The Best Compact Studio Monitors In 2022

Big sound comes in small packages. Get the most bang for your buck with the top compact studio monitors on the market today.

Last year I moved to a new apartment and, for some reason, decided to get myself a corner desk. It’s not that my new apartment didn’t have the space for a typical desk. But, the corner desk helped free space for the rest of the room and allowed me to build out my editing suite. However, I then ran into the issue where my overly large KRK Rokit 5 monitors and equally large monitor stands had no place to go. So, I decided to part ways with Rokit 5s (bless those beauties) and opted for a more compact studio monitor setup.

I spent a lot of time searching for monitors that were smaller in size but packed a similar punch. From that, here are the best compact monitors you can buy in 2022.


Yamaha HS5 – $199.99 Single

Image via Yamaha.

The Yamaha HS5 is an excellent set of studio monitors in affordability and performance. Offering a superb soundscape on all levels. Aesthetically it has a subtle black-and-white design that will fit within any setup. An all-white version is also available.

The speakers offer a clean, crisp sound with excellent clarity and balance frequencies perfectly, offering a nice and flat sound, making these ideal for sound design and editing.

  • 70W Total Output
  • Weight: 11.7 lbs (5.3 kg)
  • 2-way bass-reflex bi-amplified nearfield studio monitor with 5″ cone woofer and 1″ dome tweeter
  • 54Hz – 30kHz (-10dB), 74Hz – 24kHz (-3dB) frequency response
  • 45W LF plus 25W HF bi-amp system for high-performance 70W power amplification
  • ROOM CONTROL and HIGH TRIM response controls
  • XLR and TRS phone jack inputs accept balanced or unbalanced signals
  • Low-Resonance Enclosure

ADAM Audio T5V – $219 Single / $439.98 Pair

Image via Adam Audio.

ADAM Audio T5V is their attempt at an affordable but powerful monitor that can rival the bigger giants of the monitor world. Sticking to the 5″ bookshelf size, the T5V hits some fantastic home runs regarding its sound signatures. The T5Vs’ sound staging is incredible, and for the price point, you are seriously going to enjoy these monitors.

A beveled cabinet with a rear-firing bass reflex port and a small footprint allows placement anywhere in your room, no matter how small, and contains built-in DSP-controlled driver crossovers and equalization as well as multi-way analog connections. Powered with a 50 W Class D amplifier for the woofer and a 20 W Class D amplifier for the U-ART tweeter, the T5V produces SPLs of up to 106 dB per pair.

Excellent acoustic characteristics, small dimensions, and an outstanding cost/performance ratio make this studio monitor perfectly suited for use in small control rooms in music, video, and broadcast production.

Adam Audio

  • 5″ Polypropylene Woofer
  • U-ART 1.9″ Accelerated Ribbon Tweeter
  • HPS Waveguide from the S-Series
  • Bi-Amped Class-D Amplifier
  • Total Output: 70W
  • High & Low Shelf Filters
  • Frequency Response: 45 Hz to 25 kHz
  • Maximum SPL: 106 dB

Kali Audio IN-5 – $349.99 Single / 697.95 Pair

Image Via Kali Audio.

The smaller sibling of the IN-8, the IN-5, offers the same three-way monitor setup made up of a five-inch woofer and a coaxial four-inch midrange driver, and one-inch soft dome tweeter. With balanced TRS and XLR inputs, unbalanced RCA input, built-in DSP, boundary EQs, and HF/LF trim are all built into this small-sized package weighing in at 8.4kg per speaker.

At this price point, these are some outstandingly accurate neutral monitors. Giving a consistent response across the entire frequency range, Kali has done an amazing job of keeping to the high standards of their products.

  • 3-Way Tri-Amped Design
  • 5″ Woofer, 4″ MF Driver, and 1″ Tweeter
  • Coaxial Midrange Driver and Tweeter
  • 85 dB SPL at 7.2′ with 20 dB Headroom
  • Lifelike Stereo Imaging
  • Low Self-Noise
  • 47 Hz to 21 dB Frequency Response
  • -10 dBV or +4 dBu Input Sensitivity
  • RCA, TRS, and XLR Connections

Focal ALPHA 50 Evo – $359.00 Single / $718.00 Pair

Image Via Focal.

Design-wise the Alpha 50 Evo is slightly larger than similar 5-inch monitors on the market, but that doesn’t stop it from being an attractive and sleek-looking cabinet. I’m a big fan of the blue-toned cone that gives an overall look a much-needed pop that stands out (only if you remove the grill!)

Though a bit expensive, the Alpha 50 Evo studio monitors by Focal are an excellent option for audiophiles who need clarity and accurate response levels with just the right amount of depth in the low end. 

  • Accurate Monitor for Working Engineers
  • Multiple Types of Analog Inputs
  • 45 Hz to 22 kHz Frequency Response
  • Identical Balance at Low & High Loudness
  • Wide Dispersion for Wide Sweet-Spot
  • Adjustable EQ for Room Positioning
  • 50W Class-D Power
  • Monitor on Mount or Wall
  • IEC Cable and Protective Grill Included

Yamaha MSP3A – $219.99 Individual / $439.98 Pair

Image Via Yamaha.

Ok, so these are the monitors that I decided to go with. They’re currently playing A Friend Like You by Headlund while I write this roundup.

Though they are targeted as an entry-level studio monitor, Yamaha’s MSP3 is perfect for smaller studio or desk setups. This is the smallest unit in Yamaha’s MSP studio monitor line but still retains the quality and sound precision standards we’d expect from Yamaha. Made from a hard plastic, the MSP3 offers a lightweight and portable unit and is ideal for traveling setups.

Only offering 20 Watts of power each, the output is enough for its stated frequency response of 65Hz to 22kHz. The MSP3A provides outstanding clarity and resolution for its tiny size and price, just don’t expect the same quality as its bigger siblings in the family.

The versatile MSP3 reference monitor has been renewed as the MSP3A, featuring a new Twisted Flare Port that delivers clearer bass from a simpler, more beautiful design.

With a 22-watt built-in amplifier, the MSP3A offers faithful sound reproduction and, like its predecessor, has a variety of inputs and controls and is compatible with numerous optional support brackets.

The MSP3A is an ideal choice for small studios and post-production setups, as well as for monitoring electronic instruments and surround reproduction.

Yamaha

  • For Stereo and Surround Setups
  • Clean Lows, Accurate Sound
  • RCA and Combo 1/4″-XLR Inputs
  • 4″ Cone Woofer, 0.8″ Dome Tweeter
  • Low and High Controls on the Front
  • Bass Reflex, Twisted Flare Port
  • Portable and Mountable in Multiple Ways

Cover by PeachShutterStock.

For more on gear roundups, check out the list below:

Big-Batch Honey Bacon Breakfast Sandwich

Our big-batch Breakfast Sandwiches are worth getting out of bed for. Loaded with protein, these sammys are sure to keep everyone full even on the busy mornings. With simple ingredients like eggs, cheese, bacon and pure honey, these sandwiches are not only flavorful, but freezer approved so you can enjoy them all week long.

Yield
12 Servings

Prep Time
15 Minutes

Total Time
45 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 12 strips bacon
  • 3 Tbsp Nature Nate’s hot honey
  • 12 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 12 slices gouda or sharp cheddar
  • English muffins

Directions

Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Cut the bacon strips in half so you have 24 shorter strips. Arrange the bacon in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and place in a cold oven. Turn the oven to 425°F. Bake the bacon for 15 minutes, flip, and continue baking for another 10 minutes, keeping an eye on it to ensure it isn’t burning. Immediately transfer the bacon to a clean plate and while still very hot, drizzle with hot honey. Set aside to cool.

Whisk the eggs, milk, and salt together and pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes or until just set. Cut into twelve squares and set aside.

Slice the English muffins in half crosswise and fill each with one square of baked eggs, two pieces of bacon, and a slice of cheese. Individually wrap each sandwich tightly with foil and store in the freezer up to 6 months. To warm, remove the foil, wrap the sandwich in a paper towel, and microwave on high for 1 ½ – 2 minutes. Allow to sit in the microwave for one minute before serving.

Easy DIY Faux Leather Wrap Bracelet Tutorial

We love homemade jewelry here at Make and Takes. It not only makes wonderful gifts, but you also get to wear something that’s an original handmade piece. We’ve previously shown you how to make jewelry out of leather and faux leather including layered beaded bracelets and leather tassel earrings. In this post, we are sharing a faux leather wrap bracelet tutorial.

blue and tan faux leather wrap bracelet with beads

How to make a faux leather wrap bracelet

This craft is so quick and easy to make. It’s perfect if you want something new to wear to match an outfit or to give for a last-minute gift.

Supplies:

  • Faux leather cord – 2 colors
  • Beads
  • 1 Jewelry clasp
  • 2 Coil cord ends
  • 2 Jump rings
  • Jewelry pliers
  • E-6000 glue

you need leather cord, cord ends, and beads to make a faux leather wrap bracelet

Faux leather wrap bracelet tutorial:

Tip: Don’t cut your cord length yet, we will do that after the first step, so keep it long for now. The reason for this is the beads might alter the length of the cord as it’s wrapped around your wrist.

The first step to making your faux leather wrap bracelet is to thread beads onto the center of the cord. You will notice that I only added a blue cord to the image above, but after threading beads on it, I decided to add a beige cord as well.

beads threaded onto two strands of faux leather cord to make a bracelet

The next step is to cut your cord to length. Wrap a tape measure around your wrist for the desired number of times you want the bracelet to wrap around. Mine wraps around three times.

Cut the cord, but keep in mind that once you attach the cord ends, jump ring, and a clasp that will add up to an extra inch. You don’t want your bracelet too tight, but you also don’t want it slipping around either.

The final step is to attach the cord ends, jump rings, and a clasp to the end of your cords. You might notice that I ended up using different cord ends in the image below than what was in the supplies image above. The first set of ends that I tried kept breaking and were very flimsy. The coiled cord ends worked so much better, but you will need to use E-6000 glue on the end of the cords to prevent them from falling out.

the best cord ends to attach to leather cord when making a braceleet

These faux leather wrap bracelets look so pretty on.

diy faux leather wrap bracelet tutorial

Please Pin Post For Later:

faux leather wrap bracelet tutorial pinterest

The 12 Best Video Production Blogs

Stay up to date on all the latest gear, editing software, and industry news with these helpful video production blogs.

Blogs are a fantastic resource when searching for filmmaking and video production advice. The web is loaded with video pros and industry experts who weigh in daily with equipment reviews, software tips, and stylistic techniques you can put to good use. So, let’s take a look at a few of the best filmmaking and video production blogs available to readers today.


1. The Blast from RocketStock

The 15 Best Filmmaking and Video Production Blogs: RocketStock

Specializing in After Effects tutorials and VFX inspiration, RocketStock is the go-to resource for anybody looking to break into the fields of motion graphics and post-production wizardry. In addition to great information and technical advice, RocketStock also offers a ton of free motion design assets.


2. Shutterstock

The 15 Best Filmmaking and Video Production Blogs: Shutterstock

Shutterstock’s blog is all over the place in the best way, covering topics like photography, video editing, animation, and corporate video. The blog’s Footage section is especially valuable to videographers looking for next-level tips, techniques, and tricks of the trade. They also have a highly informative Youtube channel geared toward video makers, Shutterstock Tutorials.


3. No Film School

The 15 Best Filmmaking and Video Production Blogs: No Film School

No Film School prides itself on fostering a community of filmmakers and video creatives dedicated to expanding the talents of their peers. Boasting an impressive array of educational and industry-related content, No Film School has something for anyone looking to grow as an artist—podcasts, gear articles, video essays, and more. Plus, if you’re looking for some great video coverage of NAB, No Film School has you covered with video recaps on their Youtube channel.


4. Frame.io

Frame.io’s blog is jam packed full of interviews with some of the most talented and biggest names in the Hollywood filmmaking scene. These interviews feature Oscar-winning editors, award-winning cinematographers, and other top-level peers in varying positions on the set of some of the biggest blockbusters being released. The interviews are always very long form and really have a lot of meat to them.

Frame.io also has an excellent Youtube channel with insights from some incredibly talented filmmakers and how they collaborate (mostly using the Frame.io tool) but there are some juicy nuggets of information in these videos.


5. CineD

CineD’s content focuses heavily on the newest gear and emerging video technologies. If you’re into the technical side of the video craft and find yourself constantly hunting for the latest rumors, reviews, and rundowns, Cinema5D is a must-read.


6. ProVideo Coalition

The 15 Best Filmmaking and Video Production Blogs: Pro Video Coalition

One of ProVideo Coalition’s greatest strengths is the company’s connection to real-deal Hollywood pros. Their expert contributors have experience with everything from indie shoots to major studio productions. The site’s gear roundups and breakdowns of popular commercials make them a vital visit in your daily media consumption journey. On their Youtube channel you can find video reviews from many of the different video conventions, not just NAB.


7. Jonny Elwyn

The 15 Best Filmmaking and Video Production Blogs: Jonny Elwyn

Exuding an obvious passion for helping aspiring filmmakers, Jonny Elwyn’s blog offers informative posts on the hows and whys of filmmaking, video editing, color grading, and tech. He’s also been known to write for PremiumBeat every once in a while.


7. Noam Kroll

Another occasional PremiumBeat contributor, Noam Kroll’s name is synonymous with top-notch film and video know-how. His blog provides in-depth camera reviews as well as video tutorials covering cinematography, directing, and editing.

Kroll’s industry experience makes him a fantastic resource for videographers of every skill level. Noam’s Youtube channel is a great way to listen to his podcast and we definitely recommend checking out these insightful interviews about filmmaking.


8. RedShark News

Consistently staying on top of the news is hard, but RedShark excels at keeping the latest information flowing. In addition to industry news and production advice, RedShark features sections devoted entirely to post-production and VFX-related articles.


9. Filmmaker Magazine

Filmmaker Magazine’s coverage reaches across the entirety of the film and video spectrum, all of it keenly aware of the ever-changing nature of the industry. From DIY hacks to film festival reviews and cinema camera news, Filmmaker Magazine is an excellent resource for those trying to stay in the know.


10. FilmmakerIQ

The 15 Best Filmmaking and Video Production Blogs: Filmmaker IQ

FilmmakerIQ is going through some changes right now, with a new layout and focus on the way. Nonetheless, the content currently on the long-running website—film essays, video breakdowns, and more—is absolutely worth digging through.


11. Wipster

The 15 Best Filmmaking and Video Production Blogs: Wipster

Wipster is an excellent resource for anybody currently in the freelance game. With articles on how to hire people to help with your project and how to pitch a video, Wipster is a big step in the right direction of your video production career. Read Wipster regularly and you’ll be pro before you know it.


12. The Beat from PremiumBeat

The 15 Best Filmmaking and Video Production Blogs: PremiumBeat

Well, we had to include ourselves, right? PremiumBeat is proud and pleased to offer insight into the worlds of cinematography, video editing, motion design, color grading, and everything pre to post-production. We strive to help the community because we are a part of the community. And just like the blogs listed above, we realize we’re all in this together.


Feature image via DC Studio.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out the articles below!

Shrimp & Grits with Hot Honey

The classic combo of shrimp and grits is taken to the next level by adding Nate’s Hot Honey, lemon, Parmesan cheese and your favorite Cajun dressing. While this dish is traditionally enjoyed at breakfast, try adding our Buttermilk Biscuits or Honey Lemonade to the table to round out a hearty, Southern-style meal any time of day!

Yield
4 Servings

Prep Time
5 Minutes

Total Time
30 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds peeled deveined shrimp (21-25 count)
  • 3 Tbsp Nature Nate’s hot honey, divided
  • 1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cup water
  • 1 cup old fashioned grits
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces parmesan, freshly grated (about 1 ½ c)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 6 scallions, sliced thin, green and white parts divided
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 2 large stalks celery, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Juice from ½ lemon, plus more to taste
  • 4 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

Directions

Pat shrimp dry with paper towels then toss with 2 Tbsp hot honey, Cajun seasoning, and ¾ tsp salt. Marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes or covered in the refrigerator up to 24 hours.

Bring broth and water to boil in a medium sauce pan over high heat. Slowly whisk in the grits until there are no clumps. Lower heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and cook for the time indicated on the package (12-20 minutes), stirring occasionally. Once fully cooked, remove from heat and stir in the butter and parmesan. If the grits are too thick, stir in broth, milk, or water until you reach the desired consistency. Salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tbsp oil and once it begins to shimmer, add the white parts of the scallions, bell pepper, and celery. Cook for 2 minutes, then stir in the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes, ensuring the garlic doesn’t burn. Push all the vegetables to one side of the skillet and position that side off the heat as much as possible.

To the empty side of the skillet over high heat, add the remaining 1 Tbsp oil. Dry the marinated shrimp well with a paper towel, and then arrange in a single layer on the hot skillet. Cook for about 1 minute per side, until fully pink.

Turn off the heat and toss the shrimp and vegetables together with the remaining 1 Tbsp hot honey and lemon juice. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve shrimp over grits and garnish with the remaining green parts of the scallions, fresh parsley, and lemon wedges.

What is Reverb? | Premium Beat

How do we use and create reverb? Here are some insights into this audio effect and why it’s widely used in the music and film industry.

When creating a song, a soundtrack for a film, or implementing sound design for your video project, you’ll always come across the audio effect, reverb. It can be used in a variety of ways and is ultimately used to create a sense of space.

Applying reverb provides atmosphere and adds that little bit of life to your work. Without the wonders of reverb, a lot of music and the sounds we hear on screen would feel flat and bland, and could even be disorienting for a viewer.


So what exactly is Reverb?

The definition of reverb (short for reverberation) is when a sound occurs in a space that sends sound waves outwards in all directions. As the waves reflect off surfaces, that reverberated sound gradually decays.

Reverb produces early reflections, the sound that reaches us a few milliseconds after the direct sound. Our brain uses this information to determine the room size as well as the character of the reverb.

The bigger the space, the longer the reverb. For example, in a cathedral, the space is much larger. The reverberations last longer as the reflections take more time to get to our ears, creating more depth. Singing a solo in a church sounds better than singing in a small room because the sound lingers for longer in the air in the bigger space. In a smaller space, the reverberation bounces back faster and doesn’t differ from the original volume.

As technology has progressed, reverb can be produced digitally using Digital Audio Workstations (DAW) on any recorded sound or software instrument. It is commonly used in all types of music tracks or sound design, and it is always needed in order to give back the characteristics of an acoustic space.

Image via Sashatigar.

Different types of Reverb and their Functions

When you open an NLE and look at adding reverb to your sound effect, your NLE may just denote the effect as “reverb.” But, there are actually several variations of the effect that are all unique to each other. Some NLE’s with better reverb filters might reference these reverb types.

However, when using a DAW, the reverb processor has different sets of algorithms that can imitate the reverbs we’re accustomed to or ones that have a more unnatural character. Those are Room, Hall, Chamber, Plate, and Spring.

Room Reverb

Room reverb is a digital imitation of the reverberation you would get in a smaller acoustic space. This should match the sound you would hear in the real world.

For those wanting to produce a more intimate track or create that in-person live experience, applying room reverb on vocals, drums, piano, or anything can provide that natural color. Applying room reverb to a scene with a couple of people in a kitchen, bathroom, or any space that has a more noticeable reverb would instantly give you a more believable sound design.

Hall Reverb

Hall reverb is to reproduce the reverb we hear from a concert hall. These types of spaces are explicitly designed acoustically to ensure that any sound produced will sound good!

The balance in general in these halls is also essential. Think about an orchestra, for example. The orchestra’s dynamic range is vast, and these concert halls can accommodate this.

Image via Jan von Uxkull-Gyllenband.

As the space tends to be much larger, the reverb is much bigger and lasts longer. This preset is perfect for orchestral instruments such as strings and also pads. It provides a much thicker color which can be perfect for your highly dramatized and intense orchestral passages (much like Hans Zimmer).

However, this type of reverb can cause your track to get a bit lost and become too muddy, so it’s good to use in moderation. If you have a scene where a character is in a much bigger space, such as a shot of someone walking in a large hall, you can put these parameters in place to emulate this acoustic space.

Chamber Reverb

Similar to Hall Reverb, this is also designed to add ambiance to your mix. The idea of chamber reverb is to play a recording through a speaker, set up a microphone in a room, and then capture the sound that creates with the natural echo of the chamber.

In music production, the room needs to be fully isolated for the chamber to produce its true color. This goes back historically; Abby Road Studios and Capitol Studios both have chambers that are highly recognized still to this day. The Beatles have chamber reverb in many of their recordings too.

Chamber reverb has a bit more clarity which stops it from getting muddy, and is great to use on any instrument. This method has very little practical effect in the filmmaking world but you never know what sort of weird things you might capture re-recording your sound effects into an echo chamber….might be worth a shot!

Plate Reverb

Plate reverb is different from Room, Hall, and Chamber as its function isn’t to mimic those real-life spaces. This type of reverb is literally produced by a hanging sheet of metal in a box. When a sound is played into the box, it creates an illusion of reverb. The vibrations produced are picked up with a contact microphone and are described as smooth and bright, although has an unnatural tone.

It’s good for highlighting melodic instruments to shine through the mix without being too harsh. The plates have a high echo density which enables the smooth-sounding reverb. Going much deeper, the higher frequencies from the direct sound source wear out the energy of the plates much faster than the lower frequencies. This results in the higher frequencies being more in the forefront of the mix, and the lower frequencies tend to tail out later on.

Plate reverb can be used on a drum kit, specifically on snares or toms. It can also give your mix a much brighter tone, which is great for pop vocals.

Plate reverb is one of the reverb types that isn’t typically used in post production dialogue scenes as it’s more suited for music tracks. However if the option is available in your editing software, there’s no harm in playing around with it to see if it could enhance sound effects in a horror or scifi scene. Any time you might be world building can be a good idea to try new and different reverb effects.

Spring Reverb

Also similar to plate reverb, spring reverb has a very unique character with an almost alien-like metallic sound. Popular in the 1960s, this type of reverb is produced by feeding in a signal through one end of the spring by a transducer (a device that converts one form of energy into another), thus creating waves that travel in the springs.

The other end of the spring has another transducer (or the pick-up) and converts the motions of the spring into a signal that is added to the original dry sound. Once it arrives at the other end of the spring, part of the energy from the wave is reflected and stays in the spring, which in turn creates the reverb.

These are commonly found in guitar amps but can also e found on DAWs. They are perfect for that vintage-style sound, especially on an electric guitar. Like plate reverb, this isn’t something commonly used on dialogue and is more often useful for instrumental uses.

Here is an example of the type of reverbs described above using a drum pattern. It also includes Gated reverb (you will hear the noticeable cut-off in the reverb signal), Non-Linear (rather than the reflections becoming quieter, non-linear reverb can dynamically swell before tailing off), and Reverse Reverb (takes the reverb tail and is reversed).


Parameters

When applying reverb, there is also a variety of parameters that you can adjust in order to find your ideal sound. In addition to the type of reverb, the other parameters include Pre-Delay, Decay, Size, Dry/Wet, and EQ (Equalizer). There are many more, but these are the most important for beginners.

Image via oksentuk.
  • Pre-Delay determines the time between the start of the original sound signal and the arrival of the early reflection. The longer the pre-delay, the larger the room sound bringing the sound to the forefront.
  • Decay is the time (measured in seconds) it takes for the reflections to die away.
  • Size is pretty simple: it determines the dimensions of the room. The higher the setting, the larger the space.
  • Dry/Wet are two separate sliders that adjust the balance between the original signal (Dry) and the signal with the reverb (Wet). The more Wet signal you bring in, the more you will hear the reflections of the reverb than the original sound source. Playing around with this parameter can be fun!
  • Adjusting the EQ (Equalizer) can change how the reverb sounds. In short, EQ is the process of altering the balance of the frequencies in an audio track. Having a low pass filter on the reverb reduces harshness and creates a dampness effect to the mix. Having a high pass filter means cutting the low-end frequencies on the reverb, creating a less-muddy mix.

Where would you use Reverb?

Most music productions record vocals or instruments in isolation booths. This is to isolate the sound without picking up other natural sounds heard from the outside. However, the recording will sound very flat and unnatural when playing back. You will have a similar issue when ADRing your film. Applying digital reverb not only provides natural-sounding space, but also enhances the sound to give it some life.

In popular music, reverb is commonly used on vocals. Film soundtracks use reverb to recreate the space shown on screen, in addition to building tension and foreshadowing. Even classical music recordings use some reverb to give that little bit of ambiance.

Hans Zimmer’s score for Interstellar (a masterpiece in my opinion) is filled with reverb that compliments the vast amount of space (quite literally) we see as the viewer. It enhances the feeling of going into the unknown.

Now imagine it without reverb. There would be no shape, totally two-dimensional! Listen for the piano and harp melody. The reverb makes the melody sound alone, away from everything with nothing around you.

In regards to sound effects, reverb provides a more realistic space from the viewer’s perspective. As most will know, the sound effects you hear on screen are often recreated in post-production. This is to enhance the audio quality, as the film sets and props may not acoustically react as they would in real life.

A Foley Artist is responsible for re-creating these sound effects, whether it’s footsteps, door creaks, the rustling of leaves, etc. You know the Foley artist has done a successful job when the sounds integrate so seamlessly that the viewers don’t even notice.

In this example below From Mission: Impossible II, the injection action has a touch of reverb to it. It enhances this action as it is a moment in the scene; it gives it that shock factor. In the slow-motion scenes, the reverb on the gunshots adds that dramatic effect.


Pay attention to the reverb when listening to your favorite tracks or watching a movie. If you’re a beginner music producer, create a single track in your DAW and play with the reverb effect.

Experiment with different reverb types, play around with the various parameters, and see how much you can differ the reflections. If you’re editing sound on a film or recording sound effects, applying some reverb can give you a more realistic space or build some tension.


Feature image via Sashatigar.

Want more on audio effects and editing? Check out these articles from our team:

Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream – Nature Nate’s

We don’t play favorites when it comes to ice cream flavors, but if we did this Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream would be at the top of the list. Sweetened with Nate’s pure honey and made with real strawberries and chunks of pound cake, this classic recipe is worth melting for.

Yield
10 Servings

Prep Time
10 Minutes

Total Time
20 minutes, plus several hours for cooling, chilling, and freezing

Ingredients

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 c + 2 Tbsp honey, divided
  • ¼ tsp fine sea or table salt, divided
  • 1 lb strawberries, hulled
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Red food coloring, optional
  • 4 ounces pound cake, cubed and frozen

Special tools:

  • Blender or food processor
  • Ice cream maker

Directions

Whisk egg yolks in a medium bowl and set aside.

Stir the cream, 1/3 cup honey, and 1/8 tsp salt together in a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat. Bring just to a simmer and remove from heat. Whisking constantly, add about a third of the hot cream a little at a time into the bowl of egg yolks. Then pour the egg yolk mixture back into the sauce pan with the remaining cream and whisk well. Return the pan to medium-low heat and cook another few minutes, just until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain through a mesh sieve into a bowl and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, puree the strawberries, lemon juice, remaining 2 Tbsp honey, and 1/8 tsp salt together. Stir the puree and food coloring (if using) into the cream base. Cover and refrigerate at least four hours or overnight.

Churn the ice cream according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. Transfer the churned ice cream to a storage container and gently fold in the cubed cake pieces. Cover and freeze until ready to serve.

Enhance Videos with Topaz Labs’ Video Enhance AI

Have you ever wished you could make your SD or HD footage 4K with one click? Well, that is actually possible now with an app from Topaz Labs called Video Enhance AI. In this video tutorial, we are going to learn how to use Video Enhance AI and put it to the test! We’ll look at the results we can achieve and even compare them to other popular plugins out on the market.

Ready to start using some AI? Let’s go!


What is Video Enhance AI?

Video Enhance AI is a standalone application that uses “AI Models” to intelligently upscale, denoise, and restore your footage. It also allows you to convert the footage to higher frame rates and even create smooth slow-motion effects. Video Enhance AI retails for $199.99 and is available for Windows and Mac.

Use AI to Enhance Your Videos - Topaz Labs Video Enhance AI
Topaz Labs Video Enhance AI user interface.

Upscaling Footage to 4K and Higher

The most powerful feature of Video Enhance AI is its ability to upscale footage. It is fantastic for upscaling HD footage to 4K that was initially shot in 720p or 1080p. The best way to do this is by using the Proteus AI Model. The Proteus AI Model includes numerous model parameters that allow you to dial in the video enhancements you need for your shot. You can even upscale footage shot in 4K to 8K!

Use AI to Enhance Your Videos - Video Enhance AI Upscaled to 8K
An example of a 4K video upscaled to 8K using Video Enhance AI.

We can also use the Proteus AI Model to denoise footage. Select your clip, and increase the Reduce Noise parameter. (Or use the Auto-Detect button, which will set all the parameters automatically.)

The denoising results from Video Enhance AI were on par with most denoising plugins. However, the Neat Video denoising plugin was the better option in a head-to-head test.

Use AI to Enhance Your Videos - Video Enhance AI Denoise
Comparing the denoising of Video Enhance AI with Neat Video.

Creating Super Slow-Motion

Video Enhance AI can also make normal footage look super slow-motion. To do this, it uses AI to interpolate and create more frames of the original video. The result is smooth, non-stuttering slow-motion effects. For slow-motion effects, simply apply the Chronos AI Model to your footage. You can then select the percentage amount you would like to slow down your footage.

Use AI to Enhance Your Videos - Topaz Labs Video Enhance AI Slow Motion
Create slow-motion effects using the Chronos AI Model.

In a head-to-head comparison, we believe the slow-motion results even edged out the popular slow-motion plugin Twixtor. The results from Video Enhance AI showed fewer pixel motion artifacts. Although both results looked great, you really had to “pixel-peep” to see any issues.

Use AI to Enhance Your Videos - Twixtor Comparison
Comparing pixel motion artifacts between Twixtor and Video Enhance AI.

Increasing Frame Rates

Video Enhance AI also does a fantastic job of increasing frame rates of footage. This works similar to how it creates slow-motion effects by essentially interpolating new frames between existing ones.

To do this, you will also need to use the Chronos AI model, just like we did with the slow-motion footage. Then in the output, select the new frame rate that you want your footage to be. Check out the results in the video below to see how we sped up the frame rate on some roller-coaster footage!


Video Enhance AI can also automatically convert old interlaced videos into progressive format. This can work wonders on dated video footage. For this example, we used the Dione Interlaced DV AI Model since this was Mini DV footage.

Use AI to Enhance Your Videos - Deinterlace Footage
We used the AI Model Dione Interlaced DV to fix this Mini DV footage.

You can also use Video Enhance AI to restore old footage. It can do this in various ways, such as: Reverting Compression, Removing Aliasing, and even using AI to generate new details. Restoring old footage can be hit or miss, depending on how poor the quality of the original footage is.

Use AI to Enhance Your Videos - Restoring Old Videos
Restoring Mini DV footage to 4K using the Proteus AI Model.

Video Enhance AI does a great job at reverting compression. However, heavy aliasing on low-res footage can be a challenge. Also, the “new details” the AI adds can sometimes be a bit uncanny. But again, this really depends on the quality of the original footage. Some shots will look great restored; others will not.


Final Thoughts

After thoroughly testing Topaz Labs Video Enhance AI over the past few weeks, I can say that is has some amazing strengths and a few weaknesses. The biggest strength by far is its ability to upscale footage that is already HD. The upscale quality is phenomenal. I would say it needs some improvement with the denoising and restoration of old footage (such as Mini DV and VHS.)

Also, previewing footage in the app can be pretty laggy at times. However, the slow-motion and increased frame rate results were also fantastic, and I’ll definitely be using Video Enhance AI on some of my projects in the future.

Use AI to Enhance Your Videos - Footage Comparison
Upscaling HD footage to 4K with Video Enhance AI.

Interested in the royalty-free tracks we used to make this video? Give them another listen:

Hot Honey BBQ Sauce – Nature Nate’s

Sunshine and barbecue are what summer is all about! Whether you’re king (or queen) of the grill or a pit master-in-training, this go-to barbecue sauce made with Nate’s Hot Honey is all you need to win over a crowd. Ready in just 5 minutes, this recipe combines delicious spices, tomatoes, vinegar and hot honey to create a sweet, spicy and tangy sauce that is downright delicious on top of chicken, fish, burgers and more! Enjoy!

Yield
10 Servings

Prep Time
2 Minutes

Total Time
7 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp Nature Nate’s hot honey
  • 2 Tbsp molasses
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp fresh cracked black pepper

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Serve immediately or cool to room temperature and store in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

Single-Tenant vs. Multi-Tenant Applications: How to Choose

When a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) application is ready to move from the initial product (MVP) to a scalable cloud-native architecture, one of the key decisions solution architects and technology leaders will have to make is about tenancy.

More specifically: Should you choose a single-tenant or multi-tenant application?

The most successful tech businesses those in which application architects understand that technology is an extension of the business model. In that sense, a tenancy decision is more a business-driven decision than a technology-driven one. You should consider the context of your business itself, the product usage or revenue expectations and any regulations that companies must comply with. (Also read: 10 Strictest Data Privacy Laws By Country in 2022.)

Single-tenant or multi-tenant architectures are both viable options to consider. To help you decide between them, let’s weigh up their distinct security and privacy implications, costs, accessibility, and ease of use:

What Are Single-Tenant Applications?

Single-tenant applications are comprised of an architecture where a single tenant, or customer, is served by a single instance of the software application and its supporting infrastructure.

The tenant has a dedicated instance of the database, dedicated server(s), separate interactions and separate access rules—which are collectively kept completely independent from any other tenant.

Some common characteristics of single-tenancy include:

  • High resultant performance.
  • High unit (per tenant) cost of installations.
  • Maintainable per-instance infrastructure.
  • Flexibility and customizability.
  • Minimized risk of a data breaches as securing a specific tenant is easier.
  • Easier regulatory compliance.

There is one large caveat when it comes to the features mentioned above: As the number of tenants increases, so does the amount of time needed to manage configurations and software updates and keep track of the developers, testers, DevOps and cloud resources.

That’s when a multi-tenant architecture becomes necessary.

What Are Multi-Tenant Applications?

Multitenancy is an architecture in which multiple customers are served by a single instance of the software and its supporting infrastructure. Each customer shares the software application and tertiary applications. Based on the specific architecture, business needs and regulatory/security requirements, multi-tenant applications may separate each tenant’s data in one or more of the following ways:

  • Logical separation.
  • Schema-level separation.
  • Physical isolation.

There are many aspects of building multi-tenant applications to consider and almost all involve complexity. For instance:

  • Multi-tenant applications involve more security and compliance-related considerations to assure a high level of data privacy, breach resilience and regulatory compliance. (Also read: Massive Data Breaches: The Truth You Might Not Know About.)
  • Performance must be managed carefully given that the tenants share server resources.
  • The features and models in a multi-tenant solution must be designed to be highly configurable so users can make the application perform the way they want.
  • Application features must be consistent across all tenants as there is no easy way to change the code or data structure for a specific tenant.
  • If the application is reliant on integrations with other SaaS products/application programming interfaces (APIs), one issue can impact all users.
  • Multi-tenant applications require careful handling of domain name system (DNS) configurations, token management and white labeling.
  • To deploy updates to specific tenants requires the implementation of multiple servers with specific DNS for target customers.

Regardless of the type of data isolation you’re using—logical separation, schema-level or physical isolation—multi-tenant architectures require greater expertise and development capability. There is the risk that a certain customer’s data may be exposed or compromised via another tenant’s use of application data.

Each update must be tested thoroughly for data security and isolation, performance, security and compliance. Multi-tenant architecture can be a powerful business propeller with a capable team and infrastructure setup.

Single-Tenant vs. Multi-Tenant Cloud Applications: Which Should You Use?

Many considerations go into multi-tenancy-related architectural decisions, such as discovering the target customers and the regulatory bodies that govern the data storage and security requirements, analyzing the revenue expectations from each customer, and reviewing the volume of customers.

As such, a final decision requires expert insights and careful planning. Whether a single-tenant or multi-tenant application is best for your business will depend on factors such as the number of clients you cater to, your business model, whether you serve clients in highly regulated industries and if you serve clients requiring physical data separation.