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Forums Avid Media Composer Cutting an independent feature and I need a setup. Please recommend hardware!

  • Cutting an independent feature and I need a setup. Please recommend hardware!

  • Alan Nordoc

    September 7, 2021 at 1:26 am

    I just finished a film with my 2016 MacBook Pro and a couple external monitors, one for the timeline and source/record windows and a second for the bins. Worked great… BUT this time I’ll be needing to finish with my partner/director in the room so I need to run a client monitor. I tested using the Black Magic mini UltraStudio breakout box and then SDI audio from that box but the latency was too much to deal with, both in terms of sync (which I probably could have adjusted within media composer, right?) and delay when stopping and starting and moving. It’s just not workable.

    What’s a good setup? I’m trying not to buy a Mac Pro. That’s too big an investment. Do I go with an intel iMac or Mac Mini? Or can I stick with the 2016 MacBook and just buy a better breakout setup like the BM full size Ultrastudio or AJA iO or even something better since I wouldn’t have to buy a new CPU?

    Thanks in advance for any advice!

  • Job ter Burg

    September 7, 2021 at 9:41 am

    There should not be any delay other than the one caused by the client monitor itself. And yes, Desktop Play Delay settings help you adjust for that, plus the MonConDel command in the console (to bring Source/Record monitors in sync with the delayed audio). No amount of gear (neither another computer nor another BoB) is going to help bring down the delay caused by the monitor itself.

  • Matt Lyon

    September 7, 2021 at 12:08 pm

    My experience with the the Blackmagic breakout boxes is that the drivers can be very finicky with Avid. In the past, I’ve had to download and test multiple versions of their driver to find one that played nicely with my OS/Avid version combination. The “delay when stopping and starting and moving” sounds like the same issue I had. The solution for me was to use an older version of their driver (aka “Blackmagic Desktop Video”). My suggestion is to start with the first version of the driver that initially supported your OS (check the “read more” link on the download page to see about OS support). I haven’t used the Ultrastudio Mini myself, but I’ve heard good things, so I hope you can get it to work. Another idea: disconnect any other external devices when you are testing, just to make sure they aren’t interfering in some way.

  • Ron Bourke

    September 15, 2021 at 2:48 pm

    I’ve been using the black magic ultra studio mini monitor breakout for years. First with a 2013 iMac and most recently with a 2020 27” iMac through a succession of media composer and Mac OS versions. No latency with audio or video in either case. I’m using the hdmi out to a Benro monitor. I pull the analogue audio off of the monitor which is not ideal but it works. I see that they’ve updated the mini monitor recently so if you’re using the new version could that be an issue?

  • Graham Withers

    September 15, 2021 at 2:52 pm

    I’m a doc film/tv editor and in my experience with a 2018 MacBook Pro, 2013/14 Trashcans and now a couple of 2019 iMacs is that they are not set up to run a third monitor without some playing around. I’d say if you’re in a crunch, the simplest thing to do would be to cut with the director with just two monitors and use full screen playback together.

    But, if you really want the 3 monitors, and have some mess around time, I find I’m constantly playing around with which ports to plug in the 3 monitors into when setting up a new system: whether they’ll playback with 2 DisplayPort inputs or whether your system plays nice with an HDMI connection, which TB bus ports to plug your monitors into, which to plug the RAID/Media into, etc. I haven’t experimented much with TB3 monitors – maybe that’d make a difference?

    Look at the thunderbolt bus port allocation for your MBP – make sure you plug the monitors into the different buses.

    Even with a breakout box, I find you’ll have to play around with the port arrangement for things to run smoothly – I find this with Premiere as well as Avid BTW.

    My favourite hack, which is really my most reliable advice, is to put a desk fan blowing on the machine with the GPU.

    Hope it’s working out for ya!

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