View Full Version : Video Editing Array

07-20-2002, 07:03 PM
Does anybody know how to compare, or have opinions about, an internal PCI, 2-drive, ATA/100 Raid 0 setup and a FireWire set-up using Miglia Media Bank using the same drives, for video editing?

I'm a beginner, and was thinking about a RAID array using a couple of 80G or 100G drives.

I had pretty much discounted FireWire for video but Gurus seems to be pretty enthusiastic about the 2-channel Miglia Media Bank.

Dick Brillo
07-22-2002, 01:13 PM
I ask myself those questions all the time...

Should I create a wick fast SCSI RAID a la Guru? Or will a ATA do? OR can I just use FireWire? For me it comes down to money. In all my personal research I really believe the ATA RAID will be totally fine for capturing and editing miniDV with something like Final Cut Pro in whatever tower you have. DV really is not that speed demanding, honestly. If you put this question over on the SCSI or RAID forums you'll get different opinions. All of them very vaild--scalablity of SCSI, quality of equipment, speed etc...

But you know, I just made a 16 minute film, in Final Cut Pro 3, from 6 hours of raw footage using an iBook and an EZ Quest 80GB Firewire Hard Drive. So it makes you wonder do I need all that stuff?

Just my humble $0.02

07-23-2002, 05:20 PM
Dick......That's a good $.02. That's what I was wanting to hear..someone with experience in the matter.

I know what you mean about the Gurus RAID & SCSI forums..the Gurus are at the top of the game...Lamborghini, whereas, I'm Isuzu Trooper. I would love to have SCSI, but can't.

You also mentioned miniDV, which is what I'm interested in. I'm trying to edit about 8 hours that I shot for a friend's daughter's wedding/reception on a XL1. I'm not a video pro...just tinkering...but I would like to produce a professional-looking result since he spent a fortune on the rest. It would be a good gift.

Your comments were helpful...thanks.

Dick Brillo
07-30-2002, 04:38 PM
Well, I don't know how much help I am with your original question. The Gurus are the ones to ask when it comes to reliability and speed, as far as hard drives are concerned. Having said that, I have produced some pretty impressive results with less than adequate hardware. I'm a patience man. Sometimes you just have to may do with what you have.

I CAN offer a little help with the video. You shot that footage with a nice camera that can give you some really professional looking results. I'm a believer of capturing the whole project in your computer so you have everything to work with. From an editing stand point it gives you the most creative flexibility. If memory serves me correctly, 4.5 minutes of raw DV footage = 1GB. So your looking at 107GBs to just get the project into your computer. Not to mention the extra room you'll need for rendering files, scratch disk, OS, yada yada yada. So you can see where a striped ATA Raid with 120GB hard drives would be handy. But honestly, without even looking at your footage, I bet you could of shot your friends wedding in half the footage. Biggest mistake is to keep the film running and interviewing a subject while filming. But the film is shot, so let's deal with that. Most likely you can edit a lot of that footage before it gets in your computer. Use the "Batch Capture" command in FCP for that. If your new to FCP I cannot recommend Michael Rubin's Final Cut Pro for Beginners (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0321118022/qid=1028060597/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/103-5063715-3715024). Don't let the title fool you, it is an amazing book and will get up and running with FCP faster than anything! I don't think he gets to involved with capturing, but you WILL learn how to use FCP editing features very well. Very logical book. Editing eight hours is a lot. It will really take some time. I would start with some small projects first. The book has material to edit with¨ůstart there and then you'll know how to attack the 8 hours.

For more info with just basic shooting info The Little Digital Video Book (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0201758482/qid=1028060597/sr=1-2/ref=sr_1_2/103-5063715-3715024) by the same author is great too. I know it sounds like I promoting Rubin but he doesn't put in all that bullshit that other "Pro" books do. He just tells you haw to do it. He has a history with Lucas Films, even though the books concentrate on home movies. Even still, you can take the knowledge to whatever project your using. I've suffered for days with other books to just do the simplest things. He tells you right off the bat! He a nice guy too--returned my emails.

Good Luck!

07-31-2002, 01:50 AM
hey, jm.

i didn't notice which Mac you are using? Most later Macs running OSX do just fine for stuff like this using IDE. (Yes, I realize this is heresy, but you can do what you need to do.)

As you've noted, IDE is a lot more affordable than SCSI, and if you also practice a good backup regime, you're unlikely to put much more at risk than your captured video--which you can just download again from your camera.

if you were doing this for profit, then you might get to a point where long rendering times forced you to creatively finance some faster hardware. It takes a lot of paid work to amortize that kind of investment, IMO. I think you'll be just fine w IDE gear, assuming you are using a relatively recent Mac.

doing wedding videos...it's serious work, if only to the people who got married that day.
i would recommend using the internal IDE RAID 0 as your work space, and keep your raw footage and backups external on your firewire rig. That is a very conservative approach, and you should be just fine.

hope that helps a bit.

07-31-2002, 04:56 PM
magician, Dick

Thanks for info. Since my first post and Dick's reply, I have done massive research, and the plot thickens even more. I had not anticipated the type of platform problems I would run into, though I was not expecting primo performance, for sure.

First, the bad news....(I did not realize I had not posted my hardware).
I'm using a PTP with XLR8 450 MachCarrier MPe SSE/768 M RAM. (I can feel magician's pain) I also have access to an iMac SE/400 G3 that I bought for my wife's office, though the location isn't as convenient as home. (She's about to start some contract work for a company that will supply her with a Mac of her choice, within reason, and she's currently trying out a Titanium G4 PB per my recommendation...hee,hee.) If I had a real Mac G4, the choices would be fairly simple..I would just use a SIIG/Acard, or whatever Gurus recommends, striped RAID with a couple of 120 G DeskStars. My computations for the 8 hours of tape came out to what Dick's did, which at least ruled out SCSI for $ reasons and space as well, actually. I also assumed, as Dick recommended, that loading the entire footage onto the drives and editing from there, instead of using the hideously slow and hardware-wrecking process of using the camera for playback, was the way to go, hence, the necessity for huge space. I had been talked into, behind the scenes, considering a single 10K Cheetah for best "performance" on my PTP, but again, the space issue was insurmountable.

(BTW--anyone who reads this should be aware there are some real-world numbers for drives/ RAID / card configs in the RAID Forum under "Drive and RAID Database." I was made aware of it recently--don't know how I missed it...invaluable data from several set-ups) And Dick, I just saw your post about NT RAID nightmare...may God be with you.

The Miglia Media Bank MT-R was another consideration, using those same 120G drives. Each drive on the MT-R has a separate FireWire input for 2-channel RAID operation. One of the complications from that on the PTP was that the FireWire was an add-on XLR8 3-port card. As I found out from a Miglia tech (although probably 90% of the people on the Forums already knew) 2 ports on a card do not 2 channels make. The bandwidth of that card slot is shared by those ports. In short, I would have to add another FW card to have 2 discrete channels. I have enough slots for that left on my PTP, but then I found out I would not be able to boot from non-built-in FireWire connections. However, that would not be a problem with the iMac SE since it has 2 built-in FW ports. The convenience of portability with the MT-R was also an asset.

The 8 hours of footage derived from the fact that I was using a small, loaner miniDV camera for a tripod static shot while I was operating the XL1during the actual ceremony, and, I filmed rehearsal. Also the reception dinner was 6 hours long, and, at times resembled scenes from "The Deerhunter" so it was hard to put camera down.

Dick, you told me you couldn't recommend (sic) Michael Rubin's book,, so I'll fill in the blank---enough---since it's obvious you are high on him. I just clicked the link, and hey!...it's 30% off at Amazon. I had been using a Visual Quick Start text by Lisa Brenneis which is a bit older, I think. She's good, too. I have an, ancient, original version of FCP that a rep let me try out since I helped secure an account, and, I was leaning toward Premiere, but it's not upgradeable, of course. When I get a real Mac, I'll plunk down the $1K.

I do NOT plan to do video wedding photography professionally...just as I have no desire or inclination to do it professionally in my real role as a commercial photographer...but am not ruling out the prospect of professional videography in general, since everything is melding together, it seems, under the multi-media umbrella.


07-31-2002, 05:26 PM

I need to hear you on this, as Dick suggested...I think he may not have come up against this since he had real Mac to begin with. I became absolutely confused about "throughput" or "data transfer rate" figure. I think by definition, they're supposed to be the same thing, but, it seems the terms were used rather loosely by various people, as I was researching.

My big bottleneck, of course, is the 50Mhz bus on the PTP, though it has 450/G4 upgrade. The DV standard requires 3.6MB/sec sustained data transfer to avoid dropped frames, video degradation, etc. One of the references stated that a minimum of 7-8MB/sec "was recommended by several experts." That seems meeger enough except that I saw on a Gurus ad for a$1000 Aurora Igniter board, that it provided sustained speeds of "up to 13.3MB/sec" like that was something. ( I may not appreciate the difference in data rates between M-JPEG and DV. however)

With these figures in mind, why would even the 50Mhz bus on a PTP be a problem? Also, why would there be any problem with a RAID card of the most modest speed? Does the PTP's 10MHz internal SCSI bus have anything to do with it? I'm terribly confused as you can see....don't know how to corral all the specs into a coherent picture to make an intelligent buy.

Right now, I THINK I'm inclined to a Hard RAID ATA solution with the 2 120G DeskStars....if it will work.....even though it might not be optimum. The capacity is the most crucial part.

If all it takes is some patience, as Dick said, that's OK, as long as it's not a disaster. I can always pull the drives and put them in something else later, whether it be the MT-R box, or another machine, which I'm getting an itch to start saving coins for.

el Stupido

[This message has been edited by jmikey (edited 31 July 2002).]

Dick Brillo
08-02-2002, 10:58 AM
Dude, the research is taking you over! Most professional done fret that much over a purchase. I know you have little money and want to make the best of it, but it sounds like you only have one project to do and have never worked with FCP before. OK, if that is true then use the iMac! It has firewire and it works! All you need is an EZQuest 120GB external FireWire hard drive and your done. Capture one hour at a time onto the iMac's hard drive then copy over to the EZQuest until you get all 8 hours on there (this what I mean be being patience) Once your film is edited you make a self-contained FCP movie on the iMac's hard drive. Hook up your camera and 'edit to tape' to create your master. Done. You can ALWAYS use a 120MB FireWire drive--backup, store MP3s, use it for another film...

You need to start working in FCP not tring to design the perfect RAID for your system. Get a couple of films under your belt FIRST before you go nuts on the hardware. You'll have a better understanding of what your needs are. If your not making any money on these projects it is hard to justify the expense. What if you never make more than this one film? Sounds like you need more experience not more hard drive recommendations. Just get Rubin's book (iMac have DVD? so you can use the tutorial?) learn the program (FCP 1.0 is great!) then attack that 8 hour monster. Just start working--it's fun stuff!


08-02-2002, 02:25 PM
I feel like a Marine in Hue who needs to be slapped to stick his head over the wall to return fire. After you do it the first time, you're OK.

I agree with you Dick...I had become obsessed with doing the perfect hardware thing, but, I had been thrown off track early on by a typo on DV data rates in an article on setting up an NLE system. I was trying to make DV editing work on my PTP since it would be a lot more convenient...wouldn't have to drive 7-8 miles to work on iMac at night.....but, of course the PTP makes difficult, many things that are taken for granted on a real Mac. I.E., I found out on the Gurus DRIVE/RAID database, that the HARD RAID config I thought was going to get to speed things up by splitting data from a slow PCI bus...as had been rumored... actually slowed it down.

On the FCP front, besides the book I already had, and the Rubin book I ordered, I've signed up for some online tutorials when I get time. I DO plan on doing a lot more in DV.....this wedding was the first thing that was of any real importance...and beyond the scope of iMovie.

Your post was motivating...I needed a kick...thanks.


[This message has been edited by jmikey (edited 02 August 2002).]

[This message has been edited by jmikey (edited 02 August 2002).]

08-03-2002, 12:44 AM
jm, i can't agree more with Dick's post.

he's on target, big-time.

your cost on an EZQ will be minimal, and you can use it on both the iMac and the Ti.

as much as i love the old hardware (Beast is still in the basement, and I use him at least a couple of times a week, just for old-time's sake), the old six slot machines are really showing their age (a lot like me, now that i think about it).

there are a lot of folks with substantial investments in gear who do video and music on the old Tsunami's. At this point, I think we just have to stabilize and freeze those systems and use them as they are. No more upgrading. If they do what we need them to do, great. If not, then it is very much time to move on.

No need to liquidate them. Put them out to pasture, out to stud, if you will, like prized stallions. They are classic systems, after all, and someday, a monster 9600 or PTP will have value the same way my old Nova SS would have today, had I kept it: remembering that car brings back lost moments fish-tailing along country back roads, stick shift in my right hand, one eye on the road and the other on a fast girl named Bobbie in the seat beside me holding my beer between her 17-year old thighs. Like my old Beast in the basement, I've seen younger days, but I have raised some hell in my time, and I find that I don't mind fading away gracefully so much.

in any case, i really have to caution against trying to use IDE drives for video on a PTP. I've been away for a long while, but back when I was messing around with this stuff daily (i left last Feb and just returned), IDE on a vintage Power Mac really wasn't a rock-solid solution. Some folks enjoyed success, but many others ended up hating life.

many firmware updates have been released for various IDE host cards in the interim, improving their viability in vintage systems, but someone more current will need to address that angle.

Regardless, I think your best move is to send Dick a nice bouquet of Bud Lights in a bucket of ice and follow his guidance.


08-03-2002, 08:43 PM
I know you guys are right....you know why?

My wife looked around this room with 5 monitors, 2 scanners, several sticks of FPM RAM with nowhere to go, a Performa, my PTP lying on its side with the cover off (in case I'm ready to strike) connected to a 9G SCSI, and me online with a cable modem hooked up to a Power Center 120 with only about about 30M left on the drive, and said, "Do you need to get new stuff?"

You can't know what it took for her to say that.

Dick Brillo
08-05-2002, 01:21 PM
That is really funny! Yeah, it is totally time to take your hand off the screw driver and onto the mouse.

Thanks for the kind words; glad I can give something back for the good info I have recieved here. I teach occasionally at the university level, and I constantly see students waste their money on computers they'll never use to its full potential. I always recommend iMacs or iBooks because of their low price point and their ability to run, albeit slow, professional programs. Hell, I got Maya to run on my iBook! So, I say just jump in and start working. You have enought computer at your disposal.

Example... I did the same thing, I recommended to you, for my own wedding. My wife and I got married in Italy. We had 35 people come for the wedding and at the last moment I decided to buy a $600 Canon miniDV. I'm so glad I did cause I came back with some great footage (everyone shot with it). My set-up was an iBook, 80GB EZQuest, FCP, and the Canon miniDV. I had roughly 6 hours of video, but I captured only portions of it to my hard drive then transfered to the EZQuest (my Canon would not let my connect it through the EZQuest via firewire). I spent a lot of hours editing it down to about 9 minutes. Would a dual G4/1GB with a matrox card been nice to edit on? Sure but I did the damn thing on what I had (an iBook!!!) and made an awesome (IMHO) wedding video. My wife and I love it. My family loves it. Our friends love it. So many memories. That's what all this stuff is about--right? Getting things done--not dreaming about what you could do if you had the money.

When you get the money, by all means go nuts! I personally just got a G4/867 (tax refund) and I love it! I bought all my RAM, an extra hard drive, and everything I can from macgurus.com because of this forum. Plus all the stuff I need for that Windows NT RAID, you mentioned, at work. But, to be honest, I read these forum a lot until I finally purchased something for them. I spent a lot of time learning programs and getting experience with them. Master the programs first before your hardware. Macgurus.com will always be there to take your order. So for now get that EZQuest drive from them and start working. You'll have a ton of fun!

If your interested what you can do on an iBook, checkout my wedding video here (http://www.cajuntub.com/wedding_web_11.html).
It is 30MB with an image size of 160x120, kinda small but you'll get the idea.

Good Luck! You can do it!

08-09-2002, 05:48 PM

For various reasons, just now revisited topic after a few days.
Great stuff-----everybody should see.


08-10-2002, 12:09 AM
Yes Dick, very nice wedding video/audio. And Congratulations. k

08-10-2002, 12:38 PM

Dick Brillo
08-11-2002, 01:04 AM
Thanks guys!

Wish you could see the master; it is so clear!

We had a great time! Can't believe it was me.


04-10-2003, 11:13 PM
I am new to forums, and new to macgurus.
I gotta say, great thread.

I did a school play (2 camera shoot), a wedding( 2 camera shoot) and a 90 min. documentary of a digital to print exhibition

at a friends house on his imac 333. Had to upgrade his ram. Bought myself a 75 gig Firewire external. Slow. Juggled files all over the place. Had to do half a project at a time, due to space requirements. Could only dump 20 mins at a time before frames would drop, so hade to edit in the occasional fade to black....

But it paid for my current rig.

Video is great fun. You become a historian. Your sequences influence others memories.

again, Love this thread

04-11-2003, 02:47 AM

I wish we could get DB to resurface so you could see his wedding video....link appears dead. It was a great project and teaching tool for editing....lots of quick cuts, and a dob or two of slo mo that was very effective.

I believe you guys have similar occupations. He may be on other MacGuru forums since he did IT on the side in his office.


05-30-2003, 11:23 AM
Avid released Media Composer Adrenaline, (http://www.avid.com/products/composer/adrenaline/index.asp) a system that combines Media Composer software with FireWire-based Adrenaline hardware for real-time, multi-stream, uncompressed standard-definition video editing and 10-bit high-definition media.

According Avid, the package is "the industry's first system to support uncompressed SD video over a standard FireWire connection." Media Composer Adrenaline is $24,995 and requires Mac OS X 10.2.4 and up or Windows XP Pro.

06-16-2003, 11:53 AM
Reader report on initial Lag capturing to IDE card RAID Array - A reader with SIIG (aka Acard) ATA/133 RAID card noted a lag in initial video captures (using Premiere and 10.1.5). I've gotten severeal reader's replies to that post with suggestions, etc. details (http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/stories/S15670.html#storytop)

Updated with details and feedback from others, along with solution to the problem, as well as suggestions. Seems ATA RAID latency, drive volume 300GB+ along with ATA drives with 8MB cache on older hardware.

[This message was edited by Gregory on Tue June 17, 2003 PT at 9:12.]