At Calvary we have been on the hunt for a discrete, good sounding, headset mic, for a long time. We have gone through a ton of options from Countryman, DPA, and tons more that I can’t remember right now, ha ha. We never found one that sounded good to us and at the same time was comfortable for the pastor to wear.
Our audio vender was at a trade show a couple years ago and someone approached him and said that they had the best headset mic. He said to send us one and we’ll let him know if it’s any good. Next thing we knew a DaCappo (now Que Qudio) DA12 headset mic showed up in the mail and we loved it.
For the first time we had a mic that sounded good and was comfortable to wear. The part that goes around the ear is a soft rubber with a flexible wire inside. The wire gives enough to get around the ear and put on but doesn’t lose it’s shape. Once it has been adjusted and you’re wearing it for a few minutes you really can forget you’re wearing it.
Sound wise it’s pretty neutral, no hyped top end or anything. We get plenty of gain before feedback using the omni capsule. Lastly they’re built well, we haven’t killed one yet. The only weird thing is that the boom is pretty long. It’s adjustable about 1cm but that’s not really enough. We’ve been ordering the “petite” size and found that gets the boom far enough away from the mouth and nose to avoid plosives, and it looks a little better.
That’s the DA12 headset mic. So far about 4 or 5 people that said they “would never wear one of those” have worn this and have fell in love with it. In the world of headset mics this is the greatest thing since sliced bread, ha ha.
VideoCopilot has been a great resource for me to learn After Effects and start to create my own motion graphics. They also make some great tools for compositing and motion graphics. I like to support sites like them so I’ve purchased many of their products. It’s not out of charity completely, they really have good stuff that improves my work. Plus supporting them keeps the tutorials coming.
Now they’re close to releasing a new plugin called Element 3D. This product helps bridge the gap between 3D created in a dedicated 3D app and the control of keeping everything inside of After Effects. Plus the approach they are taking to 3D should keep things very fast when it comes time to render.
The traditional workflow would be to create a 3D object in a 3D program, render it out, then bring it into After Effects. If you need to tweak or adjust the 3D object you would need to go back into your 3D program, edit, render, re-import. That will still be necessary for really intense scenes but it’s a lot of extra work when you just want to create 3D text and simple shapes. That’s where Element 3D will help bridge the gap and keep you working inside of After Effects.
It’s not out for another week, personally I can’t wait to get it and play around with 3D inside After Effects! Price will be very reasonable, I think I heard $150, but don’t quote me on that.
Update: They announced pricing today. $150 for the plugin alone up to $250 for the plugin and some extra presets and models, very reasonable. They also released a video showing off some features and the user interface, looks really good! Check it out here.
Update 2: More information! It’s available tomorrow, 7/10/12. There’s more bundles, some more tutorials, it really does look sweet! Check out the latest update.
Camera dolly shots are always a nice touch to video. But dolly systems are expensive and not the most portable things. Cinetics led a successful KickStarter campaign a little while ago. They developed their own portable dolly system, CineSkates.
As long as you have a smooth surface you can get those nice dolly shots with your DLSR, GoPro, or any other small format camera. They even have an iPhone mount, ha ha. Now dolly shots are affordable and portable for smaller projects
They also have the CineSquid. Instead of the dolly wheels you have three powerful suction cups. Now you can mount your camera to any smooth surface like a car or a window. I used this to get some cool rig shots on my car not that long ago. Between the skates and the squid you’ve got a lot of options.
Planning Center is a pretty cool web based app that helps you to coordinate with staff and volunteers to prepare for your weekly services and special events. It helps by centralization all of your service planning and putting all of your contacts and service information into one place.
We switched to it about a year or two ago and it’s been great. As an audio team we use it to check the set list so we know what’s happening. Then we can prepare for rehearsals and services. For programming lights there’s a media player that’s lets me play the songs and make sure that I’m programming the right looks for the right songs.
Check out their site for more detailed information, Planning Center Online. Once set up Planning Center will save you a lot of time! They also have all kinds of cool apps to check out.
I love my Canon 7D. I bought it as an upgrade to my old Canon 20D. I went from 8mp to 18mp stills and now I can shoot 1080p HD video. Pretty versatile camera! I looked at the 5D Mark iii but it was a lot more money and for what I’m doing I couldn’t justify the extra cost.
Canon announced a firmware update for the 7D that adds a lot of features and narrows the gap between the 7D and the 5D. Some of the highlights to me were manual audio adjustments while shooting video, higher burst rate for stills, and in-camera image processing to name a few.
The update isn’t out until August so there’s some waiting left to do. It’s good to see them continuing to support and improve existing products. Check out the full press release here.