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Shannon Bedford
Brand new suite?
on Apr 8, 2011 at 7:46:06 am

Hi, the boss is looking to spend some money on a workstation which will cutdown the workload on our edit suite. Aren't we lucky?

Our first option is to just purchase an imac to do our file conversions (compressor & episode), photoshop, disk burning etc.

We don't need a second edit suite, but it would certainly be useful. We're looking at that as a second option if it's not going to cost much more than what we would have spent on the imac.
Our current edit suite is only 18 months old so it's not in need of an upgrade, but it seems that if we go to the expense of a 2nd suite we're going to end up with something superior to what we currently have anyway. So, the new one will end up being our main suite and we will demote our current one.
(We have mostly been editing HDV but are increasingly shooting XDCam.)

Could someone please offer me advice on both options?:

a) Is an imac the way to go for the processing jobs and what would I need?

b) If we go the whole hog and get a new edit suite what should we get?

I'm an editor not an IT guru, so all your advice is much appreciated!
Cheers

S Bedford, Western Australia
FCP 7.0.3, Mac OSX 10.6.6
2 x 2.8 GHz Quad-core Intel Xeon
6GM 800 MHz DDR2 FB-DIMM


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adam taylor
Re: Brand new suite?
on Apr 8, 2011 at 9:06:45 am

I'm not a fan of the iMac, as they always seem limited in terms of expansion.
I prefer to use a full MacPro, with various video, graphic and fibre channel cards.

if thats overkill for your needs, you could always consider a more portable option.

A 17" MacbookPro, with Matrox MX02LE, connected via Expresscard34, and a raid harddrive connected via FW800 is a very nifty and flexible setup. I use mine when shooting abroad on location.

Don't forget the newer laptops will also have Thunderbolt, so even faster connections will be possible once the hardware becomes available.

The new lappies also have 4 cores, so are very fast. However, if you want pure processing speed (a good thing for the tasks you mentioned) then there really is no better option than a tricked-out MacPro with its 12 cores and masses of space for ram.

You have probably got more options now than ever before...you just need to decide exactly how you want to use the system, and what you need to get out of it.

Don't start with a solution and try fit it to the tasks. Define the tasks first and then seek the most appropriate solution.

good luck
adam

Adam Taylor
Video Editor/Audio Mixer/ Compositor/Motion GFX/Barista
Character Options Ltd
Oldham, UK

http://www.sculptedbliss.co.uk


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Gaz Evans
Re: Brand new suite?
on Apr 8, 2011 at 9:06:59 am

Hi,
I have used a imac for capturing and transcoding XDCam footage, Obivously it was a little slower a performing the task than the mac pro that I ended up editing on would have been. But it did perform the task very well and left me free to sort out the project settings and the audio rushes while the transcodes were happening.
So all in all i'd recomend geting the imac as long as its primary fuction is going to be encoding and transcode etc.

Gaz

Gaz Evans

Workflow Technician
The diROOM
http://www.diROOM.com


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Paul Jay
Re: Brand new suite?
on Apr 8, 2011 at 1:04:42 pm

Imacs are great if you dont need Pcie expansion.
You are limited to Fw800, which wont be an issue with Thunderbolt iMacs:p


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fidel Echeverria
Re: Brand new suite?
on Apr 8, 2011 at 1:13:04 pm

From my point of view imac is not the choice. I bought one couple of years ago, and it worked fine until HD format get massive and my workflows got richer and complex, now, i find myself thinking on upgrade, but I simply can't! Get a mac pro. Not doubt. Is faster. More reliable, and upgradable.

About the suite, it really depends on the jobs you do. Final cut studio 3 and CS5 has everything i need in the near future.

Sorry for my poor english. I'm basque. ;p


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Greg Ondera
Re: Brand new suite?
on Apr 8, 2011 at 1:40:20 pm

With the ever changing face of editing and the necessity of connectivity and stuffing your Mac with cards I would favor the Mac Pro over iMac any day. Speed, connectivity, adaptability is everything.

Greg Ondera
http://www.Plexus.tv
http://www.SurgeonToday.org


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Ben Holmes
Re: Brand new suite?
on Apr 8, 2011 at 1:44:13 pm

It would be foolish to look at hardware requirements now with a new version of FCP only a week away - it may be that realtime capabilities in this and workflow changes will change your mind. I'd also expect to see Thunderbolt rolled out quickly to other machines (iMacs and Mac Pros).

IMHO - now is NOT a good time to buy, unless you want a Macbook Pro, which have been recently updated.

Edit Out Ltd
----------------------------
FCP Editor/Trainer/System Consultant
EVS/VT Supervisor for live broadcast
RED camera transfer/post
Independent Director/Producer

http://www.blackmagic-design.com/casestudies/detail.asp?case=therydercup


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Mark Suszko
Re: Brand new suite?
on Apr 8, 2011 at 2:02:42 pm

On top of waiting to see what Tuesday will reveal, I would suggest that your office's next step in expansion might be to look at some form of networked shared storage as the main productivity enhancer. When two editors can gang up on a big project at the same time, sharing various aspects like the graphics or the audio work, it can be finished a lot faster.


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Shannon Bedford
Re: Brand new suite?
on Jun 3, 2011 at 6:56:03 am

Thanks everyone for the advice.
Some time has passed, I hear a new FCP has been released and we have decided we will definately buy a new edit suite for the office (keeping the old as a second suite).

So, given that we are now editing HD, mostly corporate videos, lots of vision to store plus using Photoshop, Episode & possibly After Effects could be added in the future.. What specs would you recommend for our new suite?

S Bedford, Western Australia
FCP 7.0.3, Mac OSX 10.6.6
2 x 2.8 GHz Quad-core Intel Xeon
6GM 800 MHz DDR2 FB-DIMM


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Shannon Bedford
Re: Brand new suite?
on Jun 12, 2011 at 4:34:54 am

Hi everyone, haven't received any feedback on this can someone help?

We're definitely going to splash out and buy a new edit suite, it will be a Mac pro and needs to handle HD editing - (mostly corporate videos). We're keeping the old Mac Pro for smaller jobs and processing file conversions but we won't be networking the two.

All the suppliers in town seem to have little idea what to quote on as none of them are editors.
I'm no IT expert but I know it needs to be fast and have plenty of storage space.
What specs do you recommend we give to our suppliers?

Cheers,

S Bedford, Western Australia
FCP 7.0.3, Mac OSX 10.6.6
2 x 2.8 GHz Quad-core Intel Xeon
6GM 800 MHz DDR2 FB-DIMM


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adam taylor
Re: Brand new suite?
on Jun 12, 2011 at 12:08:54 pm

Must haves for me would be a AJA video card - not sure what the latest ones are, I have used the Kona 3 for the past 5 years and swear by it. I also have a Matrox MX02LE which is really good and is portable too.

A graphics card that is compatible with Color. The ATI cards seem better suited to this, but if you use Adobe Premiere a lot, then you may want an Nvidia card as these are better with adobes Mercury engine.

Also - if you are cutting with FCP you might want to wait one month more, to see just what Apple are intending to do with the software. So far they have had one preview and nothing else. More questions remain than were answered, so you might find the forthcoming release will either grab you or put you off. Until its released you cant know for sure which system will be best for you. You don't want to spend a load on kit then find you need something else to allow you to go for Avid, for example. Its due sometime in the next 6 weeks, so i'd hang on a bit longer if i were in your shoes.


Storage - definitely a Raid system (multiple drives are better than two) and using raid 5 for good protection and performance. Many suggest connecting via eSata. Mine are connected with Fibre channel which is also fast.

I would also suggest you look into getting a robust tape library backup system. Hard drives are not very reliable for long term storage and for backing up a multi terrabyte system, there is no more cost effective option. I use a Quantum Scalar i40 library with LTO5 tapes - this keeps daily backups of everything. Having twice had raid systems suffer catastrophic failure, i swear by having a full backup. It might seem expensive at first, but if you lose ALL your data then you will really wish you had spent it!

On a cheaper level, I would invest in a wacom drawing tablet (intuos widescreen versions are great). Takes hardly no time to get used to it, and your overall productivity will rocket once you stop scratching around with a "soap on a rope".

And get the best chair you can afford - cheap office chairs are dreadful and can lead to back pain.

happy shopping!

Adam Taylor
Video Editor/Audio Mixer/ Compositor/Motion GFX/Barista
Character Options Ltd
Oldham, UK

http://www.sculptedbliss.co.uk


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