Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Northanger Edit Room -- With Pictures!

Guy writes:

Warning #1: Major geekdom to follow. The following may put non-geeks into a persistent vegetative state. Many apologies in advance.

I thought some of you might like to know what sort of equipment we're using to edit "Zorg."

Because, you know, I'm a geek.

We've recently upgraded to a 2.66 GHz Mac Pro with 5 GBs of RAM, an ATI Radeon X1900 graphics card with 512 MB RAM and two internal 500 GB SATA hard drives. I edit on Final Cut Pro 5.1.4.

I told you it was going to be geeky.

Note the little-used and forlorn iMac in the corner of this picture? This was my previous editing computer. Sometimes it's awkward in the editing room, having both machines with me, clearly favoring one over the other. Relationships are so complicated, aren't they?

The iMac really is a nice machine if you're on a budget and it did a remarkable job of handling the processing demands of HDV, until audio editing managed to break its will to live. This one is the 17", 1.83 GHz model, with 2 GBs of RAM and a 250 GB hard drive. I used external firewire drives for media (and now use those for backups).

Warning #2: If as a geek, your further sub-classification is "Apple Geek," you may just want to skip to the next section.

Connected to the beautiful Mac Pro are two--well, let's just say that they're monitors, okay? They're monitors made by a company other than Apple. There. We'll leave it at that.

Okay, they're Dells. I said it. And they were a lot cheaper than the Apples. But, let me tell you, when those babies are on and you're sitting there at night, umbrella drink in hand and wearing something pretty, bathed in their beautiful, overwhelmingly huge, dual 24" glows, they're a wonder to behold.

See that little box sitting under the monitors? That's the Matrox MXO, an amazing little gizmo that among other things can turn an LCD monitor into an actual, pixel for pixel, high-definition monitor (assuming of course, said monitor has a resolution of at least 1920 x 1200, which, you know, mine do). This will be critical when we start color correcting. It's also a lot cheaper than a real high-definition monitor. To learn a little more about it, check out this review by Shane Ross, an editor in LA from his very informative blog.

For sound, I use a combination of ancient Sony headphones and a set of bottom-of-the-line, M-Audio Studio Pro 3 near-field speakers (picked up at a CompUSA store-closing sale). When I take the headphones off, there are all these little bits of disintegrating, no doubt cancer-causing foam that flake all over my head and desk and clothes.

No expense is too great for the fine folks at Northanger!