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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
Topics about HD production.

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Old February 27th, 2007, 10:04 AM   #16
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I'll ignor the video elements - they've been covered quite well. You mention 16tr hard drive audio - my query is audio wise, multi-track recording is going to eat up a fair bit of your budget. For 16 track that you will edit afterwards, then plenty of useful bits of software - logic for mac, cubase sx for PC, nuendo, and of course pro-tools. The bit that costs is the a-d converters - what will you be feeding into them? will you need a larger format analogue or digital mixer - maybe smallish like the yamaha 01 series? With the digital cards they aren't that cheap. You are also going to have to budget for comms - and as the cameras you are looking at don't have studio facilities, you'll need clearcom/tecpro style which again, are not cheap. Decent heads and tripods/peds will cost a fair bit too. Your 50K shopping list doesn't mention these kind of things, but they're pretty essential. Portable production units are a real pain to make work properly and simply. Even cabling soon mounts up if you do it properly on multi-core cable, rather than just taping all those cables together - which soon gets into a mess. Tallylamps on the cameras (or the lack of them) annoys me, and I'm working on this one

Mine has two modes - the simplest mode has vision mixer, and 6 monitors, and a very simple audio mixer, suitable for just a few mics all in one tall rack. If I need better audio facilities, then it gets horrible - monitoring on DT100s doesn't really cut out all the room noise (I often do music material) and sometimes the mix is a little compromised - I record to the camera as a mix, and record to an Alesis HD24 hard drive unit for post. It isn't an easy work-flow.
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Old February 28th, 2007, 04:37 AM   #17
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Thanks to everyone who has commented! I really appreciate it!

Tim: for this particular project, our clients want to have a HD master of all the footage. The reason? Well, there is no real reason. We have SD gear - we have no HD gear currently. HD monitors, etc. will not be essential. Let me explain.

We will shoot in HD and have HD masters. We will have the capacity to record 48 channels of audio. However! We will only need to edit in SD with Stereo Audio. The final output will be 16:9 SD for use in promotional DVDs, iTunes store, video clips, etc. That OUR deliverable. But! The HD masters and multi-track audio will be used by our clients for other purposes. They have the facilities and the resources to do HUGE multi-track audio and video editing in HD. So! To answer your question, yes, our output medium will be SD. But we also need to have HD masters (whether that is HDV, DVCPRO HD, HDCAM, etc. - it doesn't REALLY matter) of everything.

Matt: Your audio solution does look good. However when we need to record up to 48 channels of audio (which will happen a lot of the time), you need too many of those units. It's much easier to use two HD24's.

Meryem: The events will vary. Most of them will be "short and sweet". Probably well under an hour. However, your right - with P2 cards there would be a lot of running around. That doesn't bother me too much (crewing isn't really an issue) if the overall process quite is quite streamline. However there will be bigger events which would be a pain with P2s. I'm not "dead set" on P2's - I just like the idea (if it works)! However that said, with my own personal projects, I'd MUCH prefer to shoot onto some kind of tape just for that security. This project requires a "turn key" solution that you can just "pull out of a truck", hook up and run. P2 short of fits that category I think.

Jeffrey: Thanks for your advice! Did you capture in HD? We already have the ability to do SD multi-camera records to various formats. For this particular project, however, as I've said, we need low cost, self contained HD.

Paul: I hope my above clarification has answered some of your questions. We don't need to actually "edit" the multi-track material. We will only be working with a stereo "sum" of it all. We already have comms, etc. We will need to buy tripods, etc. We will make custom cable suited to whatever solution we end up with (i.e. proper multi-cores - not lots of cable taped together). Not sure we need Tallylamps unless we do a live mix - which from what I gather from the feedback here, is the way to go.

As all the audio will be coming off a "live desk" (driven by our team) we shouldn't have to worry too much about the quality.

Just out of interest, does the HD24 play friendly with FCP? Can you just hook it up via firewire/ethernet and copy the files across? I presume it records to some kind of uncompressed WAV/AIFF?
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Old February 28th, 2007, 11:53 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Chris Hocking View Post
Jeffrey: Thanks for your advice! Did you capture in HD? We already have the ability to do SD multi-camera records to various formats. For this particular project, however, as I've said, we need low cost, self contained HD.
No HD, but with HD the issues we're talking about regarding timecode, sync, and just plain workflow are either identical, or greater. Greater, perhaps, just because of the increase in size.

So much of what you can get away with depends on the situation. If it's an event that happens on the stage, and in one place...then you can probably "get away" without syncing timecode, assuming you can record straight to disk and all your cameras do...but if you can afford the option to actually match timecode - man, get it!
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Old February 28th, 2007, 12:26 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Chris Hocking View Post
For purely non-technical reasons, a HD system is preferred. There is not budget at this stage. I'm hoping it will be well under AUD$50,000.

Hi Chris,
I do the same kind of work. You don't mention a budget but hope that it will be under $50K. I think a smart solution is to reconsider your whole idea of workflow. What you want and what you are able to afford seem to be two different things.

For that $50K, whynot consider purchasing 4 Z-1's, a laptop (MBPro), Panasonic HD Monitor tha thas scopes, couple of cases of tapes and a sony HDV VTR?

What you are drooling over (P2 Workflow) in my opinion is not worth the bang for the buck you can get by having a complete editing suite plus camera's that you won't ever have to rent. You have a complete production facility that can be mobile and also acquire your audio with. Having to capture tapes is not the end of the world and also gives you the ability to take your time and have back ups. Especially if you want to reuse footage for future projects.

My 2 cents.

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Old February 28th, 2007, 02:16 PM   #20
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I'm confused about what exactly you're trying to deliver and aquire. You said that you were going to shoot in HD and have HD masters. How are you going to have masters with a direct to tape workflow? Will you be delivering a couple of hard drives for each even that you shoot?

I've engineered loads of HD events, big concerts and small HDCAM and HDV, but I've never had the guts to try and work with multiple P2 cards.

Bare with me, from the cost side you anticipate, 4 HVX-200's (5000 us each) each with 3 8gb cards, 1500? each (4500 x4) some sort of video mixer and you'll need to genlock the camera's are you certain you can do this with the HVX's? Not to mention those items alone bring you to 38000 US which is already 48000 AUS. Without cables, a switcher, tripods, mics... etc

I think the p2 solution is cool, but to be honest not cost effective nor is it a logical solution to what you're trying to do. It seems like the run around for each camera swapping cards would worry me more then trying to hook up a 3rd party component. If you really want tapeless, go with what someone here said and get the xh-a1 (or g1, which ever has the jack pack) and a firestore for each camera, then you will be able to run timecode and genlock (as well as get an HDSDI feed- with embedded audio) which will give you multiple options for switchers and decks, along with a redundant HDV back up. I don't understand the appeal of the panasonic solution, it seems like you'll be making a lot of concessions for only a perceived since of ease that to be honest I think you won't receive.
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