What's in this issue:

May 2010 - Issue 12

Spring is racing on by for us here in the Northern Hemisphere, and much as in the last issue when I was hoping that you are all seeing the beginnings of spring wherever you may be, I now hope you might just be seeing the beginnings of a lovely summer! For those of you to have been lucky enough to be enjoying the warmth of summer in the Southern half of the globe, I hope you’ve gotten your fill of the sun and warm while it lasted!  

Due to the volcanic madness which seems to still be gripping Europe, we were unable to bring you last month’s newsletter. But, we hope that we can make it up to you as we’ve got some great information for you in this issue. Everything from the latest in Conference news and summer schedules to reports on technical recommendations and breakthroughs. Check it all out below.

Pyramix 6.2 SP1

With the successful release of Pyramix 6.2, we had a great response from end users around the world. New features like the Shared Mixer have brought incredible speed enhancements to workflows ranging from Music Mastering to Post-Production. Take a look at what we’ve got in store for you.

New Addition to the Snapshot filter window:

This is a handy new feature for all of those who are using the Snapshot filter window in a lot of their work (and if you aren’t using it.. then you should definitely start now!).

This new radio button is marked “unselect” and what it does is auto-opens the filter tree to show the user all of the tick boxes which have been checked. This gives users a very easy way to see all that they are going to affect without having to dig for the information.

New Record feature

This was a great user request which we felt would be a great addition to the SP1.

Now, when you begin to record on the Pyramix timeline, you will see the name of the media which is currently being recorded appear in the normal place you would see it once the recording is finished! This is incredibly handy for fast recordings with lots of takes, as it is a clear view to exactly which take is currently being recorded.
The “On Air” pop up window which exists in Pyramix (ALT+R) will now show the current recording names as well!

Turn off “controlling the Mixer with the Keyboard” feature

We implemented a feature a few versions ago, which a lot of end users are now using on a day to day basis. But we thought we’d let the others turn it off if they want.

The ability to control pan and level changes using the arrow and tab keys was something that we had been asked again and again to make available in the Pyramix code. That said, some others find it a bit distracting when they do not want to use it, or did not know that it was there, so we have a created a facility to remove the functionality from the application. Check the SP1 release notes for a detailed instruction on how to turn this feature off if you wish to do so.

Reduced memory consumption of Fade Editor

The last few Pyramix releases have been worked on heavily in order to reduce the memory footprint which it presents on the computer it is being run on.

With regards to that goal, we have optimized and placed a new tool in the Fade editor which now allows for the clearing of the undo data which is present in it during an edit. Now, there is a new tick box in All Settings>Application>Editing called “Enable undo for every Fade editor change”. This option is now disabled by default, meaning that every time you close the fade editor, the undo cache is cleared.

Pyramix Native now with Lower CPU consumption

Now, 6.2 SP1 has way more CPU to spare!

With Version 6.2SP1, Pyramix native has now been optimized even further to be able to offer up even more power from the same computer spec. By slightly reconfiguring the way in which the CPU is being addressed, you now can have even more power than before with your existing Native Pyramix system.

VCube 2.2 SP1

Well what would we be if we didn’t keep to our word with regards to synchronized releases if we didn’t have some new features and enhancements for VCube as well. The sp1 brings new codecs, sync options and lots of stability enhancements. Check them out below.

VCube sync to MTC (MIDI Timecode)

It is now possible to sync your VCube system to incoming MTC.

In the formats and sync window, the Chase TC Source dropdown now contains MTC as an option. Once it is chosen, a separate window becomes available which allows the user to set the MIDI port that the MTC is coming in on.

New reference status indicators for USB-Sync board

New version brings new measurement and sync lock window.. How Swiss!

Now, there exists in the sync status window, new reference boxes to show the status of references coming through the USB-SYNC board. Locked/Unlocked and “Locked although Composition framerate does not Match Reference framerate”.

Technical News

Merging Hard Disk recommendations - March 2010

Things you need to know about the hard disks you are installing in your Pyramix and/or VCube systems…

Recently we have seen a number of cases pop up where current generations of energy saving, cost effective SATA 2 hard disks were displaying very poor performance characteristics. Provoking stalls during audio/video playback and recording in Pyramix, VCube and Ovation. Please be aware of the following recommendations.

Hard Disks for real time Audio or Video are a critical point in any workstation. Even if the hard disk’s specifications looks good on paper, it can show really poor performances for your specific use, that can result in playback stalls and delay in access time.

Here is what Merging recommends for Pyramix, VCube and Ovation:

  • All “Eco”, “Green” series, from all manufacturers are NOT suitable for real-time audio or video. Their typical energy saving policy makes their response time delayed.
  • Always choose RAID editions. Those disks are designed to be highly efficient for continuous access. Most of the time, they also have a longer warranty time than standard disks.

Recommended as of March 2010 (this list is subject to modification):

  • Western Digital 2 WD2003FYY
  • SAMSUNG HE103UJ Raid Edition
  • WD Caviar Black series
  • WD Raid Edition RE3 series

Not recommended :

  • All Green - Eco series
  • Seagate. Poor burst performances, especially in VCube.

Note to all Merging distributors, resellers, assemblers and individual clients having recently installed hard disks into a system; please verify that you have chosen disks that correspond to our list of certified hardware. If you have installed disks that fall into the category of those not recommended then we strongly suggest that you REMOVE THEM and replace them with disks from our recommended list.

PCIe problems finally solved! Intel releases V5200 BIOS

We were starting to get a bit confused here. Questioning our abilities and such. Then, it finally turns out that it is the multi-billion dollar a year company that messed up… Great. Thanks guys;-)

Anyone who has installed systems containing the X58 series of Intel chipsets, has more than likely been experiencing some pretty horrific results when using Mykerinos “X-series” PCIe cards. System freezes and blue screens were really beginning to pose a real problem. But, with Intel’s release of the BIOS v2.8, we seem to now have come (at least partially, since only the MYK-X30 is fine but we are still encountering issues with the MYK-X50) to the end of this issue!

Please download the new BIOS if you currently are using an older version of Intel’s DX58SO Motherboard in your Pyramix computer. The version you are looking for is the BIOS 5200 which you can download here.

Last minute News

Merging engineering was able to track, isolate, understand and find a fix for the unreliable HD Video Tri-Level sync on the CON-USB-VTC board as reported by some customers (particularly with 720p23.98/24, 720p25 and 720p29.97/30).

Since the fix involves soldering a very tiny SMD component (0603 sized resistor) on the CON-USB-VTC, we feel it will be safer to apply this ECO in our labs and let you apply for an exchange under RMA for those customers you have reporting this issue. Please note that MYK-X30 is also able to benefit from a similar fix although the issue on the MYK-X30 has another easy workaround by not terminating the Video Reference input in those cases.

In Closing

Thanks for reading this far. We hope that you’ve found this all to be of help!

And as usual, if you have any feedback you would like to share, please respond to this mail and let us know your thoughts.


The Merging Team.