What in the Synth!

Synthesizers are a rhythmic and experimental way to create sounds that other instruments do not. The MEDL team joined together for a Lunch & Learn where our Chief of Tech, Tom Ward discussed the awesome world of building and playing with synthesizers. If you're looking to experiment with such, here are a few take-aways for creating your own sound: 

1. Start - get some sound going to start from and build from there.  

2. Dial-in and make adjustments to shape the sound for a better starting point. 

3. Add effects like delay and reverb. 

4. Use control voltage to change the pitch and create melody. Adjust the filter cut off to achieve more or less frequencies. 

5. Tweak things to give the sound more variety and a more organic sounding nature.

Whoops, I Wore It Again!

Typically, when we meet with others we like to adorn a new ensemble. But sometimes we remember we wore the same outfit twice in a row and cringe a little inside. If you're like me, there's something about forgetting what we wore the last time that makes us judge ourselves a little. Perhaps it's the thought that others will think we have a limited wardrobe, are missing a sense of style, or just don't care to style ourselves differently. You could adopt a Mark Zuckerberg mentality and wear pretty much the same thing ALL THE TIME because, in a life filled with a million other things to think about, this doesn't have to be one of them. But again, if you're like me and you like to live your life in color, What, Wear & When? is the solution! Now you can catalog your wardrobe, tie items together to create outfits and sync them with events in your calendar, in advance, or as you go. Even better, you can search to see when you last wore that! You will never wear the same outfit when meeting the same person again unless you absolutely want to. No more WHOOPS, I WORE IT AGAIN! 

Please Pass the Pi 3

It's the holidays and MEDL received an early present. A CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 Complete Starter Kit! Small as a deck of cards, this low-cost, high-performance, mini device demonstrates the dawning of a new technological age. Thanks to the folks at the Raspberry Pi Foundation, for $35, virtually anyone can now learn how to code and build a computer. As a QA tester this was my first introduction to the Pi. At first glance, I thought it was a modest DIY project; a motherboard, power supply, USB MircroSD card reader, and branded case, but when I saw the wide-eyed look on the team, I knew that it was something worthwhile.

What makes 8 million people go ga-ga for this gadget? It allows for any noob or novice to challenge expensive products and services on the market such as media centers, streaming services, computers, virtual home assistants, and gaming systems, with homemade Pi equivalents. For engineers, the sky’s is the limit. Literally. With weather balloons and the precise calculations, the Pi 3 can soar to great heights with astrophotography. Having explored outside the known box with the Raspberry Pi 1 and Pi 2; we decided to immediately retire them to the land of Sony Walkmans and Tamagotchis.

Producers, project managers, QA testers, designers, and of course...engineers united for an office-wide brainstorm where we channeled our inner mad scientists. How will we leverage the Pi 3’s enhanced configuration? We’re talking better graphics, faster CPU, newly introduced smartphone processor, WiFi and Bluetooth integration. Within 15 minutes, Geoff our Associate Creative Director and James, one of our engineers (aka our MEDL DJs ) had the room filled with bells, drums, and trance music galore as they transformed the Pi 3 into a programmable synthesizer. Putting our glow sticks aside, Julian, our lead QA tester (and classically trained gamer) spearheaded the second project. Coupled with a USB catalog brimming with hundreds of classic games and his homemade arcade stick, the Pi 3 became a rad, retro game emulator, allowing us 80s and 90s kids to delve back into the nostalgic world of Mario Brothers, Pac- Man and Mortal Kombat. Like the numeric value of Pi, we discovered the endless ways the Raspberry can transform.

With each project, our curiosity and passion have helped us stay at the forefront of cutting-edge technology. We love what we do! Maybe the next stop for the Pi at MEDL will be a Raspberry Pi Beet Box with percussion performing vegetables? Whatever it is, I'm grateful to call this dynamic team my family. Bring on the new year...HELLO FUTURE!

I Do Stick Figures

Capturing an image on paper. How does that even happen? Drawing more than stick figures and basic shapes escapes most people. How do these lines and shapes come together to create images in the likeness of the object at hand?  If you've ever wanted to learn to draw, this app makes it easy to stop stalling and get drawing. 

Walter Foster, the leading publisher of quality art instruction guides for more than 85 years has perfected the art of teaching artists and has teamed up with MEDL Mobile to provide the Learn to Draw Digital Sketchbook. You will be guided through drawing lessons by this intuitive app that has drawing tools that have been fine-tuned to act closely to it's real world counter-part. 

What we love about this app:
• Pre-loaded with four step-by-step lessons
• Purchase new lessons in-app
• Text or voice instruction for every lesson
• Realistic drawing tools
• Drawing tools are adjustable in size, pressure and hardness
• Background paper style options
• Save any & every drawing
• Freehand drawing mode
• Save drawings to your Photos & share with friends

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Turning Up On A Tuesday

It was a night out for the MEDL team this past Tuesday. We recognized a few standout team members over yummy food and funnies at the Irvine Improv. MEDL Awardees:

Extra Mile – Michael Gilmore

App Assassin – Pranay Kothlapuram

Miracle Grow – James Roosevelt

Unsung Hero – Kimmy Matsuno

Hey Einstein! – Andrew Simmons

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 Image by Andrew Minnis

Image by Andrew Minnis

As I sit and write our first blog post that David Bowie tune creeps in my mind taunting my attention. Finally I’ve relented! Alexa, play me “Changes” by Bowie. Three minutes later I’m back. My mind has a way of sound tracking the timeline of life. And “Changes” is the perfect song to capture the very sentiment of the last 8 years in the world of mobile technology. Who would’ve imagined 8 years ago I’d be assisted by my modern day genie, powered by . . . you guessed it, APPS! The development team here at MEDL would have! Since 2008 MEDL Mobile has been at the helm of the app revolution, developing hundreds of them. From games to interactive product introductions for companies like Taco Bell, to partnering with companies in the mHealth space to solve problems like streamlining patient access to physicians, we’ve been changing with the times and creating the technology to fit with the times.

And here we are, halfway through 2016 and MEDL is forging onward with iOT and Apple TV app developments. Most recently partnering with XUMO, a company who pools the best digital content from places like YouTube to present to the viewer just like television stations. An app so cool they have their own button on VIZIO remote controls. 

And we just keep getting better. Changing with the times, ahead of the times. Yet one thing remains the same. Our playground is cutting edge developments in mobile technology; it keeps us young and devours our attention. Through this blog we aim to share our “strange fascination,” passion for the creative, disruptive and never dull days in our development process.

If you have any topics you’d love explored, we’d love to hear from you. Here’s to tomorrow, or as we like to say…Hello Future! Welcome to our blog.

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