Michael Coleman, Audio, and Why This Post Went the Wrong Way

Michael Coleman, Audio, and Why This Post Went the Wrong Way

G-Team members are leaders in their respective fields who use G-Technology products in their day-to-day work lives. G-Team members are compensated for their participation.

This is the problem with covering audio for G-Technology…

If you know G-Technology, you’re familiar with how we cater to photo and video professionals. And you know the messages: big capacity for 4K and above, big speeds for fast backup and editing under a time crunch. Great.

What about audio? We went to director and G-TEAM ambassador Michael Coleman, our resident audio expert. Michael founded the Soundworks Collection in 2009 as a forum for profiling exceptional sound post-production efforts from around the world, with interviewees from world-renowned film directors. Meanwhile, he’s also had a dozen of his films selected as video sharing site staff picks, along with many other distinctions. Who better to discuss the need for amazing storage in audio production?

You’ll understand, then, this writer’s frustration with the following exchange:

G-Technology: Tell us about your storage concerns regarding audio.

Michael: The files are so much smaller when it comes to just audio. It’s so easy to transport so much material. I’m not worried about not having a hard drive that’s big enough or fast enough. I’m confident that I can throw at it everything I need, and I’m not going to be hindered or slowed down by the drive. It’s just not a factor anymore.

G-Technology: So…I guess we’re done here.

Pouring salt on the wound, Michael proceeded to describe one of his recent podcasts that discussed the audio on a recent blockbuster film: six audio channels and two cameras for video, all capturing for 40 minutes, yielding a grand total of 17GB of footage. Another blockbuster’s audio came in at a measly 1.2GB.

Why are we even talking about this?

Two reasons. First, consider reliability.

“It’s so simple for a drive to become corrupt, or a power plug to be faulty and burn out,” notes Michael. “In the old days, I had a Thunderbolt bridge burn out, and then I couldn’t recover the data. It’s all those little touch points: the power, connectors, various electronics, the physical drive. I’m traveling with equipment in road cases, backpacks, checked bags. I’m not wrapping these things in bubble wrap in case it gets banged around. Despite that, I have probably 15 personal and clients’ drives, all G-Tech, of different types and sizes, and none of them have given me a single problem. Reliability is just another word for consistency, and G-Tech drives have been consistently flawless for me.”

Second, consider evolution, and consider it on two fronts. Professional careers evolve. So do technologies. Sometimes those things go hand in hand. When Michael started shooting video in college, it was with FireWire-based products.

“The fun of this industry is that the technology is always evolving,” Michael says. “We didn’t stop at 2K or 4K, right? But for a long time, I wasn’t shooting at 4K. I thought I had no need for it. Now, all I shoot is 4K. Because I made a personal commitment that I want to future-proof my projects and maximize the quality of my content. So yeah, I’m shooting larger files, but by adopting things like SSD and Thunderbolt 3, my total transfer times are actually less than they were before. I mean, I just handed off a 100GB color correction session for a documentary on a G-DRIVE ev RaW SSD in an ev Thunderbolt ATC enclosure, and I expected it to take the better part of an hour, because that’s what I’m used to. Instead, I had an extra half hour to get more stuff done.””

There’s another important point buried in all this. Michael might have bought a drive for a podcast project — something small and lightweight. It’s just for audio, after all. But what happens when his career evolves and he needs a drive for a 4K recording? Will he be ready…or will he have to buy something else?

And sometimes technological evolution pushes a professional to evolve. Like many others, Michael is already eyeing how to enter the VR market, which will make the demands of 4K look like standard definition. What chance is there that a storage drive bought “just for audio” will have any role there? Why not prepare for the future and save time and money in the long run?

Again, careers and technologies change over time. Professionals—and those who would become professionals—need consistent, reliable equipment that will hold its value and utility wherever the future leads.

This is why the original mission of our article, to talk about storage in the context of audio, is a fallacy. That’s not how the world works anymore. Needs always evolve.

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Michael Coleman, Audio, and Why This Post Went the Wrong Way