TECH2

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Aug 24, 2012 0 comments

There are few things more powerful than the perfect combination of music and visuals. Think of your favorite movie scenes, and I’d be willing to bet they’ve got amazing music in them.

On one hand, you’ve got the great film composers; Herrmann, Goldsmith, Williams, and so on. They’re all worth study in their own right, of course. But what I find equally powerful, and arguably more interesting, is the effective use of popular music.

Interesting, because often, directors (and presumably, music supervisors) get it so horribly wrong.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Dec 21, 2011 0 comments

It's difficult to review an MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) game. They are so complex, deep, and involve so many hours of play it's hard to get a feel for them without extensive "testing."

But after hours playing the beta, and a week's worth of pre-launch play, I'm comfortable making an opinion about BioWare's ambitious and much-awaited Star Wars MMO.

The short version: unbelievably, staggeringly, awesome.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jul 11, 2011 0 comments

I haven’t tried every audio-oriented app for Android phones, but I’ve tried a bunch. Not surprisingly, the one I like best by far costs $6.99, which for an Android app is a truly Rolls Royce price. Yet it’s also the most insane deal of all time for DIY audio measurement software.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Dec 05, 2012 0 comments

Many an obit and in memoriam ends up being more about the person writing than the person being eulogized. 

But asking around, it turned out that not many people I know ever got to see Dave Brubeck play. If they had, I’d sure want to hear their stories.

So below follows a little about Brubeck, a tiny bit about a time I got to see him play, and at the end, a few pieces of his incredible legacy.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jun 27, 2012 0 comments

Music sales aren't the only part of the music biz that's hurting these days. With recent cutbacks in government funding for the arts-not just in the U.S. but all around the world-some great performance spaces are having major problems paying the bills. One is La Fenice, the famous Venice opera house that dates back to 1792.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Nov 30, 2011 0 comments

As I was going through some old trade show photos earlier this week, it dawned on me that a lot of the products I’d photographed and subsequently reviewed turned out to be quite different from what I’d been led to expect by the demo. Sometimes products that sounded amazing at a show didn’t sound so great when I actually got a real production sample into my home.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jul 06, 2011 0 comments

HiFiMan's HM-801 ($790, head-direct.com) is the size of a Walkman - I mean literally. A cassette could fit inside it, with plenty of room leftover for the heads, playback motors, and whatever other analog hoopla those things had.

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Timothy J. Seppala Posted: Nov 06, 2012 0 comments

Master Chief always seemed like Heinlein's ideal of a soldier: You never felt like he needed to sleep - just give him his ten thousand–mile check-ups and dust him off occasionally. In the opening scenes of Halo 4, Spartan 117 goes from sleep to trigger in a few moments, but that's enough to begin his journey to becoming human again.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Mar 18, 2012 0 comments

The name Mark Levinson is familiar even to those who couldn’t care less about audio. It’s been mentioned in numerous Lexus commercials, because Mark Levinson audio systems are an option in the higher-end models. Audio enthusiasts know Levinson as the founder of the company that still bears his name, and that 40 years later still makes some of world’s finest audio electronics, although under different ownership.

Levinson has been a prominent figure in the audio biz since 1972, but he’s been fairly low-key for the last 10 years. Now he’s coming back with what he says will be his last audio company and his last audio system. A couple of weeks ago, I got to be one of the first in the U.S. to give it a lengthy audition.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Aug 19, 2011 0 comments

I was up till 3AM again last night playing this game. A brilliant mix of humor, progression, and addictive gameplay guarantees the "just one more mission" mentality of epic late-night gaming sessions.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Feb 14, 2013 0 comments

I played the first Dead Space because I had to. It was one of my first game reviews for ­S+V. It was inconsistent, regularly annoying, but fairly enjoyable. The sequel was a better game overall, but lacking some of the first game's raw scariness.

The universe, story, and concept were sound enough that I was actually looking forward to DS3.

Here's what I found.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: May 18, 2012 0 comments

Carmakers have a problem. OK, I’m sure they have a lot of problems, but as this one has to do with sound, it’s relevant to us here at S+V.

As cars have gotten quieter, and as turbocharging finds its way onto more vehicles, we’re losing the sonorous soundtrack of the engines themselves.

So the engineering wizards are using technology to combat the progression of... technology?

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Sep 28, 2011 0 comments

I'd expected a kind of This Is Your Life thing, where partygoers would be "treated" to a recitation of five decades of milestones. But the 50th anniversary party for speaker manufacturer KEF at the British Consulate in Manhattan was anything but a long look backward.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jun 25, 2013 0 comments

Most video games, especially the big-name, high-budget ones, are created by a huge team of people. Some are in charge of how the game plays, others design the levels, others still do the sound.

Before the nuts and bytes get tightened, most games start with an idea. To give the entire team a visual representation of what the "look" of the game is going to be, most companies hire a concept artist, just like movies do.

This concept art can give the game a direction, but on their own, they can be fascinating visual adventures in their own right. Here's some brilliant art from some recent games, and some info on the incredibly talented artists behind them.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jul 19, 2012 0 comments

I recently completed a review of the TC-P55VT50 from Panasonic, look for it in an upcoming issue. Performance wise, it was damn near incredible: One of the best contrast ratios I’ve ever measured, accurate color, and deep blacks.

However, there was one “feature” that really pissed me off.

Advertising.

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