Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Boulder on Fire

For those of you who might not know why Boulder smells of campfire - I thought I'd fill you in.

Boulder's on Fire.

This isn't the normal joke about our burning grill from the back of our loading dock scenario - but it's the result of an actual wildfire right here in Boulder, started by someone not paying enough attention to what they were doing.

Yup - some jerk decided to back into a propane tank on Monday. Perfect, just what we needed. So far, we're up to $7,500 acres of super hot burning forest.
How hot? Well, if the temperature drops below 81 degrees (Fahrenheit), the heat from the fire creates it's own little weather pattern up through the canyons - with turbulants so strong that experienced waterdrop/ airdrop 4 engine bomber pilots won't fly anywhere near said fire.


For those of you who aren't "locals"... it's a checklist joke that's not so funny.
Tourists? Check
Weekend and/ or Holiday? Check.
High temps? Check.
Extra Dry Conditions? Check.
Ridiculous amount of warnings in the media about fire danger? Check
RV? Check.

Guaranteed fire conditions.

Here's a pic from my front yard - I live about 6 miles east of the fire, and work about 1 mile east of the fire.

please excuse the crappy cell phone quality

With over 3500 residents evacuated, and the fire burning more and more out of control - let's all hope for the best and pray for no deaths/ injuries/ least amount of homes lost.

The view from my friend Joey's house....

Be careful out there folks!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Looking for a Few Good Testers!!

Looking for a few good testers!

In a rare opportunity, the Macrosystem Testing Team has a couple of spots open to add on new beta testers. These spots are for software testing of Macrosystem products. We are looking for folks that already have the hardware (Bogart SE editing systems), a good working knowledge of the Casablanca systems, and extra time to be very active in checking/testing new software products. If you have an interest we'd love to hear from you. For details please contact our support team at and put "Tester App" in the subject heading. We will then get you into the process of filling out an application form and filling you in on details on working in the program. Good luck and thank you for your interest!

Monday, August 30, 2010

September Casablanca Conference - Texas!

I just found this gem of an email awaiting me... and thought I should share it with the world.

MacroSystem friends - CAM Audio and the Casablanca Expert - are putting on what looks to be one heck-of-a shindig. I'd suggesting registering right away since Seth at CAM tells me they are limiting the number of folks who can attend, and that limit seems to be close to full.

Here's the email in Full


Greetings from CAM Audio, Inc.!

We are once again pleased to be hosting another Casablanca Workshop here in Dallas! This is going to be the largest Workshop that has been held in the south just for Casablanca users. Chet Davis (The Casablanca Expert) is back again for a full five (5) days of training and instruction!! We are splitting up the 5 days into two segments.

“Hands On” Workshop
The first 2 days are dedicated to the "Hands On" approach. This means the users will bring their own Editor and monitor so they can follow right along with the presentations/instructions. Chet Davis and CAM Audio hosted the very first "Hands On" workshop right here in Dallas a couple of years ago and since then they have caught on like wild fire. This is a most excellent time to meet with other peers and colleagues and to get more familiar with your Casablanca Editor. The dates for the first 2 days are September 26th and 27th (Sun. and Mon.). The cost for this invaluable training is only $199.00! Lunch is also provided in the registration price.

Included with your registration for the "Hands On" workshop you will be provided with all of the video footage, audio samples and still images so that you are able to match exactly what the instructor is teaching. You will also receive a PDF handout with step-by-step instructions to take home as well.

3 Day Seminar
The second segment of the workshop (the last 3 days) will showcase several speakers and will cover a wide gambit of topics all related to your use of the Casablanca. The dates are September 28th, 29th and 30th (Tues. - Thurs.).

In this workshop we will cover things like:
Green Screen/Chroma Key - How to shoot it and how to edit the footage once shot
New camera technology – What’s new and how to interface the cameras with your Editor
Backing up and storing your footage
How to get your videos online
Creating Fabulous Photo Montages
What’s new in software and what’s coming next.
We are also hosting a small vendor Fair the morning of the last day (Thursday the 30th).

These are just a few of the many items covered. We are also VERY pleased to have in attendance Philip Bice the VP of Sales and Marketing for Macrosystem US!! He will be speaking and answering questions from the floor.

Bobbie Evoy of “Memories On Tape” will be demonstrating How to shoot Green Screen and also how to get the most out of the software BB BlueBox World.
Ken Smithers of "Picture This Video" will also be presenting. He will show us how to create Wonderful Photo Montages using Pro Show Gold/Producer. This a very exciting software application that can dramatically increase your speed when creating Montages and Slide-shows.

The cost for the last 3 days is only $129.00! This also includes a buffet lunch each day as well.

Discounts / Door Prizes
If you are able to stay with us for the full 5 days, there is a great discount of $50.00, making the total for all 5 days of training and instruction ONLY $278.00!! That's an incredible deal for so much information!

There will, as always, be some great door prizes and special discounts on Software, Hardware and Media. We look forward to seeing you there!

Below you will find the links to the online registration forms. PLEASE NOTE: If you are planning to attend all 5 days make sure and click the correct link with the discounted price of $149.00 for the "Hands On" segment. You will also find the contact information to the Hotel where the event is being held. PLEASE NOTE: When you call the hotel reference the CAM Audio Event for a discounted room rate of $79.00 a night. You are also welcome to register now but pay at the door ( Cash, Check or Credit Card).

Thanks for your valuable time
Best regards

Seth Hampton
CAM Audio, Inc.

Seats are limited so register today!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

MacroSystem US Releases NEW "Title Studio"

MacroSystem US
is PROUD to announce the launch of a completely new Titler Software Package. This software is not an upgrade of it's current Deluxe Titler 3D Software - but an entirely new development effort. This new offering will continue to be developed against, and enhanced over time. Based 100% on user feedback and a user "wishlist", this new software has been developed to address the needs of the most progressive editors - while still remaining easy enough to use for beginners and basic home users.

This new Titler will run on the Bogart OS only (3.2c and above), and will continue to be developed on and expanded for many years to come. The new Titler also contains a new workflow - but one that is proven to be superior to the previous title studio software.

You can find a video overview of the new titler here

Find MacroSystem US's Product Page here - with lots of great info!

Here's the Highlights -
-About 100 pre-defined styles included, and nearly endless possibilities to create your own styles
-About 300 different materials and patterns for designing your own styles
-All tracks now in perfect full HD quality
-WYSIWYG editor
-Each letter can have its own font and style.
-Character Spacing, character width, and font size are adjustable for each letter
-The line spacing is set separately for each lin
-Justified text is supported
-Text alignment (left, center, right, block) is individually adjustable for each row
-Two different users layouts, depending on monitor mode


Q - Is the Deluxe Titler 3D being replaced?
A - Nope, it will still exist and be sold - We may be releasing an update in the next month or two - depending on our testing

Q - Can I have both titling software packages running on Bogart?
A - YES! See the manual's section 2.1 for more details.

Q - Can I try before I buy?
A - YES! Title Studio can be used in "Demo" mode.

Q - What are the OS restrictions?
A - You must install on Bogart 3.2C or higher

Q - Isn't this just the same thing with a new name?
A - NO! it's been developed from the ground up, 100% brand new. It's a 100% different workflow as well!

Q - Is it worth upgrading?
A - We think so! This was MSUS's #1 Customer Request to us... but we still advocate a demo and a view of the movie (above) before a customer buys

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

MSUS Tech Tip - Emergency Screen Switch

If you connect your machine and boot up and see no image, but the LED light on the front displays "Macrosystem", you might just be in the wrong display mode. The correction to this is very simple. Let's say in this case you are connecting to a DVI monitor when the machine was already set in single analog mode (note: machines ship in analog mode first as a default and the machine does not auto detect your monitor connection). The screen on the DVI monitor would appear black. There is a trick to use your trackball's right click buttons to switch screen modes without seeing the display. When the machine is powered up (theoretically it's on the main Bogart menu, you just can't see it right now) hold the right trackball button down for 6-7 seconds. The front LED should suddenly change to say "Display". It would be followed by the current display mode it is in. If the system was in single analog mode, it might say "Display: Scart". Pause, then you can press the large left trackball button to toggle to the next display mode (or the number keys off of the keyboard can be used too as mentioned in the next paragraph). As the system was set to single analog, the next mode would be DVI. Just wait about 15 seconds between screen switches. This should now switch the system to single DVI output and you will see the menus on the DVI monitor. This method is simply an emergency back door trick to switch monitor modes.

Using Bogart 2.4c or Bogart 3.2c, the emergency screen switch function can also be used on the Media Manager portion of the system. This would be useful in cases where you switch from Bogart to Media Manager and your screen display suddenly goes black. In most cases this means the Media Manager is resting on the main menu and has been set to a different monitor mode than you are using on Bogart. If this happens, same thing as before. Switch over to the Media Manager like usual to see the black screen. Then hold down the right trackball button for about 6-7 seconds. You will see a message on the front of your LED screen on the machine to indicate it's now in the "Display" mode. Using your keyboard, use the number keys to switch the appropriate type of screen display. 1 = Scart or the analog output. 2= DVI output. And with Bogart 3, the 3= HDMI output using the HDMI port on the back of S2000 or S4100 models.

Monday, July 19, 2010

CB Paint for Bogart?

ok - here it is... I need your help.

CB paint was a hit with some, not with others. We are getting some requests for development, but not enough to move forward for us to drop the serious cash needed to make this work on Bogart.

All that being said - leave a comment or email me at and let me know what you think.

Is it worth $1500 to you? (this is less than we charged for our last version of CB paint)
Would you be willing to commit to a purchase of this if we announced we were developing it?

If you don't send me your thoughts or your opinion - don't complain that you didn't get what you wanted!
If you do send me your thoughts and opinions - they do get read and are valuable to development efforts!!!

MSUS Tech Tip - Adding a Copyright Symbol

The copyright symbol is found on the "Special" character key on your on-screen keyboard. You'll find it on any menu that let's you type out a name. For instance, go to Titling> click on "Enter Edit Text"> Click on "Text" > Now you'll see the on screen keyboard. Down at the bottom of the keyboard is a "S" with a circle around it. This is the Special characters key. Click on it and it will open a drop down menu with special character attributes for the current font you have selected. Scroll down about half way down the list. There you will find the copyright symbol. Highlight it and then click "OK" to drop it down in the current line of text.

Friday, July 16, 2010


First, verify that you have a firewire port on your PC. Most PC firewire ports are "6-pin" firewire... a larger connection than the firewire port on the Casablanca (4-pin). If your computer has a 6-pin firewire port, you will need a cable that goes from 6-pin to 4-pin. Then all you need to do is import your AVI file into an application that can play video out via firewire, and digitize that video in the regular record screen on the Casablanca. With WinXP, there should be a free application called "Windows Movie Maker" that can do this for you. So, as long as you have the firewire port and a cable, you should be able to follow these steps:

1. Connect your PC to your casablanca via a firewire cable, and make sure both devices are turned on. You should see the Windows machine recognize the Casablanca with "Found New Hardware" dialogue in the lower right of your PC monitor.

2, Open the Windows Movie Maker application on your PC. On my computer it is located in the Start Menu under Programs > Accessories.

3. Choose to Import Video, and import your avi file.

4. Drag that avi file down to the storyboard in Windows Movie Maker.

5. Go to File > Save Movie File...

6. Choose to save to "DV Camera", and click Next.

7. Go to Video Settings on the Casablanca and verify that you are set to the "DV" input.

8. Go to Record on the Casablanca.

9. On the PC, click Next again to begin the recording.

10. The PC will now start to render the video, and when it is done, you will start to see the video being out to your Casablanca. Be ready to click record on the Casablanca and start digitizing the video.
Because Windows Movie Maker is a very basic application, it assumes that it is controlling the recorder (the Casablanca) which it is not doing. This means that often, you will miss the beginning of the recording because there is no warning that it is going to start outputting. Also, this may cause the application to crash at the end of the output. You may want to add your program to the Move Maker storyboard twice, or add a clip that you don't need in front of the one that you do need so that you don't miss anything between when the output starts and when you click record.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Nearly 99% of the work is all done on the PC/Mac side and there are so many different software programs out there and we could not possibly support them all. On the Casablanca, you need at least Smart Edit 4 or above to increase compatibility. If you are going from DV to the PC you basically need to go to the Finish menu and make sure the storyboard has been rendered in its entirety. Then the DV Recorder controls will be active so you can then click on it and output to VCR. This basically activates the DV output of the Casablanca making the DV out active. That's all to be done there. Over on the computer it depends what program you are using but with the firewire connected for the first time, you should get a message on the computer indicating a firewire device has been connected. Then going into the menus of the software program (i.e. Imovie, windows movie maker etc.) you look for the "Start capture" command to start recording footage and build a new folder. We often use "Windows Movie Maker" to capture footage off of the Casablanca via DV. The files saved from Movie Maker on your computer can then be used in various forms.

- On the PC you should be running Windows XP or above.
-On the Casablanca you should have the 4.0 installed in order to help the communication on with firewire to computers.
- Much of the software on the computer that can be used to firewire out to a camera has the ability to disable the program from automatically controlling the camera transport controls. In some cases, you might need to go into the menus of your software program to de-activate these controls. The Casablanca equipment will not allow a PC to control it and you could get errors to occur since the Casablanca does not emulate a deck. It likes to be the control device. We usually don't have to set anything when we connect with Windows Movie Maker, that's why tend to recommend that one as a base.

Note: If you have a lower operating system version than SE 4 or the devices just simply won't communicate, you may have to firewire out to a DV deck or camera first and then firewire the camera or deck to the PC. It will still be in digital, so there wouldn't be much loss, but just the extra step.)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


For those of you using older Cassie's - and trying to use them like a new Cassie...


None of our current software allows for any file converting inside the system. Right now there are a couple of ways to get it out for computer use:

1. You can send the video and audio out through the DV firewire cable to the computer if you wish to keep it in a digital form. (see additional info below) This would be done by going to the "Finish Window" and clicking on "DV Output" to allow the transfer to begin from the firewire jack. We have had some issues reported with communication to the PC with the Casablanca's DV chip. The protocol is really going to depend on the type of PC, software, and video card you are using. We can only offer limited support when trying this type of connections due to all the different variables of various computer models. Or you can output the video (think of the system as nothing more than a VCR) from analog to a capture card on the PC.

2. The other is a program called "Disk Transfer" (You can find some info and web download of the manual here: Disk Transfer is an add on program that can be purchased to allow for exporting of clips from the scene bin to a DVD with the file type of DV-AVI. Some computer programs might recognize this for import. You would need an internal DVD writer in your Casablanca for this program, so older Avio machines won't be able to do this. Most Casablanca models starting with the Kron's would work.
Customer reports have noted that it basically it requires a PC software program that uses the standard windows AVI format and does NOT need to control the external device.
We've had reports in that software programs like Vegas and Adobe Pro work very well in both directions.