Bill Selak Talks

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Better, Faster, Cheaper, Easier: Bill Selak Talks Ep 78

by Bill Selak
November 2nd 2021
Technology in education keeps getting better, faster, cheaper, and easier. In this episode, I talk about how the audio plugin Abbey Road One: Orchestral Foundations completely changes how you can writ... More
Mhm Mhm. Mhm. Hey there, Welcome to the episode of Bill Select talks. My name is Bill. So look, this is me talking. So we're gonna jump in and talk about something that blew my mind this last week before we jump into what the thing is, you need to know why it's going to blow my mind. So my kids are working on a tv show. We're doing some fan fiction I suppose technically. Um the tv show is Odd Squad. Do you know it? Do you love it? You should, you should know it and you should love it. So in Odd Squad, they solve odd problems. It's also a math show where they learned about odd numbers. You see what they did with that. This is like right up my alley. So our kids know it. We've watched pretty much all of them several times. So we're gonna, right, we are writing our own script. We're gonna act it out at home. We have a pop up greens, we might do some fancy stuff, we might not. Um but we're like legit writing it with three of them. Keep in mind my kids are now first grade, third grade, fourth grade.

Um and we got to do the intro. We need the intro song and I can't find a clean version that's just the instrumental. So what you have to do. All right, the only thing left to do is to record my own version of the odd Squad intro theme song, instrumental version. So very quickly realized I needed to be in Logic Pro garageband didn't have nearly the amount of complexity I wanted because it's like strings, its horns and synthesizers, It's different special effects. Um, so open up logic, trying it, try like the studio horns, which are, are pretty cool but are not where they need to be. And also, do you hear somebody, they're like building a house behind me? I'm aimed directly at the house recording outside. Um, that's just how that goes even with a good microphone. So the dude needs to turn the volume down on whatever house, build every tool that is there, that's better. Um, the string sounded pretty good, but not great. So I started asking a couple of people, um, ask Trevor Sub coordinator who has a lot of music and he's like, oh, you got to do a plug in, there's a whatever thing.

And I found it and um, you ended up talking with um, with another person who is like a spouse of someone whose name is Derek and he was like, oh, you got to get like the BBC sounds or a plug in. So I'm going down this pretty deep rabbit hole and where I ended up is kind of an amazing place. So you've heard of Abbey Road, you may not know Abbey Road Studios and where they record a lot, not all for sure. Not all, but a lot of the music you've heard mostly orchestral music, mostly for movies is in um, in room one. So it's called Abbey Road one, The Beatles, by the way, we're in Abbey Road to just a regular kind of recording studio size wise. This one can, you know, accommodate probably 200% orchestra if needed. So Abbey Road one. So end up finding Um just in time for the educator discount. Um got the Abbey Road one plug in. You download it 60 GB of files, right?

They're like we recommend doing this overnight. Um so download the files loaded up as a plug in in logic. And are you ready for this? This is kind of magical. And we're going to have a nice lesson learned about education but just stay with me on kind of this road here loaded up and shoes strings. So you get high strings, low strings. Cool let's go low strings, cello. And the double bass sounds awesome. Then you get to just you know, play some notes. You can even use command K. Brings up musical typing in garageband and logic. So just with your legit laptop keyboard, you can play notes without any piano keyboard connected to it. Which is amazing. So it's like do do do do do wow, those sound like strings. Um And this you have like five different articulations. So do want it long. Do we want to kind of short, do we want them to swell? And if so short soil, medium swell, high swell. So all I'm doing my laptop after pushing command K. Is holding the key G. Right? Like a S. D. F.

G. I just hold it and an entire low string of cello and bass is swell and and it sounds amazing like okay that's cool. Go like the next kind of three buttons that shows kind of three pages of settings and this beautiful like pop up in logic and you get different microphones so you get mixed one in mixed too. That's a variety of sounds cool. Let's check those out. And then tree one tree too. So imagine like a big like outdoor umbrella with like six microphones on it. So that's that's a tree. So you get to mix tree one tree to you get ambient sounds, you get sounds in the back of the room, you get bleed which is like the trumpets in the corner, you get their microphones. And so you can actually, and you can do this during or after. The fact actually change the mix of microphones that were used to record and not just any microphones and not just any place. Abbey Road one quality microphones in Abbey Road one studio which has a very specific sound to it. Like it sounds like movie music right?

It's amazing and you can do all of that for kind of all the instruments, low strings, high strings. You can't choose just a cello in this but for the brass, you get um low brass, you get horns and then you get trumpets trump is about themselves. So it's like the main melody for odd squad Donna potente and then you can choose all the things that you can choose the swells of the trumpets, you can choose the articulations which microphones you're using. Like are you, are you seeing how extraordinary this actually is? It was so extraordinarily just hit my laptop and you probably just heard that. Mhm. It's amazing. And so what are the lessons? The 1st 1 is that kind of everything with technology? I'm talking specifically about sound because I know it really well is getting better, faster, cheaper and easier. 10 years ago. I think if you wanted those sounds you would have had to fly to London rent Abbey Road one hire all the people. How do you, how do you even do that?

I think you just go like I guess get a friend and try and get a room if you know people that play those instruments or just use whatever synth sounds you have. Um but I think this worked for kind of all technology, certainly with devices right there getting, I don't know necessarily cheaper but for what you get right, you get more device for the same price point or I guess in the case of phones to be fair, those have crept up quite a lot, but they're certainly better for what you're getting like to be able to get that level of sound and the sound is incredible, right? Like it's relatively as as cheap as it's ever been, um using them is about as easy as it gets for the level of, of control, you get over them. Um it's just, it's amazing. And actually what led me to share this with you was both just the awesomeness of this plug in set, which is amazing if you ever want to score orchestral music. And I've already done this. By the way, Jamie in the front office, she was like, hey, um, we want to add subtitles.

I was like, great. Like accessibility matters a lot. Were you in my fault? You session with heather. You are not, but accessibility matters. You got it. So subtitled, It did burn in captions, which you can do a final cut Pro as a quick tangent. Um I was like, this is kind of dry as people are reading a script. I had the script so I knew they were reading a script and also there's some background noise. So what did I do? I orchestrated it. I scored it. Actually, scoring is the right verb made my own. What is that guy doing? They're just building a roof like three houses down. I feel like they are, that's okay. Being outside is both beautiful and safer. Um wrote like 10 minutes of music and had strings was like pizzicato, strings didn't playing along, sounded amazing, sounded amazing. Um and I wouldn't have been able to do that previously, I could've been like a version of it. It would have been like probably synth heavy. Um But that stuff just happens again and again and again. Right, so so that's amazing. Right. Better, faster, cheaper, easier, brian Briggs was sharing with me on boxer.

We're still using that. Some um Here's the road caster which I'm recording on right now. Road R. O. D. E. Named after the microphones. I'm also speaking into a road pod mike, which I love. Um And sounds way better than it showed for $100. That's about the cheapest you should ever buy a microphone by the way. And this sounds like it's an $800 microphone to me. Does that sound good? It should sound good. Uh What brian did is he went USB C. Out of the road caster has that and plugged it into a new ipad Mini. And what does the new ipad Mini have? USB C. So he got four microphones. Bluetooth in 8th Inch in eight different sound pads, Right? For background music, for sound effects. All of that being recorded in a garage band on an ipad mini. Right. Better Yes, faster. Mm Kind of like the hardware. Like to have an ipad record multi channel, I'd say. Yes, faster, cheaper. I mean to get that much stuff into it. I've had many, dude, yes and easier. Ab Absolutely, yeah.

Doesn't get easier than that, plug in the microphones. Right? Like I set up these four mix and it took 15 minutes. Um You know mostly I was just taking my time, but you could do in power through that in like 5 10 minutes. Set up four mix for headphones or not plug a new device. It's amazing. Um You know the last thing that will leave you with? Just thinking through um a quick little kind of tangent but also just kind of a different example if you're not like I don't care about audio plug ins is what we can do with green screens these days for Q. Live, which was just a couple weeks ago. Um I popped up a green screen in my office, put a light on either side of it, Put a lot on, my face was using Stream yard with almost zero setup and prep again, you know I had it set up in five minutes. I just want to stream yard green screen. Turn on. Green screen dropped in a photo of me at spring Q. Registration an oasis for we have the key notes. Um And it looked so so good.

Right, so that's running a Mac Book air with the new M one ship, which okay, whatever. Um But our students last year when we're outside learning all the time because you know, we're in a pandemic still in a pandemic. Then one of our history teacher was like I'd love to put them in a different location. I was like yeah I thought it was getting like like deep and I was like no literally I want a green screen then. So we're like a dozen green screens around the middle school pushed the Doink app green screen by doink I think is the new name of it with no extra lighting just in some shade. Students had a not even taught like a wrinkly green screen behind them, recorded themselves in doink mostly just kind of holding their, I've had like a selfie sometimes having a classmate, you know, record them and it looked it looks so good. So good. Um Perfect. No but like Was it a way to green screen key out the background and drop them into anywhere? Yeah. Yes. Absolute.

Right. That app is less than $5. You buy it in bulk if you're you know uh Jam admin or Apple School Manager admin um you buy 20 of them there to 50 apiece. If they're $5 they might be less than that, might be like $2. It's like it doesn't get much cheaper than that to green screen and it used to be not too long ago You would need high end laptop running final cut pro. That's $300 software, you have to really light it just right because if it's not lit evenly, it's going to look really bad. Um and now we're at this point, this was 2020 and an entire class is outside green screening on ipads and it looked awesome. Right? So the whole idea whether it's audio video, like anything with technology, I think it's getting better, faster, cheaper, easier. It's so exciting as such. I think setting time to be an education um in a lot of ways it's not that's not what this episode is about. Um it's really hard being an educator right now, let's just like name that.

Um But with what we can do with these devices, like my goodness, our ability to record audio video to really capture any thought, anything creative, like our students can create stuff and what these devices is an entire studio in their backpack, in their pocket. It's it's exciting. I'm telling you it's exciting. So I'm curious what other examples should I have thrown into this episode? Do you have something in mind tweet at me face page. Me and my mom would say, does she say that? I feel like she doesn't, she doesn't tell people to face page, but she does call it face page. Anyway. Um I would love to hear other examples of this. Yeah, let me know your thoughts or not people like end podcast with that. I don't particularly feel the need to, but I genuinely am curious if you're like, oh my gosh, we're doing a thing with the thing and it's amazing what we're able to do. Um Yeah, let me know. So with that, Thanks for listening to that person build a house behind me. Thanks for listening to me, my name is Bill Salek.

This has been me talking. Mhm. Mhm. Oh.

Better, Faster, Cheaper, Easier: Bill Selak Talks Ep 78
Better, Faster, Cheaper, Easier: Bill Selak Talks Ep 78
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