I'm putting together a shopping list for a Smoke on Mac system, and I have some questions. I should mention that I've been to Autodesk's "Area" site, and FXguide, and here. I'm trying to get input from other Smoke artists/engineers, so feel free to chime in!
As a freelancer using other companies HP machines, with my current work flow, I can live with (on Mac):
no tape or VTR archiving (file only)
no real time deliverables.... they always need different slates anyway.
no spell check in TXT module
no image on Broadcast monitor during capture
What I CAN'T live with on Smoke on Mac is:
lack of analog audio monitoring (is there a way to get a A/D - D/A LUCid box to work?) am I missing something simple and this is NOT a problem?
A staggering loss of speed when working in HD (1080P, 1080i), as compared to what I'm used to with HP systems with 2010 ext1 Smoke software (referring to renders and general timeline stuff)
software that is unstable, crashes alot.
I am building a system from scratch with a top of the line 8core Mac, and with the software, Aja card, Raid 5, etc. I don't think it's much less expensive than a (non Advanced) Smoke on HP? Maybe I should just buy a HP system?
Last question. When looking for raids, I've seen Lacie Big Rack, Caldigit HD1 and Sonnet options. Raids are not my forte (only a means to store my frames to me), so is there a 4th brand I should look at? of the 3 I mentioned, are any "dogs"? I'm thinking I'd like 12TB, but I might have to start with 6TB due to budget restrictions.
Well, thanks for any input anyone can offer! -NYSmoker
Analogue audio monitoring is not a problem. You now just take the analogue RCA audio outputs directly off the AJA breakout box. I have been doing that the whole day today :)
It's should not be unstable. You need to watch out for your hardware configuration and drivers used for the install.
I am not familiar with the cost because I dont deal with numbers but I do know that a full Mac smoke works out a lot more cost effective then buying a full turnkey smoke advanced (depending on your budget and effects/finishing requirements,)
As for storage, there is no preferred option. Only focus on as much data throughput you can get to the software....
Because Smoke uses uncompressed media internally, the storage requirements are pretty high. It's not just about the transfer rate; latency matters, too, and I don't think many RAID manufacturers publish that.
Since you're building your Mac from scratch anyway, why not get the whole thing from a reseller who can provide you a complete, tested system, and support when something goes wrong? Smoke on Mac is certainly cheaper, but it's not so cheap that I'd try to do it all myself.
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Point well taken Walter. Being somewhat technical, I thought I'd put it together myself, but I probably would be better served having a reseller get me a turnkey system, this way I can focus on work. I started a dialog with VCA Corp. NY today. I want to get some time on a system though, because I can't afford too much of a slow down in performance as compared to what I'm used to with a HP machine (with HD 1080Psf, 1080I, 720P, etc.). I do plan on the fastest 8 core mac with 16GB RAM though. Thanks. -Tom
I have a Caldigit HD Pro 4 Tb rackmount, which works fine and runs at about 400 megabytes per second, and a Dulce 16 Tb RAID that gets over 700 meg/s. Both have decent support after the sale. I guess you'd have to get a larger Caldigit unit to get the 500+ meg/s that Smoke requires.