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This week our opinions had been largely centered on distinctive audio gadgets, together with a “magic radio” and a digital saxophone. James Trew tried out the Vlogger Package from Rode and rapidly turned a fan of the microphone, the sunshine dice and the windscreen filter. He additionally skilled Teenage Engingeering’s OB-4, a “magic radio” that may additionally report loops, play FM radio and act as a turntable. In the meantime, Jess Conditt dismissed her saxophone expertise to play with Yamaha’s YDS-150, a digital instrument that she says is greatest stored for studio musicians. Additionally, Devindra Hardawar screened Studio Ghibli’s new film Earwig and the Witch… and had nothing good to say about it. Ouch.
James Trew has been trying to find some time for one thing that will support him in propping his cellphone and recording an interview on the fly, and he discovered a great choice in Rode’s Vlogger Package. Together with a shotgun mic, a cellphone grip, an LED gentle dice (with diffuser filters) and a tripod, the equipment is obtainable in an Android, iOS or common model. Whereas the common equipment gained’t allow you to monitor audio with wired headphones, it does include a double chilly shoe and a Rycote Lyre shock mount, so there’s a commerce off to contemplate.
In testing, James discovered the LED dice gentle was in a position to brighten up indoor movies and was completely sufficient by itself to light up those that do a number of recording at night time. He additionally mentioned that the tripod is ok and the ball and socket joint made positioning straightforward, however he wished he might lengthen it as effectively. Make no mistake, the microphone right here is the star of the present — moreover, he was an enormous fan of the furry windscreen cowl for the mic, which appeared hilarious but labored fairly effectively. All variations of the equipment retail for $149, and for the primary time, it helps USB-C connectivity for Android gadgets.
It’s been some time since Jess Conditt performed the saxophone repeatedly, however she was recreation to take a look at Yamaha’s YDS-150 — a digital saxophone with a matte black physique, pearlescent keys and a brass end on the bell. The YDS-150 is closest in dimension and form to a soprano sax and fairly gentle to carry, and it comes with a slender carrying case that may be slung over the shoulder like that of a yoga mat. It additionally makes use of 4 AAA batteries or a micro-USB energy cable, that latter of which permits it to connect with a speaker or headphones (by way of a stereo-mini cable) or to obtain enter by way of Bluetooth from a cellphone, pill or pc.
There’s additionally the YDS Controller app, which Jess discovered handy to make use of to edit, enter and save customized channels or any of the 73 pre-programmed voices for soprano, alto, tenor baritone or non-sax sounds. Moreover, the YDS-150 has everlasting settings for tuning, key response, reverb kind, and breath strain resistance and response. Yamaha has meant it to be a studio instrument and Jess agreed that its vary of voices and types makes it supreme for that use (although not a great substitute for an acoustic soprano, alto, tenor or bari sax). It’s pretty costly at $1,078, however Jess deemed it worthy of the value given its options and delightful design.
James Trew can’t fairly clarify what the OB-4 is, and neither can the group at Teenage Engineering. The closest they arrive is looking it a “media instrument” or “magic radio” with an angular, futuristic-yet-retro design. Two audio system sit on the entrance whereas the carrying deal with stows the FM antenna cable and the stand for the speaker. There’s additionally a motorized “tape” dial on high, which provides fast-forward/rewind management and acts a bit like a small turntable. The quantity dial additionally syncs with the amount of your supply machine (when linked by way of 3.5mm or Bluetooth) and can even operate as a velocity/pitch management.
James concluded that the OB-4 was primarily the world’s weirdest DJ software — and he actually had fun experimenting with the speaker’s numerous options, particularly the looping operate. The OB-4 can even rewind dwell radio, play issues in reverse, or skim via recordings. And it has a “disk” mode, which Teenage Engineering calls a spot for experimental options like a metronome or a karma mode with calming sounds.
James favored each the sound high quality and quantity potential of the audio system themselves. Nonetheless, the companion app solely supplies quantity management, transport controls or enter choice. And it doesn’t have a line out, so you may’t report your work or feed it into one other machine. Whereas its $600 worth is fairly steep, James continues to be a fan and is keen about seeing what else it could possibly do.
Studio Ghibli’s Earwig and the Witch is a disappointing watch
Devindra Hardawar pulled no punches when it got here to reviewing Goro Miyazaki’s Earwig and the Witch CG animated movie. He known as it an insult and a inventive failure on each stage. The movie, an adaptation of a Dianna Wynne Jones novel, facilities round a lady at an orphanage who’s adopted by a witch and a warlock and learns about her magical powers. Regardless of the supply materials, Devindra thought the narrative felt incomplete and that the characters had been unlikable.
As the primary CG movie from Studio Ghibli, Earwig is an try and department out into a unique animation kind. However Devindra mentioned it lacks the magic of a typical Ghibli movie on nearly each stage, together with the music composed by Satoshi Takebe, which he discovered forgettable. He additionally wasn’t a fan of the CG character animation, which he felt got here off as stiff and lifeless, although the backgrounds had been extra detailed and plush as they had been drawn by hand first. Devindra mentioned the one manner for Ghibli to embrace CG going ahead is to completely commit to larger, cinematic productions within the vein of Pixar.