Monday, October 15, 2012

Optimization Of Audio Content

EBU R128, ITU-R BS.1770-2, ITU-R BS.1770-1, ATSC A85

These are important standards set to keep our sound levels consistent with other studios producing sound for film and broadcast. Far too often we take our frustration out on our remotes when a blaring commercial comes on or program material is too quiet. Its not so much the music but the dialog.

Consider the problems a broadcast station has when it gets recordings from a plethora of sources. Without a standard, the operator picks what he or she hears and sets your volume. Most technicians and engineers may not know to set the dialogue level for their analog services to 17 dB Leq (A) below 100 percent modulation for the typical set top boxes. While it is the subjective interpretation by the operator, there are devices we use to measure this phenomenon that give us a way to be consistent in what is truly perceived levels.

The same goes for the theater. There are standards set that every studio needs to conform to when mixing sound for picture. If you want a good sounding audio track, seek out a studio that has the ability to conform to these standards. 

Sometimes a simple adjustment to the mix will correct a poorly mixed film. It is too often that no consideration is given to the sound until it is not there. Don't loose your target audience with a bad mix.

Later I will go into theater standards. ITU and NAB will refer to LKFS values. These are loudness managements needing special metering. This applies more to broadcast (ITU1770-2) or theatrical trailers (TASA).

Friday, August 31, 2012

Michigan Legislature makes "Production Facility Qualification Form"

Does your state have a Production Facility Qualification Form requiring you have 8 workstations, 1 soundstage, 3000 SqFt Contiguous column-free space, and a grid for “shooting” with out a generator?

In 2011 a bunch of Michigan production facilities were sent a letter announcing an amendment to MCL 125.2029h that requires minimums to be certified as a “Qualified Facility” or a “Post-production Facility”. The requirements are so ridiculous that I just had to ask if you have this in your State Legislature?

One very odd requirement is that the “facility” has a minimum of 8 work stations. It doesn’t clarify what a “work station” is. Further it doesn’t specify what the “work station” should be capable of and what software is to be installed? This ambiguity and the state not having anybody qualified to inspect and know what it takes to be a “production facility” leads me to believe my iPhone would qualify as a “work station”. Then that makes 8 for me!

Another requirement is the “Facility” have 3000 square feet of contiguous no pole space. That means K&R post production sound facility with 3000 square feet of sound rooms will not qualify. I have a post in one small storage room. Sad huh?!

Where I really fail to understand the State Legislature’s is the requirement in providing a grid with sufficient built-in electric service to “shoot” without a generator. That is all that is specified. Shoot paint ball? What’s on the grid? wooo! I am a post production Foley, Sound Design, New Music, ADR facility. I never knew a “Post-Production Facility” that does sound, needs a grid.

Of course the Legislature rule mixes as equals "Facilities" and "Post Facilities". I thought they were different and served different purposes.

Please look at links below. I’d like to hear your opinion.
Michigan Ruel
My Letter Recieved

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

You Tube Video

I have been all over You Tube Commercials for the last 3 years. Google is putting millions into developing advertising channels. MyISH, WIGS, and AwsomnerssTV are a few that come to mind. It wants to upgrade its content from simple user-generated videos and to lure more viewers and advertising. Already people are watching four billion hours of video on the site per month.

What started to happen is that user generated videos will be considered a necessary burden to bring the big business advertisers in. This will set the video content bar much higher for the typical small business. If you want to do a You Tube pitch, you better hire a professional. You Tube may eventually limit what you can say based on what they consider entertainment and advertisements. That’s free versus paid. You need to visualize your business so others know who you are. That’s what we do at K&R! Better get it in now. You may pay later.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Where's the Film Sound Designer Budget

Where are the budgets for proper sound work and design for a motion picture? I think we all would agree that it is as important as the pictures itself. Or maybe not.
When I talk to new budding movie producers I hear the same story. “Ya Ya the sound track is important to my picture”. But when it is time to consider this part of the film, it’s the first place cuts are made. Because it comes as almost last in the line of things to finish in the making of a motion picture, and the bulk of the budget typically got spent on late night pizza and beers, it leaves little to nothing for proper audio treatment. Sound is to support the picture by giving heighten drama, pace and emotions. Not to mention an understandable dialog track. Just like your lead actor, beginning to end, episode to episode, it is the fabric that helps tie the picture together.
Not too long ago I had a film maker explain that he felt his film lost in competition because of the sound track. True as it may be and was, he promised that the next time he would employ a sound designer to take it from stage mike to finished track. I hope it is true. Producers when you look at your movie, could you listen to the sound track without the picture. Now tell me, does what you hear project the image you want to portray in your picture? Please check We are the frugal means by which you can do sound wonders to create a film that has potential for success and shows who you are. Lets talk!

Thursday, January 6, 2011


At the Audio Engineering Society Detroit Section Meeting January 19, 2011, I will be presenting a program on Audio/Video Forensics: In the Studio.
This meeting is open to all interested parties.

Lecture Synopsis:
Audio/video technology is advancing every day. These advancements continually change the way audio/video evidence is analyzed and interpreted. This presentation will demonstrate some of the ways audio/video forensic technology is being used to help resolve court cases.

When analyzing audio/video evidence, you have to suspend personal experience and rely solely on technical training, experience and facts. If segments of a recording are missing, then that can change the interpretation of the evidence. An experienced analyst can tell when a segment has been deleted, modified or altered. Sometimes with an original recording, the missing information can be retrieved, thus giving the opportunity for a fuller, more accurate analysis.

When analyzing motion pictures, what you see is not always what you have. Example: When Hollywood shows a building exploding in your face… do you really think they have the camera that close? In such a case, the camera is a safe distance away with a special lens to pull the building and action in close. But doing so leaves clues that the experienced analyst recognizes that tells them immediately how this shot was produced. Similar training and experience is used when analyzing audio evidence.

The presentation will show examples of how audio/video analysis completely changed the outcome of court cases and how Daubert standards apply to analysis of evidence.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


We have had a lot of exciting projects lately here at the K&R fortress. I will detail just a few to keep you informed on all we can accomplish for you!

Spanish Lip Sync— K&R All Media is completing a medical project for HHA Services, St Clair Shores and Dr. May VA Productions that involved translating the audio of several training videos into Spanish. Project included coordinating the script with the film and making sure all tracks matched up perfectly.

Video Shoot—K&R All Media recently completed three videos that will be used for website advertising for three different companies. They were complicated shoots involving multiple background changes and reshoots to make it all work.

Audio/Video Forensic Seminars—K&R Forensic will be presenting three Forensic seminars in Anchorage, Alaska during the week of November 2-7, 2010. The programs are approved for CLE credits and each program has been tailored specifically to the group we will be meeting with based on questions and concerns they currently deal with. Currently, we are scheduled to meet with the Office of Public Advocacy, Alaska Association for Justice and Alaska Public Defenders.

Electric Network Frequency (ENF) —This is an exciting new way to time/date stamp digital recordings that is being widely used in Europe. Currently, K&R Forensic is the only company in the U.S. actively using this technology in their analysis. ENF allows the analyst to match the electric "hum" on the recording to the "hum" recorded by the electric company for that same time period. It is used for authentication of digital audio and video recordings.

Kiosk Signage in Schools—We've completed sales agreements with two schools for DigiSign kiosks. The schools already have the kiosk design prepared and have also requested a 5-year subscription for content services. This is an exciting method of delivering digital media to the students and keeping them apprised of the latest events, schedule changes and upcoming activities within the school system.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Audio/Video Forensics: Hollywood Revealed

It is truly fascinating how all of my businesses inter-relate and work together. An Audio/Video expert as relates to recording arts, I am also qualified as an Audio/Video Forensic Analyst and expert witness.

With my extensive recording and videography experience I have a unique perspective on how events come together. This in turn gives me a better understanding when interpreting the video and audio forensic projects I work on.

In November, I will be going to Anchorage, Alaska to present a seminar on the military base. I will also be presenting a lecture to the local law organizations, “Audio/Video Forensics: Hollywood Revealed”.

With this lecture, I will explain and show many examples of how perspective can alter the truth in video and audio recordings. I will show how, with the proper understanding and complete scope of reality, cases can be turned around.

We all know that no matter how trustworthy a witness, much of their understanding of the event in question relies on their interpretation. If you have ten different witnesses, you will get ten different stories. This is because, while each witness saw the exact same event, they each interpreted it based on their own personal experiences.

When analyzing forensic video and audio evidence, you have to suspend personal experience and rely solely on technical experience and facts. What you know to be true, based on what you actually see or hear on the recording. If segments of a recording are missing, that can change the whole interpretation. An experienced analyst can tell when a segment has been deleted. Sometimes, with an original recording this deleted information can be retrieved, thus giving the opportunity for a full, accurate analysis.

In some instances, perspective plays a huge part of analysis accuracy. Example: When Hollywood tapes a building blowing up, and the scene shows the building exploding in your face… do you really think they have the camera that close? Of course not. In such a case, the camera is a safe distance away with a special lens to pull the building and action in close. But in doing so, there are clues that the experienced analyst recognizes that tells them immediately how this shot was produced. This same experience is used when analyzing video evidence.

I look forward to educating these law enforcement individuals about the variety of ways that information can be interpreted and how I use technology and my audio/video background to dig down to the indisputable truth of the event.

With this knowledge I know that they will come away with a better understanding and respect for the valuable work done by forensic analysts and how it can help them to better present their cases.