Pro Tools systems are the standards that sound engineers use for mixing music when it's recorded in the studio. © Matt Carr/Photonica/Getty Images Pro Tools is a rare example of a technology that absolutely dominates an industry. Every single professional audio production facility -- from recording studios to audio post-production houses -- uses a Pro Tools system. The only equivalent is the way that Avid systems dominate the film and TV editing world. It's interesting to note that Digidesign, the creator of Pro Tools, is also owned by Avid. Pro Tools is not simple to use. And it isn't cheap, either. But what you pay for in time and hard-earned cash is an amazingly stable platform that produces the highest-quality digital music recordings in the business. Professional musicians -- everyone from the synth-heavy Nine Inch Nails to orchestral film score composers -- rely on the versatility and power of Pro Tools to deliver every type of sound imaginable, whether the source is … [Read more...] about How Pro Tools Software and Hardware Works
As voice recognition software standardizes, could it mean our regional and global accents will too? Joshua Sudock/ZUMA Press/Corbis When Siri, the Apple iOS virtual assistant, first began showing up on iPhones in late 2011, the program's cheery female voice quickly became a sensation. It wasn't just because Siri could understand its owners spoken instructions and answer questions, dial phone numbers, give a weather report, look up directions to a destination, or even find the best Thai restaurant in a neighborhood and make a reservation. As actor John Malkovich demonstrated in a series of clever Apple commercials such as this one, Siri could even seemingly make small talk, as if she — oops, it — were a real person. Siri — whose name stands for Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface — eventually was joined on the scene by competitor such as Microsoft's Cortana and the Android OS's Google Now app, which lacks a personality but can still understand … [Read more...] about Will Speech Recognition Software Mean the End of Accents?
We’ve come a long way since the days of the zoetrope. © SSPL/Getty Images Cartoons are fun and entertaining to behold, but they're also a lot of work to create. Making an animation requires producing a series of images that change gradually over the course of many frames. Viewing them in quick succession creates the illusion of motion. Early devices like the zoetrope (a cylinder with images inside that appeared to be moving when spun) were created to view what amounted to very short cartoons, but the invention of photography, and then projectors, took animation to a whole new level. In the early 20th century, greats like Max Fleischer and Walt Disney created individual images on paper, animation cels or some other physical medium, photographed each one and then had a movie reel of the photographs developed. This created longer, more detailed cartoons than people had seen before, but it required creating a large number of images (usually around 24 per second of film). … [Read more...] about How Animation Software Works
Keep dreaming people. Maybe you can finally retire when you hit 190. See more investing pictures. © 2009 Jupiterimages Corporation If you ran an Internet search on "the importance of planning" in January 2010, you would have come up with about 38 million hits. And while money might not buy happiness, it sure does buy lots of other things. In fact, it's one of those components of life that's pretty important to plan for. But too many people only consider money in the short term, living a paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle, without considering their long-term financial future. It's all well and good to manage your bills each month, but unless you're keen on working to the grave or spending your retirement skating along the poverty line, you'll want to stretch your dollars a little further as you get on in years. Plus, unfortunate occurrences like a lost job or a house fire could put a serious crimp in your pay-as-you-go practice. Setting aside a safety net might seem like a … [Read more...] about How Financial Planning Software Works
We wouldn't dream of editing out your red eyes, buddy. iStockphoto/Thinkstock If you're a fruit fly, then red eyes look pretty awesome. But if you're a human (and haven't been bitten by a vampire or possessed by a demon recently), then red eyes can be a bit unsettling. Unfortunately, most point-and-shoot cameras produce the dreaded red-eye effect when they're used to snap portraits in low light. A quick anatomy lesson can help you understand why it happens. Let's say you're photographing your sister Molly at a Saturday-night party. In a dark room, the pupils of Molly's eyes open up to let more light in, which helps her see better. When the camera flashes, her eyes react, but her pupils can't contract quickly enough to beat the sudden, intense illumination. Some of that light (the same light that reveals your sister's goofy smile) passes through her pupils and strikes the part of her eyes called the choroid at the back. The choroid comes equipped with a generous supply of blood … [Read more...] about How to Use Photo Editing Software to Remove Red Eye