CDM Asks: What's the Best, Low-End Visualist Camcorder?

Quite a few of you raised an eyebrow when we topped our gift guide with the Canon HV20, an affordable (as little as us$700) HDV camcorder. Like the New England Patriots (that’s American football for the rest of the world), the Canon HV20 appears to be largely unbeaten as the best-available visualist-friendly camera. It’s small, it’s light, it’s cheap, it does HDV, ’nuff said. It’s also eminently upgrade-friendly, with indie producers adding 35mm lenses and nifty accessories. And even those of you with larger, more powerful cameras occasionally want something you can toss in a backpack or use as a …

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CDM Asks: What’s the Best, Low-End Visualist Camcorder?

Quite a few of you raised an eyebrow when we topped our gift guide with the Canon HV20, an affordable (as little as us$700) HDV camcorder. Like the New England Patriots (that’s American football for the rest of the world), the Canon HV20 appears to be largely unbeaten as the best-available visualist-friendly camera. It’s small, it’s light, it’s cheap, it does HDV, ’nuff said. It’s also eminently upgrade-friendly, with indie producers adding 35mm lenses and nifty accessories. And even those of you with larger, more powerful cameras occasionally want something you can toss in a backpack or use as a …

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How to Use Rock Band Controllers (And More) with GarageBand, Mac

Bill Pendry wanted to use his PlayStation 3 Rock Band controllers with GarageBand on the Mac, so he’s posted step-by-step instructions to do just that. The secret formula: a wonderful utility that helps you use HID-compatible game controllers on the Mac, sans drivers. GamePad Companion (US$15 shareware) Of course, the nice thing here is that the basic steps apply to other controllers, just in case Rock Band doesn’t float your boat (or rock your socks, or whatever). I ended up choosing kick, snare, two toms and one cymbal, since the other cymbal I wanted was in a inactive area of …

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AES: A Season of Mobile Recorders, a Sweet New Sony, Says Mobilista Brad

Surprise! It’s a high-end Sony mobile recorder you could actually afford. The pretty new PCM-D50 lists at US$600, not four figures. If it sounds as good as its sibling, we could see some other mobile recorders on eBay. The search for the perfect field recorder continues: Brad Linder is a blogger, freelance journalist, and producer for National Public Radio. If anyone loves mobile recorders, he sure does. He writes in with a great overview of what was happening in mobile recorders at the AES show here in New York, with plenty of detailed information on his blog.

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HDV Device Problems? The Culprit Might Just Be Windows

Since picking up my HVR-V1P I haven’t actually spent much time editing or otherwise working with HD video, instead spending my time out on the road shooting and performing. After returning (and taking a holiday) the rest of the band have settled down to recording an album and I, as part of my preproduction schedule, embarked on a Windows/CS3 reinstall to have a clean slate upon which to create music videos to accompany said album. Which is where my problems started. Like Peter I chose to go with a sleek, bloat-free Windows XP installation. After the install completed I installed …

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More Visualist Urban Legends: Hotplugging Firewire Kills Cameras?

Peter’s post on projector orientation myths prodded my memory on an issue I encountered while picking up my shiny new camera. While finalizing the lease paperwork the sales guy went out of his way to bring my attention to a slice of A4 treeware contained within the box. The text printed on it prophesized a dire future for anyone plugging a firewire cable into their camera while the computer is switched on. Dan’s recent letter on the subject prompted me to post this to get some feedback from the visualist community. Has this happened to anyone? Has a manufacturer denied …

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musika: iPod Visualizer – Game from PaRappa the Rapper Creator, Tested

Bridging the gap between music visualizer and game, Masaya Matsurra’s musika brings a unique experience to Apple’s iPod. Matsurra, best known as the creator of PaRappa the Rapper for the original PlayStation, has long used Apple’s tools as a means of creative expression. He sees the iPod as a natural for interactive music visualization. “The iPod is a device that revolutionized music and it is now poised to be a progressive gaming platform,” said Masaya Matsuura, President of NanaOn-Sha. “Many years ago Apple’s tools first opened my eyes to the power of music and multimedia, so it’s exciting to release …

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Ask CDMo Readers: Video Camera Suggestions for Visualists

Hello Internets! I’ve returned from gallivanting around the country and have a couple of weeks while we refuel and plan the next leg of the tour. One of the first tasks I’ve set myself is to get a better video camera, and was all set to pick up a Canon XH-A1 when I found out that it doesn’t have S-Video in or out. That cuts down my options a little for live visuals, as I wouldn’t be able to mix in this camera’s output without an expensive scan converter or going via Firewire, which introduces latency and creates cabling issues. …

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New Wave Editors: BIAS Peak Pro 6 for Mac, Sony Sound Forge 9 for PC

Two long-time favorite audio editors have gotten big updates recently. BIAS updated the Mac-only Peak Pro at the Messe show with an upgraded UI, ducking, mastering and playlist tools. And yesterday, Sony announced Sound Forge 9, with multichannel features, new mastering effects, and other features. That was quick: Sound Forge 8 and Peak Pro 5 only recently came out. Here are the quick highlights:

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