I’m one of those people whose understanding of The Walking Dead is pretty much limited to, “Hey, that guy from Love, Actually is doing an American accent!” But his character did promise to love Keira Knightley until she’s a dried up dead body, so in that sense I guess there’s a thematic overlap in his work.
In any case, I keep up with entertainment news enough to know that things got real last night in the season three finale, and our very own Stephen Davies was on the edge of his seat! Specifically, this seat. This seat right here, in this commercial!
Check it out, in all its Hobo-filled glory:
Cup o’ Joe, Java, Morning Mud, Bean Juice, Cup of pipping hot Joseph, Brew, Battery acid, Nectar of the Gods…aka Coffee.
Well friends, I’m on the bean. I’ve been addicted and voluntarily drinking coffee since sophomore year of high school. Of course I can stop drinking at any point. Drinking and making coffee is a passion and favorite pastime of mine: specifically espresso, cappuccinos, and lattes. Espresso is rich in flavor, sweet, smooth, and just plain delicious–but only when it’s been made correctly. When poorly made, you may find yourself exclaiming, “Eww gross, espresso is so bitter and sour!” I’d venture to say that many people haven’t experienced properly-made espresso.
Making espresso is very much like mixing audio. You need good ingredients, solid machinery/tools, and most importantly a good barista/engineer. For flavorful espresso, it all starts with freshly roasted beans. Depending on the roast and type of bean, its good to let the beans rest for at least 3-5 days from the roast date before grinding. As it ages, you’ll find the espresso’s flavors and aroma enhanced. Next, it’s time to grind. A good burr grinder is actually more important than the espresso machine. To achieve quality espresso, you want your bean ground evenly. It ensures plenty of surface area for the water to extract the rich flavors hiding in the bean. You might be tempted to use a blade grinder…don’t give in! A blade grinder is vicious and will violently thrash and create an uneven grind. After grinding, fill your portafilter with about 14 grams of grind. Next, tamp with a good amount of body weight. Some say 30lbs of pressure, I say tomato, toe-mah-toe. Then lock the portafilter in place and pull the shot! It should take around 20-30 seconds to pull. If the stars and moons have aligned and all the moving parts play nice, you’ll hopefully have a tasty demitasse of espresso.
If your tastebuds have been excited and your mind intrigued, check out some of the videos below for further look into the world of espresso (& latte art)…
Below are some great videos about making espresso by NYC barista Mike Jones from Third Rail Coffee.
It has been a busy two months for me over here at the Hobo underground lair, but alas I am proud to announce we have completed mixing the first season of Hacking the Planet! We might seem like some pretty hip engineers on the surface, but deep down we are all a bunch of nerdy hobos, and this show was perfect for us to mix! It’s a science program for The Weather Channel (and yes, I do mean the same weather channel you watched in the 90′s to see if it was going to rain…before Apple made an app for that).
So the question is… can science control Mother Nature?
The show, which was created by our good friends at Castle Pix, takes us inside numerous science experiments happening around the globe to combat extreme weather. And if one topic has dominated the media these last few years, it’s been global warming, hurricanes, tornadoes, lions, tigers, bears, OH MY!
…or just the weather part.
Now, I dont fancy myself a tree-hugging hippie or anything, but I am conscious of my footprint and how human industry affects our dear Mother Nature. Plus Twister was like my favorite movie in ’96 at the tender age of 11(Bill Paxton was the sexiest). So I have enjoyed learning about about a few crazy cool science experiments like cloud seeding, or redirecting the flow of lava (sounds crazy and is!). But what I like most about the show is how it tackles not just the questions surrounding how to hack the planet’s extreme weather, but the fundamental question – SHOULD we hack it? Human meddling perhaps is the very reason we are in this mess, so at what cost do we involve ourselves further?
But back to the point: the audio process! While this was a really fun show for me to work on, like all shows it did have its own unique set of challenges.
For instance, Hacking’s host, John Rennie (the man, the myth, the legend) confers with his pack of science nerds, Cara Santa Maria and Brian Malow, via Skype sessions throughout each episode. Sykpe audio is notoriously awful, the levels are inconsistent at best, and the sync is in a whole realm of its own. This was a beast I had to tame early on. I believe the natural inclination would be to try to clean up the recordings as best as possible, but I made a creative decision to embrace the computer audio, and in fact make it even more “digital” in places. I decided that when we are seeing a character through someone else’s computer screen I would take the already computerized audio and digitize it even more, just to give scenes more perspective. and when we were more or less with the character in their own space I would do what I could to clean and normalize the quality of the recordings while still maintaining the Skype vibe!
But true Hobos never let a good challenge slow us down! The show has turned out fantastic, attracting great ratings for The Weather Channel, and made me a little smarter!
Hacking the Planet is currently on air Thursday nights at 8 and 8:30pm and again from 11pm-12am. Shows also replay on Sunday nights! That’s a whole lotta science!
So what’s the difference between listening and hearing? Sound reaches us through vibrations that are detected by our ears which are then transmitted into nerve impulses. The brain disseminates all of this, giving us one out of 5 senses. Hearing anybody can do, but listening is the art of attention. So when Henry David Theroux said “music is perpetual, and only hearing is intermittent” he should have added listening is engagement with our environment. Well I’m all ears and attentively listening to the professionals at Hobo Audio.
Ladies and Gentlemen my name is Chris ( I’m an intern and I have no beard) and I’m here to learn, listen, and assist the most audio proficient Hobos New York has ever seen. Of course I’m no audiologist; I’m just a Queens college student from Lon-guyland working on a Media Studies degree, with an interest in audio post-production. I have worked in restaurants, traveled, read, listened, watched and learned, but now I’m ready to experience the Hobo way of doing things.
While I’m on this Hobo guided quest, I hope to expand my knowledge, focus my interests and spread the good word that Hobo Audio brings a special kind of attention and dedication to clients. The key is they don’t just hear what is said; they listen.
My senses are keen, enthusiasm high, and I’m filled with the desire to help these Audio Hobos. I’ll greet you with a smile if you come into the office, I would be more than happy to get you a drink, but I’ll always be listening to what you have to say. Keep your peepers open for more updates. I’m excited to begin this journey!
There’s a lot that I don’t understand. Why do people put apostrophes in plural words? Why did Pushing Daisies get canceled? What does “foley” mean? What do all of these buttons do?
Hi, folks. I’m Kelly, and I am not an audio engineer. I’m an intern, fresh out of Sarasota, FL–which you may recognize as either the home of your grandparents or that place where you got really sunburned over that one spring break. Don’t worry too much about me, though; I went to Boston College, and after I graduated, I lived in Alaska for a year. So I do own a winter coat.
I showed up at Hobo with my English degree and the desire to learn everything I can about this industry, and they were kind enough to take me in. I couldn’t be more excited to join this crazy group. I’m here to get the word out about Hobo’s latest projects, big ideas, and office shenanigans, so be sure to keep an eye on the blog!
And hopefully, in the process, I’ll learn to hear things a little bit differently. It’s the Hobo way.