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mikefilosa

744T Questions - 3 / 4 mirrors??

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Hello -

I am curious about experiences / experiments with the version 2.0 of SoundDevices 744T

software....

I read that it will record, simultaneously, to 1) Internal Hard Drive 2) CF Cards and 3) external DVD-RAM, via USB.... 

For starters, is this working well for anyone out there - all 3 simultaneously ?

Has anyone tried a SECOND DVD-RAM simultaneous mirror via USB ?

(Loopthru or Powered Hub ? )

I am curious if the machine could handle it....

I am very used to the removable drive concept, having been onboard with Deva 2 for many years... it seems that the alternative recorders out there have skipped over this aspect of design ..... in favor of 80+ gigs of internal capability...

(I remember the "quantum leap" from 10/12G to 40G with Deva 2 - groundbreaking!!)

This question owes to a desire to safely archive to a second disc during the workday, and NOT on precious downtime.  In the past, I would archive by simple swapping out internal hard-drives - not too difficult!  The downside there, of course, is that I am storing ZAX files, which, if the occasion should arise, would have to be mirrored to a post-friendly DVD-RAM.... fortunately this has NEVER popped up.....

I'm just curious if anyone has tried this ?  Four copies may be pushing it, but maybe if one dropped the CF mirror in favor of a second DVD-RAM ?

Thanx in advance..

Michael Filosa, CAS

Atlanta Field Production, Inc.

*(This might well be my first post here.... if this has been posted to the "wrong" category, would someone please let me know ?)

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For starters, is this working well for anyone out there - all 3 simultaneously ?

Has anyone tried a SECOND DVD-RAM simultaneous mirror via USB ?

I haven't upgraded my 744T yet so I cannot comment on this from personal experience. I am sure someone else here HAS done the upgrade and they will comment. It is true that the machine is now supposed to simultaneously "record" to the internal HD, the Compact Flash card AND an external drive on the Firewire (not USB) port. It should all work although I know there have been a few interface issues with the external drives (in terms of powering the drive and the need for a special interface box/cable from Sound Devices).

Sorry I can't be more specific --- someone will repond with a better and more complete report.

Regards,  Jeff Wexler

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Also, the new V2.09 firmware now allows recording 4-tracks of 24/48 to 3X DVDRAM. There were some prior issues regarding this, requiring 5X media for adequate throughput. Not a big deal, but 3X seems to be easier to find in a pinch. I installed the new firmware several days ago, but haven't had need to record to ext drive realtime since then. The earlier V2.03 worked fine for me when recording to all 3 drives.

EB

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It only will handle 3 sets of media.

Internal HD,  CF in CF onboard socket, and 1 firewire HD device (HD/DVD-RAM or CF) formatted as Fat 32.

Since the firmware only supports opening 3 different media you can't add another HD or daisy chain the FIrewire to anything else.  There are no USB ports on a 744.  You can however chain several 744ts together through their CLINK ports and have them all start and stop and share the same Time Code.  That would get you 6 media and 8 Tracks.

---Courtney

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Thanks for the enlightening responses.... I don't own a 744T (yet) and can't experiment on my own....

Firewire instead of USB 2.0 is a basic element I wasn't initially aware of.... yikes!

I should have been, because I remember reading that a long long time ago...

the 744T is 2 or 3 years strong, correct?

So external firewire DVD-RAM drives are what is needed here...

I am curious, if one nixed the CF "mirror" and went for a second DVD-RAM, that the machine might possess enough processing power to do that....

OFFGROUP, I recieved an e-question along the lines of "why would I want to do this ?"

To explain, I partition my removable drives in 4G pieces, and get about 9-10 days on a drive before I plug another one in.... So a typical long-form dramatic project gets divided up they way I prefer - not all eggs in one basket....

Having worked that way for many years... personally, I'm not so sure that I would be as comfortable as others might be (burdened with the task of recording and archiving a 30+ day project) to have the whole show on one fixed, non-removable internal disk built into the machine.

I would love to make a simultaneous archive copy during the normal day.

I am opposed to dealing with such a copy "later on".... especially after a brutal, perhaps freezing night of 14+ hour feature fun... in the dark... while everyone else is wrapped and enjoying the 8 hr turnaround.... it would seem to be good policy to knock this archive out on a daily basis, not in big batches over the weekend or at the end of the multi-week ordeal. 

Again, not owning a 744T, but seriously thinking about one... my experience with mirrors are pretty much SCSI to DVD-RAM.... quite sluggish at best...

Maybe the future would be brighter, feeling the speed of firewire working in my favor, I don't know... this begs the question... how long does it take for the 744T to bang out a 4G disc ? 

And maybe my whole inquiry will be answered in the form of a future of incredibly cheap  and FAST CF cards for my daily archive.... 

Regarding possible need for 3 mirrors... one for dailies/telecine, one for sound post, one for local or on-site editorial, one for archive...

If the machine packs the processing power, why not?

Thanx for the exploration / dialog.... of course I'm going to seek answers from the experienced ones out there.... It seems like this machine is having a lot of impact in the NL landscape and it might be an affordable path for me towards FAT32 ...

Michael Filosa, CAS

Atlanta

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I own a 744T which I have used for about a year, and my friend owns two.  He has run internal HD, CF and DVD-RAM (just did it the other day - no problem).  I use the internal drive and a 4G CF card.  I have a firewire drive and 16X DVD-R burner on my cart, so throughout the day I dump files from the CF to the firewire drive, making sure everything is correct.  At days end it takes about 5-10 minutes to burn 4G, which I do while wrapping stuff up.

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5-10 minutes!!!???

Now I understand the "why?" to my initial question!

Wow, that is very fast to me.... well, it's apparent that the CF mirror would be more than fine for my archive needs, as that would be easily achieved later on, and not much of an imposition to the workday.... could even be achieved next morning / first setup....

Thusly, the possible need for a second simultaneous DVD-RAM is a wholly unnecessary complication IMHO...

Last questions, off-topic, but none-the-less...

1- does the 744T playback from all three mediums? (Internal HD / external firewire DVD-RAM / CF card)

2- do you experience any latency, however slight, from monitoring any of the mediums?

Is there even a way to choose, beyond the internal HD, what you are listening to...?

Thanks in advance..

Mike Filosa, CAS

Atlanta

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Mike,

A couple of notes to clarify things:

The slowest part of the DVD-RAM writing chain is the 5x DVD-RAM drive itself.  rpsharman is writing DVD-Rs external to the 744, the 744T can't write to DVD-R, so the -RAM copy would be slower (16x vs. 5x).

The 744 can also address an external hard drive or CF writer on the Firewire port.  Maybe your answer for redundant archive would be a large external hard drive.  I have a Maxtor 500gig which gives a ridiculous amount of record time.    An External HD would also be much faster than writing a DVD-RAM.  A hard drive is your fastest option for wrap-time copying of a days work.  If you were on a cart, you could burn the DVD-RAMs in realtime and then do a dump at the end of the day or the next morning to archive your sound to another external medium.

There is no latency when listening to playback from any medium.  There is, however, a delay in listening to the Confidence monitoring while recording.  Audio isn't available to monitor back from the recording drive until it has gone through the ram buffer and is written to the disk.  If I recall correctly, the delay is up to 12 seconds or so and is sample rate dependent.  Obviously, you hear audio in real-time when not using the confidence monitor headphone selection.

---Matt

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Just a note to say that what held me back from joining the Sound Devices recorder crowd was the whole busines of burning DVDs etc @ days end, for all the reasons the OP mentioned.  When they came out with the new software and attachments to allow the recorders to burn DVDRAMs in real time, I signed up and it has worked very well in exactly that scenario.  The only caveat is that many computers cannot read DVDRAM disks in their onboard drives, although all the machines used for telecine playback can.  However, in my world, the audio for those jobs that require disks to be readable by a desktop computer is usually a backup (for video), and can be delivered later, as opposed to being needed immediately for dailies, for which the DVDRAM is fine.  There is no reason why I couldn't sub in a Firewire drive for the DVDRAM drive and be mirroring in real time with much greater capacity as well.

Philip Perkins

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