Avid Support Details

Avid Support, Product Details

One of the great advantages of computer based products is how easy they can evolve and become enhanced with upgrades and updates. Avid is one of the few professional manufacturers that offer a variety of choices to support and keep your system current with the latest release. More about our services

Avid support has made some changes and as an Avid support customer, we wanted you to be among the first to know.

As of April 2012 Avid is offering a new support product line with Expert, ExpertPlus and Elite,. These changes were developed based on your feedback to best address your needs. The new support products replace the previous “assurance” products and offer increased access to support, more flexibility to the plans and some major improvements to our systems and operations to improve your overall experience.

If you have support purchased prior to these changes, the changes will not affect you until your contract is up for renewal. Remember, we’re always here to help you get the most out of your support contract.

get a quick quoteAvid Advantage: gives you the edge you need to thrive in today’s highly-competitive media market.  Delivered by global teams of Avid Advantage professionals with world-class experience and expertise, every Avid Advantage plan is designed to ensure you maintain the highest standard of operational effectiveness.

There are three types of support you can purchase annually. They range from “Elite” mission critical broadcast to just minimal cost for Experts:
Expert: includes 7×24 access with 24-hour response, basic phone support, standard escalation and hardware coverage (optional for a fee).
ExpertPlus: includes 7×24 access with 4-hour response, priority phone support, Code Blue escalation, upgrades and hardware coverage (optional for a fee).
Elite: includes 7×24 access with a 1-hour response, highest priority phone support, Code Blue escalation, upgrades, hardware coverage and proactive support with system monitoring and complimentary health checks.

We also sell local packages and software upgrades for system off regular support.

If you’d like more factory fresh details, please take a look at the Avid Advantage support website. Avid also offers online support for all their support programs 24×7:

Avid Knowledge Base: Search product information, subscribe to articles of interest, and receive notification when new information is posted.

Avid Advantage support portal: Register now, log in and submit a case online. It’s an easy way to submit, edit, and monitor all of your support cases.

Need more help with choosing the best support for your system or special professional pricing? Contact an EAR product support specialist today at 800-473-6914.

EAR has been a Avid professional reseller since 1993.

Audio Editing – The Early Pro Tools Days

The Early Days of Audio Editing With Pro Tools

Most people in audio production never stop to think about how recording and editing was done before the age of the computer. This article discusses one of the early hard disk based editing products from 20 years ago. Digidesign’s Sound Tools was the predecessor to Pro Tools. With only two channel editing, it was primitive by our present standards – but (in old man speak) “We liked it that way!”.

Today it seems unimaginable to spend seven-figure money to set up a world class recording studio – much less “wait” for even a simple edit to take shape with clients over our shoulder. But soft leather couches, patient production people working long hours and a good cappuccino machine made the process  manageable. It was early in the 1990s and we all thought the professional production world would always be this way, expensive and slow. Within a span of just 2-3 years it all changed dramatically.

From Linear to Non-linear. With tape – every edit was a rhythm of roll the tape, stop, rock the reels to find your edit spot, mark with a grease pencil or thumb, slide into an edit block, cut with razor blade and reconnect tape with edit tabs. I’m exhausted just thinking about it! Some of our best clients would have so many edits, the tape was solid white with edit tape!

Early Pro Tools Mono-Chrome Interface

Enter this new thing, “non-linear” editing. In 1989 Digidesign and Dyaxis offered the audio editor the first generation of “hard disk based” editing.  The 500Mega-byte drives were very “mechanical” sounding as the fans and whirling drive parts chattered and buzzed.  It was still very exciting to think that you could move between edits with almost instantaneous commands. This space age user interface boasted a crazy new feature called an “undo” button. OMG! ;0)

To appreciated how impressive these new systems were compared to “linear” tape, think of comparing Star Treks’ transporter to driving across country in a car. There was no comparison!

Digidesign Sound Tools circa 1990 (click for enlarged view)

Typical of dramatic changes in high technology products, some people adopted early. While the subjective quality of the new hard disk based editors left some hold-outs, many were quick to save money and benefit from the much quicker new “non-linear” editing workstations. It would be a few more years before hard disk based system surpassed most “broadcast” or “world class” quality analog editors.

EAR was the first  Apple, Avid and Digidesign professional audio reseller in the Southwest and the new “Pro Tools” was a huge success. At only $6,000 it was a bargain! Professional Ampex, MCI or Otari tape decks were $4,000-$25,000 alone. The new price point and 16bit resolution made it an instant hit with smaller production companies and studios. The workflow of the day still required your edited project to be finished back to tape (ie: “layback”). However, the cost savings of buying one tape deck compared to multiple decks more than paid for the cost of the computer and software.

Sound Tolos brouchure details

The system was built on the Apple SE and Mac II, early Mac desktop computers. Apple was still a renegade computer for right-brained people, but their superior (often mono-chrome) graphics and creative feel made them the obvious platform of choice. EAR was also an Apple reseller – a perfect fit for our clients! Some may remember these days with fondness, others with frustration.

The early systems were not without their temperamental crashes. Like most new technology, as long as the head aches  don’t out number the advantages – people grew with the improvements and stability over the years.

30 years later EAR is one of the largest professional audio editing workstation providers in the Southwest. We now cover everything from microphones, mixing, content distribution and automated filed based workflow products.

We’re proud to have had the opportunity be the first of our kind in so many ways over the past decades, while still blazing new technology trails today! Haven’t seen the newest version of Pro Tools? Download a 30 day free trial version.

EAR’s nationally renowned award winning staff offers deep product knowledge and first rate integration, management and “after the sale” support for professional audio and video products and services.

What’s Happening With Final Cut Pro?

What’s Happening With Final Cut Pro?

In case you missed the roll out of Apple’s “evolutionary” version of Final Cut Pro X in June – it rocked the professional world, but not for the reason’s Apple expected. While many in the editing world loved its new interface and $299 price, most of the professional world saw its short comings as show stoppers and cried foul! Educational institutions were blind-sided as well by the timing and questionable future for FCP students.

Why not just go with the new “X” version? FCP X lacks support for many professional features including no multicam editing, no support for shared storage and a complete disconnect from the previous versions. These are just a few reasons for many professional users to consider moving off of Apple editing products entirely and look for a more future-proof product suite.

Avid and Adobe were quick to see the opportunity and offered attractive “cross-grades” for existing FCP users, slashing prices by 50% got a lot of immediate attention. Existing FCP users can use their FCP license (Avid) to get a huge discount to switch to other manufactures software. Adobe just heavily discounted CS5.5 temporarily (ask an EAR product specialist for details).

Both Adobe and Avid have extended their popular FCP trade-in programs through October. Hopefully the $1,495 – $895 price point established by these offers will continue. I suspect we may even see some “Lite” versions of software appear soon to keep entry level price affordable for new users. EAR also offers special pricing for education and government orders.

LAST BATCH OF FINAL CUT PRO SUITES

Before we close the book on Final Cut Pro there are a couple parting overtures Apple has tossed their pre-FCPX users. Due to tremendous pressure by scores of loyal FCP professional users, Apple shipped “one last batch” of Final Cut Pro Suite software in September (Ver 7). With ebay copies of FCP selling for above retail, EAR has a few copies at the old price of $995 each. Even less if ordered with a computer. Apple has also reinstated the download of software  updates for FCP version 7 to insure everyone has the last final fresh version of Final Cut.

INTO THE FUTURE

Last month Apple released FCP X with some features enhancements. For many this was seen as too little too late. Apple hardware still is seen as the best editing platform by many – however with Apple’s mobile and consumer focus it appears doubtful they will be making a strong effort to cater to the smaller professional user’s needs in the future.

Apple still makes great products. I wouldn’t count them out to roll out some game changers in the near future. The new transition to Thunderbolt hardware and it’s dramatic improvement in speed may offer Apple the chance to discontinue the last Mac Pro computer in the coming months or years as laptops and small footprint Macs ship with more CPU horsepower. Imagine – no more PCIe cards! Everything connects outside the computer via a small thin cable, storage, monitors, media recorders, everything. Laptops, Mac minis and iMac desktops

The days of feature comparisons between editing software have quietly come to point of personal preference. The choices between Avid and Adobe are very easy. Both are affordable, work on Mac or PC and while there are still some features to differentiate the two companies products, those too are becoming less important to the majority of editors.

The battle seems to be over for now, and we’re all the winners.

EAR has been an Apple reseller since 1989. We specialize in professional audio and video products for broadcast, post production and music recording. Contact one of our product specialist today for great advice and professional pricing.

Archive Solution For Audio and Video

Holy Cow!  Cache-A receives NAB Blue Ribbon award

Direct Update from the world’s most popular backup technology… We have a lot of respect for Creative Cow’s peer-to-peer support community for digital media professionals. So we are extremely pleased to hear that Cache-A received a Creative Cow Magazine Blue Ribbon Award for the category, Archive. We were very pleased that the award was picked by the Creative Cow Community  (reported by Bob Zelin, one of the most knowledgeable contributors to The Cow’s Forums).

Here’s what Bob says:

“How can you beat Cache-A? They dropped their price on the 800GB Prime-Cache LTO-4 while introducing the new, cost-effective 1500GB LTO-5-based Prime- Cache5, and they still offer the smartest LTO Archive products on the market…”

Cache-A’s mission is to make archiving easy by including all of the required hardware and software to provide a complete solution right out of the box. Archiving to us means not only, preserving the assets of digital media professionals, but providing easy access to that content at any stage in their file based workflows.

We are honored to receive Creative Cow’s Blue Ribbon Award for Archive and would like to share our professional pride with all involved in our industry. Thanks for the support.

For more details and special pricing contact one of EAR’s product specialist today! 800-473-6914 (Mon-Fri 9am to 5pm MST) or via our contact form.

1989 This Day In EAR history – Apple Reseller

This Day in EAR Company History

Aug 20th 1989, This Day In EAR history – Becoming an Apple Reseller

Over 20 years ago the process of becoming an Apple reseller was very different from today. The folks in Cupertino California were still a small upstart company, a rebel by the fledgling PC world standards. Our clients were already accepting Apple as a more creative and engaging tool than the more popular Windows desktop box.

What could you do with a Macintosh computer in 1989? Not much! With the “SE” model representing a bold new compact form factor for the computer world, musicians and home enthusiasts appreciated Apple’s graphics friendly OS and hardware.

EAR was selling MIDI based editing products and (hold on to your hat) tapeless digital audio editing! Of course this seems bizarre to  consider today – but at the end of the 1980’s tape still ruled the production world. Editing on an 8″ monochrome computer screen seemed to be from a far off planet!

The early years of computer editing were a “wait and see” process. Wait for the screen to refresh, wait for the cursor to catch up to that thing… what do you call it? Oh yeah a “mouse!”. EAR’s first digital audio editing systems sold were manufactured by Dyaxis*, one of hundreds of now extinct professional audio companies that pioneered the very powerful products we’ve grown used to today.

Fast forward to 2011 – EAR represents hundreds of both professional audio and video products lines – and yes Apple!  Our show rooms and manufacturer selections reflect the very best of contemporary technology and an appreciation for the  product lines and companies that have brought us to the amazing technology we enjoy today!

To find out more about EAR and our products and services – contact one of our product specialists today at 800-473-6914 or via our website contact form.

*Dyaxis was purchased later by Studer