion or archiving.
* 24-bit/32-bit Float 192 kHz Audio Support: Sound Forge Audio Studio 10 supports 32-bit IEEE float bit-depth and 192 kHz sample rate so users can work with the highest audio resolution for superior sound quality.
* Customizable Window Layouts: Users can create and save multiple layout configurations, and easily recall a window layout for specific editing tasks for a more personalized editing process.
* Floating Window Docks: Windows can be docked and grouped within the Sound Forge Audio Studio 10 interface in order to customize the environment to fit the particular way a user prefers to work.


Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10 Production Suite
In addition to Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10 software, the Production Suite features additional applications to help add even more polish and originality to video projects. The Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10 Production Suite includes DVD Architect Studio 5, Sound Forge Audio Studio 10, Vocal Eraser technology, NewBlueFX audio and video effects, a tutorial DVD and 400 exclusive original music soundtracks.

Imagination Studio Suite 2
The Imagination Studio Suite 2 bundle offers a comprehensive Sony software collection to create the ultimate home multimedia studio. Equipped with the tools to create outstanding multimedia projects, the Imagination Studio Suite 2 features Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10, DVD Architect Studio 5, ACID Music Studio 8, Sound Forge Audio Studio 10, and Photo Go, as well as 360 original music soundtracks, providing an extensive set of tools for adding a personal touch to every media project.

Price and Availability
Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10 (MSRP U.S. $99.95), ACID Music Studio 8 (MSRP U.S. $69.95), Sound Forge Audio Studio 10 (MSRP U.S. $69.95), Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10 Production Suite (MSRP U.S. $129.95) and Imagination Studio Suite 2 (MSRP U.S. $179.95) are now available in English, Japanese, French, German and Spanish. Upgrade pricing for existing users of any of these applications are available via download from Sony Creative Software's website. For more information about these software applications or any of Sony Creative Software's award-winning audio or video editing solutions, please visit http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com.

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Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 Now Available

Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced the immediate availability of Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom® 3 software for Windows® and Macintosh, the essential digital photography workflow solution that allows photographers to quickly organize, enhance and showcase their images from one application.

First released as a public beta in October 2009, the final version of Lightroom 3 introduces a completely redesigned performance architecture that better handles growing image libraries and provides an unrivaled raw processing engine with noise reduction and sharpening tools to achieve the highest image quality. The 64-bit capable Lightroom 3 includes new features that optimize workflows and allow images to be shared in creative ways, including support for DSLR video files and tethered shooting on select cameras.

"There have been over 600,000 downloads of the Lightroom 3 public beta, which has supplied us with a huge amount of valuable feedback from a passionate community of professional and advanced amateur photographers," said Kevin Connor, vice president of product management for Digital Imaging at Adobe. "The open dialog we have with our customers allows us to further improve Lightroom and provide the best tools they need to produce high-quality images. We're happy to see that so many people are anxiously anticipating the final release, so they can start taking advantage of all the new features they had a hand in developing."

Public Beta Process Perfects Lightroom 3 New Features
Re-built from its core to be lightening fast and responsive, Lightroom 3 adds power throughout the application to provide a fluid experience for photographers. Images load almost instantaneously, and the import experience has been redesigned to be more intuitive, with added previews and default selections that give users quick access to sort through and find images. Helping streamline and adapt to photographers' changing workflows, Lightroom 3 now allows users to import and manage DSLR video files, as well as take advantage of tethered shooting for select Nikon and Canon cameras.

New state-of-the-art photographic tools help photographers bring out the best in their images. Unrivaled Luminance and Color Noise Reduction tools help produce a clearer picture from high ISO or underexposed images while still preserving details. The highly-requested Automatic Lens Correction feature can dramatically improve the results possible with any lens by allowing users to apply profiles that correct for undesirable geometric distortions, chromatic aberrations and lens vignette effects that most lenses introduce to the image. Users now also have a straighten tool to perfect vertical and horizontal perspective, additional presets for applying more photographic adjustment styles, and three new contemporary vignette styles and a Grain effect to add a more natural look with images.

Lightroom 3 Expands Image Showcasing
Output options have also been enhanced in this release, with new capabilities to publish collections on online sharing sites. Flickr® users have the ability to synch their accounts to Lightroom with one click, and integration with additional online photo sharing sites can be added via third-party plug-ins. Customizable print layouts provide more refined control over how photographers present final images, and new watermarking features, with options to modify text, size, location and style, help give professionals and amateurs flexibility for branding images. Lightroom 3 now also includes the ability to export polished slideshows as video files with the option to add audio and title screens.

Pricing and Availability
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 for Windows and Macintosh is available now at http://www.adobe.com/store, for pre-order via Amazon.com and NewEgg.com and will be available soon at retail and online outlets such as Frys, BestBuy.com, Costco.com, Walmart.com, Staples.com, OfficeMax.com, OfficeDepot.com and select camera stores. The estimated street price is US$299 for new users with an upgrade price of US$99 for qualified registered Lightroom users. Recommended system requirements are Macintosh OS X v 10.5, 10.6 with Intel® based processor, or Microsoft® Windows® 7, Windows Vista® Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise or Windows XP with Service Pack 3, Intel® Pentium® 4 processor, 2 GB RAM and a 1,024x768 resolution screen.

Additional information on product features, upgrade policies, pricing, and language versions is available on http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshoplightroom.

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Singular Announces Public Beta for New Sony Vegas Plug-In

Singular Software, red-hot developer of automation applications for post-production, has released the first beta download for the recently announced Singular Software Presto.

Designed to work inside Sony Vegas Pro®, Singular Software Presto eliminates the complexities of piecing together presentations by automating the assembly of presenter video and slides, saving hours in the edit room.

Available for immediate download via the Singular Software website, the highly anticipated beta leverages sophisticated computer vision and synchronization techniques to yield polished, professional results. Customer feedback will be utilized to provide insight into future plug-in enhancements. Interested participants can download the free beta by visiting: http://www.singularsoftware.com/downloads.html.

About Singular Software Presto
Singular Software Presto originates from a line of workflow automation applications developed by Singular Software for audio and video professionals. To sign up for the Singular Software mailing list and be notified of news about this and other products, please visit: http://www.singularsoftware.com/newsletters.html.

About Singular Software
Established in 2008, Singular Software pioneers the development of workflow automation applications for audio and video professionals. Its breakthrough solution, PluralEyes, offers innovative technology to automate and simplify multi-camera, multi-take and dual-system audio workflows. Singular Software products support industry leading non-linear editing products. For more information about Singular Software, please visit: http://www.singularsoftware.com.

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Florical Systems Acuitas Video Servers Powered With Matrox DSX Developer Products

Matrox® Video Products Group today announced that Florical Systems has chosen the Matrox X.mio2 multi-channel HD/SD I/O card, part of the Matrox DSX family of developer products, as the heart of its Acuitas video server product line. Acuitas eliminates the traditional, serial-based, proprietary boxes within the broadcast chain by using all off-the-shelf, IT-based components and a true Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) to provide high definition playout, graphics, effects, and switching.

"The Matrox cards help Florical offer scalable solutions from simple commercial insertion to the running of multi-channel operations," said James Berry, Florical director of sales. "Acuitas gives our broadcast customers a reliable and affordable all-in-one solution that combines world-renown Florical automation with a robust video server. They no longer have to worry about component incompatibility."

"For over 30 years Matrox has been supplying the hardware and software tools that keep broadcast equipment manufacturers at the forefront of emerging video markets, said Alberto Cieri, Matrox senior director of sales and marketing. "Florical's innovative use of our latest enabling technology provides smooth workflow solutions to their customers."
About Matrox DSX Developer Products

* Modular architecture gives developers the flexibility to meet technical and price targets for broadcast applications including capture/playout servers, streaming servers, clip and still stores, render farms, character generators, graphics/production servers, automation and master control units, multi-layer effects compositors, and nonlinear editing systems
* Multi-channel HD and SD video/audio I/O support from a single card including 3 Gb/s for 1080p
* Extensive native codec support in HD and SD including DV, D10 for IMX, HDV, DVCPRO HD, MPEG-2 4:2:2, MPEG-2 4:2:2:4 YUVA, MPEG HD for XDCAM HD, MPEG HD422 for XDCAM HD422, AVC-Intra for P2, H.264 and Apple ProRes
* Cross platform file format support - MXF, MOV, AVI, MPG, etc.
* Multi-layer onboard HD scaler/compositor
* Professional realtime effects including sub-pixel 2D/3D DVE, color correction, chroma/luma keying, graphics overlay, smooth speed changes, etc.
* Application development support by a team of dedicated, experienced engineers

www.matrox.com/video

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