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Matthew Troyansky
FCP editing system setup
on May 20, 2009 at 2:03:37 pm

Hello Creative Cow,

I'm relatively new to the industry, I've started out as an Assistant Editor on a few projects but this is my first real go on a film (I'm working on a doc, i've been on since the beginning and we're about to get started shooting). Anyway, I'm looking into a great editing system and i was wondering if i could get some help from the professionals, please keep in mind that I am still learning all the technical jargon and i'm trying to learn as much of the technical aspect of the edit as i can. Now,we'll be shooting on a Panasonic HDX 900 on Medium DVCpro tapes (i pushed for P2 instead of tape but they decided against it). So they asked me to find the best computer, Deck, and monitors to set up a sweet editing suite. Thanks for any help you can provide.

Matthew Troyansky




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Kent Stipp
Re: FCP editing system setup
on May 20, 2009 at 2:46:17 pm

Matthew,

well ther are a number of things you can do here. I would be looking at a Mac Pro a 2.66 or a 2.93 with 12 gig of ram and the 480 video card, and probably the 640gig HD for my main drive. And I would use the AJA Lhi card for capture and out to the multi format monitor. As to storage do you want to go internal, Fibre, sas, sata? when you decide that you can look at storage. I am personally partial to the NEC and Samsung monitors, as to a multi format monitor take a look at the Panasonic, not a bad price and a good quality.
Well hope this gets you started

Kent Stipp
Life Begins at 155mph
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3am Studios llc.
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Shane Ross
Re: FCP editing system setup
on May 20, 2009 at 4:01:18 pm

Search the forums...this question is pretty much asked daily.


Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Alex Elkins
Re: FCP editing system setup
on May 20, 2009 at 4:14:13 pm

Hi Matthew,

One important piece of information would be to know what your budget is. There are virtually limitless options.

I'll list below in fairly general terms some of the hardware I think you'll need, assuming that your budget is realistic.
Firstly though, have you considered the benefits of simply dry-hiring an edit suite for this project? It could well work out cheaper, depending on how long you intend to spend in post with it. Of course, if this is the first of many projects that your team will be working on then it's perhaps most sensible to buy.

Just as a side note, if you can still convince them to shoot onto P2 it would save a hell of a lot of time compared to capturing from tape.


The fastest 8 core Mac Pro you can afford
12GB RAM, as suggested by the other poster.
I would suggest the basic option hard drive to use as your System drive (storing your software, operating system etc)
For your internal working drives, I like to have two internal drives set up as a RAID 1 - this means that if one of them fails, the other will still hold all of your documents, project files etc.

You will certainly need a good external RAID system as well. There are so many options out there and your best bet is to contact a supplier or consultant to advise you - a rule of thumb for you, given that you're doing a documentary and presumably expect to have a lot of raw footage, is to get the most storage you can afford. The speed of any reasonable system with a decent amount of storage should comfortably be fast enough for DVCPro HD.

A Kona 3 or LHi capture card.

A broadcast monitor - check out the yellow ad on this forum for FSI - they look like excellent monitors for the price and come highly recommended.

Two computer monitors - I would assume this is quite obvious for an editor but it's worth mentioning just in case. Brand, in my opinion, is not that important as long as you do your research and you intend to monitor your pictures on a broadcast monitor. Apple monitors are nice, but way overpriced.

Also, you'll need to look into your audio monitoring - decent speakers, possibly a D-A converter, a mixer. There are so many options.

My advice would be to get an overview in your head of what you want, then take that idea to a company who will make sure that it's all going to work - there will clearly be added costs in doing that, but think of it as insurance to some extent. No point having a load of expensive gear that doesn't work properly together!


Good luck,
Alex Elkins


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Matthew Troyansky
Re: FCP editing system setup
on May 20, 2009 at 5:18:44 pm

Hey Alex,

The budget is reasonable, we have a big enough budget to get a nice editing set up. Renting a suite would be a good idea i think but we're kind of located in an isolated area so the editing suite would be 70 miles or so away from the office. Thanks for all of that info, i'm definitely going to check all that out. I'm almost positive we'll be getting the fastest Mac Pro we can find. As for storage, definitely going external, i was originally thinking of some 1TB G-Raids? I'm just trying to get a feel for the pricing and exactly what we'll need, for sound i don't think we'll be getting a mixer. I tried to push the P2! but i think the rest of the team feels more comfortable with the DVCpro tapes, i'd love to work with P2 instead but it's not my call, unfortunately, but i want to thank you again Alex and Kent, this information is going to be invaluable for me, i really appreciate your help even though the question is asked so often.

Matthew Troyansky



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Alex Elkins
Re: FCP editing system setup
on May 20, 2009 at 5:35:46 pm

[Matthew Troyansky] "i was originally thinking of some 1TB G-Raids?"

Hi Matthew,

Those drives are good for what they are, but really aren't the most suited for what you'll be doing. A RAID is a set of harddrives, which work together to act as a single external harddrive. There are SO many different options, but RAID is what you need, in my opinion. Check out the ads for companies like CalDigit, Maxx Digital, G Tech etc. The information on their sites will give you an idea of the benefits of such a system.
In terms of capacity, I would suggest you need at least 8TB (formatted as RAID 5 will leave roughly 5.5TB) which will allow for around 100 hours of DVCPro HD. I don't know how much you expect to film, but for a feature documentary you could quite easily exceed that amount.

Do some of research into RAIDs as understanding the terminology will be a real benefit to you as it's such a vast subject and hugely important to people working in Post.


[Matthew Troyansky] "i really appreciate your help even though the question is asked so often."

The question is indeed asked a lot, but technology is updated a lot as well, which leads to further answers and information being needed.


All the best,
Alex Elkins


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Matthew Troyansky
Re: FCP editing system setup
on May 27, 2009 at 7:42:50 pm

How important is the capture card. Can i get buy without it? As a starting point I was looking into a Refurbished Mac Pro 2.66GHz 8-Core Intel Xeon.
comes with:
Two 2.66GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon "Nehalem" processors
6GB (6x1GB) of 1066MHz DDR3 ECC memory
640GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s 7200 rpm
NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 with 512MB GDDR3 memory

Then just adding more ram later, we're going to go with some sort or raid tower that has 12 to 16tb of storage but still shopping around to find a nice deal, same goes for the monitors.

Matthew Troyansky



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cowcowcowcowcow
Shane Ross
Re: FCP editing system setup
on May 27, 2009 at 7:51:33 pm

It is only important if you need to capture footage that is not capturable via firewire...or if you want to properly monitor your footage on an external monitor and firewire passthrough isn't possible (DV, DVCPRO HD allow this, HDV does not).



Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Matthew Troyansky
Re: FCP editing system setup
on May 27, 2009 at 8:06:05 pm

Thank you, my footage is capturable via firewire, so I'm going to leave the capture card out of this set up



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walter biscardi
Re: FCP editing system setup
on May 27, 2009 at 8:13:04 pm

[Matthew Troyansky] "Thank you, my footage is capturable via firewire, so I'm going to leave the capture card out of this set up
"


How are you planning to properly view your footage on an external monitor?



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.

Read my Blog!

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Matthew Troyansky
Re: FCP editing system setup
on May 27, 2009 at 8:22:46 pm

Can I view the footage through the deck (Panasonic AJ-HD1400) hooked up to an HD monitor?



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walter biscardi
Re: FCP editing system setup
on May 27, 2009 at 8:23:16 pm

[Matthew Troyansky] "Can I view the footage through the deck (Panasonic AJ-HD1400) hooked up to an HD monitor? "

Nope, that does not work smoothly on those decks. There will be a lag as the deck has to process the video first, then play it out. So it will not be in sync with your FCP workstation.

And if you plan to edit to that deck, you will want RS-422 control which only comes from a capture card. Firewire control works ok, but RS-422 is more accurate. Look at the AJA Kona LHi, about $1,500 U.S.

We have 2 of those 1400 decks and we control them via RS-422 and capture / record to tape via HD-SDI instead of firewire.



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.

Read my Blog!

STOP STARING AND START GRADING WITH APPLE COLOR Apple Color Training DVD available now!


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Matthew Troyansky
Re: FCP editing system setup
on May 27, 2009 at 8:49:17 pm

Okay so i can still capture via firewire, but if i want the video to play out in sync with FCP i need to hook the monitor to the card is what your saying and if i want to edit to tape i'll need the card anyway



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