Case Studies and User Stories

Find out how customers use SNS products

Video production company can’t picture life without SNS

In this story:

This highly diverse video production/post production company specializes in corporate sales/training videos, interactive CD-ROMs, DVD authoring, corporate image/promotion, sales/marketing presentations, commercial spots and advertising media.

With 2 AVIDs already in place, this video production company desperately needed a proven shared storage solution for DVC Pro25/DVC Pro HD. The other critical requirement was that the cost had to fit within their budget.

Studio Network Solutions provided the perfect solution with the globalSAN™ X-4 to handle all their shared storage requirements.

SNS also backed this unique solution with a support package and extended warranty – all for the price that worked perfectly with their budget requirements.

Location: Westlake Village, California

Industry: Video Production/Post Production

Working Environment: AVID Express on Windows XP.

About SNS

Studio Network Solutions (SNS) specializes in the development of shared storage hardware and software solutions for the Media and Entertainment industry. Since day one we’ve applied unmatched ingenuity and experience to create outstanding products that exceed industry expectations while providing outstanding support to our customers.

Our customers range in size from individual freelance engineers to multinational media powerhouses. Our solutions are used to produce everything from books on tape to full track scoring for major Hollywood films. Our products have been at the technical core of the music you listen to, the games you play, the shows you watch and the movies you see.

We have a valued network of resellers located throughout the United States… and the world. Whether you have a product question or you’re ready to place an order, we encourage you to contact us today.

Tyrell, LLC creates award-winning soundtracks for major films

In this story:

Sound editor Malcolm Fife knows what it’s like to stare in the face of nearly impossible production schedules for big-budget movie soundtracks. He is also well-acquainted with the act of shrinking and growing his three-person studio partnership, Tyrell LLC, well beyond the boundaries of its tidy headquarters in Sausalito, California in order to keep a host of editors working concurrently on multiple recording tracks to meet their respective deadlines.

According to Fife, Tyrell spends about 75% of its time on sound work for movies, while the other 25% is comprised of sound tracks for various commercials. Movies benefiting from the award-winning sound editing expertise of Fife and his team have included New Line Productions’ The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Return of the King as well as Universal Studios’ King Kong. In each case, production usually entailed relocating Tyrell’s team of editors and equipment close to where filming or recording occurred, then assigning different editors to perform multiple edits, on often the same music track, sometimes at the same time simultaneously.

After joining forces with London’s famous Abbey Road recording studio during production of The Return of the King, Fife witnessed first-hand how useful a storage area network (SAN) could be at streamlining sound production workflows. It wasn’t long after work on the film concluded that he undertook the task of adapting what worked for Abbey Road for Tyrell’s own, more boutique-style environment.

Mixing. Editing. Scoring. Dubbing. De-dubbing. Shuttling as much as 48 or 64 new recording tracks from studio to edit suite. These are all facets of sound work involved in producing a major motion picture. They are also tasks that can typically require multiple editors and multiple recording rooms, all often in simultaneous use to perfect the final high-quality product.

When Tyrell first met with London’s Abbey Road for work planned on the Two Towers, the film’s producers consulted with Tyrell and Abbey Road about how best to keep all of its sound editors and editing rooms working efficiently enough to produce the final movie score according to the movie’s ultimate, multimillion dollar timeline.

A storage area network, they decided, could solve their problems by allowing multiple editors to share access to the same sound files, all stored centrally on the SAN, while being able to replay the files in real-time from whichever station they were at without hiccups. It would also avoid the typical scenario that tended to eat up quality edit time: Waiting to copy sound files down to a FireWire drive (or pop out a local SCSI drive) and move them to another edit suite for further work required.

After Abbey Road investigated then implemented a high-speed Fibre Channel SAN from Studio Network Solutions, it didn’t take long for Fife and the others at Tyrell to witness first-hand how well the SAN worked at file sharing and collaboration among the various editors, as well as real-time playback of tracks in progress. Fife and his team became quickly “addicted to the SAN idea” and enamored with the thought of files always remaining in the same network location for easier access, revisioning, and faster turnaround between edits.

Soon after this experience, Tyrell embarked on a mission to make its own production environment “SAN capable.” Its goal, according to Fife, was to mirror much of the success experienced at the Abbey Road location, while also exploring more affordable and flexible networked storage options that would allow virtually any laptop to access the contents of the SAN and would even let them use common TCP/IP network connections to transmit files from one room (or location) to another.

Malcolm Fife again turned to Studio Network Solutions to help him fulfill his goals for Tyrell.

The Choice: Fibre Channel and iSCSI SANs from SNS

After spending time with Studio Network Solutions, Fife ultimately incorporated not one, but two, SAN storage systems from SNS at the core of Tyrell’s new infrastructure.

As Fife recounts, “On the final dub of Two Towers and Return of the King, SNS sold us a Fibre Channel SAN we could bring with us to a dub in New Zealand. This would allow the music editors to have several mixes going, with any file available to anyone who also had access to the SAN. It made it much more efficient than what we would have had to do previously.”

Prior to the SAN, if his partner, Mark, was working on a particular cut, and suddenly Fife or another music editor needed the same cut, they would have typically resorted to copying the file onto another drive. “With a SAN, of course, everything is permanently waiting for you on the SAN. You boot your computer up and just log in. It was easy to arrange our workflow to work in this manner,” he said.

Normal network file sharing methods didn’t really allow them the option to play the sounds live from any workstation on the network, either. Instead of first having to import typical AppleTalk sounds and save them on a local workstation in order to play them back, Fife said a SAN would allow them to direct all the files to the SAN first, where they would then be widely available to any workstation in the facility. More importantly, the SAN would allow them to reduce the time-consuming work involved in navigating the various protocols required to move files from one computer to another. After working on projects that required combining the work from Mac-based Pro Tools (from Digidesign) or Windows-based Pyramix (from Merging Technologies), Fife knew that anything that could help minimize and streamline the conversion process and navigation between protocols was something worthy of note.

The alternative, using FireWire or SCSI drives, was not something Fife wanted to return to any time soon. He’d already experienced that frustration once too often. “Using those methods, you could easily end up with thousands of duplicates. Mistakes were also too easy to make by people editing the wrong version of a file. Now, when running ProTools or Pyramix, the computer just sees the SAN as a couple of SCSI drives on a desktop, yet the data comes to it at rapid rates of speed. It’s just amazing. ProTools will play things from the SAN that it might refuse to play from other mounted volumes,” he said.

After seeing how well the Fibre Channel-based A/V SAN PRO worked, Fife and his team began hearing about some of the more flexible options and lower implementation needs of a member of the SNS globalSAN family of products, the globalSAN X-4, based on the iSCSI protocol. (iSCSI is a storage protocol that allows fast, block-level data transmission and storage of data over traditional TCP/IP networks, such as those using high-speed Gigabit Ethernet cabling.)

Several aspects appealed to Fife about this type of iSCSI solution. Although his Fibre Channel SAN was much more robust, Fife liked the fact that Tyrell wouldn’t have to first invest in a host bus adapter (HBA) card or specific Fibre Channel cabling in order for every workstation to gain access to the iSCSI SAN. Fife also liked the fact that even contract editors with their own notebook computers could quickly “plug into the SAN” from any editing suite.

“It’s a very simple concept as far as SANs go. It plugs into networking wiring and interfaces on your computer you already have. The underlying software layers and drivers are hidden and just maintain themselves,” noted Fife.

When it came to managing workflows, Fife really liked how well SNS’ SANmp™ management software worked for both the Fibre Channel and iSCSI SAN environments. During file sharing, SANmp allowed the editors to make sure that certain files or volumes would remain read-only to all but the individual currently performing edits. It also assured Tyrell that the same view of files would remain synchronized and updated from every desktop.

Fife now has 1TB of storage on Tyrell’s iSCSI SAN and about 400GB of storage on the Fibre Channel system. A handful of workstations has access to each SAN, with the option to add more workstations to either SAN at any time, in order to accommodate peak workloads. Plans are now in place for the iSCSI-based GlobalSAN to store all of Tyrell’s permanent sound effects library along with other production dialogue for the studio’s current film project in progress.

Fife’s experience with SANs from Studio Network Solutions has been predominantly positive. So much so, that he plans to never go back to the way things used to be. He recounts how one recent scene in King Kong would have been virtually impossible without the use of Tyrell’s SAN from SNS.

A number of teams and departments had delivered several different sound elements developed using both Mac-based ProTools and Windows-based Pyramix. When Director Peter Jackson focused on sound for one island scene where the girl is kidnapped by island natives, he decided to integrate several elements from many separate sources in order to create the scene. Although many of the pieces were stored by other groups on local machines, Fife was still able to use Tyrell’s SAN to help combine all relevant sound elements together in one central place.

Going from PC to Mac and back again, Fife noted, “I was able to use the SAN to share and mount the shared elements on the stage between the two platforms. The scene was so complicated that it would have been extremely difficult to do it if we hadn’t been able to send things across the SAN. It would have been impossible to achieve what Peter was asking us to do. He picked and chose what he wanted when he sat down. He basically said, ‘I want this from you, and that from you, etc.’ Then, it was up to us to all work together in order to make that happen. It’s what SAN are for: Collaboration.”

In the end, Fife sees his SNS SANs as powerful, maintenance-free tools in Tyrell’s current production workflow. As tools go, he’s grown accustomed to spending significant time away from the creative music process as he cajoles his tools to work with myriad upgrades and mechanical tweaks required.

“I don’t really get paid for that kind of work. I cut sound on movies. So, that’s one of the things about having a globalSAN from SNS, especially with iSCSI. It just has a very low percentage of maintenance time required. The stuff is already designed around users in audio and video and multimedia enviroments. The people at SNS already intend for the systems to just plug into any small and medium-sized facility that does post-production work. Like many other studios, Tyrell has sophisticated technical people on staff who are not engineers and don’t have full-time IT departments. We just want to spend 90% of our time on the audio material, not the infrastructure. The SNS equipment is just designed at our level, and allows us to do that,” he said.

About SNS

Studio Network Solutions (SNS) specializes in the development of shared storage hardware and software solutions for the Media and Entertainment industry. Since day one we’ve applied unmatched ingenuity and experience to create outstanding products that exceed industry expectations while providing outstanding support to our customers.

Our customers range in size from individual freelance engineers to multinational media powerhouses. Our solutions are used to produce everything from books on tape to full track scoring for major Hollywood films. Our products have been at the technical core of the music you listen to, the games you play, the shows you watch and the movies you see.

We have a valued network of resellers located throughout the United States… and the world. Whether you have a product question or you’re ready to place an order, we encourage you to contact us today.

SNS solutions for worship help reach millions of listeners

In this story:

Haven Today produces a daily Christian radio program that is distributed and broadcast throughout the world. While their devotional radio shows are heard by millions, they also produce a variety of music CDs and offer previously aired radio programs on CDs for purchase.

With a production studio featuring 3 Pro Tools workstations, Haven Today required the ability to quickly and effortlessly record, edit and mix large audio files for daily radio broadcast programs.

To meet the requirements of Haven Today, Studio Network Solutions developed a total solution that included globalSAN™X-4 and 3 seats of SANmp®. It was the ideal way for increasing productivity and gave Haven Today full access to sessions at any workstation on their audio network.

“The globalSAN™ X-4 solution from Studio Network Solutions has been a huge asset to our production and workflow. It’s been a solid performer, and was extremely easy to integrate!” – Leo Song, Title, Haven Today

Company: Haven Today

Industry: Audio for daily radio broadcasts

Working Environment: Pro Tools

About SNS

Studio Network Solutions (SNS) specializes in the development of shared storage hardware and software solutions for the Media and Entertainment industry. Since day one we’ve applied unmatched ingenuity and experience to create outstanding products that exceed industry expectations while providing outstanding support to our customers.

Our customers range in size from individual freelance engineers to multinational media powerhouses. Our solutions are used to produce everything from books on tape to full track scoring for major Hollywood films. Our products have been at the technical core of the music you listen to, the games you play, the shows you watch and the movies you see.

We have a valued network of resellers located throughout the United States… and the world. Whether you have a product question or you’re ready to place an order, we encourage you to contact us today.

Studio Network Solutions gives a Flawless Performance for a Major Theater Company

In this story:

Located in the heart of Stockholm, Sweden, Stockholms Stadsteater contains a venue that features seven different stages. Live performances include everything from baby dramas (children 6-12 months) to Soup Theater, where the lunchtime crowd can enjoy a meal and a show. Stockholms Stadsteater is also nationally recognized for major theatrical productions, such as the popular “The Master and Margarita” by famed Russian author Mikhail Bulgakov.

All pre-production is recorded, mixed and edited in either of their two Pro Tools HD studios. In addition to this busy and complex job, Stockholms Stadsteater also produces the music and sound effects for all productions.

Because the engineers at Stockholms Stadsteater required flexibility, they needed a proven storage solution capable of continuously recording a show in one studio, while at the same time giving engineers in another studio access to the recorded material for editing and mixing.

Studio Network Solutions’ reseller, Soundware Sweden, developed a solution utilizing a single globalSAN X-4 with a 24-port Gigabit Ethernet Switch and central RAID storage. This allowed each of the two Pro Tools HD systems, located in separate studios, to access the central storage system. The result was increased productivity as well as data security. The globalSAN X-4 was an ideal solution – it worked flawlessly within Stockholms Stadsteater’s Digidesign and Pro Tools working environments.

“The SNS globalSAN X-4 works just like we had hoped. We now have complete flexibility and are able to work on the same project independently between our two studios. And since we have such high security requirements, the SNS central RAID storage solution was critical to meeting our needs”, comments Ola Hellmark, Audio and Video Manager at Stockholms Stadsteater.

SNS helps audio studio turn up volume in production efficiency and speed

In this story:

Los Angeles based Megatrax is one of the premier production music libraries, featuring an ever-expanding catalog of fresh and original sounds. Ideal for custom scoring, Megatrax maintains state-of-the-art live and electronic recording studios and has access to the finest musicians, arrangers and orchestrations in the industry. Megatrax’s high-impact, custom sound has made them a leading choice for major broadcast networks and Hollywood studios. Their credits include The Simpson’s Movie, Shrek The Third, General Hospital and many more top names.

From movie trailers to music CDs, Megatrax can have 10 to 15 projects in progress simultaneously. In order to keep things moving forward, they needed a system that would let them move projects instantly between 3 studios as well as review and edit projects outside the studio. In addition, Megatrax had 6 Pro Tools workstations that all needed to be on shared storage and required RAID protection.

The solution Studio Network Solutions developed for Megatrax included 4 globalSAN™X-4s, 6 seats of Q:COMPLETE™ premium support and on-site installation. The solution was robust, fast, bullet proof and required a minimum amount of management time. It was the ideal choice for giving Megatrax more time to be creative without dealing with a lot of network administration. It also provided their workgroups the ability to edit and share large files directly on RAID protected storage.

“We looked at various solutions, but the SNS solution stood out because of its speed, compatibility with Pro Tools and ease of administration. You don’t have to be an IT professional to install setup and maintain an SNS product. Their globalSAN™X-4 system has improved our workflow and increased the speed of our productions. Now that we have it, we wonder how we ever managed without it!” – Derek Jones, Audio Engineer, Megatrax

Company: Megatrax

Industry: Audio post production

Working Environment: Pro Tools LE /HD, Mac OS X

About SNS

Studio Network Solutions (SNS) specializes in the development of shared storage hardware and software solutions for the Media and Entertainment industry. Since day one we’ve applied unmatched ingenuity and experience to create outstanding products that exceed industry expectations while providing outstanding support to our customers.

Our customers range in size from individual freelance engineers to multinational media powerhouses. Our solutions are used to produce everything from books on tape to full track scoring for major Hollywood films. Our products have been at the technical core of the music you listen to, the games you play, the shows you watch and the movies you see.

We have a valued network of resellers located throughout the United States… and the world. Whether you have a product question or you’re ready to place an order, we encourage you to contact us today.

SNS hears what audio production company needs, delivers ideal SAN

In this story:

Working directly with broadcast, entertainment, media and educational industries, this audio production/post production company delivers the highest quality audio product in a state-of-the-art environment. They compose original music, arrange and produce music, and mix and master music and the spoken word for television, film, the Internet, voice-prompt systems and ring-tones.

This company required a shared storage solution for their two Pro Tools suites for audio post production and music production. This solution needed the capability to handle large projects with at least 2 Terabytes of data. In addition, they required a RAID solution to guarantee data integrity while being able to support Pro Tools.

Studio Network Solutions provided the company with a globalSAN™ X-4 that could effectively support Pro Tools. The company was very impressed at the final result and stated, “Things have been great since the initial install.”

Location: New York, New York

Industry: Audio production/post production

Working Environment: Pro Tools LE

About SNS

Studio Network Solutions (SNS) specializes in the development of shared storage hardware and software solutions for the Media and Entertainment industry. Since day one we’ve applied unmatched ingenuity and experience to create outstanding products that exceed industry expectations while providing outstanding support to our customers.

Our customers range in size from individual freelance engineers to multinational media powerhouses. Our solutions are used to produce everything from books on tape to full track scoring for major Hollywood films. Our products have been at the technical core of the music you listen to, the games you play, the shows you watch and the movies you see.

We have a valued network of resellers located throughout the United States… and the world. Whether you have a product question or you’re ready to place an order, we encourage you to contact us today.

Public television network handles more with a SAN solution that does more

In this story:

Every year, this very popular public television network affiliate reaches millions of television viewers in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut area. It also reaches countless more viewers across the country through its many award-winning national programs.

Due to its many projects and the technical need to handle a vast assortment of data, this public broadcast affiliate needed to upgrade from a sneaker net situation. To accomplish this required a SAN solution that would work over GigE and not take up a PCI slot.

Using globalSAN™ X-4 and SANmp™ software from Studio Network Solution, this public television network can now share storage without moving files manually. They are also able to keep all their PCI slots available and can easily expand in the future.

Location: New York, New York

Industry: Television broadcasting/program production

Working Environment: Pro Tools HD

About SNS

Studio Network Solutions (SNS) specializes in the development of shared storage hardware and software solutions for the Media and Entertainment industry. Since day one we’ve applied unmatched ingenuity and experience to create outstanding products that exceed industry expectations while providing outstanding support to our customers.

Our customers range in size from individual freelance engineers to multinational media powerhouses. Our solutions are used to produce everything from books on tape to full track scoring for major Hollywood films. Our products have been at the technical core of the music you listen to, the games you play, the shows you watch and the movies you see.

We have a valued network of resellers located throughout the United States… and the world. Whether you have a product question or you’re ready to place an order, we encourage you to contact us today.

Producing popular music requires talent and creative storage solutions

In this story:

The music produced at this studio has been used in many programs on several major network’s prime time television. They have also produced custom music packages for some of the worlds largest motor vehicle companies as well as one of the nations largest energy company. Plus, they have created two of the leading collections of licensable music in the industry.

This facility relies upon different audio applications to meet their specific creative needs. Using both Digidesign’s Pro Tools and Apple’s Logic Pro created more project files to manage and increases potential for excess duplicate media files.

Utilizing globalSAN™ X-4, Studio Network Solutions (SNS) was able to connect 3 Macs (1 Pro Tools system, 1 Logic Pro system, and 1 system running both). This solution allowed the client to easily work with both Pro Tools and Logic Pro projects using the same media with centralized storage.

By using iSCSI over Gigabit Ethernet connections, SNS simplified connectivity between systems giving them flexibility for future growth and change. globalSAN has also increased their productivity by sharing content and projects delivering quality productions to their esteemed clients.

Industry: Radio/television production

Working Environment: Pro Tools, Logic Pro

About SNS

Studio Network Solutions (SNS) specializes in the development of shared storage hardware and software solutions for the Media and Entertainment industry. Since day one we’ve applied unmatched ingenuity and experience to create outstanding products that exceed industry expectations while providing outstanding support to our customers.

Our customers range in size from individual freelance engineers to multinational media powerhouses. Our solutions are used to produce everything from books on tape to full track scoring for major Hollywood films. Our products have been at the technical core of the music you listen to, the games you play, the shows you watch and the movies you see.

We have a valued network of resellers located throughout the United States… and the world. Whether you have a product question or you’re ready to place an order, we encourage you to contact us today.

New York Recording Studio feels right at home with their new SAN

In this story:

A New York Recording Studio has many different high profile clients who often use different rooms of their facility at the same time. Usually clients have multiples of their own Firewire drives which makes it difficult for house engineers to track the numerous session files. Just as difficult is ensuring data integrity should one of the Firewire drives fail.

With multiple clients and artists working on projects simultaneously, this customer needs to be able to securely move a project from one room to the next. Plus, they need to make sure their client’s data is safe and only accessible to the client and their staff.

Their facility consists of 2 Pro Tools HD suites for recording, editing and mixing Audio; 1 Pro Tools HD suite for MIDI composition; and 1 workstation for Data Management.

Because of the volume of work being done in the studio, the customer needed 5 globalSAN™ X-4s and a Gigabit Ethernet switch. globalSAN allows them to move sessions from room to room safely and securely using the iSCSI protocol over their workstations’ on-board GigE ports. This saves setup and transfer time since they have instant access to their respective material.

Using a dedicated machine for Data Management and Administration, they can centrally access and manage the SAN effectively (this includes running backups and preparing volumes for new client sessions).

Industry: Music production and recording studio

Working Environment: Pro Tools

About SNS

Studio Network Solutions (SNS) specializes in the development of shared storage hardware and software solutions for the Media and Entertainment industry. Since day one we’ve applied unmatched ingenuity and experience to create outstanding products that exceed industry expectations while providing outstanding support to our customers.

Our customers range in size from individual freelance engineers to multinational media powerhouses. Our solutions are used to produce everything from books on tape to full track scoring for major Hollywood films. Our products have been at the technical core of the music you listen to, the games you play, the shows you watch and the movies you see.

We have a valued network of resellers located throughout the United States… and the world. Whether you have a product question or you’re ready to place an order, we encourage you to contact us today.

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