#Mojocon. The case for boutique V behemoth conferences.

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I’ve written previously about the evolution of RTÉ’s Mobile Journalism Conference: Mojocon. In April this year we will host the second RTÉ Mojocon and once again we are shining a spotlight on the activities of broadcasters, publishers, NGO’s, businesses and educators who have pushed the boundaries of  content creation using smartphones and other digital consumer technology.

This is my second time organizing a conference and though it was an induction by fire the first time around, I learnt a lot of extremely valuable lessons from Mojocon 1. Probably the first lesson was understanding the phases of the planning. The Pre-production phase involved eight re-writes of the business case over three months with each one having a substantial reduction in the proposed budget.

Once the final business case was approved the next phase began: Initial logistics. Venue, dates and draft session lineup. After multiple quotes have been received and a venue is secured, we then move to announcing the conference with a “save the date” campaign and so begins the process of finding major sponsors for the event.

It’s worth pointing out that RTÉ run Mojocon on a not-for-profit basis. From its very inception over two years ago the entire concept pivoted on the idea that at the core of Mojocon is the intention to bring together a growing global community of people who are interested and can see the potential in mobile content creation. I think the non-profit aspect is one of the key things that separates RTÉ Mojocon from many other journalism related events.

That said, the cost of hosting an international standard conference for 500 delegates; venue, catering, travel and accommodation for 40+ international speakers, pr and marketing etc. all add up very quickly so major sponsors are absolutely essential to making the event a success. Without them the ticket prices would well exceed €500 and in my opinion render the event unfeasible.

We were extremely fortunate to have Sennheiser, an international audio solutions manufacturer, come on board very early into the process. When Google News Lab subsequently joined the conference as sponsors things really started to take shape.

Now, with just eight weeks to go, we are in the exhibitor and delegate ticket sales phase and it is this part that always leaves me somewhat bewildered. Over the course of the last two months I have reached out to over 80 companies inviting them to participate in the event as exhibitors, or in an ideal world sponsor/exhibitors. The thing that really frustrates me is the repeated cycle I’m seeing in the negotiation process where, as soon as I mention the delegate numbers are 500 I get a “Oh, is that all” response.

I’ve started to tease this out with exhibitors, asking why they feel 500 is such a small number and time and time again I’m getting replies like “We can take part in other international media events where the delegate numbers are in excess of 15,000 people for a similar investment-so its not offering great R.O.I. for us”

This is where the case for Boutique V Behemoth really kicks in. I would love to do some market research on the BIG conferences referred to above. As part of that I would like to see for each exhibitor who takes part in those multi-thousand attendee events how many make connections of real value. I would measure connections of real value in three ways: 1. Immediate conversion to a sale. 2. Viable lead for a post conference sale 3. Important and strategic contact in the target market.

Last November I attended The Web Summit for the very first time. Follow the link if you don’t know anything about the Web Summit. It has been heralded as one of the great success stories in recent years for the digital economy in Ireland. That perhaps was the case until co-founder Paddy Cosgrove announced in October 2015 that the event was moving from Dublin to Lisbon from 2016 onwards. Without digressing into the debate about the reasons why I will simply say that I am sure Paddy and his team had good reasons.

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From my perspective, Websummit was a behemoth, like Mobile World Congress Barcelona, or NAB Las Vegas or IBC Amsterdam. A huge, sprawling multi location complex of stands and talks with 30,000 delegates trying to find something useful to do with their 8 hours in the venue (a substantial amount of which is spent queueing to get from talk A to B). I’ve experienced this myself at MWC and IBC. You can meander around hall after hall looking for interesting technologies and solutions but instead of finding them you end up bumping into familiar faces again and again and asking them have they seen anything really interesting and worth checking out.

I attended MWC just once and found it utterly head wrecking. At WebSummit I had one day where I really worked hard to navigate the halls teeming with startup alpha and beta’s who, once they noticed your badge said “Media” would instantly pounce in you to “Come meet our CEO/CRO/CTO/COO etc”. I have to be honest, the idea that a startup with three staff has a CEO,CTO and COO does make me wonder! The consensus from Media people I met was that they were actively hiding their media accreditation to avoid the “vulture effect” it induced. Don’t get me wrong here, I fully appreciate WHY this was happening, but it felt like utter desperation.

I can see from a profit point of view how economies of scale play a part in making these events so big. But as organizer of Mojocon, I am not interested in profit, so I don’t have to pander to these scales of excess to cram as many topics and threads into our event, in order to draw as many people as possible. Rather than trying to bring twenty diverse topics together in one space to “grow” an event into a behemoth, I would much prefer to do twenty boutique events where the participants, speakers and exhibitors have a real opportunity to connect. A chance to share stories and actually chat and exchange ideas, not just exchange a cursory few words while you glimpse at a leaflet on the way to the next queue for another talk you will be excluded from because its over capacity.

I have heard people say that they think a conference is worthwhile if you take away three ideas from it. If that is all attendees take away from Mojocon then I and the organizing team have failed. I want delegates to not have their minds opened to the possibilities but blown open with inspiration and ideas. Anything less would be a disheartening and disappointing result to me.

Mojocon has a very finely tuned scope. That breaks down into three components…
1. The plenary sessions with 40+ speakers on panels and fireside chats to learn from the experience of others.
2. The exhibition with 30 companies with products, accessories, apps which enable the professional production of content using smartphones and other consumer digital technology.
3. The workshop day where, if you were inspired on day 1 and bought some gear in the exhibition, you will have the chance to learn from some of the best and most respected mobile journalism and media trainers in the world.

If you follow that process through to the end you can leave mojocon not with just three takeaways but with real skills and inspiration to start your journey as a mobile content creator. Who knows maybe next year you could be a speaker sharing your journey and experience with the #mojocon community*.

Side note: As a spin off from Mojocon we created a group on Facebook to help build the community and keep the conversations from the conference going. The group now has over 750 members. You are welcome to join at http://www.facebook.com/groups/mojocon.

Hope to see you in Dublin in April 29|30.
http://mojocon.rte.ie

PS. As a reader of my blog I’m giving you an exclusive tip about a St. Patrick’s Day promotion we will be running. Check out the video for details.

Guest post: Oscar and Javier of Eltalleraudiovisual.com explore Switcher Studio for iPad with external cameras

I met the guys Javier and Oscar, behind Eltalleraudiovisual.com at Mojocon, they are two absolute gents. They also blog about mojo at http://yoscontenidos.com

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They shot this really great mojo teaser about Mojocon for which I am exceptionally grateful.

Based in Alicante, Spain they provide comprehensive mojo courses and production facilities. Their blog is a great source of information about Mojo, in Spanish and English. Earlier this year on the Mojocon Facebook group they posted a thread about using Switch Studio (aka RecoLive) with external devices, i.e. non-iOS devices. I asked would Oscar be interested in sharing his experiences via a guest post and he kindy agreed. A colleague of mine, Leola Lillis previously posted about Switcher Studio on this blog.

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How to make a mobile multi-camera production with iPads, iPhones, or any other video source.

How to add a video source to Recolive Multicam and Switcher Studio

Recolive Multicam is an application developed to record multi-camera productions using a WiFi network connection that allows you to sync up to 4 different video sources running on iOS and/or Mac devices. The norm is to use the built-in camera of your iPad as one of the cameras, and as the live mixer of all other video signals.

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Switcher Studio is a mobile video app that performs the same functions as Recolive Multicam, but additionally allows you to stream LIVE video while recording, as wells as, to view it using an HDMI adaptor or via Airplay.

Check-out the following post to learn all about how I’ve managed to go further into the use of these apps by using an external video source that does not run on an iOS device.

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Recolive Multicam and Switcher Studio: multi-camera video apps. 

I have recorded many videos using an iPad4 and an iPhone 5S (https://www.youtube.com/user/cocinandoenvideo) with Recolive Multicam (http://eltalleraudiovisual.com/recolive-multicam-realizacion-multicamara-iphone-ipad/). This is without a doubt one of my favorite apps, because it allows me to have my own TV studio in the iPad. I can choose among the different video sources right there live; enhance the production with signs, tittles, headlines, overprinting or logos; use transitions; mix images Picture in Picture; or divide the screen; I may even select the device that will be the main provider of the audio signal.

Switcher Studio was developed after Recolive Multicam and widens its many functions allowing multi-camera streaming productions

From now on, thanks to apps like this one – with a very simple learning curve-, anyone, either a person or an institution will be able to record cultural or sports events, interviews, round tables, or simply create video courses. Let me give you an example to illustrate it, with a challenge that I have taken on recently.

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Recording a Surgical video using Recolive Multicam

A few days ago, while teaching one of our recording with mobile devices in-house seminars –with our brand YOS Contenidos (http://www.yoscontenidos.com) -, I was asked about the possibility of a multi-camera production in an operating room mixing 3 different video signals as follows:

– One from an iPad recording a general shot of the room, showing the surgeons around the surgical table (the iPad would also act as the main mixer of all other video sources);

– A second one from an iPhone focusing on the patient area where the surgeon keeps his trocars (surgical instruments used to perform procedures without practicing open surgery)

– Finally, the third one would be the image provided by a trocar, or tube equipped with optical elements that sends images from the inside of the human body to a screen, guiding the surgeon during the procedure.

As you have probably guessed by now, the problem is that the laparocopy video is not an iOS or Mac device, therefore, incompatible for the Recolive Multicam recording (the use of which would make them save a lot of money).

The challenge: Full screen live preview using a video capture card

As I’ve mentioned before, Recolive Multicam can only mix video sources from iOS devices using the corresponding app, or running it from Mac computers that have the appropriate free software, Recolive Capture (http://recolive.com/en/blog/40-recolive-capture), to share the screen or to shoot with the laptop camera. That seemed to be the solution.

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I thought that maybe connecting a MacBook to a capture card device showing the trocar signal would be enough…

I needed video capture software that would preview full screen, but, none of the software that I tried, including BlackMagic Media Express, did the trick. I asked my streaming expert friends about it, but they could only advise about purchasing hardware, not software; therefore, the costs were skyrocketing.

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After several try-outs, and a lot of Internet searching, I found a video in a French site that explained how to use a MacBook screen to play with a Playstation using Blackmagic capture cards: full screen!!!  (https://youtu.be/M0usSD-4Q5Y)

We could make full screen live preview from the capture card, FullHD (depending on the latptop and the source), by using the free software capabilities of Pixel Conduit.

Solution: “Full screen live preview video from capture card”

Let me fully describe all the steps taken in the test I run, and that I hope to be using very soon in an operating room.

Equipment used:

  • 2 iPhones 5s with Recolive Multicam app
  • 1 iPad 4 with Recolive Multicam app
  • 1 MacBook with Recolive Capture software
  • A video capture BlackMagic UltraStudio Express card
  • 1 Canon HDV AX-H1 camera (video source used as the “trocar” for this test)
  • Free software from Pixel Conduit (http://pixelconduit.com )


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Process:

1. Preparing images, lowers, and logos; saving them into the iPad that will be used as the mixer.

2. Setting up the video input from the Mac through Blackmagic Media Express and the video capture Blackmagic card. In this case, PAL 1920×1080. I will turn off the software once I see the signal.

3. Setting up all video sources, 2 iPhones and the Mac screen, through Recolive Multicam.

4. Setting up Pixel Conduit to recognize the video source coming from the Blackmagic card and previewing it full screen. See video, isn’t it simple?

5. Selecting the transitions that I will be using, as well as the durations in the iPad; select the multiviews; fix the White balance, the exposure and the focus of the iPhone cameras

Silence in the set: 3, 2, 1… let’s shoot!

And this is the test result: https://youtu.be/7zYopY5PmkQ (In Spanish)

Conclusions

The option to use an external video source with Blackmagic capture card allows me to increase the options to shoot with several iPhone and iPad devices into any other video source.

Furthermore, if you would like to shoot with several microphones and you have a sound table, you may use it as a mixing console for the audio signal, connecting the output of the table to the iPad mixer through a digital interface such as iRigPro or Shure MVi, or an analogic interface such as iRigPre or a Tascam iXZ.

There is absolutely not a more affordable way to do up to 4 sources multi-camera productions.

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Those were the pros, but I should mention the cons, there is a minor audio delay, around 0,1-0,2 seconds, from the external video source that does not come from Mac or iOS devices.  In this particular case, this will not be a problem for us, as the image from the laparoscopy does not have audio; although, if you would like to have someone speaking from that source, you will run into an unavoidable de-synchronization.

Finally, Recolive Capture only shares the screen of the MAC computer, but not the sound.

I hope that you will find this to be a useful post. I can’t wait to try this new option of multi-camera production in the operating room… Here is hoping that I will not faint while doing it….

I would like to thank Glen Mulcahy for his invitation to publish this translation in English of our article in his reference blog to all of us who record with our mobile devices.

Thank you also to Gabriele Mondada, CEO of Recolive Multicam to always respond so quickly and so gracefully to all my questions.

If you would like to read this post in Spanish, please visit our blog “el Taller Audiovisual” (http://eltalleraudiovisual.com/multicamara-con-ipad-iphone-y-cualquier-otra-fuente-de-video/ ), fully devoted to recording with mobile devices.

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Thank you!

Testing the Sennheiser MKE2 Digital and the ClipMic Digital at the same time. [audio comparison]

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I’ve just taken delivery of the Sennheiser MKE2 Digital Lavalier mic for iOS products. I got the ClipMic Digital a few weeks back and did an unboxing video and audio test in this blog post.

Given the price difference between the MKE2 Digital (RRP €499) and ClipMic Digital (RRP €220) I wondered if I did an audio test using them similtaneously would there be a discernable difference in the quality of the recordings.g

I used the Apogee MetaRecorder companion App for the recording test on two iPhone 5’s and then imported and synched each (mono) audio track from the App into FinalCutPro to use with the footage shot on Google Glass. Its not a very scientific test to be fair but I was interested in the results. In the Video I panned the two track left and right so if you use decent headphones to listen to the video you should be able to notice the subtle differences.

But just in case you don’t notice any difference I’ve uploaded each recording from the App as an individual track on Soundcloud also. I’m curious to hear what you think. For me the MKE2 is cleaner, less hiss and not quite as heavy on the bass but it was interesting to note that at -18dB the ClipMic recording level was higher than the MKE2. It is a smaller capsule I suppose.

MoJoCon Update and Competition announcements

Sorry it’s been a while since I last posted – things have been extremely busy since the launch of the http://mojocon.rte.ie website in mid December. Ticket sales are going well. I’ll be offering a limited number of discount codes here on the blog next week so check back for that. The speaker list is nearly complete but I have a little “rabbit in the hat” that I may/may not be revealing closer to the date (sponsorship depending) more on that in the coming weeks.

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Speaking of sponsorship I would like to give a big shout out to Vodafone Ireland who have come on board as event partners. Their support has been incredible and given that we will be talking a lot about mobile productivity I think this is a match made in heaven. 4G is the backbone of mobile journalism Live Streaming which is a big topic for the conference. I’m still looking for other sponsors for the event but I’m glad to say the exhibition hall is now sold out.

Keep an eye on the @mojoconirl twitter account for daily updates as I’ll be revealing a few more big sponsors soon.

The underlying ethos of MojoCon is to give our delegates a holistic view of the potential of mobile journalism. The plenary sessions will offer talks from some of the most innovative and pioneering practitioners of mobile journalism, mobile filmmaking, mobile photography and digital/multimedia storytelling. I will do a separate post on each of the sessions, outlining each of the speakers and their background (which of course is available on the mojocon site also)

The exhibition is designed to give the delegates a chance to explore a comprehensive selection of Apps and Accessories which allow you to bring the quality of the content you produce with your smartphone to the next level. Plus it offers some of the makers, creators and manufacturers who are traditionally online only vendors a chance to meet and network with the mojo community.

Day two is all about learning and skills. I’m still working on the lineup of courses for the day but LOTS of the speakers have volunteered to give workshops so I’m now considering more workshops but smaller and more intimate – allocated on a first come first served basis. I will be sending our delegate surveys to those of you who have already purchased tickets very soon so you’ll get first pick:)

I’m keen to hear what you think, do you like the approach, line-up, venue, dates, location etc – please me know. If you have ideas for sponsors or if you make a product that fits within the scope of the conference then please do get in touch. I’ve had three emails from students telling me how great the conference is but complaining that the ticket prices are too expensive for them so we have a third level/student group discount code to get 25% off or buy 4 get one free for groups to make the event more accessible to that audience. Get in touch if you/your college/university are interested in this.

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I’m also thrilled to announce that the Thomson Foundation, one of the longest running international media development organisations are supporting the conference by sponsoring a competition with a brilliant prize. Last week we we began inviting entries for the MojoCon/Thomson Foundation Mobile Journalism Award.

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The Prize will be Flights, Accommodation and 2 VIP Tickets to MoJoCon PLUS a full MoJo Kit (including phone) like those in use in RTE with a total approximate value of €3000 – thats a serious prize!
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If you are a student journalist who wants to come to the conference then this competition in association with Thomson Foundation could be your free ticket. Some Competition T&C’s apply. Full details are available on the Mojocon Website

Several sponsors have been unable to commit to the journey to Dublin to take part in the exhibition but have been nonetheless kind enough to sponsor some prizes. So myself and Christian Payne (@Documentally) have cooked up a neat little Twitter/Instagram competition to give way these goodies. Entitled the MoJoCon “Every Day Carry” Competiton all you need to do to take part is take a photo of your mojokit and tweet and post it to Instagram using the #mojoconedc. We will be using a cool widget from Irish company Tapastreet to collate the entries into a gallery on the mojocon website. Here are some examples…

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Prizes will be selected randomly from our sponsorship goodie bag and winners will be announced via Twitter and our Facebook page. Some Competition T&C’s apply.

Finally I was asked by the lovely people at Its All Journalism to join their podcast interview with Neal Augenstein (who will be speaking at Mojocon) Here’s the link if you are interested: http://itsalljournalism.com/128-mobile-journalism-gets-mojo/

I was also approached by Javier Cabrera and Oscar Oncina from ElTallerAudiovisual to do an email interview and they have published the first two parts here and here .

Mojo in Action Behind the Scenes of RTE’s Philip Bromwell on a MojoShoot

Last Wednesday I joined Philip Bromwell as he went on a mojo shoot in Dublin. I brought three iPhone 5’s with me and some extra kit so I could shoot a behind the scenes Timelapse/Hyperlapse-mainly to convey the amount of movement and shots/angled required to create a good visual story.

Pictured is the Hahnel Triad Compact C5 Tripod, 2 x Shoulderpod Tripod Mounts, DiffCase CinemaRig, and Moment Lenses on both iPhones.

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Not all journalists I know will go this extra mile to get “the shot”

Afterwards Philip edited his story for broadcast and uploaded the finished edit to Vimeo in HD…

Philip Also used Steller App to create a multimedia longer form of the story:

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A few weeks on the road and I’m relieved to say, Mojo is moving into the mainstream media-finally!

I’m just back home from an intense three weeks which have left me feeling both excited and exhausted at the same time. If you are reading this I’m going to assume you have read at least one previous article on the blog and know roughly the sort of mobile journalism and UAV projects I’m involved in.

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The first part of my trip was in London contributing as a trainer to the Thomson Foundation Summer Convergence course with 10 journalists drawn from Lebanon, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, USA, Oman and Ghana. The course covered everything from the core principles of journalism and balanced reporting through social media, multi-media, radio packaging, reporting for tv and mobile journalism. I was blown away by the energy and enthusiasm of the group and I was also very impressed with the results, particularly of the journalists who chose to use Mojo to produce their TV report.

It was a pleasure to work again with Dan Mason who is an absolute fountain of knowledge about social media and online/video journalism, but also one of the best trainers I’ve worked with.

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After London, I went to Paris to join Mark Egan, VJ & Mojo Trainer PurpleBridgemedia, to co-present a session on Mojo at the EBU News Technology Conference. Mark compiled a great showreel looking at all the diverse use cases for Mojo across the active users in Broadcast News.

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Mark was one of the very first Video Journalists in BBC and spent a substantial period training VJs as part of Michael Rosenblums courses. Our many chats made it clear that he and I are 100% on the same wavelength and have a shared vision for the future of mobile news gathering. After the presentation we took our “gadget bags” out to the atrium to give the attendees some hands on time. The feedback was really positive with lots of queries about how other news orgs could get started in Mojo.

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After a few hectics days in Paris I then headed to Amsterdam to join an IBC panel discussion on “Mobile and Social Innovations (in News). Moving from the marginal to the mainstream” With me on the panel were Bogdan Frusina, CTO of Dejero, Ronen Artman, VP Marketing, LiveU and Sergei Lupashin, Founder Fotokite. The session was chaired by David Lowen, Director, International TV and Media Consulting Ltd and produced by Steve Bennedik, Head of Technology, SkyNews.

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Then to wrap the week up the legend that is: Dan Chung of NewsShooter.com invited me on to his IBCLive talkshow with Elliot Smith to discuss Mobile Newsgathering and the Future of TV News.

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The common thread throughout these events is that News organisations, (tv, radio, online and print) are now starting to take mobile news gathering seriously.

I had some great (heated) debates about the future of linear TV news, what should new journalists do to kick off their career and how much more potential does Mojo really have. All I can say is, even though I was disappointed by the 8Mp Camera in the iPhone6/6+ the advent of greater manual camera control, “dslr like” optical focus and stabilisation and “Extensions” in iOS8 Mojo mean iOS Mojo has just taken another leap forward. Speaking of leaping, I’m still amazed when I meet someone at a senior management level in news who greet my Mojo presentation with gasps of “I had no idea you could do so much with mobile” makes me wonder if the metaphor about the BOILING FROG is alive and well. If so the temperature has just been turned up a notch.

 

PS: I will detail the gadgets and gear that caught my eye at IBC in a separate post a little later.

Which Lapel mic for mojo? Final Microphone test (for a while) AKG 417pp Vs MXL FR 361 Lavalier

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Back in 2011 when I tested various bits of gear for our RTE Mojo kits I was initially going to go for the Sennhesiser MKE2 OR the Sony ECM77b. Both these microphones are exceptional quality and are in everyday use for broadcast. However the price of them is what sent me digging deeper for an alternative! The ECM 77b is approx €450 and the cheaper Sennhesiser MKE2 is around €300.

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Given that one of the aims of the mojo project was to try to create a “grab bag” with all the accessories needed to equip a mobile journalist in the field, but ideally not costing more than that phone, the inclusion of either of these mics would have blown the budget. I found the AKG 417pp Phantom Lavalier and it ticked all the boxes – the sound was good (perhaps not as good as the Sony/Sennheiser) enough, the build was robust and the price was right. €110-€130. We’ve been using it in our kits since.

Recently however I noticed that MXL Microphones had started to explore mobile content production in a BIG way.
They have a set of  mobile specific accessories including a dedicated lavalier and miniature rifle mic with grip (Click images below for more details) but it is their Pro grade Lav mics that were of interest to me…

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MXL actually have two microphones in the Lav kits. One Omni Directional and one Cardioid.

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So I decided to test the FR-361 against the Akg 417pp in two different situations. First I did a sound ONLY test in one of our radio booths.

As with all the recent audio tests I used Google Glass to record what I was doing and posted the two separate clips to Soundcloud directly from the Voice Record Pro App…

Then I enlisted the help of RTE News “Mojo Champion” Philip Bromwell and recent mojo trainee Aisling Kenny to do a real world interview setup using FilMic Pro. Philip chose the RTE canteen, which is a noisy environment but with good light, and we set up two iPhone 5S with FilMicPro, IKMultimeida iRog Pre and the two lab mics which recorded the interview in parallel.

I would encourage you to listen using good quality over ear headphones to assess the sound.

So YOU decide if the MXL Quality and Value is a rival for the AKG, Sennhesiser and Sony. I think its fair to say there is a choice for every budget available now.

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Rode Smartlav (original) Versus New Rode Smartlav+ Recording booth comparison

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When Rode microphones originally announced the SmartLav in early 2013 I posted a blog about it as I was really excited and I believed it could be a huge step in the evolution of “budget” mobile journalism. During a mojo course in Budapest myself and John Inge Johansen from NRK tested it with FilMicPro but we discovered the main issue is the absence of audio gain in the App. (I subsequently discovered that MoviePro had added in App audio gain)

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A number of weeks ago Rode announced an update called the SmartLav+ and certainly everything I’ve read suggests the audio fidelity is definitely higher in the the new capsule so today I took the SmartLav+ and the original smartly into one of our soundproof audio booths to do a side by side test. I recorded the test using glass and on the iPhone 5s I used Voice Record pro for the audio recording.

So here are the recordings:

Certainly my initial impression is that the SmartLav+ has substantially less hiss but it also sounds like it has also lost some of the richness in the bass.

I’m no audio expert – so I will defer to the judgement of some of my esteemed colleagues from radio who may comment. You can hopefully decide for yourself.

Its worth noting that FilMicPro will have audio gain as a feature in the upcoming Version 4 release.

For more information on the SmartLav+ visit the dedicated Rode micro site:

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MoJoConIrl – the 1st Conference dedicated to Mobile Journalism, smartphone filmmaking and iPhoneography

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Over the last three years I’ve been continually amazed at the initial reaction of mojo trainees to the potential of smartphones, particularly iPhones as content creation devices.

I’ve been even more impressed with the quality of the stories produced by trainees after their courses and their continuing dedication to push the boundaries in what can be achieved with a smartphone and some cheap accessories and also to the work that some of the pioneers in this space like Sky News, BBC and NRK have achieved.

Last month I started to ask people I know and respect in the mojo world would they be interested in participating or contributing to a conference on mobile journalism, Mobile FilmMaking and iPhoneography.
I was awed at the response with 95% of the people I asked not only pledging their willingness to participate but also to help in spreading the word.

Once I realised how many people were supportive I immediately started looking at dates, venues and logistics and I drafted a proposal for the executive here in RTE.

Now that the project is scoped and with all the core stakeholders consulted, I’ve realised it will take more time to pull together than I had first anticipated but to be honest I want to do this right and make it the best it can possibly be.

So I’m going to reschedule the conference for March 2015, this timeframe will pave the way for making the event even better than I had first hoped.

But as a teaser to whet your appetite…here’s what I’m working on:

Day One. Plenary sessions/Panel discussions on the following topics…

Session One:      “Mobile Journalism: Technology in Broadcast – where to next?”
Session Two:      “Story. Exploring the diversity of multimedia storytelling with and for mobile”
Session Three:   “Smartphone FilmMaking: Award Wining Creators share their experience”
Session Four:     “Create, Curate, Verify: UGC, building communities and the process of validation and authentication” 
Session Five:      “The Multimedia Mojo – working across Radio, Print and Online case studies”
Session Six:        “Code:R-Mojo Educ8: App Development and education for Generation Y”

There will be plenty of opportunities for networking in the evening and there is some discussion about an iPhoneography walkabout session also.

Day Two: Workshops and Masterclasses

Masterclass: iPhone FilmMaking – learn from internationally awarded Filmmakers

Workshop: Social Storytelling – New Platforms for publishing and creating a community

Masterclass: iPhoneography: Shoot Epic images with your smartphone

Workshop: The RTE Mojo Project – From Shoot to Edit to Publish. A step by step workshop.

Conference Dinner (Optional)

I’m also hoping to attract a decent group of the hardware makers and resellers to set up stalls at the event with the idea that they not only demonstrate their gear but sell it as a special reduced conference price!
There will be rapid fire pitch rounds for App developers to pitch their Apps to the audience also.

This means that delegates will have the option to come to the conference, learn from industry leaders, buy their chosen mojo kit, do a top class training workshop and leave with all the skills AND gear they need to get started on their mojo journey.

If you are a hardware manufacturer or reseller who is interested in taking part then DM me on Twitter @glenbmulcahy for more info.

I haven’t completed the math on ticket prices yet but as soon as the date is officially confirmed I will post an update here with ticket prices and a lottery for some free tickets for you (blog readers)!

Im working on the event website now but in the meantime follow @mojoconirl for updates and if you have some suggestions or feedback please do get in touch.

GM-SIG

 

 

RTE Mobile Journalism – Where it began, where we are now and where we are going…(potentially)

RTE-MOJO-Header

Back in late 2010 I was working in the Technology Division of News in RTE and I had bought an iPhone 4 for myself, which I had, like every other iNewbie loaded with Apps to try out. I started investigating accessories for the iPhone beginning with the Owle Bubo which was one of the first iPhone Tripod mounts. After a few months of testing things and seeing what worked or didn’t I had created-by accident- a small production kit and I showed it to the then Director of News Technology: Ray Purser. After a bit of experimentation he suggested I create a presentation and that we pitch a pilot project to the then Director of News and Current Affairs: Ed Mulhall. A few days later we delivered the pitch and Ed asked us to show it to some other RTE management and the general consensus was – there was definite potential and it merited further exploration..and so began my mojo project.

Within 6 months I had tested thousands of Apps- seriously! But the end game was I had assembled a selection of Apps which allowed you to improve the quality of the video above the standard iOS Camera and also allowed basic editing on the device. I had been training video journalists in RTE for a number of years at this stage and I was also sent annually to assist with the Circom Regional VJ training course. It was on this course in 2011 that I showed the gear and Apps to the trainers: Karol Cioma, Tony O’Shaughnessy and Darko Flajpan on the VJ course.

While in Budapest I shot a short tutorial video on the iPhone and edited in my iPad then sent the finished edit back via FTP. I subsequently posted the video online (9/10/2011) and its been viewed well over 5,000 times:

After sharing this proof of concept I was asked to present the project at the next Circom Conference which was held in Malmo Sweden in May 2012. The one hour presentation was well attended and the response was overwhelmingly positive. With the result that the Circom executive asked me to develop a mobile journalism course for them. That November (2012) I led the first of the RTE mojo courses for Circom and I was joined by John Inge Johansen from NRK, and Karol Cioma who had championed the idea and Darko Flajpan whom I had worked with previously for VJ training.

20131013-115103.jpg

Since then I’ve led three Mojo courses for Circom and I’ve blogged about them here and here but Mojo training has taken me beyond Circom to working with AlJazeera and elsewhere.

Its odd to look back now after just four years of development but at the same time its been a very interesting journey. Watching what BBC, NRK, Aljazeera, Skynews, and other are doing in the space is really exciting.

This May I missed the Circom Mojo course which was held in Dubrovnik, Croatia but Philip Bromwell, a colleague from RTE and someone I admire hugely as a storyteller, took my place.

pb

Interestingly on the course a lot of energy was spent testing Microsoft Lumia devices versus the iPhone. I’ve had a Lumia 1020 on loan from Microsoft for months now and I do think it has an absolutely exceptional camera: 41Mpx! which puts the 8Mpx iPhone camera in the shade. However the current weakness for the Windows Phone/Lumia range is not hardware but software, there simply aren’t as many pro grade production Apps as there are for iOS. What is interesting about the Windows Phone/Lumia is that, like Apple, Microsoft have a limited range of phones but they now control the Nokia hardware so they can, unlike Google’s Android platform, guarantee performance on their devices, this will, in time, give Microsoft a genuine advantage and hopefully secure market share for them where, for example, they currently hold just 3% of the US Smartphone Market Share.

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Source: http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2014/smartphone-milestone-half-of-americans-ages-55-own-smartphones.html

As of writing a new Circom Mobile journalism course is in the planning with an associated competition called the “Mojo Challenge” which will take place in October. The project is being led by Karol Cioma.

I’ve chosen to not be involved as I have invested a huge amount of time in developing the iOS training programme and though I am interested in both the development of both Windows Phone and Android I still believe that iOS offers the best, most diverse and powerful solution for mobile journalism at this point in time. Windows Phone is not mature enough yet, it needs more Apps and greater penetration and the recent announcement by Microsoft that they would be shedding 18,000 jobs from their global workforce, 2/3 of which will be from their newly acquired Nokia division shows that Microsoft are going through a refocusing period where lots of things can, and will, change.

Meanwhile it is widely rumoured that Apple will release their next iPhone model(s) in September which may see a new bigger class of iPhone 6. This I think could be revolutionary for Mojo- an iOS Phablet may very well be the ultimate mojo solution. Small enough to still be discreet and portable, yet big enough to allow proper video editing and processing. The Apps are already mature and the workflows proven.

In fact today I decided to pull together the stories that my colleagues and alumni of the RTE Mojo courses have produced and I think it pretty impressive – but I would say that wouldn’t I. I have to give credit to Philip Bromwell also as he and I are now training staff together and the combination of our skills, his storytelling and journalism, my technology and workflows is proving very effective.

For me, the emphasis now shifts to what next…I’m trying to secure funding to organise the first (to the best of my knowledge) dedicated Mobile Journalism Conference. The idea behind @MojoConIRL is to bring together the global community of mojo trainers, practitioners, evangelists and storytellers so we can share our knowledge and bounce or other like minded creatives. The problem is I had planned to do this at the end of October 2014 and that is looking more and more unlikely as time passes. Securing funding to book the venue, marketing, flights and accommodation for the speakers and panelists is proving to be far more difficult that I anticipated.

Sure, I’ve been asked can I not just  launch the tickets and use the ticket revenue to cover the costs-if they sell fast enough but thats not viable for such a niche event. I will know by the end of this week if I can pull off MojoConIRL or if I will have to defer it to early 2015. The thing that disappoints me most is that so many incredibly talented people offered their support and participation and I was getting really excited at the prospect of bringing these people together in Dublin to interact and share.

Meanwhile, I have enquiries for me to join sessions at a number of pretty high profile conference engagements over the next few months including the World Economic Forum Global Shapers conference in August, the European Broadcasting Union News conference in Paris in September, the International Broadcasting Conference in Amsterdam in September and the EBU Training Academy conference in October. I will post updates (if/) as these events are confirmed.

In the meantime if you want to learn about Mojo then here are links to resources I’ve posted on the blog over the last few months all distilled into one list:

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 18.23.07

Mojo Hardware options: here and here
Original Post: Mobile Journalist Gear: Mojo Tripods | Hahnel Triad Compact C5 Tripod/Monopod combo

Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 18.09.40

Mojo Applist: here
Original Post: Interactive Mojo App list for iOS via Thinglink

Mojo-CSA4

Mojo Sequences deconstructed: here
Original Post: The Ultimate Mojo CheatSheet! Sequences Deconstructed, examples, apps – everything you need (except the gear)

Cheatsheets for:

FilMicPro-CheatSheetA4

FilMicPro : here
Original post: FilMicPro “At a Glance” CheatSheet & Simple Tutorial

hokusai-promo

Hokusai DOWNLOAD PAGE ONE   DOWNLOAD PAGE TWO  DOWNLOAD PAGE THREE
Original post: Hokusai – An advanced Multi Track Audio Editor for iOS (iPhone & iPad) FREE CheatSheets HT @wooji

cheatsheet-3up

iMovie   Page1 Page2 Page3
Original post:New: iMovie CheatSheet PAGE3 – Advanced features. Free download for all #mojo

 

 

 

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