[Audio/Tips & Tricks] ARTISTS & BANDS: Some tips that might help your session-flow next time you hit the studio!
Recording can be an expensive and even daunting process. Here are some tips to help you better maximize your time in the studio and minimize your stress and expenses. Some of these tips are universal, while others vary from studio to studio.
- Have all songs written and parts figured out and assigned before coming into the studio. Don’t waste valuable studio time and money on things you can easily do at home or at your rehearsal space. This point cannot be stressed enough.
- If you are sequencing tracks or using beats, have them ready to go on a CD or hard drive before coming in.
- Practice, practice, practice! The tighter your songs are, the smoother the recording of them will be and the better the end result.
- Prepare a minimum of 25-30% more songs than you plan to actually use on the final product. Allow yourself a few throw-aways for the songs that aren’t up to snuff with the rest of the album.
- Come into the studio well rested, clear headed, and ready to work. Recording is a physically and mentally demanding process. Bring plenty of water and food.
- Change guitar strings and drum heads the day before coming into the studio and bring extra sets of everything, including drumsticks.
- Bring in your own rig. If you are a guitarist and want to capture the sound you get from the daisy chain of your guitar, pedals, and amp then be sure to bring your entire setup in. Experimenting with studio instruments, amps, and pedals is fine if you’re not set on what you want for a sound, but put a time limit on it. Let the engineer and producer, who are much more familiar with their own gear, assist you in finding the sound you are looking for.
- If you are working with a producer, give them a demo of the songs you want to record in the studio. Discuss production ideas ahead of time, and set aside reference Cds that serve as good examples of production styles you are striving for. Map out track assignments if you are recording to tape.
-Make a budget of how much money you have to spend on your project. Estimate how many hours you think it will take to complete your project in its entirety. Most musicians grossly underestimate how fast they think they can record their project. Depending on the band, a full length CD could take anywhere from 50 hours on the low end up to 250 hours or more on the high end. Variables to consider are how much recording experience the band has, how long the band has been playing together, and how elaborate of a production is desired.
- The drummer should arrive 2 hours before the rest of the band to allow for proper set up and undivided one on one between the drummer and the engineer. Good drum tone is crucial to a good sounding record.
- After the drums have been set up and sound checked, if it is a live recording situation the rest of the band will set up and sound check one by one in an order set by the engineer or producer.
- Stow all instrument cases and other items not needed for the session either back in your car or in an out of the way nook of the studio. Keep the floor space as uncluttered as possible, and set up allotting a comfortable amount of space between band members.
- Wait in the control room while each member sets up individually and is given their sound check. Keep talking to a minimum to allow the engineer to focus and hear everything that is going on in the soundcheck.
- After everybody has been soundchecked, a headphone soundcheck will be conducted. In a similar fashion, the engineer / producer will proceed one by one inquiring what each person needs in their headphone mix.
- Mentally block out all of the microphones and gear surrounding you. Stay relaxed and play naturally. Put emotion and feeling into your performance.
- Stay focused. The studio is an expensive place to party. Refrain from drinking and other recreational activities. Don’t invite guests to your sessions – they will only serve as a distraction and may try to inject their opinions. Avoid unnecessary phone calls. Stay focused on the task at hand.
- Do more than one take of every song, but limit it to 5 takes. Odds are if you haven’t hit the performance you are looking for in 5 takes, you are not going to. Move onto another song and come back to that one if time allows.
- LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN! When you think you have a song in the can, come into the control room and listen to each take of it before moving on. Do not assume a take was good enough without listening to it just because “it felt right”. Get the sound and performance you are looking for. Don’t assume that you can fix things in the mix.
- Tune up in between each take.
- Consult with the engineer and producer before recording with effects.
- Defer to the engineer / producer in terms of recording process and performance quality. They are much more experienced in a studio setting than you are and have finely-tuned, objective ears that can hear things you may miss (i.e. flat notes, bad chords, tempo changes, etc.).
- Bring in Cds that you like sound of for references.
- Mix at a moderate volume.
- Don’t mix on the same day you record.
- Keep chatter and noise to a minimum. Listen attentively to what is coming out of the monitors. Don’t distract the engineer and producer or one another.
- Take small, five or ten minute breaks between songs. Go outside or to another room where it is quiet to give your ears a break.
- Mix down sessions should be limited to 8 hours to ensure your ears stay relatively fresh.
- Listen for random noises, such as lip smacking, foot tapping, digital “crumbs”, etc. These annoyances will be amplified when compression is added. Listen for them with headphones and remove them as you discover them.
- Listen for the overall balance between instruments. Think about the song as a whole. Not every instrument can be front and center. Mixing is about compromise. There is a natural tendency for musicians to want their own levels to be raised even when it may not be what the song calls for. Do what is best for the song as a whole.
- If the entire band is present at mix down sessions, appoint a spokesperson to be the liaison between the band and the engineer / producer. Discuss your mix ideas amongst yourselves before coming into the studio and convey them to the engineer at the beginning of the session. Work out differences as a band, and don’t put the engineer in the middle as a referee.
- Trust the engineer / producer! They are much better trained to mix your record than you are. Don’t expect to get each mix right the first time around. Bring home Cds of your mixes and listen on as many different stereo systems as possible – especially boom boxes, moderately priced home stereos, and car stereos. These are the places people are most likely to listen to your CD. Experiment with different volumes, but be sure to include low, soft volumes too. Make notes of your observations and bring them with you to your next session so you can tweak the mix. You may have to repeat this two or three times before you end up with what you consider the perfect mix.
Thanks to www.offthebeat-n-track.com for these great tips!
1. Delay is always tempo-dependent. Don’t fudge it – do the maths!
2. Avoid recording the delay effect when you do a take – record the dry guitar and amp sound only. You’ll have much more flexibility if you add delay in the mix.
3. Your guitar parts have to be perfectly in time if you want complex nested delays to work.
4. Filter the top end off the delay to make the repeats sound more natural. Many sequencers (Logic, Cubase etc) have this built into their delay plug-ins.
5. If in doubt, use dotted delay values.
6. Quick equation – 60/tempo*0.75. If your track is at 120BPM, this will give you a 375ms delay – dotted eight notes.
7. For solo lines, treat the delay as an extra recorded part, and work out exactly how every note of it fits with the part you played.
8. Heavy delay on rhythm guitar is very difficult to get right, and will almost certainly require the player to create a simple, sparse original part.
9. Regular quarter-note delays are almost certainly going to give you clashes.
10. String bends through in-time delays can create a fantastic organic chorus/flange effect.
(This article originally appeared in Music Tech Magazine, issue 3 – http://www.artemismusic.com/page.php?id=92)
For years, the C4 has been a favorite of studio engineers the world over, and in live sound, it’s quickly become a must-have for front-of-house and monitor professionals as well. To create the C6, we took the tried-and-true functions of the C4, and added two additional floating bands plus a sidechain feature, for one-stop vocal and instrument shaping. Equally at home in the studio, live, and in post production, the C6 lets you zero in on problem frequencies with surgical precision.
Perfect for de-essing and de-popping in the studio or onstage, the C6 gives you all the multiband compression and dynamic equalization you need to control, tame, and shape your sound.
Read more: http://www.waves.com/content.aspx?id=10907
Looks like Verizon is going to roll out 4G services to 30 NFL-bound cities before the end of 2010. Lucky Verizon football fans
Nokia and its mapping division Navteq are developing a rival to Street View, one that offers full three-dimensional computer models of villages, towns and cities, and could one day allow those urban centers to form the backdrop to realistic games.
Street View (pictured) was launched in 2007 and has transformed online mapping by providing panoramic views from many of the world’s streets. But although it nods towards the third dimension, Street View falls short of a true 3D experience, says Ville-Veikko Mattila at the Nokia Research Centre in Tampere, Finland.
Street View presents the viewer with a series of 2D panoramic photos. “What we’re developing is a full 3D rendering of our locations and environments,” says Mattila. “That’s a big difference.”
Objects rendered in Nokia’s system will resemble their 3D originals better than they do in Street View, says Mattila. But perhaps the most noticeable way in which Nokia’s service will differ from Google’s is that users will be able to move smoothly through urban environments, almost as if they were in a photorealistic driving game, suggesting the firm could license its 3D cityscapes to games companies that want cheap but realistic 3D urban models. Navigating through Google Street View, by contrast, simply involves hopping between panoramas photographed from a series of set locations.
The accurate 3D rendering of buildings in the new system will make it easy to generate a set of 3D coordinates for a particular building, or even a particular floor in an office building occupied by a business – information that could help companies augment the virtual world with location-specific adverts, says Nokia.
Nokia’s proposed service relies on two technologies: one to construct a virtual cityscape, the other to clothe it in images taken from life. The 3D models that make up virtual streets and buildings are built with data from Navteq’s nascent Journey View system, a dataset of mapping measurements made by the laser-radar technique known as lidar. These models are then decorated by City Scene, software written by Mattila’s group that projects and accurately stitches photographs onto the 3D cityscape.
Navteq already uses GPS-equipped cars to create digital maps of the world’s roads, which it sells to satnav makers like Garmin. But in November a new type of Navteq car will take to the roads: the Truecar. “As well as higher-resolution panoramic cameras, the Truecars will also include laser radar,” says a Navteq spokesman. “The cars will be coming to London in November and then major cities around Europe, and the data will turn up in navigation products in 2011.”
It remains to be seen whether Truecars are viewed any more favourably than Google’s camera-equipped cars have been.
The Truecar data could go into a variety of navigation products, says Robert Hanke of Navteq’s office in Berlin, Germany. Satnav makers may integrate the virtual environments into their in-car devices to allow users to preview a journey before they set off. Because Nokia’s maps are based on real 3D measurements, the technology could accurately highlight the height of obstacles, such as low bridges, that might require some vehicles to take a detour.
Google also acquired lidar data as its cars swept through our streets – the information is used in Google Maps Mobile to correct the exaggerated angles between buildings when a Street View panoramic photo is rendered on a small screen.
The search giant declined to comment when asked if it, too, plans to use its lidar data to construct 3D models of towns and cities. Nevertheless, Google says it welcomes Nokia’s move into 3D mapping. “The more products and services that exist, the greater the rate of innovation, which ultimately benefits consumers and provides them with even greater choice,” a Google spokesperson told New Scientist.
Navteq’s Journey View dataset will also lead to a range of novel 3D location and navigation applications over and above Street View, predicts Tony King-Smith, a vice-president of UK-based Imagination Technologies, which designs the powerful graphics processors in iPhones and many other smartphones.
At the Future World Symposium in London yesterday, King-Smith demonstrated one such work-in-progress application to New Scientist: an iPhone 4 app written by French software house Visio Globe which overlaid high-resolution computer graphics – rather than photographs – onto the Journey View lidar data to create a convincing 3D fly-through model of Singapore. The smooth motion promised by Nokia was readily apparent, even on a phone.
“Location-based services are going to become incredibly rich and broad,” says King-Smith. “Navteq’s 3D technology will help drive some next-generation apps that look like being fun and engaging, and also very useful.”
Mattila demonstrated an early version of the Street View rival at Nokia World in London this week.
New Scientist reports, explores and interprets the results of human endeavour set in the context of society and culture, providing comprehensive coverage of science and technology news.
If we all start reading ebooks instead of plain ol’ printed books, then we’ll one day find ourselves wondering what to do with our old non-digital tomes. Not this man though, because he already knows what we’ll do and got a head start.
Whether you’re looking to wirelessly upload your photos to your iOS device or want to use it as a remote shutter, here’s how to make it happen.
We’re going to take a look at two ways to make this happen. The first is with an app called Shutter Snitch, which sends photos wirelessly from your camera to your iOS device, and the second is with an app called DSLR Remote, which lets you control your camera with your iOS device. Check out the video above for a quick run through of how to set things up.
Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
- A camera
- The Shutter Snitch app ($8)
- A Non-X2 version Eye-Fi card (Around $50) or a wireless adapter for your camera (expensive!)
- An SD to CompactFlash adapter, if your DSLR doesn’t take SD ($15-25)
Before you can start using your Eye-Fi card with your iOS device you’ll need to turn off Relay Mode in the Eye-Fi manager and make sure it’s not automatically uploading photos to your computer, Flickr, or anywhere. Once you do that you can set up Shutter Snitch on your iOS device.
To start the setup, tap options and sign in to your Eye Fi account on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Shutter Snitch will, hopefully, recognize your card and sync up with it. If you check your Eye-Fi manager, you should see the name of your iPhone as the computer your Eye-Fi card is connected to. If not, try restarting. Now you can make a new collection in Shutter Snitch, open it, and start taking pictures. You have to be in a collection in order for the photos to be transferred. If you are, they should start appearing on your iPhone in a few seconds.
Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
- A camera
- The DSLR Remote Lite or Pro app ($2 or $20)
- A USB cable that fits your camera (probably mini to regular)
DSLR Remote is $2 for the lite version, which has basic features, but it’ll set you back $20 for the pro version which gives you things like live view mode. Setup is pretty easy. You download software on both your computer and iOS device, then connect your DSLR to your computer with a USB cable. Your iOS device should recognize your computer pretty quickly. Select your computer from the list and that’s really all you have to do. Aim the camera where you want it and then you can start capturing pictures directly to your machine by hitting the shutter on your iOS device. You can even change settings and focus. Unfortunately, so far, you can only take pictures. No video yet.
With David Packard‘s birthday passing last week, and HP’s recent leadership woes, we at Gizmodo feel it’s time to remember early HP’s innovative founding culture. We bring you an inspiring excerpt from Packard’s book, with a foreword by his son.
During the corrosive debate over the Compaq merger, the HP leadership at the time persistently portrayed itself as doing exactly “what Dave Packard would have done.” As an antidote to this dubious clairvoyance, I published a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal (March 15, 2002) reprinting a wonderful speech my father gave in 1960 to a group of HP managers. My father’s own words, delivered on the job, seemed to me the best evidence for his business philosophy.
The speech was informal and obviously not intended for publication. At my suggestion, Collins has reproduced it here exactly as my father wrote it.
—David W. Packard
June 12, 2005
Speech by Dave Packard to HP Managers
March 8, 1960
I’m glad to have this opportunity to get together with you and discuss how each of us can do our job more efficiently because as the company grows I think this is going to be crucial in determining whether we are able to continue to grow and keep an efficient organization and maintain the character of our company which we think is important. I am going to speak about things in general, hopefully to give you an idea of our overall objectives. I’m not going into much detail because I am sure others will do that. I want to discuss why a company exists in the first place. In other words, why are we here? I think many people assume, wrongly, that a company exists simply to make money. While this is an important result of a company’s existence, we have to go deeper and find the real reasons for our being. As we investigate this, we inevitably come to the conclusion that a group of people get together and exist as an institution that we call a company so they are able to accomplish something collectively which they could not accomplish separately. They are able to do something worthwhile-they make a contribution to society (a phrase which sounds trite but is fundamental). In the last few years more and more business people have begun to recognize this, have stated it and finally realized this is their true objective. You can look around and still see people who are interested in money and nothing else, but the underlying drives come largely from a desire to do something else-to make a product-to give a service-generally to do something which is of value.
So with that in mind let us discuss why the Hewlett-Packard Company exists. I think it is obvious that we started this company because Bill and I, and some of those working with us in the early days, felt that we were able to design and make instruments which were not as yet available. I believe that our company has grown over the years for that very reason. Working together we have been able to provide for the technical people, our customers, things which are better than they were able to get anywhere else. The real reason for our existence is that we provide something which is unique. Our particular area of contribution is to design, develop, and manufacture electronic measuring instruments. The contributions that any group of people make are, in a sense, the summation of the best efforts of the individuals of that company and a summation of the individual products as well. So our contribution is really measured by the instruments each of you has helped to make-the new instruments engineering has designed to help people make measurements more efficiently, more accurately, more conveniently, less expensively than they could have done otherwise. So in the last analysis, the reason for our existence and the measure of our success is how well we are able to make our product.
It might be interesting for you to hear a bit about how well we have accomplished this, what our position is in the total field. Many of you are familiar with the summary we made of our 1960 Sonoma Meeting in which we made some studies and estimates as to what part of the total market in various areas is covered by Hewlett-Packard Company’s products. We broke this down into numerous instrument classifications and in the case of several instruments, such as signal generators and counters, we supply a very large part of the total number of these kinds of instruments which are used in this country. In the case of vacuum tube voltmeters and audio oscillators, this is true also. We have not supplied as large a portion of industry with some of our other instruments which have not been in the field as long a time or where we have not done relatively as good a job as our competitors.
I think it is interesting to note that as a result of these studies we concluded that, in those areas where we are making instruments, we are supplying about one third of the country’s total requirements. If you include the areas in which we are not competing, but could, we are still supplying about one sixth of the country’s total requirements. But it also indicates that we have a responsibility, in that we are making a very major contribution to the total technical effort of this country. Your efforts are not only worthwhile but you are doing something which is really significant in terms of total technical effort. You have seen photographs of important scientific work being done-and those photos include HP instruments. Those of you who visit the labs of our customers find our instruments are being used in very important work; the advancement of science, defense of our country, and many other areas. So don’t overlook our responsibility.
Now, how does the individual person fit into this picture? We have looked at the company and found it exists to make a contribution-not just to make money. I think we can say the same about the people in the company. The individual works, partly to make money, of course, but we should also realize that the individual who is doing a worthwhile job is working because he feels he is accomplishing something worthwhile. This is important in your association with these individuals. You know that those people you work with that are working only for money are not making any real contribution. I want to emphasize then that people work to make a contribution and they do this best when they have a real objective when they know what they are trying to achieve and are able to use their own capabilities to the greatest extent. This is a basic philosophy which we have discussed before-Management by Objective as compared to Management by Control.
In other words when we discuss supervision and management we are not talking about a military type organization where the man at the top issues an order and it is passed on down the line until the man at the bottom does as he is told without question (or reason). That is precisely the type of organization we do not want. We feel our objectives can best be achieved by people who understand what they are trying to do and can utilize their own capabilities to do them. I have noticed when we promote people from a routine job to a supervisory position, there is a tremendous likelihood that these people will get carried away by the authority. They figure that all they have to do now is tell everyone else what to do and quite often this attitude causes trouble. We must realize that supervision is not a job of giving orders; it is a job of providing the opportunity for people to use their capabilities efficiently and effectively. I don’t mean you are not to give orders. I mean that what you are trying to get is something else. One of the underlying requirements of this sort of approach is that we do understand a little more specifically what the objectives of the company are. These then have to be translated into the objectives of the departments and groups and so on down.
Let us be more specific about the objectives of the company. The first objective is to continue in the field of electronic instruments. We don’t plan to go into other areas, at least in the foreseeable future. These instruments go into scientific fields, research and development laboratories. Our instruments are very important in production test applications where people are producing things and need instruments to measure the quality of their product. Similarly in the field of maintenance as the end product goes out in the field, these instruments are needed to make sure the equipment works after it is delivered. So our instruments are used in three general areas; R&D, Production, and Field Maintenance. This is characteristic of most of our instruments and we have tried to design general purpose instruments in most cases. Some of our instruments, however, are useful only for a specific purpose and in a specific area.
The other objective which is complementary to this and equally important is to try to make everything we do worthwhile. We want to do our best when we take on a job. We don’t intend to develop a broad line of instruments just for the sake of having a broad line-we want to design and develop, manufacture, and sell better instruments. The logical result of this is that as we concentrate our efforts on these areas and are able to find better ways to do the job, we will logically, develop a better line of general purpose measuring instruments.
There are important elements at every step of this procedure and these are really more important than the breadth of the line or the total market. These are the details of the particular job involved. In engineering, there are two basic criteria that are uppermost in the definition of what we hope to be able to do. As we develop these new instruments, we hope they will be creative in their design, and they will provide better ways of doing a job. There are many examples of this-the instruments our engineers have developed this last year give us some good examples. The clip-on milliammeter, the new wave analyzer, the sampling scope-all are really creative designs. They give people who buy them methods of making measurements they could not make before those instruments were available.
However, creative design alone is not enough and never will be. In order to make these into useful devices, there must be meticulous attention to detail. The engineers understand this. They get an instrument to the place where it is about ready to go and the job is about half done. The same applies in the manufacturing end of the program. We need to produce efficiently in order to achieve our slogan of inexpensive quality. Cost is a very important part of the objective in manufacturing, but producing an instrument in the quickest manner is not satisfactory unless at the same time every detail is right. Attention to detail is as important in manufacturing as it is in engineering. You know, if we send out an instrument with a couple of loose parts, it doesn’t make a very good impression on the customer. He loses confidence in our organization. There is no excuse for that kind of performance-either at the top, in the middle or at the bottom. As you move on into supervisory responsibilities, it is your job to see that each person understands what is required and then does his job meticulously.
Selling can be analyzed the same way. We are anxious to find new approaches to selling, but again- detail is important. We certainly are not anxious to sell a customer something he does not want, nor need. You may laugh, but this has happened-in other companies of course, not ours! Also, we want to be sure that when the instrument is delivered, it performs the function the customer wanted.
Financial responsibility is equally important, however different in nature. It is essentially a service function to see that we generate the resources which make it possible for us all to do our job.
These things translated mean that in addition to having the objective of trying to make a contribution to our customers, we must consider our responsibilities in a broader sense. If our main thought is to make money, we won’t care about these details. If we don’t care about the details, we won’t make as much money. They go hand in hand.
Now Bill and I feel that our company has a responsibility to our employees. We are not interested only in making a better product. We feel that in asking you people to work for us, we in turn have an obligation. This is an important point and one which we ask each of you to relay to all the employees. Our fi rst obligation, which is self-evident from my previous remarks, is to let people know they are doing something worthwhile. We must provide a means of letting our employees know they have done a good job. You as supervisors must convey this to your groups. Don’t just give orders. Provide the opportunity for your people to do something important. Encourage them.
Over the years we have developed the policy that it is important for the supervisor to thoroughly know and understand the work of his group. A debate on this has been carried on by management people for years. Some say you can be a good manager without having the slightest idea of what you are trying to manage, that the techniques of management are all important. There are many organizations which work that way. I don’t argue that the job can’t be done that way but I do argue strongly that the best job can be done when the manager or supervisor has a real and genuine understanding of his group’s work. I don’t see how a person can even understand what proper standards are and what performance is required unless he does understand in some detail the very specific nature of the work he is trying to supervise. We have held closely to this philosophy and we intend to continue to do so. We expect you who are supervising to learn techniques of supervision and keep up to date. I want to emphasize you can supervise best when you know a great deal about the work you are supervising and when you know the techniques of supervision as well.
I want to touch on other aspects of your work which are important. As supervisors you will be expected to set high standards of behavior. This is obvious and shouldn’t even need to be mentioned. But the example you set is important and I am going to mention specific things which should be kept in mind. Tolerance is tremendously significant. Unless you are tolerant of the people under you, you really can’t do a good job of being a supervisor. You must have understanding-understanding of the little things that affect people. You must have a sense of fairness, and you must know what it is reasonable to expect of your people. You must have a good set of standards for your group but you must maintain these standards with fairness and understanding.
We have always considered that we have a responsibility to our employees to plan our work so we can assure job continuity. We do not intend to have a “Hire ‘em and fi re ‘em” operation. This poses some serious considerations. One is always compelled to fi nd the most effi cient way to get a job done. At times it seems the most efficient way is to hire a group of people, work them as hard as possible, and when the job is fi nished, send them home. Well, even if this is the most efficient way, we have never operated in this manner. Bill and I do not feel this is the best way for a company like ours to operate. We have very rigid requirements of technical competence to maintain and rigid requirements in the quality of our equipment. This requires that we have and keep good people at all times. So we feel it is our responsibility to provide opportunity and job security to the best of our ability. This means specifically, sometimes we ask people to work overtime in order to meet customers’ demands rather than hire additional people. While this is an imposition in a sense to our employees, it seems to be generally acceptable and we feel it is preferable to “hiring and firing.” This is something you all need to understand as supervisors.
Whenever we discuss overall company objectives, we touch on our responsibility to the community at large. Those things which the institutions in our community provide, the general sense of moral values, the general character of the people that come from the schools, the churches and other institutions; these are things which we accept and are extremely important in the operation of an organization like this. We tend to accept these without second thought. If we consider these matters more seriously, we realize that if these things did not exist, it would have a serious effect on our ability to do a job. So it follows that we do have a responsibility as a company, and as individuals, to help support these activities. You all know that Hewlett-Packard contributes as a company to many of these institutions and we encourage our people to take part-without defining who should do what-but leaving this to free choice.
Last of all, I want to say that I have mentioned our primary objectives, but none of these can be accomplished unless the company makes a profit. Profit is the measure of our contribution to our customers-it is a measure of what our customers are willing to pay us over and above the actual cost of an instrument. Only to the extent that we can do something worthwhile, can provide more for the customer, will he year in and year out pay us enough so we have something left over. So profit is the measure of how well we work together. It is really the final measure because, if we cannot do these things so the customer will pay us, our work is futile.
In addition, the margin we have-what is left over after paying for the material, labor, overhead, and so on-is the source of our capital for growth. New buildings and facilities and better equipment generally strengthen our position to do a better job.
Our objectives are tremendously vital and, it is your job to help us translate them to all of our employees.
David Packard co-founded Hewlett-Packard with William Hewlett in 1939. A graduate of Stanford University, he passed away in 1987. His book, The HP Way, illustrates the extraordinary journey of the company he and Hewlett created. His birthday was September 7, 1912.
David Woodley Packard, David Packard’s son, is a former professor and noted philanthropist.
The HP Way: How Bill Hewlett and I Built Our Company is available at Amazon.
This copyrighted book excerpt is used with permission from Harper Collins Publishers.
Look at this lead photo by Peter Funch. You figure, it MUST be staged. A fake. A Sony commercial or something. But it’s not. Every bit of the photo actually happened…just not necessarily at the same time.
Rather, Funch combined a single, unifying element from many pictures he photographed in one spot. And the results are something most of us haven’t seen prior to his work—some amalgamation of truth and choreography, the individual and the collective.
In the lead shot, the unifying element is obviously balloons. But his other pieces from his collection Babel Tales are just as striking. Sometimes they’re subtle, overshadowed by a prominent center subject:
So why am I going on and on about Funch’s work?
Take many photos from a single spot and combine subjects into a single, unified statement. I want you to do your best to either clone Babel Stories, or to reimagine the technique with your own touch. (Maybe there’s another element that comes and goes in a spot other than humans.)
Time. A tripod. And a lot of patience in post production.
A camera needs to be locked down, grabbing shots in a public place every…maybe 30 seconds to 5 minutes? And this is key: Make sure you grab a clean backdrop with none or few of your subjects in it. (This should make post processing easier.)
Once you have a LOT of photos, you’re going to need to study what you have, discerning trends or just letting your artist eye tell you what’s important. Then…well the post production is tricky. Photoshop pros can share their techniques in the comments, but I’d recommend starting with your clean backdrop, then either magic wanding or clone stamping your subjects into the scene.
Then, blending, lightness darkness adjustment. I mean, there’s a reason Funch is considered an artist, right?
All of this said, the premise isn’t difficult. And if you scale your vision properly, it’s something you can handle. Oh, and if you are a photographer but horrible with post processing tools, just team up with a friend to handle part of the project. There’s no law against it.
The Rules – READ THESE
1. Submissions need to be your own.
2. Photos need to be taken the week of the contest.
3. Explain, briefly, the equipment, settings, technique and story behind shot.
4. Email submissions to email@example.com, not me.
5. Include 800px wide image (200KB or less) AND a 2560×1600 sized in email. (The 800px image is the one judged, so feel free to crop/alter the larger image for wallpaper-sized dimensions.)
6. One submission per person.
7. Use the proper SUBJECT line in your email (more info on that below)
Send your best photo by Monday, September 20th at 8AM Eastern to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Composites” in the subject line. Save your files as JPGs, and use a FirstnameLastnameComposites.jpg (800px wide) and FirstnameLastnameCompositesWallpaper.jpg (2560px wide) naming conventions. Include your shooting summary (camera, lens, ISO, etc) in the body of the email along with a story of the shot in a few sentences. And don’t skip this story part because it’s often the most enjoyable part for us all beyond the shot itself!
[Example photos by Peter Funch.]
If you’re in need of even more stuff to photograph, my site Life, Panoramic would love to publish your portrait of your hometown. It’s OK if you live amongst cornfields or something.
Kudos to Time Warner Cable for putting this together, although I think they left out the part where Jeff bangs his head against the keyboard waiting for some stupid dog video to load already. [TWC via SAI]
Apple will give the ailing newspaper biz welcome news with an iPad subscription option, the San Jose Mercury News reports. The deal will likely see Apple taking a slice of both subscription and advertising revenues, instead of a flat fee.
Interestingly, Roger Fidler of University of Missouri’s Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute speculates Apple will also generate cash through an opt-in demographic sharing function, giving publishers and advertisers access to your ever-coveted personal information. But while newspapers are of course eager to hop aboard the iPad money train, Fidler speculates they may be anxious about crossing over too quickly: “Most publishers don’t want to see a rapid migration to apps without a comparable growth in advertisement revenue from tablet editions. That would be disastrous.” [San Jose Mercury News via MacRumors]
Veebeam does not do anything new. There are a variety of ways to get content from your computer to your TV. But the Veebeam does it easily. Web? Games? Movies? Hulu? With a Wireless USB dongle and receiver, you’re set.
By plugging the $99 Veebeam’s antenna into your computer’s USB port, whatever is on your screen is shot over to your TV via composite or HDMI-connected receiver. Simply as that. No cords and no software. The cleverness here is that you don’t need to worry about the permission of content providers to watch whatever online content you want on your TV. Hulu? Bring it on. ABC streaming episodes? Sure. If you can play it on your laptop or view it in your browser, it’s all gravy.
Wireless USB, which powers the Veebeam, uses Ultra-WideBand technology, which, for our purposes, means those scenes from Mad Men get streamed smoothly (and in HD, if you’re willing to pay an extra $40). If you don’t feel like waiting around for AirPlay (or don’t have any Apple devices to use it with), this might simplify your couch vegetation habits. [Veebeam]