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Doing the Singapore Swing with Kangaroos and Crown Lager...

By Douglas Spotted Eagle
Video shooting, editing, and delivery is swingin' across the vast lands of Australia and Singapore if the past two weeks are any indication of what's going on down under the equator. New Magic and Intelliware of Australia and A-One of Singapore co-produced a V.A.S.S.T. tour that included stops in the Australian cities of Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide, culminating in an unprecedented workshop stop at the world-famous WOMADELAIDE festival in Adelaide. The tour finished up in Singapore with a monster group, many of whom are new to the world of shooting and video editing.

Peter, Mike, Ben, DSE, Mark, David at the Sydney
The tour started in Sydney where more than 30 attendees of the Sonic Foundry V.A.S.S.T. class converged on the Soundhouse in the Powerhouse museum near Darling Harbor where everything from beginning to high-end compositing techniques were presented. DMN and Creative COW forum host David Hague was also present and an additional treat for the class. "I only wish I could put a velocity envelope around my day at V.A.S.S.T. so that I could replay it all in slow motion," said George Bredon, one of the V.A.S.S.T. attendees.

The Powerhouse Museum is an old power generating facility taken over by the city as a museum of technology and science, containing everything from the latest touring Star Wars exhibit to musical instruments of the past, present, and future. They have a working Fairlight there, as well as old Moog synths, lutes, flutes, and unusual pianos. Of course, there is a lot of art and science there as well, including a hydrogen-powered lawnmower, fashion exhibits, and a brilliantly created grandfather clock fashioned from stainless steel.


Lotsa people came to check out Vegas 4.0 in Sydney
The Soundhouses are found all throughout the Australian communities. Some are exceptionally well-equipped with high end recording studios while others are more basic. All Soundhouses had Vegas LE, ACID, Sound Forge, Cakewalk SONAR or Home Studio, and some had Cubase, Logic, and other apps installed. All are equipped with MIDI or USB keyboards, headphone stations, and at least a dozen or more workstations for users to come in and be educated in the arts and sciences of audio recording and video editing. Vegas is particularly appropriate for these spaces due to its lack of hardware requirements and integration with other Sonic Foundry tools.

Sonic Foundry's ACID, Sound Forge, and Vegas 4.0 were the topics of the day. Following the V.A.S.S.T. classes, Sydney software dealers were given a special tour 'inside' Vegas 4.0 prior to its official launch in the Australian market. At a special session in the late evening, more than 100 people attended the official launch of Vegas 4.0 from Sonic Foundry. "With the economy shifting, educators needing to be more resourceful, and computers getting faster, non-linear editing is becoming more commonplace among tech and information people here in Australia," said David Christens, open house attendee. "Vegas is scary for a guy like me who just spent over 12,000 AUS on an editing system less than a year ago. Seeing what you did on an older laptop really drove it in to me."

Above and below: V.A.S.S.T. in Melbourne
Moving to Melbourne, an open rival of immense proportions to the Sydney technical contingent, V.A.S.S.T. was held in the Melbourne Soundhouse. A beautiful facility with three separate sound rooms/learning areas, a couple dozen V.A.S.S.T. attendees rounded out the day, with approximately 80 of Melbourne's media authoring and video community present for the launch of Vegas 4 in their area. Mark Harwood of New Magic, Sonic Foundry's video distribution channel in Australia, commented, "I'm simply amazed at how many people are curious about this new tool that seems to be sweeping across Australia and the world. Almost overnight, we're getting more requests for information than we can handle."

Ironically, one of Vegas' software competitors sent their crew to attend the launch event. It was great being able to answer each of their questions, and watching them step up to the external monitor to examine the chromakeyed footage playing live off the timeline, trying to find something wrong with the quality of the key. They couldn't.

Adelaide's V.A.S.S.T. was held in a technology training facility with classroom availability for more than 100 people. Intelliware, based in Adelaide is the primary software distributor in the Australian Music Industry. "Having a tour come through like this, providing training for end users and dealers is a strong plus for our business," said Ben Sweeney, a manager at Intelliware,"It brings new customers to the product and that makes our dealers very happy. Seeing this tour has convinced me it's time to add a PC to my Macintosh-based studio."


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Related Keywords:V.A.S.S.T., Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Australia, David Hague, compositing, Vegas LE, ACID, Sound Forge, Cakewalk, SONAR

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