Is it Grimace? Is it the Grim Reaper? Nope. It's a prepared location audio professional who is protecting their investment and getting the job done. This morning on my 10 minute walk from the train to the office, I witnessed a weather anomaly that I'd never experienced before. This is my 18th year as a resident of the Northeastern United States, and I don't know the official stats, but this winter sure seems like one of the worst.
I can't imagine a more perfect morning than the one we chose to go ballooning over the temples in Bagan, Myanmar on our recent photo safari. There was a soft breeze, only a few clouds, and the temperature was perfect. As the sun rose over the mountains in the east, it lit up the first of the literally thousands of temples and pagodas on our route with a golden light that made their historic brick facades glow.
As I prepare for another dive off the Island of Roca Partida, everything is perfect, as it has been the past five days. It is a beautiful day, sea conditions are ideal, and I am thinking about the wonders I will photograph as this amazing trip is coming to an end. I check all my life support equipment and camera gear before boarding the Zodiac (rubber raft type boat).
It is amazing to think that a single program disk's worth of data can transform your computer into the equivalent of a full audio recording studio, complete with powerful signal processing, editing, and automated mixing capabilities. By properly outfitting your machine and making use of a high-quality audio interface, it is easy to take advantage of the myriad options available in almost any audio recording application. In fact, it has reached the point where your recorded signals do not even have to leave the warm confines of your computer until you are ready to release them by burning a CD of your latest handiwork. This mind-set conserves physical space, is very economical, and packs well for portability.
If you're into bird watching, the holy grail would have to be the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, a huge (20" tall with a 30" wingspan), yet incredibly elusive woodpecker that despite reports of extinction, is spotted every now-and-then deep in the boonies of Florida and Arkansas. It's also known as the 'Lord G-d' woodpecker because that's what spotters have been known to blurt out - often accompanied by soiled trousers - when dive-bombed by one. 'Lord G-d' has also been exclaimed - minus the soiled trousers - by those seeing a Canon 1200/5.6L USM for the first time. At 36lbs, 33" long and 9" wide at the front element, calling this lens a 'tele' is like calling King Kong a monkey.
Under the hood of every virtual instrument is a sound engine designed to bring you the variety of tones promised on the front of your software box. Some methods rely mainly on mathematical models, others make use of audio samples, and there are those that make use of a mixture of the two.
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