A Day in the Life of a Producer Ch. 1
I am now a raving fan of beats
Initially, I wasn’t sure of purchasing a set of beats by Dre, as it’s known in the Entertainment industry. Here are my reasons for digging deep into my pocketbook and paying nearly $200 for a set of beats.
1. If you’re like any of the creative people in the industry, you listen to a lot of music while writing or composing. Hooked into the laptop, you work with some form of Audio listening device inside your ears. For me, that’s about 12 hours or more per day, seven days a week.
2. With the extended use of Jlab earbuds, which have been my personal favorite for quite a few years, I recently starting getting a syndrome, which could only be termed “Itchy ear canal.” No, it’s not because my buds are dirty, as I clean them several times per day with a 70% alcohol prep packet (the kind they use at the Doctor’s office, before they give you a needle shot). It’s because of the extended use of earbuds inside your ears, with the vibration factor alone. I also have a pair of SkullCandy buds for the Android phone, and similar ear symptoms have been developing.
With ear health in mind, I decided to visit and price check a new pair of Earphones, at the newly opened Target inside Ala Moana Shopping Center, per a friend’s recommendation.
The new Oahu Target is really nice
I was shopping inside of the Electronics department, which is one of the few departments with a windowed view to the outside, of the adjoining parking structure. After picking out the weekly sale priced DVDs at $10, with my recent penchant for the packaging of “BluRay & DVD & Digital HD” combination, I cautiously approached the beats locked display case.
When Electronics Sales Associate Patrick helped me pick out my beats, he was very knowledgeable about my intended use of the product. He was quick to ascertain whether I had Bluetooth, and when I told him that water had gotten on my laptop and now I didn’t have Bluetooth, he finished my sentence “oh, so you would need the wired version, which is this one” (pointed to the beats ep product in the case display).
- During the sales transaction, his non-verbal reaction to Jlab buds was favorable, but when I mentioned having a pair of Skullcandies, he definitely rated that brand lower on the listening scale.
- He was really responsive to my beats questions, since I wanted to use the product not only on my Windows 10 laptop, but also on my Android phone. I pulled out the cellphone from my Backpack, and when he looked at the audio out, said that beats ep would work on it, meaning a “standard jack.”
- When he handed me the beats ep box to examine, I noticed there was a lot of “made for iPod, iPhone and iPad” logos on one side. Patrick assured me that the packaging said that on the outside, but that the product would work on Windows 10 and Android phones with “no problem.”
Patrick was required to ring me up at the Electronics counter, and when I told him that I had other products to ring up as well, he said “So long as it’s not alcohol, because the registers doesn’t let alcohol purchases go through.” He was so direct and honest, that I found myself inwardly laughing, as I must have appeared this way about 20 years prior, with my second career in Retail. He and I had a chuckle when I said “Okay, alcohol and music, understandable.”
A great purchase experience, so keep up the good work, Target folks!
Checking out a second time (after a visit to the Shoe department)
If you know me, I also have a penchant for shoes. What woman doesn’t?
Knowing that I should bypassed the Shoe Department entirely, and a quick selection of a Spring boot purchase, I was needing to checkout a second time, at the Mauka mall door entrance. My Cashier at the Self Checkout noticed that I had a beats ep box inside my Happy Wahine Purple Shopping tote, and queried “Do they keep those out on the shelf?” When I told him that I already paid for these with Patrick at Electronics, and “No, they’re kept in the case.” Great job of my Cashier for helping me at the Mauka mall’s Self Checkout.
Thank you to Target management for hiring and maintain quality team members. I really like shopping at this location.
I listen to the broad spectrum called MUSIC
If you’ve been a fan of my Hub, then you know that I really don’t like categorizing anything. The only reason that I have to categorize “it,” is that I have to play by the rules, whether with an Editor or a Scheduler.
This is one reason why I like the recent uncategorization of Music at Barnes and Noble. The Music department had been divided into categories, showing progression through chronological time (music history), beginning with Classical and ending with Various. In the early 2000s, when I was one of the Merchandising Supervisors with Borders (one of the coolest jobs I’ve ever had the pleasure of working, by the way), Music has always been traditionally divided this way.
- What makes the recent “catmanning” really great, because Jazz has now been pulled as a single category, which was always filed after Classical, into the huge department called “Music.” Say goodbye to the labels of Jazz, Classic Rock, Rock, Pop, Soul, Blues, Hip-hop, Rap, Folk, Soundtracks and Various, as they’ve now been put together as MUSIC.
- This is great for the Music shopper, since the new system allows the shopper to see other artists, whom you may not have listened to. Sales planogramming in action.
- The only exception to the new system is Classical and Hawaiian have their own separate wall bays. Which is understandable, because Hawaiian music (in Hawaii) should have its own section. This Barnes and Noble has a customer demographic of Worldwide visitors, so everyone will find something appealing on every visit.
Remember, categorization is corporate’s way of trying to organize the breadth of knowledge that they really don’t know how to manage anyway. And, if you don’t believe me, then see my Biography page on my extensive background.
Onto beats and MUSIC…
I rip all of my CDs onto my hard drive, then lock the CDs inside the Music Vault. Technically, there is no copyright violation, as its single user all the way.
Plugging in my new beats ep, I decided to listen to the original music soundtrack from Fifty Shades Darker, which was originally ripped in WMA format on Best Quality, from within the Windows Media Player. I choose to rip the music in this format for disk space saving, and a moderate listening level.
Dr. Dre is right: People aren’t hearing all the music. This CD sounded so much different, as I was able to appreciate all the artists’ work a lot more. If you’re looking as to the real reason that Dr. Dre developed the product, my film recommendation is Straight Outta Compton, where his story is told (as he was one of the film’s Producers), and he tells the Movie Viewer why he developed beats, after his rise in the Hip Hop market.
A word of caution:
Based on the master volume of the CD being listened to, don’t turn the volume more than 8, from within a Windows 10 computer-laptop. The beats ep product is dynamic, so don’t blow your eardrums out accidentally.
A true story: my friend Mitch plays the Bass Guitar, and despite his talent, he blew out his right ear from an amp at the age of 15. Technically, he’s only at a 50% hearing level from his left ear alone.
My next CD of the day was Harry Styles’ self-entitled album. Talk about actually hearing Harry’s vocal range and his wonderful songs. My favorite track numbers (#6 &9) really sounded great. Specifically, Woman (track #9) took on a new listen, with the intro of “Do you think we should search Netflix and see what we find?” before the track begins. Cool for the 30 million+ Harry fans.
My third CD of the day was Sam Smith’s In the Lonely Hour, and my beats ep let me hear Sam’s vocal talent, as he’s hitting the high notes, on a volume level of 6. My favorite track #5 (“I’m Not the Only One”) takes on a different tonal quality, as you hear Sam’s voice hitting the notes, and the bass with the deeper rhythm. And that’s why Sam won the Grammy. Track #6’s “I’ve Told You Now” also sounds different.
Okay, I think you’re getting the idea that I’m going to have re-listen to all of the Pamusic collection. And, I have quite a collection of LIVE music, so this should be sounding pretty nice. Better “shuffle” the whole collection!
Here are the pluses of the beats ep product:
1. The beats ep product is really Robust, and with the covered earphone design, it blocks out all surrounding noises. This is good, if you’re riding a crowded bus, which seems to becoming the “Norm” on Oahu. Please be careful to remove your beats, when crossing the street or when attention is required. Being in your own world is great, but use caution when in the real world.
2. There is a Lower listening volume to all of your musical tunes. This is better for your inner ear canal.
3. The L and R symbols designating which way to wear your beats. The Left side has the wire, with a built-in microphone. If you put them on the incorrect way, the beats will push down on your head in an uncomfortable fashion, as I discovered, in my anticipation of listening to the MUSIC.
4. The Dual-sided adjustable headphone, with discrete wire design, so you don’t have “Spaghetti Wire” syndrome. You know, where the wires are criss-crossed so badly, that you’ve cooked pasta on your desktop. This is my second likeable product feature.
5. The Gold audio listening jack connection. This means less corrosion in humid areas, which is what Hawaii does naturally with most metals. I really like this feature above all other features.
6. The Interoperability of using the product with all portable media devices. See the next section for additional mobile-device testing.
7. And, ultimately, no more “Itchy ear canal” syndrome!
Functionally, there are no downsides to the product, other than I’m going to budget for a Wireless version for my Nook e-reader. Using its Bluetooth connectivity, the Nook lets you play music from its SD card slot, which must be in the MP3 format, per my Nook bookseller. Rather than re-ripping Pamusic, I’ll have to find some software that will convert the WMA format into the MP3 format. It will save time for the 20+GB of music, rather than manually re-ripping all the CDs from the Music Vault. From a busy Producer’s viewpoint, this is an assignment for my (soon-to-be-hired) Producer Assistant.
Dr. Dre, if you are reading my Hub, please produce or make available through Mass Market retailing chains: Different colors. I really wanted to purchase a Purple set of beats (my second choice would have been Chrome), but was told that there were only 3 colors available: Black, White or Primary blue. That is my only downside.
For some audience members, spending $200.00 on a set of headphones might seem extravagant, but it is so worth it.
Now I understand why people are always in their own world with their beats
I used to wonder why people often seemed to be in their own world, whenever they have their beats on. Now I understand completely.
More Field Producer testing:
Yes, I will be putting my beats ep product to the test, by using it with other media products, as this is the direction that our world is moving towards. I would like to test the “Dusty-ness” factor, as I like to call it. This is how much dust collects on the product, how to clean it, and how it performs in a humid Tropical climate.
The next test: being in the Social Media Producer role a little more these past few months, I listen to a lot of Streaming media. With the Streampunking going on, and the way that media is evolving, Streaming Content is now the #1 method that people receive their information. Whether you use your Phone (a joke from Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle), E-reader, Tablet, Laptop, Desktop or Internet-enabled TV, streaming is as natural as breathing.
I will let you know how the beats ep product performs On-line, in a follow-up article.
The next next test will be in using beats ep inside a portable DV player, which is a brand called eMatic, where I found at the local Asian mart, located in the middle of Oahu’s Korean market town. Yes, I know what you’re thinking: If you have a Laptop, why are you using a portable DVD player? Believe it or not, my eyes get tired from watching the Computer Screen for 12 hours per day. So, I like to watch movies on DVD. But, there is no portable BluRay player on the market.
- And, with my field days at 18 hours (sometimes OVERNIGHT), I have to watch a Movie series, in order to prepare for the upcoming sequel, and there’s no plug-in! Or, as of lately, I have to plug in the Laptop into the Café’s single wall outlet. While that’s charging, I pull out my atomi power bank #1, plug in the eMatic player and headphones into one side, and Voila! Movie of the moment.
- My Sales Associate at Don Quijote was a little nerdy, but knew his DVD player electronics, when I initially asked him for a “Portable BluRay player,” and his answer was: “I wish we had a product like that. But, it doesn’t exist. Yet.” Sold.
The ultimate test is: Apple world. When I purchase my Apple laptop a little later in 2018, I would like to either use my existing beats ep, or Upgrade to the beats wireless solo product as it’s meant to be used cross-platform. Knowing that beats is specially made for the iProduct line, this is great for cross platform users, like Uncle Lawrence Lau.
- He produces his Wedding and UH Football Games videos on an Apple computer, but has to share the finished videos with Windows DVD users. He uses 8K digital camera for filming, but he says with the redefinition of certain standards, he feels he might have to upgrade to a 12K digital camera soon.
- When we have Movie Technical discussions, he says that the Theatrical movies are being shot in 16K or 24K systems, due to Display quality, rendering and Special effects, and editing requirements in post-Production.
I must let him know of my beats ep product experience, the next time we meet for a preFilmD!
Until the next review, take care and enjoy what you do, Pam
© 2018 Pam Freeman