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Charlie Boyle Blows the Whistle on Barclays PPI Claim Taxation Errors

According to Charlie Boyle, a Financial Reconciliations Team Leader, his department was crippled by a “political and target-obsessed approach” reflected on the numbers on the PPI claim taxations of interest that had many errors. According to Boyle, the figures might possibly have been misreported to Barclays board, including the Senior Officials of the company.

Barclays had agreed to make an investigation regarding the claim of the Team Leader. Boyle estimates that the clear-up operation may take at least two years despite the PPI claims fiasco possibly stopping in the next half decade.

Boyle described that the taxations of interest were “a haemorrhaging of exceptions”, which helped reduce the taxation of interest in the payments. He describe the working environment of Barclays as full of politics, back-biting and bullying by the Human Resources department. He said that the bank never valued its employees

The Taxation of Interest clause is when banks deduct tax on the interest of PPI payments to consumers. Barclays has systems to meet the requirements, and Boyle’s team, the Financial Reconciliations, will need to re-check if the right amount of tax was paid.

Barclays said that Boyle only voiced the matters regarding the taxation of interests upon his decision to leave.


Different Headphones, Different References

I cannot stress enough the need for multiple headphones and maybe speakers in pre-production, mixing and mastering audio. Like any good set of ears, yours may be working perfectly, but it will be troublesome if you made a mix that sounded good in one pair of speakers and sounded bad in another.

We all know that monitors are designed to ensure we hear all the details of the song’s instruments, including the dynamics and nuances. With different headphones, you can get different sounds. Sometimes, the bass might sound too high; in some instances, the low-mid frequencies might be troublesome.

You can make a great sounding track in one pair of headphones, but you forget that it might have a built in compression that allows you to hear all the details of your mix. Testing it at the lower bar of headphone and speaker pairs, you find the sound to be quite perfect, but at the higher bar of audio hardware, your mix might lack some bass or treble, affecting its entire sound.

It is important that you have different headphones and references when mixing tracks. A monitor could only let you hear details of your mix, but its aesthetic value in different headphones and speakers will differ as well.

Before you test your song on different headphones, ensure that you have mastered using the equalizer before making any attempts.


Lacking Some Inspiration in Songwriting?

It is normal for us musicians to lose inspiration in songwriting. I’m a game scorer myself, and I could only find inspiration only if I’ve played a game before I write the music score for it. There’s a certain feel to the intensity of the game, the rhythm it has and its aesthetics that will allow the music to complement all these ideas by marvellous game makers. However, sometimes, this does not work. Sometimes, I also don’t have time to play their games because we are simultaneously developing the parts.

If you’re lacking some inspiration in songwriting, I have a few tips for you.

I took a walk outside without wearing any headphones. Sometimes, musicians just like walking around a block or the park while listening to music to encourage scenarios to form in their head. However, if your mind is in another place due to the music you are listening to, you won’t get the inspiration you could get from your surroundings. Take those cans off the ears for at least a week.

Determine the things you fear. Every musician fears something. Some worry about the quality, the theme, if it lives up to the former album or if it will just end up in the shelves and not sell. Worrying too much about these parlous details will hamper your creative process. Leave this to your manager, or just worry about this the next day.

Last, create the scenario. Every form of music creates a scenario based on rhythm and melody. A groovy song might indicate a scene of happiness. A jittery melody that sounds broken may mean something is wrong in a situation. Sometimes, I create music that sounds sad and I imagine a scenario of sadness, further complementing the music. Do not deny that scenario is very important for songs because titles would be useless if it was not.


Mastering Essentials: Using the Full Power of the Equalizer

You have probably used an equalizer when listening to songs in your mobile phone or player to set the sound of songs to your liking. This is also the first plugin you encounter when using digital audio workstations and is fairly easy to use. However, mastering this plugin is crucial in producing better instrument sounds and in audio mixing.


1. Monitors
You will need a good pair of monitors that allow you to hear the natural sound of your instruments and the mix itself. A full range consumer grade speaker will not give you a good evaluating sound because consumer speakers normally flatten out certain frequencies to make its sound appealing to consumers.

2. EQ Familiarization
You do not only adjust sliders to your liking in using equalizers. Your ears must also know the sound of the frequency slider you are adding or attenuating. Here are some exercises your ears could use in training for equalization.

3. Instrument “Sweet Spot”
An instrument “sweet spot” is where the instrument’s root frequency lies. Finding this sweet spot may involve adding a dip and moving the dip around the frequencies. The most pronounced frequency is the probable sweet spot of the instrument and the construction or deconstruction of its frequency using the equqlizer will be vital in mixing.


Why Loud is Not Necessarily Prouder

Listening to today’s music, you might notice that many band, singer or any other music group’s music sounds a bit unnatural and rigid. While you may recognize dynamics, the exciting kick drum, the booming bass and the great-sounding vocals, you may notice that some of the sounds in the songs are “heaving” or not breathing properly.

For audio producers, compression is a necessary tool for competitive loudness in today’s musical genre. Added compression “seals” the audio to protect it from destroying audio equipment by attenuating loud signals and boosting quiet parts. However, it is also killing the dynamics and transients of some recordings.

Louder could get your audiences to listen to your music and appreciate it with all the parts being heard. However, it can tire out the ears and it can sound “dead” or cold as song dynamics, namely the loudness and quietness of instruments, get lost.

Compression can boost the level of audio. Preferred by most metal musicians, many compress their songs to increase the volume without harming audio equipment. However, without compression, metal music could sound dull.

Loud is not necessarily prouder in music, not unless it is necessary. Contemporary dance music compresses loudly to ensure audiences feel the beat and drops to have them dance. However, there is such a thing as being overly too loud and making audio sound dull.


Important Things to Remember When Mixing Audio

As Digital Audio Workstations are becoming increasingly popular with musicians with home studios, audio material posted in the Internet had grown massively, albeit lacking a bit in its competitiveness in quality compared to professionally recorded audio. If you want professional-sounding tracks produced right from your home, here are a few things you should remember.

1. Noise Management
Power lines and circuits run freely on the floors and the walls of any home and if you’re recording high-gain instruments, such as guitars or synthesizers with external gain amplifiers, you will capture the noise made by the circuits passing in the wiring. Here are a few tips to reduce noise in your home studio or your room.
2. Preparations
Remember that if you prepare well for your recording, you will get the desired sound you need for you recording. Spend more time in tuning your drums, fixing the phase and position of the microphones for the proper sound and hit record to test the sound on your mixing board.
3. Sampling
Sampling is a technique that is not only reserved for modern electronic dance music. It’s also a useful tool to give your recordings a good, well-defined character.
4. Frequency Identification
Try to run yourself up to some frequency identification tests to warm up your ear. Identifying the frequency of an instrument in an equalizer is very important when mixing audio. You might want to use shelve equalization to define your instruments better in your recordings.


Millenia Music Head Talks About the Music of 2050

According to John La Grou, the head of Millenia Music and Media Systems, the world of music will shift from actual to virtual 40 years from now. La Grou said that through Moore’s law, a great future for music, gaming and even film production and making will cut costs while delivering efficient and aesthetic results.

The CEO said that by 2050, gesture-based controls for music interfaces will have greatly improved. In 2050, he also said that most instruments will be virtual and majority electronic.

He also speculated that audio companies will highly likely true 360 audio immersion systems over headphones or speakers. The 360 audio will allow users to be locked inside a “sound bubble” wherein spherical audio will make for actual replication of the audio as it is heard in real life.

However, according to Steve Guttenberg of CNET, the idea was too idealistic and people are passive as using music-listening as an active activity instead of the passive nature people place it as a background soundtrack to their daily activities. Full immersion could completely cut the multi-tasking capabilities of many people.

Guttenberg was also concerned about where acoustic musicians will fit in the 2050 envisioned by La Grou. La Grou said that future technologies could emulate acoustic space with possible realistic precision.


Yoko Ono Says John Lennon Would’ve Loved the “Computer Age”

Today’s generation grows more close-knit because of the Internet and modern devices that allow for communication at any time. John Lennon would have loved to have lived in this era, according to lover Yoko Ono.

The 80-year old musician had just released her recent album with her Plastic Ono Band “Take Me to the Land of Hell”, said that Lennon would have been so excited living in the computer age. She said that in the past, he and her would talk about technologies beyond their time, closely resembled by today’s technology.

Her talks with John Lennon included the Smile Project, where Yoko Ono intends to film capturing the smiles of everyone in the world.

Currently, she fronts the Plastic Ono Band. Her son Sean Lennon, along with Nels Cline, Yuka Honda and Yuko Araki forms the entire band that had just finished playing at London’s Meltdown Festival.

When asked about her current album, Yoko Ono said that it was a mix of light-heartedness. Critics pointed out the darker songs in her album where she explained that people in the same age as hers “forgot” about idealism during the time they themselves were defending against a system and government they did not want.



Critics Say Miley Cyrus’ VMA 2013 Performance Was “An Act of Desperation”

Netizens all over the world and the audience of the 2013 VMA were shocked at the raunchy and gritty performance of Miley Cyrus, the former Disney flag-girl. Critics also said that she tried “way too hard” to impress her new persona of killing her child-like appeal during her dance number with singer Robin Thicke.

According to Hannah Montana’s Mom actress Brooke Shields, Miley was trying a bit too hard to become the mature girl she thinks she is. Shields expressed that she didn’t like where Miley Cyrus’ image was heading.

Shields commented on Miley’s performance at the VMAs, especially her suggestive sexual gestures, dance moves and annoying tongue sticking out of her face.

Critics also said that it was very disturbing to see her in fresh-colored underwear and allegedly kissing the buttocks of a dancer and pecking the neck of Robin Thicke onstage.

Brooke Shields also expressed her dismay at Miley Cyrus’ advisers and the reason she has to do “everything she did onstage to win over her audience. Shields expressed that she could not let her children watch the show.

Some critics note that Miley Cyrus’ performance was mimicry of Lady Gaga’s unique performances. However, the only difference is that Lady Gaga’s performance genius is a genius indeed.


Best Audio Converters for Windows Users

Ensuring that your Internet radio loads properly is more than just changing the physical factors of your website; your media files will most likely take up bandwidth and take the longest time to load. Fortunately, you could stream lower-grade media if you convert your files to smaller or more lossy formats for your listeners. Here are a few of the best audio converters available for Windows users.

1. Free Audio Converter
This freeware application allows you to convert single files or batches. Designed for beginners, it has an intuitive interface and converts to different file formats including AIFF, AAc, AC3, FLAC, M4A, M4B, APE, MP3, MKA, OGG, TTA, RA, WAV and WMA. It also allows you to create new format presets for one-click conversions later.

2. Helium
Another intuitive audio converter, it allows you to convert an audio file into AAC, MP3, MP4, M4A, M4B, MPC, Ogg Vorbis, WAVPack and WMA files. Its drag and drop feature allows users to just drag and drop files without having to enter the file addresses. Its conversion speed tops other audio conversion programs available today. You might only need to pay a meagre sum for this converter

3. Fre:AC
Fre:AC only takes less than a minute to download and is a flexible audio converter and CD ripping software. Supporting formats such as MP3, MP4, WMA, FLACK, AAC, WAV, Bonk and AAC, you’ll have no trouble for lowering the audio quality of your files. It also supports CDDB online CD database and can convert entire music libraries.