After a heck of an IBC showing, Softron are up to their knees in updates, new releases and intriguing theories about what you should be doing with your Mac Pro. We thought we’d do you all a favour and round up all the news into a single, easily digestible blog post. Go on, make yourself a cuppa, kick back and scroll down…
Showcased at IBC 2012, Multicam Logger does pretty much what it says on the tin. It logs which inputs are being used when in a live multi-camera production and uses the log to create a multi-cam clip that can then be polished in post before it’s broadcast or put online for on-demand consumption.
Although it’s designed primarily for use with Blackmagic Design’s ATEM range of production switchers, Multicam Logger can be paired with Softron’s GPICommand2 and then hooked up to your existing switcher. The resultant multi-cam clips will work in FCP X, Final Cut Pro 7 and Adobe Premiere Pro.
On the Air Studio
OnTheAir Studio is Softron’s Retina Display-ready radio streaming solution. It allows you to share your radio content directly with SHOUTcast or Icecast streaming services.
With a built-in Multiband Compressor, the ability to schedule 24/7 unattended playout, support for standard keyboards or MIDI controllers and the ability to change the volume on tracks, playlists or outputs without an external audio mixer, OnTheAirStudio offers a comprehensive set of features for anyone who wants to begin streaming their own radio content. It’ll even auto-generate ‘mix points’ when the volume of your output dips below a certain level, ensuring there’s never any silence as you switch between tracks.
Thunderbolt expansion chassis
At IBC, the Softron stand played host to an old favurite of ours, the Sonnet xMac mini Server, which they used to play four streams of HD from a Mac mini (with a bit of help from a Decklink Quad). For the uninitiated, the xMac mini server turns your Mac mini into a 1U rackmount server solution, complete with expansion slots, allowing you to use Thunderbolt-aware cards from AJA, Blackmagic Design, Matrox and more with your Mac mini.
They were also quick to big up the Sonnet Echo Express Chassis which, according to their press team, is “the ideal solution for mobile configurations with a laptop. We did run tests with this chassis together with the latest MacBook Pro Retina and the results are pretty impressive. Here is what we could achieve:
• 4 HD output with OnTheAir Node and OnTheAir Video
• 3 HD input with MovieRecorder (on a laptop!! incredible!!)
• 2 HD output with OnTheAir Video Express. (Note that playing out multiple streams with OnTheAir Video Express is still not recommended as there is no buffering as there is with our playback engine, but we could see a major difference when using an SSD; files playing very quick.)”
Total cost per CPU
After a bit of a barney with another vendor about whether it was cheaper to use a Decklink Quad and a four input Mac Pro or use four Mac minis and give each channel a dedicated CPU, Softron have released this handy price comparison chart. Granted, it’s in dollars, but it should still help you work out a round guide to whether a four CPU or a single CPU is going to work out better for your budget (don’t forget to factor in support!)