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Marf and Maxx

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  • Marf and Maxx

    Here's a thing i am curious about. On my previous ZFR and TRX recorders, the most outstanding thing about the MARF format was the astonishing lossless compression A 2Gbyte card could get you 12 hours of 2 track recording - quite a feat, and a great feature where you can forget about worrying when the card might run out.

    I naively thought the same would apply to the Maxx and recording with MARF. However, when you convert MARF files, you end up with the same size folder as the MARF folder, sometimes even less (if it is 16 bit). I guess the reason is that they don't want to have a situation where the mirror partition fills up before the MARF partition, but it robs MARF of its best feature. Where it is just for backup, I am happy to record to just MARF, and I would much prefer to have an option to be able to record a card with only MARF on it. If it then incorporated the compression of the ZFR you would be looking at a 16Gb card holding 48 hours of 4 track recording (if my maths is right).

    The great advantage of that would be that you could record most of a week without changing card, with the huge bonus of keeping your folder structure intact, instead of having to start from scratch again when you change card. Plus you could easily have a card for each show you are working on.

    I am not actually expecting them to implement this, but it seems to me a great pity that the best feature of MARF by a long way is not available in Maxx. (I don't really care about the never lose any recordings on a power outage, since that is such an unlikely scenario). They will just say 'get a Nomad', or similar, but I have no interest in that. It's a shame they don't exploit the advantages of the technology they actually have, and have come up instead with this inflexible way of dividing the card and missing out the compression ratios of MARF. It would be nice to have the option.
    Last edited by maceasy; 10-02-2013, 06:00 PM.

  • #2
    The reason the MARF files on the TRX's are small like that is BECAUSE the data is compressed before it is transmitted/written to the card - a mono recording has to be compressed to somewhere in the realm of <400kb/s in order to be transmitted, whereas a single channel of 48khz, 24bit WAV audio is 1,152kb/s-it's not really lossless.

    MARF (in the DEVA,NOMAD and MAXX implementation) is not really a method of data compression (there is a little more to it, but for the sake of simplicity), it's a file storage system (think FAT32 etc).

    The audio that comes out of the digital wireless is also capped at 16khz. Not something you really want on your main recordings. I would vote for a MARF only-card, but not compression of Maxx/Nomad recording files.
    Last edited by soundslikejustin; 10-02-2013, 10:00 PM.


    • #3
      Aha, thanks very much Justin. I don't think I have ever come across an explanation of MARF before, so this is all very enlightening. I didn't realise that the compression took place before encoding, and lost some data at the high end in the ZFR/TRX. It's still a very impressive data compression, but yes I can see why you wouldn't want it on the standalone recorders. I assumed, wrongly, that the compression was an inherent part of MARF, so yes, I have got hold of the wrong end of the stick. No worries, at least now I have an idea of what is going on and what is reasonable to expect. But yes, an option for MARF only would still be nice, I think, for purely backup purposes. Thanks for illuminating some of the mysteries of MARF, now if you could just expand on neverclip, lol...


      • #4
        Did anyone hear from Zaxcom regarding a MARF only option for our CF cards? I think all of us are annoyed by the CF card storage being cut in half automatically for the sake that we might use mirroring. Of course if the card will have half the storage capacity dedicated for mirroring, then I will end up using it as such, but I do not want to.

        Heck, I would like an option for recording the entire card to something other than MARF as well---a menu with several options.

        Anyway, has anyone heard anything on this front?


        • #5
          There is no plans on changing the record format.