Thread: Best bang for the (low) buck transcode to Pro Res?

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  1. #1 Best bang for the (low) buck transcode to Pro Res? 
    Hey all -

    I'm not using my R1 as much as I'd like because I am transcoding to Pro Res 4:2:2 using Redcine X on my geriatric Macbook Pro. It's a 2.3 ghz dual intel 17" with 2 ghz of RAM. I know this is probably the slowest machine to transcode, so I'm looking for the next thing.

    So, what IS the next thing? Go Adobe Premiere (used that about 6 years ago)?

    I get the feeling that the answer is a tower with a Redrocket, but I'm wondering what the possibilites are for low dollar solutions.

    Thanks in advance -

    Doug
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  2. #2  
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    You could upgrade to a Macbook Pro 15 which will give you a Core i7 2.0 GHz quad core, and that will significantly speed up transcoding. At $1799 it is not exactly cheap, however. Unfortunately, there is no ProRes encoder on any other OS than Mac OS X. The bang-for-the-buck solutions are all outside the Apple workflow. If you are open that, you can get a 1/2 res Realtime debayer playback with a $1200 PC and Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5.
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member Johnny Friday's Avatar
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    Doug,
    I can tell you even with a new mac notebook---i have one...and my four year old one....still VERY SLOW when compared to a desktop with 16gb of RAM and rocket card....well even w/out rocket card and a nicely loaded desktop i think is quite a bit of a jump vs. my two laptops...but i have to admit i'm spoiled---after you use the rocket....you just can't use a machine to transcode w/out it.....I'm out weeks at a time on boats and with my laptop---i'll rarely transcode anything any longer....i just check footage and use my laptop to transfer footage, then when home--back to the desktop with rocket card......and almost one to one transfer rates.

    If i was building a simple red station computer for transcoding only...i think i'd go with a PC and build it myself and Premier. Should mention that i think Storm has some built in acceleration....i have it, but not used it in a while, but i recall hearing that--worth looking into for doing what you are saying...at $375...you can one light and transcode and if it does have acceleration, then there's an easy solution.
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    Senior Member Brad Allen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Friday View Post
    If i was building a simple red station computer for transcoding only...i think i'd go with a PC and build it myself and Premier.
    Though with Premiere, you wouldn't have a need to transcode and if you were on the PC you wouldn't be able to export to ProRes anyhow (not without great expense anyway). The PC Premiere route is the way I have gone however :)
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  5. #5  
    Thanks for the help everyone.

    I was hoping there was a $1000 transcode solution, but it looks like not.

    The Adobe Premiere route is pretty tempting, but also daunting in that I've done no editing except with Final Cut for the last 5 years. But I really like the idea of working with low res versions of the R3Ds all the time, and having those original files linked to the edit, AND no transcode. It just seems perfect except that I have to learn which button does which in Premiere, so I have to spend another dozen hours on Lynda.com. Sigh.

    But maybe that's a jump I should make.

    I like the quad core Macbook idea, and also the possibility of getting a used 8 core Mac tower.

    Going for a tower and rocket at this point would be an expensive commitment when it looks like there might be better stuff around the corner.

    Thanks again
    Doug
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  6. #6  
    Senior Member Johnny Friday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Allen View Post
    Though with Premiere, you wouldn't have a need to transcode and if you were on the PC you wouldn't be able to export to ProRes anyhow (not without great expense anyway). The PC Premiere route is the way I have gone however :)
    True, i forgot you need to be on a Mac and have FCP & Premier to output Prores.....so if your end result is Prores....then seems on a Mac system with FCP & Premier installed you can get out that way. But don't discount just adding Storm to the workflow....again, their software may speed up transcodes a bit as i'm told. I just pay no attention to it since i have a rocket running the times i've used Storm.

    ....But if i had a grand to work with, i'd just look at upgrading RAM and getting Storm. Otherwise i'd wait to go with a rocket card in my system on a tower. I'd completely forget the notebook route for my final work station.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Douglas Underdahl View Post
    The Adobe Premiere route is pretty tempting, but also daunting in that I've done no editing except with Final Cut for the last 5 years. But I really like the idea of working with low res versions of the R3Ds all the time, and having those original files linked to the edit, AND no transcode. It just seems perfect except that I have to learn which button does which in Premiere, so I have to spend another dozen hours on Lynda.com. Sigh.
    Might not be as hard as you expect Doug. Premiere includes keyboard layouts for Avid and Final Cut Editors. Just Go Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts > and select Final Cut 7 from the drop down list.

    They also offer a complete 30day trial from their website. Definitely worth having a play with :)

    http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/tdrc/in...t=premiere_pro

    If you get stuck, feel free to PM me or ask some questions on the Adobe section in the forums :)
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  8. #8  
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    If you're just making files for editing, turn down the debayer to 1/8 res, and make 720p/24 files. That will render in something close to real time on just about any machine built in the last 5 years.
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    Senior Member Keith Putnam's Avatar
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    It may or may not make sense for you, but the AJA Ki Pro Mini is about $1,700 and would allow you to spend zero time transcoding because it would record ProRes for you from the RED's HD-SDI output.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Putnam View Post
    It may or may not make sense for you, but the AJA Ki Pro Mini is about $1,700 and would allow you to spend zero time transcoding because it would record ProRes for you from the RED's HD-SDI output.
    ....provided you don't need matching file names, metadata support, or embedded reel ID's.
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