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Old October 30th, 2007, 07:02 PM   #1
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Help with Polyphonic Wav File

Hey all,

I'm new to this message board so I wanted to say a quick hello before I start rambling on about the hell I'm in at the moment.

I used the Fostex PD 6 field recorder for the first time about a week and a half ago and honestly wasn't impressed with the idea of not being able to access the recorder's hard disk directly from my computer. For those who aren't familiar with the unit, you have to grab the files from the hard disk, burn it onto a 1.4Gig DV Ram and THEN drag and drop to your computer.

Your output is a polyphonic wav file which you have to break into individual files by using a BWF converter program found on Fostex's website.

So I was recording a 6 channel live event onto the PD-6 and had about 3 1/2 hours of audio which took me approximately 8 hours (I"m underexaggerating) to dump into my computer.

During that process one of the files got linked as a finder file (I'm using a Mac) and now the file can't be converted or opened in Pro Tools. It plays using Quicktime or iTunes but doesn't read as a Wav file anywhere else.

Any ideas? Has anyone encountered this problem? And does anyone know of a better solution to the PD-6 if I want to record 6 separate channels of audio without piggybacking 744s?
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Old October 30th, 2007, 08:43 PM   #2
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Hey Anna,
Not sure I can help you with the learning curve on the Fostex but there are a few ways to work with it and it really is a worthwhile machine in my experience.
As for the quicktime/itunes issue you might be able to re-export the file as a proper .Wav again if you have Quicktime Pro and I am surprised you can't import it into Pro Tools. If you have access to the original polyphonic you could try seperating it out again.
The six track or more solution is pretty expensive if you have to be field capable and the Fostex is one of the least expensive of the high quality units.
As for getting the Fostex to show up as a Hard Drive on the Mac I remember it being a relatively straightforward process but had to be done precisely. The Manual is pretty easy to download and was essential to take advantage of all the features the machine
Daniel Epstein is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 30th, 2007, 08:52 PM   #3
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Hey Daniel,

Thanks for replying to my message. I'm not sure if I was clear. I didn't need it to play on Quicktime. I need to break down the file to separate mono tracks. I used BWF manager on all the files and it worked except for one. That file got locked in as a finder file on the Mac and I can't seem to get it to go back to its original form. The problem is not with Quicktime or iTunes or ProTools, it seems that the file properties were somehow compromised. That's my best guess.

Unfortunately, the PD-6 was a rental and I had formatted the harddrive before I returned it so the original file is lost forever.

As far as I know the PD-6 harddrive can't be accessed directly, I had to transfer all the files individually to a DVD Ram, if you know different, please school me on how. I read the manual and it mentioned nothing of the kind.

On a side note: So you're an audio guy in NY?! I'm sure we'll meet on some production one of these days.
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Old October 30th, 2007, 09:43 PM   #4
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Hey Anna,
Sorry to hear you don't have the original files. Don't you still have the DVD Ram Discs? You said the file opened in Quicktime and with Quicktime Pro you might be able to re-export so it can be read by the BWF manager. You can also try getting info on the file and (High light it in the Finder and Command I) and see what it says about the name and extension. Use a copy so you don't screw it up any worse than it already is. You can probably change it back into the original Wav extension
You also might want to call Nick at Gotham Sound in NY and ask him what to do. Most of what I learned about the Fostex system I learned from him.
Reading the manual up to Version 2.0 I believe you are correct that the internal Harddrive is not accessible by computer only the DVD Ram disc installed at the time. I think this is why when I used the PD6 the Hard Disk wasn't the primary record but just as a mirror back up. I thought they had fixed that but I guess they didn't. Looks like they fixed this on the PD606
http://www.gothamsound.com/main.shtm...emid=SFOSPD606
On your side note most of the time these days I am shooting but I have extensive audio experience over the years. I am always looking for sound people to send out on shoots. My company website is www.goldtele.com
On the last big job I used multitrack recording on we did use Sound Devices linked together. Not as portable as you might think but effective. Overall cost per day would probably be higher than a PD6. HTH
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Old October 30th, 2007, 10:23 PM   #5
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Ha ha! How many times must we remind people and ourselves to make backups of EVERYTHING!!!!!!!! I was at my wits end at that point, past the point of feeling that I was beaten by a machine when I had a revelation. By the time I was on that track it was 3am and I had technically been in production for almost 36 hours. I was exhausted and it's no excuse but alas no backup dvd ram this time. And it blows.

However, would I use the Fostex again? Probably yes. And yes I heard about the newest version coming out and I'm excited about it. Though I think it's the same thing...no direct connection to the hard drive.

I will try to mess with quicktime. I checked a previous thread about BWF files and there was a helpful link attached which I had read. When I checked the info on the file originally, somehow it was read as a finder file with a wav extension. I wasn't even allowed access to it. After some messing around with it I was able to unlock it. It's strange as hell.

I mainly do ENG stuff, my gear reflects that. I have wireless lavs, a Sound Devices 302 mixer, shotgun mic, the works. I'm used to "run and gun" though lately I've been getting more and more "sit down" gigs. Thanks for the link to your website, I'll send you an email with my contact info and a list of stuff I've done. I'm always looking to broaden my network.

Be well.
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Old October 30th, 2007, 10:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anna Harmon View Post
Hey Daniel,

Thanks for replying to my message. I'm not sure if I was clear. I didn't need it to play on Quicktime. I need to break down the file to separate mono tracks. I used BWF manager on all the files and it worked except for one. That file got locked in as a finder file on the Mac and I can't seem to get it to go back to its original form. The problem is not with Quicktime or iTunes or ProTools, it seems that the file properties were somehow compromised. That's my best guess.
Highlight the file, select from the apple menu, get info, Open with, Then select the application you wish to open the file with fron the pop-up.

Good Luck!
David W. Jones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 31st, 2007, 12:16 AM   #7
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Thanks for the tip David, but it's not that simple. There's more going on with the file.
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