“It started with a bunch of synth geeks hanging out with Bob Moog in New York…I wish I was there for those days.” — KamranV on Moogfest’s roots
To hear KamranV talk about its humble beginnings, you might be surprised at what Moogfest has become. Since the early aughts, the festival has evolved from a bunch of “geeks hanging out” into a multi-day, multi-venue celebration of music, art and technology, with hundreds of sessions and a global reach.
KamranV, the festival’s CTO, speaks fondly of those beginnings, which grew into the “amazing festival” held annually in Durham, N.C. as a tribute to the inventor of the Moog synthesizer, Dr. Robert Moog. He also acknowledges challenges organizers have faced along the way — particularly surrounding the festival’s multimedia technological workflow.
Moogfest’s multimedia workflow also had humble beginnings. Then, in 2017, the festival’s storage took a major leap forward, with the addition of OWC Jupiter Callisto as well as OWC external storage solutions and SSDs from MacSales.com.
Out with the Old. In with Jupiter.
“It’s like having a really fast SSD inside your computer except everyone gets to share it.” — KamranV on Jupiter’s performance
As recently as 2014, the Moogfest team’s system of transferring and sharing content from the festival with a worldwide audience consisted of “passing hard drives around.” Because of this time-consuming workflow, the team wasn’t even able to put a video out until a few months later. In 2016, the workflow became a bit more sophisticated with a larger array of drives to get all of the data in one place and create redundancy. But this system still consisted of drive-to-drive transfers without allowing for collaboration.
OWC’s Jupiter Callisto provided the solution that Moogfest organizers needed, offering a unified storage system allowing quick and easy collaboration among the festival’s content creators.
“Imagine the number of hours wasted by running around and transferring to all those drives so people could do their work. [Jupiter] was crucial.” — KamranV on the workflow benefits
With OWC’s help, KamranV and the Moogfest team were able to document much more of the event and even broadcast it live in some cases. There were as many as 10 different broadcasts happening simultaneously with everything from single cameras to multi-camera productions that syndicated through the festival’ and festival talent’s online channels.
“We were turning around videos, and had them up the next day,” Valanejad said of the speedy workflow provided by Callisto. “We would make a video of what happened at the festival over night and by end of next day there was a video up. That requires hundreds of photographers, videographers, editors, photo editors, and audio mixers that all have to get to the same place in order for that to happen.”
For example, on the largest Moogfest stage, a staffer would do a broadcast mix, and there would be half dozen photographers shooting the show. There would also be a webcast broadcasting team and videographers all shooting simultaneously. All this data then went back to a digital imaging technician on the other side of town where data from the OWC SSDs were ingested into Callisto. Then, into post-production, with five or six people working from it simultaneously, to get videos and photos up.
A batch of edited photos was delivered to the press each night, and the next day staffers would deliver an edited video with mixed audio, which KamranV said wouldn’t be possible without Callisto.
“It was pretty amazing with Callisto,” KamranV said. “Having those 10Gbps [Ethernet] speeds and consistently getting a gigabit-plus connection to everyone simultaneously. It’s like having amazing storage local, but it wasn’t. We had all the advantages of the storage being somewhere else.”
OWC Solutions and Support
“They have a mindset of solving problems instead of giving reasons why something doesn’t work.” — KamranV on MacSales.com Support
Four days and hundreds of performances later, Moogfest went off without a hitch. As did the work behind the scenes thanks, in part, to OWC solutions and support.
“All I heard from staff was how much easier it was than previous years,” KamranV said. “That was the biggest change [from years past] was there were no problems, and we didn’t hear one complaint. It really enabled us to turn things around very quickly.”
KamranV also praises the MacSales.com customer support and “purpose-built solutions” such as the OWC ThunderBay 4, which was used for transporting up to dozens of terabytes of data to post-production staff members in different locations. These solutions along with Callisto helped KamranV and his team raise the bar for Moogfest’s multimedia productions.