… for Codecs & Media

Tip #1126: How Much Does Journaling Slow a RAID?

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Journaling improves data recovery, but slows both reads and writes.

Journaling slows writes by 18% and reads by 12%.

Topic $TipTopic

I’ve spent the last two weeks optimizing my network and two of my locally-attached RAIDs. In this process, I found myself with two identical fully-optimized 4-drive RAIDs; except one had journaling turned on and the other had it turned off.

DEFINITION: “Journaling is a Mac OS X feature that is extremely helpful in protecting the system against the problems that arises due to power failures, hardware failures and directory corruptions. When the journaling is enabled on Mac, it keeps record entries of the changes to the files present on the disk. These entries are maintained in a special type of data structure called “Journal”…. In an event of an abrupt shutdown of the system due to power outage or another failure, these journal entries make it possible to restore the system to the last known consistent state of working.” (MacintoshDataRecovery.com)

So, I decided to test one of them to see how much journaling affects data transfer speeds. Since journaling is easy to enable, I tested the speed of the same RAID with journaling on, then again with it off.

What I learned is that journaling, though better for data recovery in the event of a power failure, slows reads by 12% and slows writes by 18%, on average.

For the complete details on my tests and the results, read this article.


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… for Codecs & Media

Tip #1122: RPMs Really Do Make a Difference

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Faster hard drive RPM speeds equals faster data transfer rates.

7200 RPM drives are, on average, 30% faster than 5400 RPM drives.

Topic $TipTopic

I’ve spent the last two weeks optimizing my network and two of my locally-attached RAIDs. In this process, I found myself with two identical fully-optimized 4-drive RAIDs; except one was filled with 7200 RPM drives and the other with 5400 RPM drives.

So, I decided to test them to see how much RPM speed affects data transfer speeds.

What I learned is that 7200 RPM drives increase data transfer speeds by 30% on average. (See screen shot.)

For the complete details on my tests and the results, read this article.


… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #1135: Boost and Smooth Dialog Levels

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The Limiter effect raises softer audio levels without raising louder levels. It works magic with dialog.

The Limiter effect with typical settings applied.

Topic $TipTopic

Probably the most powerful audio filter for dialog is the Limiter effect. Here’s how to use it.

The Limiter filter dynamically raises softer audio levels without raising louder levels. It works magic with dialog – and does it in real-time! To apply it:

  • Select the dialog clip(s) you want to adjust.
  • Apply Effects Browser > Audio > Levels > Logic > Limiter. (There are several iterations, use the one in the Logic group.)
  • Click the small icon to the right of the name to reveal the settings panel (top red arrow).
  • Set Output Level to -3 dB.
  • Set Release to any number larger than 500.
  • Adjust Gain (lower right arrow) until you see about 1.5 – 3 dB levels in the Reduction meter (left red arrow).

And that’s it.

The difference this makes in adjusting levels is just magic. Most of the time, you won’t need to use audio keyframes at all.

BIG NOTE: If you apply multiple audio filters to the same clip, the Limiter filter MUST always be at the bottom of the effects list to prevent distortion.


… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #1134: Use EQ to Enhance Voice Clarity

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Adjusting frequencies is the best way to improve the clarity of human speech.

This screen shot shows typical settings for a male voice in the Fat EQ filter.

Topic $TipTopic

Human hearing spans from 20 – 20,000 Hz; a ten-octave range. Human speech is a subset of this: from roughly 200 – 8,000 Hz.

Vowels are low frequency sounds, which give a voice its character, warmth and sexiness. Consonants are, generally, high frequency sounds, which make speech intelligible.

NOTE: For example, the difference between hearing an “F” or an “S” is whether the hiss is present. If you hear it, you hear an “S.” If not, you hear an “F.” And that hiss is around 6,200 Hz.

So, if you want to warm up a voice and make it more intelligible, select your dialog clips and apply: Effects Browser > Audio > EQ > Fat EQ filter.

Select the clip, open the Inspector, then click the small icon to the right of the Fat EQ title (top red arrow)

Then, make the following adjustments.

Improve Speech Clarity

GENDER FREQ. dB Q
Men 200 Hz 2-4 1
Men 3200 Hz 3-6 dB 1
Women 400 Hz 2-4 1
Women 4200 Hz 3-6 1

… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #1133: Adjust the Pitch of a Musical Clip

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Pitch can be adjusted without affecting timing or duration.

The Pitch audio effect, setting a musical clip 1/2 step lower.

Topic $TipTopic

Ed R. asked:

I have a karaoke song and want to lower the pitch. In other words change the key to a half step lower. I know I use the PITCH in audio, but how do I know what numbers are a half step lower?

In the Effects Browser, search for the Audio > Pitch effect, then add it to your clip.

In the Inspector, adjust the numerical slider. Every whole number represents 1/2 step in musical pitch.