Replacing video audio using ffmpeg

Up until recently I used Quicktime to switch audio tracks for the odd music and showreel video, but since it will no longer be updated for Windows, and can possibly lead to your PC getting the clap, I figured I’d better find an alternative option. Enter ffmpeg. It’s a very powerful, free command line tool that I’d previously only worked with in tandem with some sort of GUI or partner app, and had never really tried to work with it on its own due to its bewildering plethora of options. But after a little trial and error I’ve settled on the following commands to replace audio streams in video files, (re)encoding where necessary, and avoiding video transcoding if possible in order to retain video image quality.

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Touched 3 Coming Soon

The third instalment of the popular ‘Touched’ series of mammoth charity compilations will be released later this month, on the 29th July 2016. It’ll no doubt be another huge collection of tracks spanning various genres (but, like the previous two, it will probably centre heavily on the more electronic side of things). Once again, I’m pleased to be involved, and have contributed the track ‘Anaphora’. Here’s a little preview vid:

Isolette Remix Stems Available

After recently receiving an excellent remix of Paper Unicorn by Marc Melia, I thought I’d make stems for the rest of the EP publicly available.

Some of the parts I use are typically bathed in convolution or delay effects, in which case I’ve also included some dry versions for added flexibility. Most have an intro bar of silence, except Glassmaker, which starts instead with a single beat of silence (as I’d prepared that a while ago on a separate occasion). Should all be 24-bit wavs. Let me know if I’ve messed anything up.

01 Paper Unicorn (98bpm)
02 Ark of Comfort (115bpm)
03 Hivernal (122.6bpm)
04 Infinite Bookends (81bpm)
05 Glassmaker (127bpm)

Have at it!

I’d put stems from earlier tracks online, but thanks to the general impermanence and incompatibilities of music software, plus my relaxed attitude to track freezing, many tracks fail to load or play correctly. Lesson learned: freeze and archive! Should be easier from this point onwards, now I’m over the 64-bit hump.

Melograf Site Redesign

I’ve just redesigned the site for my mastering service, Melograf Mastering, to make it much more accessible on mobile devices. It’s a lightweight html5 site, replacing the previous WordPress and Flash-based incarnation that had nonetheless served me well for the past six years (crazy to think it’s six years old already!). I’ve retained the dark, cyan-heavy style though—if it works, why change it?

Hopefully everything renders just fine, with nippy page loads and responsive resizing for different browsing devices, but if you notice anything afoot, embarrassing typos and the like, please give me a shout. It feels odd to do without WordPress, but it admittedly made less sense on a blog-less site, and was used primarily for the feedback comments and the contact form. Now that it’s been established for a while and I have more credits under my belt, the loss of a feedback page is hopefully minimal. It’s been almost fun refreshing my basic web dev knowledge, reading up on html5, css3, media queries and the like. For a dilettante like me, these more recent developments certainly seem to have made designing a simple site much more straightforward and browser-compatible. Lo, progress!

Anaphora

Here’s a new track I’ve been working on while trying to get to grips with Ableton Live as a production tool, rather than performance tool. Being so used to Cubase, it’s been quite a workflow departure for me (though largely a positive one, I’m happy to say). What Live lacks in comprehensive MIDI and automation editing, it gains in immediacy and ease of audio editing (which has always been a weakness for Cubase, betraying its roots as a MIDI sequencer). Plus some Max for Live tweaks help patch the holes in core functionality, and also help make setting up some MIDI control panels for my hardware synths a breeze (especially handy, as much of my hardware requires loads of menu diving, and is pretty laborious to program).

I’ve just spent the day fiddling with my site’s layout, reducing the site width, along with its copious amount of white space, which involved a fair amount of theme tweakery. It’s highly likely that I’ll have broken something somewhere, so if anything looks odd please let me know!

New Print Bundles on Bandcamp

I’ve just added some gorgeous new heavyweight print bundles to Bandcamp for Isolette, National Ignition and Early Learning — a complete set of nkurence-designed album art.

Each print is just under twelve inches square in size (fitting nicely in a vinyl sleeve), has been digitally printed on thick 300gsm matte stock, and comes with an instant Bandcamp download in the format of your choice.

For those who don’t want vinyl, it’s still a great way to enjoy an element of physicality with your music, not to mention they’ll also look stunning framed on the wall.

All the physical items I have for sale can be seen my Bandcamp merch page.

‘Dresslocked’ Scoring and Sound Design

A few weeks ago I completed scoring this charming animated short called ‘Dresslocked’. It was the final year project for talented Teesside animation student Domareen Fox, and allowed me to break in a few new sound libraries, as well as record plenty of sound effects and foley work. I’m always up for more of this kind of work, so please get in touch if you’d like me to score your film/game project.