One Step Beyond

A Pro Tools update for everyone.

I’ve said that we set up a Pro Tools system in an unsupported configuration to and have been testing it. You can get all the details on the system in my earlier post.

It works pretty darn well. We had our first big test Thursday and Friday with pulling sound effects from our new Soundminer database and sending them into Pro Tools to cut a very action intensive 5 minute scene. Guns, explosions, general mayhem. It worked beautifully. I don’t remember the exact track count, but it was over 32 because at one point Cameron had to change the voice setting up to 64.

The one disappointing thing was the performance of the MJPEG A quicktime movie on the Aurora Igniter video card. It was a bit jerky. We checked the Info window while playing the movie in Quicktime Player and it wouldn’t stay at a constant 24 fps. Occasionally it would speed up or slow down by about .5 fps. We didn’t have time to tweak the settings so I can hopefully get that to perform better.

Plus it wasn’t exactly the standard Quicktime file that we would normally playback for sound editorial. It wasn’t loaded off a video tape like they normally are. This was the conversion from an Avid Quicktime that I mention in my last post. The image size was larger than I normally digitize at, and maybe that had something to do with the less the perfect playback.

In fact, the Avid Quicktime played back better even in Pro Tools with all those tracks of audio running too. The only downside to that was the movie could only display on the computer monitor and not on the video monitor. So Cameron used that to cut against instead of the MJPEG A picture.

We haven’t really tried out the SCSI on this setup yet. This scene was cut off the internal hard drive (a standard HFS+ format, not journaled) and the digital picture was played back off a second internal hard drive.

It’s not the be-all end-all, but it does seem that the Pro Tools 6.2.3 software works well with Mix hardware on a G4.