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GarageBand is an application for macOS and iOS that allows users to create music and podcasts. It certainly is a fun little application that can provide endless entertainment if you know what you're doing. On second thought, maybe I shouldn't even use the word 'little' to describe it because GarageBand can be as big or as small as the user wants.

One of the most satisfying things to do in GarageBand is playing around with the premade loops. You'd be surprised how nicely many of the loops will sound together. There are no rules when you're doing this, so try putting down a jazzy drum rhythm with some Afghanistan Sand Rabab and see how it sounds! Eventually, you might have some music for verses and a catchy hook. Then you might want to try adding some vocals to the tune. Luckily, there are a plethora of different vocal effects as well. You can make yourself sound like a robot or you can set yourself up with enough echo and reverb to sound like one of the most epic divas! Although, your vocals will only sound as good as the microphone that you have attached. 

There is so much within GarageBand, it might take years to master. You could take a basic premade sound and change the pitch, the modulation, and add all sorts of different effects. Then after all that, you can change can completely change the EQ of the whole song. Now with musical USB keyboards, it can be all the more easy and enjoyable to create your masterpieces.

If you'd like to learn more about GarageBand, NCTV will be hosting a workshop this Tuesday, June 6, 2017. We will go over the interface and some basics and then we'll see where it goes from there! And we even have a musical USB keyboard this year. We would love for you to join us! If you're interested, you can sign up at www.norfolkcable.com/classes.

Posted
AuthorAndrew Barker

Around this time each year, we get a lot of questions about how to make slideshows for family and friends. Whether it is a graduation, wedding, retirement, or celebration of any kind, here are a few tips and tricks when it comes to creating slideshows in some of our favorite programs (in no particular order)!


Photos App (Mac)
Free on Mac computers - replaced iPhoto
This is a great and easy solution for off-the-cuff slideshows where you don’t need too much control over where the individual songs start and stop. It also has some awesome graphic effects (themes) that it fits your photos into so you can look super professional at your next gathering. 

Pros: Sweet graphics options, fairly user-friendly, can pull music straight from iTunes library, can rearrange photos to suit your needs, can play directly from photos app or export a movie file for sharing and uploading

Cons: No control over music placement other than what order, limited titling ability, can’t change the duration of individual photos, only mac based

 


iMovie (Mac)
Free on Mac computers
If you want greater control over music placement and/or want to add additional titles, iMovie might be the right option for you. You’re able to start and stop songs wherever you want to as well as add titles anywhere in the slideshow. This program still can utilize themes for a uniform look or you can start from scratch and create your own with all of the funky transitions you want. This program has a great balance of assistance and allowing the user to be creative.

Pros: More control over music, can add more titles than in the photos app, can vary transitions between images, mixed media (photos, videos, titles, etc.), draws from Photos app and iTunes, can control amount of time each photo is on individually or as a group, auto or manual Ken Burns effect

Cons: Limited control over title placement

 


Adobe Spark (Web)
Free for all users online (also has paid features for Adobe CC customers)
This is the coolest thing that I never knew about! I stumbled upon this while researching for this post and actually found it really helpful. It seems like an online version of iMovie which is great because it will have the advantage of being cross-platform (able to be used on many different operating systems). Click HERE to go to Adobe Spark.

Pros: Online, can connect to other services like google drive and dropbox for media, can use their music or your own, uses themes and effects for a polished look, can add voiceover, can mix media (photos, text, and videos)

Cons: Looks like you can only use one song (valuable for short slideshows but not for long ones), can only upload one photo at a time unless connecting to an outside service like google drive, unable to change title position or size, some titles cut off when it goes to two lines, branded with a free account (mention of adobe spark in a watermark or at the end of the slideshow)

 


Kizoa (Web)
Free for all users

This is another online based slideshow creator that we just uncovered and it seems pretty cool! It is also pretty user friendly and boasts features such as animated effects and a great array of title options. You can use their copyright free (and YouTube approved) music or your own tunes from your computer. You can find Kizoa by clicking HERE

Pros: Online based so anyone can use it, allows customization while offering built in effects, easy to use with tutorial screens each time a new tab is opened, can use multiple songs

Cons: Unable to adjust music levels, have to create an account to download creation, could get bulky if making a very long slideshow


The above are some awesome options for creating truly stunning slideshows, but if you want total and full control over every aspect of the production, we would recommend using either Apple’s Final Cut Pro XAdobe’s Premiere Pro, or other paid applications such as Filmora. These are paid video editing applications but you’ll have every feature you could even dream of when creating slideshows! If you’re looking to make a slideshow that we can also air on our channels, you can even use our computers and software for free to create your masterpiece! 

Even if you aren’t creating something that you’re ready for the town/world to see on our channels and YouTube, we’re still happy to answer any questions you have along the way!

Have you used any of these editors or do you have another that you love? Tell us in the comments below!

Posted
AuthorKaty Woodhams

So you’ve scheduled the interview, or got a cast and crew together for your short film, or decided you’re finally going to capture a timelapse of the sunrise from that beautiful mountain top. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, it’s important to remember you cannot predict what will happen during a field shoot. As with many things in life, being prepared is the number one goal here, so I’ve put together a list of reminders that can might help save the shoot.

1. Know the Location
What are you filming or photographing? Plan the shots ahead of time best you can, so you can determine what challenges may come up. Are you filming indoors? What will you do if the lighting is no good? The best scenario is knowing or going to the location to plan before the shoot, so you can get a feel for it, and bring any equipment to make up for issues you can foresee.

2. Make an Equipment List
There are few things worse than showing up to your location with everything but the memory card. Do yourself a favor, after you have assessed the location and your needs, take ten minutes to write down or type up a list of equipment. If you like pictures, draw out the set and the components to help you visualize if there’s anything you’re forgetting. Allow yourself time to pack up the equipment and check-off the items on your list as you gather them. Oh yeah, charge your batteries at least the night before, and don’t forget to check if the tripod has the quick-release plate attached!

3. Expect the Unexpected
Bring backups of anything within reason. Never rely on the one memory card or battery. You never know when technology is going to decide not to work, so you want to make sure you’re ready for anything. If you’re using a light kit - try to bring extra bulbs, if you’re bringing anything rechargeable - bring the wired charger (and maybe look into a car charger adapter so you can plug in there if you have no other power source). 

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
We’ve all been there, we think we can strap eight bags on our shoulders filled to the brim with equipment, and still maintain our footing. Some shoots will only require a few items, and that’s reasonable to rely on only yourself. But, when a shoot calls for more than a camera and tripod bag, it might be good to seek out a friend - remember you paid good money for your equipment, and you won’t be very happy if something breaks because you tried to do it all yourself.

Know your needs before the shoot and prep, prep, prep! Take the time to turn on equipment if it’s been a while, and make sure there aren’t any dubious error messages popping up (like that time you forgot to reformat your SD card). It’s better to take the time to organize your thoughts and items ahead of time, than it is to feel rushed and anxious about something last minute. A successful shoot of any kind starts with the proper planning!
 

Posted
AuthorJen Jacobs

Norfolk Community Day is quickly approaching! On Saturday, June 3, 2017,  Norfolk will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first Norfolk Community Day. And what better way to celebrate than by continuing the tradition of family-friendly fun and entertainment? The NCTV staff and members of our board will be there with cameras in hand covering as much as possible. So, come visit us while you're enjoying all that Community Day has to offer.

While specific events haven't been announced yet, there are always a few annual favorites that one can expect. Like any good party these days, Community Day will typically have several inflatable games, such as the Moon Walk and Obstacle Course. The kids, or anyone for that matter, can also get their faces painted. In addition, the petting zoo, silent auction, Grade 1-6 art contest, and Norfolk Recreation's Touch-a-Truck, in the past, have always piqued the interest of the community. However, if the glory of victory or big cash prizes is more your style, you may want to try your luck in the Pie Eating Contest or Golf Ball Drop.

No matter what ends up happening, the NCTV crew will do our best to cover all the official events that we can. All of the various entertainment acts have been covered, such as Good Tymes Banjo Band, Inspiration, the Kathy Ryan Dance Studio, and the incomparable Henry the Juggler. In the past, after the plethora of footage was edited, we've had finished products that have run for around four hours! Let's see if we can have an even longer program this year! 

Oh and I must remind you all to come visit our booth, too. We'll have plenty of free/purple items for you to take home. We hope to see you there!

Posted
AuthorAndrew Barker

Every May, NCTV packs up a ton of equipment and heads on over to the KP Middle School to film Norfolk’s Town Meeting! With a few debated articles on the docket, we expected it to be a long one this year. It was a very well-attended event and was run very smoothly thanks to Norfolk’s Town Moderator, Jay Talerman.

One of the most exciting parts of this year’s town meeting from NCTV’s perspective was that we were able to stream LIVE on YouTube! Technology is always advancing and we discovered that we had the capability just a day before the meeting and were so excited to test it out. We had a larger than expected audience on YouTube during the live event and very much appreciated the feedback we received about the quality of the live stream! We hope to use this technology for future town meetings, too!

To watch the meeting, head on over to YouTube! It will also play back on our government channel soon.

To jump to a specific article, scroll down to the description of the video and click on the timecode next to the article.

If you have any questions or comments about our coverage, leave them in the comments below or e-mail us at nctv@norfolkcable.com! We’re always interested to hear what people think!

Posted
AuthorKaty Woodhams

For the typical audience member, editing is something that tends to go unnoticed. But this is exactly what should happen in most cases. Editing is the tool that helps a movie or video move smoothly from one part to the next. If you want the audience to forget they are watching a movie or video, then they should feel immersed. Choppy editing, or editing that doesn’t enhance the flow of the story, can be very distracting, and ultimately degrade the whole experience.

Some of the very basic editing tools can have the best effect. You could use straight cuts for an entire edit and that may be all you need! Nowadays this is a simple process using software in what is called non-linear editing systems. Linear editing is a thing of the past since we have become more digital, but it creates a nice visual for understanding just what editing is. Think of a physical film strip; an editor used to literally cut that to take out parts that didn’t enhance the story. We do the same thing digitally, but it’s much easier, especially since we have an undo button.

The basic cut connects two images or clips to create meaning and to move the story forward. In most videos and movies we see a cut every few seconds. This keeps our attention, since watching the same image for too long can feel boring. But timing between cuts is another very useful tool. A long take is a video clip that is longer than the typical few seconds duration, and keeps our focus on something happening in that clip. This can be used to create tension, or perhaps to make us feel like time is moving very slowly. On the other hand, keeping video clips short, so perhaps cutting every 1-2 seconds, can make a scene feel very fast, or like something very action-based is happening.

If you were editing for the first time, placing cuts and connecting video clips in various ways is a great exercise. Watch what happens when you change the length of the clips, or the amount of cuts in a scene. You can start to get a feel for the different emotions that can be conveyed through editing. Another great tip for first time editors is to use music. Music already creates some sort of feeling, which can enhance the type of edit you want to achieve. If it’s a sad scene, you’re likely to choose slow tempo music, and that tempo is a good baseline for where your cuts should be.

Once an editor has the basic cut down, and an understanding of timing, it can be fun to employ the other tools editing software allows. But at it’s most basic form, editing is all about the cut - so that should be mastered first.


NCTV is offering two free workshops to learn editing skills in the month of May. We will start with Basic Editing on Tuesday, May 2, and then Advanced Editing: Stylistic Cuts and Transitions on Tuesday, May 30. Both workshops begin at 6:30pm and you can sign up here, or just show up the day of!

Posted
AuthorJen Jacobs