Globe Trottering With Shure And EAR

Globetrotting the World With EAR And Shure

The world famous Harlem Globtrotters have been entertaining fans all over the world for over 85 years. Their technical wizardry on the basketball court along with their humor has been a winning combination for their fans. Being able to hear the players and their hardwork splitting comedy is the key to that success.

The Globetrotters have been using wireless microphones at games for years but it was a typical road weary collection of systems and wires that you often see in system traveled the world over. The wear and tear of their constant travel schedule and equipment demands became a head ache with constant repairs and a challenge to keep operating. The Globetrotters turned to EAR for a custom but simple set of solutions. Jerry Delgado at EAR propose a roadworthy solution for their wireless mic systems.

click for more product info

Jerry suggested Shure’s flagship UHF-R system (SHU-UR14DG1) coupled with Countryman B6 lavaliere microphones which offer great protection from sweat and secure rugged connections. Everything was installed in a specialty design SKB shockmount rolling rackmount case for a quick easy setup once they arrive at one of the 100’s venues they perform at yearly.

The systems have worked well but with the amounts of dates both nationally and internationally the Harlem Globetrotters do understand that inevitably something is bound to fail. Airlines and trucking companies can challenge even the toughest gear. EAR has been integral in making sure the systems stay in top form. Whether it’s replacing parts or repairs, the systems come in for seasonal “tune-ups”  and have been performing with minimal downtime.

EAR offers volume based discounts and special educational and government pricing. We can help you find the right product to meet your system needs and price point.  EAR has been a Shure reseller since 1978 and is one of their most experienced professional resellers featuring individual products at great prices or design and installation of complete systems.

Whether you have demanding international travel requirements, or cost effective local requirements, EAR can help. We provide free system advice and can suggest the best way to get the most from your system purchase.

Early Non-Linear Editing – EAR History

The Early Days of File Based Editing And Workflow

Now before you reach for a Kleenex to wipe the tears from your eyes, I promise not to get too sentimental about how we started editing video with computers for the first time, 20 years ago.  The world was a very different place for video editors in 1993. Between Sony, Ampex and few other tape manufacturers – getting into the professional video business was a $1M dollar plus proposition.

Avid MSP circa 1993 click for enlarged view

Today it seems unimaginable to spend seven-figure money to set up a video editing shop – 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 video world would always be this way, expensive and slow. Within a span of just 2-3 years it all changed dramatically.

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 editing was “broadcast quality”.

In 1993 Avid Technologies, an already successful manufacturer of $100,000 editing systems announced the first “affordable” editing solution Media Suite Pro. Five years before Apple announced Final Cut Pro, Avid was on their way to drive down the entry level price point for video editing.

EAR was the first  Apple and Avid professional video reseller in the Southwest and the new “MSP” was a huge success. At only $30,000 it was a bargain! Professional Sony tape decks were $15,000-$25,000 alone. The new price point and “AVR25” resolution made it an instant hit with smaller production companies and schools. 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 three decks more than paid for the cost of the computer and software.   (Media Suite Pro Specification sheet from 1994)

Early MSP Features (click to view)

The system was built on the Apple Quadra 900, an early robust Mac tower computer. Apple was still a renegade computer for right-brained people, but their superior 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 system 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.

Today EAR is the largest professional video editing workstation provider in the Southwest. We now cover everything from lights and cameras to 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!

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. We help make your purchase the most effective investment possible. Put simply – we’re in business to keep you in business profitably, since 1978.

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.

This Day In EAR History July 1995

This day in EAR history… July 10th 1995

16 Years ago this month, we developed this advertisement (below) to convey a very simple message. “We can never be sure what new audio/video technology is right around the corner, but if it is useful and affordable, EAR will lead the way in enabling the technology and offering it immediately to our customers”.

As you can see, the “Symulator” concept ad was about a future hand-held device that could control audio and video transports and also be a tool for editing and displaying sound and picture. Sound familiar?

No, we didn’t invent the IPad but we did create quite a stir with some overseas companies who didn’t quite understand the “what-if?” nature of the ad and began calling us to find out how we developed this amazing device!

It was a bit of a challenge trying to explain to them that this “product” was only an example of some future idea and not something that was currently available! We were busy taking calls for weeks!

Today you can buy a number of products that bring amazing functionality to your palm. Most recently the iPad. Checkout out our coming events for personal factory visits or a personal demonstration.