24 Jun

When you need to know the time

Recently I had a few projects where I was the one who was responsible keeping track of the time being spent on the tasks. At the end I had to know how many hours we spent with editing, mixing, etc. Who really knows me might just laughing right now as I’m very famously forget everything related to time. Birthdays, important dates, historical dates, pretty much everything. So I’m not the best person to keep track of things like this, but this time I had no choice.

There’s an app for that

As soon as my first panic attack went away, I remembered the marketing line from Apple: “there’s an app for that…” so I started to search the AppStore for possible solutions. I needed something that’s:

  • easy to use
  • doesn’t require complicated setup
  • reliable
  • can keep track of spent time on different task
  • can remind me to use it

I know that the last point might sound ridiculous to you, but it’s a fact, I needed something that reminds me to use it.

And I’ve found the aptly named Hours.

time

This is really a great app for me. It’s dead easy to use, requires very basic setup, and, most importantly you can set reminders inside the app!

I keep it very simple. For example I made two tasks: Edit and Mix. You can set the amount of time you spent with a task, or you can simply tap the clock icon and it’s immediately start to count time. Don’t forget to stop when you finish, but other than this, you don’t need to pay attention to the app.

Make a task list and always measure only what you really do. After the fact, you can create a complete report which can be as simple as a usual work clock, or you can create a detailed one with notes. Reports can be daily, weekly, monthly, whatever fit your needs.

If you’re a tweaky kind of person, you can set up time format, rounding rules and of course, reminders.

time prefs

I hope you find it as useful as me.

15 Jun

Worth to read #1

I’d like to recommend you a great book, which surely will stick with
you for a long time. Not because it takes long time to read, quite
the contrary, once you start reading it will be very hard to put it
down. It’s going to stick with you because it’s filled with knowledge
and wisdom.
This is not a technical book, you won’t find detailed explanations of
different compression techniques, or hidden tricks in Pro Tools,
instead you’ll find ideas, examples of critical thinking, creative
collaboration and thoughtful, diligent decision making. All through a
series of conversations. Walter Murch is a true legend, who never
fails to eloquently describe his methods and discoveries and great
stories about some of the most famous films ever made.
You can buy it online, so you can have it on your iPad or any kind of
tablet or eReader or even on your laptop. This is a book worth
reading multiple times. Happy reading!

TheConversations

09 Jun

Add meaning to programmable buttons

As you might know, one of my favourite input device is the Kensington Expert mouse. It’s sturdy, precise, built like a tank, has programmable buttons and probably most importantly, it’s comfortable.

kensington trackball

For a while I always changed the what the additional buttons do in Pro Tools. Sometimes one simply added a marker, the other did nothing, I had them switch between windows, show different automation curves or start a bounce.

But now I’ve been using them for more than 3 months now to increase and decrease clip gain. It’s tremendous help both during editing and during mixing. I’m admittedly a clip gain fan, so it just makes sense and speeds up my workflow.

To do this, you need to download the Trackball works software from the Kensington website. After successful installation, you can set up the keys under System Preferences/Trackball Works.

I’ve set up the upper two buttons. You’ll need to add the two shortcuts separately.
Here are the shortcuts:


Ctrl+Shift+down arrow = clip gain down
Ctrl+Shift+up arrow = clip gain up


As soon as you’re ready with the settings, it’s going to work.

28 May

Looking for a good mouse

It seems that I always destroy my Apple Mouse at least in every 3-5 months.

Apple Mouse

Because of my RSI I almost daily change the input device, between a Kensington Expert Mouse Pro and the Apple Mouse. The Kensington seems to be a very tough guy as it has been working flawlessly for more than 3 years now, and you can guess… I killed many Apple mice during this period.

Now I’m looking for a reliable, preferably very comfortable mouse with additional programmable buttons that works with the Mac too, and has wire. I know it’s 2015, but I still prefer these ones instead of the cordless ones. For some reason I can’t work with a pen tablet. I tried many models from Wacom, it’s simply not for me sadly.

Please suggest me good alternatives in the comments, or in email or through the contact form. Thank you.