NLE upgrade

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    • #40325
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Hi,

      I’ve got kind of dilemma in which direction should I go regarding my NLE system. I am producing documentaries – mainly for polish national TV. Till now I’ve been using Sony DVCAM camcorder and Premiere Pro CS3 with Matrox RT.X2 (also AfterEffects 7.0 and Encore) on Core2Duo based PC. I cannot say that I am satisfied with my system. It is not as stable nor perform well as I would like. I’m experiencing numerous hick-ups and performance drops as material become too complicated. Recently I’ve made upgrade to Premiere Pro CS4 and replaced camcorder – Sony PMWEX3- situation become worse. I got problems with timecode, performance iseven worse, moreover I cannot use full resolution that camcorder produces – 1920/1080. It is time to make serious upgrade. Here are myoptions:

      1. Upgradeto Matrox Axio LE – regarding to Matrox reseller, that system does not require very powerful platform as it posesses quite a computational power

      2. Upgrade my workstation – for example Dell Precision with Dual Quad Xeon, by professional IO card with SDI interface and switch to Avid Media Composer or EDIUS transfering all strain to PC.

      3. Switch to Mac, buy AYA IO card and choose Final Cut suite.

      Do you have any other suggestions? The most important thing for me is stability of production process and robustness.

      I would be grateful for any ideas…

      Krzysztof

    • #173223
      AvatarRob
      Participant

      I would get a Mac Pro and an AJA Kona3 card. If not a Kona3, then the Matrox MXO2 or Decklink Extreme. It would also be a good idea to get yourself a RAID. Maxx Digital and CalDigit make some nice ones.

    • #173224
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Ok, but what about software – is FinalCut sufficient (is it comparable to PProCS4), or should I go for Media Composer?

      Krzysztof

    • #173225
      AvatarRob
      Participant

      Yes…Final Cut will work well. Some say it’s better than Premiere. I know FCP works well with XDCam EX too.

    • #173226
      Avatarcomposite1
      Member

      Kal,

      If you’re looking to stay with PC’s and don’t want to build your own, HP makes some great single and double cpu workstations that are certified for premeire and avid. Also, if your budget permits you can hardware/breakout box solutions by Blackmagic Design and Avid. FCP is a good choice of NLE but you will have to retool strictly for Mac as it not cross-platform which could be a problem if you collaborate with others using PC based systems. Avid is crossplatform and should you decide to go with a mac pipeline, you can easily work with others using the pc version and you can kick out an EDL from many other NLE programs to avid. FCP to my knowledge ‘plays nice’ when it comes to EDL’s from Premiere only. With premiere you can also work in either platform and it’s greatest strength is it’s support of the adobe line of graphic and audio products. FCP and Premiere were created by the same guy hence their striking similarities.

      Some things you should ask yourself before you upgrade: How much more useful life can I upgrade my current system? Will buying/building a new system be more beneficial? Will my current budget support a max upgrade of my current system or be enough for the purchase of a new system? Despite the ‘get a mac’ mantra, the whole ‘paying for it thing’ always gets neglected. Again, not that there’s anything wrong or right with mac’s but there are things you inherit when you switch from one platform to another. Primarily, the cost of having to buy a new system, new plaform compatible software, new support gear (if what you have doesn’t support the new OS) and most important the time it will take to become proficient with the new OS. Mac users always talk about how ‘intuitive’ the software is forget to mention things that pc users take for granted, like pulling files off a removable disk or drive and putting them on the desktop. With a PC it’s a 1 to 1 copy. On a mac, you’ve only put icons on the desktop. Then there’s the whole looking for files with the ‘Finder’. Going from a PC where locating files is very different to a mac is a maddening process particularly when you’re trying to learn how the OS works and get your work done at the same time. I’ve gone back and forth due to my work with different facilities and once you get into the flow of either system you can roll along. The process of getting into the flow can inspire violent behavior.

      On the otherhand, since you’re working so extensively with Sony cameras have you tried using Vegas Pro? Vegas is optimized for nearly all of Sony’s latest camera formats since DVCAM and your EX series camera is one of the prime ones.

    • #173227
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Well,

      Maybe let’s leave for a moment Mac or PC discussion. For sure I will have to go for new platform – either HP, Dell or Mac (price is comparable). Now, what about video card – currently I’ve been using Matrox which gives hardware accelerated transitions, but for sure such configuration addes lot of complexity to the system so I’m being dependent on 3rd party drivers. The major question is – if I abandon Matrox (either RT.X2 or Axio LE) and equip myself in dual quad core Xeons with plenty of RAM is it going to compensate lack of hardware support – other words – will I have to render all transitions which will take time, or enough powerfull workstation makes it real time? That’s very important before I move further. In my opinion pure software solution together with professional I/O card resembles most let’s say elegant way to deal with the problem.

      Regarding Mac and PC – we do not have to discuss hardware because basically they are the same, what about operating systems with respect to stability and performance? In new system I will have to go for Vista to get rid of 3 Gigs of RAM limitation, but on the other hand that system does not perform in a stable and efficient way. My other system used mainly for gaming is very strong (4 Gigs of overclocked DDR3, overclocked C2D, Raptor HD) and many times it slower than on my laptop PC running XP Pro. If we compare Mac OS X and Vista 64 which system is more stable and faster – opinions from users who used both of them are strongly appreciated. If Mac OS is significantly better, I am eager to move to it despite some initial difficulties in dealing with the new system.

      For NLE software – let’s leave it for the last discussion.

      Krzysztof

    • #173228
      AvatarRob
      Participant

      <span style=”font-size: 13px; line-height: 20px;”>Wait, I’m confused. Is the Matrox product you are talking about a capture card – is it like the Matrox MXO2, AJA Kona and Blackmagic Decklink?</span>

      <span style=”font-size: 13px; line-height: 20px;”>As far as wanting a stable system, I’ve always been a fan of Mac.</span>

    • #173229
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Well, Matrox MXO2, Kona or Decklink are capture cards – their main purpose is to transfer different footage into the system. Matrox RT.X2 or AXIO L.E. have more functionalities. They offer realtime transitions accelerated by their hardware. I think that comparable product is Avid’s Mojo DX. My question is whether strong Mac Pro with 8 cores and plenty of RAM with FCP or Media Composer is able to render those transitions in RT.

      Kal

    • #173230
      AvatarRob
      Participant

      I couldn’t image rendering transitions taking a long time with any set-up. I have 2 dual cores and I’m fine when it comes to rendering anything.

    • #173231
      Avatarcomposite1
      Member

      Kal,

      Hopefully, I did not infer a PC vs Mac rant. You asked a serious question and I attempted to give a thorough answer for both platforms for someone not familiar working with both.

      Having used OSX and now Vista 64 bit both are stable platforms. For a professional PC NLE workstation I strongly recommend Vista Business SP1(it only comes in 64 bit) as it is a professional OS. It doesn’t have all of that extra junk you don’t need with Ultimate and you have full control of your OS tools unlike with Home Premium.

      The thing you get with the Matrox card and others like it is the ability to view your effects in realtime. The third party software allows you to do what for some reason adobe did not see fit to write into the software. Without an accelerator card or third party software Premiere cannot preview your effects without rendering. However, the more powerful a CPU(s), RAM and GPU(s) you have the shorter your render times. Having an accelerator card gives you some more muscle for rendering. Neither a fully-loaded PC or Mac can make premiere or any other program do real time rendering without it being natively built in. FCP and Avid have that capability built in. Adobe CS3 doesn’t have that capability and I haven’t seen any documentation that CS4 does either.

    • #173232
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      as far as a NLE upgrade, which is thetitle of your post, take a serious look at Vegas Pro 9, available for download May 11. Handles large format images with no extra hardwareneeded. you don’t have to do any rendering to view effects in real time, the audio editing capabilities is second to none in the NLE genre.

    • #173233
      Avatarcomposite1
      Member

      John,

      So Sony finally, built in a RTFX engine into Vegas? I didn’t see that on the site. If that’s the case, it would definitely be worth the price of an upgrade.

    • #173234
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Composite, thanks for your explanation regarding Premiere and RT transitions, well, that’s definetely weakness of that software. So, I’m getting closer to solution. Now – could someone explain what is the difference between Blackmagic DeckLink HD Extreme and Kona 3 being twice more expensive. Is there any added value at Ajo?

      Thanks in advance

      Krzysztof

    • #173235
      Avatarcomposite1
      Member

      “… could someone explain what is the difference between Blackmagic
      DeckLink HD Extreme and Kona 3 being twice more expensive. Is there any
      added value at Ajo?”

      Kal,

      The big difference between the Aja & BMD lines are; a) Aja is primarily for mac work environments, though the Xena line will work with PC’s and is exactly the same as the Kona but more expensive because of the code needed to run it with windows. b) Blackmagic is crossplatform and generally less expensive. c) Aja supports more codec and has some support for compression codecs whereas the BMD supports fewer codecs (more in mac than windows.) c) depending on the cards or breakout boxes they all primarily do the same thing but have better support for different functions and third party software than the other. Users swear by one brand or the other for various reasons. I suggest you dig through the many forums to get a better idea. There are more differences but those are the main ones in a nutshell. Bottom line: Aja is more established in the mac arena, but does support windows with one line. BMD has always been crossplatform and their higher-end breakout boxes can support windows, mac and crossplatform nle software. Also, the BMD lines are generally less expensive and comparable to Aja despite not having an exact amount of hardware/software options.

      As always, the smart thing to do is figure out what your immediate needs are to get going based on projected workflow and current budgetary restraints.

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