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Disregarding the mirror volume?

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  • Disregarding the mirror volume?

    Hey all, relatively new to the Zaxcom world here, having just started using a Max. I find myself not using the mirroring option at all. It's too slow (I'm recording 4 channels at 192kHz) and Zaxconvert works well for my run-and-gun SFX recording purposes (I'm a solo recordist, not working on a set, not clients). Is it possible to format a card solely for recording MARF? I mean, can I record a full card as a single volume/ partition and record to that? I have a 32GB card... I'd like to be able to record 32GB of audio, not just 16GB to the MARF volume.

  • #2
    Yes you can on recent update, I think you have the option when you want to format the card. Sorry, I'm not in front of Maxx. I'll check it tomorrow.


    • #3
      It is indeed possible since firmware version 2.22; it's called Big MARF mode.

      To do Big MARF in the Maxx, when formatting card instead of pressing STAR twice, press SLT twice to fill the card with the MARF format and leave no room for mirroring.



      • #4
        Thanks! It's it's not documented in the current manual, so I couldn't find it. Are there any other hidden trick I should know about? And... Big MARF... I love that name.



        • #5
          Always read the text with sofware update


          • #6
            Originally posted by cosmicprod View Post
            Always read the text with sofware update
            Thanks for the advice. I would normally just that. My Maxx shipped with 2.36, though, and there haven't been any updates since I've received it. Browsing back through forums to find out if an update from a good while ago provided the undocumented feature I'm looking for isn't really a good use of my time.


            • #7
              SOUNDEZINER---There are some MAXX options buried between the lines. One you should know about is the 'partial re-formatting' option. Some folks, myself included, have run into a problem when transferring files onto our computer via the CF card for use with Zaxconvert---the FAT formatting becomes corrupted or damaged and thus all the data on the card inaccessible. The first time it occurs, trust me, it is distressing. After you learn the fix, it is annoying. I have it happen to me probably once a year, so it is in no way a deal breaker, just a bump in the road.

              MAXX partial re-formatting:

              choose ‘format card’

              Instead of selecting the “star” key, choose the ‘PFL’ key closest to the LCD screen.

              when prompted to hit the “star” key a second time, instead choose the ‘PFL’ key again.

              The PARTIAL reformatting will commence

              So there is one undocumented feature on the MAXX, as per your request.

              Another thing to know, in the set up menu for the various inputs on the MAXX---the AES/ digital inputs have compressor settings in the menu. They do not do anything.

              And another thing---there is no set up menu for analog inputs 5 and 6, which is a bother.

              Another thing to know: analog inputs 5 and 6 have a hardware pad on them, so if you are trying to input audio through those inputs, you will need to boost the gain of your source audio. A secret---Zaxcom can remove the pads for you if you request them to do so. They were cautious in making that change for me, warning me I would need to pay close attention to the audio level on 5/6... but that is what we do, so I am not sure why the good folks at Zaxcom are concerned about it.

              And finally, did you manage to access 'BIG MARF'? I hope so. I am an advocate of turning mirroring OFF in the MAXX and using Zaxconvert on a computer to create the WAV files. As you noted, it is significantly faster to do the file conversion on a computer versus using mirroring in the MAXX. What you may not have noted since you are new to the MAXX is mirroring taxes the processing power on the MAXX, in my experience, apart for being dreadfully slow. I know Howy at Zaxcom has written a number of firmware updates to better manage mirroring in the MAXX, but for me, the work flow of moving files into my lap top and using Zaxconvert is just a better way to go. I have the added benefit of then editing my sound report that is generated from the notes and metadata on the MAXX---a thing that some of my clients have found very helpful.

              I am very happy to own and use my MAXX. The converters are fabulous and it is a great little machine. Once you get your head around the system, you will find yourself comfortably operating the MAXX. Welcome to the club!


              • #8
                PUFFER FISH -- I just saw your reply, so please excuse the lonnnnng delay.

                Thanks for it, too! I haven't had an issue yet with the card formatting becoming corrupted, but it's good to know ahead of time that there's a work-around, so thanks! My biggest grief with formatting on the MAXX is that it takes... so... long... on... the...tiny... screen... I really wish I could format it from my mac. Not to sound like an apologist, but I really do miss the fast setup and formatting of cards I used to be able to do from my desktop when I used a Sound Devices. I had a disk image I could just copy on top of a card and it took care of formatting in maybe 10% the time the MAXX does.

                I did find the Big MARF mode and use it exclusively. It can take a long time converting through ZaxConvert (my average recording is 1-2 hours, 3-4 tracks), but it's better than waiting for the mirror to catch up.

                Overall I'm happy with this machine. Like you said, great converters. Also, a great durable build. It shakes off water and dust from the mountains to the deserts up here like they're just part of the fun.