KiPro perfect for event multimedia - case study and feature requests
Earlier in the year I produced and directed the annual sales conference for the Australian branch of a large multi-national pharmaceutical company. We'd spent the previous few months producing content for the opening ceremony and a separate awards ceremony. We were utilising the Barco Encore system to run a 3 screen blend in HD. With that in mind we'd shot a lot of material on our 2 RED cameras in 4.5k, along with motion graphics and 3D work for the 50-something award categories.
Normally with these kind of shows I run everything from a Final Cut timeline via a Kona3, but in the lead up to the event my primary edit suite develop an audio playback corruption that I couldn't troubleshoot (not for lack of trying). So having arrived onsite in Perth (the other side of Australia to our headquarters) I managed to track down an AJA dealer and he was kind enough to get a KiPro shipped over just in time for the show.
First of all let me say how completely blown away I was by this little device and it's enormous capabilities and potential. In the live event world it's been problematic for some time to be able to loop HD content seamlessly without a dedicated edit suite or playback server. Being able to run looping wallpapers all day long from the KiPro was a dream. On top of that - the ease of exporting sequences from FCP in ProRes HQ and dropping them onto the drive for instant playback was incredible. Although I've never had an edit suite go down in the middle of a show - it's always slightly nerve wracking to play back content you've worked so hard on to several thousand people from a computer. The peace of mind of playing this content back from a VTR-style device, yet with non-linear capabilities was massively beneficial.
I don't know of many people using a similar device for live events (at least in Australia). When word gets out what is possible with the KiPro I think AJA could have access to an entirely new market. There's a couple of feature requests I've got that would seal the deal (apologies if some of these issues have been addressed with the new firmware):
- some kind of playlist function in the browser control (via ethernet) to re-order clips
- by default having the unit order clips based on their alphanumerical filenames (it seemed like the order was determined by 'date added' to the KiPro but I couldn't work it out) - in a live show environment you want to be able to have your clips in the order of the run sheet so you don't have to cycle through the whole list of clips to find the next play.
- on my unit there would often be a nasty audio glitch when you hit play on a clip. This is a dealbreaker for live work. I got around it by ramping the audio fader on my submixer just after hitting play.
- I've heard some talk of there being a master/slave configuration in future firmware versions where one KiPro could trigger a series of other units connected via serial or something to that effect. This would be brilliant for multiscreen live work and installations.
- This one might be a bit pie-in-the-sky but would it be possible in the future to use a 3rd-party jog-shuttle controller with the KiPro - perhaps via the serial port or over ethernet?
There were some other issues we had but for the life of me I can't remember them right now. I'll be sure to post after our next show. The new Play All function in the latest firmware is a great addition. I can't get over how brilliant this unit is. When Canon finally enable HD output over HDMI on the 5D Mark II, the KiPro will become the perfect companion to that as well :)
Anyways, sorry about the verbose post, but I've been meaning to report back for some time now. Keep up the good work AJA!