Profile for Daniel Mason > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Daniel Mason
Top Reviewer Ranking: 4,018,397
Helpful Votes: 15

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Daniel Mason "Dan Mason" (UK)
(REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1
pixel
The Book of Audacity: Record, Edit, Mix, and Master with the Free Audio Editor
The Book of Audacity: Record, Edit, Mix, and Master with the Free Audio Editor
by Carla Schroder
Edition: Paperback
Price: £23.50

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The 'everything you wanted to know about sound but didn't know where to start' book, 18 April 2011
I train journalists and the following is an excerpt from my review for our organisation website ...

I can't honestly say I've ever tried mixing down multitrack recordings in surround sound. But if I did, the first piece of kit I'd reach for is this book.

For journalists more concerned with capturing clean audio and natural sound for interviews; maybe the occasional podcast or audio slideshow, the above might not seem like essential learning. But Schroder's approach is spot on: The more you know about audio, the better you'll become.

The book's style is witty and informal, but Schroder definitely doesn't duck the detail. On the contrary, she expects you to grasp the difference between bit sampling and bit depth, and when a lossy format might be preferable to lossless. Thankfully, she puts it all across with refreshing clarity.

Whether covering studio techniques, podcasting or creating mobile ringtones, each chapter adopts, as the cover puts it, `a project-based, get-it-done' approach.

Her chapters on using Audacity's array of effects and plug-ins are particularly impressive. If you're a musician new to recording, this is a great place to start. For journalists, Shroder goes step by step through capturing, editing and exporting in a variety of formats. She also does a predictably masterful job of explaining Audacity's controls and shortcuts.

As a Mac user, I did find the book a tad dominated by PC and Linux (some 40-odd pages are dedicated to configuring Audacity for these operating systems). But since most journalists I work with use PCs, not an issue. Overall, a great resource and, for the money, worth five stars.


Panasonic KX-TG6523EB DECT Trio Digital Cordless Phone Set with Answer Machine - Black
Panasonic KX-TG6523EB DECT Trio Digital Cordless Phone Set with Answer Machine - Black
Offered by ASK
Price: £58.97

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great phones. Simple to use. Great price, 12 Jan. 2011
I bought these phones for my parents, in their 80s, with a few key criteria in mind: 1. Easy-to-read numbers and display. 2. Easy to operate answering machine. 3. VERY easy-to-use internal intercom.

Verdict? They tick all the boxes. Especially the intercom function - really easy to use and remember. Sound overall is clearer than the last set they owned - so that's a bonus. I like the buttons and display - not overly stylish, but clear, bright(ish) and a bigger display than I'd expected. So great. Answering machine a piece of cake to use. 'Home' phone base is smart, but not over-the-top. Phones are a good size that fit easily into the hand. Functionality ... five star.

Two things against these phones.

The instruction manual is utterly dreadful. I read it when I first opened the box and my heart sank. Concorde's manual was probably simpler. Much easier just to use the phones - I'd figured out pretty well all the functions in 15 minutes. Someone in Panasonic's communication department needs career advice.

The phones come with 14 or so ringtones. And they are all awful. I wasn't expecting polyphonic heaven, but you'd think they'd include one that at least sounds like a phone, rather than this handful of muffled, tinny pseudo-classical tosh. If they made ringtones for pound-shop Christmas crackers, this is what you'd get.

However. In the greater scheme of things (remembering what I bought them for), excellent phones. I'd buy them for myself, no question (With fingers crossed that Panasonic find a new five-year-old to record their ringtones).

And at this price (try searching for them elswhere and see how much more they cost) ... terrific value.


Kensington Wireless 2.4 GHz USB Presenter and Red Laser Pointer - Compatible with PowerPoint and KeyNote
Kensington Wireless 2.4 GHz USB Presenter and Red Laser Pointer - Compatible with PowerPoint and KeyNote
Price: £19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Essential tool for presenters/consultants, 25 Oct. 2010
I borrowed a Kensington Si600 when speaking at a conference a few months back. Plugged it into my MacBook and that was it - worked a treat, even walking around a large stage.
So I bought my own and now wouldn't be without it. It's really intuitive to use (so no looking at it or fiddling about while presenting); I love the way the USB plugs into the hand unit, disabling the battery - nice touch; and the fade screen to black button is great. I don't use the laser pointer much, but it's there if needed.
It looks professional. And it works. Five stars.


Page: 1