Monthly Archives: November 2010

MIDI comes to iOS devices

That’s right, it’s exciting news for people like me all over the world. Information has just leaked that apple has implemented the MIDI standard in the next version of its iOS operating system for iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch’s. Apple allows you to send data over USB (via the camera connection kit) or over WiFi, which presents some very interesting opportunities (as long as there is no lag!)

It’s brilliant news, and although some say MIDI may be a dying standard I believe it’s seen a new lease of life on lower powered mobile devices such as these. I think it won’t be long before we see some really creative uses of the new API and I personally cannot wait to try developing with it! Below is a video showing how one developer has used the new API!

[via Engadget]

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C++ VST Vibrato Plugin

VST Vibrato Plugin

The following project was to fully design and implement a vibrato plugin for Cubase using Steinberg’s VST SDK. The plugin is programmed in the C++ language and is provided here for you to download. You have the option of downloading just the .dll plugin file (which is all you need to use the plugin), but I have chosen to provide a version which contains the source code project (Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 format) and the initial algorithm modelling (in MaxMSP format).

The full download also contains the VST SDK 2.4 but is referenced to locally, so you should not need to install and configure the SDK to view the working project. Please note that the SDK is completely owned by Steinberg, and I have not made any modifications to the development kit for use within this project. Below are the links to the downloadable files, including the software manual for the plugin.

- Full Download (Including Plugin, Source Project, and SDK)

- Plugin Only (Just the .DLL file)

- Software Manual

To install the plugin for use within Cubase, simply copy the file “Vibrato.dll” to the following Directory…

"C:\Program Files\Steinberg\Cubase Studio 5\VSTPlugins"

This directory may be different depending on your current operating system or version of Cubase. Please see the software manual for more detailed system requirements and installation instructions. This work was produced as a second year assignment for Bournemouth University, please feel free to use the example and learn from the source code but please don’t try and pass it off as your own work.

As always, thank you for your interest in my development work. Any comments, suggestions, or feedback are always welcomed in the comments below or via the Contact Me form.

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Posted in Portfolio

DSLR Photography Flash Application

This post contains a video demonstrating a flash application I created in the first year of study at Bournemouth University. The brief was for a simple tutorial based application developed in Adobe Flash, to demonstrate key principles of digital SLR photography. My application exceeded the expectations for the assignment, and i received a grade of 98% for this piece of work, please feel free to watch the video below.

The application was developed entirely in Adobe Flash, I created the graphic elements using Adobe Photoshop, and all photographs were taken by me specifically for this project. The application makes use of both standard animation techniques as well as action script code, and object orientated programming. I have been further developing this application and intend to release it for free in the near future.

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MAT Promotional Video

The brief for this piece of work was to create a promotional video on a subject of your choice. I chose to promote the course I am studying at Bournemouth University. This video was shot in pairs, and over half an hour of footage was edited and mixed to fit into a strict 2 minute time slot. The video is embedded below and is hosted on youtube.

The video was shot and edited in 1080p high definition video, all editing and sound design was performed using Final Cut Pro, and Soundtrack Pro.

Please note, the embedded video is only 360p resolution. You can click through to youtube to view the 720p HD version. This work was produced in my first year at Bournemouth University.

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Posted in Portfolio, Uncategorized

RMS Amplitude Investigation: Professional vs Amateur recordings.

This report is an initial investigation into the differences in RMS amplitude between professional and amateur recordings. It was an investigation I conducted in my second year of studies at Bournemouth University. It had been mentioned to me by many industry professionals that the use of compression to boost a tracks volume was becoming more and more apparent in modern day studio recordings. I wanted to find some proof of this, and so i undertook the study comparing professional and amateur recordings. The investigation is available to view and download below.

PDF Format - RMS Amplitude Investigation

Please feel free to use the investigation and reference to it if applicable, but do bear in mind that this was produced as part of a university assessment and certain constraints were applied, these are detailed fully within the document. Finally, this report should be viewed as a preliminary investigation only, due to the small sample sizes used for analysis.

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What is Sound?

This post will cover the very basic rules of sound. One of the most important things to realise is that if you do not know the basic definition of sound and how it works, you’re career as a sound engineer will be very limited! So without further ado, What exactly is sound?

A sound is generated by vibration. Any moving object can cause sound to be created, and this sound is transferred by the vibration of air particles around a given object. Think of it as the ripple effect you get if you drop a pebble into some water. The same thing happens with the air around the source of a sound. The image below should help to visualise this.

So these ripples, are actually more commonly referred to as sound waves. To understand how sound waves are plotted on a graph we must first look at how the air particles are affected by the source of the sound. If you look at the image above, you can see the ripples clearly, and you can see the spaces in-between the ripples. If we think back to the water example, the ripples actually contain more water than the spaces in-between them, creating the visual affect you see above. The same is true of the air particles affected by the source of a sound, except of course there is no visual effect.

It is at this point important to note that sound waves, and ripples in water are technically different. Ripples within water are known as transverse waves, where as sound waves are actually longitudinal waves. The difference being that in a transverse wave (water) the particle displacement is perpendicular to the direction of wave propagation, whereas in a longitudinal wave the particle displacement is parallel to the direction of wave propagation.

So, air particles will bunch together at the height of the wave, and move further apart between the peaks of the wave creating alternating high and low pressure. This is known as compression (bunching together to create high pressure) and rarefaction (moving apart to create low pressure). This is the fundamental reason that we are able to hear sound.

The diagram above shows the compressed (or condensed) air as the darker, more dense specs that correspond with the peaks of the sound wave. The rarefaction can be seen as the more sparse lighter specs corresponding with the troughs of the sound wave. These specs represent the number of air particles, but it is important to note that it is NOT the air particles that are moving, it is the disturbance. The individual air particles are simply oscillating back and forth from their original position (known as their equilibrium).

So, these waves of alternating high and low pressure are what travel through the air, at a speed of ~340 meters per second, towards your ear. We will talk about exactly how these sounds are captured in more depth in a later post, both by your ear and by a microphone. But for the sake of completeness, your ear has a drum with a very fragile membrane stretched across which moves in and out according to the alternating air pressure. Your brain then receives this signal as an audible sound. Again, this is an incredibly simplistic explanation of a very intricate and complex process, so more information on this will be coming soon.

I think this post sums up the very basics of what sound is, so I shall leave it there. You must remember that sound is a very complex thing so I will try to cover things one small step at a time. Next post I will go into more detail about sound waves, and the various properties and elements that eventually translate into a pitch that you can hear.

For now, thank you very much for reading. If you see any mistakes or have any feedback, I cannot encourage you enough to let me know in the comments below or to my twitter account @sammio2

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Welcome

me skiing copy2

Hello there,

I’d like to welcome you to my portfolio / blog. I am an audio technologist and a developer of applications for the iOS platform. This website will contain a portfolio of my recent work, as well as my thoughts and opinions on relevant technical subjects. This is really just a short post to let you know that content is still being developed for the launch of this site, so please check back at a later date. In the mean time, please feel free to subscribe to my updates either through the RSS feed, or you can find me on twitter @sammio2.

For now, thank you once again for reading, and I hope you come back soon!

Sam

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