The Berliner Philharmoniker is one of the most prestigious and famous orchestras worldwide. And offering about 40 concert programs and more than 130 concerts per year the orchestra is also extremely productive. This requires the media team of the Berliner Philharmoniker to be as effective as possible in production und postproduction as the concerts are being streamed live and then made available to the subscribers of the Digital Concert Hall in just a few days later. For many years, the Berlin experts fully and successfully rely on EDIUS while streaming, editing and during the postproduction process.

The history of the Berliner Philharmoniker reaches back until 1882 and the names of the conductors and solo artists are legendary. In 2006 the Berliner Philharmoniker took the decision to undertake a visionary step into the future. The ensemble decided to produce their concerts independently in the highest possible audio and video quality and to distribute the content via internet.

Acht stationäre Kameras

Eight stationary cameras in the concert hall of the Berliner Philharmonie

The concert hall of the Berlin Philharmonic was then equipped with eight stationary broadcast cameras. A live studio was installed also fulfilling the most advanced broadcast standards. And the development of an app was initiated serving a large variety of different soft and hardware platforms.

The offering of the “Digital Concert Hall” provides music lovers all over the world with the opportunity to enjoy concerts and documentations of the Berliner Philharmoniker on PCs as well as tablets, Smart-TVs as well as via Apple-TV and Amazon Fire-TV and even selected movie cinemas for special occasions.

The success of the “Digital Concert Hall” allows the Berliner Philharmoniker to generate continuously growing revenues. And this despite the trend of otherwise declining sales industry-wide in the worldwide market of traditional sound carriers.

Fulfilling the highest broadcast standards

“2008 the German Newspaper ‘Die Welt’ opened on page one with the headline ‘The Berliner Philharmoniker play for 10 Euros on the internet’”, remembers Christoph Franke, who was involved as sound director and creative producer form early on in planning and accompanying the development of the “Digital Concert Hall”.

die Welt

Headline on page one: “The Berliner Philharmoniker play for 10 Euros on the internet”

Sponsored by the Deutsche Bank and broadcast suppliers like Sony and later Panasonic the Berliner Philharmoniker are equipped with camera and studio gear at the highest professional level which is continuously being updated. 2008 Christoph Franke and his team started the regular production workflow with Sony HD cameras as XDCAM 422. About two years ago the cameras, now supplied from Panasonic, as well as the live studio and postproduction studio were upgraded to 4K/UHD. The video signal of the eight stationary 4K-cameras is each being distributed by SDI-quadlink to the live studio and from there as AVC Ultra to the server room. Each camera signal is being recorded as AVC Ultra with a data rate of 800 Mbit/s.

EDIUS is an integral part of the Philharmonic’s workflow in multiple ways. “While streaming live we use EDIUS in combination with VisTitle, to playout titles and subtitles. The performance of EDIUS is a perfect partner to the multitude of VisTitle’s design options.”

EDIUS combined with VisTitle

Complex corporate design rules need to be followed. This also means that different fonts as well as font sizes need to be combined in one line. “VisTitle offers these options and the handling of SRT-files for subtitling also works perfectly” says Christoph Franke.


Sound director and creative producer Christoph Franke at the EDIUS desk

Once the concert is over the essential work for the postproduction team begins. The concert recording, which will soon be available in the media center of the Berliner Philharmoniker for all subscribers, is expected to meet the highest quality standards.

In a first step the live mixed audio stereo track is being exported with a compressed video signal. During the audio edit the video picture serves only to check that both are in sync.

Even before the actual concert the media team regularly records both rehearsals. “From time to time musicians ask us to use a certain part from the rehearsal for the master version” explains Christoph Franke. “Depending on the length of the sequence to be replaced we either exchange only the audio part or audio and video both together.”


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Video director Robert Gummlich explains the live studio workflow

When checking the recording the team might detect some disturbing background noise like somebody in the audience coughing. “We can then very much reduce this noise applying a Spectral Cleaning.”

Editing and optimizing the audio is being done with a specialized audio solution. Once the audio is finalized all further editing is done with EDIUS. The original audio track is being exchanged in EDIUS by the optimized audio version.

The script to the concert

Each concert is being thoroughly planned. The video directors study the score and mark the exact timing for switching cameras. The settings of the eight cameras – a nineth camera on a tripod in the hall can be added when needed – are all precisely defined by preset numbers.



The score is the script for switching cameras

“Because of the precise script and the experienced team in the live studio we need to do only minor changes during the later editing process” explains Christoph Franke.” But of course, it does happen from time to time that a musician is not yet playing when the camera was switched, or the focus might not be perfect.”

In EDIUS all tracks are available of all cameras that were involved in the recording. “The multi cam function allows us to time the switching differently when needed or even choose another camera as source.”

Realtime playback in multi-cam-mode

Thanks to EDIUS playing back the up to nine video tracks simultaneously with a data rate of 800 Mbit/s per track is no problem and possible at any time as the playback resolution can be lowered if needed. “This is an important feature for us and a great advantage. Whether the timing works right especially for music can only be judged if you can play back your project in real time” says Franke.



EDIUS allows Realtime playback in multi-cam-mode

EDIUS tools like the Layouter and the Primary Color Correction allow fast adjustments of framings, exposure settings and the color balance can just as easy and intuitively be corrected and adapted.

The master: 800 Mbit/s video data rate and 98 KHz 24bit audio

The EDIUS postproduction workflow is streamlined to maintain an optimal and therefore futureproof level of quality throughout the complete process of acquisition, recording and editing up to the final master in the shortest achievable time. Christoph Franke: “To maintain the best quality we export the master as AVC-Ultra 800 Mbit/s which is also our acquisition format. Thanks to the Smart-Render-Function EDIUS only needs to render those short moments, where we have applied changes to the picture. These are about only five minutes of a 2 ½ hours long concert program. EDIUS can therefore export the final master file as 4K HDR HLG (800 Mbit/s video data rate in 50p and 96 KHz 24-bit audio) in a fraction of the time that would otherwise be required.

EDIUS support and feature requests

Christoph Franke: “We are lucky that we have found with EDIUS not only an extremely powerful and stable NLE. We also benefit from a very capable support hotline which is in direct contact and exchange with the EDIUS development team in Kobe Japan.”

Within 48 hours maximum time the Berlin media team always received a qualified answer – and in special cases a little bit later even an enhanced EDIUS feature fully supporting the individual Philharmonic workflow.

Such an enhancement was the modification of the desired AVC-Ultra export function, which originally splits the export file into numerous files of 4 GB size each – fully compliant with the P2 specification by Panasonic. “For our workflow needing to export a master file up to 800 GB in size this P2 required splitting made no sense” remembers Franke. “We therefore asked the EDIUS support if they could help us”.

The support and development team were able to provide the desired solution. Since EDIUS version 9.3 all EDIUS 9 Workgroup users benefit from the extended functionality. XAVC Intra 4K and AVC Ultra 4K can now be exported within the MXF container without a size limitation as one file. The AVC Ultra MXF exporter was enhanced supporting HDR metadata and additional audio settings. Christoph Franke: “With this another important wish could be fulfilled because we produce 4K HDR with Hybrid Log Gamma“.

Remote rendering by the XRE-Transcoder Server

Additional to the concert master the Berlin media team also produces trailers for the social media channels of the Philharmonic. “And we use EDIUS to edit and subtitle the interviews with artists which are being shown during the intermission of the live concert streams”.


Trailer

Also trailers, interviews and social media content are being produced with EDIUS

A lot of content is being produced and as many projects need to be edited and exported as master files. To reduce render times exporting files even further the EDIUS workflow was complemented by an XRE-Transcoder Server. This boosted productivity to the next level because the processing and rendering is now being performed completely by the XRE-Transcoder Server. Franke: “Our EDIUS seats only need to initiate the process and are then available for further editing tasks with all of their performance.”

By the time the management team of the Berliner Philharmoniker was developing the concept of the “Digital Concert Hall” about 15 years ago, the mangers clearly did not have in mind how helpful this digital concert hall might once become facing a global pandemic. With this the Berliner Philharmoniker succeeded in overcoming restrictions of the Corona crisis, keeping and even intensifying the contact and digital link to their audience.

Reliability and performance

Christoph Franke: “Within the last 15 years we have been able to gather a steady number of subscribers counting more than 70.000 customers. Among those are many private music lovers as well as many institutions like music academies and colleges worldwide. For this we are very thankful.

One important factor in this success is the reliability and performance of our mastering and creative solutions with EDIUS being an integral part from the very start.

All images origin from the EDIUS-user-video report produced by magic multi media on behalf of the release of EDIUS X.

In this article film author, producer und cutter Goran Maršalek writes about his passion for documentary films – and working with EDIUS. On Easter Sunday 2021 the national Croatian TV channel “HTV” aired Goran Maršalek’s documentary film “Storm of the Soul“ at prime time. Working on the documentary is also covered in this text.

By Goran Maršalek (www.media53.hr)

Stability – this is the most important feature, that a professional editor expects from the tool he is working with in the process of creating a project. My video editing story started 15 years ago. Before I had been working on recording and editing radio shows for almost 10 years, so I know what a stable and reliable software means for production. Although I didn’t have much experience in video editing and postproduction at the time, just some theoretical knowledge and a great desire to learn, I knew I wanted a stable software hoping not to waste time any more in trying to recover crashed projects.

I had never heard of EDIUS before

That was my basic wish and then I got to know EDIUS. If I remember correctly, it was EDIUS version 4. I got the installation disc from a friend who worked at a local TV station. I had never heard of EDIUS before. But when I started EDIUS for the very first time, I felt that everything was transparent and intuitive. From then until today, I have tried out all the main NLEs in the market. But as you might have guessed, I stayed with EDIUS. There are many good reasons for this like Intuitiveness. The ability to natively work with any kind of codec and file format. The professional approach. The wide choice of preview quality options leveraging the speed of editing and real time playback… I could go on with this list of my favorite features all day. But all this would be nothing without the most important one – stability!

setup My main business: TV content

My main task is to produce and post-produce video content, mainly for TV. This includes documentaries of various formats, music videos, TV commercials and other video content primarily for TV broadcast as well as for distribution via DVD and BD. I had been doing weddings for a while, but for the last seven or eight years I have focused on my main business: TV content. Concerning corporate films, the most famous brand, I have worked for, is Coca-Cola. For the Croatian and regional Coca-Cola branch, together with my team I have shot and produced more than 30 reports and documentaries including one of the most important corporate films Coca-Cola has ever made in Croatia and the surrounding region since its presence in that market since the early 1970s. All were edited with EDIUS and EDIUS compatible plugins. So EDIUS is therefore my most important everyday tool reliably supporting me as a filmmaker to make a living.

Stability and reliability are equally important

The description of my job shows that the stability of the NLE is crucial, as these are big projects. Some of them are TV series that I have been working on for years. All these projects were edited and post-produced in EDIUS, some in combination with photo editing solutions. In my business, stability and reliability are equally important. Everyone working on a project for a longer time period will know what I mean. And I could really name a lot of cases when the reliability of EDIUS was crucial and saved me from great trouble. I would not trust other NLEs to behave in such a reliable manner, given that they have crashed on much less demanding occasions. And that is one of the reasons why I stayed with EDIUS.

To give you an example: With EDIUS I am never in doubt, whether I will be able to open and work on a project I have not touched in years, edited with an older EDIUS version. A few months ago, a client asked me to reopen one of his projects that I had already finished 6 years ago. He asked me to redo the project in another language and for a different customer. This was an American educational project called “The Art of Marriage”.

art_of_mariage “The Art of Marriage” edited with EDIUS 6.5 and continued with EDIUS 8

The project has a total duration of 5 hours and is about 1 terabyte large. 6 years ago, I edited and finished the project with EDIUS 6.5 (32-bit native) with tons of graphics and titles. After finishing the project, I had moved all the material, over the years, from disk to disk and it finally ended up on one external drive.

The ultimate stress test for EDIUS was yet to come

So, after 6 years it was time to open the project again. And guess what? Everything worked fantastic, just as if I had I closed it yesterday! No matter what, everything opened fine and ran smoothly now with EDIUS 8 (64-bit native), even complex nested sequences. It is simply a great feeling when I can fully trust my NLE.


However, the ultimate stress test for EDIUS was yet to come. This happened in 2016, when I started working on my new documentary “Storm of the Soul” (original Croatian title “BURA DUŠE”), a documentary about Croatian war veterans.

storm_of_soul Timeline of “Storm of the Soul”

I edited the film entirely with EDIUS 8 WG. The still pictures were edited with Affinity Photo and Affinity Design software. The premiere of the documentary took place in 2019 in Croatia’s most famous cinema “Kino Europa” in Zagreb.

Within this project I have used numberless plugins and tools for color correction and grading, working on still pictures, applying sound effects and lots of blends and track mattes in EDIUS. I used a lot of motion tracking and EDIUS did a perfect with this the tracking as well. The project was truly “heavy weight” with more than 25.000 clips of various formats and framerates ranging from 23.97 up to 100 fps and resolutions from 640 x 480 resolution up to 4K.

A real nightmare for post-production

Nine different types of cameras were used in total with an even greater variety of lenses. Among them was a Sony broadcast camera PMW 300 as well as a DJI Phantom 2 drone, a handheld Canon XA 30 and DSLRs like the Canon range from 5D to 7D, a Canon 750D, Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 and a GH2.

storm_timeline Storm of the Soul: Mix and Match on one Timeline

Different phases of the film were shot with different cameras, a real nightmare for post-production! But we were always smiling and in the mood. We had our goal, and we were going towards it.

There was only minimal transcoding or pre-rendering needed, mostly because the native files would be loaded with other heavy additions such as NEAT video or RED Giant plugin filters, many times even in combination. There were lots of nested interconnected sequences. I had all possible combinations, and all was mixed with everything else... Whenever you have limited financial resources and limited recording equipment, you then put to work whatever is available and comes in handy.

What everybody tells you NEVER to do

Due to the growing size of the project and to also achieve the desired editing speed, at one point in post-production, I was forced to transfer all material from the HDD and older SSDs to several new SSDs. At the same time, due to the age of the components, I was forced to change core elements of my editing PC like the motherboard, processor, memory, and cooling. Having to do this in the middle of a project is exactly what everybody tells you NEVER to do. Usually such an update would result in a disaster. Something bad would always happen, get lost or go wrong. But… after switching and reconnecting all the new hardware parts EDIUS did not have one problem! Everything worked like a charm and much quicker, far beyond expectations. After a short but unavoidable hardware update intermission I was therefore good to go and able to continue editing my project, faster and even more joyful than before.

Since I was also the director and editor of this documentary, the ability to manage notes in the sequence marker was extremely helpful for my workflow. I wished EDIUS 8 already had the colored markers that are standard with EDIUS now.

Just edit and play

When the editing was complete, I could draw the line and enthusiastically conclude the following: EDIUS did the job FANTASTICALLY. There were no crashes, no projects lost and no lost files. And therefore, there never was no panic, no fear at all. Like someone said: Just edit and play. Background rendering – as it is available now with EDIUS X – could have further enhanced and accelerated the entire post-production process, but I could not complain at all. Everything went smoothly and painlessly. Of course, some denoised NEAT files as well as some clips with Red Giant filters applied needed rendering (CTRL + G), but that was no big deal. EDIUS did this quickly, too. When I was in a hurry, I would simply reduce the preview quality for a real time playback instead of rendering and the matter would be resolved.

All could be done just with EDIUS

The documentary was co-funded by the Croatian Ministry of Veterans Affairs. Their jury, consisting of six film professionals from various film agencies and companies, concluded, that among fifty documentaries about the war in Croatia made in the past twenty years, our film was the absolute best. They said the film had the looks of a high budget movie; way more expensive than the cost really was. We were happy and pleased and at the same time surprised by such a reaction. Because we knew what compromises we had to make which are inevitable when dealing with very limited financial resources.

After the premiere showing, some movie professionals expressed their congratulations on behalf of my excellent use of After Effects… Now this point goes completely to EDIUS because there was no After Effects involved at all. I had to explain to them that I only used three software solutions: Grass Valley EDIUS (8WG) as the solution for editing, color correction and for export. Affinity Photo for still pictures and Pro Tools for audio, and that I have nothing installed from Adobe on my PC at all. They were surprised because they would not have thought, all this could be done with EDIUS and plugins for EDIUS.

korean Korean version of “Stom of the Soul”

english English version of “Storm of the Soul”

A few months later, we received requests to translate our documentary into several foreign languages including Korean, Czech, Ukrainian, English, Italian, Bulgarian and more.


Enjoy your work while you work


Some people say that it doesn't matter what program you're working with if it's able to do the job properly. And on one hand, they might be right. The main thing is to get your work done. However, I would still go a step further and say, that there is something even more important than doing just the job. And this is, to be able to enjoy your work while you work. To me, EDIUS provides just that, enjoyment while I work.

And this not only me. My son is 17 years old and has been editing his YouTube videos for several years with EDIUS 7. My wife worked as a TV journalist until 5 years ago, often editing her own TV news reports with EDIUS. Today, she works at an elementary school and teaches Croatian. As a part of school activities, she teaches media literacy having children editing school projects, also using EDIUS!

premiere Goran Maršalek together with his wife Daniela Maršalek at the film premiere in Zagreb

Every serious and long-term EDIUS user wants certain improvement related to the creative part, such as improvements in the audio section, new and modern video effects, and transitions. So did I. And after quite a while Grass Valley even delivered on that. With EDIUS X they included new “Seamless Transitions”, advanced audio tools and – the biggest improvement for my workflow – background rendering and background file export options.

Actually, the former lack of modern and professional transition effects and the limited set of audio options had been my only real criticism about EDIUS before. Now with EDIUS X this is no issue anymore.

However, what sets EDIUS apart from other NLEs is all that I have described above. Because all options mean nothing if I do not have the confidence and certainty that the program will quickly and efficiently do what I ask of it, under all conditions. My long-time practice and experience proofed this well.

Love and trust with EDIUS have been around for a very long time and in many different situations, so my wife has nicely concluded, that EDIUS is no longer just a tool for us. In some way EDIUS has become a member of our family.

Goran Maršalek

MEDIA 53, www.media53.hr

The film is available to view for free with English subtitles on this website: https://en.filmburaduse.com/

Goran informed us that he is currently working on two new documentaries. He writes:

I edit and post-produce make both films in EDIUS X. Both films are still in the production phase. Post-production should start in April this year.

One is about foreign volunteers who fought in the Croatian army during the war in Croatia in 1991. It is a long-awaited documentary in Croatia, because even 30 years after the war ended no one had made a film about these people. Goran was already able to send us a link to the trailer of his new film “1991 - Who's your neighbor?”: https://youtu.be/to2OjxdRrVc

The second documentary cover a religious topic and is called “Delusions about Jesus”. The film is about the modern perception and often misconception of Jesus.

This trailer is in English language. https://youtu.be/04zcfXGYjEY

“No other video editing system can handle the variety of file formats we receive.” Grant Salinger, Managing Director, Motionlink

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“Real-time editing capability is a big deal. It allows me to focus on storytelling instead of ‘working’ an interface… and storytelling is at the core of what we do. In fact, I’d say the best feature of EDIUS is the play button. The play button works, and it works every single time it’s used. It’s no surprise that the EDIUS logo IS the play button.” TheFrank Aldana, Director/Editor/VFX/Voiceover artist, Red Ei8ht Inc.

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“EDIUS allows us to cut the shows fast and efficiently, yet the viewer thinks we’re switching live. That’s what makes me the most proud. When a fan who attended the show enjoys the video, I know we’ve done something right.” Ty Roberts, Co-founder and Video Editor, TourGigs

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“We produce about 48-and-a-half hours of news a week. That’s a LOT of news, so products like EDIUS are really important in terms of making sure that we get the workflow as efficient as we can. And we’re doing it with about the same staff we did a lot less news with, earlier. So the efficiency of operations really makes a big difference.” Dennis Milligan, News Director, WBTV

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“If there’s breaking news and you have no time to get something on the air, you just use the Source Browser and literally you could have video edited within seconds.” Leighton Grant, Chief Photographer, Raycom Media