David Battino

David Battino

Areas of Expertise:

  • multimedia design
  • multimedia production
  • audio production
  • marketing
  • consulting
  • speaking
  • writing
David Battino is the audio and digital music editor for O’Reilly’s Digital Media site, the co-author of The Art of Digital Music, and on the Steering Committee for the Interactive Audio Special Interest Group (IASIG). He plays Mac, PC, and keyboards. With his wife, Hazuki Kataoka, he also writes, publishes, and performs Japanese kamishibai storycards. More at www.batmosphere.com.

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Millions of Plastic Guitars Can't Be Wrong

January 07 2010

If you make a process easy enough, you can change the world. In 1995, two MIT graduates set out to make music-making easy. Now millions of people play their product, and the inventors are releasing the developer tools for free. read more

Review: Kerchoonz K-box Portable Speaker

October 07 2009

Project Bar-B-Q is a great place to discover tomorrow's audio technology, so I was intrigued when someone on the mailing list mentioned the new Kerchoonz K-box portable speaker. Could "gel audio technology" really deliver unprecedented bass from a tiny box? The short answer is yes. read more

Using Windows 7 for Music Production

October 01 2009

Cakewalk has been reprogramming PCs into music studios since the days of DOS. Today, CTO Noel Borthwick explained the deep, technical details of how the architectural changes in Windows 7 will help (and sometimes hinder) audio processing. read more

Time-Lapse Movie with iPhone Soundtrack

August 24 2009

Former O'Reilly web producer Justin Watt just made a surprisingly cool video by combining still photos with a soundtrack made in Looptastic, a $5 iPhone app. Here's how he did it. read more

Web Video Hack: Many Movies, One Player

August 13 2009

Here's a super-easy way to play multiple movies in the same area on a webpage. No JavaScript required, and it works on iPhone too. read more

New Tricks for the Zoom H2

July 25 2009

Zoom packs a staggering number of features into its audio gear. Here are a few that were surprisingly useful when I had to record some magazine and radio demos. read more

Star Date 2387: Is This Thing On?

July 02 2009

In an amusing press release, Blue Microphones reports that the new Star Trek movie is crawling with its Mouse microphones. Here's a photo of one apparently recording the young Captain Kirk. Somehow I imagined it would look different. read more

iTunes DJ AppleScript: Fade to Next Track

May 29 2009

A radio DJ who runs her set from iTunes asked me if I could modify one of my fade-out AppleScripts. She wanted to end a song on demand and make iTunes crossfade into the next song on the playlist. I... read more

The Modern Way to Put out an Album: NYeT!

May 14 2009

It would be cruel to cite this as another example of the increasing irrelevance of newspapers, but I was honestly stumped by this entry in today's New York Times crossword: Modern way to put out an album. "P2P" sure didn't fit. read more

A Hardware Music Keyboard for the iPhone

May 05 2009

There are scads of piano-keyboard apps for the iPhone, but I find the lack of tactile feedback frustrating. With Apple opening the dock connector to outside developers in OS 3, couldn't someone create a true music keyboard? read more

The Virtual Instrument I'd Like to See

April 30 2009

Reading about an audiophile who compared the crackling of vinyl to the coughing of old men at a concert, I started to imagine a virtual audience plugin. What controls would you add? read more

iPhone Web Audio Playlist Hack

April 23 2009

Mobile Safari, the iPhone's web browser, has surprisingly weak audio support. But here's a hack I discovered to embed audio playlists. read more

Shippingness vs. Awesomeness

March 31 2009

Peter Kirn of Create Digital Music posted this terrific graph yesterday, showing that the more appealing the promised product, the longer it will take to ship: The object of Peter's gear lust was the Teenage Engineering (even the company name... read more

20 Sounds that Must Live

March 30 2009

Ted writes, "Enough with the Martian space-chime echoes! I just want five good bass sounds, five good keyboard sounds, five leads, and five pads that would sound good almost anywhere. If you could only have 20 synth sounds, what would they be?" read more

Web Presence for Publishers . . . What Works?

March 13 2009

On March 21, I'll be leading a workshop on “Web Presence” at BAIPA's annual Get Published Conference in San Anselmo, California. I put that in quotes because it's a wonderfully vast topic, and I'd love to hear your thoughts. What creative ways have you discovered to promote (or find) books… read more

Web Radio for *Listeners*

March 04 2009

The visionary Lucas Gonze just launched Fresh Hot Radio.com, a smart new twist on Web radio. His mission is to connect mainstream listeners to Web-native music, so the site draws from band communities, musicians' own blogs, and bulletin boards where musicians go to get advice on their mixes. I like… read more

Digital Music Discoveries at NAMM 2009

January 30 2009

Once again, America's biggest musical instrument trade show was an amazing mix of futuristic technology, fabulous performances, and freaky products. Here are some of my favorites, starting with portable audio recorders. read more

Macintosh Still Wisecracking at 25

January 24 2009

Today is the Mac's 25th birthday. Watching this YouTube video of Steve Jobs pulling it out of the bag in 1984, I was amused to see how sound has been part of this computer from the beginning. The speech synthesizer comes in around 2:51. It sounds like FM synthesis; anyone… read more

Music on Computers, Circa 2013

January 22 2009

For the past 13 years, I've traveled to Texas to join the "premier interactive audio think tank," Project Bar-B-Q. There, great minds from Dolby Labs, Karma Labs, Open Labs, Microsoft, Intel, DTS, Dell, and more plot the future of music on computers. Here's our latest report. read more

Beatles Tech Online

January 14 2009

Electronic Musician and Mix magazines just launched a wonderful little site compiling a bunch of articles about the Beatles and their pioneering use of music technology. read more

Free O'Reilly Webcast: Youth & Creativity

January 10 2009

On January 21, O'Reilly will host a 60-minute webcast called Youth & Creativity: Emerging Trends in Self-Expression and Publishing. Here's the concept: Youth are approaching digital self-expression and publishing from a more organic, collaborative angle than previous generations. They jump right in when the creative urge strikes, collaborating with others… read more

Bat Utility Belt #1: Save Your Ears for $20

January 02 2009

Ya gotta love gadgets. As a tech reviewer, I get to check out quite a few, but in this new blog series, I'll highlight some of the gear I've bought — with my own money — that's performed especially well. Following a utility-belt theme, I'll focus on gadgets under $100.… read more

"HDR" Performance Art on Your Street

December 31 2008

In our photo blogs, there are some stunning examples of high dynamic range (HDR) photography, which creates a hyperreal image by combining different exposures. What if that technique were applied to other media? You might get...this. read more

Creative (Suite) Self-Destruction

December 23 2008

What do you do when your primary creative tool stops working? It's an increasingly common problem as our tools become digital. I've lost great programs from companies that tanked, but when a program from a company that's still in business refuses to launch, it really chaps my hide. read more

Pump Up Your Podcasting Voice

December 18 2008

One of the most popular segments at my recent self-publishing workshop was about podcasting. Here are some of the production tips I shared, plus ones I didn't have time to mention. read more

The $5 Self-Publishing Workshop

December 11 2008

In the last five years, I've published five books — the first through a traditional royalty publisher and the rest at home. One of the most valuable resources I've had in that adventure is BAIPA, and in 30 seconds, you can see why. read more

The Right Toot for the Job

December 09 2008

Rick Sammon's blog about photographing thousands of snow geese reminded me of an e-mail I got a while back from a world-champion duck caller. He was looking for a digital audio recorder. Here's what I suggested. read more

When in Hollywood...

December 03 2008

When in Hollywood, as the saying goes, be sure to visit Universal Studios. I just did on an unusually slow day and had a great time exploring how theme-park designers create an immersive experience through clever technology and storytelling. read more

Moldy but Good: Keyboard Performance Hacks

December 01 2008

Watch Moldover deconstruct a toylike keyboard and reassemble it as an innovative musical performance controller. read more

Creativity Tools NOW

November 19 2008

BoinxTV is a striking example of how digital creativity tools are changing. As our tools begin to work in real time, they become less tools and more instruments. We begin to PLAY them, and playing is the heart of creativity. Can you think of other examples? read more

Tiny MIDI Keyboards for Your Laptop

November 19 2008

Heading out the door to a laptop jam session today, I eyed my chunky little MIDI keyboard, but even it was too big to fit in my backpack. I ended up typing out melodies and chords on the computer keyboard itself. Not very expressive. What you really want is velocity-sensitive,… read more

Yahoo Media Player 2.0 Released

November 13 2008

What's probably the easiest, cheapest, and most flexible way to add an audio player to your site just got a whole lot better. Yahoo Media Player version 2 launched yesterday, adding a bevy of new features, including faster load time and support for several new audio formats beyond MP3. read more

Where Did My Great Guitar Riff Go?

November 05 2008

It's the enduring creative mystery: You're noodling along on your instrument, stumble on an amazing lick or chord progression, and then something interrupts (phone, doorbell, power outage) and you forget your burst of genius. Where DO all the lost riffs and solos go? One of the cleverest new products I saw… read more

Revenge of the 3D Pumpkin

October 29 2008

It's Halloween again, and what better way to set the mood than with a new soundscape album from Mark Greenfield, aka Darwin Chamber? Thanks to intelligent, computer-aided composition, it's much more immersive than the standard serving of ghost moans, melodramatic laughter, and werewolf howls. read more

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