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Bryon Middleton
video engineering seminars?
on Feb 5, 2008 at 3:52:01 pm

Hello, I have been a video and audio editor professionally for roughly 8 years now. I'll admit i have limited knowledge when it comes to the engineering side of things. The college i attended had really weak electronic media courses and teachers. Most of what i know was self taught or trial and error. I worked a state job for 6 years where i was unable to do any maintenance, rewiring, setup...etc. "We have engineers for that."
Well now i am working for a small ad agency, where i am the editor, engineer, IT guy, and everything else that goes along with it. I have all new equipment here, but also have 30 years and miles of wires, decks, amps, routers... you get the point.

My question is: "Are there any workshops or seminars that any of you would recommend me attending to brush up and learn some of the basics of Video Engineering and the like?"

any help is greatly appreciated.

Bryon Middleton
Director of A/V Services
Media One Inc.


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Bob Zelin
Re: video engineering seminars?
on Feb 5, 2008 at 11:41:04 pm

I notice that in your profile you play (or played) in a Punk Band. What if you wanted to play like Eddie Van Halen (or others like this) - how would you learn how to do this - would you take a course on virtuoso guitar playing ? You might hire a guitarist to show you, or you could sit at home and PRACTICE over and over, until you learned these riffs.

The same applies to Video Engineering. You can either hire a freelance engineer to assist you, or you can start unplugging and plugging in your routers, VTR's, etc one at a time, and figure it out. And when you can't figure it out, you call Leitch, Pesa, Sierra (or whoever makes your router), or whatever else you own, and you SIT THERE AND FIGURE IT OUT.
If it becomes overwhelming to you, you bring in a freelancer to assist you. I am a leading video engineer, and I have NO IDEA of how to fix VTR's. If someone says to me "hey, your supposed to be this big shot Mr. Know IT All, how come you can't fix these VTR's - how come you have to call someone else" - it's because NO ONE KNOWS IT ALL. The guy who knows the VTR's won't know the IT stuff, and I have seen over and over again that the IT experts don't know plenty of specialty things, like SAN networks, (or MAC systems).

You don't need a course, you need to apply yourself, make phone calls, ask questions, and when you get in over your head, bring in a freelancer with more experience for the day. You can learn a lot in 4 - 8 hours.

Bob Zelin




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Bryon Middleton
Re: video engineering seminars?
on Feb 6, 2008 at 3:33:11 pm

Bob, i appreciate your straight forward answer. And making me feel dumber than before. ...Don't worry I'm over it. Perhaps I don't need a course, but I am applying myself, I do make phone calls, and ask questions. Like the one's I ask here. And I will figure it out on my own. As always. Unfortunately, unlike playing in a band, if I mess this up it's not just another song gone awry, it's my job.

Well...into the spaghetti room to start pullin'.

Bryon Middleton
Director of A/V Services
Media One Inc.


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Bob Zelin
Re: video engineering seminars?
on Feb 6, 2008 at 9:44:24 pm

Unfortunately, unlike playing in a band, if I mess this up it's not just another song gone awry, it's my job.

REPLY - this is the problem with punk music. Even if you screw it up, no one cares, and you are not embarassed. If you play more complex, difficult music, everyone cares, and you are embarassed. (I listen to Symphonic Metal these days).

If you screw up, ask questions right here. If it takes to long to get a reply, pick up the phone, and call support the company of the product you are working on .

Bob Zelin




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Tom Matthies
Re: video engineering seminars?
on Feb 11, 2008 at 9:54:56 pm

For some basic, book-learnin' types of information you might try contacting the Society of Broadcast Engineers. They have a number of certification programs on the areas you mention. Go to SBE.org. You can find a list of local chapters. Find the one for your area and contact them and explain what you are looking for. They might be able to give you advice or at least steer you in the right direction. It's a good start and most of the members are more than willing to spread the knowledge around. Find them and pick their brains.
As for Bob's comments, this stuff is a lot like trying to learn how to ride a bicycle by reading a book about it. There is a certain amount just digging in and getting your hands dirty. Read whatever you can find. There are lots of trade magazines out there on the subject. Find them and absorb everything you can.
I've been at this for over thirty years now, and I admit that most of what I know was picked up on the job. I have a couple of SBE certifications and ancient FCC licenses, but most of it was learned by the tried and true method of going "I wonder what THIS does?" I'm still learning. You'll never know it all.

Tom



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Bryon Middleton
Re: video engineering seminars?
on Feb 11, 2008 at 10:02:53 pm

Thanks for the input guys. Pretty much as i suspected.

Bryon Middleton
Director of A/V Services
Media One Inc.


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