Written by Simon Lloyd Category: Projects
Published on 01 January 2008

Our old Edit 2 was a simple tape edit suite and some of us remember the old low band Umatics and VHS machines we used. For the past few years it acquired a more central role, as it doubled as our transmission gallery. All this changed in 2007 when we redesigned it for the modern day. Despite having a perfectly adequate Adobe Premier edit suite we made the decision to convert to Apple Final Cut Pro. Two of our number are professional FCP trainers and more and more people are leaving college having used FCP.

Cost was a problem but a friend of HHTV said we could buy his old FCP system for a nominal sum. The design was to be simple with a simple design criteria of Keep it Simple, Stupid". Too many of our projects have been very clever and highly technical with the result that they do everything anyone could ever want to do but have been complicated to use so put people off. This was to be the opposite - simple to use so anyone and everyone can use it. That said the suite was to have record and replay lines and be capable of working with both DVCam and Betacam SP. We also need to be able to record a commentary in the edit suite or record from the studio floor and this all had to be planned for. So we knew what we wanted but the biggest problem for us was to be getting a suitable desk to fit it around. As with all Harefield projects things went on hold while we tried to get an "L" shaped office desk that would fit the room. Things had gone very quiet and months went by when all of a sudden someone from BBC Manchester found themselves on a FCP training course in Elstree, run by one of our members. The next thing we found ourselves doing was driving a very large van to Manchester to collect an edit desk made by "Custom Consoles". This type of desk was more than we could have dreamed of; it had motors to drive it up and down, cable management built in and best of all it fitted in the room with about an inch to spare. Just as importantly for HHTV were also donated several much needed Betacam machines at the same time.


At this time we were able to start the project for real. The old edit suite was torn out, the ceiling replaced and new electrics and lighting put in. A new paint job and new carpet tiles finished the room - that finished the new suite could be installed. Keeping things so simple had another great benefit - we were able to finish the whole thing in about six weeks. Edit 2 has very quickly become one of our most important parts of the studio. We now run regular training courses and slowly more and more of our membership are getting familiar with FCP. At the same time we are now able to specify a much higher standard of technical quality than we could before so the viewers are seeing the benefit in better quality programmes as well.

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