Foxvideo Productions

June 2012

Sony C-74 mic batteries

Some years ago I acquired a Sony C-74 shotgun mic from an ex BBC sound recordist that I still use regularly, this was listed in the Sony catalogue at over £700 new and some sound guys preferred it to the more common Sennheiser 416. It used a 9.8v mercury battery that has long since become unavailable, not really a problem as it was also P48v. On occasions working with a reporter on vox pops, I've wanted to use it with a Sennheiser plug on transmitter (non phantom) and I spent many hours online trying to find a replacement battery, eventually I did find a battery supplier who offered a replacement battery (Exell S177 10.5v) to fit a C-74 for £9.49 each, I ordered 2 but when I went to use one a few weeks back I found the battery flat.


I also still use a Minolta Autometer light meter for my photography, when the battery ran out recently I looked around on Ebay and found 4 Energiser 6v 476A (A544) batteries for £4.85, when they arrived I looked at the possibility of using 2 of them in my C-74......they worked, I did find it needed a small piece of silver foil between the large spring and the contact on the bottom of the battery to get a good connection but I now have a good supply of common, usable batteries for a much better price.


Newtek Tricaster for sale

Reluctantly decided to sell this, I bought it for a specific purpose that didn't come off and, as it's not being used productively it's time for it to go.


REDUCED PRICE! - Multi input / output vision & audio mixer (3 cameras - composite or S), PC or Mac laptop input for graphics, onboard hard drive with VCR play out, on-board caption generator with hundreds of built in templates, built in video editor. Record to internal hard drive or composite / S video output for projector feed etc or even live to web. PAL or NTSC formats,16:9 or 4:3 input/output, complete with T bar switcher (£1000 new), keyboard, mouse, 16:9 display monitor, 6" JVC video monitor (4:3 only), quick start manual, restore disks, saved Disk Image, carry case, Portabrace for video monitor, 2 x 10m S leads. Ideal for live events, role play, schools, church, conference etc. Demo and cash / collect only from near Gloucester / Hereford. - PRICE REDUCED TO SELL - NOW £850


I love a bargain

One of the sites I visit on a regular basis is AppShopper, it lists new or updated Apps for both iOS and MacOS. You can keep a log of Apps you've bought and add any App to a watch list to be notified when there's an update or discounted special offer. This morning, an app I've had my eye on for a while popped up on special offer - Pixelmator, a photo manipulation program for MacOS, instead of the normal price of £20.99 it's now available for £10.49 - a real bargain. (NB. I bought this, I have no connection or affiliate link with either Appshopper or Pixelmator)

Screen Shot 2012-06-11 at 05.57.13

Good software goes bad….

With music copyright, licensing issues and costs these days, finding good music without paying the earth is not easy. 2 years ago I spotted a deal on Abaltat Express for $19.95 and bought it, this is a software program for producing music tracks for video using Artificial Intelligence. Put simply, you save your video from FCP as a movie, import it into Abaltat Muse, choose a 'band' and style and the program looks at the cuts and colour content and produces a track to length, you can then add keyframes to add extra instruments or control playback to match the style and mood of your video, it's actually easier to use than describe! If you want more info on the program, there's a link to a good review HERE (but I'd suggest you finish reading this before you consider buying!)

After registering I then started receiving regular emails offering me an update to the full version for $49.99, this added extra bands for more variation so I went for it. It all installed and worked fine and although I didn't use it all the time it was great for certain projects. The first problem came mid 2011 when I upgraded my G5 to a MacPro, the serial number failed to work, an email to Abaltat was returned within minutes with a new serial and I was back in business and impressed with the service.

Coming right up to date, I had a horse video for YouTube that ran for 100 seconds or so and needed a track under to enhance it - an ideal subject for Abaltat Muse. I loaded the video and got an error message "unable to load more than one movie" - weird as I was only trying to load one movie! - it still loaded and the analysis took way longer than normal - 5 minutes for a 100 second clip, then an error message saying it was unable to find the music libraries, I closed the program and got another error message saying the program had crashed and did I want to send an error report?

Not looking good, I un-installed the program and re-installed, I also re-installed Kontakt Player as the framework is needed for Abaltat Muse to work, now the libraries were found but I was still getting the 'one movie only' error message and the close error although the program actually seemed to work. Having had good service from Abaltat last time I contacted them I thought I'd email again asking for advice......

This is the reply -
"Unfortunately, we are no longer supporting this product as, sadly, the company has just gone into voluntary liquidation. I would like to thank you for your support and we are sorry that we are no longer able to help you with this."