Live Streaming Workflows

I wasn't surprised when I saw that the newly released top end 9.7" iPad Pro is the same price as the top end iPhone 6s+. I'm just noodling here as I put more into live-streaming and create a device workflow around live-streaming to mitigate connectivity or image quality issues I might have. By considering either one of these screens as a secondary iOS device I want to:

  • shoot 4K footage and take decent pictures (alongside the live-streaming)
  • replace my home WiFi (old Chinese apartments are limited to 2mbps)
  • have a back up Internet device (a mobile hotspot device)

As mobile devices (can someone come up with a better name yet*) technology advances, my retro digital camera is proving itself to be a bit of a stuck in the mud. (Of course it is, it's retro!) Any new purchase would also need to replace my digital camera. 

The general utility of an iOS device isn't interested in being anchored down by cables and with work flows crossing over to a desktop computer before final upload. I'm adapting my work flow to not concern itself over Raw handling and image quality. I think the tradeoffs are there where I can say it's good enough now on a mobile device. 

Just for the record, the price of a replacement camera for my Fuji x100s is also roughly the same price as either of the two iOS devices. Amazing hey? Now which iOS device to buy?

The basic internal specs of both devices are the same with a few features leapfrogging the iPhone for the moment. A data plan is basically the same with both devices so we can ignore that. So it comes down to these basic things:

  • Battery life 
  • Portability 
  • Screen size (workflow dependent)

Battery Life

Hands down, the iPad wins and as a base station outside the house it's much better than the puny battery in the iPhone 6s+ to provide internet connectivity to say a laptop. I still hope Apple bring out a battery pack for this larger model. Periscoping hammers the battery and I've never benefitted from going from an iPhone5 to the iPhone6s+ when it comes to battery life. WINNER - iPad. 

Portability

Both devices are already super thin and this is truly a first world problem for the minimalist such as myself. But still, which one? I can easily hold two iPhones together, one streaming, one shooting 4K (some velcro will solve that). I wouldn't be drawing attention to myself too much with that set up. Now live stream with an iPad and iPhone combo, it's a bit more awkward. WINNER - iPhone. 

Screen Size

Do I want to edit my work on a 9" screen or a 5" screen? Do I want to multitask with the iPad or solo task on the iPhone? Don't forget this is a secondary device, so each device can operate independently of each other. But what is the benefit of the larger screen? WINNER - Unknown

But the iPhone 7 (Conclusion)

This basically means can I and should I wait with what I have already? What will the next generation phone bring, especially when it comes to image quality? The potential downside to waiting for an iPhone7 means I'm only six months away from another, better iPad! This throws up the issue of whether to buy now or buy for tomorrow. I would like to buy for tomorrow (with portability in mind), while the iPad does have the better battery, I do have power packs at my disposal, ready to fast charge both iPhones if I opt for that and in all honesty am I going to use both devices constantly? The screen size doesn't need to be an issue if I can multitask on two phones and of course, two iPhones are smaller than an iPad!   

* I like the German name for a mobile phone, 'handy', which they most certainly are.

UPDATE: I forgot Apple released this as well. It basically means I can plug in a USB microphone and charge both the iOS device and said microphone, not an issue for a fully charged iPad, but the iPhone itself has become a lot more flexible because of a $300HKD add-on for either my periscopes or podcasts.

UPDATE 2: No optical stabiliser on the iPad, you'd think with that bump that justified the newest protrusion to the iOS family, alas no. It's more likely I'll purchase a second iPhone.

Logic Pro X Woe (and Fix!)

I've hit a curious issue with Logic Pro X. I want to shed some light on it as I can't simply bounce (export) any podcasts out onto my desktop for uploading online

The podcasting setup I employ is super simple, I don't do music production at all with Logic, it's just me and a Blue Yeti mic making podcasts every week.

Today I just happened to be recording my spoken intro just fine, on testing the audio in Logic everything was peachy and then on bounce (to mp3) I got huge amounts of distortion and static. Where it came from I have no clue. I thought it was my Yeti until I tested my built in MacBook Pro mic and headphone mics. Logic then bounces out clean test files.

So I thought the Yeti mic was damaged. The plot thickened when I  tried recording in audacity (exporting out from Audacity using AIFF) and everything on export is totally fine. It feels like Logic is picking on my Yeti mic for some reason and it's only happened today after recording a number of podcasts with Logic, I've made podcasts weekly without any problems.

Now, the next part of my investigation led me to import the (Audacity) AIFF file into Logic and just bounce that back out again.  Guess what, static, so it's not even the mic! I've played with normalise even though I've never touched it before.

Turns out it's actually something to do with my i/o buffer settings in Logic's Audio preferences. I posted a request for help over on this discussion page, there was a second answer, but it seemed too destructive for my taste. Glad the simpler of the two options offered worked fine.

This video from Youtube provides a clear explanation with setting up the I/O buffer accordingly.

In a nutshell, keep the buffer size small for recording, make it high for exporting or mixing. Pity that Logic itself can't do that for me or detect what I'm trying to do and prompt me.