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MULTIMEDIA
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Quad 23L Classic Floorstanding Loudspeakers
Once upon a time, one of Britain’s brightest stars launched a pair of electrostatic loudspeakers that changed the way many listened to music. Quad’s Peter Walker has long since passed away, but his brand remains and its speakers are held in high esteem.
Monitor Audio Radius 90 - Little Audio Dynamite (Part 1)
Loudspeakers come in all shapes and sizes, for better and for worse. Some folk love big boom boxes able to supply copious amounts of low frequencies, while others crave a light and airy sort of sound that focuses more on finesse than it does on visceral, flare-flapping volume
DirectX 10 Game Programming : Shaders and Effects - Pixel Shaders, Lighting (part 3) - Applying the Light
A shader that uses the lighting functions described in the previous section is shown next. This shader contains a default ambient light and a single directional light.
DirectX 10 Game Programming : Shaders and Effects - Pixel Shaders, Lighting (part 2) - Lighting Calculations
In previous versions of Direct3D, the fixed function pipeline included support for a fixed number of built-in lights. With Direct3D10, that support is gone, giving you the freedom to handle as many lights as you care to do the math for.
DirectX 10 Game Programming : Shaders and Effects - Pixel Shaders, Lighting (part 1) - Generating Normals
A normal is a vector that is perpendicular to the plane of a polygon and is used when adding lighting to a scene. The job of the normal is to help in determining the amount of light a polygon may be receiving.
Acoustic Energy AE 305 Stand Mounting Speaker
Up at the top of the angled front baffle is a 28mm fabric dome tweeter, and this makes for a largish three-way speaker system with a healthy claimed sensitivity of 90dB.
Chord Electronics SPM 1200 MkIISolid-State Power Amplifier(Part 2)
Its rendition of Zero 7’s beautiful I Have Seen is a rare pleasure, showing the Chord’s refreshing lack of character. It takes an even-handed approach – throwing out lots of lovely delicate, filigree detail. Again, I find instruments and vocals located with a vice-like grip, and the bass is allowed to power along purposefully without disturbing any other part of the music.
Chord Electronics SPM 1200 MkII Solid-State Power Amplifier (Part 1)
On the great power amplifier firmament, this has got the lot. The new Chord SPM 1200 MkII is physically large. It is beautifully presented with immaculate aerospace-grade aluminium surfacing and has a striking, architectural quality to its styling.
Dali Mentor Minuet – Hitting The Big Time (Part 2)
Not only is there more bass output than you might expect, but the size of the performance that the Minuet can generate is also genuinely surprising. The Minuet’s ability to reproduce even fairly sizeable pieces of music with a convincing scale and believable soundstage is something that takes a little getting used to, but is exceptionally welcome nonetheless.
Dali Mentor Minuet – Hitting The Big Time (Part 1)
Doing things in its own particular way is very much what the Dali brand is all about. Examples include extensive use of ribbon tweeters and the development of a wood fiber material that appears in almost all of the ranges the company produces. To this end, there are some Dali design features that generally stand out from the pack.
The Mini Test Of Four Contrasting Premium-Priced DAB Radios (part 2) - Roberts Sovereign, Pure Evoke Mio
The sovereign will reign supreme on a kitchen counter thanks to its substantial size and unusual angular profile. A modern take on Roberts’ Vintage R500, its livery is fit for a queen.
The Mini Test Of Four Contrasting Premium-Priced DAB Radios (part 1) - Ruark R1, Revo Axis X3
Available in a range of colors, the R1 is faultless in terms of its build quality. Rear rocketry comprises line in, line out, headphones and a USB service port.
Nevado Kaos Bluetooth Speaker - A Fine Little Moveable Music Making Device
Bluetooth speakers aren’t going to render your nice shiny floor standers redundant any time soon, but they are making serious inroads into the budget arena, where performance is outweighed by the ability to stream from compatible devices. Enter Nevada’s Kaos.
Peachtree Audio’s Decco65 - Peaches And Cream (Part 2)
One of the main attractions of the decco65 is the digital input functionality, not least because relatively few other amplifiers have this feature – even if the ranks are now growing. So continuing with the Byrd’s track, I hook up the Audio lab 8200 via a coaxial input, effectively using it as a digital transport.
Peachtree Audio’s Decco65 - Peaches And Cream (Part 1)
Hi-fi was born not long after dinosaurs strode the earth, and do you know what? It hasn’t changed much since then. The concept, I mean. Few manufacturers have strayed far from the time-honored concept of hi-fi separates, where one box does one thing and another does another, and never the twain shall meet.
PS Audio Perfect Wave Power Base
This is a product that can support your audio system in two very different ways! Firstly, it’s a very solidly made equipment support that can handle loads of up to 45kg. Secondly, it incorporates a mains conditioner unit that provides filtered and conditioner power to whatever sits on top of it.
DNM Design Stereo Solid Core Resolution Speaker Cable
Denis N Moorcroft has come up with a new speaker cable, the first in quite a while. Denis was the guy who put solid core cables on the map back in the eighties and for a long time his skinny speaker cables were the choice for those looking for great sound at a sensible price.
Hi-Fi Racks Ltd Podium Slimline Support Rack
Hi-Fi supports have to combine good looks with a structure that performs well acoustically, and as such are unlikely to be stocked by your favorite furniture supplier. Leicestershire-based Hi-Fi Racks Ltd produces a range of equipment supports that can be adapted to suit your own requirements.
Acoustic Energy’s AE1 Multi-Driver Loudspeakers (Part 2)
If the AE1 looked like the future, imagine how it sounded. All those big, ponderous boxes with multiple drivers slipping in and out of phase with one another at random points couldn’t hold a candle to this little loudspeaker’s speed and dexterity. With its two, super-stiff drivers set into a small rigid cabinet, it comes over as a model of clarity, insight and resolution.
Acoustic Energy’s AE1 Multi-Driver Loudspeakers (Part 1)
In a world of large multi-driver loudspeakers, Acoustic Energy’s AE1 laid down the blueprint for thoroughly modern mini-monitors.
Arcam irDAC - The Latest Little Black Box (Part 2)
In the time honored fashion of many Arcam products the irDAC is not an especially showy performer. It is impressively smooth and refined and has a tonal balance that should complement a wide variety of different music. The Cinematic Orchestra’s To Build a Home is wonderfully natural with Patrick Watson’s vocals given a crispness and definition that lends the performance a realism and presence that is hard not to like.
Arcam irDAC - The Latest Little Black Box (Part 1)
After a lengthy hiatus from the DAC market, Arcam rolled its sleeves up and returned to the category in 2010 with the rDAC. Since then, the company has extended its range of ‘r’ products including the truly excellent rBlink Bluetooth receiver and simple rPac DAC.
Denon AH-D600 Headphones – The Top Of Your Shortlist
If you ever needed proof that the audio industry was faddish and driven by an insatiable desire to move in on rival companies’ markets, then look no further than headphones. A decade ago, these were specialist things bought by geeks, many of whom had a connection with the recording or DJ industry.
Musical Fidelity V90-HPA Headphone Amplifier
When the English language doesn’t quite have a word for it, we pragmatically turn to other mother tongues. Musical Fidelity’s latest range of V90 mini components can best be described as catching the ‘zeitgeist’, the spirit of the age, of the hi-fi world.
Naim Nait 5si - The Latest Naim Integrated Amplifier (Part 2)
The amplifier really comes to life conveying the two-drummer set-up on Burn –the latest 24/96 Naim Label rip by the Sons of Kemet. It vividly contrasts the styles of the two drummers and generates the sort of excitement that I am sure the band originally set out to create among its audiences playing live.
Naim Nait 5si - The Latest Naim Integrated Amplifier (Part 1)
I have a long history with the Naim Nait, one that stretches right back to the release – and subsequent purchase – of the original Nait in 1983. In fact, I rescued that amplifier from my loft immediately so that I could listen to it alongside this, its 2013 counterpart. This proves to be a rather fascinating exercise with fundamentally little to choose between the two integrated amplifier designs in musical terms.
Adobe After Effects CS5 : Dynamic Range: Bit Depth and Film (part 3) - Video Gamma Space, Linearized Working Space
You may have always assumed that 8-bit monitor code value 128, halfway between black and white, makes a gray that is half as bright as white. If so, you may be shocked to hear that this is not the case. In fact, 128 is much darker—not even a quarter of white’s brightness on most monitors.
Adobe After Effects CS5 : Dynamic Range: Bit Depth and Film (part 2) - Dynamic Range, Cineon Log Space
A film negative gets its name because areas exposed to light ultimately become dark and opaque, and areas unexposed are made transparent during developing. Light makes dark. Hence, negative.
Adobe After Effects CS5 : Dynamic Range: Bit Depth and Film (part 1) - 16-Bit-Per-Channel Composites, Film and Cineon Files
After Effects 5.0 added support for 16-bpc color for one basic reason: to eliminate color quantization, most commonly seen as banding, where subtle gradients and other threshold regions appear in an image. 16-bpc mode adds 128 extra gradations between each R, G, B, and A value of the familiar 8-bpc mode.
Adobe InDesign CS5 : Working with Objects and Layers - Working with Objects on Layers, Using the Measure Tool, Using Live Screen Drawing
The Measure tool allows you to find out the size of items or measure the distance between objects. The Measure tool displays measurement information in the Info panel. The panel shows you the horizontal and vertical position, distance and angle of the measurement line, and width and height of the bounding box.
Adobe InDesign CS5 : Working with Objects and Layers - Locking Layers and Objects, Merging Layers and Groups
If you have objects on multiple layers and want to consolidate them onto one layer, you can merge them together. You can merge two or more layers. However, you can’t merge an object with another object. If a layer is locked or hidden, you can still use it in a merge.
Adobe InDesign CS5 : Working with Objects and Layers - Setting Layer Options, Showing and Hiding Layers and Objects
When you have a lot of objects in the document window, it can be hard to keep track of them. In the Layers panel, you can hide layers and objects to reduce the clutter and make it easier to work with the layers and objects that you want.
Adobe InDesign CS5 : Working with Objects and Layers - Creating and Deleting Object Layers
You can think of Layers as a group of transparent sheets stacked on top of each other, where each layer can contain a separate aspect of the total design. Layers give you control over the design elements of your document.
Adobe InDesign CS5 : Working with Objects and Layers - Creating Anchored Objects
An anchored object is an object that is attached to a text frame using specific options. The Insert Anchored Object dialog box allows you to control how, where, and what type an object is placed in a text frame.
Beauty Box Photo Plugin Review
The Beauty Box Photo Plugin, which is written for Adobe Photoshop, Aperture and Photoshop Elements, is a plugin whose ability is to smooth the skin and eliminate blemishes easily to create a professional-outlook portrait. We are testing it by the Photoshop CS5.
Adobe Photoshop CS5 : Advanced Selection Techniques (part 2) - Calculations Command
You can use the Calculations command to create a new selection based on the details in an image’s channels. This technique is hit or miss, because it won’t work with every image. But when it succeeds, it’s a big success.
Adobe Photoshop CS5 : Advanced Selection Techniques (part 1) - Using a Channel
In many images, there is often high contrast between the different elements. For example, a person framed by a bright blue sky may clearly stand out, since there are a lot of red values in skin and a lot of blue in the sky.
Close Call - Macro Makes Ordinary Objects Fascinating
The wonderful thing about really close close-up photography is that it lets you examine a world of fascinating detail that surrounds us 24/7 – detail of which we’re largely unaware. Boston-based photographer Bruce P. was reminded of this while doing, of all things, yard work.
Record Skype Conversations Using Calinote
Skype is voIP software that lets you make free phone calls over the internet. Install it on your PC, laptop, smartphone or tablet and, provided your recipient is also signed into Skype, you simply click their username to initiate a video call.
STM Bags Tracer Deluxe Stylus Pen
This is a highly engineered object that's an almost entirely metal construction that mounts a soft tablet friendly tip at one end and a two color interchangeable ball-point at the other. Just please, whatever you do, don't get them mixed up!
 
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