headphones

It released in 1919. The headphones are more and more developing. In comparison with big and bulky models ago, the best workout headphones have become more compact and comfortable. That anyone got used to utilizing the old headphones complained these disadvantages such sweaty ears or even a painful head.

headphones

It can say that the important object of the headphones is hearing. At the previous time, the manufacturers attach special importance to the sound quality, but most the products had the volume with high decibels which are easy to cause hearing-loss. Therefore, today, the pair of headphones not only has the high-quality sound in order to listen to music with MP3, iPod, smartphone or computer but also help reduce the outside noise. In case, you are a music maniac and do not want to be disturbed by the external sound, you can consider one in three following kinds of headphones.

Until now, there have been plenty of headphones so that you can choose. So, how do you select to have the suitable headphones? With the modern technology, the newest headphones can minimize noise; even, their design fits your ears. Let’s consider a couple of different kinds of headphone models which you are able to choose based on your need and preference.

The Headphones of Past and Present

Technological earphones

Technological earphones

There is a kind of tiny headphones is known as the earphones. These types entirely fit user’s ears and create the comfort. Due to the design with the in-ear canal, they allow users to listen to music with the average volume because of their ability to reduce noise. To avoid the risk of hearing-loss, you ought to remember that do not utilize the maximum decibels intake.

In addition, the headphones cover up your ears like circumaural headphones which are enjoying in the market. Why? The main purpose of using headphones is to listen to music. These headphones are owned the value sound quality. Beyond that, you can select the type of opening or sealing. Every type has advantages and disadvantages. With closed headphones (or sealed headphones), they also have the ability to eliminate noise as noise-cancelling headphones. Since there is influenced by the external sound, you can enjoy the best sound that does not care for damaging your ears. Nonetheless, in comparison with open ear cups, these types of headphones are not very natural.

To meet the needs of consumers, a large number of manufacturers are released plenty of headphones that are more comfortable; even, they have the compact type. They have soft pads which cover up your ears. Therefore, they make users comfortable. Nowadays, most ear-buds are pretty convenient and firm suit for runners.

Noise-cancelling headphones

Noise-cancelling headphones

If you have learned about the headphones, you will see this pair of headphones that are widely used on an airplane or a train. Passengers often utilize these headphones so as to minimize noise such as crying baby, jet engine, and so on.

Passive noise reduction headphones and active noise reduction headphones are two types of these headphones. With passive noise reduction headphones, they have better technology than standard headphones. Besides, their sound is great. In a job, this kind brings to the convenience significantly.

When mentioning to active noise reduction headphones, they utilize the acoustic wave to replace the external noise. Consequently, users can concentrate; even, the outside sound will be difficult to affecting. Furthermore, you can avoid the risk of injury to hearing. If you need more concentrated on your work, passive noise reduction headphones will not support this feature.

When choosing a set of headphones, you need to have to consider plenty of elements. The sound condition and level are the top priority selection. Based on there, you can eliminate and select the right headphones.

Conclusion

The headphones were and are becoming necessary in everyone’s life. To choose the best workout headphones, you will be able to take much time because there are many choices on the market. What are you based on selecting the suitable headphones? The answer is style, need, preference and budget. Through these things, you will begin to consider the features of the headphones that you put into perspective. Let’s remember that the best headphones must ensure the sound quality! Like that, your senses are safe. Good luck in finding!

kitchen arrangement

The key of tidying the house is that you must divide the chores into small parts – such as tidy the living room, clean the floor, wash the dishes… Handling this thing in general by splitting the works into parts and you will learn how to keep your life tidy and globes inside your house. Even the best ceiling fans or a luxurious oven can be covered by dust and can’t clean themselves, so you have to take your time cleaning and tidying to make sure that the living condition of your whole family is always safe and healthy. In this article, I will show you some small tips in arranging and tidying. Let’s read and follow these instructions carefully!

If you want your rooms to be tidy and globes, all you need to do is letting you family members know how to conscious about the cleanliness and also have some strict rules about keeping the house clean and tidy. You all know that preventing is always better than curing; therefore the best way is that each one of you in the family knows how to keep the surrounding environment out of smell and dirt.

  1. Kitchen and Bathroom arrangements

kitchen arrangement

Kitchen and bathroom are used every day by almost all family members, so these room have high chance to be a completely mess. Rearrange them with these instructions below:

  • At least once a week, check the fridge and kitchen cabinets to get rid of left-over food and junk food that is not used anymore or out dated. The food that can be used but your family doesn’t use; you can give them to your friends or the neighbors.
  • Everyday, you must make sure that the dishes, plates; spoons… are washed, dried and stored carefully in the cabinets. You should have a large wall kitchen cabinet or a dish drawer to place them in.
  • The same with bathroom: you bathroom should its own small wall cabinet and some hangers so that the personal stuffs of each member such as soap, tooth brush, towels… can be stored and dried to avoid smelling. At least once per two or three weeks, check the bathroom cabinet to know how many are left and get rid of things that can’t be used anymore and throw them to the trash bin.
  • While rearranging these rooms, also remove the dust on the surface of the shelves, tables and drawers and some cleaning cream to prevent some bacteria and unhealthy dust.
  1. Bedroom and Living room arrangements:

bedroom arrangement

You other rooms also need to be cleaned and tidied regularly. Below are some simple tips to help you keep the bedroom and living room tidy and clean.

  • Never let your clothes piles appear on your floor or on beds. Fold them carefully and put them in wardrobes or their drawers. Dirty clothes must be put into the baskets waiting for laundering.
  • Once a few days, clean your living room. Tidy some mess, get rid of the dust and animal hair on the pillows and take away unused stuffs such as the old newspaper and magazines.
  • At least once a month, make sure that you can remove the spider webs on the ceiling of your rooms as well and wipe all the dust from the blades of the ceiling fan. You know that when the ceiling fan works it also create the wind flow that sucks all the dust from the outer environment. Remove the dust coat can help the fan work more powerful and also maintain its best condition.
  • At the beginning of each season, check your clothes wardrobe and get rid of things that don’t fit you anymore. You can give them to your friend or do the charity. With clothes that are too old or ripped, you can use them as rags to clean the house.

You just have to spend about 10 to 20 minutes a day to clean a room, but if you pile things up, it will take you days to do it and it becomes a hard and painful work for some holidays. Be optimistic and keep the strict rules in rearranging and doing chores in the house is the secret of managing and arranging you home and also the way to make your life better!

I don’t know how long have you been getting acquainted with the magical sound of the record player, but I’m really sure about one thing that buying the best record player is not easy at all, even with advanced people who had many experiences in choosing this type of audio device.

record player

You are a beginner in collecting record players and you’ve just read some blog posts about this device, it doesn’t matter, because you decided to love turntables. It’s one of the most important conditions to choose the product that you love and want to take care of for a long time.

Just like other appliances in your house, there are tons of choices for the record player, from the ages, the colors to the constructs and the styles also. It will be very confusing for beginners to know where to start. Don’t worry, because in this article, I will show you the very first things from the beginning that everyone needs to know before paying for a turntable.

Warning: This guide is just for beginning collectors, who love the old and vintage style of the record players, not for DJs or other people wanting to do a remix with this device.  It’s a whole different field that I don’t have any knowledge of. In addition, this is for new “audiophiles” who want to look for the best experiences in music.

Components of a record player

record player components

There are many things you need to know about turntable, but first of all, we need to know the basic parts inside it and how it works, so that we can choose the best one within each detail. In addition, if you know a record player from the smallest details, it could be a high chance that you can reduce the price of your favorite turntable for sure.

  • Base: It is the most important part of the record player that contains and hold the rest of the components. In fact, the base and many shapes and sizes according to the functions of the device. It can be made of wood, hard plastic or metal.
  • Platter: This part helps the record player plays the vinyl by putting it on and off to the base. You should choose the heavy one because if the platter is too light, it could vibrate when running thus reduce the quality of output sounds.
  • Tone arm: The arm which contains a needle at the end to play the sound from the vinyl by spinning while the needle runs along the circular drain on the surface of the disc.

In some models of record player, we can see other parts such as the cartridge, but make sure that you can remember the most important 3 parts above.

 How about the sound?

sound

Many people still think that vinyl records are not the best sound in comparison with the digital sound nowadays, but in fact, the perfect sound belongs to the vinyl discs. It might not be true according to some environmental factors such as the quality of the record player, or the ability in receiving sounds of listeners…

But I want to make sure a thing that no one can defeat the record player when playing the music in a house or living room. Maybe you can feel very comfortable with an iPod or other mobile modern music devices when going out, but we are heading to the hobby of hearing the original sounds in a quiet and standard environment. Just get rid of the mobility in other digital devices and you can see that the best choice is still the turntable when you need the comfortable and a relaxing environment after hardworking hours.

So they are the first parts in my article about the record player and basic knowledge for users and collectors. For more information, you can take a look at my website, we specialized in buying and selling secondhand record players as well as importing brand new ones from all over the world. Just remember that the best sound could be found in any music devices, but the perfect sounds that can touch the heart of a person can only be found in a quiet room with a phonograph and some old blue vinyl records.

Pressure cooker

If you have expressed interest in purchasing a pressure cooker, you have undoubtedly stumbled upon some examples of them being unsafe and prone to exploding. You are absolutely right to take those examples into consideration, and further educate yourself on the safety issues, or lack thereof, regarding pressure cookers. You wouldn’t want to put yourself in danger while cooking by being exposed to an explosion caused by them.

These types of accidents were caused by a number of reasons. For example, older models had to be placed in the sink before the lid was opened, covered in cold water. And that meant that you had to carry the hot pressure cooker around the kitchen, which was a dangerous thing to do in the first place. It was also possible for them to accidently open while cooking.

pressure cooker explosion

However, while those stories may have been true for certain pressure cooker products from certain brands, today’s technology advancements have greatly contributed to the extermination of such safety issues. So, if you have been longing for the best pressure cooker you can afford, take the following tips and guidelines about how to use it once purchased into consideration.

Make Sure To Inspect the Condition of the Pressure Cooker

As the name itself implies, pressure cookers rely on high pressure in order to cook food efficiently and quickly. Every time before you use it, make sure to check the rubber gasket. If it is cracked or ripped in any way, you need to replace it. It is normal for gaskets to deteriorate due to wear and tear with time.

Although you probably clean the pressure cooker every time you use it, it is advisable that you visually check and ensure that there are not leftovers from the previous meal you prepared. Once you are sure the cooker is in a good condition, you can put your ingredients for the next meal inside.

Follow the Recipe to the Letter

Pressure Cooker Recipes

There are proper ways to use a pressure cooker and there are bad ways to use a pressure cooker. You should be aware of how much ingredients it can take at the most and follow your pressure cooker recipes accordingly. There have been many occasions where people put too much food inside which causes the product to malfunction, thereby raising the risk of a potential hazardous situation.

So, always follow your recipes to the letter and avoid overfilling the pressure cooker. The best way to use it is to never fill more than one third of its total capacity.

Take Extreme Caution When Using Oil

Pressure cookers require little to no amount of oil for cooking, which is why you should never use it to fry food. While it is completely true that you can prepare almost any kind of food with them, some meals should simply be prepared using another method.

The Importance of Releasing the Pressure

Once the food is done, you shouldn’t simply open the lid. Some newer models release the pressure automatically once you remove the pressure cooker from the range, but you should still make sure that the pressure built inside is released before opening the lid. Do not put hour head directly above it in order to avoid steam hitting you directly in the face. Also, use appropriate cooking gloves to avoid getting burned.

Always Clean It After You Are Done

Every time you prepare food with your pressure cooker, be sure that you have thoroughly cleaned it after you are done. Pay special attention to the rubber gasket.

Now you can consider yourself educated enough on how to use a pressure cooker properly and stay perfectly safe while doing so. Remember that problems don’t always happen on its own, it is always imperative that you handle your pressure cooker properly.

Living Room Sofa

living room

The living room plays a very important part in each house, because it is considered as the face of the house owner. A beautiful living room with elegant and luxurious style can demonstrate the care of the house owner to his or her family as well as the living condition of them. Therefore, knowing how to decorate the living room with all kinds of furniture such as some ceiling fans or a sofa that is on top of the current trend is one of the most essential skill that you should know when taking care of your house. In this article, I will show you some furniture I think you might focus on to have the best result.

  1. Sofa

 Living Room Sofa

This is considered the must – have furniture in your living room. A beautiful and proper sofa would be the main spotlight of the room. Depending on the structure and the size of your room, as well as the room traffic, you should choose the size for the sofa so that the room can have the best position in the living room without colliding anything. If your room is quite small and the sofa is a little bit too big, the way to move around the living room could be narrowed, and that’s one thing every designers have to avoid. For a living room which is not too big in area, an I shape or L shape sofa in medium size would be perfect for space saving.

Living room always needs a comfortable set of sofa. It can be used for a small family meeting or guests up to 4 or 6 people at the same time, or can be used as a nap place at noon for a person comfortably. Moreover, sofa can also be the favorite place for children to play as a chair game. If your house doesn’t have additional bedroom for guests or relatives that must come overnight, you still can use sofa as a bed.

  1. Ceiling fan

Ceiling Fan

Who doesn’t like a ceiling fan that can provide the cool air for the whole living room on summer? Of course no one does! Using the ceiling fan can help you not only in cooling down the atmosphere inside the room in summer days, but it also can be a decorating furniture if you can choose the right one that suits for room’s style.

However, the maintaining and cleaning process for the ceiling fan requires time and works. The fan is just used in summer, so that it could be covered with thick layer of dust in winter. If you want your ceiling fan to be strong with long lifespan, you should take care of it regularly.

  1. TV shelf

TV Units modern living room

In your living room, there must be a TV for entertaining purpose, and we can’t just let it on the floor. TV shelves are now very popular on markets with many models and different styles. Choose the shelf that fits your TV size and the space of your living room. The TV shelf must combine with sofa to have the synchronize and eye – catching.

  1. Living room carpets
Living room carpet
Living Room Carpet

Try to refresh your living room with a floor carpet, and you will see yourself the warmth that it brings to your house. Floor carpet is also a way for house owner to show his or her sense of beauty and the style of the house.

In general, with the living room that has modern and simple style, you should choose thick carpet with solid color. That would go well with the spare shape furniture. In contrast, if your living room is designed with many complicated details or vintage furniture, you can consider buying thin carpet with unique patterns.

  1. Lighting system
Living Room Lighting
Living Room Lighting

Beside the natural light, the light from artificial devices like lamps can make your room sparkling without purchasing too much luxurious furniture. A ceiling neon lamp at the center of your living room and other lamps at the corners, the LEDs from the painting… all of them will create a charming drawing for the room. If you know how to choose the proper light color for the space, you should use some basic color combinations so that the atmosphere of the living room becomes gentle and relaxing.

These are my suggestions for essential living room furniture that you may concern. To be good at home improvement, you must know some basic structures and designs, and also have a sense of beauty. That can be achieved through reading and practicing. For more information about designing and decorating, please come to my website and enjoy some of my experiences there.

firewood cooking

The majority of people have never actually cooked with real firewood. And that is perfectly understandable given the endless cooking options that technology has enabled utilizing all sorts of cooking utensils and appliances. Most people use gas and electric stoves, and for outside cooking they use either electric grills or easy-to-light charcoal.

firewood cooking

Grilling with easy-to-light charcoal is the closest thing to cooking with real fire, however, the fact is that it is still just a replacement to real firewood cooking. Granted, it is not as easy and quick, but cooking with a real fire you prepared yourself can provide a lot of enjoyment and sense of pleasure, while also preserving the taste and flavor of your food a lot better.

If you wish to experience the pleasure of cooking with real firewood check out the following tips and guidelines on how to achieve it.

Get Proper Hardwood

Cooking with Firewood

Cooking on real fire enhances the taste of the food thanks to the smoke which comes from the wood. This is why it is imperative that you avoid softwoods for your cooking. You need hardwoods which are going to burn a lot longer, thereby ensuring your food will cook to perfection.

It is true that softwoods are easier to ignite, and provide a lot of heat. However, as it was already mentioned, they don’t last long. A good example of a softwood is pine. Burning pine will release additional piney smells, which are not particularly bad, but do not mix well with food smells. The best idea would be to use softwood as fire starters and then add hardwoods.

Hardwoods burn longer due to their density. They are harder to start a fire with, but once you get it going you will see that your efforts are worth it. Different hardwoods release different smells and aromas which further compliment the flavor of the food. A perfect example of a good cooking hardwood is oak. It releases a rich, smokey smell.

Furthermore, fruit trees are also convenient since they release a more pleasant aroma. Choices include: apple wood, pecan wood, pear wood and almond wood. If you can get your hands on old grape vine cuttings it would be the perfect solution for starting a quick fire with quality wood.

Prepare and Start the Fire Ahead

As it was already mentioned on a couple of occasions, starting a fire with hardwoods can take some time. Depending on how much food you are going to cook, and how much time it will take to get done, you need to plan your fire and the amount of hardwood you are going to use to ensure that there is enough heat for the entire time. This is especially important since are going to need embers, which can take hours to build. And then you need to make sure you keep feeding the fire properly.

Why Cooking with Embers is Ideal

It has already been established that you are going to need embers for cooking. Embers are much better than normal fire for cooking, especially because they produce a lot more heat than normal fire, and also last for a long time. Furthermore, normal fire flames are not what you want to use to cook your food with.

If you are using a fire pit, start building your ember core a few hours before cooking. Keep adding wood until you are satisfied with the core, and let the remaining fire go out before you start placing your food over it.

Additional Firewood Cooking Alternatives

Using Rotisseries – Rotisseries are used to rotate the food over a fire. They can be motorized or hand-turned. They are convenient for cooking larger roasts since the rotating effect ensures that the meat will be equally roasted on all sides. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t place them too close to hot embers because you will end up with having the surface overcooked while the interior part will remain uncooked.

Fireplace – Modern fireplaces are not designed for cooking, so in order to achieve this you would need special equipment. These include fireplace cranes and fireplace grills. Also there are fireplace rotisseries available on the market.

If you wish to start cooking with real firewood now you have the essential information. Follow these tips and guidelines and take your cooking a step further.

video studio

video studio

What does it take to build a video studio from scratch? This comes naturally for me because I have built up my studio over the last 20 years, piece by piece, changing and growing as new technologies emerge. But what if you are just getting started? What does it take to get up and running? What are the essential components that you must have on your shopping list?

These were the types of questions that came to us from a friend who is jumping into the video game. Lawyer Alan Graf got his start in radio, hosting a daily call-in show for many years based out of the Portland area. He now hosts a show called the “Third Planet Report” on two radio stations in Tennessee. Podcasts have given him access to a national audience, and armed with a small camcorder he has expanded his concept to video, recording interviews and placing them on sites like YouTube and Google video. Now he has the opportunity to begin airing his show on local cable access with the goal of syndicating it to other stations as well.

Our company, Village Media, has helped him get started doing some initial shooting and editing. But that costs money, and Graf would rather put the money into equipment, build his own kit and produce his own shows. We offered to help him select and purchase the gear he would need to get started.

Building the Set

Although some segments and interviews for the show will be recorded in the field, the plan is to set up a portion of Graf’s office as a set, where he can set up interviews and record them. The location could be arranged with something basic and simple, such as a table or desk and two chairs, or maybe even a plant to soften the appearance, and a curtained wall behind the people on-camera.

Selecting a Camcorder

Camcorder

Without a doubt, the single most important and possibly most expensive investment is the camcorder. This is the starting point that determines the level of professionalism you are trying to achieve. Camcorders, of course, come in all shapes, sizes and price tags, and the video quality they can produce covers just as wide a range. Granted, all digital cameras on the market today produce far superior images to the VHS, 8mm and Hi8 camcorders of yesteryear, so image quality is a relative term. Nevertheless, we have to begin by looking at the bottom and working our way up to the top.

The principle point of comparison is the CCD, specifically its size and how many of them there are. Most consumer model camcorders have one CCD. Broadcast quality cameras will usually have three. With a single CCD, all color information is bundled together in one signal. When the camcorder has three CCDs, each internal chip is responsible for processing a separate element of the color information, preserving color purity and richness.

But CCD size is really just as important. The CCD is a flat surface that catches the light and turns it into electrical and digital data. The broader the surface area or face of the CCD, the better job it can do in collecting light and generating resolution. The CCD is covered with an array of pixels, and the number of pixels it has is directly translated into pixel count and resolution on the TV screen. A 1/3-inch CCD with a million pixels is going to give you better resolution than a 1/6-inch CCD with only 600,000 pixels. With three CCDs you triple the total number of available pixels.

The CCD in consumer camcorders start out at around 300,000 to 600,000 pixels, and go up to a million or more (for video, don’t confuse this with the resolution of still images). Panasonic has an entire line of consumer camcorders with 3 CCDs, but they are only about 1/6-in. to 1/4-in. in size. The big names in video like Panasonic, JVC, Sony and Canon all have a line of “presumes” or starter professional camcorders which utilize three, larger-sized CCDs that are the optimum choice for anyone with serious production aspirations.

The next big decision is whether to go high definition (which is the direction of things to come). Most of the new camcorders in this range can shoot to HDV, which is a 1080 line interlaced signal (compressed but still high definition) that can be edited on most current nonlinear editing systems. Of course, you’ll need a hefty computer, one that can handle the extreme amount of data generated by the large pixel count of high definition. If you want to keep costs down there are still camcorders available that have professional features and specifications, but only record a standard definition DV signal. They are certainly adequate for any type of production you want to do for now, limiting you only in meeting the production requirements of the future.

Adding Audio

Audio

When setting up a video production studio, you must give serious consideration to the audio. Great pictures are of no value unless you have good sound. In most interview situations, the best sound is achieved though the use of a lapel mike, clipped to the shirt or jacket of anyone on-camera. You can pick up a direct wire lapel mike for as little as $30 from Radio Shack, or spend well over $100 to purchase a professional model. Nonetheless, wireless systems are ideal because they offer complete freedom of movement–it looks better in your video and gives you more framing options when there are no cables in the shot.

Wireless microphones are rated by the frequency range they use. Inexpensive wireless mike systems, costing under $200, transmit and receive on VHF frequencies. Unfortunately their range can be limited, and you are more susceptible to interference or a lost signal. Expect to spend several hundred dollars or more for a UHF wireless.

Now is the time to look a little more closely at your needs. The wireless systems often used by performers have large receiver units that sit on a console, desk top or mount in a rack. If you plan to use your gear conducting interviews in the field, you’ll want a more compact portable receiver. It will also work just fine in a studio situation.

Think about what type of video you want to produce. Will you be behind the camera while the other person is being interviewed on-camera? If that’s the case, you’ll just need one microphone. To have an on-camera host or interviewer and a guest you’ll need two mikes.

This can also affect what camera or camcorder you choose to purchase. Many consumer camcorders have no external mike input at all, or only connect a mike through a hot shoe. Ideally, the camcorder and external mike system should use mini-phonon jacks or the larger 3 pin XLR connectors. Note: the mike connector and camera input connections must match, or you could be stuck using troublesome adapters. Does the camera have two separate audio inputs or a single audio input stereo jack? A single stereo jack would require a splitter/adapter, again less than ideal. The better cameras have two separate audio inputs with adjustable audio level control.

Plan to have more than two people speaking on camera? Then you might want to consider using an overhead shotgun microphone. It can give you broad enough coverage to record a conversation among several people, but enough sensitivity to ensure voices are still strong and clear. Shotgun mikes are very directional, so the person in the center of the pick-up range will probably be louder than people to either side of you. Ideally, you will have a person or operator that aims the mike at the person speaking. This is also the type of mike used by news teams in the field where you do not have the opportunity to outfit someone with a wireless. Again, it takes an extra sound person to hold and aim the mike while another person operates the camera.

Recording in the Studio: How Many Cameras?

Recording studio

Studio recording brings other considerations into play that won’t usually come up when shooting in the field. Again you must decide if the person being interviewed will be talking to an interviewer off-camera, or an on-camera host. If the person conducting the interview will always be off-camera, then you might only need one camera or camcorder. If there are two people on screen, or you are producing a cooking show or an instructional video of some kind, then additional camera angles and shots may be needed, requiring more than one camera.

In the typical, host and guest scenario, one camera captures the wide shot that shows both people onscreen and a second camera is framed for a tight shot on the guest as they answer questions. Ideally there is a third camera providing the same close-up framing of the host or person asking questions. Your edited production should go from one view to another, providing a better view of the person speaking as well as keeping the content moving and more interesting. Start out with the wide shot, cut to the person asking the question and then to the person answering. Occasionally you’ll go back to the wide shot.

Then again, you can always get started with just two cameras, alternating from the wide shot to a close up of the guest, then back to the wide shot. Add a third camera when you can.

If you are going for a live production with more than one camera, consider purchasing matching models. Every manufacturer and camcorder model product line processes color slightly differently and has its own unique, distinctive look, especially when the images are compared side-by-side. When you are using two identical camcorders, the likelihood that the pictures from both cameras will be the same is far greater.

The Switcher

Now the question is, “How do you deal with three different sources of video and at least two sources of audio?” In an ideal studio situation, the signal from each camera is fed to a video switcher. The output of the switcher goes to a recording deck, or these days you can capture straight to a hard drive on your editing computer. A switcher operator monitors the video from each camera and then manually selects which camera will appear on-screen at any time, essentially performing edits in real time.

The audio from the mikes goes through not a switcher, but a mixer. Unlike the video, which can only display the images from one camera at a time (unless you are using a special effect), the various audio feeds are heard simultaneously–mixed together if you will. The audio mixer performs this task while giving you control over the audio level from each microphone, so that all voices are heard at the same volume level.

The Videodisc MX-4 DV is the latest version of a long line of video mixers that goes back to the early days of low-cost video production. It features four DV inputs and one DV output. Data Video’s SE-800 also has four DV inputs and one DV out, plus color control adjustments and a four channel audio mixer.

Going Solo

Of course if you don’t have a camera crew, mixer or operator, and you just want to go it alone, you can still get in the game. If your camcorder can record two channels of sound, then you can establish this as “Camera 1,” the main video track recording to tape. The second and third close-up cameras can also record on to tape. Download or capture the video and sound from all three tapes into your NLE, then place the three different video clips on separate tracks. Again, Camera 1 has the good, properly-mike audio, but you can use the audio picked up by the camera microphones on the other cameras to organize the tracks so that your sound and video is synchronized. By expanding the audio tracks to see the wave forms you can be even more precise in your synchronization.

Background and Lightings

studio lighting

To complete your studio, you’ll of course need to consider lighting. In the studio it’s actually best if there is no outside light, which is always changing and introduces additional color balance challenges. The advantage of working with studio lighting is that you can have a consistent look to your set every time you shoot. Your light will not only provide the overall illumination that good video requires, but also create depth and texture. Obviously there is a great deal of learning when organizing your light package, but ultimately it comes down to what looks best. Avoiding dark shadows requires multiple light sources–broad, soft lighting needs to be balanced with more focused spots in key locations.

Think about the look of the set. What will you have for a background? A blank wall is, well, just too boring. For cheap and easy, go with a curtain. A muslin cloth with its many folds is an acceptable look, and available in a variety of colors depending on the mood you want to convey. A dark black non-reflective velvet background is also commonly used particularly for dramatic, head and shoulder interviews. A talk show set may require some plants or props to provide a distinctive look and character.

When you raise a culture on video from the ground up, and then seed it with millions of affordable camcorders, it’s only natural to expect that many, many thousands of people will want to go from watching to produce. Your small studio is the home base for programs that can help you communicate to an audience. Now, all that’s left is to decide, “Who your audience is, and how you will reach them?”

TV cooking shows

Sometimes at a party or a dinner at someone’s home, your taste buds will love a certain appetizer, main dish or dessert. Now, you’ve just got to have the recipe. The host or hostess usually grabs any sheet of paper and jots it down quickly for you. But when you later try the recipe yourself, it usually doesn’t taste the same.

recipes

What happened? For one thing, meals often taste better simply because someone else makes them. More importantly, however, it often happens that critical parts of recipes are forgotten by the recipe writer. Sometimes the cook puts in a dash of this and a dab of that without thinking, because he or she had made that recipe so often. More often than not, you don’t get the dashes and dabs in the scribbled notes.

The Recipe Video


Today, we can easily videotape another person making a favorite recipe. Likewise, we can also do a self-video of our own cooking. Either way, a permanent record is made to help others when they try to re-create your mouth-watering dishes.

If you want some guidelines for making an Epicurean video project, I present here a list of important steps.

Setting Up To Videotape

Check your camcorder to make sure you have fresh tape and that the battery is fully charged.

Also check the lighting and take test video to see if it’s adequate. If your kitchen is not well-lit, you’ll need auxiliary lighting.

If you have a remote, put your camcorder on a tripod with the monitor screen swiveled toward you. Using the remote, you’ll be able to zoom in on various steps of the recipe as it unfolds. If you don’t have a remote and must have a steady frame for your entire video, set up your “master shot” that all the action will be visible. Then shoot sample footage to see if this steady frame works well.

Make sure your microphone is not too far from the main scene. Otherwise, your voice will not be clear enough for your audience. If you can, wear a wireless mike close to your mouth, because this will give superior results. Again, take test footage to ensure that your voice is heard well!

There is no substitute for being well-prepared when shooting any videotape. The extra time you take will pay off in the final product. Do not rush this process.

Setting up The Area

Before you begin, set out all your tools, measuring devices and ingredients. Don’t forget things like wooden spoon and whisks. Also, don’t bother with getting brand-new tools because you think they’ll look better to the camcorder.

If your recipe calls for a cup of flour, have that filled cup right there and ready to be put in the bowl. Don’t waste time measuring the ingredients during the videotaping. Take a piece of paper and type or print every ingredient of your recipe. Videotape this list at the beginning of your production and refer to it as you create your dish.

TV cooking shows

For example, if you specify one cup of flour, go to the recipe page and show it as you proceed. Of course, at the end of the tape, you should again show the whole recipe. Watch a cooking show on television and see how it’s done!

Helpful Hints

Try to always face the camcorder, even when putting things in the oven or on the stove. This may not be possible to do because of the layout of your kitchen. But do try, because nobody likes to see the backs of people obscuring their view. (Also, not many people look great from the rear!)

Try not to be too artificial when presenting your recipe. Let your personality shine through. Don’t use bad language or any offensive gestures. Speak to your audience as you cook.

If you can, tilt the bowls toward the camcorder so that people can see inside them. Make sure–whether you’re making a self-video or taping someone else–that you remember to include cooking pointers. For example, show all steps in juicing a lemon: First, roll it with your palms; and then poke a small hole in the top; and then just squeeze the juice right in the bowl or pan.

Use items that connote freshness, such as a pepper mill rather than ground pepper from a can or bottle.

Finally, show off the finished product at the end of your video recipe. Make it look good by garnishing the plate with colorful vegetables or fruits, and present it on good dinnerware. To suggest a wonderful dining experience, you might show it on a table with candles.

Real People, Real Recipes

Chef Bonne, who makes her own cooking videos, advises care when it comes to clothing. She says, for example, that bright colors with busy prints will distract the viewer. Proper grooming is also important. No one wants to see a video with the chef wearing a dirty shirt. Wearing an apron is optional, but a good idea, if only to keep spills offs your clothes. Plus, aprons make you look professional.

Bonne stresses that the cooking area must be clean and uncluttered. She also suggests talking a little about good health practices at the start of any cooking video. This, of course, is up to you, but is worth thinking about, for sure! And make sure that your utensils, pots and pans are clean, too.

Chef Jane, who once owned a restaurant, likes to make entire meals on her barbecue. When I visited to get her on video, she was preparing to make a steak dinner. As I set up my equipment, I saw that there was little clutter.

Jane then took me down to her garden area to gather fresh vegetables. I felt like I was Martha Stewart in action. I watched as she put the steaks on the grill, along with her biscuits. These biscuits are mouth-watering delights, and she shared her recipe with viewers. She had all the ingredients ready, and she whipped up the biscuits quickly and easily. I asked Jane if she had a hint for making recipe videos. She replied, “Just make sure you follow the recipe exactly, so that the viewer doesn’t get mixed up. Also, make sure that a printed copy of the recipe is available to go along with the video.”

Good chefs are sometimes reluctant to share their special recipes. But often they can be coaxed, if they’re given a good reason. One such reason is that they are giving a gift to future generations.

Other Thoughts about Videotaped Recipes

Your videotaped recipe can be part of your legacy. I suggest that you endure the time-consuming rehearsals and extra efforts, so that your tape will be cherished for many years.

Videotaped Recipes

Something else to consider: Convince your aged relatives to let you videotape them making their favorite recipes. How about that great stuffing you ate at your mother’s house? Get her to make it on tape, because I’m sure there will be at least one step that wouldn’t show up in a handwritten recipe. It might just be the “tiny” thing that makes the stuffing taste just like you remember.

My friend Edna tells of her mother working in the kitchen. Edna would see her mother use unmeasured handfuls of flour and other ingredients, even though her mother owned many measuring tools. Edna would ask if she could officially measure the ingredients, but her mother would always reply, “Maybe next time.” Unorthodox cooking methods like this are much better revealed on videotape than in handwritten form.

Consider this: Make a live family cookbook. Ask your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins to make their favorite recipes on videotape. Then make a long anthology video of everybody’s individual tapes.

When doing a family cookbook, have the presenter give you his or her name on the tape, a short history of the recipe, and when it was used the most. If the recipe requires special utensils or tools, point them out.

To repeat an earlier suggestion, make sure the family videos always include the finished product: Show it emerging from oven or refrigerator, in all its glory! The camcorder can’t smell or taste, so make sure the chef takes a piece and tries it. Make sure the chef exclaims about the excellent smell and taste.

Recipes on videotape make wonderful gifts, and they’re entertaining, too! Don’t put off making your own tapes. Start gathering your recipes today and get cooking!