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Throwing out the Kool Aid

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Don Wilson
Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 11, 2007 at 11:05:59 pm

I have tried so hard for 6 years to convince myself that Final Cut is a real threat to Avid. I've spent nearly 50 grand on a full HD FCP system with Cal Digit raids and newer Sata SAS technology raids, digital audio through-out etc, Mac Pros....all the best I could get based on many recommendations on the Cow. But I am totally sick of having to go into life-saving mode ever time we do a feature length project. Ever time, literally ever time. The projects will become corrupted because of a supposed corrupt media file somewhere, the restore project NEVER works right, the project won't boot up or crashes imemdiately on boot up........we most always end up fixing the project in a laborious process that this time, and most every time, takes days, this time a week. I end up making less money because I chose to go the FCP route and dumped my "expensive" Avids. Now, after days of re-creating much of the project, we are getting out of memory errors..out of left field. Nothing changed, we're just outputting to tape.

I very much respect all of you I've met at NAB and the like over the years and understand that many of you never have problems. You may think I'm some rookie, I'm not. I've been editing professionally since 1979 and have much respect from the people who know me. Won Emmy and nominated for others. Beta tested for quite a few companies, Avid is one. But this is ridiculous. I love the was FCP edits, it's a much better "editor" than Avid, but I cannot depend on it. I bet we've crashed 75 times on this film. We started fom scratch....clean drives and clean installs. I freelanced at Cimarron for a month recently, an Apple FCP beta house, they have the same experiences though doing mostly short forms they spend less fixing them. But they regret tossing their Avids, at least they tell me that to my face.

I needed to rant. I see people ask question about FCP on the boards here and many of you reply with the "all is wonderful" messages. I think it healthy to hear all sides unlike our federal governments position.

With much respect and frustration,

Don Wilson
AmericanaMediaInc.com
MississippiSon.com

Don Wilson
AmericanaMediaInc.com
MississippiSon.com


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Don Wilson
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 11, 2007 at 11:10:44 pm

Must add that I've the utmost respect for and am a huge fan of AJA and all the people there. They've bent over backwards helping up over the years.

Don Wilson

Don Wilson
AmericanaMediaInc.com
MississippiSon.com


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Bob Zelin
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 12, 2007 at 12:25:38 am

Oh Don - this won't make you feel better, but it's some feedback to you (and some ranting) -

YOU WRITE -
But I am totally sick of having to go into life-saving mode ever time we do a feature length project. Ever time, literally ever time. The projects will become corrupted because of a supposed corrupt media file somewhere, the restore project NEVER works right, the project won't boot up or crashes imemdiately on boot up........we most always end up fixing the project in a laborious process that this time, and most every time, takes days, this time a week.

REPLY -
As you know, I push LOTS of SATA (and now SAS) drive arrays with both FCP and AVID systems. I have seen about 5 - 6 different clients suffer with "corrupt projects", where the initial reaction is "the drives died", or "the drives disappeared". Sometimes running Disk Warrior fixes it, sometimes it doesn't. But EVERY TIME (particularly when it doesn't fix the drives), I replace the entire drive array (and cables etc), and get them up again (of course they have to redig their media). And I take this "broken" disk drive array, re-initialize it with Apple Disk Utility, and it miraculously works just perfectly. I then install this very "broken" array somewhere else, and it works FOREVER. So what happened ? I don't know. The drives don't break - they become corrupt. And it doesn't happen to everyone, just a few people. Most work absolutely perfectly forever. And even the "broken ones" work on other systems once they are re-initialized. I am dealing with this VERY ISSUE tomorrow at Omni Video (a member of this forum), whose SATA array has disappeared twice on him, for no reason. Yet the drives work fine somewhere else. This will be the third visit for this issue. I have no answer. This does not mean that FCP sucks. Most people (almost 200 now) have NO ISSUES.


Now for the rant.
Don, please don't tell me how wonderful AVID is. AVID Media databases become corrupt all the time, and it is STANDARD PROCEEDURE
to trash your Media Databases (the MSM files on the media drives) to get your drives that won't mount, back up. (At least there is a proceedure to get this to work). And if you move AVID drives around from system to system, you can still get yourself into trouble.

With that said, the reliability of local SCSI drives, from AVID and everyone else has been TERRIBLE compared to SATA. You put 4 - 8 AVID SCSI drives (or anyone elses RAID 0 drives) together, and there have ALWAYS been failures of the SCSI drives, where you loose everything, and have to redigitize everything. Both StorCase SCSI arrays at Electronic Arts recently failed on their AVID DS systems, and they lost EVERYTHING. What a hightmare this was. I do maintenance every day, and I see dead drives ALL THE TIME, and I almost NEVER see them with SATA drives.

I totally sympathize with you about your situation, where your project just becomes corrupt, and you can't proceed. I have seen this happen with large drive systems, and I don't know how to resolve this (other than getting lucky with disk warrior). This does not mean that Apple sucks, that FCP sucks, or that SATA sucks. It is my lack of knowlege that prevents me from knowing what is going on. As I said before, I re-initilize the drives, and everything works fine, every time. I know that this is not an answer - if you are in the middle of a feature, and the damn thing gets corrupt, and you are forced to reinit, and lost everything. I just don't have an answer for you. But most people NEVER see these problems. Because I have seen it multiple times, I am responding to your post.

By the way - which SAS do you have (this is all pretty new).

Bob Zelin


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Don Wilson
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 12, 2007 at 1:06:01 am


I hear ya Bob. I never said FCP sucks, and especially never said SATA sucks, though my SCSSI Huge's have never been an issue ever. In fact I never tried to imply that SATA was even my issue here, or in times past. I'm a SATA fan. Eveyone who assists me tells me I really push a system. And I will admit that I do push it. I grew up on trucks, live stuff, and have always had that "immediate" personality. I do a lot of feature length stuff which most people I come in contact with don't. I use FCP on SpeedTV and Fox racing, short form stuff, with no issues really love the FCP way of editing, superb. But these 100+ hours of storage/feature projects are tough. It's gotten to be a nervous time when it nears "finishing" with us. We become much more gentle and damn if we still don't get bitten more than not.

I've talked with you in person and please don't take any of this personal. You, Walter and the other guys are the ones who're always coming up with the answers. And I appreciate it much. And I probably wouldn't have posted the rant if I'd slept in the last week. The floor is developing a drool stain from me sleeping next to the decks listening for sync issues. But damn if it doesn't get us every friggin' time. We always think we're ahead of delivery and here we are smellin' and tired, again. I lept to FCP because of my frustration with Avid's attitude and their HD bottleneck with the DS. Now the Nitrus Symphony, my freelance money maker, I think kicks butt. It fails, but I can be up and running in 30-40 mins by copying bins from the attic to the a new project. An I have the luxury of the Isis/Unity redundancy admittedly. But I consider that thing robust. I know, 85 grand before mass storage....but

I can't give up, I've got too much into these systems. New Pro Tools too. Maybe after this is over, I could shoot you a chronology of events and problems and have you look over it when you can.

Regards,
Don

Don Wilson
AmericanaMediaInc.com
MississippiSon.com


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Bob Zelin
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 12, 2007 at 12:22:37 pm

Don -
it's funny that you mention Speed TV. In Tampa, there are 3 companies in the same space that do a lot of work for Speed TV - MultiVision, Restoration Productions, and Big World Productions, all three on FCP/AJA/SATA, and one of the companies that had an issue like yours, got lucky and Disk Warrior recovered their media on the SATA. I never knew why it happened, and it hasn't happened since, but they lost the entire drive array, which they were able to recover.

The moral here is that THERE IS A PROBLEM, and I dont' know what it is. It hardly ever happens to anyone. I know ONE COMPANY that it happens to ALL THE TIME (every 4 weeks) - I don't know what on earth they are doing (they blame the drives every time "these drives suck"). But almost no one has issues.

You never answered my question about what SAS you are using. My current favorite is the new Dulce unit - which is some of the guys from HUGE.

Bob Zelin


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 12, 2007 at 12:26:09 am

Don,

As a fellow southerner, from New Orleans myself, I can identify with the topics of your films, but I'm completely mystified by your continued hardware wars with your FCP system.

After switching over from Discreet Edit*, which our mutual friend Larry touted for so long, I have had nothing but great times with my FCP system. I just wish I could find a woman as reliable... There are certainly some things that could be improved or made more elegant inside FCP, but I gotta say, as far as keeping the darned thing working, its really never skipped a beat in over two years.

BTW, my work is mostly longform likje your own... I've cut a 90-minute documentary feature in 10-bit uncompressed and half hours in DVCProHD without a hitch.

So, something is wrong at your shop, and whatever it is, it is fixable. You really should bite the bullet and get it fixed, because filmmaking is simply too important for all the crap you're going through.

Contact me and I'll either fix it myself or turn you on to someone else who can do the job. Just do it...

David


"No job is worth doing more than once..."

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Post-production Supervisor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles


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Don Wilson
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 12, 2007 at 1:25:49 am

"I'm completely mystified by your continued hardware wars with your FCP system."

Me too David. Ask Larry, I'm one of the old vets like him. I can't remember all the systems I've built or been a part of building. I'd like to meet up after all this. I'm in Studio City. Larry and I are going to meld minds soon as well.

By the way, were you around in the TeleProductions day in NOLA? Worked there a bunch on concerts and The Final Four for CBS. That was a strange environment.

Anyway, I'm no baffoon is my point. I get this stuff. I solder and know how to use a scope....now that's rare these days you gotta admit.

Thanks for your input. Shoot me an email sometime and we'll meet up with Larry at Fox n' Hounds or something.

Don Wilson
AmericanaMediaInc.com
MississippiSon.com


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JeremyG
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 12, 2007 at 3:37:46 am

All computers will eventually have problems. I have a story for you.

A good friend of mine was recently editing with me and my FCP system while their editor sat on tech support and their brand new $40,000 Avid system sat idle in multiple attempts to get fixed and was unusable. They had so many projects going on, they came to me to get one of them done, and they had to rent another Avid system to continue their other projects. They swapped cards, swapped CPUs, swapped dispositions, kept their careers but lost time, sleep and money, just like you. They won't even touch FCP, but the project we worked on got done ahead of schedule while they are still scrambling to get their other ones done.

I still have not put FCS2 into full time production yet, and my dual 2.0 G5 cranks away.

Perhaps when my intel box arrives soon and FCS2 starts to get into production, I will be writing a similar thread to you.

No matter how long you have been editing, problems will appear. Experience helps in many situations, but on the other hand it doesn't make one a magician.


Jeremy


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 12, 2007 at 5:58:24 am

[JeremyG] "No matter how long you have been editing, problems will appear. Experience helps in many situations, but on the other hand it doesn't make one a magician."

Jeremy,

There's nothing that can't break and nothing that can't be fixed. It doesn't take a magician.

David

"No job is worth doing more than once..."

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Post-production Supervisor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles


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JeremyG
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 12, 2007 at 1:53:59 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "It doesn't take a magician."

What I am saying is, no matter how much experience you have it doesn't mean you sit down to a system and it magically runs flawlessly all the time because it knows you have 20 years under your belt. Experience doesn't make you a magician. Certain systems have quirks and oddities.

I have to agree with everyone else here, solid drive system, solid FCP system.


Jeremy






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walter biscardi
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 12, 2007 at 2:06:18 pm

[JeremyG] "What I am saying is, no matter how much experience you have it doesn't mean you sit down to a system and it magically runs flawlessly all the time because it knows you have 20 years under your belt. Experience doesn't make you a magician. Certain systems have quirks and oddities."

Amen to that. We always have some sort of quirks and issues on our systems, but with all the experience I have, I can usually figure out a workaround very quickly and then go back later and figure out how to fix whatever the quirk was.

My mantra is always "workaround the issue now, figure it out later."

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com
HD Editorial & Animation for Broadcast and independent productions.

All Things Apple Podcast! http://cowcast.creativecow.net/all_things_apple/index.html

Read my blog! http://blogs.creativecow.net/WalterBiscardi


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walter biscardi
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 12, 2007 at 12:34:18 pm

[Don Wilson] "I have tried so hard for 6 years to convince myself that Final Cut is a real threat to Avid. I've spent nearly 50 grand on a full HD FCP system with Cal Digit raids and newer Sata SAS technology raids, digital audio through-out etc, Mac Pros...."

Hate to say it, but CalDigit is probably the root of your problems on this particular setup. I killed three of their arrays here over a three or four month span and will not use their products any longer. The very first unit I tested here performed flawlessly for about 6 weeks and then it took a nosedive. The newer products were worse. I even had them pull my testimonial off their website. I have no idea what is wrong inside their products, but we had three completely different products eject themselves off the desktop with a total loss of data here. Really nice guys and tried to help me all they could, but ultimately I lost faith in the product.

We've tested Sonnett, MaxxDigital and are testing Dulce now and so far all the products are rock solid. Get between 350 - 500MB/s with the Sonnet and Maxx running in the sweet protection of RAID 5. We ejected a drive in the middle of HD 10bit Uncompressed captures and the unit kept right on working. Outstanding at a great price each. Of course Ciprico and Facillis are outstanding products as well.

FCP truly is only as stable as the media array it's built around and thankfully for us, we always test, test and re-test before we commit to a purchase. This doesn't help you in your current situation, but throwing out FCP because of a drive manufacturer really doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I know you're frustrated but hopefully you'll be able to find a solution that works for you. Feel free to call me to chat about this at any time.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com
HD Editorial & Animation for Broadcast and independent productions.

All Things Apple Podcast! http://cowcast.creativecow.net/all_things_apple/index.html

Read my blog! http://blogs.creativecow.net/WalterBiscardi


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Simmie
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 12, 2007 at 1:40:06 pm

As someone who junked Media100 for FCP (back when FCP hit V4) I can understand the frustration felt by someone who's system doesn't "just work."

We went through the pain of sorting out a reliable SAN, and trying to get Cinewave to digitise HD properly - but looking at the stable systems we have now I look back on those days and I'm soooooo glad we stuck with it.

-Simmie
2 G5 - Kona LH
3 G4s - Cinewave
1 xbox360, 1 PSP, 1 PS2 & a Gamecube
http://www.speak.co.uk


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Don Wilson
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 12, 2007 at 3:53:55 pm

Walter, Bob and all,

Thank you for your patience. Very tired on this end. Got the thing out to tape though we had terrible sync issues cross-converting. I went ahead and purchased a Gen 10 and it helped but the HDCam was sure touchy. Out to D5 was never an issue.

Walter, thanks for the offer. And to Bob, Dulce Duo Quad and a unit I built that has become my favorite. Here is the rack:

http://www.pc-pitstop.com/sata_enclosures/scsata12RMd.asp

and I use the HighPoint 2340 with very expensive cables. I get at least 415 MB/sec through the thing and it runs very cool. Stuffed with 12 750s, one which was bad initally and had to be replaced. The card has internal mini-sas connectors and I have a backplane on the computer to adapt mini SAS to SAS which then connects to multi-lane on the chassis. Very smart software management.

I have had issues with the Cal Digits. I saw recommendations here in the forum and bought them based on that and sorry to hear about all the issues. They really didn't play in this senario as they are filled with an older project, thank god.

I really wish there were an "attic" like Avid has so a project can be resurrected by copying bins directly. In this case, it would have saved days. We basically would boot up each project until we got one that would not crash, started a new project, copied bins and necessary sequences into it, closed the old project and re-build from an offline output for 4 days. This project started as a 5.1.4 and when the picture was locked, we upgraded to 6 to be able to color-grade with secondaries using Color, which is awesome but has some growing to do.

Sorry for the rant guys, I knew I was sticking my hand in a scorpion's pit, but then again you're the only people on all the boards who I truly respect and are consistent with your responses. Please understand that I'm an old Kem editor who jumped to CMX50 to Grass Valley to Axial to Avid in 1989, yes, 4th one delivered to LA and have been and Avid guy since. I've had my share of Avid issues but I guess I've been incredibly lucky with Avid as it has always been a workhorse for me. But once I offlined on FCP I was sold. Very smart interface and very powerful. Finishing on the thing is another matter for another day.

Many thanks to all,

Don Wilson
MississippiSon.com
AmericanaMediaInc.com
dwilson@americanamediainc.com




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walter biscardi
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 12, 2007 at 5:01:36 pm

[Don Wilson] "Walter, thanks for the offer. And to Bob, Dulce Duo Quad and a unit I built that has become my favorite. Here is the rack:

http://www.pc-pitstop.com/sata_enclosures/scsata12RMd.asp

and I use the HighPoint 2340 with very expensive cables. I get at least 415 MB/sec through the thing and it runs very cool. Stuffed with 12 750s, one which was bad initally and had to be replaced. The card has internal mini-sas connectors and I have a backplane on the computer to adapt mini SAS to SAS which then connects to multi-lane on the chassis. Very smart software management."


Does it come in RAID protection at all or just JBOD? That's the only thing that would keep me from using it. These RAID 5 systems are really impressing me.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com
HD Editorial & Animation for Broadcast and independent productions.

All Things Apple Podcast! http://cowcast.creativecow.net/all_things_apple/index.html

Read my blog! http://blogs.creativecow.net/WalterBiscardi


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Don Wilson
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 12, 2007 at 5:16:34 pm

Walter,

Jbod through Raid 5. Raid is controlled by the raid controller, the High Point 2340. Here is some info in it:

http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/1037/highpoint_rocketraid_2340_controller_...

Best,

Don Wilson
AMericanaMediaInc.com
MississippiSon.com
dwilson@americanamediainc.com


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Shane Ross
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 12, 2007 at 5:49:45 pm

Don, I think that you and I and David Weiss should have lunch sometime. We are all in the Valley...I am in North Hollywood and David is a BIT farther north in Woodland Hills, right David?

Sit down, chat...complain about Avid and complain about FCP. Praise both. Whathaveyou.

Most of the issues that happen with FCP...or even Avid...are pilot error. People not used to the system and things getting messed up and put in odd places or something. Havind been an Avid Assist for 5 years, I learned all the tricks needed to ensure that the Avid was running smooth. Such as tossing the database files occasionally. Looking for the CREATING files when you had a crash. Lots of stuff. And if you didn't treat an Avid just right, it'd start flaking on you. Same with FCP...you have to learn how to maintain it as well. It is a slow process, but I get it.

A lot of stuff happens when you have editors used to one system jumping onto another and trying to work like they did on the first system. Sorry, but ain't gonna work. I am now BACK on an Avid (Meridian v11, OS 9, Unity) and it took me a WEEK to relearn the darn thing. Grumbling because I can't drag my clips about and re-arrange things....but, HEY, this dynamic trimming is great. Different approaches. But I have seen more issues with people coming from other editing systems than people who have ONLY edited with FCP. It takes a while getting used to things.

And I know that a lot of stuff is pilot error because of what Bob said...one array fails for one guy, but works fine for another. SAME PHYSICAL ARRAY. That points to pilot error. I had that with a company here where I helped them set up their shop and got things running. They brought in a bunch of editors...used to Avid...and the show started falling apart. Other people brought in to fix things, other editors came in...and things started working. No hardware was swapped.

As for drive RAIDS...there is just way too much choice out there. That is both good and bad. Avids worked ONLY with their drives, which they tested beyond belief before they implimented. And even then there were still occasional issues. But you HAD to buy from them, and at ASTRONOMICAL prices. With FCP there are dozens of RAID manufacturers out there, lots of people to choose from. One company works for some guys, but not others. Some have good products and buggy products. Some swear by LaCie because they never had an issue, and others have nothing BUT issues. Walter had huge issues with Caldigit...yet I haven't had one (one minor hiccup that worked itself out, no loss of data). And we both work on the same type of projects...DVCPRO HD, AJA hardware, G5s. So go figure.

If FCP was crashing all the time and unworkable and causing long hours for everyone like it was for you...the platform would be dropped like THAT. I wouldn't stand for it....so I can see where you are coming from. But it isn't failing for a lot of us, so it is still going strong. I hope you figure out what is happening..and I hope you get to test a lot of drive arrays to see what works for you.

And...let's do lunch.

Or drinks...actually. I am in Hollywood during the day on this old, but rather stable Avid system.

Shane

Littlefrog Post
http://www.lfhd.net


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 12, 2007 at 6:03:56 pm

[Shane Ross] "David is a BIT farther north in Woodland Hills, right David?"

I'm actually in the "unsnooty" part of Brentwood, but I'm all for a lunch and beers in the Valley unless I can convince you three to come to these cooler environs. Let's include Larry Sherwood too, so I can get him to buy me a beer. So, just name the date and time...

David


"No job is worth doing more than once..."

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Post-production Supervisor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles


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Tcurren
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 15, 2007 at 12:15:56 pm

[Shane Ross] "Don, I think that you and I and David Weiss should have lunch sometime. We are all in the Valley...I am in North Hollywood and David is a BIT farther north in Woodland Hills, right David?

Sit down, chat...complain about Avid and complain about FCP. Praise both. Whathaveyou."


Or just come to an Editor's Lounge sometime. ;-)

http://www.editorslounge.com



Terence Curren
http://www.alphadogs.tv
http://www.digitalservicestation.com
Burbank,Ca


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JeremyG
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 12, 2007 at 8:26:50 pm

[Don Wilson] "I really wish there were an "attic" like Avid has so a project can be resurrected by copying bins directly"

You can export an XML of an entire FCP projects, and restore from that with bins/sequences/everything in tact, but you have to be proactive about it. Do it once a day or something.

You can also export/import bins by themselves as XML.





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Don Wilson
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 12, 2007 at 10:55:41 pm

Jeremy,

Thanks, Yes, I did know that but I find it quite cumbersome, but if that's it that's it.

And I must say to others that I'm a bit perplexed as to why everyone is going down the drive path, even some to say that I said Sata sucks. Never said it and to the contrary I am a big fan. My HighPoint controlled Sata SAS array kicks butt. The problem is the project corruption. I more think it's to do with V5 projects in V6. I erred by not being cautious enough when everything appeared to be going well. Any of the older projects pre V6(and I mean that I make new projects when we've done significant changes to warrant it's independence) work fine, the new ones converted from V5 are the problem ones. If it's a drive issue I'd be very surprised, but I'm listening.

Again, the error we kept getting out of nowhere was:

"this project may be too new or is unreadable by Final Cut Pro"

and we then started getting: error:memory full

...when we tried to render. Both issues out of the blue upon start up in the morning.


Don Wilson
AmericanaMediaInc.com
MississippiSon.com


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 12, 2007 at 11:20:32 pm

[Don Wilson] "And I must say to others that I'm a bit perplexed as to why everyone is going down the drive path, even some to say that I said Sata sucks."

Don,

1. I hope I didn't give the wrong impression, as I think SATA drives and arrays are wonderful, but some SATA controllers are not, some SATA configurations are not, and some SATA enclosures are not.

2. There are many things you said which did give hardware and drive array warning signals.

3. Upgrading without first making a clone was your biggest mistake... I've been hammering that home on this and the FCP forums for weeks, I'm surprised you missed it, it was like Ground Hog Day.

"No job is worth doing more than once..."

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Post-production Supervisor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles


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Joe Murray
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 13, 2007 at 12:23:59 am

Don,

Just curious, which Caldigit unit are/were you running? I had problems with the S2VR 5-drive unit, but have been using an HDPro for the last couple of months with no issues.

Joe Murray


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Christian Glawe
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 12, 2007 at 3:50:31 pm

Walter- Curious to know if you guys have tested any of the G-Tech G-Speed arrays...

Christian Glawe editor/compositor christianglawe.com Read my blog: http://blogs.creativecow.net/blog/111 Pain is temporary... film is forever.


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Kevin Wild
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 12, 2007 at 4:21:32 pm

Whoa, wait a minute! :-) We have had 4 Fusion 500 boxes from Sonnet and there is revolving door of sending them back for repair. I don't know what's going on there, but we literally sent one away to be fixed and had two waiting. So, since we didn't have original boxes, we got one back and put the other one in the box and sent it back. We have another one waiting for the box to come back. This makes 3 within a few months.

The problems we've experienced (as noted on these boards):
-The drives all check out fine, media checks out fine, but we have had sudden unmounting of drives. Editing along, suddenly a click and bye-bye drives.
-Another Fusion Box had a faulty fan. The thing burned extremely hot one day before I noticed it...thanks, Sonnet. I'm still having problems with those drives now. I think they were damaged.

I switched to leasing a 14 x 750 XRaid and just started using MetaSAN. I'm hoping I won't have as many gripes about this setup.

Glad Sonnet is working for you, Walter! It did for us for a while...but the new units did NOT.

Kevin


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Bob Zelin
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 12, 2007 at 5:07:00 pm

dont' worry - the XServe RAID will give you plenty of problems.
Walter tested out the new SAS RAID 5 product, not the 500P port multiplier that you refer to.

I feel everyone's pain here. You guys are editing all day, but the only time I hear from anyone is when there is trouble, so I see drive issues from EVERY manufacturer every day. I know that you have had issues with the Sonnet 500P, and Walter has had issues with the Cal Digit. If I observed isolated incidents that I have seen, I would have the same prejudice, but because I install so many systems, I can honestly tell you that the conventional products from Cal Digit and Sonnet have been teriffic. This is not to say that I have not seen issues with isolated incidents (as I described in previous posts in this thread). But it is rare, and these instances have been due to data corruption - NOT DEFECTIVE PRODUCTS FROM CAL DIGIT OR SONNET.

I have the Dulce Systems Duo Quad here right now (the RAID 5 SATA product), and it is absolutely amazing. Maxx Digital is selling it right now. But it does cost more than a bare bones SATA array.

It's easy to say "this sucks and that sucks", but the corruption that started this thread, that Don is having is still a mystery to me.

Bob Zelin


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 12, 2007 at 5:57:30 pm

[Bob Zelin] "the corruption that started this thread, that Don is having is still a mystery to me."

Bob,

I suspect that Don's problems are possibly related to one of the following two quips from the Kona FAQ.

Q: Can I use eSata storage for HD?
A: AJA has yet to find and certify an eSata 8 drive JBOD solution for 10 Bit uncompressed HD that is reliable over time with the KONA cards. We continue to look for a capable solution.

Q: Are there any important things to be aware of when setting up a RAID for Video capture?
A: Many SCSI and Fiber raids that use SATA or IDE with a backplane and controller often offer user settings for configurations. Be sure to format the Physical disk in a 512 Block size and never exceed a single volume size of 2TB. Multiple 2TB (or below) can be striped together by the OS for larger capacity storage.


"No job is worth doing more than once..."

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Post-production Supervisor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles


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Jeff Bernstein
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 12, 2007 at 9:41:18 pm

Don,

I would suspect that the Highpoint card is your lowpoint. I would recommend replacing it with the ATTO ExpressSAS R348. In all our testing with Highpoint, we didn't have good luck and we're talking extensive testing.

Jeff

P.S. I remember you from that small facility in the huts on Overland, owned by the Bronfmans.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 13, 2007 at 12:34:15 am

Jeff -
with all due respect, your R348 is only capable of running 4 drives, and hi performance systems require the R380. I don't know what kind of systems you are running there, but many people need faster performance than the R348 can provide.

Bob Zelin


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Jeff Bernstein
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 13, 2007 at 11:48:11 pm

Bob,

Right you are. Do as I think, not as I say! I meant the R380.

Jeff


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Bob Zelin
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 13, 2007 at 12:40:07 am

Mr. Weiss writes -
Bob,

I suspect that Don's problems are possibly related to one of the following two quips from the Kona FAQ.

Q: Can I use eSata storage for HD?
A: AJA has yet to find and certify an eSata 8 drive JBOD solution for 10 Bit uncompressed HD that is reliable over time with the KONA cards. We continue to look for a capable solution.


REPLY - dare I say it - AJA IS WRONG. Actually if you read the "fine print", AJA is talking about a reliable SATA solution for 10 bit uncompressed HD-SDI, and in real life, most of us are doing ProRes422, DVCProHD, and less (HDV, uncompressed SD, etc.). ALL the SATA solutions on the market are more than capable of reliably handing this - ESPECIALLY when comparing it the Apple Xserve RAID.

Many companies (not to lump AVID and AJA in the same sentense) protect themselves by putting in the highest performance products, so people don't "cheap out" and cry "my product is not working" becuase they are trying to do uncompressed HD on a Firewire 400 drive. We have all seen posts on this forum, trying to figure out why things dont' work with one internal SATA drive (didn't you guys say that SATA can do uncompressed HD) - so I understand the "layer of protection". But SATA - from anyone - including inside the MAC Pro, all the way to newer SAS RAID 5 arrays - is FANTASTIC technology, and is ABSOLUTELY a substitute for older SCSI and Fibre Channel products.

Bob Zelin (does this mean no cookies from AJA for me ?).



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David Roth Weiss
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 13, 2007 at 1:51:33 am

[Bob Zelin] "in real life, most of us are doing ProRes422, DVCProHD, and less (HDV, uncompressed SD, etc.). ALL the SATA solutions on the market are more than capable of reliably handing this"

I agree with this - I think you misunderstood what I wrote. I'm actually a big proponent of SATA drives and SATA arrays.

Unfortunately, it seems some SATA controllers and some SATA enclosures just can't cut the mustard over the long haul. RocketRaid for instance, which Don has, gives me the willies, although AMUG has given the latest RR a clean bill of health.

Over an out... And, don't call me Mr. Weiss... He was my father.

"No job is worth doing more than once..."

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Post-production Supervisor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles


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Don Wilson
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 13, 2007 at 2:55:30 am


I love you guys, and dare I say Mr Weiss Mr Weiss Mr Weiss.....just had to. Seriously though David, thanks for all your input.

And I must say that years ago I thought Bob was some crazy code writer dude living under a rock laughing uncontrollably (Like Morgus David) but now I shout out for his wisdom in times of trouble......I am getting old! And after meeting him in person, he is actually much the gentleman....sorry to blow it for you Bob!!

As well, you all try really hard to help and I, though often with feathers fluffed, pay attention and soak it all in. And David, I did the clone of each project I converted from old ones, they were all fine. What happened was maybe two weeks later that corrupted the "converted" projects. I did go back to those safe ones but they were missing much color work. It was in some sort of bad voodoo mode where no matter which project I opened, it became corrupted, and the autosaves as well. In hindsight, after the first became corrupted, I should have shut down and re-evaluated, but again, I'm an old live truck guy who's attitude is 'get it on the air" so I kept trying to "get something working."

And my 2 cents on the Highpoint....

I did a lot of research, talked to the boys at AJA and an old pal from Huge and they all thumbed up the Rocket Raid. And again, this thing has been a rock. Not a single alarm and unlike many sata arrays, the speed stays consistent as it fills up. I have had FW 800 drive issues unmounting but I try and not use them much anymore.

And Bob is correct, we're DVCPro HD 1080p24. Shot on the Varicam and HVX200, beautifully I might add. So throughput is no issue. I did just work on a big project at Cimarron uncompressed 10bit HD and though cluncky and slow, we crashed without any lasting problems, but we crashed. They are the beta house apparently, at least they claim so.


We've been editing this film since last October and we've had not one serious problem until this, so for us, that is progress.

And I can tell you horror stories of my 2 inch editing days when I looked out in the machine room and tape was a foot high and the reels still spinning...and I think Sherwood was laughing in the corner...


All the best to all,

Don Wilson
AmericanaMediaInc.com
MississippiSon.com


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Mitch Ives
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 13, 2007 at 3:16:07 pm

[Bob Zelin] "Walter tested out the new SAS RAID 5 product, not the 500P port multiplier that you refer to. "

I take it that this is a new product that isn't on their site yet?

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.
mitch@insightproductions.com

Apple Certified Trainer: Final Cut Pro 5


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walter biscardi
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 13, 2007 at 3:25:41 pm

[Mitch Ives] "I take it that this is a new product that isn't on their site yet?"

It's the Fusion family that's on their website but I'm not exactly certain if this model number is for sale yet. It was a 4TB model and it worked extremely well.

http://www.sonnettech.com/product/fusionfamily/index.html



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com
HD Editorial & Animation for Broadcast and independent productions.

All Things Apple Podcast! http://cowcast.creativecow.net/all_things_apple/index.html

Read my blog! http://blogs.creativecow.net/WalterBiscardi


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Ramona Howard
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 13, 2007 at 10:58:42 pm

I would just like to add that many major facilities worldwide are using our SATA DDR solutions and would differ that SATA doesn't work for 10bit RGB and below and these guys are pounding the hell out of the systems. The proper hardware in the right hands will yield excellent results.

We just introduced an 8 drive rig that handles up to 4:4:4 and yes, it's SATA.

You can get Crappy controllers and drives and some companies may choose to go on the cheap side for what they use but please remember even SATA can be expensive and you do get what you pay for.

my .02 cents
Ramona Howard





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uncompressed
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 14, 2007 at 5:48:42 am

[Ramona Howard] "You can get Crappy controllers and drives and some companies may choose to go on the cheap side for what they use but please remember even SATA can be expensive and you do get what you pay for."

Well put!


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JJBriquet
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 16, 2007 at 10:08:20 pm

I have noticed that FCP really does not like project created in different versions, this just comes from experience so I never change versions until I am fully done.
And I also noticed that FCP does not like huge projects, they tend to correct. So the workaroudn I used is to create a Master Media project where I dig all the footage. Then I create subprojects for different sections and only work with the projects needed. I do Projects versions and save back ups every day. These back up strategies tend to become big in file size but with the price of HDs and thumb drives today it does not really matter.
On way bigger projects I have even made raw footage section projects to keep things manageable, opening a 100MB FCP project can take a while.

Anyway, I am sure all you guys already know all of this.

Jean-Jacques Briquet



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Mitch Ives
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 17, 2007 at 3:32:01 pm

[walter biscardi] "It's the Fusion family that's on their website but I'm not exactly certain if this model number is for sale yet. It was a 4TB model and it worked extremely well.

" target="_blank">http://www.sonnettech.com/product/fusionfamily/index.html"


Thanks Walter. How many drives were in that model... 4, 5, 8?

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.
mitch@insightproductions.com

Apple Certified Trainer: Final Cut Pro 5


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walter biscardi
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 17, 2007 at 3:36:28 pm

[Mitch Ives] "Thanks Walter. How many drives were in that model... 4, 5, 8?"

8


Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com
HD Editorial & Animation for Broadcast and independent productions.

All Things Apple Podcast! http://cowcast.creativecow.net/all_things_apple/index.html

Read my blog! http://blogs.creativecow.net/WalterBiscardi


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Gordon Gurley
Re: Throwing out the Kool Aid
on Jul 18, 2007 at 9:24:11 pm

In 6 years of editing and supervising FCP projects, I've only seen 1 project truly blow up. It seemed to be a combination of media management problems and editor style. The editor was an experienced Avid guy and I convinced him to work in FCP for this project. I believe it was his nesting style that he was so used to in Avid that caused problems in FCP. He would cut a sequence, then drop that into a new timeline and start cutting that. NOT cut/paste but drop the monolithic sequence block into a new timeline. He would go through this process 3 or 4 times to get through his selects. It's my opinion that FCP doesn't like to work this way.

But I feel your pain. I too miss the lumbering stability of the Avid. Especially when it came time to master. In the rush to continually add features, Apple ignores the core instabilities that persist.


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