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Apple throws out the rulebook for its unique next-gen Mac Pro - Page 15

post #561 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

Audio is perhaps low enough bandwidth that a PCIe chassis would be acceptable over TB.  Latency might be an issue perhaps.

Unless there is Mac only software in their toolchain my suspicion is that any shop faced with this dilemma will simply switch to Win7 on a high end Dell or HP.

If FCP still had the mindshare that was tanked after the release of FCPx (whatever you think of the software itself this certainly happened) Apple would be in better position to force a PCIe to TB transition.

They certainly lost a few but I suspect lots of that was mass hysteria. There are indications that some users that left in a huff have switched back. The Mac Pro will likely suffer like FCPx did at first with people not grasping the significance of the advancement and dwelling too long in what is missing. Many of the so called professionals displayed just how far they are from being "professional". In some cases guys made complete asses of them selves, if not an ass the displayed all the evolution of a child that has yet to leave preschool. I'd be most interested to find out just how badly sales really have been hurt by the transition to FCPX.
post #562 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by v5v View Post

If you're talking Pro Tools, Native" *IS* a PCI card. It's between the software-only product and the full-DSP HDX cards. I guess o one at Avid thought THAT ingenious naming convention would cause any confusion... 1oyvey.gif

There are still benefits to HDX, like lower latency monitoring. There are other benefits too, but you gotta wonder if they're worth it. I'm running PT10 with just CPU (no HDX, no Native card) doing post for spots, and I can't find a way the hardware would enhance my work. Maybe it would if I was tracking music or mixing larger projects.
Honestly I don't know what you are referencing above but the reality is the new chips, both Intel CPUs and GPUs are extremely adept at signal processing these days. If someone tells you that their software requires a DSP card you really should be asking them what is wrong with their programmers. Intels CPUs are nothing to sneeze at these days, especially with AVX and
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What's got MY panties in a bunch is Avid dropping support for the Complete Production Toolkit. That means as of Pro Tools 11 there is no way to mix surround in Pro Tools without buying one of their cards and I/O boxes. That makes the cost of entry for surround mixing with Pro Tools around $5-6K minimum. It's ridiculous and unacceptable to tie such a fundamental feature to their hardware when even consumer video editing software can handle 5.1 audio.
Sounds like an example of a company doing all of the wrong things tryIng to protect its turf. They have to realize that with GPU compute plus the new vector/signal processing support in Intels newer chips that support processors will become a thing of the past. This sounds like a classic example of tying hardware to software to shore up the bottom line.

Since I'm not into audio work, I must ask what makes the Avid solution that much better than some of the so called "consumer" solutions? This may sound silly to you but I see so many audio processing solutions out there that I have to wonder why Avid gets so much traction. In any event if Avid does continue down this road they open themselves up to aggressive competition from somebody that can do it all in software.

Honestly I wonder if this is the same mentality that has MicroSoft Office in the position it is in. Office has 1000 of features that no one user ever makes use of but it is the so called business "standard".
Quote:
I'm so mad at Avid over this that I find myself giggling with delight over the prospect of the new Mac Pro not supporting their flagship audio product!

This sounds like a case where a third party could easily pull a lot of customers away from Avid if such customers are open minded.
post #563 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Since I'm not into audio work, I must ask what makes the Avid solution that much better than some of the so called "consumer" solutions?

 

Mostly "maturity." The product has been around a long time, so the interface and the processing have evolved to where they're really good. The results of applying a process in Pro Tools often sounds better than performing the same function in a "consumer" app. Kinda like 3ds Max vs. Cheetah3D.

 

Pro Tools also includes some more esoteric, "only pros need 'em" features like the ability to open the audio portion of a video edit session directly, link multiple machines for complex sessions, lock to external hardware... stuff that doesn't matter to one person working in isolation, but are essential in collaborative environments. FCPX is an excellent example of what happens when you're forced to go without workflow stuff like that -- pissed off users.

 

Finally there's "habit." Since almost every pro facility uses it, that's what operators know well. During a recent edit session a producer called me a "Pro Tools ninja." Through years of use I've become familiar with a broad range of features, and become both good at it and fast. Starting from scratch with a new app means throwing away all that experience and expertise.

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

This sounds like a case where a third party could easily pull a lot of customers away from Avid if such customers are open minded.

 

Maybe, but probably not because the only really significant feature they've clawed back is the ability to work in surround. Since it's only a small minority of us that do, and most are in facilities that are used to paying for production hardware, it'll only be small-time freelancers like me that get burned. We're not a big enough market to generate a migration.

post #564 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by v5v View Post

Mostly "maturity." The product has been around a long time, so the interface and the processing have evolved to where they're really good. The results of applying a process in Pro Tools often sounds better than performing the same function in a "consumer" app. Kinda like 3ds Max vs. Cheetah3D.
Maturity does have a lot going for it.
Quote:
Pro Tools also includes some more esoteric, "only pros need 'em" features like the ability to open the audio portion of a video edit session directly, link multiple machines for complex sessions, lock to external hardware... stuff that doesn't matter to one person working in isolation, but are essential in collaborative environments. FCPX is an excellent example of what happens when you're forced to go without workflow stuff like that -- pissed off users.
Some users get pissed off for the littlest of things though. In the case of FCPX the reaction really didn't seem to be justified from somebody looking in from the outside. Really with FCPX being a complete rewrite there was simply no way that it would reproduce the old environment completely. It is a software engineering thing, sometimes you have to rework a product completely in order to be able to migrate it to new technologies in the future. It is interesting because I keep hearing of stories where people are moving back to FCPX.

Frankly I'm not sure why people think that FCPX was to remain completely tactic, to never improve after release. Really it is a reboot of the infrastructure which will evolve just like the original FCP did. We are pulling this thread a little off track with the talk of FCPX but I think it is important in this context because software can evolve rapidly especially with new hardware support for things like AVX.
Quote:
Finally there's "habit." Since almost every pro facility uses it, that's what operators know well. During a recent edit session a producer called me a "Pro Tools ninja." Through years of use I've become familiar with a broad range of features, and become both good at it and fast. Starting from scratch with a new app means throwing away all that experience and expertise.
I can certainly understand the fear and doubt that comes with a software infrastructure change but sometime you just have no choice as companies loose their way. I've seen this in the automation field where once bleeding edge companies die off in the face of new competition or simply revitalized competition. In the end you have no choice but to learn a new software package. Now I don't know if Avid is in this situation yet, but it is surprising how fast companies can fail that we're once considered to be leaders in their fields.
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Maybe, but probably not because the only really significant feature they've clawed back is the ability to work in surround. Since it's only a small minority of us that do, and most are in facilities that are used to paying for production hardware, it'll only be small-time freelancers like me that get burned. We're not a big enough market to generate a migration.

I still see great weakness in a company that is tying software features to compute acceleration hardware. All it really will take to have the rug pulled out from under them is for one or two really smart programmers, that can leverage the latest CPU or GPU technologies, to draw customers away. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that one of the reasons Apple deleted the PCI Express slots is because they fully expect the combination of a new series of XEONs and the option of GPU compute to replace the need for acceleration hardware. The only time I might see compute acceleration as still being required is when precise realtime control is required. It might not happen instantly but new computing hardware offers programmers a chance to really innovate via software. Maybe Avid is agressive enough to realize this and is working on software robustness. It is hard to tell as I've said, I've seen many a company loose its credibility real fast in the marketplace.
post #565 of 1290
OpenCL and its importance.

I know that it the past I've mentioned the importance of OpenCL and its wide adoptance but often have not had good references to software that leverages OpenCL. Here is one example of an interesting app and its use of OpenCL: http://www.brainvoyager.com/bvqx/doc/UsersGuide/AdditionalDocu/ExploitingThePowerOfGPGPUs.html. The site http://www.brainvoyager.com is a time sink in and of itself, but the subject matter is interesting. At times the use of OpenCL in apps is down right boring or the app generates a who cares response. This is an example that isn't boring.

In any event I posted in this thread because this is an example of software that could potentially leverage the new Mac Pros that isn't AV related. Well if you discount MRI videos of the brain as not being AV related. This is just one example of a market where the new Mac Pro might be considered a very good fit.
post #566 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

OpenCL and its importance.

I know that it the past I've mentioned the importance of OpenCL and its wide adoptance but often have not had good references to software that leverages OpenCL. Here is one example of an interesting app and its use of OpenCL: http://www.brainvoyager.com/bvqx/doc/UsersGuide/AdditionalDocu/ExploitingThePowerOfGPGPUs.html. The site http://www.brainvoyager.com is a time sink in and of itself, but the subject matter is interesting. At times the use of OpenCL in apps is down right boring or the app generates a who cares response. This is an example that isn't boring.

In any event I posted in this thread because this is an example of software that could potentially leverage the new Mac Pros that isn't AV related. Well if you discount MRI videos of the brain as not being AV related. This is just one example of a market where the new Mac Pro might be considered a very good fit.

Thanks for the link.   I posed the question on another site that discusses audio recording workstations on whether they might be able to use the GPUs for audio related apps due to Open CL since it's supposed to help with non-graphics related functionality.  The problem others have raised is that the new MacPro has too much GPU horsepower that audio guys simply don't use.  Your average DAW system doesn't need 4K displays, let alone 3 of them.  SO the need to have this much GPU horsepower isn't needed, so they would rather have a more slimed down model that maybe had slots so they can put a variety of PCI cards they already have or plan on purchasing that are directly related to their DAW system.

 

One response was that Open CL didn't appear to be useful in assisting audio related apps, so if this is something Apple may address in future releases, that remains to be seen.

 

One market that Apple has had a tremendous amount of success is in professional audio workstations and most of the well known and respected recording studios generally have a MacPro with Pro Tools cards installed and some of them work on movie and game sound tracks where they might have several hundred audio tracks and God knows how many plug-ins.  I know of one person that has worked at SkyWalker ranch on projects as well as with some of the bigger games out there and he uses Pro Tools cards in a MacPro system.  He's another die hard Apple user that might be affected by the lack of PCI slots.  Those Pro Tools PCI cards are NOT cheap. Someone can easily spend more money on PCI cards and interfaces from Avid than a MacPro computer stuffed with RAM and harddrives.  They don't like having to ditch their serious investment so quickly.  The expansion chassis I know about have lots of fan noise or don't handle more than two PCI cards, when some of these guys have three or more PCI cards. Believe it or not, Magma has been making 13 and 16 PCI card slot chassis for MacPros that typically sell to the ProTools and other markets, but it requires a PCI card to interface to it.  I'm wondering if they may have to come out with a TB or TB2 version which may be the best solution.  But that might be another $5000 just to add 3 cards.  It will be intersting to see what happens.

 

I always thought the Mac Pro should be a unit that could transform from a tower to a rack mounted unit with a simple user installable kit as the best solution for that market.  That's why I'm still a little apprehensive on this unit for certain people. For others, I think it's slick.

post #567 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


They certainly lost a few but I suspect lots of that was mass hysteria. There are indications that some users that left in a huff have switched back. The Mac Pro will likely suffer like FCPx did at first with people not grasping the significance of the advancement and dwelling too long in what is missing. Many of the so called professionals displayed just how far they are from being "professional". In some cases guys made complete asses of them selves, if not an ass the displayed all the evolution of a child that has yet to leave preschool. I'd be most interested to find out just how badly sales really have been hurt by the transition to FCPX.

I know there was a lot of disdain when FCPX came out. I looked at it from both sides, sometimes these high end professionals don't look at it from both sides, but they did have a right to scream about it to a certain extent, but Apple proved that they were going to make good on their vision for it and some came back with a love for the new App.  It was a shock to them as these guys spend more money on one computer than most users and they have seriously stressful jobs to begin with.  They have projects they are responsible for that are EXPENSIVE and time is money in their industry.  They don't mind spending the money if it does what they need.  You would not believe what some of these guys in the audio and video world will do.  How would you like to be in a position where they plunk down a $1 Million mixing console for you to evaluate and you just have it lying around the recording studio sitting there collecting dust for months because you don't have time to evaluate it.   Spend some time in their environment and you'll see their point.   I will back them up to a certain extent because many of them have spend years learning and perfecting their work flow on a software product and they saw it going in a direction which lacked some serious features they rely on day in and day out and that interface change was a significant change.  Biggest change they've seen in years and it was not what they were expecting.  But Apple wanted to get the more consumer friendly version out of the gate first as they continued to develop it for the high end pros.  Combine that with Apple not releasing anything anything that special to the MacPro as they were slow coming in bringing TB and seriously more powerful CPUs. Yeah, some of it is to blame on Intel, dealing with cooling issues.  But I understand their view points and why they got upset.

 

I can always look back on when I worked in the reseller environment dealing with various users, IT admin people, C-level people in the midst of a large, visable, expensive project.

post #568 of 1290
Quote:

Originally Posted by drblank View Post

 

  They don't like having to ditch their serious investment so quickly.  The expansion chassis I know about have lots of fan noise or don't handle more than two PCI cards, when some of these guys have three or more PCI cards. Believe it or not, Magma has been making 13 and 16 PCI card slot chassis for MacPros that typically sell to the ProTools and other markets, but it requires a PCI card to interface to it.  I'm wondering if they may have to come out with a TB or TB2 version which may be the best solution.  But that might be another $5000 just to add 3 cards.  It will be intersting to see what happens.

 

I always thought the Mac Pro should be a unit that could transform from a tower to a rack mounted unit with a simple user installable kit as the best solution for that market.  That's why I'm still a little apprehensive on this unit for certain people. For others, I think it's slick.

It comes down to how many electrical lanes are required and whether the drivers are suitable. Sonnet tests some cards and reports results, even if they are not certified thunderbolt solutions. In terms of PCI cards, it should be possible in upcoming years to add slot based storage via SATA express. I did expect Apple to retain something internally, as it shrunk the internal expansion to a point that is below both the mini and imac. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

  How would you like to be in a position where they plunk down a $1 Million mixing console for you to evaluate and you just have it lying around the recording studio sitting there collecting dust for months because you don't have time to evaluate it.   Spend some time in their environment and you'll see their point.   I will back them up to a certain extent because many of them have spend years learning and perfecting their work flow on a software product and they saw it going in a direction which lacked some serious features they rely on day in and day out and that interface change was a significant change.

That ties into what I previously mentioned about the most demanding users often being fairly conservative on purchases. They need time to evaluate, and require everything to be in place. Without that the new machine is less productive than the old one. I'm somewhat surprised to hear of something that expensive being sidelined. I think whatever outrage was a combination of things. The old version had languished for a while. When the new one came out, they initially pulled the ability to obtain further licenses of the old FCP, and support seems to have dropped off rather quickly. No one is going to change software in the middle of a job, especially if the new program can't read the old data.

post #569 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

Thanks for the link.   I posed the question on another site that discusses audio recording workstations on whether they might be able to use the GPUs for audio related apps due to Open CL since it's supposed to help with non-graphics related functionality.  The problem others have raised is that the new MacPro has too much GPU horsepower that audio guys simply don't use.  Your average DAW system doesn't need 4K displays, let alone 3 of them.  SO the need to have this much GPU horsepower isn't needed, so they would rather have a more slimed down model that maybe had slots so they can put a variety of PCI cards they already have or plan on purchasing that are directly related to their DAW system.
While it seems like it has been around forever GPU computing is really just getting off the ground! Both NVidia and AMD have "adjusted" thier GPU chips over the last couple of years to better support usage for compute applications. For audio work the real question is this, are there algorithms that can exploit the GPUs nature. That is parallel processing of data. I'm not an expert at such signal processing so I can't say if the problem domain fits today's GPUs however in the past DSP chips where used for such applications.

What I'm really trying to say here is that just because it hasn't been done in the past doesn't mean it can't be done in the future. The real trick with GPU compute is having a problem that maps well to the GPU. One of the reasons I don't like the term GPGPU is that the first GP (General Purpose) isn't really true, The problem really has to fit the GPU architecture to get the performance scaling people always crow about.
Quote:
One response was that Open CL didn't appear to be useful in assisting audio related apps, so if this is something Apple may address in future releases, that remains to be seen.
Well I can't say what that response was referencing but I don't see a simple yah or nay being the right approach here. It really depends upon your algorithms and how wide your data is. On top of that new instructions in Intel processors like AVX can adjust the tripping point where GPU compute is worthwhile.
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One market that Apple has had a tremendous amount of success is in professional audio workstations and most of the well known and respected recording studios generally have a MacPro with Pro Tools cards installed and some of them work on movie and game sound tracks where they might have several hundred audio tracks and God knows how many plug-ins.  I know of one person that has worked at SkyWalker ranch on projects as well as with some of the bigger games out there and he uses Pro Tools cards in a MacPro system.  He's another die hard Apple user that might be affected by the lack of PCI slots.
The lack of PCI Express slots is a real problem. Further thereis no metric to say how fast the professional work station market will switch over if the do at all. Even one slot would have went a very long way in the new Mac Pro.
Quote:
 Those Pro Tools PCI cards are NOT cheap. Someone can easily spend more money on PCI cards and interfaces from Avid than a MacPro computer stuffed with RAM and harddrives.  They don't like having to ditch their serious investment so quickly.  The expansion chassis I know about have lots of fan noise or don't handle more than two PCI cards, when some of these guys have three or more PCI cards. Believe it or not, Magma has been making 13 and 16 PCI card slot chassis for MacPros that typically sell to the ProTools and other markets, but it requires a PCI card to interface to it.  I'm wondering if they may have to come out with a TB or TB2 version which may be the best solution.  But that might be another $5000 just to add 3 cards.  It will be intersting to see what happens.

I always thought the Mac Pro should be a unit that could transform from a tower to a rack mounted unit with a simple user installable kit as the best solution for that market.  That's why I'm still a little apprehensive on this unit for certain people. For others, I think it's slick.

It did seem like a better approach, that is a machine that could easily convert to rack mount.

As to the coming Mac Pro design and the over abundance of performance for some users, with a little tweaking this machine would be real close to what I have imagined an XMac would be. Drop one GPU card and put a disk drive in its place along with a nice Haswell desktop and there you go - XMac.

In any event Apple used the "up to" phrase many times in their online debut, I really suspect what we have seen at this point is the maxed out model. As such I really think there will be a less powerful entry level model.
post #570 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post




In any event Apple used the "up to" phrase many times in their online debut, I really suspect what we have seen at this point is the maxed out model. As such I really think there will be a less powerful entry level model.

The entry and mid level models are always the ones that interest me. I lose interest once it goes way beyond what is feasible in my case, given that the base tower prior to adding stuff to it is no more than 40% of total spending to get a workable solution. In Drblank's case I suspect the percentage may be even lower. $800 pci housings are still expensive even then. It's partly that I dislike things that aren't designed to be a unit or on a very specific standard, partly that I dislike new costs, and partly that I dislike additional hardware links.

post #571 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

It comes down to how many electrical lanes are required and whether the drivers are suitable. Sonnet tests some cards and reports results, even if they are not certified thunderbolt solutions. In terms of PCI cards, it should be possible in upcoming years to add slot based storage via SATA express. I did expect Apple to retain something internally, as it shrunk the internal expansion to a point that is below both the mini and imac. 

 

That ties into what I previously mentioned about the most demanding users often being fairly conservative on purchases. They need time to evaluate, and require everything to be in place. Without that the new machine is less productive than the old one. I'm somewhat surprised to hear of something that expensive being sidelined. I think whatever outrage was a combination of things. The old version had languished for a while. When the new one came out, they initially pulled the ability to obtain further licenses of the old FCP, and support seems to have dropped off rather quickly. No one is going to change software in the middle of a job, especially if the new program can't read the old data.

Yeah, one thing I've learned about the high end video and audio production people is that some of them money isn't an issue, for some it is. What's hilarious is that some ultra high end studios have rigs just to say they have them to attract the Top producers, but that doesn't mean they actually use it in production.  It's a strange world these guys live in.  It's kind of funny when a high end recording studio might some outrageous ultra custom monitor system in the control room, million dollar consoles, etc.  Imagine that probably a vast amount of pop music these days might be using microphones costing several thousand a piece for a vocalist, it then gets routed through a million dollar console, through another vast amount of other equipment worth tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, yet they monitors they use to actually hear everything is a pair of cheap $200 bookshelf speakers that literally sound like crap to someone that's an audiophile trained ear and then it gets ripped down to a compressed MP3 which further destroys the sonic quality on a pair of $10 earbuds.  It's just a weird industry...  I've known guys that will pay through the nose for one thing and then turn around and be completely cheap about some thing else in the audio chain that's actually more important.  Sometimes things just don't make sense.

 

I forgot to add.  They could have done the SAME quality production using a $50 app called Auria on a iPad and using a decent pair of headphones to record some vocalist because the rest of the tracks were created on a laptop using a $400 software package.  Go figure.

post #572 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Some users get pissed off for the littlest of things though. In the case of FCPX the reaction really didn't seem to be justified from somebody looking in from the outside.

 

The "littlest thing" can sometimes be a really, really big thing. Losing just one codec or breaking one link can bring down a production workflow. Our system is completely dependant on a feature that most users don't even know about or understand. If Avid suddenly dropped it because most users will never need it we'd be screwed. The availability of features like that are part of the reason we use a "pro" app and not a consumer "equivalent." Avid gets that. Apple didn't.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Really with FCPX being a complete rewrite there was simply no way that it would reproduce the old environment completely.

 

That's EXACTLY what Avid is doing with the next version of Pro Tools. The "engine" needed a rewrite, so they've sacrificed compatibility with every plug-in ever written for Pro Tools in order to do it. But, unlike Apple, they HAVE reproduced the entire environment. The issue that's got me upset appears to be a marketing decision, not a missing feature. That is, the one middle-tier capability they dropped can still be had just by throwing more money at it. FCPX users didn't have that option. Things that were not included could not be added just by paying more.

 

 

Further, it's disingenuous to promote a system as a "professional" solution then say users are whiners when they object to it being dumbed down.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

It is interesting because I keep hearing of stories where people are moving back to FCPX.

 

Sure, because the features that should have been there in the first place are now finally available! 1wink.gif

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I can certainly understand the fear and doubt that comes with a software infrastructure change but sometime you just have no choice as companies loose their way. [...] In the end you have no choice but to learn a new software package

 

That was certainly true for FCP users. They had no choice. Even if they DIDN'T change suppliers and stayed with FCP, it meant learning not just new controls but a completely new operating paradigm. That probably would have been met with grumbles but acceptance if users could still do the work they did before the rewrite. The fact that they couldn't is what escalated the grumbling to growling (and rightly so).

post #573 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by v5v View Post

 

The "littlest thing" can sometimes be a really, really big thing. Losing just one codec or breaking one link can bring down a production workflow. Our system is completely dependant on a feature that most users don't even know about or understand. If Avid suddenly dropped it because most users will never need it we'd be screwed. The availability of features like that are part of the reason we use a "pro" app and not a consumer "equivalent." Avid gets that. Apple didn't.

 

 

 

That's EXACTLY what Avid is doing with the next version of Pro Tools. The "engine" needed a rewrite, so they've sacrificed compatibility with every plug-in ever written for Pro Tools in order to do it. But, unlike Apple, they HAVE reproduced the entire environment. The issue that's got me upset appears to be a marketing decision, not a missing feature. That is, the one middle-tier capability they dropped can still be had just by throwing more money at it. FCPX users didn't have that option. Things that were not included could not be added just by paying more.

 

 

Further, it's disingenuous to promote a system as a "professional" solution then say users are whiners when they object to it being dumbed down.

 

 

 

Sure, because the features that should have been there in the first place are now finally available! 1wink.gif

 

That was certainly true for FCP users. They had no choice. Even if they DIDN'T change suppliers and stayed with FCP, it meant learning not just new controls but a completely new operating paradigm. That probably would have been met with grumbles but acceptance if users could still do the work they did before the rewrite. The fact that they couldn't is what escalated the grumbling to growling (and rightly so).

Apple took a chance with FCPX to release what was more of a replacement to FCP Express, but what they did was to repackage it and they released something to get FCP Express users taken care of first because that represents a bigger crowd of people to get used to the new GUI and work flow, etc., the features they pulled out that were add-ons were done because not everyone used them and they figured to sell what the majority of people use, and then add-on extras.  They also weren't finished with the more high end features which they DID add after a few updates just like they said.  They took out Soundtrack because most people were using either Logic, ProTools and other DAWs and they are far more comprehensive than Soundtack Pro plus Apple reduced the over all price drastically to make it less expensive.  Yeah, the Pros got bent out of shape because it didn't multi cam which was added and improved, and other important features that have been added, but the end result for most is a better product.  There was also dirt cheap third party app to transfer older projects over.

 

Well, you can always submit feedback to Apple on features you want and maybe they'll add it later.  Apple DOES do that.  So don't think that they won't.  It doesn't cost you anything to submit feedback through their website.  It's there for you to vent, voice your concerns, ideas, suggestions for enhancements, bugs, etc. etc.  I use it all of the time and I can say that they do get around to addressing MOST of the requests I've made.  I also try to submit professional submissions rather than just being hot headed about it.  But I can say that I've had great success in getting things that I've requested added.  I'd say that so far, I'm getting about 75 to 80% of what I submit added at some point in time.  That's not bad, so far. Some things I suggested, I found out 10 minutes after I pressed the submit button that the feature was actually there, which was even better!  I just didn't dig deep enough to realize it.  That happens.  But they actually do get around to doing it.  I think it depends on how high on the importance list it is, how easy it is to do, etc. etc.  At least they have the balls to put a feedback site that does get routed to the right group of people and they DO READ IT and do listen.  But you or I aren't the only people submitting ideas, they probably get a TON of submissions daily.

 

Professional? A LOT of Professionals that were whining in the beginning with FCPX later got the enhancements they were waiting for, actually took the time to get used to it, and later came back and said it was worth it. They love it more than the previous version.  I've seen people submit reviews where they actually apologized on the app store reviews.  Apple just did what they did, but they addressed 99.99% of the issues, but then again, it's not like it's never going to have future updates.  So it is now a PROFESSIONAL grade app, it's just giving non-professionals, students the same app to use so when they become professional, they don't have to relearn a different app.  Meanwhile, iMovie got better for the non-professional and it believe it or not has been used to create movies that were shown in movie theaters.  I think some of the documentaries Michael Moore did were done using an older version of iMovie on an older iMac.  So there is proof that even a free video editor that comes with the computer IS capable to create something that has been viewed and I think Moore got Acedemy Awards.  Go figure.  It's all what the user does with the software that makes it professional or not.  Heck, there are some people that will do something professional on Garage Band.  It may  not be what you or I would use, but if the user can do something using free software bundled with the computer and charge money for their work, then they using it in a professional capacity.

 

I saw an in depth comparison back when FCPX was first being changed and the person was a college professor that teaches NLP in a reputable college and he was giving his review on the FCPX and Premier and overall, FCPX won and was suggested to be the main focus of future instruction.  The areas that Premier won were things he felt Apple would address in future versions and there were things about both that were pretty much equal.  But there were aspects that FCPX was far superior to Premier.

 

Now, obviously these companies are ALWAYS going to be making enhancements,etc. and I think for a professional that's doing serious work, there are some things that each app is better at.  one thing that the professor mentioned is that in large work flows, they'll have many people doing different aspects of the total process and it's common for one person to use one app over another, but use all three at some point in time.  It's all what you do and need.  But not everyone abandoned FCPX.  There is a whole new crop of kids getting out of college knowing these apps and they'll use whatever they feel comfortable with and FCPX is one of them.



From my experience dealing with high end professionals, they usually spend time with a new app before they actually put it in a work flow, unless it's a minor update.  These apps are NOT always simple updates that just add a couple of features. I would NEVER suggest to anyone in the middle of a large project to upgrade an important application or even the OS right in the middle until it's been given some time to find out what bugs exist, etc.. The main reasons are there are always some minor bugs that have to surface and get fixed first before they become stable enough for production work.  Even Avid takes a while when there is new version of OS X before they tell users to use it with ProTools.  It's similar to how large corporations upgrade WIndows.  Most will NOT upgrade Windows on their employees computers as soon as a new version is released and they sometimes have to wait until Service Pack 1 or sometimes 2 comes out, which can take a year or two.  Why?  They wait until it's stable enough and they've tested all of their internal apps, know how to train the users, drivers, etc. etc.  and they know there will be a minimal amount of issues to deal with.

post #574 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

I know there was a lot of disdain when FCPX came out. I looked at it from both sides, sometimes these high end professionals don't look at it from both sides, but they did have a right to scream about it to a certain extent, but Apple proved that they were going to make good on their vision for it and some came back with a love for the new App.
The problem I have with this is that it was well known that FCP was going through a major overhaul. Knowing that the user base should have realized that the software would change a bit.
Quote:
 It was a shock to them as these guys spend more money on one computer than most users and they have seriously stressful jobs to begin with.  They have projects they are responsible for that are EXPENSIVE and time is money in their industry.  They don't mind spending the money if it does what they need.  You would not believe what some of these guys in the audio and video world will do.  How would you like to be in a position where they plunk down a $1 Million mixing console for you to evaluate and you just have it lying around the recording studio sitting there collecting dust for months because you don't have time to evaluate it.  
I've seen similar examples of stuff hanging around for months, even years in some cases waiting to be put into production, evaluated or applied to an R&D effort. This is not uncommon at all in a variety of industries.

In any event the two big problems I had with the overwhelming noise when FCPX came out where the snap decisions cooled with not understanding software development. The second problem was the price complaints. Its a strange situation when a company lowers the price on something causing the users to complain.
Quote:
Spend some time in their environment and you'll see their point.  
Some of them maybe but the majority of the crap I saw posted back when FCPX was released would have gotten many of these jokers fired in other industries. Nobody likes a a bully that can't work with the tools available to them.
Quote:
I will back them up to a certain extent because many of them have spend years learning and perfecting their work flow on a software product and they saw it going in a direction which lacked some serious features they rely on day in and day out and that interface change was a significant change.
Missing features are a legitimate complaint but again this is a complete refactoring of FCP, so why would you expect the first version out of the gate to have everything you want?
Quote:
 Biggest change they've seen in years and it was not what they were expecting.  But Apple wanted to get the more consumer friendly version out of the gate first as they continued to develop it for the high end pros.  
You see that is baloney, nothing they did with the debut of this product indicated that they where targeting consumers. They lowered the price but why that gets confused with targeting consumers is beyond me. The reality is it is software. As such the profits are pretty huge.
Quote:
Combine that with Apple not releasing anything anything that special to the MacPro as they were slow coming in bringing TB and seriously more powerful CPUs. Yeah, some of it is to blame on Intel, dealing with cooling issues.  But I understand their view points and why they got upset.
Frankly I was not at all pleased with the way they have handled the Mac Pro over the last few years. I really don't have the intention of buying one of the old big box machines, but rather see it as a lack of direction or commitment on Apples part. It isn't even clear to me that Apple can recover from the damage they did to themselves. I agree some blame rests on Intels shoulders but Apple shamelessly bungle the old Mac Pro for almost four years.
Quote:
I can always look back on when I worked in the reseller environment dealing with various users, IT admin people, C-level people in the midst of a large, visable, expensive project.
post #575 of 1290
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

The entry and mid level models are always the ones that interest me.
Which Apple never really had in a desktop form factor. As you know being an XMac advocate for years now a more feasibly priced Mac Pro is something I'm hoping for.
Quote:
I lose interest once it goes way beyond what is feasible in my case, given that the base tower prior to adding stuff to it is no more than 40% of total spending to get a workable solution. In Drblank's case I suspect the percentage may be even lower. $800 pci housings are still expensive even then. It's partly that I dislike things that aren't designed to be a unit or on a very specific standard, partly that I dislike new costs, and partly that I dislike additional hardware links.
Hardware links are an interesting discussion as there are so many use cases. For many new Mac Pro users the number of cable would likely be the same. If remote I/O solutions are used you might actually cut back own cable density at the back of the PC. As for card racks, PCI-Express cards are really terrible for the types of I/O that many professionals use these days.
post #576 of 1290
What you describe below is why I don't give the whiners complaining about FCPx much credit. If you are going to whine at least make sense to us mortals.
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

Yeah, one thing I've learned about the high end video and audio production people is that some of them money isn't an issue, for some it is. What's hilarious is that some ultra high end studios have rigs just to say they have them to attract the Top producers, but that doesn't mean they actually use it in production.  It's a strange world these guys live in.  It's kind of funny when a high end recording studio might some outrageous ultra custom monitor system in the control room, million dollar consoles, etc.
For some of this stuff the price tags aren't unreasonable. These companies are likely selling these consoles at a few per year.
Quote:
 Imagine that probably a vast amount of pop music these days might be using microphones costing several thousand a piece for a vocalist, it then gets routed through a million dollar console, through another vast amount of other equipment worth tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, yet they monitors they use to actually hear everything is a pair of cheap $200 bookshelf speakers that literally sound like crap to someone that's an audiophile trained ear and then it gets ripped down to a compressed MP3 which further destroys the sonic quality on a pair of $10 earbuds.  It's just a weird industry...  I've known guys that will pay through the nose for one thing and then turn around and be completely cheap about some thing else in the audio chain that's actually more important.  Sometimes things just don't make sense.
Ten dollar earbuds that don't fit right and sound significantly worst if the buds are slightly out of place. It is a strange business no doubt.
Quote:
I forgot to add.  They could have done the SAME quality production using a $50 app called Auria on a iPad and using a decent pair of headphones to record some vocalist because the rest of the tracks were created on a laptop using a $400 software package.  Go figure.

Sometimes running a business is all about the show. Make the customer feel good and your profits will go up. Wheeling and dealing and all that jazz.
post #577 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


The problem I have with this is that it was well known that FCP was going through a major overhaul. Knowing that the user base should have realized that the software would change a bit.
I've seen similar examples of stuff hanging around for months, even years in some cases waiting to be put into production, evaluated or applied to an R&D effort. This is not uncommon at all in a variety of industries.

In any event the two big problems I had with the overwhelming noise when FCPX came out where the snap decisions cooled with not understanding software development. The second problem was the price complaints. Its a strange situation when a company lowers the price on something causing the users to complain.
Some of them maybe but the majority of the crap I saw posted back when FCPX was released would have gotten many of these jokers fired in other industries. Nobody likes a a bully that can't work with the tools available to them.
Missing features are a legitimate complaint but again this is a complete refactoring of FCP, so why would you expect the first version out of the gate to have everything you want?
You see that is baloney, nothing they did with the debut of this product indicated that they where targeting consumers. They lowered the price but why that gets confused with targeting consumers is beyond me. The reality is it is software. As such the profits are pretty huge.
Frankly I was not at all pleased with the way they have handled the Mac Pro over the last few years. I really don't have the intention of buying one of the old big box machines, but rather see it as a lack of direction or commitment on Apples part. It isn't even clear to me that Apple can recover from the damage they did to themselves. I agree some blame rests on Intels shoulders but Apple shamelessly bungle the old Mac Pro for almost four years.

I don't know why users complain when the price for something goes down.  Look at what Avid and Premier, they have to lower the price of their product to compete, isn't that a good thing?  I would welcome a price decrease.  It certainly makes it more affordable to use all three.

 

most users only look at this from their perspective, they didn't 'LISTEN" to what Apple said about the features they were requesting were going to be added.  Sometimes they CAN'T make formal announcements about until they have a firm answer or they are ready to make a formal announcement.  They mentioned multicam support was going to be added, but they wanted to keep certain things a secret to make it a bigger surprise.  Apple likes surprises, hopefully good ones.

 

They were obviously waiting for INTEL to release new processors, TB2 chip sets, they are probably still mulling over the finished design, cooling system, etc, etc.  How else are they supposed to handle it?  They can't produce something out of thin air when they are relying on other companies to make their announcements and releasing their components..  Apple was at the mercy of Intel in a lot of ways.  What could they do?  Apple had made an announcement about how they were working on a new MacPro and they wanted to release a new product that had a lot of compelling features and speed increases to make it worthwhile.  What would you have done?  Apple doesn't design X86 chips, that's Intel.  Apple doesn't design these GPUs, other do, Apple doesn't design Thunderbolt, Intel does. Then they are still dealing with faster SSD, memory, and obviously the cooling issue, which is a big one.  There really isn't anything else they could have done.  Companies like to keep things secret until announcement date because they want to be able to show something and talk about speeds and feeds, if they aren't ready to show something, then why talk about it, other than "we're working on it".  HP and others don't talk about something until they are ready to announce something. So what's different about them?  

 

I think calling Apple bundling shamelessy is a little harsh and unwarranted.  They can't show anything until they have something that is working and they can't talk about a future spec if Intel hasn't made their announcements.  Intel didn't release anything on Thunderbolt 2 until shortly before Apple's sneak peak..  A lot of time Apple can't discuss it because they have NDA's with their component vendors, so Apple can't really do much with the big box MacPro except do what upgrades they have available.  Apple's in a tough position, they are damned if they do and damned if they don't.  it's part of being a Computer maker.  Some industries give sneak peaks at new products, some don't.  The computer industry has typically always liked secrecy because of what happened with Osborne computers.  A lot of people don't remember that or were old enough.  Osborne had a popular luggable CP/M computer and they opened their mouth on a new product TOO EARLY.  What happened?  People stopped buying the current model.  OOOOPS.  it forced the company into bankruptcy.  Why?  to talk about a future product.

 

What happens in the smartphone industry with Apple?  They make an announcement, sales skyrocket, and then after about 3 months, the rumors start to surface because some people want to know what the NEXT product is out of being impatient.  Then people start speculating, and then what happens to sales?  They start to drop off before a product announcement.  Apple doesn't do 6 month product refreshes on smartphones.  They do it, OBVIOUSLY, on a yearly basis.  So they have what they have to sell in the mean time. People, the media, analysts think they are always entitled to know about what a company is working on before it's released.  Guess what?  Companies like to wait until they are ready to show something that SHIPPABLE.  We all have to just sit back and wait and if you have something you want in terms or hardware or software features, etc. submit feedback, maybe your wants and desires will get fulfilled.

post #578 of 1290

I'm with Wizard on this one.

 

They left the Mac Pro to languish on the vine.  You can certainly take the view above.  Sure.

 

But in four years, how did Apple make the Pro more attractive?

 

A price cut?

 

Up the ram?

 

Bigger hard drive?

 

Better GPU?

 

All things within their control.  

 

They could have even created a 'Pro' line based  upon the i7 processors and SLI'd the gpu  (ironic...) and given the range a price cut to get it back to sane levels last seen with the Blue and White G3.  It could have been priced like the current iMac...and you'd still have to get the Studio display.

 

You'd have a mainstream workstation with a great price adding more desktop sales.  Sure, some cannibilisation...but it would be their own product.  A sale is a sale.

 

But.


They didn't.

 

They let it rot.  

 

We didn't need fancy (and expensive) Xeon cpus back in the day...

 

They did it to themselves.

 

£2045 inc vat for a crappy quad core Xeon with ancient gpu, stingy ram...'modest' hard drive...then you have to pay for a  near £1000 display?

 

'Only Apple.' 

 

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #579 of 1290

As for FCPX?

 

People struggle with change.

 

As for the new Pro?

 

People struggle with change.

 

I remember people whining about the iMac Bondi without floppy, the iPod, OS X etc.  

 

Apple are still here.  Still challenging and being challenging.

 

I'll give them that.  That's why I buy their kit and they have the best OS in the business.

 

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #580 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

I'm with Wizard on this one.

 

They left the Mac Pro to languish on the vine.  You can certainly take the view above.  Sure.

 

But in four years, how did Apple make the Pro more attractive?

 

A price cut?

 

Up the ram?

 

Bigger hard drive?

 

Better GPU?

 

All things within their control.  

 

They could have even created a 'Pro' line based  upon the i7 processors and SLI'd the gpu  (ironic...) and given the range a price cut to get it back to sane levels last seen with the Blue and White G3.  It could have been priced like the current iMac...and you'd still have to get the Studio display.

 

You'd have a mainstream workstation with a great price adding more desktop sales.  Sure, some cannibilisation...but it would be their own product.  A sale is a sale.

 

But.


They didn't.

 

They let it rot.  

 

We didn't need fancy (and expensive) Xeon cpus back in the day...

 

They did it to themselves.

 

£2045 inc vat for a crappy quad core Xeon with ancient gpu, stingy ram...'modest' hard drive...then you have to pay for a  near £1000 display?

 

'Only Apple.' 

 

Lemon Bon Bon.

The problem is they don't have enough sales to make a drastic enough change to the system where they have to change the case and the boards inside, that costs lots of money to do it, and if the sales aren't enough to warrant it and they don't see that they can make ENOUGH compelling changes, then it's leave it as is and do only the minimal CPU change if they can just plug in a little faster CPU.  I hear you, but also know the profits side of things.  Sometimes they can't make enough changes to make it worth while doing.  It's a shame, but the high end market they are in is seeing the same thing from other PC mfg.  I don't see a lot of changes either.

 

I think you're right on the i7 based tower.  I agree to make a lower cost single processor.  I put a request in for that.

 

I also think Apple should make a Mac MIni Pro, where they stick the guts of the higher end iMac in a slightly larger case similar to the Mac Mini,  I think that would sell like hot cakes.

post #581 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

As for FCPX?

 

People struggle with change.

 

As for the new Pro?

 

People struggle with change.

 

I remember people whining about the iMac Bondi without floppy, the iPod, OS X etc.  

 

Apple are still here.  Still challenging and being challenging.

 

I'll give them that.  That's why I buy their kit and they have the best OS in the business.

 

Lemon Bon Bon.

You're right about people struggling with change, but the biggest potential problem I see with the MacPro is lack of internal PCI slots for the ProTools and other PCI card guys where they have a SERIOUS investment in PCI cards.  For ProTools guys, they have invested more money in their PCI cards that they may not be able to find a suitable solution moving forward.  That's where it remains to be seen if this new MacPro is going to have a cost effective solution for those that have or want/need to buy lots of ProTools and other PCI cards.  Right now, Magma has PCI chassis that have13 or more slots, but it requires a PCI card to interface with it. and there are those that have those external PCI chassis filled up with various cards because ProTools or whatever else requires it to do the things that the CPU just can't do.  With ProTools HDX 11, I think with 3 cards, they can do up to 768 tracks.  Yeah, that's overkill for a LOT of people, but for those doing movie sound tracks, apparently Avid thinks there is enough people requiring that much to handle 768 tracks with tons of AAX plugs ins.  And buying a bunch of those cards are probably more expensive than a fully stuffed MacPro, and they'll gladly pay the money to do it.

 

I'm just observing a potential problem for some, that's all.  I do hope it gets worked out for all parties concerned.  I hate seeing someone not buy what they really wanted because of a silly limitation. 

post #582 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

I'm with Wizard on this one.

They left the Mac Pro to languish on the vine.  You can certainly take the view above.  Sure.

But in four years, how did Apple make the Pro more attractive?

A price cut?

Up the ram?

Bigger hard drive?

Better GPU?

All things within their control.  
Exactly! Some of these things would have been so simple as to allow a burger flipper to do the upgrade. More RAM or better hard drive options being big considerations. Even if Intel is partially responsible for the lack of a CPU upgrade that doesn't justify the ancient GPU card still shipping with the machine.
Quote:
They could have even created a 'Pro' line based  upon the i7 processors and SLI'd the gpu  (ironic...) and given the range a price cut to get it back to sane levels last seen with the Blue and White G3.  It could have been priced like the current iMac...and you'd still have to get the Studio display.
My greates concern with the new Mac Pro is pricing and market positioning. I see great potential for a far lower price but tht doesn't mean that Apple will follow through. They really need an entry level machine below $2000, actually well below that proce point.
Quote:
You'd have a mainstream workstation with a great price adding more desktop sales.  Sure, some cannibilisation...but it would be their own product.  A sale is a sale.
In many ways he new Mac Pro is so close to being an XMac that it hurts. They could get 90% of the way to an XMac simply by deleteing one GPU card and offering a Haswell desktop processor. Sell it for $1200 and rake in the profits.
Quote:
But.


They didn't.

They let it rot.  

We didn't need fancy (and expensive) Xeon cpus back in the day...

They did it to themselves.
All three points above are completely valid. Lately I've begun to wonder if the old machine was left to rot to make the new machine look better.
Quote:
£2045 inc vat for a crappy quad core Xeon with ancient gpu, stingy ram...'modest' hard drive...then you have to pay for a  near £1000 display?

'Only Apple.' 

Lemon Bon Bon.

Lets hope that the success of the Air line up has taught them a thing or two about pricing.
post #583 of 1290
The struggle with change is a real issue. Sometimes it is unavoidable, sometimes it is ill advised.

For me the biggest short coming with this new machine is the lack of PCI Express expansion slots. That missing feature is ill advised for a desktop machine. Especially in a machine targeting advanced users.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

As for FCPX?

People struggle with change.

As for the new Pro?

People struggle with change.

I remember people whining about the iMac Bondi without floppy, the iPod, OS X etc.  

Apple are still here.  Still challenging and being challenging.

I'll give them that.  That's why I buy their kit and they have the best OS in the business.

Lemon Bon Bon.
post #584 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by v5v View Post

 

Well, one reason "why not" is that putting rectangular devices in a cylindrical enclosure is not a particularly efficient use of space.

 

No, but why would the housing surrounding a *round* optical disc need to be rectangular anyway? And of what geometric shape are many of the components that will be within the upcoming MacPro? Even in situations where a component case needs to be more rectangular than round, applying radiused corners can largely address the concern of space efficiency.

 

My question about possible design solutions in housing components is more about aesthetics than form following function. Maybe more for those who don't really need such a beast, but elect to get one for bragging rights or whatever (like the guy who owns a Porsche 911 GT3, but has never been on a race track a day in his life), I suspect there will be a number of accessory manufacturers who copy the basic MacPro design for their enclosures or accessories in some form or fashion.

 

Even if/when my BTO iMac craps out, I certainly can't see that I would need one of these things - but I find myself lusting after if nonetheless. Oh baby, come to daddy!

If two people always agree, then one of them is redundant.
Reply
If two people always agree, then one of them is redundant.
Reply
post #585 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

One market that Apple has had a tremendous amount of success is in professional audio workstations and most of the well known and respected recording studios generally have a MacPro with Pro Tools cards installed and some of them work on movie and game sound tracks where they might have several hundred audio tracks and God knows how many plug-ins.  I know of one person that has worked at SkyWalker ranch on projects as well as with some of the bigger games out there and he uses Pro Tools cards in a MacPro system.  He's another die hard Apple user that might be affected by the lack of PCI slots.  Those Pro Tools PCI cards are NOT cheap. Someone can easily spend more money on PCI cards and interfaces from Avid than a MacPro computer stuffed with RAM and harddrives.  They don't like having to ditch their serious investment so quickly.  The expansion chassis I know about have lots of fan noise or don't handle more than two PCI cards, when some of these guys have three or more PCI cards. Believe it or not, Magma has been making 13 and 16 PCI card slot chassis for MacPros that typically sell to the ProTools and other markets, but it requires a PCI card to interface to it.  I'm wondering if they may have to come out with a TB or TB2 version which may be the best solution.  But that might be another $5000 just to add 3 cards.  It will be intersting to see what happens.

For ProTools guys, they have invested more money in their PCI cards that they may not be able to find a suitable solution moving forward. That's where it remains to be seen if this new MacPro is going to have a cost effective solution for those that have or want/need to buy lots of ProTools and other PCI cards. Right now, Magma has PCI chassis that have13 or more slots, but it requires a PCI card to interface with it. and there are those that have those external PCI chassis filled up with various cards because ProTools or whatever else requires it to do the things that the CPU just can't do. With ProTools HDX 11, I think with 3 cards, they can do up to 768 tracks. Yeah, that's overkill for a LOT of people, but for those doing movie sound tracks, apparently Avid thinks there is enough people requiring that much to handle 768 tracks with tons of AAX plugs ins. And buying a bunch of those cards are probably more expensive than a fully stuffed MacPro, and they'll gladly pay the money to do it.

I'm just observing a potential problem for some, that's all. I do hope it gets worked out for all parties concerned. I hate seeing someone not buy what they really wanted because of a silly limitation.

There's a page here with some feature film audio examples:

http://www.avid.com/US/about-avid/customer-stories/Avatar

"The orchestra is recorded on one Pro Tools|HD rig at 96 kHz, with the synths on a second rig at 48 kHz. We then mix to a third Pro Tools|HD rig, which is recording all the stems for film. We end up with more than 96 tracks of stems, as well as the original multitrack.

With three Pro Tools machines locked using Satellite Link and synced to picture through Video Satellite LE, Rhodes mixes the project in 5.1 surround on an ICON D-Command® console.

The sheer complexity of the project would be impossible to handle without Pro Tools|HD, says Franglen. “One of the biggest breakthroughs for me is the fact that we no longer worry about file sizes or track counts. On one nine-minute cue, for example, we’ve got close to 450 tracks and a file size of around 56 GB.”

“It’s really quite astounding how the technology has evolved,” Franglen continues. “On Titanic, I carried two tons of equipment with me. On Avatar, I used a Mac Pro, Pro Tools|HD, 16 GB of RAM, and 6 TB of hard disk space. Everything was done inside the box, without a single outside synth. Whereas Titanic involved a huge process of simply setting up from session to session, now it takes just 10 minutes to hook up a display — it’s all just down to Pro Tools|HD.”

An ex-Avid employee tests out the Thunderbolt chassis here with two HDX cards:

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/gear-shoot-outs-sound-file-comparisons-audio-tests/783953-magma-vs-sonnet-thunderbolt-chassis-comparison-w-photos.html

"I saw 905 Channel strips cranking for two hours on a retina MBP. That means my HDX rig is now as portable as my laptop, and as powerful as my Mac Pro."

In the Avid video, they demo the same HDX2 with an Intensity video card in the 3rd slot:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uw_jBQB6FD0#at=50

Someone here has it working with their MBP:

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/pro-tools-10-hdx/706237-magma-expressbox-3t-hdx-working.html

"Just got it working today with a new 15" Retina Display Macbook Pro and Pro Tools 10.3.2
Haven't had a chance to do an exact comparison to the Mac Pro towers we're using yet but in general performance seems very close. A quad orchestral mix running with lots of RTAS plugs and 235 voices."

Fan noise is probably a bigger concern than performance. Someone here has a portable setup with a Red Rocket and you can hear the fan kicking in:



Still easier than hauling a Mac Pro around in that scenario. Someone on the above page with the HDX2 replaced the fan in the Sonnet chassis with a quieter one. With a long enough cable, the boxes can sit in a ventilated cupboard somewhere.

One plus with the new Mac Pro is that there's no having to decide between fast GPUs and extra cards. The Radeon 5870 needed both power plugs in the Pro but the HDX cards needed one of them and then each card had connectors to each other (up to 3 cards). Now you can get dual FirePro W9000s plus 3 HDX cards in a chassis and you can buy multiple chassis for other cards. If people already paid 3x $5k for HDX cards or other, $1-2k for a box or two is not that much.

You wouldn't need one box per card. The Avatar audio above was 56GB for 9 minutes - that's just 104MB/s, which is well below TB1 bandwidth so it's processor-limited and not bandwidth-limited.
post #586 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Fields View Post

Details are wrong in several places about the ports.

There are zero Firewire 800 ports, not two as stated in the article.
There are four USB 3 ports; the article forgot to mention them.
There are two Ethernet ports; the article is vague on this.

There are 6 Thunderbolt 2 ports which are backwards compatible with FireWire.
Edited by beardbuster - 7/7/13 at 5:17pm
post #587 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Missing features are a legitimate complaint but again this is a complete refactoring of FCP, so why would you expect the first version out of the gate to have everything you want?

 

Because it's supposed to be a *PRO* app, not a consumer product. The rewrite was a plus and I commend them for it, but it's not acceptable to sacrifice critical workflow features to do it. Avid just completed a rewrite of the Pro Tools engine and it didn't become a prosumer product as a result.

 

Yes, Apple did eventually finish the app, but it took them two years to do it.

 

The only thing I don't understand is why those who rely on certain features of the "old" FCP didn't just stay with it.

post #588 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


There's a page here with some feature film audio examples:

http://www.avid.com/US/about-avid/customer-stories/Avatar

"The orchestra is recorded on one Pro Tools|HD rig at 96 kHz, with the synths on a second rig at 48 kHz. We then mix to a third Pro Tools|HD rig, which is recording all the stems for film. We end up with more than 96 tracks of stems, as well as the original multitrack.

With three Pro Tools machines locked using Satellite Link and synced to picture through Video Satellite LE, Rhodes mixes the project in 5.1 surround on an ICON D-Command® console.

The sheer complexity of the project would be impossible to handle without Pro Tools|HD, says Franglen. “One of the biggest breakthroughs for me is the fact that we no longer worry about file sizes or track counts. On one nine-minute cue, for example, we’ve got close to 450 tracks and a file size of around 56 GB.”

“It’s really quite astounding how the technology has evolved,” Franglen continues. “On Titanic, I carried two tons of equipment with me. On Avatar, I used a Mac Pro, Pro Tools|HD, 16 GB of RAM, and 6 TB of hard disk space. Everything was done inside the box, without a single outside synth. Whereas Titanic involved a huge process of simply setting up from session to session, now it takes just 10 minutes to hook up a display — it’s all just down to Pro Tools|HD.”

An ex-Avid employee tests out the Thunderbolt chassis here with two HDX cards:

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/gear-shoot-outs-sound-file-comparisons-audio-tests/783953-magma-vs-sonnet-thunderbolt-chassis-comparison-w-photos.html

"I saw 905 Channel strips cranking for two hours on a retina MBP. That means my HDX rig is now as portable as my laptop, and as powerful as my Mac Pro."

In the Avid video, they demo the same HDX2 with an Intensity video card in the 3rd slot:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uw_jBQB6FD0#at=50

Someone here has it working with their MBP:

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/pro-tools-10-hdx/706237-magma-expressbox-3t-hdx-working.html

"Just got it working today with a new 15" Retina Display Macbook Pro and Pro Tools 10.3.2
Haven't had a chance to do an exact comparison to the Mac Pro towers we're using yet but in general performance seems very close. A quad orchestral mix running with lots of RTAS plugs and 235 voices."

Fan noise is probably a bigger concern than performance. Someone here has a portable setup with a Red Rocket and you can hear the fan kicking in:



Still easier than hauling a Mac Pro around in that scenario. Someone on the above page with the HDX2 replaced the fan in the Sonnet chassis with a quieter one. With a long enough cable, the boxes can sit in a ventilated cupboard somewhere.

One plus with the new Mac Pro is that there's no having to decide between fast GPUs and extra cards. The Radeon 5870 needed both power plugs in the Pro but the HDX cards needed one of them and then each card had connectors to each other (up to 3 cards). Now you can get dual FirePro W9000s plus 3 HDX cards in a chassis and you can buy multiple chassis for other cards. If people already paid 3x $5k for HDX cards or other, $1-2k for a box or two is not that much.

You wouldn't need one box per card. The Avatar audio above was 56GB for 9 minutes - that's just 104MB/s, which is well below TB1 bandwidth so it's processor-limited and not bandwidth-limited.

I know that there are scenarios and trends for portability. That's something I always thought about.  Let me pose a scenario I envision for something I think would be cool.

 

Having some background in certain industries, they like to use expensive road cases as to not damage a product when do road work.

I've seen a lot of people in the video production and audio production where they have stuff in road cases.

 

I think maybe if a MacPro was rack mountable, they could protect it that way.  Magma Cases has a rack mountable solution, as does Promise for RAID arrays, etc.

 

I always thought a MacPro should be able to be rack mountable for studios since most of their gear is rack mountable,or to throw in a road case for touring or dragging around to other studios, locations, etc.

 

That's what I always thought would make a great solution for the high end market.  Also Pro Tools using HD HDX cards don't really tax the GPU nor the CPU.  But they do require PCI cards.  Some use MADI cards, some use other PCI cards that aren't mentioned in addition to the HD HDX cards.  I know Fiber Channel used to be more popular, but I think Thunderbolt will replace that.  Universal Audio has a PCI card for processing plug-ins.  All kinds of stuff.  One almost has to go through every scenario to see what the low end, mobile, high end, ultra high, and where they are going.    ProTools 11 just got announced so it will take a while to see how far they are going to push those systems and what limitations it will or won't have using the new MacPro vs a traditional Tower solution.

 

Yeah, the biggest complaint was fan noise for external chassis. And they have a point.  They HAVE to make them quiet to attract the audio/video crowd since they are in rooms where ambient noise is a problem.

post #589 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by v5v View Post

Because it's supposed to be a *PRO* app, not a consumer product.
That is a very narrow minded view of the concept of a Pro App. Features come and go and as such users need to adapt. I mean really how far back in history should developers go to support every little feature on a rewrite.
Quote:
The rewrite was a plus and I commend them for it, but it's not acceptable to sacrifice critical workflow features to do it.
The point here is critical to whom, many users didn't have a problem with the initial release.
Quote:
Avid just completed a rewrite of the Pro Tools engine and it didn't become a prosumer product as a result.
This is complete non sense, just because a pet feature is missing FOR YOU doesn't mean the product is any less suitable for professional work. Frankly your attitude in this respect is pretty terrible. Do you throw a fit when a feature ends up missing in other apps or a bug works its way into a new revision of a software package? The world changes and frankly it is the mark of a professional to change with it. I'm really hoping you aren't recording your fine works to wax cylinders.
Quote:
Yes, Apple did eventually finish the app, but it took them two years to do it.
This highlights that you don't grasp the issues involved in software development. The first point is that apps are never really done. Apple may have had to scramble to cover some of the noise being offered up over the upgrade but I'm completely sure they have long term plans to further enhance FCPx.

The second point is that features take time two years might sound like a lot to you but this is a major app filled with a lot of technology that all has to go through QC checks.
Quote:
The only thing I don't understand is why those who rely on certain features of the "old" FCP didn't just stay with it.

Well that is a good question. Seriously I don't know why so many professionals required an instant update, it isn't the way of a professional in my mind. At work new software or even updates, get tested before being put into production. Sometimes long validations are required!

In any event, for the most part I think the reaction to FCP was completely overblown. In many cases it really looked like guys looking for trivial things to complain about.
post #590 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post



Which Apple never really had in a desktop form factor. As you know being an XMac advocate for years now a more feasibly priced Mac Pro is something I'm hoping for.

Yes. Earlier on you also offered one of the most complete descriptions, suggesting pci slots that could also directly accommodate drives. I'm not sure how they would handle the mechanical/electrical thing. I guess some could be higher.

 

 

Quote:

Hardware links are an interesting discussion as there are so many use cases. For many new Mac Pro users the number of cable would likely be the same. If remote I/O solutions are used you might actually cut back own cable density at the back of the PC. As for card racks, PCI-Express cards are really terrible for the types of I/O that many professionals use these days.

I tend to find better stability from something plugged directly into a PCI or SATA bus than something run through whatever host protocol then through a port multiplier into a SATA backplane. There are some things that simply aren't supported with those. As an example, many won't support SMART status. I find that interesting primarily for the metadata, not so much predicting absolute drive failure.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by drblank View Post

Yeah, one thing I've learned about the high end video and audio production people is that some of them money isn't an issue, for some it is. What's hilarious is that some ultra high end studios have rigs just to say they have them to attract the Top producers, but that doesn't mean they actually use it in production.  It's a strange world these guys live in.  It's kind of funny when a high end recording studio might some outrageous ultra custom monitor system in the control room, million dollar consoles, etc.  Imagine that probably a vast amount of pop music these days might be using microphones costing several thousand a piece for a vocalist, it then gets routed through a million dollar console, through another vast amount of other equipment worth tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, yet they monitors they use to actually hear everything is a pair of cheap $200 bookshelf speakers that literally sound like crap to someone that's an audiophile trained ear and then it gets ripped down to a compressed MP3 which further destroys the sonic quality on a pair of $10 earbuds.  It's just a weird industry...  I've known guys that will pay through the nose for one thing and then turn around and be completely cheap about some thing else in the audio chain that's actually more important.  Sometimes things just don't make sense.

That does sound like a weird business. I'm not a fan of earbuds. I have owned iPods. The sound wasn't great. I bought a nano as I liked the armband for jogging. I used a pair of Sennheisers (best budget headphones I know of) with it. My biggest issue with those stupid devices was dead batteries just outside of warranty.

 

Quote:

I forgot to add.  They could have done the SAME quality production using a $50 app called Auria on a iPad and using a decent pair of headphones to record some vocalist because the rest of the tracks were created on a laptop using a $400 software package.  Go figure.

 

I wonder about these things. I mean first I have to assume that this music is played back in a number of formats. Typically when authoring something, you want as much of a known target as possible. You may know those cheap speakers are a mile off, but it does little to indicate direction. The higher end equipment should have a better signal to noise ratio and predictable behavior. Am I wrong there? I get that some of it is to impress clients. A lot of industries have things like that.

post #591 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

That is a very narrow minded view of the concept of a Pro App.

 

Not at all. Avid and Adobe know I make my living with their products and have shown respect for that. Both have managed major revisions WITHOUT leaving the upper end of their market in a bad situation. In fact, they actually managed to improve their products support for collaboration and multi-level workflows as part of the rewrite.

 

Of course, Adobe and Avid don't build computers and smartphones -- they have a much more limited focus which is perhaps why they were able to effectively accomplish what Apple could not. That doesn't excuse Apple though, it just tells me that it is not prudent for me to base my ability to do business on their software.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

That is a very narrow minded view of the concept of a Pro App. Features come and go and as such users need to adapt. I mean really how far back in history should developers go to support every little feature on a rewrite.

 

The FCPX debacle wasn't a case of retiring obsolete features. Obviously everyone expects and understands that. They dropped functions that are important to a CURRENT production workflow. Casually dropping support for the XDCAM format is NOT what I'd call sweeping out dusty old features. Sure, Apple promised they'd add it later and eventually did, but that's not much help to those whose primary acquisition format was not supported in the meantime. Should they just not shoot for a year or two?

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The point here is critical to whom, many users didn't have a problem with the initial release.

 

Many users were perfectly satisfied with Final Cut Express. What's your point?

 

The existence of satisfied users does not invalidate the validity of other users' complaints. The issue here is that Apple actively pursued the professional editing community and promised a product that fit their needs. Until X they did that. With X they dropped things those pros considered important. Those with more modest needs may be happy with it, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a problem for those who use and need the more advanced capabilities. So, the "whom" is the advanced users Apple wooed and then screwed.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

This is complete non sense, just because a pet feature is missing FOR YOU doesn't mean the product is any less suitable for professional work. 

 

 

That's not fair. From reading my posts you know very well that I make a clear distinction between my limited corner of the universe and the bigger picture. Things like multicam, splits, codecs et al are NOT "pet features." They're fundamental core requirements. What was dropped absolutely DID make it "less suitable for professional work."

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Frankly your attitude in this respect is pretty terrible. Do you throw a fit when a feature ends up missing in other apps or a bug works its way into a new revision of a software package? The world changes and frankly it is the mark of a professional to change with it. I'm really hoping you aren't recording your fine works to wax cylinders.

 

Now you're being insulting, and unfairly so.

 

If that "missing feature" was something like the ability to import a file type that is rarely used outside pro facilities but commonly used within them, damn straight I'd raise a stink. Stuff like that is the difference between "pro" software and consumer titles. We've covered this. It's why I pay $900 for Photoshop instead of $30 for Pixelmator. It's why I pay $800 for Pro Tools instead of Sound Forge for $65. What Apple did was take their "pro" app and make it "prosumer," essentially a better version of FCE.

 

I don't know why you're surprised that pros would complain. I'm not. What DOES surprise me is that they felt the need to carry on about it and bitch to Apple. I just stayed with the old version for now, and it/when I need something more capable, I'll look to the suppliers that have supported me.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

This highlights that you don't grasp the issues involved in software development.

 

 

Very true. That's not my job. I don't expect my clients to know about, understand or give a damn about what I do, how I do it, or what's involved in getting it done. That's all MY problem, not theirs. All they want is a finished product that meets their needs. I either deliver that or I don't. If I do, I get paid and I get more work in the future. If I don't, that's the end of that revenue stream.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The first point is that apps are never really done. Apple may have had to scramble to cover some of the noise being offered up over the upgrade but I'm completely sure they have long term plans to further enhance FCPx.

 

"Hello, Mr. Producer? V5V here. I just want to let you know that I've completed three-quarters of the project you hired me to do. I know you wanted narration but I'm not supporting that anymore. I plan to offer it again in the future. Don't worry though, I've reduced your bill."

 

Do you think that client cares WHY his project doesn't have a voice-over? Should he just be patient and hope I add it soon? Or should he say "screw this" and go to someone else? I know what I'd do, and you would, too.

 

Apple's long term plans are Apple's problem. I need to get work done NOW. If they don't produce a product that will do it, I'll go to someone who does.

 

Now it's two years later and Apple has finally included the stuff I need to do my work. Sure, NOW I'll give it a look. I might be a little leery about Apple as a supplier though.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The second point is that features take time two years might sound like a lot to you but this is a major app filled with a lot of technology that all has to go through QC checks.

 

Not my problem. That's THEIR problem. If they want me to buy it, they need to deliver, period.

 

Besides, as I've pointed out before, Avid and Adobe can do it. Why can't Apple?

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

In any event, for the most part I think the reaction to FCP was completely overblown. In many cases it really looked like guys looking for trivial things to complain about.

 

I completely disagree. I think the objections were perfectly valid. That said, I think the response was bizarre. If I used dumptrucks in my work and my regular supplier converted their line to only pickups, I'd just start buying my trucks from someone else. I really don't understand all the people standing out in front of the truck dealership bitching and moaning...

 

post #592 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

Typically when authoring something, you want as much of a known target as possible. You may know those cheap speakers are a mile off, but it does little to indicate direction. The higher end equipment should have a better signal to noise ratio and predictable behavior. Am I wrong there? I get that some of it is to impress clients. A lot of industries have things like that.

 

Two factors affect the outcome of the behaviour drblank described:

 

1. The finished mix goes to mastering before distribution, so many of the deficiencies in balance caused by the inferior monitoring is corrected there.

 

2. Lots and lots of released material sounds like crap but consumers don't care. As long as they buy it, there's little incentive to strive for better.

 

The music business is not like the medical profession -- doing it for a living doesn't necessarily mean the practitioner has a good understanding of the theory or best practices.

post #593 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by v5v View Post


The music business is not like the medical profession -- doing it for a living doesn't necessarily mean the practitioner has a good understanding of the theory or best practices.

No but you can't fake it either, let it be a producer or technician if you don't know your equipment or have a good ear for music you're not going to last very long.
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
Reply
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
Reply
post #594 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by v5v View Post

Now it's two years later and Apple has finally included the stuff I need to do my work. Sure, NOW I'll give it a look. I might be a little leery about Apple as a supplier though.

 

Why?  The only bad move they made was stopping FCP 7 sales which they fixed quickly.  FCPX still needs another round or two of improvements but it's no longer Final Cut Express.

 

You act as if Adobe and Avid never screwed the pooch ever as suppliers.  If that were the case FCP never would have gained any foothold.  Avid was pretty bad about pushing around their customers and still is.  I mean seriously tell me the CPTK removal in PT isn't a screw move and they don't have some pissed off customers.  And the whole HD with or without hardware and who can upgrade with used HD licenses is simply a cluster of Avid's own devising.  Wanna bet that folks taking the PT10+CPTK to PT11HD upgrade get shafted when Avid decides that PT12 upgrades from PT11 are only for actual hardware owners?

 

Meh.  Don't try to sell the concept that somehow Avid is a trustworthy supplier while Apple isn't.

post #595 of 1290

Or Adobe for that matter.

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #596 of 1290

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

I mean seriously tell me the CPTK removal in PT isn't a screw move and they don't have some pissed off customers.

 

Oh, I know. As a CPTK user myself I'm one of them, and I voiced my objection earlier in the thread. In my comparison of that to the FCPX situation I noted that the difference is that Avid only dropped ONE major feature, not several, and it affects only a very small group of mid-range users, not the entire upper end of the market. The other difference is that at least with Pro Tools I can get that capability back just by throwing money at it. FCPX users had no recourse at all.

 

There's also the fact that the loss of CPTK is one downgrade after two generations of really significant, important, useful improvements. While a handful of us middle-of-the-road users lost the ability to work in surround, EVERYONE gained support for time code, interleaved files, hardware independence, offline bounce and radically improved processing to name just a few features off the top of my head. Before X, FCP had just kinda languished, and even X only offered one really significant workflow improvement (background rendering).

 

You're probably right that I painted Avid and Adobe with too favourable a brush, but the point still stands that they have never left their users unable to work at all the way Apple did. "Unable to work" of course meaning "the new version doesn't do what you require." For the life of me I can't understand all the bitching and whining instead of just finding something else or staying with an existing setup. I really like what PT11 offers and would like to upgrade, but since surround production is an absolute requirement for my work and I don't wanna buy their hardware, I'll just stay with what I have until I can't.

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

Meh.  Don't try to sell the concept that somehow Avid is a trustworthy supplier while Apple isn't.

 

I just don't trust Apple. Not in an "they're evil" way, but in a "I never know what they're gonna do" way. Their love of surprises makes me nervous. Combine that with their trend to limiting hardware choices and they become a risky source on which to wager your income. Avid at least warns users that they're about to be screwed: "This is the last version that will support your $30K hardware investment before we force you to replace it just because we can."

 

I continue to use Apple products because I really like OSX and all the peripheral benefits that come with their ecosystem, but the way they handle hardware drives me to distraction sometimes.

 

Anyway, I'm coming off sounding like an Apple hater and an Avid fanboy. Since I'm actually neither I should probably drop this. I just thought some of the comments here about FCPX users were unfair.

post #597 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

Or Adobe for that matter.

Someone here even suggests moving to Adobe instead of paying Avid:

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/pro-tools-11/828139-avid-pro-tools-11-dumps-cptk-1650-get-what.html

"Hell, I can even get a year subscription of Adobe's FULL Creative Suite 7 for $360 which includes Audio and Video Editing, so WTF am I getting from AVID?

To me, this is an overt blatant money grab from desperate cash strung management..."

Avid has enough cash for now but isn't doing so well on revenue. You can see this from their earnings:

http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/AVID/2430874091x0x609402/5dcaa01e-b311-47a8-9e83-eed1d39883cb/Q3_2012_Earnings_Press_Release.pdf

"GAAP revenues of $127.2 million for the three-month period ended September 30, 2012, compared to $164.7 million for the same period in 2011. The GAAP net loss for the third quarter was $17.4 million, or $0.45 per share, compared to a GAAP net loss of $7.6 million, or $0.20 per share, in the third quarter of 2011."

In their 10k, they state:

"Sales of digital audio software and workstation products accounted for approximately 14%, 16% and 15% of our consolidated net revenues in 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively."

Net revenue in 2011 was $678m so $95m for pro audio. If this was all $5k HDX cards, that's 19,000 units in an entire year. Say that around half are Mac users so 10,000. I had estimated Mac Pro users to be no more than 1m per year. This would put Apple's Pro Tools userbase using PCI products around 1% of Mac Pro users. It's even lower revenue for their video products:

"Sales of professional video-editing products accounted for approximately 11%, 13% and 13% of our consolidated net revenues for 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively."

It's easy to forget the relative incomes of companies when you just see the brands and products. Q3 2012:

Revenue.... Avid: $127m, Adobe: $1b, Apple: $35b
Net Profit.... Avid: -$17m, Adobe: $200m, Apple: $8.8b

http://www.synthtopia.com/content/2013/03/22/avid-receives-warning-letter-from-nasdaq-needs-to-fix-accounting/

"Avid says that its primary focus has been to determine whether certain Software Updates previously thought to be only bug fixes met the definition of post-contract customer support under U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles."

If they went the same route as Adobe with subscriptions, that would give them more determinable sustained revenue so they could manage their outgoings for marketing etc and could alleviate some of their accounting issues. It might be an idea for Adobe to come in and buy them out. They'd instantly get the high-end film and audio production crowd into their customer group. It wouldn't even matter if they had apps competing with each other because they'd just have them in the same bundle anyway.

Adobe Pro Tools to replace Soundbooth. Adobe typically doesn't do hardware but they started recently:

http://www.theverge.com/2013/5/6/4305712/adobe-announces-first-hardware-the-project-mighty-smart-stylus

They could build special Thunderbolt devices for their video and audio software, such as an NVidia product for CUDA compute or a box with multiple HDX processors and they would work in every Thunderbolt machine. For products that use low enough power like the HDX, they can even have optional batteries for truly mobile workflows.
post #598 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


Someone here even suggests moving to Adobe instead of paying Avid:

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/pro-tools-11/828139-avid-pro-tools-11-dumps-cptk-1650-get-what.html

"Hell, I can even get a year subscription of Adobe's FULL Creative Suite 7 for $360 which includes Audio and Video Editing, so WTF am I getting from AVID?

To me, this is an overt blatant money grab from desperate cash strung management..."

Avid has enough cash for now but isn't doing so well on revenue. You can see this from their earnings:

http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/AVID/2430874091x0x609402/5dcaa01e-b311-47a8-9e83-eed1d39883cb/Q3_2012_Earnings_Press_Release.pdf

"GAAP revenues of $127.2 million for the three-month period ended September 30, 2012, compared to $164.7 million for the same period in 2011. The GAAP net loss for the third quarter was $17.4 million, or $0.45 per share, compared to a GAAP net loss of $7.6 million, or $0.20 per share, in the third quarter of 2011."

In their 10k, they state:

"Sales of digital audio software and workstation products accounted for approximately 14%, 16% and 15% of our consolidated net revenues in 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively."

Net revenue in 2011 was $678m so $95m for pro audio. If this was all $5k HDX cards, that's 19,000 units in an entire year. Say that around half are Mac users so 10,000. I had estimated Mac Pro users to be no more than 1m per year. This would put Apple's Pro Tools userbase using PCI products around 1% of Mac Pro users. It's even lower revenue for their video products:

"Sales of professional video-editing products accounted for approximately 11%, 13% and 13% of our consolidated net revenues for 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively."

It's easy to forget the relative incomes of companies when you just see the brands and products. Q3 2012:

Revenue.... Avid: $127m, Adobe: $1b, Apple: $35b
Net Profit.... Avid: -$17m, Adobe: $200m, Apple: $8.8b

http://www.synthtopia.com/content/2013/03/22/avid-receives-warning-letter-from-nasdaq-needs-to-fix-accounting/

"Avid says that its primary focus has been to determine whether certain Software Updates previously thought to be only bug fixes met the definition of post-contract customer support under U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles."

If they went the same route as Adobe with subscriptions, that would give them more determinable sustained revenue so they could manage their outgoings for marketing etc and could alleviate some of their accounting issues. It might be an idea for Adobe to come in and buy them out. They'd instantly get the high-end film and audio production crowd into their customer group. It wouldn't even matter if they had apps competing with each other because they'd just have them in the same bundle anyway.

Adobe Pro Tools to replace Soundbooth. Adobe typically doesn't do hardware but they started recently:

http://www.theverge.com/2013/5/6/4305712/adobe-announces-first-hardware-the-project-mighty-smart-stylus

They could build special Thunderbolt devices for their video and audio software, such as an NVidia product for CUDA compute or a box with multiple HDX processors and they would work in every Thunderbolt machine. For products that use low enough power like the HDX, they can even have optional batteries for truly mobile workflows.

 

Avid is ripe for a take over,  Harmon would probably be my first guess.  But what I don't know about Avid are specifics on what's selling in terms of trends in various products they make.

 

I also think that the days of internal PCI slots is over and Apple is just taking the bold step in letting people know that if you REALLY need PCI slots, buy an external Thunderbolt (or maybe Thunderbolt 2?) chassis and always keep your investment which helps keep the costs of a new box with CPU/GPU inside will be smaller and cheaper because of it. What's funny is that when it comes to PC towers, they've gone the smaller is better, the bigger the better, etc. and now it's, the NO SLOTS is better and no DRIVE is better and I have a funny feeling it might actually work.  I always have to shake my head at how small the MacPro is.  Less than 10inch x 7inch. We just don't know much it is.

post #599 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

Avid is ripe for a take over,  Harmon would probably be my first guess.  But what I don't know about Avid are specifics on what's selling in terms of trends in various products they make.

I also think that the days of internal PCI slots is over and Apple is just taking the bold step in letting people know that if you REALLY need PCI slots, buy an external Thunderbolt (or maybe Thunderbolt 2?) chassis and always keep your investment which helps keep the costs of a new box with CPU/GPU inside will be smaller and cheaper because of it. What's funny is that when it comes to PC towers, they've gone the smaller is better, the bigger the better, etc. and now it's, the NO SLOTS is better and no DRIVE is better and I have a funny feeling it might actually work.  I always have to shake my head at how small the MacPro is.  Less than 10inch x 7inch. We just don't know much it is.

That price tag will make or break this machine more than anything else. Priced right an external box would be a trivial cost. That external box could be what ever the user needs, a disk array, a slot box or a combination of several features.
post #600 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


That price tag will make or break this machine more than anything else. Priced right an external box would be a trivial cost. That external box could be what ever the user needs, a disk array, a slot box or a combination of several features.

For some people it might.  I would look at it this way.  If someone is going to spend $30K or so on ProTools PCI cards to stuff them, I would think that it might be better to have an expansion chassis to always keep the cards plugged in or be able to transport them elsewhere, and when the main box needs to be replaced, it's a simple unplugging process that would take literally a few seconds.  Same goes for the storage system.  In some ways, I do think that if they bring out TB or TB2 expansion chassis for these PCI slots, get what you need and then you keep that investment.

 

I think this box maybe priced less than a current MacPro with similar CPUS because the new one doesn't have a more powerful, expensive power supply, it does't have a TON of fans, PCI slots, cage, etc. etc. so they might be able to bring the cost down enough to afford an external TB or TB 2 based expansion chassis for PCI boards if you need it, and then an external storage system.  Both of which can be used when the time comes to upgrade.


Apple has a history of replacing existing systems for the same price or even less. Only once in a while have they ever increased the price of the unit.  But, as you said, we'll have to wait until we know the actual cost and configurations.

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