Sibelius notation software news
Last year it was announced that Avid were shutting down the engine room of Sibelius development. Now it is confirmed that 12 of the leading Sibelius software developers have moved to work for Steinberg, and will be developing new notation software there. You can read the full announcement here.
This paper concludes that a high visual load (eg when using a computer) will mask unexpected audio cues. This confirms my experiences while using Pro Tools. Put simply, our ability to listen critically is impaired when we are concentrating on looking at a screen.
Several people know are now using an induction hob for cooking. Not many know exactly how they operate, and more importantly, of the possible health risk (due to the strong electromagnetic fields). The Swiss Federal Office of Public Health has published this report.
Beatles recordings saga
When they came out in 2009, I listened to The Beatles remastered on CD. They were good, with a lot more detail than in the original recordings. The biggest problem with them was that they are over-compressed, making them too 'in yer face'.
When the LP version of this set came out at the end of last year I bought one expecting the sound to be even better, and sure enough the combination of digital remastering and vinyl gives the best sounding Beatles records ever.
The pressing quality, on the other hand, is poor. My set came from Amazon USA and was pressed by Rainbo Records. Every disc has high surface noise, and several have non-fill noise which sounds like sliding a zipper. A couple also have noticeable distortion.
I was disappointed, so when an unopened CD Beatles box set appeared for sale I bought that. To my surprise I discovered it was a counterfeit set. With the earthquake I hadn't caught up with the fact that Beatles records in general and box sets in particular are rife with fakes (many of which are sold through legitimate sellers). Now I know. The picture and cardboard quality is low. I could have lived with that but three of the discs created a stuttering effect when played. The only thing to do was order genuine CDs form a reputable retailer.
I also bought a set of The Beatles Collection (BC13) that came out around 1980, as several people on the forums said this was better sounding than the new release anyway. I don't agree - they are ok, but lack the spark of the new set.
Having identified which LPs were faulty I contacted Amazon to indicate that I wanted 6 replaced. No reply. They do have a replacement policy but that would mean shipping a whole box set out and I would be up for postage back to the US for the first box. The feedback was full of people who had got a second (or even 3rd) box, only to find that they still couldn't get good pressings of all the discs in the set. In the end I contacted EMI directly, who have said they will send out replacements for the faulty ones. When they arrive I'll let you know how I get on.
So, from expecting an audiophile collectors edition of all The Beatles songs, I ended up with this comedy of errors. It seems there are no guarantees with vinyl records, and even CDs can be not what you expect.
I went to see Les Miserables (the movie) last night. Having never seen the stage show I didn't know what to expect. At 158 minutes, it is long. The big question is 'does it work as a movie?' Most musicals make poor movies compared to the stage show (Chicago being an exception). The most striking thing about Les Mis is that 99.5% of the libretto is sung. I'm not sure this is a good thing.
After a while you get used to it, but I do think it makes the production musically boring at times.
So, was it a popular stage show ? (yes), will the movie be popular too ? (probably). But popularity is not necessarily the same as quality.
A thing that seemed to be missing was some factual information on the French Revolution. Many movies based on true story put up a few sentences at the start to inform us about the back-story, or at the end to tell us how events continued. Given that this was the birth of democracy, that would have been appropriate.