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Silicon Imaging SI-2K
2/3" 1080p IT-integrated 10-bit digital cinema w/direct-to-disk recording.


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Old November 4th, 2006, 08:35 AM   #16
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Hi Rob,

CineForm RAW decode to 10-bit 4:4:4 RGB . . . Final Cut Pro only supports 8-bit RGB, 10-bit YUV (but our RAW codec doesn't decode to YUV, it decodes to RGB, if you want YUV you must transcode to it . . . but that destroys the RAW data).
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Old November 4th, 2006, 09:09 AM   #17
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Hi Paul, I see you points . . . and as mentioned, on-board PC audio is horrendous, but USB audio devices do produce very good sound, and are isolated electronically from the motherboard and other electronic parts.

Now, in regards to the USB (not firewire) recording devices, what do you think about just mounting the audio device to the side or top of the camera? That way you just run an XLR to your boom op (and the boom op has a mixer), and the audio device stays with the camera. Since the audio device would be attatched or constrained to the camera, it won't get un-plugged, will it?

Now something as big as a MobilePre from M-Audio won't work for this, but I'm thinking the smaller Sound Devices USB device or the Apogee should work nice for this.

Would something like that work?
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Old November 4th, 2006, 11:51 AM   #18
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Not having seen the actual camera body...could these solutions work?

Have you considered some of the pcmcia(cardbus) cards out there that offer up to 24/96 stereo recording. Better than on board for most laptop mobos and you could make a custom connector from xlr to mini 8 or coax. Besides the one from Creative (which I have) There is on called indigo io from Echo. Both are shielded and are designed for portable high quality recording. The creative z runs about 99.00 USD and net prices for the Indigo go around 199.00 and include a six foot cable for 1/4" or RCA connections.

Not sure if it's possible, but the above would be a very compact solution. The only drawback is no phantom power.

I'm also thinking, because of the onboard DSP, cpu overhead would be negligible.

Here is the company link to the echo io
http://www.echoaudio.com/Products/Ca...goIO/index.php
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Last edited by Joe Carney; November 4th, 2006 at 12:23 PM.
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Old November 4th, 2006, 12:47 PM   #19
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Well, were I to make a recommendation for a USB outboard audio input box it would be for Sound Devices' USBPre. The MBox is a consumer desktop box, and would not stand up to the rigors of the field for long. The Apogee Mini-me is certainly high-quality, but a bit overkill and expensive for film production audio purposes. I'm a huge fan of Sound Devices (my sound-kit includes their 774t recorder, 422 mixer, and headphone amp) for field recording.

Additional problems in the field with this or any outboard box rigged to the camera "pod" will be:
- cable routing of USB to avoid inadvertent disconnect
Perhaps a short pig-tail between your input and their output with a harness that physically locks the two units together.

- inadvertent turning of the gain knobs.
I wonder if Sound Devices would be willing to construct a custom version of the device:
Option #1 - replace standard gain knobs with the push-button-recessed knobs they use on their mixers.
Option #2 - reconfigure the packaging of the circuitry of their USBPre to be integrated into either the body of your DVR (dream scenario), or a more form fitted box that can piggy-back onto the DVR with interface cables internally contained between the two units.

Don't know if that makes any sense or not...does to me.

Sound Devices is a great company that is aggressively winning market share over the bigger established names, with the film-audio community. They really listen to their customers (pro-audio mixers) and build great products that –work-, regularly release feature rich free product updates to their customers - reinforcing customer loyalty, and are not so big that it's all about making maximum $ vs. delivering great and affordable products. Jee that sounds a lot like the philosophy you (Silicon Imaging) are hoping to bring to image acquisition in the film ...I think your two companies would work together very well.
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Old November 4th, 2006, 01:05 PM   #20
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Quote:
The creative z runs about 99.00 USD and net prices for the Indigo go around 199.00 and include a six foot cable for 1/4" or RCA connections.
Hi Joe, I'm sure that your system is working well for your purposes. However, in the field for pro-audio, RCA connectors are totally inadequate. On a normal day's shooting, sound will be disconnected and re-connected 25-50 times. They also get pulled and twisted. That is not something you can change by being careful, and putting in strain-relief loops only goes so far...it's the nature of audio on-set. The only connectors capable of that level abuse are XLRs. Additionally, the very delicate audio signals traveling through mic-cables to the source of phantom power will probably be draped over by hi-powered light cables, balasts, etc. And that by nature imparts a requirement for balanced cables. RCAs are unbalanced consumer connectors.

Many sound mixers use beta-snakes with a quick disconnect at the camera to make that quick connect & dis-connect at camera even easier and more robust. Those are very sturdy and balanced as well.
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Last edited by Rob Lohman; November 5th, 2006 at 04:50 AM. Reason: fixed quote
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Old November 4th, 2006, 02:16 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Nordin
Quote:
The creative z runs about 99.00 USD and net prices for the Indigo go around 199.00 and include a six foot cable for 1/4" or RCA connections.
Hi Joe, I'm sure that your system is working well for your purposes. However, in the field for pro-audio, RCA connectors are totally inadequate. On a normal day's shooting, sound will be disconnected and re-connected 25-50 times. They also get pulled and twisted. That is not something you can change by being careful, and putting in strain-relief loops only goes so far...it's the nature of audio on-set. The only connectors capable of that level abuse are XLRs. Additionally, the very delicate audio signals traveling through mic-cables to the source of phantom power will probably be draped over by hi-powered light cables, balasts, etc. And that by nature imparts a requirement for balanced cables. RCAs are unbalanced consumer connectors.

Many sound mixers use beta-snakes with a quick disconnect at the camera to make that quick connect & dis-connect at camera even easier and more robust. Those are very sturdy and balanced as well.
I understand, but thought XLR to 1/4" connectors would work, with the disconnect at the xlr interface, never pulling on the 1/4 to 1/8 mini connector.
As far as balanced, that would be issue. But some velcro a small usb recorder and ingenuity might be the best route.
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Last edited by Rob Lohman; November 5th, 2006 at 04:50 AM. Reason: fixed quotes
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Old November 4th, 2006, 02:47 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Joe Carney
But some velcro a small usb recorder and ingenuity might be the best route.
I agree that velcro, bailing wire, duct-tape, and gumption are all valuable ingredients to any film shoot! ;-)

However, SI is in the genesis stage of what could become quite a groundswell movement in the world of indie-filmmaking. And at this formative stage, it would probably be better to develop as elegantly integrated solution to Field-Audio, as they have to the Hard-Disk subsystem, the codec-with Cineform, and the Look system with Iridas. Those + SI are not kludges or work arounds...they are serious vendors working together to make an amazing tool. Personally, I think a well-orchestrated audio subsystem created in alliance with a company like Sound Devices would go that much further towards creating a world-class innovative solution for us to use on a broad variety of film/video making applications...but primarily for cinematic use.
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Old November 4th, 2006, 07:14 PM   #23
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I think in the beginning, the mini might be a better option for sound stage work, where you can connect what ever audio interface you need to your PC. Most of the current high end digital cams are tethered for one reason or another anyway. I can see a lot of benefit to running your audio directly to the PC instead of the camera.

I hope they come up with a viable solution for other situations.
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Old November 5th, 2006, 04:53 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Rodriguez
Hi Rob,

CineForm RAW decode to 10-bit 4:4:4 RGB . . . Final Cut Pro only supports 8-bit RGB, 10-bit YUV (but our RAW codec doesn't decode to YUV, it decodes to RGB, if you want YUV you must transcode to it . . . but that destroys the RAW data).
Hi Jason, thanks for your response. I'm a bit confused with your last line. How
do you mean that it destroys the RAW data? Isn't that the case with the RGB
conversion as well (guess that depends on your definition of 'destroyed')?
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Old November 5th, 2006, 09:31 AM   #25
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Paul, here is another option that I forgot about, that might work in the field using existing plug in if necessary.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=78915

beachtek and velcro?
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Old November 5th, 2006, 10:57 AM   #26
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Joe,
I think we're getting a little off track here. I started out this thread by saying that the current solution SI has for audio is not going to be acceptable for most pro-audio mixers. Sure there are any number of ways to get an audio signal into a computer. I'm specifically addressing the desire to see SI adopt a bullet-proof industry-best-practice method...not a work around.
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Old November 5th, 2006, 12:02 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Nordin
Joe,
I think we're getting a little off track here. I started out this thread by saying that the current solution SI has for audio is not going to be acceptable for most pro-audio mixers. Sure there are any number of ways to get an audio signal into a computer. I'm specifically addressing the desire to see SI adopt a bullet-proof industry-best-practice method...not a work around.
I agree that SI should use audio inputs that won't involve sound recordists muttering under their breath. For productions using single system sound there should be robust inputs that meet current professional audio standards. The Beachtek is just a box that allows consumer cameras to use professional audio kit; the prosumer versions of these cameras (PD150 etc) actually have XLR connectors as inputs.
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Old November 6th, 2006, 05:50 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Lohman
Hi Jason, thanks for your response. I'm a bit confused with your last line. How
do you mean that it destroys the RAW data? Isn't that the case with the RGB
conversion as well (guess that depends on your definition of 'destroyed')?
Yes, RGB *transcoding*, i.e, converting to another CODEC that only supports RGB data destroys the original bayer information.

Now a RGB decode is always necessary in order for you to see the information in it on the computer screen (for it to be visible and in-color) . . . but if the codec is made to encode/decode RAW bayer, then it can show you a RGB image while keeping the RAW bayer source in-tact at the codec level. That's what CineForm RAW does.

The "problem" with FCP, is that when CineForm does it's RGB decode (meaning that the CineForm engine lies between the RAW bayer data and FCP, rendering it in real-time to the screen), it presents to FCP a 10-bit 4:4:4 RGB image. FCP though can't process this information at greater than 8-bits (RGB that is), so you'll need to use something like After Effects and Automatic Duck if you want to-do full 32-bit-float RGB rendering. You can do a finish in Final Cut, it just won't be at 32-bit float due to this limitation of Final Cut and RGB data.

While we wish this wasn't the case, it's not an issue with our end of the pipeline, it's a limitation of Final Cut and RGB data. Because Premiere Pro doesn't have this limitation, we can do a full 32-bit floating point RGB finish inside of Premiere Pro with CineForm RAW. In Final Cut Pro 6.0 or something of that nature, if it includes support for deep pixel RGB Quicktimes, then we should be capable of taking advantage of a total conform pipeline in FCP as well.
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Old November 6th, 2006, 08:31 PM   #29
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2 Cents..........

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Nordin
I agree that velcro, bailing wire, duct-tape, and gumption are all valuable ingredients to any film shoot! ;-)

However, SI is in the genesis stage of what could become quite a groundswell movement in the world of indie-filmmaking. And at this formative stage, it would probably be better to develop as elegantly integrated solution to Field-Audio, as they have to the Hard-Disk subsystem, the codec-with Cineform, and the Look system with Iridas. Those + SI are not kludges or work arounds...they are serious vendors working together to make an amazing tool. Personally, I think a well-orchestrated audio subsystem created in alliance with a company like Sound Devices would go that much further towards creating a world-class innovative solution for us to use on a broad variety of film/video making applications...but primarily for cinematic use.
The high end creative cards are testing out VERY QUIET! With breakout box and 48v. phantom power and xlr connectors. Most use neutrik xlr connectors, and altho neutrik makes several levels of connector, they can be replaced with the best for about 10dollars each plus labor.

This is a good solution, with quality Fletcher at Mercenary Audio can beat at 10x the cost, but only Fletcher and a few others can hear the difference. The idea of NOISY adc's because of all the rf in the case is pretty much obsolete, or how come the cmos sensors convertors don't get hashed up?

say the audio add on from si oem'd creative labs costs 1k and has to be replaced every 20 long projects, most of us would jump at it, I think.

TESTED 120db signal to noise
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Old November 7th, 2006, 12:07 PM   #30
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Hi Jon,

Is this a PCI card? Do you have a link?

Just a quick note though, if it is a PCI card, there's no more space in the case for it . . . we already have a GPU in there hooked up to the x16 PCIe slot on the motherboard.
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