Friday, 22 April 2011

Audio: 10 Songs I'm Listening To

Audio here,

                    So someone recently requested that I do a post about my top ten bands, and i figured i would take this to heart. Problem is, when i started thinking about this, i realized this was a hard question. I go through phases like anyone, and my top ten bands this week will probably be different from next week, or last week. But I still did really want to share what i was listening to with you guys, so I decided to put my iPod on shuffle, and talk about the first 10 songs to pop up. I've made an effort to take whatever song is given to me, no matter how much i may want to change it.

#1: Deep Purple - Lazy

Haha, to be honest i was a little surprised this was the first one. I do love this song, with a solid 3 minute organ solo at the beginning, this track totally conveys everything I love about Deep Purple. Most people know them for "Smoke On The Water", but if you start to delve into their other stuff, you can quickly see that this band is talented, weird, and fun. This song reminds me of a vacation I took two years ago with my good buddy (the guitar player from my punk band), and we spent the time sleeping in hammocks, hitting on the local girls, and playing Deep Purple way too loudly in our cabin. Good times.
#2: The Prodigy - Thunder
Honestly, I'm very pleased my iPod decided to be nice to me. I love this track. I mean, L-O-V-E. I want to marry it. This was probably one of the first real electronic tracks I listened to that i 'got'. Everything from the ominous vocal intro, to the lovely synthesized drum kit and chorus of "Thunder! Thunder!", this track blew my mind the first time i stumbled across it, in the 9th grade. If you haven't heard it, please do so now. Listen to "Thunder" here.

#3: Jimi Hendrix - Mr. Bad Luck
For those of you who know their Hendrix, you'll know that this track is off his relatively recent album "Valleys Of Neptune", that is comprised of unreleased tracks that were caught up in legal dispute between Hendrix's estate and his record company. Regardless, this album is a surprising medley of original and cover tracks that are sure to impress any fan of Hendrix. This particular track is one of my favourites off the album, mostly for the silly lyrics.  :p
#4: Gorillaz - We Are Happy Landfill
The Gorrilaz and I have a bit of a love-hate relationship. It's true that I own every one of their songs, but at times, i just can't stand the music. Creepy, atmospheric, eccentric, brooding, electronic, esoteric, experimental, odd, perplexing, catchy, joyous, and moving. At times i would use all of these words to describe a single song of the Gorrilaz, because even though I may not always be in the mood, their songs have a lot to tell if you just give them some patience, and open your mind.

#5: The Locust - Your Mantel Disguised As A      Psychic Sasquatch   
Ok, this is where i may loose a lot of you. If you haven't heard of The Locust, i suggest you do check them out, if only in scientific curiosity. I'm not sure how to explain this band, but if I had to try i would say that their a seemingly-random cacaphone of electric barbed wired served in a politically ironic soup of screams and growls during a fever dream. I really love their stuff. I couldn't find this track uploaded anywhere, so I had to do it myself. Just, listen to the track and leave me alone, ok?
#6: Datsik - Retreat
Yeah, I know, it's shocking, the Drum and Bass guy also listens to Dubstep. Gimme a break ok? He's from Canada, and this track is awesome. Personally i love politically-charging music, and I didn't think you could to this to Dubstep, but Datsik did it. It's really a killer track, and i suggest you all give it a listen sometime. A nice little trivia, the opening sound clip to "Retreat" is also used in "Teenage Bomb Threat", by my punk band 'Raptor Strike!', and we do have a forthcoming 7" record being mixed as we speak, if you're interested.
#7: Duke Ellington - Stepping Into Swing Society
For those of you who really know me, you'll know that I also love Jazz. Duke Ellington is the grandfather of most be-bop, swing, and Jazz that came after him. You don't have to be a big jazz fan to really appreciate his music, as at one time this was the mainstream, top 40 music. You just have to have a bit of an open mind about music outside of electronic beeps and whistles. Coincidentally, I play trombone in a Jazz band that is currently recording an album as well, and that could be expected some time around June.

#8: The Casualties - Riot
As I've already eluded to in this article, I have a soft spot (or a hard, badass spot) for punk, and especially hardcore punk. The Casualties are looked at by mixed views in the punk community, because their sound and style is completely representative of the direction of modern hardcore punk, but they did sort of sell out. Their songs got less thrashy, their lyrics had less political messages, and they started actually making money. Personally, I think some of their old stuff often gets overshadowed by the drama of the whole "sellout" question, and is actually really worth a listen to.

#9: The Pixies - All Over The World
Well, the funny story about me and The Pixies is that not only was I introduced to them by our very own Visua, but it took me about three tries to like them. It sounds weird, but I honestly tried to listen to them two times, trying so hard to like them, and couldn't do it. But finally, I took the plunge and borrowed two of their CD's from Visua and listened to them over, and over, and over. The Pixies aren't for everyone, hell, i wouldn't even say their for most. But if you want to try good rhythmic, catchy, melodic, interesting, and intelligent pre-indie rock with a touch of early Punk and Alt rock, then I would recommend The Pixies for you.

#10: Cecil Taylor - Conquistador (Part 2)
Oh, iPod, you have been good to me today. If you had to ask me who my most influential person to me is, right now i would answer Cecil Taylor. His music if for very few. You won't like it. I can tell you that right now. But if your feeling like some drastically different free-jazz, then follow the link... If you dare. Go ahead, try to like it.  

Well there you have it folks, I let you all into my personal iPod for just ten songs. Did you like it? Did you hate it? Did you have questions? Did you discover a new love? Could you actually see why i love Cecil Taylor? Or stomach The Locust? I want to know guys, so drop me a comment, or send us an email,



Tuesday, 19 April 2011

AudioVisua: 1000 hits! 50 Followers!

Hey everyone!

Thank you all for reading up on all our posts and of course thanks for the comments. We are now currently over 1000 hits and 50 followers with our 8 day-old blog, AudioVisua Productions. We promise to keep posting about the things you want to read, and remember we are happy to answer any questions!
We hope to soon come out with a logo which Audio is designing (he is a very talented graphic artist) and also Visua is getting a lot of work done on his own film projects.

[Audio sez: sorry you haven't heard much from me lately, I'm in the process of rigging up my new DJ set-up, and studio software, but I'm sporadically working on a new Drum and Bass tune, so I'll be letting you guys know about this soon. Thanks again.]

email us at!

-Audio & Visua, AudioVisua Productions

Monday, 18 April 2011

Visua: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 News!

Hey readers,

Sorry I haven't posted for a bit, I've been caught up in my own video projects (which I'll reveal at a later date), but for now let me keep you up to date on Warner Bros. next big release, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. New pictures were released today which I will share with you, and I will also like to discuss what we're presented with in a new featurette!

Take a look at these!

Our three heroes, Harry, Ron and Hermione back together for this epic finale

Neville Longbottom wielding the sword of Godric Griffondor

Harry Potter wielding the sword of Godric Griffondor

Lord Voldemort and his band of Death Eaters

Harry in the higher sections of Hogwarts

Theatrical Poster

These pictures just look too perfect! The one with Neville holding the sword of Godric Griffondor is exactly as I pictured it while reading the book. I believe that this last installment in the Harry Potter Saga will really deliver something to the fans that they will never forget.

Watch this highly impressive featurette! I honestly cannot wait until July 15th!

Tell me what you guys think of how this last chapter might foil out!

-Visua, AudioVisua Productions

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Audio: 12" Record Review - Breed 003, Utopia + Kubrack

Audio here,
                    So i decided i might keep to my word after all, and do a little album review for you guys. This is a Vinyl 12' record released from Breed 12"'s, through Lifted music. This record features Utopia with Force Of Mind on the A side, and Kubrak's Fast Forward on the flip. An interesting point to note before i start the review, is that Utopia is a Russian based collective, featuring many artists, including Kubrak.

Side A
Side A features Force Of Mind, by Utopia, and sums up the entire Russian Drum and Bass scene quite nicely. Gritty and catchy. This track starts with the usual swell of atmospheric noises, but quickly settles into a jumpy, synth melody that sets the tone for the side. With it's ominous tones, the track then descends into gritty wobble-style bass with locomotive percussion. Each two bars are accentuated with an orgasmic grunt that will make all listeners moan along. Utopia has mixed this track to perfection, with flow that makes you listen to the entire 6 minutes and fourty-two seconds in a trance, bobbing your head and grunting, and as abruptly as it came in, the beat stops, leaving you feeling silly and embarrassed in your chair. This is some of the best Drum and Bass east of the UK.

Side B
Side B features Fast Forward, by Kubrak, who is recently becoming one of the brightest jems to come from Russia. This track starts of similarly to Force Of Mind, with atmospheric tension eventually bubbling into a huge drop. And if you like a big drop, Fast Forward is one of the nicest I've heard this year. With a drum fill, Kubrak drops some of the dirtiest synths that could only come from mother Russia. With accents reminiscent of 16-bit sounds, this track is perfect for a video game soundtrack. This track sets up the stage, and stays in the pocket, overwhelming the listener with strange and amazing synth chords. A perfect flip to this record, it is obvious what influence Kubrak has over the direction of Utopia, with the similarities of atmosphere between these two tracks. This is the sort of track that would make people loose their minds at a crowded Moscow nightclub.

Overall, this record is a perfect example of some of the best Drum and Bass Russia has to offer. Kubrak offers dirty synths that fans of Dubstep will love, and Utopia offers a catchy melody that will get you humming in the shower again.

Side A: 9/10 - Exceptional

Side B: 9.5/10 - Track of the Year Contender

Overall Grade:           93% - Must Have   

Visua: A behind the Scenes Look at the Filming of The Hobbit!

Hey guys!

I don't mean to specialize only on matters to do with the upcoming motion picture "The Hobbit", but this is something I just had to share!

Director Peter Jackson gives us a tour of the sets, technology and experience during the beginning of this new 3-year journey of filming the Hobbit (parts I and II). I was really excited to be brought back into the Lord of the Rings style surroundings and by seeing them with a whole new perspective!

After watching this I'm 10x more excited! Plus it's kind of nice to see how cool of a guy Peter Jackson is.

What are your thoughts on this!

-Visua, AudioVisua Productions

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Visua: Discussion - Is 3D a good thing or a bad thing?

Hey guys it's Visua here,

If any of you are like me you would love seeing movies in theater when a good looking new flick makes it way to the big screen. As the film industry grows with each year, we as viewers begin to notice a trend catching on with every new blockbuster that comes out; they all in 3D.

Being viewers, we all know there are pros and cons to watching films in 3D.

A different experience. Every now and then we love to have something feel like it is chucked right as us from the screen.
New possibilities. Sometimes filmmakers can do some really creative things with 3D, adding a whole new dynamic to certain sequences.
It's an idea that filmmakers have been wanting for decades. Although the 3D we have isn't perfect, it's a stepping stone to a potential way of seeing movies so it might be easier to get into the director's head (debatable).

Nobody likes to wear special glasses. I mean we don't pay good money to go put those silly glasses on. I don't know if you have ever walked into a theater near the beginning of a 3D movie and you see the whole audience as you scout out a seat, everybody looks like a dumb-ass with their "special glasses" gazing at the screen. Try putting those special glasses over real glasses. Not fun.
It makes people sick. I've heard stories of motion sickness, but another big thing is headaches. Some people have actually had migraines.
It's distracting. Sometimes I miss just the plain old 2D so I can grasp the emotional factor of the film more. 3D doesn't have a direct way of contributing positively to the understanding of the storytelling.

3D viewing is becoming more and more common for some reason but how could it if receives such mixed feelings from the masses? Right now I want to get at why more and more films are implementing it.
One easy reason is money which i'm sure anyone could have guessed. It's a fad! An that isn't a debatable point because now TV and video games are starting to get in on it. Even youtube! For some reason there is actually money being made off this stuff where I personally don't understand because 3D is so insignificant to me. But that's business; money money money.
Now the second reason, which I actually support, is a technical reason that filmmakers took seriously. The amount of movies being torrented and watched online is growing fast, so the movie industry has to backlash because this is ruining them. Having movies filmed by 3D cameras, or made 3D in post-production prevents douchebags with cameras from filming the big screen. Cam-version are always the first movie torrents to be up for download soon after a movie's release, but if its footage by someone who filmed a 3D movie, things might not look so good. A pretty smart move on Hollywood's behalf, making things more visually complex so consumer cameras will not take advantage of them. Bravo.

As a film connoisseur, 3D isn't a big deal to me, storytelling is where it's all at. I'd prefer if it didn't exist but if it's done right then I'd be up for it. I want you guys to ask yourself if you like 3D or not. If you do then great! You'll probably see much more of it in the future! If you don't....STOP TORRENTING! 

Tell me your thoughts on this subject.

-Visua, AudioVisua Productions

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Audio: How To Go From Basement Tinkerer To Serious Producer In 5 Steps

Audio here,
                   So I'm writing this entry because i recently went through this same transition. I had been having a lot of fun producing songs with free programs, and they were turning out decent, but at some point, you start to wonder if you can make your own stuff sound like what you hear from your favourite DJs and producers. For the purposes of this guide, I am assuming you have already spent a year or so making your own tracks, but you want to upgrade to a more professional set-up. I can show you how to do just this in 5 easy steps.

Step 1: Upgrade Your Software
I realize this may seem obvious, but it is true, no professional DJ or producer uses Garageband to make their original tracks. When i was trying to take this jump for myself, I had a really tough time understanding which program to get. The reason for this is that there are A LOT of audio engineering programs out there, and honestly, it's confusing. Maybe another time I'll give you guys a run-down of different programs, but this guide I'm going to tell you about Logic 9. Logic 9 is the latest version of the popular Apple software, and this program is the real deal. I've heard pros in the Dubstep, Trance, and Drum and Bass world all say that they have used some form of Logic Studio at some point in their career. If you're at all familiar with Garageband, this program will come as a breeze for you. If you're not, don't worry, as Apple supplies many tutorials, and youtube is full of similar resources. But assuming you've seen your way through a few tracks, Logic 9 should be a good step forward. Seeing how this is professional software, it does not come cheap. The price for the full version of Logic 9 now runs for $500. If you can't afford this, I've heard there might be ways to possibly download this program from certain... Less than honourable websites. (Nudge nudge wink wink)
Step 2: Get Some Studio Monitors
If your gonna be a profession producer now, your gonna need to hear your music in a wide variety of ways. This will include through your laptop speakers, through your headphones, through your DJ rig, and most importantly, through a pair of professional studio monitors. These are simply really nice speakers that you are going to put up in your studio so you can hear every detail of the sounds you're making. Like software, good audio equipment isn't cheap. But believe me, this isn't a step you want to skimp out on. These monitors are an investment, and you will appreciate them for much more than just their professional applications. Of course, when buying any sort of amplification, there are going to be powered and passive models. I'm going to assume you know the difference, and if not, you may want to refer to my article on DJ gear. For this guide, I'm going to show you a pair of powered monitors that will cost about $200 each. This is actually a fairly reasonable price, that will give you studio-quality listening.
Step 3: Look Into a MIDI Keyboard
This step isn't absolutely necessary, although it will help greatly when making your tracks. A MIDI keyboard is basically a small piano keyboard that plugs into your computer, that you can play on while making your songs. This means you can record directly from it, and program it with any sound under the sun, including synths and textures you have made for yourself. Not everyone feels they need this, as all these functions can be duplicated on your computer itself, but if you want a solid professional setup, this is a great option. MIDI keyboards run in a large range of prices, but for this guide, you can pick up an introductory model for only $100. If you find you would like, and need, a more upscale model, these can run anywhere into a few thousand dollars.

Step 4: Buy An Analog Synth Or Two
In truth, these work very similarly to a MIDI keyboard and some audio software. Really, an analog synth is just a program dedicated to making certain sounds. This is almost like you took the 'virtual instruments' section out of Garageband and made it amazing. You can shop around for these, but one that was recommended to me by various sources, including the producer behind the E-Z Rollers, is the Native Instruments - Massive synth. This program isn't cheap, but many world-class producers have used this in engineering some of their best audio. you can pick this little program up for $200.
Step 5: Make Production A Priority
This one may not cost any money, but it's one of the hardest steps for many people. If you want a serious shot at becoming a professional producer, you're going to have to drop your other hobbies, stop caring so much about your girlfriend/boyfriend, and spend every free moment you have either in your studio making beats and synths, or listening to your heroes, and analyzing every single technique they use. No one said it would be easy, but this is what it takes to make the jump from average joe to legit producer.

So there you have it, a nice little laundry list of the things you should be doing to turn into a respected producer. Of course, everyone comes about this process different ways, and this guide is just here to point you in the right direction. No one said this would be cheap, but if you have $1200 to drop on your passion, this might just be a guide you can use. As always, if you have any more questions about this process, or anything else audio-related, you can drop a comment on this post, or email me at,with the subject line "Audio: your topic here", and I'll make an effort to get back to you soon. Writing this entry has inspired me, and hopefully once my studio is up and running again, I'll have a new track coming for you guys soon.


Visua: News Update on the Hobbit!

Hey readers, big news!

All you Tolkein and Jackson fans who have been awaiting the next big addition to the Lord of the Rings series....well, the prequel, The Hobbit (Part 1) (2012) that began filming recently is making film history! Director Peter Jackson has announced that he is shooting The Hobbit at 48 frames per second instead of regular 24fps used for 9 decades in the art of film!

Film purists will not take to this happily, but Jackson states that audiences will "get used to it quickly" and that it may bring forth a "much more lifelike and comfortable viewing experience". By his technical knowledge this will also make films "easier to watch, especially in 3D".

Later he addresses the difference between 24fps and 48fps as "significant", similarly to the difference between vinyl and digital CD's. Warner Bros. is positively supporting Jackson's position in this potential technological evolution of film.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

-Visua, AudiVisua Productions

Visua: My Top 10 Movies

Hey there,

If there is one thing I love it's watching movies. In light of this I'm going to post a quick top 10 that is quite simply the greatest list of movies in human history, and if you disagree, I will fight you. Perhaps in the future I will make a more detailed list explaining why I love these movies so much, but for now I just have to share my favorites with the world as quickly as possible! **NOTE: I suggest you make an effort to watch every single on of these if you haven't already!!!



10. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) - Directed by Peter Jackson

 I love this whole Lord of the Rings Trilogy but this one is my favorite to watch over and over again.

9. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) - Directed by Irvin Kershner

I personally think this specific Star Wars movie is work of art. I still love the rest of the Original Trilogy though!

8. In Bruges (2008) - Directed by Martin McDonagh

Not only does this just make me utterly love the town of Bruges, Belgium, it's a character-driven dark comedy that takes its time for the viewer to love.

7. Gladiator (2000) - Directed by Ridley Scott

Perhaps one of the greatest epics ever filmed with fantastic acting by Russell Crowe. This film reminds us guys what it's like to be a real man.

6. Let The Right One In (2009) - Directed by Tomas Alfredson

The beautiful, dark Swedish vampire drama that honestly has the best message of friendship. Wonderfully filmed, great storytelling, this movie reminds us how much better world cinema can be than Hollywood.


5. A Single Man (2009) - Directed by Tom Ford

This has to be the most beautiful film ever shot thanks to the eye of Tom Ford. I have never been so visually stimulated and drawn into a drama like was with A Single Man. Colin Firth's performance was probably my favorite of all time, maybe second.

4. Kingdom of Heaven [Director's Cut] (2005) - Directed by Ridley Scott

Another epic similar to Gladiator but instead of focusing on just a man, it focuses on the importance of the people. Action, story, acting, music, scenery are all key parts to this film. The Director's Cut has it all, it is twice as better than the original

3. The Fountain (2006) - Directed by Darren Aronofsky

My third favorite movie of all time because it makes me cry every time and puts life and death into a whole new perspective. Unbelievably artistic, beautifully shot and scored, The Fountain to me is the drama of the decade.

2. V for Vendetta (2006) - Directed by James McTeigue

This movie is bulletproof as by just merely watching this the idea of revolution will live on through the viewer It's so dark, so fresh, so different that by the end I wish was wearing a Guy Fawkes mask.

1. Fight Club (1999) - Directed by David Fincher

The first rule about Fight Club is you don't talk about Fight Club.

There you have it folks! Those are my top 10 favourite movies ever! In the history of man! Now it should be said that my feelings about movies change every now and then but this list has generally been static, though there is always room for new ones. It was very tough to do because movies like American History X, American Beauty, Spirited Away, Toy Story 3 were SO close! I might have to make a top 20 some time! Also I may repost this with more personal love written in words to accompany each and every one of these fantastic films. I strongly suggest you watch them all in your lifetime!


-Visua, AudioVisua Productions

I am Jack's good taste in movies.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Visua: Movie Review - Sucker Punch

Sucker Punch Review
Director Zack Snyder's stylistic composition of an action-fantasy epic

As you might know this is our first Movie Review, and it's on the movie "Sucker Punch", directed by Zack Snyder and was released in theaters March 25th

 Sucker Punch revolves around the character Baby Doll (Emily Browning) who has slipped into depression after the death of her mother, and is admitted against her will into an asylum for troubled young women. Blue (Oscar Isaac) is the big man on campus at what Baby Doll soon learns is a vicious penitentiary to be put lightly, but Madame Gorski (Carla Gugino) helps Baby Doll and the other girls cope by means of dance and creativity. Retreating into her imagination, Baby Doll devises a plan to escape and she intends to bring her fellow inmates Sweat Pea (Abbie Cornish), Rocket (Jena Malone), Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens) and Amber (Jamie Chung) for the ride. Assigned with 5 tasks, together the girls must complete them to escape and avoid having their leader Baby Doll brought before her biggest fear; the High Roller.

An interesting dynamic is added to the film as there are three worlds brought into play that the movie weaves back and forth between. The first world we are introduced to is the harsh reality of what these girls have to live with in the Asylum. We see that this world is much more gray and grim than the life we know and live in is. The second is like a sub-realm in Baby Doll's mind where there are bits of colour, and instead of an Asylum the girls work in a bordello where things are a bit more exciting. The third realm is where things get trippy as we are taken further into Baby Doll's imagination by her expression through dance. This world is where the fun begins and the visual extravaganza composed by visionary director Zack Snyder. Samurai, steam-punk Nazi troops, WWII bi-plane battles, sexy girl squads, dragons and robots all inhabit this eye-candied universe.

What Sucker Punch brings to the table that is deserving of praise is the amount of creativity, ambition and risks that were taken to create such a unique film. This was Snyder's first crack, or sucker punch if you prefer, at writing his own original script without reinventing one of Frank Miller's graphic novels. What is interesting about this and his former movies is that they carry the genre of action around, but unlike most action movies --that are scared of words like: tripods, stabilized cameras, static shots-- Snyder finds a way to make something where almost every shot in an action sequence is an artistic composition or a matte painting. He has perfected a whole new style of action movie during his illustrious career and has finally hit one out of the park with Sucker Punch.

Plot - In terms of plot, it should be said that Sucker Punch does have one, it was just not something as riveting as the visuals in it. If you go in expecting Inception, you will be severely disappointed. If you go in expecting just an action flick, you will probably impressed with an above average plot. the weakest point in the development of the story was how there was 5 tasks to be completed. The problem with situations like this where the audience is aware of plot points to come as they are numbered (the 5 tasks), similarly done in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (7 ex-boyfriends), is that it destroys the element of flow. A direct flight is so much better than making frequent stops at checkpoints. Another annoyance was the blurry transitions between realities, making it sometimes hard to understand what is really happening, or making you question the significance of a certain reality.
Although it does have its low points, the plot actually has more depth to it than you might think thanks to the parallels drawn between different realities and an unexpected ending.

Appearance - The visuals in Sucker Punch will stay etched in your mind for a while as it was possible the most exciting images ever put on the big screen along with Avatar and the jazzed up TRON: Legacy. There isn't much more to be said than positive things about these extraordinary visuals. The stylistic freedom and mood that was brought out by Sucker Punch's look is something that will be hard to top, whoever does will have done something in-human.

Performances - The performances in Sucker Punch weren't that great but they weren't terrible either. Carla Gugino as the polish Madame Gorski was probably the best acting done out of the whole cast. Emily Browning as Baby Doll is a close second, masking her Australian accent decently and managing to take control of her innocent, quiet and cute character, although she isn't the most lively. Jena Malone and Abbie Cornish are probably next in line as they did splendid jobs of all their duties on screen while managing to garner sympathy for their characters. Oscar Isaac as Blue did what he probably set out to do to be a hated villain, and for that he is commended. Jamie Chung was sexy, and that's about it. The weakest performance was by Vanessa Hudgens as.....well....she should stick to High School Musical.

Soundtrack - Sucker Punch has the best soundtrack of 2011 so far. Their remixes of Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This),  White Rabbit and Search and Destroy were inventive and some of the tastiest songs to go with eye-catching movie. Emily Browning also lends her beautiful voice in a couple of the songs which made her such a lovable person to look upon on screen. Honesty, the soundtrack of this movie fit perfectly with the moods brought about, and is worth buying.

Plot: 6.0
Look: 9.0
Performances: 6.0
Soundtrack: 8.0

Overall: 7.0

Sucker Punch is action-packed, visual epic with a mediocre plot, average performances and a great soundtrack. You are going to want to see this one for yourself at least once in theaters, just make sure to go in without any great expectations!

***Visua's Favorite Moments:
"The opening sequence is one of the best I've seen ever, next to that of Watchmen and Saving Private Ryan. Look for this and drink it in when you watch it"

-Visua, AudioVisua Productions

Audio: What Do I Need To Start DJ-ing?

Audio here,
                    So i have heard this question from a lot of people, (i remember asking it myself at one point) as a lot of kids want to start mixing their own tunes, or just get into the hobby. For the purpose of this particular article, I will just talk about the pieces of hardware you need. Maybe in a later entry I could talk about technique, or how to promote yourself etc.

You Only Need 5 Things To Start:

1: A Mixer
                   Ok, so this is the first one, and also a big one. You Need at least a two channel mixer with a crossfader. This just means the mixer can handle two inputs. This could be a turntable, cd deck, mp3 player, laptop, you name it. The crossfader is simply for panning between your two channels at will. This is how DJs get a continuous mix going throughout the night, by constantly having one track ready to go. These mixers come in a wide range of prices, that can easily run you thousands, for a pro model. But here's a link to a decent beginner mixer, with two channels and a crossfader for only $80. These are easy to upgrade, as all you need to do is unplug your old one and strap on your new one.

2: Turntables Or CD Decks
                                              Ok, so here's where things get a little more complicated, and a little more pricey. You need your decks so you can play your music. In theory you could just have your iPod and a CD player hooked up to your mixer, but that doesn't allow you have the same quality or functionality of decks. The purpose of decks is that you can find specific passages of songs quickly, through analog means. (Literally picking up the needle and dropping it on that sick break you wanted to add) When looking for a good turntable, the number one thing you want is for it to be direct drive. This is opposed to the cheaper alternative of belt drive. Belt drive means that there is a little gear inside the turntable attached to a belt that spins the plate which spins your record. There's a lot of moving parts in this design, which generally leads to more breaking, and a more uneven sound. A direct drive has the plate directly attached to the motor, which is more reliable and has a more even sound. I understand how many newbies might not care, so i scoped a cheap introductory turntable for about $150.
Alternatively, you can purchase CD decks, which works similarly to a turntable, and in fact, are actually modeled to look and feel like a turntable. These come pretty cheap, but like anything, the fancy ones can run you a lot of cash. Here's a reasonable one for about $65.

3: Speakers
                    Just like playing an instrument, you can do it without an amp, but no one will hear you. DJing is no different. I don't think i really need to explain to anyone how speakers work, but you're gonna plug them into your rig and make it sound real nice. Speakers come in a huge range of prices, especially when you factor in possibly buying additional components, like a subwoofer or tweeter. The one thing you have to look out for is Powered vs Passive speakers. A powered speaker has it's own "brain" inside it, it's good to go out of the box. But if you buy a passive speaker, it's just a speaker with nothing else. You will need a powered mixer or powered pre-amp to make something like this run. But still, you can pick up an introductory set for about  $70 a pop.

4: Headphones
                          This one may seem obvious, but you need a really good pair of studio-quality headphones. No more earbuds for you. You need noise-isolating headphones so you can cue up your different tracks without getting distracted by the crowd, our your other tracks. These are pretty easy to come across these days, as the style is now to walk around with big chunky headphones. Regardless, you can get some solid studio-quality headphones for about $60. This is a pretty decent brand, also makes good microphones.

 The only other thing you may need, depending on your set-up, is a 3.5mm to 1/4" adapter. This takes a regular headphone output and converts it into a 1/4" output, one you will see often on more sophisticated DJ gear. The price is no problem, you can pick one up for only $2.

5: Music
               You need music. Plenty of music. ALL KINDS of music. This means CD's vinyl records, mp3s, mp4s, tape cassettes, you name it. You're gonna be a DJ now, and this means understanding music past the surface level. Learn how different an mp3 sounds to a vinyl record of the exact same song. Learn why we don't use tape cassettes anymore. Once you have a large library, then you can hope to satisfy the demands of clubs, parties, and weddings.

Well, that should be about everything. This is only the gear you need, the skills will come after many nights spent in your basement scratching the decks and watching youtube videos. I hope this helps some people out, and puts DJing in the realm of possibility for some people, especially seeing it may only cost you as little as $427. This is if you buy your gear piece by piece, I do know of all-in-one DJ packages you can buy for as little as $265. But I promise, you will love a set you made yourself much more, and it will be of better quality that these "DJs in a box". Plus, most of these do not come with speakers of any kind.

Well, that about does it for me, be sure to message, comment, or e-mail us if you have any questions or comments. I hope you enjoyed reading this feature as much as I enjoyed writing it.


Sunday, 10 April 2011

Visua: Tips For Starters - What Camera Should I Buy?

(for any questions email us at! If you wish to speak with a Video expert title your subject with Visua:_______, if its for Audio you want then title it with Audio:_____)

Hey Visua here,

Many young filmmakers out there who don't have that big of a budget always struggle with what camera they should buy to produce their next work of art as they aspire to their passion of film-making. You want a new camera but you don't know which one to get!

First ask yourself two questions, "How much am I willing to spend?" and "What type of camera do I want?"

The amount you are willing to spend is a very important thing to know before you go out an shop. Let's start with the lowest prices. You can always go with the $200-$300 digital camcorders who MIGHT have HD, but if you have more money to spend, might as well get the best you can. The next step up are the HD digital camcorders around $400-$900 bucks. The Canon Vixia (Legria in Europe) series has been promising to me, with moderate quality HD and easy-to-use interface. Shooting in 24 and 30 fps has always been fun.
The best camcorder to get that gives you the best quality for the best price is the Canon HV40. Now this is an HDV camcorder so you will be using mini-DV tapes (or firewire to connect to your computer), BUT this gives you incredibly good quality for a price of about $400-$600 bucks!

Next up is the dslr cameras that will take you at a higher price but a much better quality of HD digital video. The Canon T2i rebel is an affordable dslr camera with surprisingly good video which will bee around $600-$800 bucks for the body. The Canon 60D and 7D are the leading slr's that people buy for unbelievably crisp HD video, there have been multiple short films that made it to Sundance filmed on the 60D and 7D's. Now which one, the 60D or the 7D? Now there is a $600 price difference (60D body = $1000, 7D body = $1600), because the 7D has much better photograph features and is more durable, but the video is virtually exactly the same, so it all depends on what you want it for.

***NOTE: A lot of money will be spent on SLR's because it really the lenses that give you picture you want and they can get expensive, so budget properly!

So the main types of cameras that young filmmakers should look at are digital camcorders, HDV camcorders, and Dslr's. Find which price range is best for you and browse the models and see what features you want. The cameras I listed above will do the trick for you if you use them properly!

I have one big piece of advice that someone very skilled once told me: It's not about the camera you have, its about your storytelling. So aim for the right camera for you but don't hinge your talent on the visual quality of your videos, otherwise you'll lose touch why you are making them in the first place. Focus on story telling!

Happy Filming!
-Visua, AudioVisua Productions

Here are some videos filmed with the Canon Vixia HFS 10 (HD digital camcorder)!

Courtesy of DarthXboxian.