Studio 300 equipment – handle with care!

From the latest iMac computers and top shelf microphones to state-of-the-art video equipment and more, there’s no doubt that Studio 300 is loaded with great gear.  However, even with the latest and best, each piece of gear has its physical limitations.  While it may seem that some gear, such as mic stands and cables, can withstand repeated heavy use, every piece has its breaking point when given the right circumstances.  Care should be taken when using all of the gear.

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We’ve recently found some damage to one of our audio interfaces.  Here is a picture of the circuit board and the inside of the headphone jack.  The jack itself is cracked and broken as if the headphones had been struck while plugged into the interface.  While the exact circumstances aren’t known, this is something that could have been avoided with proper care and handling.

Here are a few ideas ensure that the equipment in Studio 300 will last for years to come:

  • Plan on taking time in your session for setup and tear-down.  Rushing while handling gear is a recipe for mishaps.
  • Educate yourself and your group about the gear you’re using. Ask the staff if you don’t understand.
  • Make sure to run microphone, power, and patch cables so that they are not in danger of being tripped on.
  • Secure mics and cameras on their stands and tripods and extend the stands and tripods correctly so there is no risk of tipping.
  • When using studio monitors and headphones, turn volumes to a low setting during initial setup to prevent harm to your the gear and your ears!
  • When equipment is not in immediate use (such as digital cameras and handheld camcorders) keep them in their protective cases.
  • Use care when plugging in power cables, as they are fragile at both ends and prone to cracking and fraying.

Follow these tips to keep the equipment collection in top working order so every person gets an opportunity to use it.

External Flash for DSLR

ImageHave you ever taken disappointing flash pictures with your DSLR?  Chances are it’s the internal flash that is causing the problem.  While the internal flash can do a good job, it does have limitations.  If you want to take your flash photography to the next level, try using an external flash.

External flashes simply mount on top of the camera.  They can be set to fully automatic or manual mode.  Like your DSLR, when set to manual, you can control all its settings to achieve some amazing results.

Studio 300 has the Canon Speedflash 430EX II which can be used on the Canon Ti series cameras.  (We also have a T4i camera). Stop by Studio 300 and we’ll show you how easy it is to use.  Check out the pictures below.  Notice the difference in color and shadowing in these raw, untouched examples.

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Internal Flash

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External Flash

New at Lynda.com

lynda_logo3r-d_144xMake a commitment in 2014 to learn new digital media creation and storytelling tools. Studio 300 can help. We have books, classes, and staff to assist.

You also might consider using Lynda.com (watch the Lynda.com story here). This unique training website teaches the latest software, creative, and business skills through high-quality online instructional videos featuring recognized industry experts.

You can access the vast Lynda.com library free exclusively from Studio 300. Browse the site to see what’s available to help you today. Some new topics just released include:

Get in the Mix with Logic Pro

  • Learn 23 advanced Logic Pro music mixing techniques as two engineers perform actual audio adjustments inside Logic. This includes files you can download and use inside Logic for hands-on learning.

Teacher Tips

  • Shows you how to stay up to date with the latest educational technology and classroom management techniques.

Creative DSLR Video Techniques

  • Focuses on the video capabilities of DSLR cameras. (There are videos available about DSLR photography, too.)

Business skills

  • Explore a wide range of business skills for developing your career,

GorillaPod Hybrid

P1090505Need to mount a video or still camera in places that a tripod doesn’t work? Check out the versatile GorillaPod that is available for 3-day loan from Studio 300. Like its little brother, the GorillaPod for iPhone (also available in Studio 300), the GorillaPod Hybrid is for larger DSLR cameras and camcorders.  This heavy duty mount can easily secure your larger device to just about anything.  Take a look at some ideas below. The tripod is rated to firmly hold 1 Kilogram ( 2.2 lbs) and has a standard ¼”-20  tripod mount.  The mount has a quick release, ball head to fine tune position, and a built in level.  Stop by Studio 300 and we’ll show you how it works! Then you can take it home and get pictures and video you didn’t think possible.

Steadicam Smoothee for iPhone

smoothee-iphone5_BackHandDo you take a lot of movies on your iPhone?  If so, you need to check out the Steadicam Smoothee for iPhone.  The Steadicam will make your videos look silky smooth anywhere you go.  It’s based on the same technology used in Hollywood and on TV.  The Studio 300 version works with iPhone 4, iPod touch, and other video devices (such as a GoPro).  It’s lightweight, compact, and easy to use.  The simple setup allows you to take smooth videos in less than five minutes.  With a little practice you can amaze you friends and family.  Stop by Studio 300 and we’ll show you how easy it is to use.  Meanwhile, check out the video below (without and then with the Smoothee)!

Without:

With:

Teens make TV

TraveBrosSeveral Fountaindale teens participated in a recent TV Production program at Studio 300. The teens learned to make television using our Tricaster TV production system.

After trying their hand at every position – on-camera talent, camera, floor director, audio engineer, technical director, and director – they used what they learned to produce a short television program. This show, called Travel Bros., features tips related to visiting a Disney theme park. The result of their hard work is below:

Interested in learning to use our TV studios to make your own show? Take a class or schedule a training session and we’ll help you get started.

The truth behind the mysterious object in the sky

Last month we posted a blog featuring this picture of a mysterious object in the sky.  Image

Well, truth be told, it was nothing more than a reflection in the window.  The reflection was simply one of the ceiling lights on the third floor of the library.  Photographers and filmmakers have long used reflections for all kinds of effects.   Sometimes you get surprised as we did and end up with a cool picture.  Below are pics of the actual lights that ended up looking like a UFO.

IMG_0405  IMG_0404

New equipment arrived

FenderAcousticGuitarWe’ve added a few items to our already extensive equipment collection here at Studio 300. Our new Fender acoustic guitar joins our electric and bass guitars and all are available for use in the space. This acoustic guitar also has an electronic pick-up which makes it even easier to record. Of course, you can use our extensive mic collection, too.

Two new Canon Vixia HD camcorders bring added functionality for video productions made in Studio 300. These powerful camcorders are also available for 3-day checkout. Best of all these units accept an external microphone which makes them ideal for video interviews, promotional videos, mini-documentaries, and more.

VixiaHD

We are always adding new equipment to the options available to our patrons and to keep up with growing demand. Is there some equipment or software that you wish was available for use in Studio 300? Let us know.

Back to School

The summer flew by and school ioverview_wa3_img05s back in session. For those in the media world that means working on digital media projects. So why not take advantage of Studio 300 resources? We have equipment, software, learning services, and helpful staff always willing to answer questions.

Have a multimedia project and need equipment? Studio 300 has an amazing equipment collection that can be used within Studio 300 as well as a smaller collection available for a 3 day checkout period. Be sure to complete your orientation to be eligible for equipment checkout.

cc-overview-tools

Here at studio 300 we have a large collection of media creation software including Adobe CC which includes some of the main software used in the multimedia industry like Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, and After Effects. Click here for a full list of Studio 300 software.

We also have Lynda.com which is an extremely useful training service that can help you learn software through video tutorials. If you find yourself at home and lost in a particular section of a project come in and search the Lynda site and watch an in-depth tutorial that can get you through challenging situations, answer questions you may have, troubleshoot an ongoing problem, or teach you something completely new.

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Studio 300 offers free access to Lynda.com training.

Don’t forget the Staff! Studio 300 staff members are always willing to assist you through software or hardware issues. They are also available for one-on-one training sessions to answer basic or specific questions related to software or hardware.

Being a multimedia student means that you often find yourself scrambling to complete projects or overcoming obstacles in completing projects. Take advantage of all that Studio 300 has to offer and make your school year a breeze!