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I didn’t plan to write a summary post, but lately I think this would be the best to tell everything what’s going on. So here it is, a wide variety of things randomly happening around me. I had so many projects continuously going on that sometimes I lost in the flow. Fortunately there’s an app for this too. 😉

Versatile interface

I had been pondering for months about a really versatile and useful interface that I will be able to use in many different, but equally demanding situation. After long months of searching, testing, pondering and re-testing I decided to get the Sound Devices USB Pre2.

It wasn’t an easy decision, because when it comes to equipment I’m very picky, the candidate must be: sturdy, well engineered and built, versatile, very good sound quality both in and out, have to have multiple connection options, must work flawlessly with wide variety of computers, etc. So, you can expect a review in the next few weeks.

Weight issues

Many of you know that I have a little partner with me almost all the time, the Sony PCM D50. I’d been using the basic model of Joby’s Gorillapod, and as it turned out, unfortunately it cannot hold the recorder safely in place. It’s still a great little flexible tripod, but not adequate to use it with the Sony. I thought the bigger model (hybrid) would be fine, but a short test run proved otherwise.

So, the ultimate choice is the even bigger Gorillapod: SLR Zoom with the ball head.

Obviously it is much bigger in size, but this can hold the recorder firmly and safely at the place I want. I had to decide which is the more important factor, size or safety and I decided that safety is much more important (at least for me).

You can see the size difference here:

The good thing in the new, bigger Gorillapod is that you can use it as a proper tripod if you want to, but in a second, it can be the usual super-twisted holder you already know.

Pro Tools 10.3

The new update which corrects many bugs that disturbed all of us in post production. All I can say is so far so good. It works fine without any crash or hiccup. I’m still on Lion, plan to upgrade to Mountain Lion in the near future, but right now I have no time for that, and as the golden rule says: never ever upgrade during big projects… I postponed the upgrade. Even before updating Pro Tools I made a complete system backup for safety, and I suggest the same to you. Always backup before any serious upgrade.

I’ve heard good things about Mountain Lion and as the latest release from Avid actually supports the new operating system, maybe my upgrade is going to happen sooner than I first thought…

Macbook Pro as a power-horse

Yes, I admit I’m a geek. Sometimes I lost control over myself, so I upgraded my laptop. The old hdd has been retired, and a brand new Samsung 830 series SSD replaced it, the difference is quite amazing. But you may already know this, but might miss the fact that I upgraded to 16GB of ram. Well, Pro Tools just loves it. It really boosted the whole performance.

I use Freememory on my laptop, and with 8GB I sometimes ran into problems. Now, with 16GB in the machine, every ram hungry app can eat ample amount while the os still have enough to work with.

iPad stand

I’ve been looking for a good iPad stand for a long time. The required features were:
* shall be stable (obviously)
* made from durable materials
* able to place it on the top of audio consoles of all kind
* small enough that it doesn’t need much space when not used

And then I came across this:

Twelve South Compass iPad stand. Just the perfect solution for me. It holds the iPad safely, because of the legs it can stand on consoles and virtually everywhere. And, when not used it can be very small in its own little holder. As it is made from steel it’s very strong, fulfils all my need.

Thunderbolt to Firewire adapter

I waited for this, and after such a long wait Apple released it. Immediately bought one to test it with different external HDDs and with an RME Fireface UFX sound card.

With the HDDs I experienced no problem at all, actually it is pretty fast and you save yourself a complete Firewire port.

But, the real good news is that it works perfectly well with the RME sound card! Without a hiccup. Tried it during recording sessions, during mixing and editing and it’s been working fine from the first minute. Of course a Thunderbolt hub would be even better, but I’m happy with this little adapter now. Belkin promised to release a Thunderbolt hub in september this year. They haven’t released it yet, I hope we don’t have to wait too long now.

Omnifocus to keep me sane and at least partially organised

You may know the Omnigroup, they make spectacular software for the Mac and for iOS devices. Omnifocus is a GTD application which can be perfectly utilised in post production.

It’s useful if you have many small things to do, but also perfect if you have various recurring tasks for the day or for longer periods. I’ll write about it in the future, for now it’s enough to know that it’s a really remarkable application. A real life saver for me.

Future articles

First of all, thank you for the suggestions and lots of emails!

Of course the Shortcut for our pleasure will be continued shortly, and I plan to make some really interesting new things more tied to post production sound. I won’t make any promises, but I will really do my best to post interesting things, so stay tuned, lot’s of interesting things are on the way…