You create entirely new vocal sounds or improve them with iZotope’s Nectar 3

Vocal sound improvement and alteration are the strengths of iZotope’s Nectar plug-in. Version 3 has a spectacular new interface design with more intuitive controls and new features. For dialogues, Nectar 3 gives your recordings more presence or lets you change spoken content by changing pitch, adding delays and reverb or turn your vocal into a horror experience.

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The Rycote USM Kit is a godsend for studio mics

With studio condenser microphones like my favourite sE2200A usually come nice shock mounts. The only problem is that these are heavy and wear out quickly because the shock absorbers are elastic rubber bands. When I saw how well Rycote’s Softie Duo-Lyre Mount with pistol grip handle works with a Deity S-Mic 2 shotgun, I decided to give the company’s InVision Universal Studio Mount Kit a try as well.

Off-Topic: Finally, a worthy astrology app for macOS

I have a hobby that may surprise people and simultaneously make them think I’m bonkers… I love dabbling in astrology. I know, most people will say it’s rubbish, but I’ve erected enough astrology charts to think Hamlet was right when he said: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in our philosophy.” I used to be a Kairon user, software developed by an Austrian astrologer/programmer who stopped updating the macOS application a few years ago. Then I started using iPhemeris on the iPad by Clifford Ribaudo, but that software gets updated very occasionally and you Ribaudo hides behind an alleged Apple bug in iOS that prevents users from exporting complete charts and tables. But in the week between Christmas and New Year I’ve found a macOS/iOS/Android software that might be the astrology app Mac users have been craving for a long time. It’s Astro Gold and it’s been developed by the same people who made Solar Fire the industry standard on Windows PCs. So, although it’s off-topic, here’s a review of Astro Gold.

Cinema Grade, a dramatically new way of colour grading footage or a huge marketing bubble?

colour grading

Denver Riddle is a colour grading expert who first developed Color Finale for Final Cut Pro X. His company now comes forward with a next-generation colour grading app and plug-in for Final Cut Pro X, Premiere Pro, and Da Vinci Resolve via the OFX plug-in, Cinema Grade. The new plug-in is a radical step away from traditional colour grading where the artist either needs to control the adjustments via on-screen wheels and sliders or through an expensive control surface. With Cinema Grade, on the other hand, you just mouse-drag colour adjustments in the frame, although you can still control everything by numbers if you want to.

A disaster, a recovery and experiences with an iMac 5K Retina 3.4GHz

iMac

The inevitable finally happened a couple of weeks ago. Everything has an expiration date written on it – from humans over animals to the stuff we make. That certainly goes for computers. We (should) all know that and back up our data on a regular basis – preferably daily and even more often. But sometimes a break-down will come so unexpected and hit you so fast, you’ll be gasping for air and you’ll realise you weren’t all that well prepared after all.

How much memory do you need in a 5K Retina iMac for anything from writing to video production?

SODIMM

Apple fills up their iMacs with far too little memory to be useful, so the first thing you want to do when you buy a new machine is think about installing additional memory. Apple’s memory isn’t cheap and iMacs – apart from the iMac Pro – can easily be upgraded after having purchased one with the standard 8GB installed. The question is how much you need to buy, given that even third-party RAM like that of Crucial isn’t for free. It all depends on what you plan out to do with your new iMac.

Loupedeck+

A control surface is designed to let you navigate and control an image/video editing application efficiently. Loupedeck+ is a Finnish design. It’s a keyboard lookalike with dials and knobs and it integrates with Adobe Lightroom, Capture One (currently in beta) and Skylum Aurora HDR 2018 through a software driver annex control panel.