Heads-Up: Multicam Recording with Apollo from Convergent Design

Posted on by Larry

This isn’t a product review, because I haven’t worked with the Apollo multicamera recorder/switcher, but Jon Gay wrote to tell me about a feature that makes this unit especially useful for Final Cut Pro X editors.

“The Apollo is a portable multichannel monitor/recorder/switcher that can simultaneously record up to four HD video signals, along with a fifth channel of either a live-switch, or a quad-split reference view. Separate ‘Preview’ and ‘Program’ outputs allow you to monitor on set while using Apollo’s touch screen for simple switching with cut or dissolves. Play back in perfect sync while toggling cameras. All of this functionality in a unit the size of a small tablet and capable of battery power for the ultimate portability.” (Convergent Design website)

Jon writes:

The Odyssey monitors [the next step up from Apollo] are so powerful and are pretty much standard in the multi-cam news arena. I have been wanting one for years. The ability to set-up, monitor and have a back-up recording of 4 cameras is just super cool. Two cameras are almost, well, really a requirement now if a network correspondent is involved and, depending on the story, [more likely] three. It’s kinda crazy.

While the Odyssey monitor records a single camera, the Apollo records and switches up to four HD cameras, creating a highly-portable multicam recording system. What Jon wanted was to get signals from Apollo into Final Cut Pro X for more polished editing.

What he discovered is that Convergent Designs has created a utility that converts the multitrack QuickTime format use by Convergent Designs into four separate ProRes files which can be imported into FCP X.

“Apollo records the multiple video signals in a multitrack QuickTime format specifically designed for multiple synced video and audio signals. The ProRes Transfer Tool, available for download from the CD Website, ingests the singular, multitrack file from the SSD card, and separates each track is converted to its own Apple ProRes file, with an extension to link the different matched files together. Each extension is letter A-D to signify to input, or QSLS to signify either Quad-Slip or Live-Switch if this was chosen to also be recorded. An XML file is also created with the metadata tags for Markers and Notations. (Convergent Designs website)

Jon writes:

They have a sample and transfer software to expand the file. Once you download and install it will expand the file to the 3 or 4 camera angles. I put them all in one folder an imported to FCP10.4.4. Although I got the beach ball for a bit It seemed to work just fine.

Thought you’d like to know. I think it’s very cool. (And, in fact, this features help me justify the purchase.)”

Thanks, Jon, for letting us know.


Convergent Designs: www.convergent-design.com/apollo

Sample files: www.convergent-design.com/kb-apollo.html?view=kb&kbartid=16

ProRes Transfer tool: convergent-design.com/all-downloads/category/8-cd-prores-transfer-tool.html

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