NEW Centre for Music and Audio Technology: At Kent Taster Day Saturday 11 November

Kent_Music and Fine Art_294_master

Located in the University’s Medway campus in Chatham’s Historic Dockyard, the University of Kent’s new Centre for Music and Audio Technology has a free At Kent Taster Day on Saturday 11 November from 10am-3pm.   These sessions are aimed at Year 12 and 13 students (or those returning to learning) who have applied or are considering applying to university to study in a related area.

The centre will offer three contemporary undergraduate courses from September 2018:

  • Music Business and Production
  • Music, Performance and Production
  • Music Technology and Audio Production

The Centre offers award-winning facilities, excellent teaching and superb industry links, with equipment and software including Pro Tools, and a new state of the art Neve Genesys Black Recording Console.

To find out more and book for the Taster Day go to www.kent.ac.uk/cmat or email CMAT@kent.ac.uk.

Twitter: @UniKentCMAT

Facebook: @KentCMAT

Instagram: @unikentcmat

 

 

 

 

‘Creativity, Productivity and Time Management’ by George Langridge

To me, using technology to boost my productivity is almost everything. I’ve spent almost two and a half years searching for a practical, cost free (or very cheap) method of managing my time, boosting my productivity and being creative. I think I have cracked it.

As a student and creative, trying to juggle time to fit everything in, staying creative and being productive is a big task. Since getting my MacBook Pro, I have used nearly every application I could find to see is it could keep me productive and creative. Now, I use a variety of applications, services and methods.

iCal

Versatile, multi-tasking and simple.

 iCal/Calender [Free]

I’ve found that the ability to have multiple email accounts with their individual tasks, events and labels is really handy. I can see when I am due to go to college, work experience or out on shoot. I can also see when things are due, when I need to see family/friends and remember birthday. If you have to manage a company or group – that has it’s own email – you can see what everyone else should be doing or more likely, what they should be doing. You also have the ability to attach notes, files and locations to the event.

Quick search

Spotlight [Free]

Spotlight search is one of the most helpful tools on the mac, you have the ability to find documents, contacts, events, applications and much more. I use this tool to quickly open applications and recent files, Spotlight search learns what you search for the most. For example, if I search the letter Spotlight will put Twitter as the top hit, the same applies to Final Cut Pro when I start to type fin… which makes finding things a lot easier. It may only seem to save a matter of seconds, but over the course of one days worth of use you save about half an hour at least. Spotlight is also configurable to search (or not search) user defined files and drives.

Evernote, Mindnode and Pocket.

Evernote, MindNode Lite and Pocket [Free]

These three applications, to me are my creative trio. Evernote lets you store notes that are synced with as many desktop and mobile devices that I want, similar to notes on iCloud, except with more options, more platforms and quicker syncing. MindNode is an application that lets you quickly create mind maps with no limit to the amount of nodes or characters at all. Pocket is a read later service, however I use it like I -occasionally- Pinterest, to save interesting articles, awesome designs and photography. When they’re used together they really help with creativity, and productivity for that matter.

Wunderlist.

Wunderlist [Free]

Wunderlist is a great productivity application, which syncs across multiple devices on multiple platforms. This application, unlike reminders, lets you add notes, due dates and gives you the ability to easily create lists. I use Wunderlist to help organise work loads, tasks and I have a list of things to buy/do for my house/bedroom. Lists can be shared between as many or few people as you wish, they get to see deadlines, notes and whether or not you have stared  (prioritised) a certain task. I do however, wish that this had integration for notification center and iCal/Calender, the option to attach files would be great too. I am however, told (via a tweet) that these three things are being developed as you read this, or are due to be developed very soon.

Geektool, pardon the back-up.

Geektool [Free]

As many people that follow me on Twitter/Facebook know, I absolutely love Geektool. The simple ability to add the time, date, system specs and more to your desktop is just unbelievable helpful. You can add so many aspects to your desktop via Geeklets and scripts which are readily available on the internet and fairly simple to write yourself. My Geektool set up consists of [left to right]; system information, random/chosen quotes to boost inspiration, time, day, date and month. This is a fairly basic set up, I’ve seen some that have; calender information, RSS feeds, weather and iTunes information.

Google Drive and Dropbox.

Google Drive and Dropbox [Free – standard storage option]

Google Drive and Dropbox, to me, are extremely helpful and essential applications/services. I use Google Drive to easily share and edit files with different people, this allows me to see what they’ve changed, as well as giving me the ability to change multiple options depending on who the file is being shared with. I use Dropbox to store templates, Final Cut Pro/Avid/Adobe workspace files and other files I use across different devices on a daily basis. I absolutely love these services and wish I could afford extra storage space for both Dropbox and Google Drive. Definitely recommend these services.

Labels in the Finder.

Labels in the Finder

Using colour labels within the Finder is nothing new for any mac user. However, in my opinion not usually for the right reasons. I don’t think that occasionally labeling a folder red, in order to grab your attention half way through a project is at all a good use of this powerful tool. As you can see I have labeled all of the possible colours, and I label everything -seems a little obsessive- which, at a glace lets me know which each folder and project is for.

These are just a few things I do to keep productive and creative. If you have any more ideas, comment, tweet or email me.

Twitter/Instagram: @georgelangridge

eMail: georgelangridge95@gmail.com

Partition Crazy

Lately I’ve been juggling a huge amount of files, from scratch disks to films to documents. A friend suggested I partition my hard drive to accommodate for use on; OS X, Windows and Linux as well as giving me -theoretically- separate disks/volumes for different file types, categories or recipients (ie. work for clients on one volume and personal work on another). Also, working on a mac, I want a drive to use as a time machine back-up.

Time Machine, looks futuristic.

I feel that, for both creatives, and techies alike this is a hot topic. I mean, do you multiply the amount of drives and lose space with each partition or keep your space and have an extensive folder system to navigate (if you’re as precious about your file and system organisation as I am) or do you just put your hand in your pocket, bite your lip and buy multiple external drives?

Partitioning a hard drive on any operating system is fairly easy, if you want to know how drop a comment below or tweet me. Although please note that when creating a partition in a hard drive, the drive will format itself so copy it all to your computers internal drive.

Disk utility for partitioning and repair.

I have had a play with partitioning an old 320gb USB 2.0 hard drive and here are my thoughts. My initial opinion was “why?” but after a while I began to find it extremely intuitive as I instantly knew which files where in which area and what types of files they would be, this meant it was a lot quicker to find what I wanted. I also tried partitioning based on what the files where (ie. personal, work, college, creatabot etc), I found this extremely helpful as it had a server/cloud like approach to finding files. I’m always pushing to increase my productivity, I found that this really does boost my productivity as it is so simple to find things. If like myself you work across different systems, formatting a partition to be compatible with Windows and the other partition Mac made life a lot easier when transferring files, code and other data. This means you don’t have to rely on services like; Dropbox (which is a great application, that I use daily), Google Drive and Droplr, which are a little slow for transferring files -this is not what they where designed for- but instead can just drag and drop between systems instantly (depending on file size).

Some of the downsides I found were; it took a few attempts to get the partition sizes right as different file types needed more space than others or different categories received more data than others, I could just make folders within the hard drive to separate things out that way which would mean I could rearrange things easily if space became an issue and it adds possibly unnecessary icons to your otherwise minimalist desktop (unless you’re a clutter offender).

Using a partitioned drive as a scratch disk is a really nifty way of staying organised although it does lead to a slight speed decrease (unless you’re running USB3.0, Firewire 800 or Thunderbolt where it is almost unnoticeable), I would recommend using hard drives as scratch disks for important edits as you can set each partition to collate certain data or duplicates. If you’re an ‘Avid’ user then a speedy partitioned hard drive is exceptionally helpful as you can set one partition as the linked volume, one as the linked drive/folder and another to store the rushes (obviously you’d back them up somewhere else as well, wouldn’t you?).

Avid link to volume.

Over all, I would definitely -if you have the space and a spare drive- recommend partitioning an external hard drive as I have found it boosts productivity and gives me the ability (when editing pictures or video) to save the edits, files and metadata on a separate drive to that of the all important RAW images or rushes.

Twitter/Instagram: @georgelangridge