Recording and Studio
DAR's Scottish Network STORM
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Scottish Television (Scottish T.V.), one of the UK's premier regional broadcasters, has recently installed a networked digital audio system from Digital Audio Research (DAR), encompassing five DAR SoundStation STORM workstations, an OMR8 disk recorder/dubber and a DAR AXIS AudioServer. DAR users for over ten years, Scottish T.V. evaluated several competitive systems before electing to upgrade its DAR SoundStation systems to the STORM specification and install the full networking capability.
Scottish T.V.'s DAR system comprises three large-format STORMs with colour touchscreens - one 24-track and two 16-track machines - plus two 8-track compact console STORMs and the 8-track OMR8. The system's AXIS file server is fitted with a centralised Exabyte tape back-up facility, and DAR's CDAdvance fast-copying CD-player unit was also supplied, to enable rapid access and assembly of sound effects material. Scottish T.V. has distributed the STORMs throughout its five dubbing suites, with the OMR8 - complete with a DAR autoconform package - principally employed in the post-production department's machine room. For Scottish T.V., the OMR8 unit is proving to be an especially useful tool - in addition to providing an extra 8 audio tracks which can be chase-synced to any dubbing suite, it serves as an OMFI translation station and can be used as a network hub controller to send reels and segments to and from any other device on the network. Quite simply, work at any stage can be transferred from one workstation to another, invisibly and without interrupting the work flow in any dubbing suite.
Brian Paterson, Head of Sound Post-Production at Scottish T.V., commented: "We are absolutely delighted with the overall performance of DAR's audio network and with the new capabilities of the STORM workstations - they contain a wealth of problem-solving facilities that just make life easier. The bankless design of STORM's architecture saves the need for internal disk-to-disk copying and gives us full 24-track capability, and the file server is a big help - the networking is extremely convenient for fast file transfers and project mobility between our dubbing suites. With the backup facility on the AXIS server, we can simply work flat out, dump everything to the AXIS and then backup overnight. The STORM is a fast system and productivity is greatly increased - some operations that took perhaps 15 to 30 minutes with our previous system now take typically only 3 to 4 minutes. Our only problem is having less time to pause for a cup of tea!" Recent projects to utilise the new STORMs have included 4 Rebus feature length dramas - a co-production between SMG TV Productions and Clerkenwell Films, and Twister, a thirteen part series for ITV. Sea Kingdoms is a new ten-part series for local consumption that explores the origins of Celtic nations. Upcoming projects will include Sirens, two 90-minute dramas and four new 2-hour productions of the long running Taggart series for SMG TV Productions.
7/2001 Pro-Music-News

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