Thread May 6, 2017 editorial: comments
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Testing: Four, Seven, Pi
It’s May, the weather’s getting nice again here on the East Coast, and I should be “happy and peppy and bursting with love,” as the song goes. But alas, I have a rant on my mind, although I freely admit that in the grand scheme of things it isn’t particularly important. It’s more like a pet peeve.
The subject of said rant is the seemingly innocuous phrase, “Testing: one, two,” (and its variant, “Checking: one, two.”) We’ve all heard it a million times. I actually tried to find its origin, which I thought would have been fun for context, but came up dry on Google. If anyone does know, please comment.
Okay, so what’s the problem with “Testing, one two”? I’m sick of it, that’s what! Do we have to always say the same thing, over and over and over during soundchecks? “Testing: one, two. One, one one, two, two two. One, two. One, one, two.” AHH! How about a little variety?
Maybe use some different numbers? “Testing: four, nine”? Maybe skip the numbers altogether and tell a joke: “Take my monitor mix, please!” Or maybe a Shakespeare-like mic check, just to change things up: “Doth this mic worketh or doth it not, that is the question.”
Here’s an idea, how about learning to say “Testing: one, two” in another language? French: “Teste, une, deux.” Spanish: “Probando uno, dos.” Even Swahili: “Kupima moja, mbili.” Anything but “Testing: one two, one two, testing one two…” C’mon folks, we can do better.
OK, rant over, it’s safe to return to your computer. Let me segue (but definitely not Segway) to a piece of news that, believe it or not, I’m actually happy about. It was recently announced that Propellerhead Reason 9.5 will add support of VST plug-ins. That’s a pretty big deal, because while Reason is a very cool DAW with lots of awesome MIDI instruments, a killer large-format-style mixer and unparalleled time compression and expansion, it’s always been a world unto itself. Yes, you can run it as a ReWire slave to your main DAW, but that complicates things quite a bit.
For many years, Reason didn’t support any third-party processors or instruments. It was a totally closed system. In fact, Propellerhead rightfully touted that factor as one of the keys to its stability. Then Propellerhead developed the Rack Extensions format, which allowed outside developers to create what are essentially plug-ins for Reason, but they still had to be specifically designed for Reason. That’s a big difference from a format like VST, which offers compatibility with multiple hosts.
The question is, by adding support for the wide world of VST plug-ins, will Reason become as buggy as your average host? We will find out soon, as the Reason 9.5 release is due in late May. Stay tuned.
I welcome your comments on this, as well as about my rant.
I’ll be back with my next column on Saturday, June 3rd.
Hope all goes swimmingly for you. We enjoyed your editorial and agree as to the banality of "one, two" for mic tests. My dad Kenn goes up to the mic at sound checks and says "Hello, mike! How are you?!"
Or before a radio interview (i.e., not on air!) he has been known to recite the limerick used by David Niven as a screen test. If you'll indulge the colourful lingo!
Well, I hope that introduces a little variety...
All the best and rock on!
Astra: Lead Guitarist, Singer-Songwriter.
Actually, I usually sing the Oreos song "Little girls have pretty curls... "
As for DAW compatibility with VSTs ... there's a "Reason" why I chose Studio One years ago. (Pun Intended) Pro Tools was the standard but they want you to sign a contract and offer up your first born child while continuing to fall behind other DAWs in every category.
Maybe Reason decided to target "smart" customers instead settling for victims who failed to do their research. My old flip phone was much more "stable" than my new smart phone but I never see anyone that uses those anymore. Maybe Samsung and Apple should have just stayed with that technology for the stability.
Maybe Reason could include a feature when you plug your mic in that automatically says "testing one, two" and leaves off the "three".
I may be wrong, but that was what I was taught almost 60 years ago.
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