All posts in Video

Humbucker to Single Coil in 2 Minutes

I had no idea what I was doing when I bought my first guitar. I didn’t know a Humbucker from a hole in the ground. My main goal was to buy the coolest looking guitar on the H&H Music Store wall.

Decades have since passed and, while I may know a bit more than that first day, I am still attracted to unique guitar shapes and styles more than I am to sound. If a striking design sounds good too, well that’s just a bonus. (My favorite Parker Fly happens to deliver the best of both worlds.)

CLGs (coolest looking guitars) always seem to have Humbucker pickups. I have envied the crisp sound of Strats and the twang of Teles for a while now. Recently, I typed “make a humbucker sound like a single coil” into a Google search, more as a joke to myself, never expecting any real solution. I was surprised to find lots of info on the subject. Several mods involved Coil Splitting, an aftermarket fix that requires major surgery to the internal wiring.

But there was one link to a provocatively titled forum post – Make ANY humbucker sound like a single coil in 2 minutes. A laughingly bold claim? Click-bait if there ever was any, right?

I took the bait. It lead to a video by Scott Grove with the afore-mentioned title. Scott is one of my online guitar heroes and has hours and hours of YouTube videos full of great playing, advice and instruction. To make a long story short, the Humbucker to Single Coil conversion involves grabbing a screwdriver and removing the post screws from the back side of each Humbucker. Scott’s video explains the technique in detail, and this forum thread debates the pros, cons and alternatives.

IMG_2972A few minutes (with an allen wrench in my case) was all it took to transform the magnetic output of my Parker to a brighter, downright twangy sound.

Every guitar is different and your mileage my vary, but try out this quick mod and see what you think. It can easily, and quickly, be reversed by simply replacing the screws.

AdrenaLinn Sync to sync no more.


After five years on the market, Roger Linn has discontinued sales and development of his awesome modulation effects plugin AdrenaLinn Sync. It’s unique filter effects will mostly live on in the hardware version but, sadly, the convenience and flexibility of the software version will cease to be installable “on new computers after May 10, 2016”.

In an email sent to Sync owners in April, Linn laid out two reasons for the software’s demise. Firstly the five-year old 32-bit code can no longer be installed in Mac OS X Yosemite. From Roger’s email:

I don’t know how to write plug-ins, so AdrenaLinn Sync was developed in conjunction with a small software developer called Way Out Ware (Jim Heintz). I did the design, graphics, presets and testing and Jim did all the underlying code. While it was a great plug-in at its release in 2010, its 32-bit format has gotten someone old and our installer can’t be installed into Mac OS X Yosemite. I’ve been waiting for three years for Jim to deliver a 64-bit Yosemite-compatible update–much less a 64-bit VST or AAX version–but he seems unable to finish it. And he prefers not give me access to the source code, so trying to find someone else willing to finish it isn’t an option.

In addition to the decaying code base, the online service Sync uses for copy protection has raised their annual licensing fee to about double of Linn’s “current annual income from AdrenaLinn Sync.”

tantra-bigI’ve been a fan of Linn’s “beat-synced effects” since its first incarnation in the M-Audio Black Box from 2006. I will miss the freaky noises and elegant interface of AdrenaLinn Sync. It is sad to see this creative tool vanish due to the political and financial realities of the software business.

My collection of metal-clad guitar pedals will unchangingly flange and distort well into a postapocalyptic future. Software-based guitar system, by their very nature, are built atop the shifting sands of chipset revisions, OS upgrades and VSTs of the month. Some might recommend “freezing the system” and never upgrading the OS as a solution. It’s an utterly practical solution, but completely defeats the advantage of software-based instruments. How many keyboard players do you know who are still running Ataris or C64s?

Looking forward, LTantra, a VST plugin by Dmitry Sches may be a worthy replacement. I will be testing it out over the next few weeks.

Farewell AdrenaLinn Sync. May you forever beat-sync effects in software heaven.

B. B. King plays tribute to his influences

In this video from 1972 B. B. King speaks and plays tribute to many of his guitar heroes; Blind Lemon Jefferson‘s flaminco-esque solo work, the clean touch of Lonnie Johnson, the dominant 9th chords of T-Bone Walker, Charlie Christian‘s diminished chords, and Django Reinhardt‘s clarity.

Best wishes to the king.

Learn 3D in One (Intense) Weekend


Got 20 hours? That’s all it takes to start adding 3D graphics and animation to your skill set. Even if you’ve never ventured into the third dimension of graphic design, you can dive in and start creating impressive imagery right away with this very friendly course from the generous pseudo-simians at Grey Scale Gorilla … for free.

Screen Shot 2014-01-02 at 1.18.51 AMIntroduction to Cinema 4D is a comprehensive learn-by-doing video tutorial series that walks you through the basics of working in 3D and the most important functions of Cinema 4D. The Gorilla guys keep the course interesting and moving by presenting usable, practical examples that relate to graphic production.

This is not some long-winded tour of every program button, trudging through software menus section by section. The pace is brisk and the enthusiasm of the instructors (Chris Schmidt and Nick Campbell) contagious.

Continue reading →

Vidpro Video Stabilizer Giveaway


Last month I mentioned my buddy Jesse over at Jesse’s Gear posted this video demo of the cool VidPro SB-10 Camera Stabilizer for iPhone, Android and Digital Cameras. This week, he is giving one away to a lucky follower. The drawing is this Friday (Sept 30, 2013) so you have just enough time to hit up his site and check out the entry instructions, summarized below:

Step 1. Follow @jessepepin
Step 2. Tweet his review post
Step 3. Click REFRESH on your email client all day on Friday, just like the last scene of The Social Network, to see if you win.

George Duke at NAMM 2008

Today we say farewell to George Duke, keyboard legend. He brought his amazing jazz fusion style to Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention for over 25 years. He other cool collaborators over the years included Jean-Luc Ponty, Miles Davis, and Micheal Jackson (Off the Wall, 1979.) I hope you enjoy this clip of Dukey on Fender Rhodes piano as much as he enjoyed playing it.

VidPro’s $50 Steady Cam

Jesse’s Gear posted this video demo of the VidPro SB-10 Camera Stabilizer for iPhone, Android and Digital Cameras. The product name is heavier than the camera your likely to put on it. The aluminum alloy and steel construction look solid, and the price seems reasonable for all its bubble-leveled gimbal goodness.

The cost for this Merlin-esque apparatus is about the lowest I’ve seen for a stabilizer. I may have to grab one just to keep in my car for those unplanned shoots when a shakily-held iPhone is my only available ax.

Be sure to check out the rest of Jesse’s blog and you’ll wish that you had Jesse’s Gear.

Google’s $35 Chromecast makes Apple TV an expensive “hobby”

chromecast_deviceChromecast will certainly be compared to Apple TV, and many pundits will jump to the old standby “insert-product-name-here killer” but isn’t the first product on Cc’s kill list Google TV? Not according to this diplomatically correct Google statement, “Chromecast offers an alternative solution to existing non-connected HDTVs with a simple and affordable device. We believe there is ample room for both products to exist and succeed.”

Janko Roettgers at GigaOm offers a thoughtful analysis of the new product and where it may sit in the coming online media ecosphere.

The real issue however isn’t how the Chromecast product introduced this week stacks up against Apple’s current-generation Apple TV. These products are just the first step towards a future in which both companies could be offering their own pay TV services over the internet to compete with traditional cable and satellite TV offerings.

Sony-Voice-Control-RemoteSkepticism about the future of Google TV is not unique. I own two of the much maligned products; a Logitech Revue, and the less elegantly named Sony NSZ-GS8. I really enjoy using them, and they work quite well as a front end to my satellite service.

The Sony voice-control remote (right) is one of the best control devices I’ve ever used. But all Google TV’s are rough around the edges. They are difficult to setup if anything goes awry and this makes them far from ready for non-geeky users. If Chromecast is super-easy to install and use; and brings over just a few choice features from Google TV, then GTV becomes redundant.

Apple TV is a huge hit despite it’s hobby status, but Apple claims the success is not from Over The Top content.

395773441912Apple accounts for the majority of sales by far, despite offering relatively narrow content access – this is not (yet) a market being driven by the value proposition of a streaming TV experience. AppleTV’s AirPlay feature was strategically crafted to simplify the process of transferring laptop and tablet displays to a TV screen, and it is AirPlaying – not OTT streaming – that is the primary reason for purchase of AppleTV devices.

That quote is from last week’s Apple earnings call, where they also mentioned that Google was ” conspicuous by its absence in this segment.” What a difference a week makes.

Working with Final Cut Pro X Audio in Logic Pro X


The release of Final Cut Pro X was the most turbulent product launch of recent memory. The controversy rhetoric has thankfully died down since, and the product continues to improve every few months thanks to  ongoing efforts from Apple as well as third-party vendors. Looking past the more argumentative points of workflow changes and vanishing features (don’t get me started on the lack of Motion round-tripping) few would argue with the statement that FCP audio tools have always been anemic.

For months, many FCP editors have hoped that a new version of Logic might appear like a knight in shining armor galloping to our auditory rescue. Alas, has not quite worked out that way … yet. There is some semi-cumbersome interoperability between the recently released Logic Pro X and FCPX, but the export/import/export dance is far from the fleet-footed round-tripping we were hoping for.

None the less, here’s a collection of workflows and tutorials from around the internet that lead to FCPX/LPX harmony.

Logic Pro X And Final Cut Pro X Working Together: FCPXML

Ben Balser from MacProVideo explains Roles, audio formats, and working with FCPXML files in this well illustrated walk through.

FCPX & Logic Pro X Integration | Tutorial

Dan Alen offers a screencast tour through the steps involved along with some handy tips on what not to do.

Logic Pro X and Final Cut Pro X: How they work together

Alex Gollner, better known as Alex4D serves up his explanation of the step-by-step process on his popular website. Be sure to also check out his article prognosticating What Logic Pro X tells us about the future of Final Cut Pro X.

George Harrison Lost Guitar Solo

Here is some sonic spelunking from the Martin Scorsese 2012 documentary Living In The Material World. Sir George Martin, Giles Martin, and Dhani Harrison are sitting at a mixing console listening to the stems of Here Comes The Sun. Sir George tells Dhani, “Try this” as he isolates his fathers lead vocal. “What do you think of that?” asks Sir George. “That’s great.” replies Dhani.

Giles pots up the string track commenting that “this and Something had great string arrangements on it.” Then he points out to Sir George; “Here  was a guitar solo that he played that never made the final cut” as Danhi slides the fader on a track never heard beyond the confines of Abbey Road.

Dhani, “It’s totally different to anything I’d ever heard.”
Sir George (to Giles), “We never used it?”
Giles, “No.”
Sir George, “I’d forgotten about that.”
Dhani, “I never even knew about it.”

Many thanks to Marco Moir for recommending this clip.

Top 10 NAB 2013 News Websites


Can’t make it to Las Vegas this year for the National Association of Broadcasters show, “where content comes to life?”  No worries. There is more live coverage than one person can possibly watch. Experience NAB vicariously through this top 10 list of NAB news website links. Check back often as I continue to update this NAB coverage list throughout the week.

Screen Shot 2013-04-07 at 10.16.43 PMThe NAB Show

Streaming  from 9AM to 6PM Monday through Thursday, the live NAB Show coverage should be extensive, Check it out yourself at


NewTekScreen Shot 2013-04-07 at 10.26.13 PM

NewTek brought power to the people in the early 90’s with revolutionary products like the Video Toaster and LightWave 3D Take a look at their TriCaster streamed coverage. Guests will include Ji, Penn Jillete, Tom Green, and Shira Lazar.


Screen Shot 2013-04-07 at 10.36.35 PMPlanet5D

planet5D is all about DSLR cameras that shoot video, and it’s run by a guy called Mitch. What more info do you need? Watch Mitch’s coverage at


Screen Shot 2013-04-07 at 10.49.40 PMNAB Show Buzz w/ Larry Jordan

Larry is an internationally-renowned video consultant and Apple-Certified trainer. Get ready as he and a bevy of reporters present than 70 interviews with industry leaders right from the trade show floor. is the official podcast of the NAB Show.


Screen Shot 2013-04-07 at 11.11.10 PMFXGuide

The gang over atFX Guide do some phenominal podcasts and traingin gin Tuesday April 9th at 10am Las Vegas time The promise to have some have some great demos and presentations from the show, as well as prizes! register for the contest at


Screen Shot 2013-04-07 at 11.20.01 PMStudioGuide

Combining features on technology, creativity and business with daily news, video, blog posts and social media, StudioDaily keeps visitors up-to-date on critical workflow developments, new product releases, innovative techniques, notable projects and people, and industry trends.


Twitter Streams

While most of the news is about video, not all of this years revolution will be televised. Here are some of the twitter feeds to follow:

Go Pro

GoPro says that they make “arguably the most versatile cameras in the world.” The HD HERO gear-mountable cameras cams are indeed awesome for watching your world in wide-angle. Here they are in 144 high-definition characters.


Tim StreetTim Street

Tim’s latest work is called  Vids: An iPad Mystery Thriller transmedia eBook story of a jilted mistress who builds a website of revenge. Follow Tim at


Update – Monday

Screen Shot 2013-04-08 at 9.26.03

While not a bastion of NAB news, is an awesome site if you are into using Final Cut Pro (7 orX). If so, I recommend a daily visit to keep up with news, technique and plugins for Apples editing platform. You will also find some useful current coverage of FCP-related NAB info. Enjoy it all as one of the shortest URLs in the industry:

Screen Shot 2013-04-08 at 9.27.56 PMLarry’s Blog

And least we forget Larry Jordan’s personal blog, humbly titled Larry’s Blog. Larry writes lengthy, in-depth articles packed with info and knowledge of editing, post-production and the sate of the industry. Visit this one every few days for a great new article at…


And more…

Know of some other sites doing quality coverage? Be sure to post them in the comments and I will add them to the list.

András Szalay at NAMM


I’m not sure how I missed this one before but here is a video of András Szalay, along with Burr Johnson, at last year’s Fishman NAMM booth. When asked how he achieved the superior tracking of the Triple Play, András, holder of six midi guitar patents, modestly replies, “I’ve had some experience.”