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Craig Seeman
and Blackmagic acquires Fairlight and Ultimatte
on Sep 9, 2016 at 2:39:31 pm

Blackmagic Acquires Fairlight, Ultimatte
http://www.studiodaily.com/2016/09/blackmagic-acquires-fairlight-ultimatte/



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Douglas K. Dempsey
Re: and Blackmagic acquires Fairlight and Ultimatte
on Sep 9, 2016 at 3:24:40 pm

The sad fantasies of an old editor/filmmaker: Steve Jobs actually survives, convalescing in Northern California. He tires of Tim Cook's competent-but-lackluster leadership, wonders how his prestigious Apple has become little more than a bling company, and comes back once again. He buys Blackmagic, folds it into pro apps and hardware divisions ... and suddenly round-tripping from FCPX to Resolve is no longer necessary. We are already there! :-)

Doug D


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: and Blackmagic acquires Fairlight and Ultimatte
on Sep 9, 2016 at 4:31:28 pm

At the rate he's going , I wouldn't put it past Grant Petty to be the one buying Apple.

;-)

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Douglas K. Dempsey
Re: and Blackmagic acquires Fairlight and Ultimatte
on Sep 9, 2016 at 4:38:20 pm

Even better!

Doug D


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David Mathis
Re: and Blackmagic acquires Fairlight and Ultimatte
on Sep 10, 2016 at 12:20:38 am

Would be nice if BMD did buy Apple though unlikely. I must hand to Grant Petty for great leadership. The entire team is very much dedicated to what they do. If the cost of entry for Resolve on the Linux side of the fence was not so expensive, I would consider moving to that platform.

Apple is leaving a bitter taste in my mouth. No new meaningful hardware or update to Final Cut Pro recently makes me wonder what is going on. I cannot stand Windows and have no knowledge of the Linux side of the coin. I am having a mental breakdown as I type this message. Tim, do you have any wine to spare? I could even use some cheese to go with it.

Tetris is my favorite video game unless tracks are involved.


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Scott Thomas
Re: and Blackmagic acquires Fairlight and Ultimatte
on Sep 9, 2016 at 5:41:51 pm

I'm looking forward to the revival of the Fairlight Video Instrument






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Michael Gissing
Re: and Blackmagic acquires Fairlight and Ultimatte
on Sep 9, 2016 at 9:53:59 pm
Last Edited By Michael Gissing on Sep 9, 2016 at 10:22:58 pm

"I'm looking forward to the revival of the Fairlight Video Instrument"

That's not going to happen but you can buy a remade vintage CMI
http://petervogelinstruments.com.au/
Peter Vogel, one of the founders of Fairlight is making them again.

What you can expect from this merger is Fairlight has pioneered field programmable gate arrays (FPGA) cards for audio processing. Blackmagic has started using FPGAs in the Ursa Mini cameras. Expect Decklink cards to become monster processors of video & audio. I know the software and hardware team at Fairlight and they have some serious smarts about audio and video. They will give a huge leg up to the Decklink family and Resolve software.

The single PCIe FPGA Fairlight card that I use in a modest PC has the capacity of 1000 channels of audio with full processing. It can handle channel outputs like 22.2 surround. Integrated in a ecosystem like Resolve will make it an amazing video and audio finishing tool. Think Fusion for audio and you have some idea of how significant the Fairlight purchase may become.


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Scott Thomas
Re: and Blackmagic acquires Fairlight and Ultimatte
on Sep 10, 2016 at 6:12:22 am

A CMI in an FPGA. That's really cool. Too bad I already have a Kurzweil K2000 I don't know how to play. :)


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Scott Thomas
Re: and Blackmagic acquires Fairlight and Ultimatte
on Sep 9, 2016 at 5:46:09 pm

Also... Ross buys Abekas and Gen Arts Sapphire is now under Boris. What's next, Ross releases the Immix Video Cube 4K?


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Michael Gissing
Re: and Blackmagic acquires Fairlight and Ultimatte
on Sep 9, 2016 at 9:41:42 pm

Blackmagic investing in smart IP again. The machine rolls on.

As a Fairlight and Resolve user, this naturally sits well with me. Even though I know the guys at Fairlight well, none of this leaked before the announcement so Blackmagic are proving to be a tight ship. There was a certain inevitability that the two Aussie companies would join up. Fairlight have some serious smarts with FPGA tech so expect Decklink cards to become monster processors before long. I know they have FPGA cards in the Ursa mini camera.

And when Fairlight smarts make it into Resolve or a seamless roundtripping is done, one of the weakest parts of NLEs finishing tools will be sorted. I am naturally expecting my Fairlight control panels and mix desks will soon be part of the Resolve controller family. As a champion of ergonomic dedicated hardware controllers I am liking this move for so many reasons.

Oh and why would Grant want to buy Apple?? I think it is clear he has a firm focus on professional video and audio.


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Oliver Peters
Re: and Blackmagic acquires Fairlight and Ultimatte
on Sep 9, 2016 at 11:44:50 pm

Do you envision a software-only Fairlight DAW as a companion to Resolve and Fusion? Maybe also in free and $999 versions.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Michael Gissing
Re: and Blackmagic acquires Fairlight and Ultimatte
on Sep 10, 2016 at 12:21:38 am

[Oliver Peters] "Do you envision a software-only Fairlight DAW as a companion to Resolve and Fusion? Maybe also in free and $999 versions."

There is already a software only version of Fairlight. If you have a full system you can have the paired down software version to run on your laptop for free. So Fairlight is already similar to the Resolve model. The difference is the software only is much reduced in capacity, mainly because the full hardware version uses the CC card (Crystal core). It is so powerful that the difference between the two Fairlight versions is massive.

The full Fairlight will need their FPGA card but in time I see that being both the audio engine and the video i/o. So a Resolve with an FPGA card to run the audio and video replacing the Decklink cards would make a lot of sense. It will probably also signal a greater gap between free and paid Resolve but this hardware is going to be a bit more than $999. We may see a three tiered Resolve depending on audio capability.


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Scott Thomas
Re: and Blackmagic acquires Fairlight and Ultimatte
on Sep 10, 2016 at 6:16:43 am

Does anyone else remember the Ultimatte demo videos from the 1980's. Amazing stuff back in the day.

Maybe Black Magic Design will revive the comics with Professor Warhol.


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Peter Gruden
Re: and Blackmagic acquires Fairlight and Ultimatte
on Sep 13, 2016 at 12:04:42 pm

Software only Fairlight supports ASIO on Windows, but not Core Audio. I hope BM will bring Fairlight to the Mac OS.



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Tim Wilson
Re: and Blackmagic acquires Fairlight and Ultimatte
on Sep 13, 2016 at 1:32:21 pm

[Peter Gruden] "I hope BM will bring Fairlight to the Mac OS."

Sure seems likely based on what else they've done!


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Michael Gissing
Re: and Blackmagic acquires Fairlight and Ultimatte
on Sep 14, 2016 at 12:07:02 am

[Peter Gruden] "I hope BM will bring Fairlight to the Mac OS."
[Tim Wilson] "Sure seems likely based on what else they've done!"

Given Fairlight uses a PCIe FPGA card I see potential problems getting a full Fairlight system working on Macs. Software only yes but it will be a baby Fairlight by comparison. Fairlight have been very conservative about OS choices in the past only supporting Win7, 64 bit recently. No Win 10, Linux or Mac OS.

So don't hold your breath for a full blown Fairlight DAW working in other than a Windows environment. Parts of Fairlight are likely to make their way into Resolve for other platforms and their controllers.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: and Blackmagic acquires Fairlight and Ultimatte
on Sep 14, 2016 at 12:42:43 am

[Michael Gissing] "Given Fairlight uses a PCIe FPGA card I see potential problems getting a full Fairlight system working on Macs. "

We run multiple PCIe cards on trash can MacPros everyday with no performance penalty. If we can push 800MB/sec of video per seat, I'm sure we can get some audio down the pipe as well.

I know you don't want it to happen, but it might happen. :)


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Walter Soyka
Re: and Blackmagic acquires Fairlight and Ultimatte
on Sep 14, 2016 at 1:47:02 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "We run multiple PCIe cards on trash can MacPros everyday with no performance penalty. If we can push 800MB/sec of video per seat, I'm sure we can get some audio down the pipe as well. "

I would guess latency would matter as much if not more than bandwidth, but your point is valid.

BMD seems quite committed to being the cross-platformiest vendor out there. There was a lot of Windows-specific code in Fusion. Eyeon's Linux version relied on Wine to run parts of Fusion. That didn't seem to deter the BMD dev team... or even allow them down all that much.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Michael Gissing
Re: and Blackmagic acquires Fairlight and Ultimatte
on Sep 14, 2016 at 4:23:10 am

[Walter Soyka}"I would guess latency would matter as much if not more than bandwidth, but your point is valid."

Fairlight has the lowest through latency of any DAW. They also have ancillary hardware interfaces that connect to their FPGA cards for analogue I/O, word clock and video sync. Given the amount of hardware the main Fairlight systems drive from controllers to mixing desks, the porting of Fairlight to any other OS platform is probably far less trivial than Fusion. In Blackmagic terms it took a long time to port Fusion to Mac so don't expect anything other than paired back Fairlight software to make it into cross compatible Resolve.

There would need to be a good reason to port Fairlight and all its hardware to Mac OS. Blackmagic haven't done it for the big hardware Resolve Linux turnkeys yet.


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Tim Wilson
Re: and Blackmagic acquires Fairlight and Ultimatte
on Sep 14, 2016 at 5:22:49 pm

[Michael Gissing] "Blackmagic haven't done it for the big hardware Resolve Linux turnkeys yet."

I hadn't taken that adequately into account with my earlier reply. Software-only, yes, I'd bet strongly in its favor. As Walter noted, I'd previously have guessed that eyeon Fusion would have taken considerably more effort than it turns out to have. Not that BMD didn't labor, but I think that that entire team's raison d'etre is to defy expectations.

One of the questions we asked Grant when they acquired DaVinci was about the control surface, and whether it would see the crazy price reductions that some other products had, and he said (paraphrasing), nah, a lot of companies make their money in margins that we don't need or want, but this one costs about what it costs. We can't get it lower without compromising its quality and performance, which we're not willing to do.

I know that we're not talking about price in this thread, but I wonder if the same thing mightn't reply. The commendably conservative intent of the Fairlight team to date is ultimately irrelevant. "Commendably conservative" is pretty much the opposite of why Blackmagic does anything, but the question is going to be, can it work on Mac and still work "like a Fairlight". The answer isn't "no" until Grant says it's "no", and I'm not sure that Grant will often concede anything more than "not yet".


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Michael Gissing
Re: and Blackmagic acquires Fairlight and Ultimatte
on Sep 15, 2016 at 12:14:05 am

[Tim Wilson] ""Commendably conservative" is pretty much the opposite of why Blackmagic does anything, but the question is going to be, can it work on Mac and still work "like a Fairlight". The answer isn't "no" until Grant says it's "no", and I'm not sure that Grant will often concede anything more than "not yet"."

I'm sure the attitude at Fairlight will change with the ownership and looking to expand into other platforms and configurations will be obvious. I have said it before though that the jewel for Blackmagic is less about the audio and more about the controllers, mix surfaces, FPGA R&D and some smart people in file interchange to bolster the Resolve team.

I expect Resolves audio to improve especially with track based and bus based mixing and processing but seeing a full Fairlight hardware and software package on Mac would take a lot of development for a relatively small market return so I can't see it as a priority. Totally agree that its not "no" until Grant says it but I'm sure his priorities are in other areas of Fairlights IP. I say that without any disclosure from my friends inside Fairlight so it is purely my conjecture and reading of the tea leaves. For the record, Blackmagic were already making inroads into audio handling including VST plugins so I don't see that the audio side of Fairlight is the prime reason why Blackmagic made this purchase.


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Michael Gissing
Re: and Blackmagic acquires Fairlight and Ultimatte
on Sep 14, 2016 at 4:17:00 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "I know you don't want it to happen, but it might happen. :)"

Personally I have no desire not to see it happen. I just know the guys at Fairlight and the reasons why they have kept it to a limited range of Windows OS (XP and WIn7 only). They really like to make a system that will not tie up their small but incredibly talented software team keeping the range of compatibility with various OS robust. They also prefer turnkey or limited hardware options. Supporting thunderbolt to PCIe adaptors with FPGA hardware is not trivial. There is also the issue of their IP based control surfaces having to be compatible with a bigger range of OS options too. They have also had very specific requirements of supported graphics (NVIDIA only) and I/O cards (Decklink only with specific desktop software).

I know what a big deal it was just to make a software only version which relied on talking to windows audio drivers. Supporting other OS will take both an enlarging of the team and taking on people who know Apple OS and perhaps Linux. The very fact that Apple have such a fast OS cycle is also a reason why I know there will be reluctance to develop for that platform.

Fairlight is still based on Apple Quicktime player although Blackmagic have recently developed their own Quicktime handler. So what I prefer is irrelevant really to whether Fairlight will be in any hurry to port their big systems with specific hardware needs to another platform.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: and Blackmagic acquires Fairlight and Ultimatte
on Sep 14, 2016 at 8:19:55 pm
Last Edited By Jeremy Garchow on Sep 14, 2016 at 8:30:02 pm

[Michael Gissing] " So what I prefer is irrelevant really to whether Fairlight will be in any hurry to port their big systems with specific hardware needs to another platform."

Sure. Hard stuff is hard.

Blackmagic seems to make a habit of actually doing something with products they buy in fairly short order and I bet they will offer support to Fairlight to make it better (and more accessible) than ever.


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Michael Gissing
Re: and Blackmagic acquires Fairlight and Ultimatte
on Sep 15, 2016 at 12:31:54 am

[Jeremy Garchow}"Blackmagic seems to make a habit of actually doing something with products they buy in fairly short order and I bet they will offer support to Fairlight to make it better (and more accessible) than ever."

As I said in response to Tim, I think Fairlight's IP in their hardware and file interchange software is probably more important than their audio systems. The Ursa Mini is BM's first camera with an FPGA card and they have just released beta camera software that is utilising some hidden power they had in their card. Fairlight have been writing FPGA control software for over a decade and file interchange software for longer. They incorporated the team from dSP who had products like AVTransfer which was a conversion tool for file interchange.

So I fully expect that IP to be driving camera, Resolve edit functionality and control surfaces plus improvement to audio busing and mix automation.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: and Blackmagic acquires Fairlight and Ultimatte
on Sep 15, 2016 at 6:12:13 pm

[Michael Gissing] "So I fully expect that IP to be driving camera, Resolve edit functionality and control surfaces plus improvement to audio busing and mix automation."

Could be. It could also be just a bonus.

I feel like the Fairlight acquisition is another notch in Blackmagic's belt to be a provider of post software and gear, to production, post, live studios and finishing.

An audio desk is one pieces that Blackmagic does not own.

They now have camera, color, edit, graphics, conversion, scanning, routing, switching, monitoring, ingest/record, and now you can add audio and live keying to that mix.

I do believe we will see some new free software to add another offering for audio post that will fit within Blackmagic's existing hardware offerings and traditional Decklink style products, but I also think that Fairlight rounds out the needs of a facility or studio rather than adding Fairlight IP to existing products.

Thunderbolt represents a boon in cost savings and ease if use allowing many different kinds of connections and transmissions and it would be silly for Blackmagic to not incorporate Thunderbolt in a Fairlight offering where capable and appropriate.


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