Amazing accurate rending of a Black Hole surprises scientists and Hollywood alike!

Here is a read that should intrigue pretty much anyone:  in the pursuit of accuracy for a upcoming movie, amazing things were discovered leading to new understanding of black holes as well as an amazing upcoming movie:Interstellar.  Check out the article from wired magazine and check out the video about the movie and it’s discovery.

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Moon Landing Photos–NVIDIA Proves They are Real

Sometimes the silliest of things catch my attention.  I remember as a kid hearing of the controversy surrounding moon landing photos.  The idea being, cameras have a limited range of bright/dark they can capture.  They are less forgiving than our own eye.  There were photographs from the moon landing that showed a well-lighted space suit in the shadow of the lander.  There is only one light source, so folks argued there was no way there was enough light to be able to see the moon lit AND Buzz in it’s shadow.  Apparently, there is enough scatter from the moon surface to make it work.   Think what happens on a cloudy day; shadows tend to disappear because of the large difuse of light.  The moon itself acts as a giant fill-light lighting the shadow-side of the lander.  Read more here, and see simulated photos vs. the real thing: http://www.engadget.com/2014/09/18/NVIDIA-proves-moon-landing/?ncid=rss_truncated

True Top Free Windows Apps

I have never share a top freeware-type list, but I ran across this list and wanted to share there are some true gems that I have used a long time and some I never knew.  For those of you who know me, I have been a hard-core IT guy for a long time.

http://www.infoworld.com/slideshow/160168/top-25-free-tools-every-windows-desktop-246999?source=rss_infoworld_top_stories_#slide1

Amazing Home Energy Saver

I recently bought a new home and I recalled an amazing site.  You get out of this what you put into it, but ultimately you will get, in order of return on investment, the best upgrades /repairs for your money to save energy.   I can’t understate how helpful this is for identifying and allowing you to decide how to save both money and energy usage in your home.   They have a quick set of questions, or you can dive into the full section, but expect to invest an hour of time or more depending on the complexity of your home.   See for yourself!

http://homeenergysaver.lbl.gov/consumer/quick-general

 

Living Tissue Emerges From 3-D Printer

http://txchnologist.com/post/77300046515/living-tissue-emerges-from-3-d-printer-harvard

This first step allows an analogue for drug research on living tissue.  It may be possible in the future to model tissue for replacement in animals and humans ..

Simply amazing!

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Interesting Read on how the Grammys does the Audio for the show..

As a professional sound engineer, I find myself throwing my hands in the air during large events when things just sound bad or some severe mistake is made.  The 2012 superbowl was the first that I went off well and sounded great compared to years past.  The Grammys have one heck of a setup that you might appreciate, check it out: http://mashable.com/2013/02/10/grammys-audio/

Analysis of 50 years of Pop Music: What makes a song a hit?

imageI have no idea if any of you would find this interesting; I sure did.  A team analyzed the last 50 years of US pop songs, to see what makes a song a top hit..    

They found songs that are close to 120 Beats per minute seems to be the magic BPM  for the last 50 years! Plus major keys dominate the charts, make the song danceable, are about 4.5 minutes in length, and turn it up to 11.   Some things to think of when you are choosing songs and want to keep the energy going..

Here are some screen shots from a few of the things looked at: https://sites.google.com/site/visualizingahit/results

The main page that explains what was done is here: https://sites.google.com/site/visualizingahit/home

I would add a personal observation;  most of the top songs that I have listened to require careful listening..  Pick most top pop song playing, and listen carefully… not to what is obvious in the mix (vocals, instruments etc.) but there is almost always some sort of sound that is either ½ (or less) of the volume of the rest of the instruments or is louder than everything.  It is usually short in duration – or a *very* simple accent note,  happens once per music phrase or measure.  You won’t notice it unless you are actively listening (concentrating..)    My theory is that it is music for the ‘subconscious” part of our brain.. for some it can be sound effects as long as they are introduced and removed selectively..  which is what I do when I run sounds for bands I do this to provide additional interest (sprinkling of delay, mic volume accents.)   It is also why having a good speaker to reproduce the high frequencies is key to interest (as well as preventing ear fatigue)  the ride cymbal accents, snare accents, high-hat accents on certain songs for example are extremely important.  It’s the extra muted “chuck” on a guitar that gets inserted in certain phrases etc.   So on the surface a song is simple, but decomposed it has nuisances that break up the symmetry.  It gives our musical brains something to chew on..   Know knows, this could be completely bogus. 

What do you think?

An example that I wasn’t totally happy with, but..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDpt4jEEsUY

#25 –  congos

#24 – on the right channel there are two things: guitar two notes – but more importantly on upbeat of the 4th beat of the song there is a slight “scratch ”or a sweep of frequencies sound. Its is hard to hear, but it’s right before the 1st beat begins.

high-hat open

#23 – i hear a guitar harmonic hit once in a while, almost banjo like

#22 – not hearing anything in the section they chose to play

#21 – guitar arpeggio ?

#20 – right channel high-hat

#19 – ?

#18 – FX (delays)

#17 – backup vox

#16- backup vox

#15 – triangle

#14 – FX (delay)

#13 – bass guitar fretless sound

#12 – this one is hard to hear:  I think it is a backup vox that hits twice on a high pitched “hohw” “Hohw”

#11 –congos

#10 – jazz organ

#9 – flange

#8 – strings

#7 – there is a keyboard echoing the phrase in a high octave

#6 – swish sound  and a block hit

#5 – high-hat  open.. delay

#4 – guitar that comes in right before it ends

#3 – banjo

#2 – ?

#1 – high-hat work (alternating open/closed)

 

Ok, so here I digress, but I LOVE music, sound etc.. so just some additional geek thoughts for you. Maybe reading about this might make you a better musician, better listener, or maybe you might understand a little better of the approach I take when I am running sound for band. I am not the technical guy who lines up the meters at 0 for all mics, and freaks out when the band’s dynamics change from song to song. That is a technical sound engineer. There is gear to help minimize the various if the gain structure is set right. Running sound is also a bit of an art. I bring up certain mics (besides the obvious solos) on certain songs.. cymbals, high-hat etc. I try to recreate what I hear in my mind for that song. Each band has a different blend, and I try to incorporate that some in each song a cover band plays. Not all songs because sometimes it just doesn’t matter, but other times it does! It is not just making sure everything is heard by the audience and musicians, it is something more.

New Super Green Rice

imageIt never ceases to amaze me what geneticists are able to do: Rice bred to perform well in the toughest conditions where the poorest farmers grow rice is a step away from reaching farmers thanks to a major project led by the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-01-green-super-rice.html

El Monstero Rocks the Pageant

El Monstero is in my top five favorite cover bands.  The members are a plethora of local musicians who normally do original music.  They sell out 6+ shows a year every Christmas to do Pink Floyd songs.  I’ve seen the last few years shows, and the production team and the band do a fantastic job!  They play at one of the best venues in St.Louis for Live Music: The Pageant.  It’s highly recommended; if you find yourself in St.Louis, MO near Christmas, I would highly encourage putting this on your calendar.

I took a few photos, two of them are here.  I have them on my Pro site here: http://www.performphotography.com/Music/2010-12-22-El-Monstero-Pageant/15293533_ankkT

A quote from their Facebook page:

For those first timers, here’s the skinny….El Monstero is a St. Louis based Pink Floyd tribute band. The brainchild of Stir bassist Kevin Gagnepain, El Monstero’s first appearance was a single night, sold out show @Mississippi Nights in 1999. By 2008 the show spanned 6 nights @The Pageant….who knows what 09 has in store.
The current line up includes Mark Thomas Quinn (lead vox, guitar, lap steel), Jimmy Griffin (lead vox, guitar), Kevin Gagnepain (bass, vox), Bryan Greene (elec, steel, and nylon guitar) John Pessoni (drums, vox) Bill Reiter (keys, vox) Jake Elking (keys), Dave Farver (sax) and of course the ladies….Erminie Cannon, Tandra Williams, and Kelly Wild….they steal the show; Most members of El Monstero have been in bands that were signed to major labels, and they are all top notch players. The band spares no expense on production, hiring the best sound, lighting, visual, pyro, wardrobe, set design, and stage management personnel that St. Louis has to offer, as well as the best sound and lighting equipment in town. The show is truly a St. Louis holiday tradition.
The music mainly focuses on Gilmore/Waters era Floyd and runs about 2 1/2hrs….it is a must see for any Stl area Floyd fans and is an edgier, more theatrical alternative to other tribute shows that roll through town. The show is sponsored by K-SHE95, and K-SHE DJ FAVAZZ has been a true friend since day one.

a video from the show:

was a great show!

 

 

 

And from Wikipedia is additional information about the members:

Current Lineup

Previous Members

Hair, makeup, and clothing

  • Carol Ivcich and Stephanie Asbed of iVCiCH clothing design have been responsible for Hair, makeup, and clothing since 2002