berkeley's DECK 2.6 audio workstation : LUSENET : Editing DV Films : One Thread

I am wondering if anyone has used the DECK 2.6 workstation to edit a full length feature... if so, what are the advantages and how does it compare with protools? What are the disadvantage

-- ron hansing (, January 12, 1999


I used Deck 2.6 to do some mixing of a "live" concert which had 11 tracks of audio. . . This was for a solo performer/speaker who would go "on and off" the microphone and we had many microphone feeds so it was basically the mixing of 11 tracks for a dozen songs. Here's my thoughts about Deck. 1. We were using a Nubus PowerMac (without arrays) so the number of tracks was limited by the hard drives. 12 tracks was to much for the program but we were also using a TON of real time eq filters. 2. There are a couple of minor bugs and painful things in Deck. Sometimes the interface will not refresh the "track names". This is related to some kind of editing operation (it's been a while since we used it, so I can't remember what it was that triggered that bug hassle). 3. With an array and a G3 Macintosh you should be able to get ton of tracks and have more than one "real time" EQ effect. Deck has parametric and shelving EQ's which are real time and up to 4 can be added per channel, but they require CPU processing power. If not a lot of heavy EQ and compression in your post is required, Deck may be okay. However the next point is a critical one in the fault of Decks design. 4. It is ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE to keep track of file names and what tracks they belong to when doing a backup or restore when using Deck. The default PLAYLIST names are NOT unique unless you NAME them BEFORE you record the tracks. This means that if I have 10 songs recorded in a typical deck project I'll end up with 10 files with the SAME name PLAYLIST 1 for track one of each song. This is a BIG problem with large projects that may span more than one logical disk drive. Because you may have 5 or 6 drives which all have several simular names. When you backup these drives to a tape and restore the project later, you'll find that DECK mysteriously doesn't know which track name goes with which file name. The simular default filenames will cause the program to be confused. A simple solution (which I proposed to the company) would have been to have DECK increment each track name with some incremented number for each project. Unfortunately the company that created Deck created it originally for a small system as a 4 track system and the drives were not that big. As the product was expanded to allow more tracks the structure for storing them was not figured out. Because of this DECK is NOT a product for serious use unless the project is only for a short (one song) project. Or all the files reside on ONE 2 gig logical drive on a single drive system or a single logical array. 5. PLUG-INS. We tried using a cheap CYBERSOUND effect package for some potential "compression" in the digital realm. The plug-in's are great, however the settings are NON-PROFESSIONAL in that they don't specify "real world" settings but just a range of values between 1 and 100. We don't know if the "delay" setting of 1 is a longer delay or a shorter delay than the larger number. The documentation is inadequate, but it's a good package for musicians fooling around, NOT a serious sound engineer. Also 3rd party PLUG-INS for Deck are "rendered" in deck and many other programs which are low priced. Protools has extra "render farms" and baords which do the EFFECTS in "real time" which is MUCH more intuitive if you need to use 3rd party effects. CONCLUSION: Deck 2 products are nowhere as suitable as a PROTOOLS for quick editing of audio. For LONG format editing (with a lot of files), Deck is not recommended because the project cannot be backed up and restored without making the project virtually unusable. For short format work a song or two, Deck might be worth the savings in money. For long format editing Protools would be much better. There may be other products such as Cubase, but I've not used it so someone else would have to enlighten us about Cubase audio.

-- Greg Knekleian (, May 18, 1999.

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