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Old August 17th, 2007, 09:14 PM   #1
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Dumping DEVA II to PC/Mac

Hi Everyone!

I was just wondering how others go about getting audio off their DEVA IIs?

Is there any way to connect the DEVA II directly to a PC/Mac and just treat it as an external hard drive? I was thinking you could just use a SCSI to Firewire adapter, but others have told me this isn't possible.

I know you can connect the DEVA II to a SCSI Jaz drive, copy all the data to that, and then copy from the Jaz to a PC - but that's such a long process.

I also understand you can manually play out the audio and record via analogue or digital to an audio workstation - but again, it's such a long process.

What we've been doing in the past is taking it to a hire company who dump the data to HDD for us - but that's getting too expensive.

Any ideas?

Chris!
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Old August 19th, 2007, 11:23 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hocking View Post
Hi Everyone!
I was just wondering how others go about getting audio off their DEVA IIs?

Is there any way to connect the DEVA II directly to a PC/Mac and just treat it as an external hard drive? I was thinking you could just use a SCSI to Firewire adapter, but others have told me this isn't possible.
You have to mirror the data. For the Deva IV & V, Zaxcom made an external mount that you could slide the hard drive into. However, because the Deva II has the drive inside the case and it's would be a pain to disassemble and reassemble the unit all the time, no external mount was made for it. Probably the cheapest thing to do is to buy an external SCSI DVD-RAM drive to mirror the data to, then use the discs to transfer to. I can't recall anybody doing this with the Deva II, but with the later Deva units, a lot of use are using external hard drives to mirror data. Not having a Deva II any more, And using so little when I did have it (I bought it, then very quickly upgraded it to the Deva IV), I never tried using a hard drive to mirror with.

Regards,
Wayne
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Old August 21st, 2007, 04:15 AM   #3
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Thanks heaps for your reply Wayne! It's very much appreciated...

I was just wondering - and I'm not sure if you'll be able to answer this - why you have to "mirror" the data to another drive/medium? I presume when you mirror the data, that everything is copied bit for bit from the one drive to the other (i.e. an exact copy)? Then why can't you just directly connect the DEVA drive to a computer and copy the data straight across? There's obviously a reason for it - does the DEVA II use a proprietary partition format or something?

Also, do you remember if you have to have the mirror set up whilst recording, or can you record solely to the DEVA drive, and then at the end of the day "sync up" an external SCSI device?

The new DEVA's look great - I especially love the firewire interface!
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Old August 21st, 2007, 05:09 AM   #4
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The Deva uses a format called MARF on the internal hard drive. This is a proprietary format and not directly compatible with anything else. MARF was designed by Zaxcom as a fault-tolerant system that would be pretty bulletproof. I don't know of any DEVA owners who have lost data, so it must work. But this also means you can't simply connect it to your computer and drag data off the drive like you can with Sound Design's 722/744 series recorders.

Mirroring is done after you have recorded the data to the drive, some mixers prefer to mirror at lunch and after a shoot, others wait until the end of the day, it's all up to how you want to work. I prefer to wait until the end of the production day to mirror the data.

Zaxcom is working on a new firmware update for the Deva IV, V, 5.8, and 16 that will allow you to simultaneously record to multiple media, so you can record to the internal hard drive and also to an external device (DVD-RAM, hard drive, flash cards, etc.).

I'm curious, did you just buy the DEVA? FireWire isn't the only thing to love about the new DEVA units, the touch screen, routing options, I/O options, and many other things really put the unit way ahead of the Deva II in design and in some cases functionality. If you can find a Cameo for the Deva II, you can have a wonderful mixing board too. For the Deva IV and beyond, there is a MIX-12 mixing board that connects to the Deva and uses the Deva's internal processing for things. The problem is money. Neither the Deva units or MIX-12 are cheap (or the Cameo for that matter, and parts for the Cameo are very hard to find in certain cases).

All the best,
Wayne

Last edited by Wayne Brissette; August 21st, 2007 at 03:36 PM.
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Old August 21st, 2007, 07:15 AM   #5
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Thanks Wayne for clearing that up! I didn't know about MARF...

No, unfortunately I didn't just buy a DEVA (although I'd love to have one in the inventory)! The reason for all the questions is that we are planning to use a DEVA II on an upcoming production.

Again, thanks for your wisdom!

Chris!
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Old August 21st, 2007, 01:37 PM   #6
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Be aware that the Deva II suffers from "zipper" noise. That is, if you adjust the channel knobs quickly, you hear an audible click, often referred to as a "zipper" noise. The Deva IV, V, 5.8, and 16 units do not have this noise when adjusting the signal. Depending on the production, you might want to see if you can either find a Cameo, or rent the Deva IV or later model. Any of these options will prevent the zipper noise.

The Deva II was a wonderful design, and is still used by many mixers, but I find some of the shortcomings a bit hard to deal with personally.

Wayne

Last edited by Wayne Brissette; August 21st, 2007 at 03:37 PM.
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Old August 21st, 2007, 02:18 PM   #7
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Also be aware of the mic input trim pots. When I got my DEVA these were not documented at all and they must be set correctly for proper input without clipping.
On my DEVA, two of the pots adjust hotter in one direction while the other two pots adjust hotter in the other direction. So you have to use a tone generator set for the output level of your mics to get into the right trim ballpark in relation to the front panel recording level controls.
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