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"Music's always been at the heart of Apple. It's deep in our DNA. We've sold Macs to musicians since the beginning of Macs."

Tim Cook

The Big Mac

Twenty years ago this month, Apple officially launched OS X. Apple finally had a legitimate PC killer that would kick the Mac vs. Windows debate into overdrive. In 2001, many studios and video editing companies were already using Macs as the foundation for their digital production systems when OS X dropped, but it literally changed the game.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, I worked on Microsoft Windows systems, which were pretty good. Windows held an advantage over Mac because of the sheer number of programs available for it. In the studio world, some high-level software companies had both Mac and Windows versions, but you really had very little Mac audio programs to choose from. Working in Windows though was very trying – frequent crashes, the "blue screen of death," corrupt data, lost audio. Macs weren't immune to crashes either, but usually less often than Windows. The new OS X would fix devastating crashes with a brilliant solution: Make the audio and video processing take dominance over all other programs, including the operating system.

When I started my business in my basement in 2002 (I ramped it up to full-time the next year), I was working on an Apple PowerMac G4 using the old and tired OS 9.2. I was still deciding on a permanent DAW (digital audio workstation) to buy when I stepped out onto my own full-time, but it was slim pickings. I was looking for something that was cost effective, yet powerful. DAWs in the early 2000s like ProTools, Sadie, RADAR, etc., were dependent on their own external processing equipment. Basically, the computer was just a window or controller of a separate computer that processed all audio.

I found the solution from a German company called Steinberg. They had been breaking down digital walls since the 80s with MIDI and instrument synthesis software and hardware. Their music-creating app Cubase got an injection of steroids in 2000 when they retooled it into their new flagship product and named it Nuendo. Nuendo was built for audio and video post-production professionals, and it was different from all the others. Steinberg's goal was for the user to run a complete studio on one computer. Nuendo was only possible because of recent advances in processing, like the intel Pentium processor and PowerMac. So instead of spending about $12,000 on a ProTools system, I could get into the DAW game for about $1,500 with no additional equipment. Nuendo could be used with just about any digital audio input/output device.

Steinberg Nuendo vs 1.5 on Mac OS 9.2


At that time, Nuendo only ran in the older OS 9.2. When they upgraded to OS X, I was one of the first to jump ship and give it a try. OS X unleashed the power of Nuendo on the PowerMac. The difference between the two operating systems is like a box of crackers and a Ferrari. It wasn't without some glitches, but Steinberg's commitment to audio production software running on native processors ironed out any issues pretty quickly.

Steinberg Nuendo 11.0 on a Steinberg Nuage system


In the last 20 years, both Nuendo and Mac have gone through about three major upgrades, with minor iterations in between. For a point of reference, my first Nuendo software version was 1.5 on Mac OS 10.1. In 2021, I'm now working on Nuendo version 11.0 on Mac OS 11.2.3. I don't regret my decision to operate a Mac-only studio for twenty years. The accounting side of the business had to use Windows computers for several years (and the excruciating Parallels software to run Windows on an iMac), but we are now a fully Mac-centric office, thanks to the rest of the world catching on that Macs are here to stay.

Is this a pro-Mac article? A little, at least for what I do to make a living. In retrospect, most of my computer life has been spent on an Apple. The first computer I ever used – or tried to use – was an Apple. As part of a tour, a company brought an early Apple to our high school in 1979, I guess to show us the future. They had each of us seniors reserve 15 minutes on it. When I sat down at it I had no idea what to do, so I just typed gobbledygook until my 15 minutes was up. In college we used Apples in music theory and composition classes. They were in research laboratories where I washed lab ware in between classes. They were also in video editing suites and recording studios I had been in. They had become ubiquitous with science and the arts in my mind. However most of my early productivity was on Microsoft systems like MS-DOS, Windows 3, and Windows NT. These were very good systems, but I kept getting slowly pulled back to the Mac side of things when I saw how elegant the user environment was. Plus, audio and video just seemed to run so smooth and efficient on them.

Of course Windows has come a long way since the blue screen days, and most of the problems I see audio producers having with them are driver issues, not crashes. Apple is no longer relegated to just labs and studios, the rest of the world loves them, especially iPhones and iPads. So much so that the new Mac operating systems even look and feel like giant iPads. I don't care, just as long as I can operate my studio efficiently and not have to resort to just typing gobbledygook on a blue screen. OK, my 15 minutes are up.

 

We are taking the COVID-19 pandemic seriously here at Dynamix Productions. We're taking safety measures recommended by health officials. We are regularly sanitizing everything we can think of and keeping as much of a "social distance" as possible. Our producer desk and engineer seat is more than 6 feet away in each studio, and there is glass between the engineer and voice talent. We're recording only one person at a time in each studio for now, but we can put another person in our second VO booth and link them together via Zoom or Skype. We're also encouraging some of our voice talent to work from their house if they have recording equipment. We sincerely wish that you and your families will stay safe and secure during these unusual times. For more on our new procedures and options for you, read this special statement.

-Neil Kesterson
Dynamix Productions, Inc. is an audio production facility in the heart of thoroughbred horse country, Lexington, Kentucky. Some of the many audio services we provide are: sound-for-picture, corporate communications, advertising, narrations, audiobooks, podcasts, live broadcast, ISDN, location and remote recording, restoration, and tape/LP to digital transfers. 

Since our opening 17 years ago in 2003, we have won or been a part of nearly 100 awards; including more than 75 ADDY’s (American Advertising Federation), 10 Telly's, 2 Silver Microphones, 1 PRSA (Public Relations Society of America), 1 Eclipse Award, and 1 Emmy nomination.

Why do professionals from desktop producers to Fortune 50 companies choose Dynamix for the highest level of production? We Listen.

Sound Bits

Sound and audio tech news from around the web
  • Halo Infinite’s developers smashed a piano to record sounds for the game. Halo Infinite developer 343 Industries smashed a piano into pieces to record sound effects, the studio revealed in a new blog detailing many aspects of the game’s audio production. Read about it on The Verge.
  • Lou Ottens, Inventor Of The Cassette Tape, Has Died. Ottens was a talented and influential engineer at Philips, where he also helped develop consumer compact discs. Read about it on NPR.
  • Perseverance rover captures the sounds of driving on Mars. NASA's newest rover recorded audio of itself crunching over the surface of the Red Planet, adding a whole new dimension to Mars exploration. Read about it.
  • Cassette lamp is a throwback to the pencil-winding glory days. The audio cassette was the first music format that truly championed portability. It was robust, compact, and let people take music on the go to soundtrack their very lives. Read about it on Hackaday.
  • How to Get the Best Possible Audio Quality From Your Streaming Services. If you’re seriously passionate about your music’s audio fidelity, then maybe streaming services aren’t your go-to. Read it on Gizmodo.

Listen to
EASTERN STANDARD
on WEKU-FM


Dynamix Productions, and WEKU-FM, Eastern Kentucky University’s public radio station in Richmond, KY, partnered in 2018 to move primary production of the popular long-running radio program EASTERN STANDARD to the studios of Dynamix. The first program produced at Dynamix aired on July 19, 2018. By bringing the production to Lexington, producers have easier access to Central Kentucky business, healthcare, and education leaders, as well as local artists, entertainers, and other newsmakers. The move underlines WEKU’s commitment to providing the area’s most concise and in-depth coverage of news, issues, and ideas that directly affect Central Kentuckians. The EASTERN STANDARD radio program is made possible from the generous support of the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky and the Appalachian Impact Fund.

Hosted by network news veteran Tom Martin, EASTERN STANDARD is a public affairs program that covers a broad range of topics of interest to Kentuckians. Resources for topics include WEKU’s reporting partner, the Ohio Valley ReSource, a partnership with seven public media outlets across three states; the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting; and National Public Radio. EASTERN STANDARD can be heard Thursdays at 11:00 AM  / 8:00 PM and Sundays at 6:00 PM on 88.9 WEKU-FM, and online at www.esweku.org.

Recent topics and guests on the program include:
  • NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans offers a preview of his upcoming lecture in the EKU Chautauqua Series. Hint: he has a lot to say about the state of media, both news and entertainment, and how it shapes society. | Author Bobi Conn on her essay: “A Day of Reckoning for Big Pharma: the Elegy that Appalachia Really Needs” | CEDIK’s Shane Barton and “One Harlan County’s” Colby Kirk on efforts to support Eastern Kentucky downtowns during the pandemic - and beyond | Hopewell Museum's Cheryl Caskey: Paris, Ky. hosts a courageous conversation around racial equality and justice. 
  • “The talk.” Berea College professor Dwayne Mack discusses the day-to-day of parenting and growing up Black in an inhospitable world. |  Corinne Boyer with Part One of a series on addiction in a pandemic | “Too many not reading at grade level by 3rd grade.” Dreama Gentry and Leslie Graham discuss a solution: rural libraries | EKU Chemistry Prof Judy Jenkins on transitioning a university campus to solar power | Author Leah Hampton talks about the familiar small town characters of her book, “F#*kface.” 
  • What's wrong with the state's Unemployment Insurance system? How much time do you have? Kentucky Auditor Mike Harmon has looked under the hood | Covid, schools, and reopening. It's not simple says EKU Psychologist Melinda Moore | Corrine Boyer on addiction, a pandemic and treatment | AppHarvest goes public, harvests its first crop (tomatoes) and reassures local farmers about competition | Tom Eblen's guest Kentucky author: Louisville's Leesa Cross-Smith on her latest novel, "This Close to Okay" 
  • Do prisons bring economic prosperity to struggling rural counties? The question raised in the latest in our “State of Justice” series | On being a volunteer prisoner visitor: Jean Rosenberg on the experience and the purpose | Part III in Corinne Boyer’s series on treating addiction under pandemic conditions | Robert Gipe on “Pop”, the 3rd in his trilogy of uniquely illustrated novels | Our “Future Tense” series focuses on African American agriculture in Kentucky.
Did you miss the live show? Listen online.

Notable Recent Productions

  • Post-production audio for "Escape to the Chateau," a weekly television show airing Saturdays on HGTV. (Wrigley Media Group, Lexington, KY). Check out the episode guide here.
  • Markey Cancer Center radio/TV campaign for UK HealthCare. (Team Cornett, Lexington, KY)
  • "AgFuture" podcasts for Alltech  (Alltech, Nicholasville, KY)
  • "Astern" TV campaign for Godolphin Farm (Godolphin, Lexington, KY)
  • "The Generals Have No Clothes: The Untold Story of Our Endless Wars" an audiobook by William Arkin, narrated by Mark Bramhall (Simon & Schuster)
  • Claiborne Farm and Fasig-Tipton TV campaigns (Studio 34, Lexington, KY)
  • "Block Talk" podcast for Ridley Block  (Alltech, Nicholasville, KY)
  • "Lex Do This" COVID awareness campaign for Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government  (Team Cornett, Lexington, KY)
  • "Low Rates" radio campaign (Forcht Bank, Lexington, KY)
  • "Tales of American History" podcasts for the Witnessing History Education Foundation

Live and Online

Television programs produced at Dynamix Productions


Escape to the Chateau


Lieutenant colonel Dick Strawbridge and his partner Angel Adoree trade their English apartment for a dilapidated, 19th-century French chateau. The pair work to restore, renovate and redecorate the estate into a fairytale castle for their upcoming wedding.

You Live in What? International

Architect George Clarke is on a mission to find inspiration for his outrageous, space-age concept house. His journey takes him around the world to meet the visionary people who build and live in some of the most unusual homes ever seen.
 

Podcasts produced at Dynamix Productions



Vote Worthy helps to inform voters about the issues and challenges surrounding the 2020 General Election.


The Cancer Crisis in Appalachia"
Compelling stories from the next generation of leaders in the fight against cancer in Appalachia.
From UK's Markey Cancer Center.

Tales of American History
"Tales of American History" with Kent Masterson Brown


"The Tyler Gossett Podcast"


GoFundMe podcast "Todd Oldfield and Wendall Gill: A Community Comes Together"



"Embedded" podcast from NPR
Al Cross in a series of podcasts about Mitch McConnell

Audiobooks produced at Dynamix Productions
 

  
    

   

    

  
       
     
    

    
    
    
    
    
    
  

Other projects produced at Dynamix
Copyright © 2018 Dynamix Productions, Inc. All rights reserved.

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333 N Ashland Ave, Ste 120
Lexington, KY 40502

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Dynamix Productions, Inc. · 333 North Ashland Ave · Suite 120 · Lexington, KY 40502 · USA

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