February 10, 2014 1 Comment
A selection of iPhone media (photo/video) workflows to remind MoJo trainees of some of the options available to them to get their finished stories off their iPhone. There are others also
Whats happening in the world of Video Journalism, Technology, Mobile and Web
February 10, 2014 1 Comment
A selection of iPhone media (photo/video) workflows to remind MoJo trainees of some of the options available to them to get their finished stories off their iPhone. There are others also
January 17, 2014 3 Comments
In November last year I noticed a new follower on Twitter: @trakAx and after a little further research I discovered an Irish company who may well have addressed one of the biggest challenges for Mobile Journalism on the Android Platform: editing.
With iOS/OSX Ive been using FilMicPro to shoot and iMovie to edit on the iPhone, Pinnacle Studio to edit on the iPad and Final Cut Pro X on the Mac. The workflow is extremely easy no matter which combination you choose. With the iPhone you export from FilMicPro to the camera roll and iMovie sees the video immediately. With the iPad you transfer the video from iPhone either via the camera connection kit (as shown below) or via an App like Photo Transfer or indeed shoot on the iPad using FilMicPro.
It might be time to update this video with an iPhone5s, lightning Camera Connection Kit and iOS7!!!
With OSX you can connect the iPhone via USB and copy the files directly from the FilMicPro Library (no export to camera roll necessary) via App Sharing in iTunes of you can use iPhoto on the Mac to copy from the camera roll.
The quality of the editing tools and the ease of the workflow is one of the fundamental reasons I teach iOS Mojo. However I have often publicly said I would love to have a comparable workflow for Android or even Windows Mobile.
In the case of Android, smartphones like the Galaxy S3 and the Note III have awesome cameras, which in the case of the Note III can shoot at a stunning 4K resolution. But right now (to the best of my knowledge) there is no Video Editing App that can deliver in-phone editing to the same standard as iMovie (or Voddio) can on the iPhone.
So when I saw this promo for TrakAx I got excited…
So here are my initial impressions:
1. There is a lot of potential in the App, it has a substantial advantage in the Google Play store right now as there is really very little to compete with the it.
2. The fundamental functions of editing are all within the App, Insert, trim, mix, audio fade etc.
3. The App leverages the power of the smartphone so as long as it packs a snapdragon 600 chipset or higher it will give great results*
4. The App accesses the photos App on Android so no exporting from other Apps – mind you, if FilMicPro had an Android version that would potentially be a great workflow.
5. I have reservations about the proprietary CHANNEL editing process which is currently limited to six channels, though each channel can support video or a stack of photos.
6. The live Mix solution before output is a novel approach to creating the final story, its more like taking 6 sources into a vision mixer and mixing it live that traditional non-linear timeline based editing. My concern here is that there is no way to pre-programme frame accurate cuts. You have to cut between channels as part of the final mix, the App records a macro of your mix cues, fades, audio mix etc and then at the final stage it conforms and compiles the final rendered story.
Overall I think it is a powerful App and its pitched at exactly the same price point as iMovie on iOS
€4.50, there is a free version too which the developers suggest is a good way to pre-test your hardware’s ability to run the App. Thats a very clever solution to one of the fundamental weaknesses of the Android platform: Market Fragmentation. So many manufacturers, devices, chipsets, cameras, specification variations and custom flavours of Android.
Anyway of you have a powerful Android Smartphone and want to experiment with video editing without having to dump it off to the cloud or to a PC/MAC then TrakAx Movie Express is definitely worth a look.
November 13, 2013 7 Comments
*******NOTE: I have not personally tested ALL of these combinations so if you have discovered any issues with any of these set-ups please comment below and I will modify the post*******
If you need to use a Radio Mic with your iPhone / iPad Mojo kit there are several options available to you. The first thing to consider is what Radio Mic are you connecting.
I’ve used the Sony UWP kit which is the standard Radio Mic set we use in our Video Journalism kits. It comes in three versions:
A lapel transmitter / receiver pair UWP-V1 (Indicative Price €599)
A Reporter Mic transmitter / receiver pair UWP-V2 (Indicative Price €599)
An XLR adapter , lapel transmitter / receiver pair UWP-V6 (Indicative Price€990)
Its important to know the different properties of the microphones in questions- the lapel mic is ideal for indoor interviews, to use it in an outdoor environment you will need to add a Rycote windjammer to reduce wind noise. Its important to remember that in most of the solutions below the iPhone will ONLY record the sound from the radio mic so if you are conducting an interview where you want to hear both your questions and the interviewees answers than its not the best solution.
The reporter (handheld) mic is ideal for run-and -gun interviews like Vox Pops and where you need to hear both sides of the conversation. The XLR adapter means you can turn just about any professional microphone with an XLR connector into a radio mic and use it in a cable free environment. I’ve never tried it but it could potentially mean that you could connect it to a rifle mic like this Sennhesiser ME66 and use it wirelessly away from the iPhone and radio receiver.
In theory you can use either cable to connect to the iPhone but with different adapters. Lets deal with the mini-jack to mini-jack first.
This cable will need to adapted from a Tip Ring Sleeve (TRS) to a Tip Ring Ring Sleeve (TRRS) to be used directly with the iPhone. Cables for this purpose are available from http://www.kvconnection.com/category-s/8682.htm
Alternatively you could use one of these audio adapters: NOTE ALL these adapters offer a STEREO / DUAL CHANNEL input as they connect via the 30pin / Lightning DOCK connector on the iPhone.
Tascam iXJ2 http://tascam.com/product/ixj2/
Alternatively you could use the XLR cable from the radio receiver
to connect via these adapters
Top left: IKMultimedia iRig PRO http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/irigpro/
Top right: Tascam iXz http://tascam.com/product/ixz/
Bottom left: Griffin MicConnect http://store.griffintechnology.com/micconnect-mic-interface-ipad
Bottom right: iKMultimedia iRig Pre http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/irigpre/
Note the iRig PRO is the only interface of these which connects via the 30pin/Lightning dock and as such it is a fully digital interface. All the other three are analogue interface which connect via the mic/headphone socket.
November 6, 2013 Leave a comment
iMovie for iOS6 Hand Gesture CheatSheet. I’ve been promising to do this for ages! Now its out of date because of iMovie for iOS7. As soon as I upgrade to the iPHone 5s and iOS7 I’ll post a revised one…Promise Download the full resolution image here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/wyin75s56w2xmmw/iMovie-Gestures-CheatSheet.jpg
August 29, 2013 6 Comments
If you follow me on Twitter (@glenbmulcahy) you may have seen a tweet recently where I invited applications to take part in a Live Video Stream of an upcoming 1 Day mobile journalism course I will be running in RTE in late September. This is an experiment to all intents and purposes and Im really curious to see how the participants respond. The idea of this is to make it as interactive as possible for the remote participants.
So while the stream is Live the select 25 people will be able to interact with me in realtime via Twitter and Livestream chat. I have adapted my usual 1 day “in person/ face to face” training course for this experiment. There are 3 places left – tweet me if interested.
A little history: I first started pushing mobile journalism with a group of fellow trainers when we were in Budapest for the Annual Circom Regional Video Journalism training course in 2011. While there I shot a short HOW TO video (all on the iPhone 4) and uploaded it to Vimeo. http://vimeo.com/30263550
I also shot an interview with Karol Cioma, Training Project Manager with Circom to highlight the quality and I FTP’d the finished edit back to RTE to get some feedback from our Ingest room on the quality. http://vimeo.com/35132184 The consensus was it was good enough for broadcast. (Note: the original quality was substantially better than SD on Vimeo)
Following on from that I shot some content to try out different gear and accessories. Including this story which was shot on the iPhone 4S and edited on iMovie on the iPad2
I then gave the gear to one of our most talent Video Journalists: Sean MacAntSithigh (Twitter: @Buailtin) and he produced a story about artists in Dingle which was nothing short of brilliant: http://vimeo.com/42390467
That led to my first MoJo (mobile journalism) presentation at the Circom conference in Malmo Sweden. Click here to view the presentation: http://livestre.am/3SUMj
During that session over 85 senior television executives listened to the proposition that this technology could revolutionise the way journalists produce content. As a result I was invited to speak at a number of other conferences and also to deliver training to some Circom member stations like NRK (Norway), Roos Network (Holland), HRT (Croatia), and more recently Aljazeera.
Myself, Karol, John Inge Johansen from NRK and Darko Flajpan from HRT all got together to deliver a one week intensive mobile journalism course for Circom that November – this was structured to run before the traditional one week VJ course. At the end of the MoJo course Darko interviewed the participants to capture feedback. These were the responses:
The thing that never ceases to amaze me is what I have christened “the Transition”. This is the moment when participants finally realise the full potential of their mobile device. Most users are aware that they can shoot HD video, substantially less are aware they can edit that in device and export it. Fewer again realise the sheer volume of accessories that are available to augment and improve the quality and potential of the device. Its only after the first couple of practical excercises that the “penny finally drops…”
When I was that the Roos Dagen conference in Holland I did an impromptu interview, at the end of the presentation, with Arthur Vierboom. This is a good starting point:
A few months later I was asked by the lovely Sarah Marshall from Journalism.co.uk to deliver a short presentation on Mojo at their News:Rewired conference. I have attended previous News:Rewired events and they are excellently organised with a really high profile bill of speakers (myself excluded) and its always a worthwhile day in London. This is the video of that presentation: (via journalism.co.uk) Please excuse the technical issue with audio at the beginning!
Sarah has asked me to deliver a one-day, face to face MoJo training day for the next News:rewired conference. That will be happening on 19th Sept. More info here
One of the key things I would say to someone considering paying for a mobile journalism course is check the references of the trainer and also look for examples of stories or feedback from former students. In the three years I have invested in mobile journalism I have seen the number of self-styled MoJo trainers mushroom to the point that now pretty much anyone with an iPhone and a bit of knowledge can advertise their services as a trainer.
My advice…If your going to spend your hard earned cash to learn these skills – look for someone with a proven track record. I regularly share ideas with the following trainers/practitioners- each of these guys are at the top of their game and are open to sharing, debating and encouraging each other- a true collective.
-Marc Settle (London) from BBC College of Journalism @marcsettle
-Nick Garnett (Manchester) from BBC Radio 5 Live @nicholasgarnett
-Neal Augenstein (Washington) from WTOP Washington @augensteinWTOP
-Ivo Burum (Australia) -Independent MoJo trainer @citizenmojo
-Charles Hodgson (Australia) Editor of @viewnews / @CharlesRHodgson
-Michael Rosenblum (New York) “the godfather of video journalism” @rosenblumtv
-Jack Hollingsworth (Austin Texas)- master iPhone photographer @photojack
If I’ve forgotten someone DM me – apologies in advance!
The most recent Circom regional MoJo course was held just before the annual conference in Santiago De Compostella, Galicia, Spain in May this year. The usual trainers group, Karol, John Inge, Darko and I had participants drawn from TV stations all across Europe.
We (as trainers) were blown away by the results of the stories – particularly as some of these journalists had never shot or edited previously and also as English was not the 1st language of many.
I blogged about the course at the time but here are a few of my favourites and a link to a playlist of all those stories.
Here finally is a list of gear that you can consider if you are thinking of producing multimedia content with your iOS device:
If you want to learn the skills required to produce high end multi media content like the samples mentioned here then keep an eye out for training courses by any of the specialists mentioned above or even the occasional public one from me.
I’ll be back in Budapest again in October for another MoJo course with Karol Cioma (@KarolCioma) John Inge Johansen (@lonelyrider) and Darko Flajpan (@DFlaj) and I look forward to sharing the stories produced by the next group of Circom MoJos.
May 14, 2013 1 Comment
This package was shot by Nadejda Uzunova from BNT Bulgaria on an iPhone using FilmicPro and edited on iPad using Pinnacle Studio. This was the final piece produced at the end of the 5 day course. Nadejda had never previously shot or edited a package
May 13, 2013 3 Comments
RØDE Microphones – smartLav. Im just back from a week long Mobile Journalism training course in the beautiful Santiago De Compostella, Galicia, Spain. This is the second Circom Regional Mobile Journalism course Ive led with my colleagues Karol Cioma from Circom, John Inge Johansen from NRK Norway and Darko Flajpan from HRT Croatia. Im really looking forward to sharing some of the stories that the participants shot. As soon as Circom posts them to their YouTube channel Ill embed them here also.
Anyway that preamble brings me to the purpose of this post. I was really excited to try out my theory of a budget MoJo kit consisting of just a Glif+ and a Rode Smartlav while on the course. There was a substantial array of different holders and audio accessories ranging from Owle Bubos, Phocus Accents, Makayama iPad holders, Glifs and Fostex AR4i. During the interview excercises I asked a number of the students to try out the SmartLav with the simple holder. The results were very disappointing. I had tested the Smartlav in one of our radio soundbooths and under those controlled conditions it performed pretty well, but when in a moderatley noisy environment – a shop for instance, the audio quality was abysmal. The audio was distorting on several of the interviews and no matter where we positioned the mic the level was always too loud or too much ambient sound. (We were using FilMicPro as our camera app and the SmartLavs were plugged directly into the iPhones (4s/5) ) I will email Rode to ask if we were doing something wrong but Im already anticipating their response. On the website the SmartLav is shown in use with the Rode Rec App which has an integral gain control for the mic. When used with FilMicPro no such audio gain is possible though of course you can see the audio level on the screen you cannot hear it as A. A split adapter would be required and B. FilMicPro currently doesnt support realtime audio monitoring while recording. (Though I am reliably informed that this is something Cinegenix are working on for a future update) Anyway the up shot of all this is that the students themselves refused to use the SmartLav for their actual stories preferring instead to use the IK Multimedia iRig Pre with pro-grade lavalier mics like the AKG C417.
One other surprise was with the iPhone 4s using the Fostex Ar4i . If you are using the Ar4i as your audio interface via the Apple 30pin dock connector you will know that it can support two separate audio inputs. We were using the latest version of FilMicPro (V.3.2.1) which will show two separate audio meters / audio channels when connected to the Fostex -However, every time we clicked into the media review button to check back a clip and then closed it to go back to the FilMic Camera the App would loose its connection to the Fostex, showing only one audio track and in some cases defaulting back to the iPhone mic. This issue caused some problems for some of our interviews which was quite annoying. I need to investigate the issue further to identify if its a particular version of iOS, a version of FilMic or a firmware update with the Fostex Ar4i – but watch out for it! ALWAYS CHECK BACK YOUR AUDIO BEFORE LEAVING THE INTERVIEW!!
April 20, 2013 1 Comment
So on Friday 19th May I gave a 30min talk on Mojo at the Journalism.co.uk conference News:Rewired in London.
I was advocating the use of some form of Tripod holder and and external microphone to augment the quality of the video content you can create with the iPhone. At the end of the session my good friend Marc Settle from the BBC College of Journalism gently called me aside and politely said – “One of your slides in factually incorrect” I blushed, took a deep breath and asked which one. “The one about the iPhone microphone for video”
Can I say at this point that when I get embarrassed I turn a gentle shade of pink, however at this point I was a deep velvety crimson. Marc (again politely) took out his iPhone 4s and recorded a clip and then while speaking proceed to cover the speaker and microphone elements on the bottom of the iPhone, he then asked me to cover the headphone socket, which I did, albeit slightly incredulously. When he played the video clip back the audio showed no change when the mic and speaker on the bottom of the phone was covered but was almost mute when my finger was over the Headphone socket. He then pointed out the PINHOLE beside the headphone socket – which it turns out IS the video mic.
For fear of suffering the humiliation of this epiphany a second time at some future date, as soon as I got home I tested the iPhone 5 – which remember has the headphone socket on the base, with the mic and speaker – and low and behold I discovered that on the iPhone 5 the video mic is in fact BETWEEN the lens and the led flash.
So you see we can all be wrong and we can all learn something new everyday. Im just thankful that Marc chose to call me aside to teach me this valuable lesson and that someone else didn’t ask about this during the session. Im suitably humbled and better informed -Thank you Marc.
Video Microphone placement on the iPhone 4S versus iPhone 5
January 13, 2013 1 Comment
Im just back from a weeks holiday and what a week to be away…Im catching up on 7 days of CES News and Im very impressed with the latest and greatest additions for iPhone / iPad audio. Rode have entered the fray with the iXY, as have Zoom with the iQ5 and Tascam has launched an update to their (in my opinion) slightly dissapointing iM2 twin capsule mic for iPhone, the iM2x. So lets have a closer look at whats been announced…
Rode have a dedicated website for the new mic the iXY. Its expected to go on sale via resellers by end of February-the first batch is already SOLD OUT on the Rode webstore- expected retail around €200- pricey by comparison with some of the competition but RODE make great microphones and just judging by the sample recordings on the RODE site this is a quailty piece of gear – aimed fairly firmly at the pro market I think – not everyone will be able to afford €200 to improve their iPhone audio …heres some of the detail from the press release:
“At the heart of the iXY is a matched pair of ½” cardioid condenser capsules, fixed in a perfect 90 degree ‘near-coincident’ alignment resulting in immersive and true-to-life stereo recordings, captured in incredibly high detail. The iXY uses its own high-fidelity analogue to digital conversion ensuring all recordings are rich, smooth and accurate.
The iXY’s small form factor and incredibly detailed performance makes it the perfect microphone for recording live music, meetings, lectures, reporting, dictation and sound design, and also is ideal for use on-camera as a dual-system recorder for DSLR.
A foam windshield is provided for outdoor recordings, as well as a rugged zip pocket to ensure the mic is always around when you need it……Released in conjunction with the iXY is RØDE Rec, an app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch designed to be the ultimate companion to RØDE’s new microphone. When used together the iXY and RØDE Rec transform an iOS device into a fully featured field recorder.
RØDE Rec allows for complete control of the iXY’s continuously adjustable input levels for recording in loud and quiet environments, as well as the high pass filter to cut out low frequency rumbling such as air conditioning or outdoor traffic noises.
The RØDE Rec App is available for purchase from the App Store on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch or at www.itunes.com/appstore. The app provides a full suite of features including multiple sampling rates up to 96kHz, equalization effects (compressor/expander, high-pass filter, low pass filter, parametric EQ), non-linear editing, geo and photo tagging, and one-touch publishing to SoundCloud, Dropbox, email, FTP and iTunes.
ZOOM, the makers of the ubiquitous H4N which is one of the most popular journalist field recorders and also a mainstay of the off-camera audio for DSLR recording, announced the iQ5. Note the Lightning connector – (The RODE displayed is using the 30 pin dock connector but there is a clause on the RODE site that says you can upgrade to the Lightning version when its available for $99 – making it even more expensive) It will be interesting to see how ZOOM perform with this. According to engadget the iQ5 will ship be end Q2 and will cost in the region of $100. There is no press release on the Zoom/Samson website as yet.
now and I saw indicative pricing on www.Thomann.de of €77 each. I bough the original iM2 shortly after it was announced and gave it out to a couple of our radio journalists to try out – In the studio environment the audio was OK but O.M.G. the slightest whisper of wind had the thing popping all over the place – so much so that Rycote came out with a deadcat for it very quickly. Im seriously hoping the the iM2x is a substantial improvement on the original…Ive ordered one so will post an audio sample when I receive it.
The iXJ2 is of significant interest to me, I could be wrong (and please correct me if I am) but the only other device Im aware of that currently allows stereo recording on iOS (iPhone) is the Fostex Ar4i which has been on the market over 18 months. You might remember I posted about a prototype Fostex showed in November 2012 of the AR101 with would give the same functionality but in a different form factor – no release date has been given as yet, however the shape of the iXJ2 is interesting because it just might fit into the butt of the MCam or Phocus? If it did that WOULD be an exciting development – kinda reminds me of the mashup I did in Nov 2011 between the OWLE Bubo and the Ar4i!!!