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All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Re: RTFM

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Jun 17, 2019 3:19 pm

desmond wrote:It's the old give a man a fish vs teach a man to fish, thing...

Some people just want that fish, now, and being hungry later is a problem for future them... (hopefully someone else will give them another fish) :headbang:

How true -- and this actually lies at the heart of why I left the BBC in the last century.

We used to teach new recruits 'to fish' -- as in we taught them how stuff worked and why it worked the way it did, and thus, how to use it effectively and efficiently. And by extension, that enabled people to figure out, connect and use unfamiliar equipment and develop new operational techniques to meet unique program demands. That all took time, of course, and initial training was typically 10-13 weeks long.

When I left in 1997, the bean counters had forced that initial training down to just 3 weeks! In that time we could just about teach people where the fish was -- as in which button to press when someone said go! But gawd help them if the button was somewhere different on a new device...

And, inevitably, what 'the suits' discovered a few years later was that the department managers really struggled to find people with sufficient skills and knowledge to be worthy of promotion.

Sorry .. it still irks me... :madas:
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Re: RTFM

Postby Arpangel » Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:47 am

I went on a course at the Beeb in the early2000's, I had to get a copy of Adobe Audition, and learn that, as it was the standard editor there then. As for hardware and recording,I found that it was assumed we knew how to operate certain gear anyway. It wasn't a formal engineering course, just a sort of extended open day (3 months) for people interested in a a broadcasting career. It was a fun way to spend that time, and I met a couple of good people, and turning up at Broadcasting House in Portland Place for work was a very emotional experience, the whole course was worth it just for that!
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Re: RTFM

Postby ef37a » Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:56 am

Way ago I have had bits published in HFNews Radio Constructor and Airgunner(!)

Then some 20 years later I found myself with a little workshop at the network s****s and one of my jobs was developing test beds to interface with a PC for testing the CATx modules.

The quality control manager was very happy with my work and tried to get me to write some Working Instructions* for the devices. "Oh no Phil" I said. "I am not up to writing stuff like that!"
Now, Phil was a very nice chap but I was not doing that for minimum wage! Even 20 yrs ago I got more than that!

*9001 certs.

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Re: RTFM

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:29 am

Arpangel wrote:I went on a course at the Beeb in the early2000's, I had to get a copy of Adobe Audition, and learn that, as it was the standard editor there then.

One of the 'standard editors'.... :-)

SADiE has been the primary 'craft' audio editing platform since the mid-90s and has been engineered to integrate nicely with the VCS diraNG playout/scheduling system.

Back in the early 2000s Audition was widely used for basic hack-editing and 'top'n'tailing', and sometimes simple packages that didn't need all the bells, whistles and finesse of SADiE.

But these days that work is generally done using StarTrack which is an integral part of the VCS DiraNG suite.

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Re: RTFM

Postby CS70 » Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:37 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
desmond wrote:It's the old give a man a fish vs teach a man to fish, thing...

Some people just want that fish, now, and being hungry later is a problem for future them... (hopefully someone else will give them another fish) :headbang:

How true -- and this actually lies at the heart of why I left the BBC in the last century.

Of course I would expect a BBC technician (or a studio engineer) to be very knowledgeable of the hows and whys. But it's not the same context as the kid that starts to make music at home.

Again, as hard it can be to understand to all of us that are engineering minded, there's lots of people who simply cannot care less of the how. They're interested only in the what. Whatever "how" they have to learn, it's a painful and irritating experience to shorten as much as possible. A necessary evil, which comes in the way of doing what they want to do. Many old studio musicians were like that - they just went there and recorded, blissfully unaware of the uber-complicated apparatus of people and machines that made that possible (some didn't of course, and ended up producing and engineering.. it's all about curiosity). Or take people and phones... most people want to call, or message.. they can't care less of the marvelous ideas of cellular networks, and if the few times that they need to, they find it annoying and a waste of time. They still want to call tough.

I understand all about fish and rod of course, I've made a good living of learning things deep and quick and putting them to use. But - as much as I like a nice garden, I'm not interested in gardening. Gardening is not hard, or impossible to learn.. but and god forbid should I ever need to do some in order to keep the garden, I'd probably ditch the garden. :-) Or simply hire someone to know the "how" on my behalf. The same, incidentally, goes for fishing: never really cared for it, and while I love eating fish, I cannot be interested in learning the first thing about fishing.

Of course the cheap digital revolution has promised to lots of people that the "how" is so simple that they can do it themselves. And while it's far simpler than it's ever been, thanks goodness is not entirely true, and skill still matters.

But it's good to remember that most people in the world are not engineers, and more importantly are not engineering minded. They all have some field where they love to learn, but technical ones, often, not so much.

So when we help them while wondering why they don't care to learn to help themselves, it pays off to remember that really that's the norm, and we are the exception.

Lots of these exceptions, I suspect, were finding places like the old BBC fascinating and great to work with..
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Re: RTFM

Postby Moroccomoose » Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:31 am

All of what you say is true and perfectly acceptable because you are prepared to buy your fish and hire your gardener. Your green fingered neighbour might well give you some tips and help you get started, but they are not going to look after the garden indefinitely.

Sorry for extending the analogy - I guess I started it with knots and shoes !! :headbang:

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Re: RTFM

Postby ConcertinaChap » Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:59 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:SADiE has been the primary 'craft' audio editing platform since the mid-90s and has been engineered to integrate nicely with the VCS diraNG playout/scheduling system.

Completely off-topic and probably only of interest to Hugh is that the company that owns VCS, Scysis (for whom I worked for 19 years) is itself now in the process of being sold to a very, very large Canadian company called CGI.

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Re: RTFM

Postby ef37a » Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:35 am

I am afraid I have to slightly disagree with the general view here that we should not expect/be surprised that people are not prepared to learn even the most basic of electrical or audio facts. My stance is that all reasoanbly intelligent adults should have basic knowledge of "the way the universe works".

Maybe it is a cultural British thing? I well recall that eight graduates on University Challenge one year did not get the starter that had the answer for UK mains suppy "50Hz alternating current" . Would the German equivalent quiz show fail that one? Some otherwise very talented people seem to take pride in professing no technical knowledge at all. Personally I would feel a bit of a tit!

The people are coming to us! All I ask is that they take a reasonably systematic aproach to their problem and when asked, look stuff up! I will be the first to admit that computer audio can be ultra, ULTRA non-intuitive but turning a knob is not solving partial differential equations (whatever they are!) .

Fishing? Went with dad once. Most boring exercise and I got bitten by a Pike! End of!

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Re: RTFM

Postby Mike Stranks » Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:00 pm

Let's be honest... many of the regular posters here are of a certain age - a high percentage retired - and within that 'certain age' profile is a large subset that know audio techy stuff either because it was their job or because they've been interested in how audio is captured and stored since they were comparatively young.

So far... I'm guilty on all counts! :D

Back in our day if you were a muso and wanted to record music you went to a studio or spoke to someone who was serious hobbyist. You told them what you wanted and they did it.

With the democratisation of audio capture in the mid/late 70s and early 80s driven by TEAC and Fostex, musos discovered they could do it for themselves. As CS70 rightly says, many of the people buying kit are not that bothered about how anything works... they just want it to work. Thus we see the oft-repeated comments about instant recording of musical ideas and not being able to wait for computers to boot and DAWs to load...

Whatever we think about it.... they're not all like us! :lol:
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Re: RTFM

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:13 pm

ConcertinaChap wrote:Completely off-topic and probably only of interest to Hugh is that the company that owns VCS, Scysis (for whom I worked for 19 years) is itself now in the process of being sold to a very, very large Canadian company called CGI.

I had read about that, but I don't really have anything to do with VCS as I'm not involved in training the people that use it anymore. It's a phenomenal system though.
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Re: RTFM

Postby redlester » Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:51 pm

ConcertinaChap wrote:One thing I do regret is the disappearance of the printed manual. My first mixer was a Yamaha MG10/2. The printed manual that came with that was superb for a total beginner. It explained about preamps and line inputs and phono inputs and effects sends and phantom power(!) and just about everything you'd need as a newby to get started*. I've never seen such a comprehensive and well written manual since and I've always been grateful for it. If more kit came with well-written printed manuals rather than hurriedly put-together PDFs that you have to download and a quick start guide that says only download the manual then I reckon we'd have taken an important step to saving the human race from itself.

Am with you 100% on this. When it's practical I still like to print off the important bits of manuals, I hate reading them on screen as PDF's.

Mind you, the latest Epub version of the Logic Pro X manual weighs in at 1,179 pages. That's more than a ream, even if done double sided. I wonder if they would notice at work... am not sure it would even fit in a lever arch file! :mrgreen:
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Re: RTFM

Postby CS70 » Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:53 pm

Moroccomoose wrote:All of what you say is true and perfectly acceptable because you are prepared to buy your fish and hire your gardener. Your green fingered neighbour might well give you some tips and help you get started, but they are not going to look after the garden indefinitely.

Exactly! In forums there's a large, almost endless, supply of people willing to give a helping hand, and especially for beginner issues the amount of them is quite large.

When Desmond can no longer be bothered, someone else will slip in and say "push this"
With gardening it's harder because it's physical - there's where the analogy breaks. :)

Besides, do not underestimate my lovely old lady neighbor. She loves gardening! :D
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Re: RTFM

Postby desmond » Tue Jun 18, 2019 3:31 pm

redlester wrote:Mind you, the latest Epub version of the Logic Pro X manual weighs in at 1,179 pages. That's more than a ream, even if done double sided. I wonder if they would notice at work... am not sure it would even fit in a lever arch file! :mrgreen:

I've always liked manuals, because when I was young, you needed to extract 100% out of what a particular bit of gear could do, as you were so resource constrained. Plus, we had no internet/YouTube/etc - manuals, magazines, sometimes books and figuring it out yourself were your only real options, unless you happened to know and have access to a a guru. (For me, I had to Be My Own Guru - hmm, book title there...)

My first large piece of expensive commercial software I bought (instead of a piece of hardware) was C-Lab's Creator, and I loved that thing, and delighted in the manual, and learning what it could do.

But I have the full printed manuals for every version from Creator 3.x through Logic 4, 5, 6/Pro, 7, 8 and 9 (which no longer included the full printed mauals) and I've got to say those hefty boxes of manuals, which get out of date really quickly, are nothing but a strain on the floorboards, and are next to useless to actually use, or consult.

It's completely impractical these days to provide up to date printed manuals for complex software sold at a more or less consumer level, and I really hate all the excessive paper use too - so I'm 100% good with electronic, seachable, documentation. (Says the guy who dedicates way too much time converting paper materials into electronic form elsewhere...)

Although Apple's "Help" system is, and always has been, embarrasingly terrible.
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Re: RTFM

Postby Folderol » Tue Jun 18, 2019 3:40 pm

desmond wrote:Although Apple's "Help" system is, and always has been, embarrasingly terrible.
The time to worry is when you click on the 'Help' icon only to see:

"Sorry, you are beyond help."
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Re: RTFM

Postby desmond » Tue Jun 18, 2019 4:02 pm

Folderol wrote:
desmond wrote:Although Apple's "Help" system is, and always has been, embarrasingly terrible.
The time to worry is when you click on the 'Help' icon only to see:

"Sorry, you are beyond help."

The time for me to *really* worry is when I do it and it just says "Ask desmond..." :tongue: :shock: :lol:
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Re: RTFM

Postby Folderol » Tue Jun 18, 2019 4:24 pm

desmond wrote:
Folderol wrote:
desmond wrote:Although Apple's "Help" system is, and always has been, embarrasingly terrible.
The time to worry is when you click on the 'Help' icon only to see:

"Sorry, you are beyond help."

The time for me to *really* worry is when I do it and it just says "Ask desmond..." :tongue: :shock: :lol:
Following a train of thought... I'm sure we've all had the situation where someone tells you that you're wrong about the way a bit of kit works, but it is a strange feeling when the gear in question is something you designed and built yourself. it lurches into the surreal when, after politely pointing that out, the other person still insists you are wrong!
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Re: RTFM

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Tue Jun 18, 2019 4:43 pm

I don't know why, but this reminded me of the current growth of Flat Earthers as a movement. I got sucked into watching endless vids on YT about these crazy people...there's a good doc on Netflix too. Time and time again, people prove using simple techniques that the earth isn't flat yet these people refuse to believe their eyes and ears. It's mesmerising to me.

I recommend SciMan Dan as a good starter if you're interested in seeing the Flat Earthers in all their, er, glory. He's fighting a running battle with them on YT. Sorry, utterly off topic. Folderol's fault.
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Re: RTFM

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Jun 18, 2019 4:47 pm

Oooh, tell us more Foldy :D
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Re: RTFM

Postby Eddy Deegan » Tue Jun 18, 2019 4:59 pm

Dr Huge Longjohns wrote:I recommend SciMan Dan as a good starter if you're interested in seeing the Flat Earthers in all their, er, glory. He's fighting a running battle with them on YT. Sorry, utterly off topic. Folderol's fault.

:thumbup: It's car-crash entertainment but it's a guilty pleasure of mine. Baldy Catz and Wolfie6020 are also well worth checking out if you've not got them on the list already!
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Re: RTFM

Postby Eddy Deegan » Tue Jun 18, 2019 5:05 pm

redlester wrote:Mind you, the latest Epub version of the Logic Pro X manual weighs in at 1,179 pages. That's more than a ream, even if done double sided. I wonder if they would notice at work... am not sure it would even fit in a lever arch file! :mrgreen:

I've posted these images before but it seems relevant here too :-)

I got a lucky opportunity through a professional contact to have the Kronos manuals printed and bound a while back. I don't recommend paying for it out of your own pocket though!

Image
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