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  1. I have a deeply exciting announcement today: the technology has matured, and Liv and I now have the capacity to stream live from the Monkey Gym. We are implementing this tech in two stages: the first is a technology called "live to disk" (used to be called 'live to tape' in the old days when I was a television director); it means that you do a single take of a program, mix it live, and no stopping/starting—this is as close as you can get to 'live-live'; more on this below; and perhaps its significance is not immediately apparent, so let me step you through the standard workflows we have had to use up to now: Record video on one or more cameras (we have used three; now four), and record sound on a separate recorder (sometimes two recorders); transcode footage (the reasons why transcoding is necessary would take 30' to explain); transcoding an hour of footage from one camera takes about 15'; pull all three/four streams of video into my editing timeline (I use Final Cut Pro X), bring the sound track(s) in after checking levels/reducing noise in another program; synchronise the sound and all the vision; cut in FCPX using something called "multicam editing"; put titles on the ends; add the fades to black and and 'supers' ("superimpositions"; people names, arrows, etc.); have a second person watch the program and give comments back; incorporate the edits; then compress the whole program (separate program and process to do this); and finally use a high-speed wi-fi modem to upload to Vimeo... So, an hour program, as you watch it, usually takes a day or two to make. And, frankly, I do not enjoy watching myself back, and because I operate the cameras, I have already seen any program that Liv presents already. Now (please hear trumpets sounding): The new setup: four cameras recording at 1080p/30 (this quality, "full" HD, is future-proofing; we compress to 720p/30 for Vimeo), feeding into a switcher controlled by my MacBook Pro, and the output is recorded live onto a pair of mirrored solid state drives (so automatic backup, too). We also have a completely new, invisible micing system; we will be testing today. The last technical problem was solved yesterday: consumer and prosumer cameras take a finite time to output video, so in the testing I realised that the audio was arriving about five frames (~150ms) ahead of the video into the switcher—which meant that the recorded program was out of sync (sound not perfectly aligned with video) and you all know how annoying that is! So I researched this and found a little device that allows the precise programming of delay for audio, and now the programs are perfectly in sync as we record them. Noice! So, on any given day from now on, we fire the system up, Liv or I present a program for an hour (for example); we stop recording. The footage loaded of the whole program is loaded into FCPX, we add opening and closing titles (a few minute's work) and send the complete program to Compressor while we have lunch (Compressor, a magic bit of software from Apple, changes the frame size from 1080 x 1920 to 720 x 1280, and compresses both sound and vision; you cannot see the difference between the original and the compressed program). Then the final version of the program is loaded to Vimeo (setting up a new series to sell does involve making a graphic or two, and annotating the settings and doing things like setting the price), but that's it! We send you all the URL. Done and dusted. Once we have proofed this complete system, I will be able to take a version of it on the road, too, in two hard cases: we will be making this production service available to other Stretch Therapy teachers who want to develop their own names, brand, and programs. The last step is live streaming, where the whole process is one. Right now, we do not feel that has any particular attraction (mainly because of the time differences between Australia and the rest of the world, and we do not want to work at 03:00a.m.), but Vimeo and other platforms are coming on line that will facilitate this. In time, when we add a simple last component, the master 1080p/30 program will be fed into the "Web Presenter" (which also compresses it live) as well as being recorded for backup and the program can be uploaded live to the Vimeo LIVE platform and may be watched then and there; and Vimeo automatically immediately archives the same program when it's ended, so that it is then available like any of our other programs. The key point is though that this is a single process: Liv or I presenting, and you watching, live, anywhere in the world. This opens up a huge number of new possibilities.
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