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Old September 21st, 2015, 05:33 PM   #1
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Any Avid Experts? Need Help Consolidating

Hello,

In 2006 my organization purchased 4 turnkey Media Composer editing systems. Believe it or not, 3 of these 4 systems are still functioning and until recently have been used every day.

Our workflow, until this year, has been entirely SD video. With our move to an HD workflow we have replaced 2 of the 3 Media Composers systems with new Mac Pros and Adobe CC. The Avid systems have some legacy projects on them and we would like to be able to access them if need be. We don't have the space to relocate all of the Avids.


I am seeking guidance on whether or not it is possible to keep one of these Avid MC systems operational and copy projects from the other systems to the one operational system. Is this possible? Our Avid Media Composers were never networked together...they were all individual workstations with their own 2TB Avid raid arrays.

Here are some basic specs of the system we'd like to keep operational:

Avid Media Composer 3.1.3, Avid Mojo SDI, Avid SCSI 2TB Raid, HP Workstation xw8200 (Xeon CPU 3.40GHZ, 3.5GB RAM, 32-Bit)

So what we are dealing with is three 2TB raids full of media. Each one of these raids is configured with 10 partitions (P: Q: R: S: T: U: V: W: X: Y:). They all have the same drive letter assignments. Two of these systems are still online and functional, one of them has been disassembled.

Is there anyway of daisy chaining the 3x 2TB Avid raid arrays to one system? If so I assume we'd need to reassign drive letters on two of the systems. However, that would be 30 partitions between the 3 raids and last time I checked there are only 26 letters in the alphabet and four or five of them are for other devices. Also, how would we go about copying project files from the other two systems to the one remaining system? Is this a function of Avid Attic? I haven't done much with it.

I've discussed it with our video engineer and I have a feeling we won't be able to do this. It would be fantastic if it is achievable. As you can see in the specs above, we are working with a very old version of Media Composer (3.1.3).

Please let me know if I have not given enough information or haven't been clear with what I am asking. Your guidance is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
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Old September 21st, 2015, 09:31 PM   #2
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Re: Any Avid Experts? Need Help Consolidating

Hi Dan,

The trick will be to get all the media for a project consolidated into a single location. That can be a bit of a challenge with Avid since it works behind the scenes to manage the media.

One tool you may want to try is MDV. You can read more about it here - MDV | DJFio[DB] (yes, it is Russian but has an English version). I use it to move projects around between my laptop and desktop. It works great.

With MDV you can copy all the media in a project or even in a single timeline to another location.

That is the good news. The bad news is all the file names will be meaningless. You'll want to do an AAF export of any timelines you have in hopes you can import them along with the media into Premier.

Let me know if that works on your system.
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Old September 22nd, 2015, 09:36 AM   #3
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Re: Any Avid Experts? Need Help Consolidating

Thank you Chris. The good news is, we really don't need the Avid projects or media to be imported into Premiere. We're just (...right, JUST...) looking to have one common Avid system that can access projects and media from the other two Avid systems along with it's own projects and media.

I don't think my intial idea is doable. The fact that we have 10 partitions in each of the three individual raid arrays is a deal killer. That's 30 IDs that would be needed and last time I checked there are only 26 letters in the English alphabet.

I recall when we initially configured these systems in 2006, we had issues with the OS and raid arrays. We learned the problem was that Windows would not allow for partitions larger than 200GB on the arrays. We kept getting 'Delayed Write Failed' error messages. I can still see them in my head after 9 years.

We have considered two other possibilites. Both are a little nutty.

We have a behemoth of a console that would allow for the mounting of three systems, raid arrays and Mojo SDI interfaces. We've considered having all three systems side by side and changing out monitors and peripherals depending on which project we needed to access. Video/Audio confidence monitoring and deck control (yes, we are still using Sony DVCAM tapes for some projects) are an issue with this idea.

We've also thought about loading all of the project files on one PC and only attaching the appropirate raid array to the PC depending on which project we needed to access. I have concerns that Avid will have an issue with projects looking for associated media files that are not there, yet seeing the drive ID letters. Seems ripe for conflict errors with Media Manager and the Avid MSM Database files. This option would be great if we could make it work. We wouldn't have to mess with moving peripherals, monitoring and control around. We'd only need to attach the appropriate raid array.

Thanks again.
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Old September 22nd, 2015, 10:29 AM   #4
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Re: Any Avid Experts? Need Help Consolidating

Have you considered building a media server to hold everything?

You should be able to get around some of the drive limitations with that approach. Obviously there will be some cost with doing that but it should let you keep everything in one place.
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