Workshop for Digital Jacks-of-All-Trades

Does the thought of upgrading to a full-blown digital video network pique your curiosity?
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Does the thought of upgrading to a full-blown digital video network pique your curiosity?

Are you trusted to maintain the digital facilities at your production house? Are you tired of waiting for a third-party to fix your fancy, digital HD editing suite? Does the thought of upgrading to a full-blown digital video network pique your curiosity?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you should check out the Digital Guru Workshop at the NAB Show, Saturday and Sunday, April 12–13.


The NAB and Future Media Concepts (FMC), a leading national training seminar provider focusing on digital video and publishing, have teamed up to create a two-day workshop that is scheduled to cover everything from an overview of HD formats to building a capable network for a digital facility.

Other than specialists, few broadcasters can tell the difference between DVCPRO, HDV and D5 or how MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 differ. But just because something is digital does not mean that it is compatible with something else digital. Starting Saturday morning, “HD Formats Overview: From HDV to D5” will delve into the proliferating number of digital video formats.

Computers can be replaced and upgraded as technology marches forward and budgets permit, but often overlooked is the network highway between the computers. It is not so easily expanded or upgraded. Once installed, networks tend to stay for some time and no network can work faster than its slowest link. “Storage Area Network Strategies and Workflow for Editorial” on Saturday and “Networking for the Digital Facility” on Sunday are primers on making sure that you have enough pipe (and the proper pipe) to facilitate your digital ambitions.

And what would one send through all that pipe? One Holy Grail that tantalizes digital video artists is called “24P.” In “Mastering 24P: From Field to Post” Lowell Kay explains how 24P is more than simply getting a digital video camera to imitate a movie camera.

Not all will be video however. A Saturday afternoon session, “Creating an Ideal Mixing Studio,” and a Sunday afternoon session, “Sound Monitoring in Edit Suites,” will examine things of the sound persuasion.

The Saturday session considers building a sound studio from scratch while the Sunday session will have advice on how to get the best out of or improve a current audio configuration. Emphasis will be on achieving accurate sound in tight and noisy video editing suites.

The last Saturday workshop session, “Managing the Tapeless Workflow,” might actually be the most important. As digital video formats multiply, network bandwidths expand, computers become more powerful and storage becomes cavernous, the amount of data and demands upon it (from formats, filters, digital effects, surround sound, SAP, etc.) explode. How does a production team keep track of every byte of data and make sure it gets to its proper destination?


Sunday brings in another “must-attend” session, “Syncing the Screens: Calibration Tools and Techniques.” The simple fact is that if your digital bits cannot communicate properly with each other, then your production is dead. Christian Zak will enlighten the masses on the magic of screen calibration.

Much of the digital revolution involves improving traditional practices, but the session “Review and Approval: Creating the Best Experience” touches on a new practice that was never really possible in the analog: distant or remote collaboration and approval.

Digital high bandwidth communications have led to the ability of artists to collaborate without ever being on the same continent, much less in the same room. Today, artists, editors and producers at all levels can now work back and forth, almost instantly creating, critiquing and approving segments or whole projects. How is all this done and what are the tools? Robbie Carman of Amigo Media will explain.

The last session is “Get Organized: Harnessing Databases for Assets and Archives.” Much like Saturday’s “Tapeless Workflow” session “Get Organized” examines problems and opportunities available with digital files and working practices, a session for producers and post-production managers.


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