Before investing in Midi LTO, Dutch production specialist EditCompany faced interminable issues...
“In terms of storage, we had Avid Unity followed by Apple Xsan – it worked great but was costly, needed a lot of infrastructure and we had so many support issues.” Recalls company director Maarten Butter. 

The GB Labs alternative initially appealed to the company because of its ease of use and reliability. As a small company that offers a complete production and post production service, EditCompany cannot afford down-time. 

“Ethernet connectivity was a key feature for us. Attaching clients using standard cabling and networking kit was very attractive. In terms of performance, we were looking for sustained speed over everything else: unexpected system slowdowns are very distracting for editors and harm the creative process. The GB Labs system is fast, but it’s the reliability that’s most crucial.” Notes Butter.

Keen to use central storage to take advantage of intelligent workflows, the team selected the GB Labs desktop system, Midi LTO. Midi LTO is a hybrid system, comprising a fast 24TB RAID and an integrated and shared LTO drive system for project backup and file archive. It incorporates GB Labs’ powerful archiving software that makes tape storage fast, safe and efficient. Users connect over standard Ethernet, with the system supporting multiple workstations and mixed OS environments. All GB Labs storage systems enable editors to run their software of choice, in this instance Apple Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Creative Suite.

“The move from FCP 7 to Final Cut Pro X was a bit of a backward step in terms of workflow until Apple launched the library model in version 10.1. Now we just point each workstation to Midi LTO where all the assets are instantly available. It’s become a very effective workflow.” Says Butter.

EditCompany typically edits ProRes files but recently trialed their 2.5K Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera, shooting RAW in a crowd funding project for a Dutch movie house. Completing the initial grade in DaVinci Resolve, the clips were transcoded into proxies, edited in FCP X then returned to Resolve for conforming and the final grade.

“Midi LTO’s ability to work with multiple formats, codecs and resolutions is crucial.” Concludes Butter. “We had a few initial teething problems with the system and LTO backups but since the arrival of Core 3 OS, the system has run very smoothly. The new OS has also made administration and updates much easier to manage, making the user experience very impressive.”