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by Allan Tépper

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Allan Tépper has been working with professional video since the early eighties, since he first learned to edit video using the open-reel 1/2” EIAJ-1 format with a Sony AV-3650 editing deck in his high school in Connecticut. Since 1994, Tépper has been consulting both end-users and manufacturers via his Florida company. Via TecnoTur, Tépper has been giving video technology seminars in several South Florida’s universities and training centers, and in a half dozen Latin American countries, in their native language. Tépper has been a freque...

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Blackmagic finally removes (part of) the Band-Aid!

Blackmagic finally removes (part of) the Band-Aid!

After several years + 241 electronic signatures, some DreamColor Monitor users can rejoice and sell their Band-Aid, but not all

By Allan Tépper | June 15, 2014

A few days ago, I received a cryptic message from an Australian reader (a countryman of Blackmagic, but apparently not a Blackmagic Design employee). It said: “Looks like Blackmagic have removed the Band-Aid. Latest software supports RGB 10bit on HDMI!”. I immediately downloaded the ReadMe for the latest update to Blackmagic’s Desktop Video Software, which also automatically updates firmware when appropriate. I had a couple of questions and contacted Blackmagic PR. Ahead are the critical details you need to know.

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Video framerates and the Tower of Babel: a translation guide

Video framerates and the Tower of Babel: a translation guide

Until manufacturers start speaking the same language, we need a cheat sheet.

By Allan Tépper | June 10, 2014

What does “24p” or “30p” mean when a manufacturer states it? How can we tell if —and when— they really mean 23.976p, 24.000p, 29.97p, or even the non-standard 30.000p? Unfortunately, each manufacturer has its own policy about this, which reminds me of the biblical story of the Tower of Babel: At the end of the story, all of the workers were speaking a different language and couldn’t understand each other. Ahead is a translation guide, including Adobe, AJA, Apple, Avid, Blackmagic, Canon, Corel/Pinnacle Systems, Datavideo, GoPro, JVC, FiLMiC Pro, NewTek/TriCaster, Panasonic, and Sony, plus an FAQ.

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Pinnacle Studio for iPad adds 25p + more improvements

Pinnacle Studio for iPad adds 25p + more improvements

Fortunately, Pinnacle Studio for iPad added several improvements, but several simple ones remain desperately missing.

By Allan Tépper | June 10, 2014

Pinnacle Studio for iPad (previously known as Avid Studio for iPad) has thankfully added missing framerates including 24 + 25, plus other improvements. In my articles in ProVideo Coalition magazine, I have covered the application since its birth from Avid, when it changed its name and owner, and when it became the first iOS video editing app to support translucent alpha channels. Ahead I’ll cover the improvements in detail, what’s critically missing, and what is simply wrong and must be fixed.

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First look: ThunderBay IV 4-bay 12TB Thunderbolt system

First look: ThunderBay IV 4-bay 12TB Thunderbolt system

Over the upcoming weeks, I’ll be reviewing this quite flexible Thunderbolt storage device.

By Allan Tépper | June 06, 2014

Long time readers know that I have reviewed several different Thunderbolt storage (and other) devices from diverse manufacturers. One of those is OWC, aka Other World Computing. I am now honored to be invited to review their new ThunderBay IV 4-bay 12TB Thunderbolt, system, which can be configured in several different ways and promises to offer quite a punch for its relatively low —and even palindromic— price of US$979. Here’s a first look.

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3 workarounds for iOS mediographers (iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch)

3 workarounds for iOS mediographers (iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch)

If you produce audio or video with an iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch, you’ll likely have found some of these limitations.

By Allan Tépper | May 31, 2014

Whether you have been using one of the audio/video production apps I have been covering (including Bossjock Studio, FiLMiC Pro, and RØDE Rec) or some others I have yet to cover, you’ll likely have encountered software limitations. This article covers three workarounds to use in the meantime, while app developers add direct support for essential features like SFTP, Gmail app, and until Apple fixes AirDrop between iOS and Mac OS.

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Bentley Motors does high-end short, shot on iPhone 5s

Bentley Motors does high-end short, shot on iPhone 5s

It lasts 4:25 including the making-of.

By Allan Tépper | May 16, 2014

Thanks to Jeff Taylor of TeleverseStudios.com, I just became aware of Bentley Motors' high-end short, which they shot completely with an iPhone 5s and FiLMiC Pro. The duration is 4 minutes, 25 seconds, including the making-of. Ahead is the video and my comments.

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Cure audio spill in multi-mic situations with an AT-MX351a automatic mixer

Cure audio spill in multi-mic situations with an AT-MX351a automatic mixer

With the AT-MX351a from Audio Technica, you can sound as good with multi-mics as with a single one.

By Allan Tépper | May 10, 2014

If you have ever been disappointed when your audio quality drops exponentially as you add more microphones with a talk show, interview or reality, due to a phenomenon called spill, bleed or “crosstalk”, and you can’t afford the time to mulitrack and fix it in post, you’ll be happy to know that there is a hardware device to solve it in real time, either live, “live on tape” or —more commonly nowadays— "live to flash memory”. Enter the AT-MX351a automatic mixer from Audio Technica. Here are my introduction and initial tests.

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RØDE’s PinMic takes lavalier microphones to a new esthetic level

RØDE’s PinMic takes lavalier microphones to a new esthetic level

The RØDE PinMic is the least obtrusive body mic short of hiding a conventional lav inside clothing.

By Allan Tépper | May 07, 2014

In addition to offering the wonderful RØDE REC application for iOS which I recently reviewed (link ahead), RØDE is primarily known as a renowned microphone manufacturer from Australia. One of its unique designs is the PinMic, the least obtrusive body mic I’ve ever seen, short of hiding a conventional lav inside clothing. With the PinMic, absolutely all components and cabling stay inside the clothes, except the microphone element itself, which connects to the rest via three tiny pins, which perforate the shirt or dress non-destructively.

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Have AJA/Blackmagic forgotten about ABC/Disney/ESPN/FOX?

Have AJA/Blackmagic forgotten about ABC/Disney/ESPN/FOX?

It is understandable not to record 720p internally, but what about 720p over the live SDI output?

By Allan Tépper | May 02, 2014

Both AJA and Blackmagic showed cameras at NAB 2014, as I covered in other articles. All of these new cameras offer some type of SDI connector for studio use, and all can shoot the matching framerates for 720p (50p & 59.94p), but none of these cameras (even those specifically marketed for studio use) includes 720p in any of their specs. Could have AJA and Blackmagic forgotten about 39+ US networks that use 720p? Or what…?

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AJA converts PsF-to-progressive with new Hi5-Plus converter

AJA converts PsF-to-progressive with new Hi5-Plus converter

Despite popular confusion, 23.976PsF is not the same as 23.976p-over–59.94i.

By Allan Tépper | April 25, 2014

At its press conference at NAB, AJA launched its new US$395 Hi5-Plus converter which —in addition to converting from SDI to HDMI— can also convert PsF to true progressive, which I love. Frequent readers know that I am extremely intrigued by this topic. I am the same guy who —so far— has published 10 chapters in the PsF missing workflow series, and has reviewed products from Átomos, NewTek, and SoundDevices that convert PsF signals to true progressive and remove nasty pulldown on the fly. Let’s see what these devices have in common, what differs, and when each “fits” in a particular situation.

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Bossjock Studio creates a “live” radio studio in your iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch

Bossjock Studio creates a “live” radio studio in your iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch

Bossjock Studio replaces a recorder, carts, and in many cases, an audio mixer for podcasting and more.

By Allan Tépper | April 20, 2014

With its inboard virtual carts (to play intros, bumpers, commercial spots, PSAs, sound effects, and stingers), ducking and easy sharing, the under US$10 Bossjock Studio app in your iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch lets you produce your podcast or radio show in real time “live to flash memory”, encode it, and publish it online. This is my “first look” article.

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Átomos announces Shogun 4K 4:2:2 recorder/monitor  w/ balanced audio

Átomos announces Shogun 4K 4:2:2 recorder/monitor w/ balanced audio

For the first time, Átomos has embraced balanced audio inputs and 4K 4:2:2 recording.

By Allan Tépper | April 19, 2014

At NAB 2014, Átomos announced its under-US$2k Shogun 4K 4:2:2 recorder/calibratable 7" 1920x1080 monitor with scopes, HDMI and 12G-SDI, and XLR<>Lemo balanced audio breakout cable. (More about that cable ahead in this article.) Átomos also made a joint announcement with Sony regarding the A7s 4K camera, which is aimed to compete with the Panasonic’s GH4, both of which work with the Shogun. Details ahead…

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HP revitalizes DreamColor universe with 2 new models

HP revitalizes DreamColor universe with 2 new models

The new pro DreamColor monitor is larger, can accept 4K, and has many other improvements.

By Allan Tépper | April 14, 2014

At NAB 2014 in Las Vegas, HP showed two new DreamColor monitors with plenty to write home about! The new “pro” Z27X model has a larger 27“ diagonal panel, accepts up to a 4K signal, and costs substantially less than the original DreamColor monitor. Ahead I’ll explain many of its other improvements, together with some details on the new Z24X 24” “little brother” model, which is now the entry-level DreamColor monitor.

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AJA & Blackmagic announce shoulder-mounted 4K cameras

AJA & Blackmagic announce shoulder-mounted 4K cameras

Both offer RAW recordings + ProRes; Blackmagic emphasizes modular sensors: AJA emphasizes suede shoulder pad.

By Allan Tépper | April 08, 2014

At NAB 2014 in Las Vegas, both AJA and Blackmagic announced shoulder-mounted 4K cameras for attractive prices. AJA’s Cion camera uses an APS-C 4K/UHD sensor, while Blackmagic’s URSA offers 4 different sensor options which are user upgradable. The 4K/UHD sensor is Super 35mm. Some details are ahead, in alphabetical order…

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JuiceLink pre-announces wearable pro audio recorder

JuiceLink pre-announces wearable pro audio recorder

JuicedLink will show a wearable pro audio recorder at NAB. How will it compare with wearable proposals from other companies?

By Allan Tépper | April 02, 2014

JuicedLink, a leading manufacturer of external audio interfaces for cameras, just surprised me by pre-announcing its first portable audio recorder, and it joins several other wearable recording proposals. In this first look, let’s see how the new Little DARling Distributed Audio Recorder will compare with other proposals from Audio Technica, IK Multimedia, and RØDE, all of which propose adapting your smartphone or iPod Touch to become a wearable audio recorder by adding their hardware, plus some software.

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Radio spot production: 30-second spots for CASTILIAN CONSPIRACY books

Radio spot production: 30-second spots for CASTILIAN CONSPIRACY books

Read about the production details, and listen to the two high-end, 30-second spots.

By Allan Tépper | March 26, 2014

I just produced two 30-second audio spots for playback on over-the-air radio, as well as podcasts. Although I wrote and produced them, my voice and studio were not used at all in this production. Instead, one female and three male local voice talent were used, as well as the highest grade audio production equipment I’ve ever seen. Listen to the spots, and learn the who, the how and the why, ahead…

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VoiceOverMart upgrades to Pro Tools 11 HD & more

VoiceOverMart upgrades to Pro Tools 11 HD & more

Miami-based voiceover studio has just upgraded to Pro Tools 11 HD, with video upgrades from Blackmagic and Sony.

By Allan Tépper | March 25, 2014

VoiceOverMart is a Miami (Coral Gables), Florida based professional voiceover studio, equipped with ISDN & standard phone patch, and is owned and directed by Víctor Martorella, a renowned voice talent for the Hispanic market. VoiceOverMart recently upgraded to Pro Tools 11 HD, together with video upgrades. These upgrades facilitate their audio spot production and ADR (audio dialogue replacement). Ahead are details of the upgrade via an interview.

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GH4 4K camera gets a price & delivery date: Let’s analyze…

GH4 4K camera gets a price & delivery date: Let’s analyze…

The Panasonic Lumix GH4 and “broadcast” interface finally has a price & delivery. Let’s analyze it.

By Allan Tépper | March 12, 2014

In February, I published my first look at the 4K Panasonic Lumix GH4, where I included most of the known specs, together with its “broadcast” adapter, the YAGH. At that time, we were missing the price and availability. Now that we have them, let’s analyze them with possible system accessories (XLR audio, external recorders, and studio connections), and a new video/commentary by Bryan Harvey.

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Blackmagic: Over 200 people have asked you to remove the Band-Aid!

Blackmagic: Over 200 people have asked you to remove the Band-Aid!

Over 200 DreamColor users have signed the online petition for Blackmagic to remove the Band-Aid!

By Allan Tépper | February 26, 2014

Back in May 2012, I created an online petition directed at Blackmagic. Why did I do that? Because despite years of diplomatic prodding on my part, both via articles in ProVideo Coalition magazine and private emails, Blackmagic had (and has still) avoided and postponed offering RGB on its HDMI outputs. [If you’ve read my articles regarding HP DreamColor connectivity, you already know that the DreamColor engine demands digital RGB (not YUV/component) and true progressive (not interlaced or even PsF).]

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It’s a calibrated 709 field monitor! No, a 10-bit 4:2:2 recorder! It’s Ninja Blade or Samurai Blade!

It’s a calibrated 709 field monitor! No, a 10-bit 4:2:2 recorder! It’s Ninja Blade or Samurai Blade!

It’s a bird!? It’s a plane!? No, it’s a calibrated 709 monitor + a 10-bit 4:2:2 recorder!

By Allan Tépper | February 25, 2014

It isn’t easy to decide whether to call Átomos’s Samurai Blade or new Ninja Blade (just released this morning at BVE in London, England, UK) a calibrated 709 monitor which happens to have a built-in 10-bit 4:2:2 recorder, or to call it a 10-bit 4:2:2 recorder which happens to have a built-in calibrated 709 monitor. Some people might use it primarily as a monitor, and as a backup recording from higher end cameras that already record high end signals internally, while others might buy it as their primary recorder, when the internal camera one is at 8-bit 4:2:0 or to record the output of a video mixer. Either way, one comes with the other. Ahead are some details and comparative test recordings.

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