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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InDesign Font Hack...and Sweet Freeware

May 18 2010

The printer called today with upsetting news: Three fonts were missing from the InDesign CS3 package I'd just uploaded for my new children's book — Bookman Old Style and two Japanese fonts. It didn't make sense; there were no errors... read more

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 06 2009

Does this iPod-size, battery-powered vibration speaker with the gooey bottom really deliver amazing bass? Gel, 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

iTunes Ate My Apps ... and How I Got 'em Back

September 10 2009

Today I upgraded from iTunes 8 to 9, and when the new version launched, all my podcasts and iPhone apps were gone. Somehow I managed to wipe them from my iPod Touch as well, but getting them back was easier than I thought. 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 01 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

When Google Owns Everything

June 19 2009

Here in Japan, the one available Wi-Fi signal comes with some intriguing restrictions. It's part of FON, a worldwide system of hotspots comprised of people who share their bandwith -- in this case for $5 a day. But Google services are free, so I'm seeing the Web as Google does.… 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 13 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

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Podcast Digital Media Insider Podcast 28: The Mind of the Maker
Publish Date: Oct. 30, 2008

There are a whole lot of things that sound good the second you start making noise on them: Door springs. PVC pipes. Waterlogged Gertie balls. The Fat Man demonstrates how a DIY, Maker approach can help you find your signature sound.

Podcast Digital Media Insider Podcast 27: Steve Horowitz and the Code Ensemble
Publish Date: Aug. 29, 2008

Composer Steve Horowitz has written soundtracks for movies, dance, video games, TV, live orchestra, and even computerized piano. Now comes the world premiere of his multimedia extravaganza Invasion from the Chicken Planet, and New York City may never be the same.

Podcast Digital Media Insider Podcast 26: One Glorious Note
Publish Date: Jul. 21, 2008

In many ways, music technology has become a numbers game. Today's digital instruments are often sold on specs, not sound. In this episode, the Fat Man goes back to basics, gleefully playing everything from an ancient test-tone generator to a spicy Excaliburrito to demonstrate that one glorious note may be all you need.

Podcast Digital Media Insider Podcast 25: Greatest Bits
Publish Date: Jun. 6, 2008

DMI hits 25! Listen in as we explore our favorite moments from the first 24 episodes and unearth some never-before-heard bonus material. From vocoders to space-helmeted cover bands, from the secret sound of Goldfrapp to harmonious fat men, here are Digital Media Insider's greatest hits.

Podcast Digital Media Insider Podcast 24: 200 Digital Audio Blogs
Publish Date: Apr. 24, 2008

To celebrate his 200th blog entry, O'Reilly Digital Audio Editor David Battino shares the sounds behind the stories. Hear how a bad pianist inspired the first computer music program, the surprising benefits of high-resolution distortion, and sneaky uses of voice recorders.

Podcast Digital Media Insider Podcast 23: Inside Intel Inside
Publish Date: Mar. 28, 2008

Last year, O'Reilly Digital Media's David Battino got an amazing gig: the chance to compose and record the theme music for Intel's internal podcast on Open Source developments. With some slick music software and the freedom to explore endless musical ideas, he wandered into several hilarious dead ends before remembering some great advice and finding his voice.

Podcast Digital Media Insider Podcast 22: Synthesizer Sound Design
Publish Date: Feb. 15, 2008

Part of the joy of playing electronic musical instruments is exploring the unique banks of sounds inside. This month, we speak again with Francis Preve, a Top 10 remixer who also works as the principal sound designer for Ableton and a consulting sound designer for Korg. Hear how he creates the sounds behind the hits.

Podcast Digital Media Insider Podcast 21: Remixing Tips with Francis Preve
Publish Date: Jan. 4, 2008

Francis Preve produced six Billboard Top 10 remixes last year alone, but he graciously found time to share his insights and techniques. Hear the Preve magic in before-and-after musical examples and learn how he turned a shockingly small pile of gear into a production powerhouse.

Podcast Digital Media Insider Podcast 20: Precision vs. Feel
Publish Date: Nov. 8, 2007

One of the fascinating challenges in modern music production is balancing the creative tension between computer precision and human feel. Hear how playing with quantization (timing correction) can make or break a groove.

Podcast Digital Media Insider Podcast 19: Inside the New Media Expo
Publish Date: Oct. 4, 2007

In this special guest episode, DIY digital media expert Michael Dean interviews podcasting's rock stars to learn where the format is going and how we all can get involved. Recorded live at the premier podcasting show, the New Media Expo.

Podcast Digital Media Insider Podcast 18: Better Arpeggiate Than Never
Publish Date: Sep. 7, 2007

It's about the most fun you can have with one finger. Arpeggiators turn a single note into a spiraling flurry of sound for instant musical fun. Hear how they work and explore some surprising applications.

Podcast Digital Media Insider Podcast 17: Secrets of the Demo Gods
Publish Date: Aug. 23, 2007

Top music technology gear reviewers Jim Aikin and Mark Nelson reveal how they create their web audio examples. Listen to some of our favorites.

Podcast Digital Media Insider Podcast 16: Cover Yourself (A Radical Approach to Copyright)
Publish Date: Jul. 27, 2007

Open source enthusiast Lucas Gonze wanted to record cover songs and share them online. But copyright law and web spiders crushed that plan. Then he found a mother lode of free music on a government web site.

Podcast Digital Media Insider Podcast 15: The Fat Man Sings...Digitally
Publish Date: Jun. 28, 2007

The DigiTech Vocalist Live stompbox listens to your guitar playing and automatically generates vocal harmonies. Listen up as the Fat Man puts it through its paces and predicts where this breakthrough technology will lead.

Podcast Digital Media Insider Podcast 14: Doug Wyatt
Publish Date: Jun. 15, 2007

Renowned music software programmer Doug Wyatt deftly fuses vintage electronics, Swedish vocals, and digital technology into remarkable soundscapes on his latest CD. We visit his home studio to learn how.

David Battino