So since we’re doing a blog about nerd stuff, its seems appropriate to take a moment to show you some of the gear I’ve spent too many weekends sitting in front of instead of going to the beach like normal people. So welcome to my edit suite.
I usually have this internal argument with myself when I’m about to buy a new computer. It’s a debate about what I really “need” to be able to work, and how much makes rational sense to spend. The side that usually wins is the voice saying, “You’ll regret it when you hit render on the cheapo machine Chris. Get the good one.” I’ve spent many many hours in front of this Mac Pro, lately learning Cinema 4D ( a subject for another post), and I’ve switched out the guts of my rig, and the peripherals so many times that what exists now is a very personal mix of old and new. It’s funny how at this point the gear, especially the well worn items, kind of reflect who I am and where I’ve come from.
My friend and I have a saying, “It’s all about the glass!” We’re talking about the monitors of course. The glass is the centerpiece of my editing rig.When I started editing I had two 17 inch CRT monitors that must have weighed 50 pounds each! That was way back in 2000. My how times have changed. For years I worked on cheap glass, but last year I went for the Apple Cinema displays and aside from the reflections, which can get annoying, they’re great.
This 2008 46 inch Samsung uses the old fluorescent backlights, but displays a great picture. It was once my living room TV, but now serves as a client monitor. (Of course it’s calibrated, what are you talking about?)
For a while I was doing all of my editing an a Mac mini because my G5 was too long in the tooth and I wasn’t ready to get a Mac Pro yet. It actually worked quite well. Now it’s used to run Windows 7 when needed.
The 2009 Mac Pro is the heart of the operation. It’s using 3 internal drives, 1.5 TB each, striped RAID 0. It’s gone from the stock 6 gigs of RAM, to 12, then recently to 24 gigs. Not shown are the E SATA card for all the external drives, the Decklink Extreme 3D card and the Radeon 7950.
The rockstor is an 8TB drive that which belongs to a client but has lived at my house for 3 years. Then in the picture on the right are “my” drives”. An 8 TB G Speed Q, and 3 standard 2 and 4 TB G RAIDS. I try to organize my drive the way we do when working on shows. So one drive is just for projects, the Q and the internal RAID are for media. And the remaining G RIADS are for music and renders.
The trusty Macbook Pro Retina is used for everything from transcoding to exporting. All the AE work happens on the MBPr.
My Mackie mixer and Yamaha studio monitors are the oldest gear of the bunch. I’ve had them both for 13 years and they still work great. These pieces drove with me from New York when I moved to LA and I hope they keep working forever.
I live by my Avid keyboard, even though I don’t need to look at the keys, I find the color coding comforting and familiar. With the Intuos 5, I find myself switching between using my fingers directly on the touch pad and using the stylus. It’s a bit weird because while I’m left handed, I’ve always used a mouse with my right hand to edit. So I’m experimenting these days with using the Intuos on the right side to mimic how I work at the office. It’s made me faster at some things compared to the left side, and very awkward at others. Oh, the curse of being a lefty!
Finally, there’s this relic from the 20th century. The UVW 1800 Beta SP recorder/player. I used to use this all the time. But now, obviously not so much. But the old man side of me still feels like I need to keep some way to lay back to tape. I’m completely in denial about the Standard def-only nature of this machine.
Those are the highlights folks. Although one major part of this equation may change this year if Apple finally gives us all what we’ve been asking for, here’s to hoping!