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Werner Althaus

Question about RADAR Studio for audio post

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I'm posting this in the "post" section as well, I hope that's okay

 

I have a question for the post production / computer experts here.

Our facility runs two ProTools HDX suites for audio post for Television. We mix in stereo only. The audio systems used to be synched to house black with an AVID Sync HD and the video satellite (AVID Media Composer with Mojo DX I/O) is also synched to house black . Since our workflow is entirely file based now I’m not sure if I still need to use the Sync HD and here’s the reason why I’m asking.

We bought an IZ Technologies RADAR Studio for our A suite about 2 years ago. It replaced an old MacPro. That machine is a high end 24 channel Multitrack in addition to a DAW workstation. In a nutshell, the system runs FANTASTIC, eight I-7 processors and 32 GB of RAM, SSDs, stripped down windows 8.1, it’s so fast and stable it’s amazing. I installed the HDX card in it and it works perfectly but truth be told, it runs equally good or better using the built-in ASIO I/O and run everything native off the CPU. I put massive sessions on this system with hundreds of instances of various plug-in in addition to using the Protools video track ( instead of the Video Satellite) in order to see if I can get it to choke but it handles everything with utmost ease, the system usage display in protools barely registers any activity, even less than using the HDX DSP accelerator.

Being so impressed with this system we bought a second RADAR Studio a year ago and it has been a bit more problematic. When I installed the HDX card in the open PCIe slot the computer couldn’t see it at all. I had to change the PCIe slot order to get the computer to even recognize it but now the RADAR side of things ( this is a dual boot machine, windows or RADAR mode) doesn’t work properly anymore. We contacted IZ technologies, even shipped the unit back, HDX card included for a complete overhaul and  motherboard replacement and that helped somewhat but it’s still not working properly. The slot order they used to make the computer see the HDX card doen’t match the other machine we own and, according to them the motherboards have been revised and processors have been upgraded ( from 3.6 MHz I-7 to 4MHz I-7). The way it currently sits here the RADAR side of things works perfectly but the DAW/ windows side doesn’t. It fails parts of the DigiTest ( before the overhaul it didn’t see the card at all, when installed in  this slot). As a result Protools can’t see the AVID sync HD unit ( which is connected via serial port ) and certain Plug-Ins ( McDSP ) can’t be run as DSP plug-ins. They won’t pass audio that way so I use them native.

We have discussed this at great length with the vendor and manufacturer and we are at a point where we need to decide whether to seek a full replacement ProTools system built around a new MacPro as a refund or if we can keep and use the RADAR Studio as is without shooting ourselves in the foot.

I mixed a couple of shows on it as is and it does work great. I use media composer as video satellite without synching either one to house black. It doesn’t seem to matter since no linear audio transfers are happening between machines, only file based audio is pushed back and forth.

My concern is that I’m missing something here. What are the negative consequences of running a post audio mixing suite without Sync reference and without DSP accelerators? What else am I going to find out later that would have influenced my decision whether to keep going with a new RADAR Studio running on less than all cylinders vs getting a mac based system.

Any comments are appreciated.

Thanks

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