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Nick Mars
Best Practices
on Dec 25, 2017 at 2:46:10 am

Hello! I am updating my editing computer from an old MacBook Pro to an iMac. (Please spare me any argument on the exact computer, I need MacOS/programs for other work that I do, and recently lost a monitor as well. Thank you)

So as I design this purchase, I know the specs I want on memory and everything else, but am a little confused on storage. From what I recall in my limited technical training on Avid MC, you never want to store your video files on the internal ‘C’ (MacHD) drive. My first question is why? I can’t find a straight answer anywhere on whether this is wrong or if I misunderstood somehow.

Following up on that, what is best practice for externals when working on projects?

In the past, I’ve had two externals running off my computer. One is exclusively for Backups, the other my production drive where footage is stored, the Avid project files live, as well as renders and the like. I know technically I should keep the RAW camera files on a different drive, but I’ve never had issues - even AMA link then transcoding, on 20 minute+ projects.

So what is the best practice, in a perfect world, for editing with Avid using external drives? How many, and putting what where? As a secondary question, do Adobe programs like Lightroom and After Effects share a similar affinity for not using the ‘C’ drive, or actually prefer it? I’m trying to decide how much internal storage I really need, as well as how best to upgrade my externals.

Thank you in advance, my apologies if any of this was confusing - it’s being typed on a phone since my computer has finally gone the wayside.

Nick

Setup: Macbook Pro Retina (Mid 2012), 2.7 GHz Intel Core i7, 16 GB Ram, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M Graphics Card. Dual 4TB mirrored external HDs, Apple Thunderbolt Display, Dell U2713H Display, Yamaha HS5 Studio Monitors through a Scarlett Focusrite 616, Wacom Intuos Tablet and a Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard


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Bob Zelin
Re: Best Practices
on Dec 25, 2017 at 3:19:35 pm

Hello! I am updating my editing computer from an old MacBook Pro to an iMac. (Please spare me any argument on the exact computer, I need MacOS/programs for other work that I do, and recently lost a monitor as well. Thank you)

REPLY - no argument for me. The iMac is currently the correct purchase for anyone on the Apple platform.


So as I design this purchase, I know the specs I want on memory and everything else, but am a little confused on storage. From what I recall in my limited technical training on Avid MC, you never want to store your video files on the internal ‘C’ (MacHD) drive. My first question is why? I can’t find a straight answer anywhere on whether this is wrong or if I misunderstood somehow.

REPLY - simple - because your c: internal boot drive will fill up with media. All video projects take up tons of space and the capacity of a 512G or 1TB SSD is simply not enough to hold your video media. Once your boot drive fills up beyond 90 %, your computer will start to crawl. I don't care if it's a Mac or a PC. That's just fact of life.



Following up on that, what is best practice for externals when working on projects?

REPLY - best practices ? I don't know. Just keep your video media on external drives. You have not stated what type of video you are working with - 4K and 6K RED files, or iPhone h.264 files ? 6K RED files and uncompressed or RAW footage takes up a lot of space, and working with multiple streams of video like this, won't play back from an internal or external single drive. It's just not fast enough.


In the past, I’ve had two externals running off my computer. One is exclusively for Backups, the other my production drive where footage is stored, the Avid project files live, as well as renders and the like. I know technically I should keep the RAW camera files on a different drive, but I’ve never had issues - even AMA link then transcoding, on 20 minute+ projects.

REPLY - hey, if it works for you, then that's great. From day 1 of AVID, there was your boot drive, and there was your media drive - even if was a single drive. It's always been like that. If there is no issue for you, and you are not running out of room, then who am I to tell you what to do.



So what is the best practice, in a perfect world, for editing with Avid using external drives? How many, and putting what where? As a secondary question, do Adobe programs like Lightroom and After Effects share a similar affinity for not using the ‘C’ drive, or actually prefer it? I’m trying to decide how much internal storage I really need, as well as how best to upgrade my externals.

REPLY - there is no perfect world. For Media Composer, some people keep their render files and project files on the boot drive, or an isolated drive. Some people keep everything on the external volume (be it a single drive or an AVID ISIS). For Adobe CC, you have a media cache (Preferences> Media> Media Cache). If you keep the cache file on the same drive as the external media, it will take FOREVER for the project to open up. The "ideal" situation (which few do) is to have a dedicated small SSD drive for the media cache drive, and all your media on the external volume. Can you keep everything on your boot drive ? (c:) - I don't know. I never saw anyone setup like that. You will run out of room quickly. When Apple was selling the horrible Apple RAID card (LSI Logic) for the old Mac Pro's, I would see silly people put in 3 additional SATA drives, and create a RAID 5 with the 4 total drives - so they would keep their operating system, programs, and media all on the 4 drive RAID 5 array. Almost everyone of those people eventually got into trouble.



Thank you in advance, my apologies if any of this was confusing - it’s being typed on a phone since my computer has finally gone the wayside.

REPLY - that's a lot to type on a phone. It's Christmas - go buy your iMac !

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Nick Mars
Re: Best Practices
on Dec 25, 2017 at 3:59:45 pm

Bob, thanks for the reply! Merry Christmas/happy holidays.

Running out of space on the internal would be the issue, I was just thinking that potentially if it was big enough I could work from there (at least with the DNxHD36 transcodes) while working on each project, since I’m rarely tackling a few at a time (I work a day job as a trailer editor, this is all on the side). Sounds like I’m still best saving the money and updating my externals then based on your response. Wasn’t sure if there was a sweet spot in terms of number of drives and what we put where, figured I’d ask before I bought the next setup.

Thanks again,
Nick

Setup: Macbook Pro Retina (Mid 2012), 2.7 GHz Intel Core i7, 16 GB Ram, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M Graphics Card. Dual 4TB mirrored external HDs, Apple Thunderbolt Display, Dell U2713H Display, Yamaha HS5 Studio Monitors through a Scarlett Focusrite 616, Wacom Intuos Tablet and a Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard


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Bob Zelin
Re: Best Practices
on Dec 26, 2017 at 2:08:43 am

How old are you Nick ?

Bob

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Nick Mars
Re: Best Practices
on Dec 29, 2017 at 6:28:26 am

I'm in my mid 20s Bob. I got lucky and kind of skipped ever formally working as an AE, so my technical side is a little weak when I'm doing everything myself. May I ask why you wanted to know?

And for more clarification on the original question, I was debating investing in doubling my internal drive from 2-4TB, vs 2 with an updated external hard drive. Ended up going with the latter. Decided with Thunderbolt 3 speeds I could just keep adding newer externals as they get better anyway.

Nick


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Bob Zelin
Re: Best Practices
on Dec 29, 2017 at 8:11:32 pm

I asked how old you were, because you sound inexperienced. The problem with being good, but young, is that you have not make enough mistakes. You think you know everything - you will soon find out that even when you get old (like me), you still don't know everything. Making mistakes (including making poor investments) is unfortunately part of the learning process.

In the stone age, you had to buy endless amounts of video tape machines, because things kept changing. Today, you need countless amounts of large drive arrays, because you will use up so much storage space, you will say to yourself "how did I use up so much space already". It will never end, as we evolve from 6K to 8K and beyond.
Don't waste your money on doubling your internal SSD drives. You just want your programs on there. Invest in external arrays, and ones that can be expanded - because there will never be enough storage (if you are successful at what you do). Going with thunderbolt 3 drives (for 2017 - 2018) is the right thing to do. But don't worry, you too will soon learn that these products become obsolete, and before you turn 30 you will say "I spent so much money on this crap, and now it's obsolete !". I will then say "welcome to the club".

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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greg janza
Re: Best Practices
on Jan 2, 2018 at 4:24:35 pm

Nick, Bob is giving you quite a special gift - free consultation advice from a veteran expert in the field.

Please keep in mind that the veterans on this forum and most other professional video forums are genuinely attempting to help others out and hopefully save them from potential nightmares that they may have encountered when they were young and inexperienced.

Follow bob's advice and you will look like a veteran with a wealth of knowledge in the field.

I Hate Television. I Hate It As Much As Peanuts. But I Can’t Stop Eating Peanuts.
- Orson Welles


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