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Studio 2 Behaving badly or is it FCP?

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Michael Mitchell
Studio 2 Behaving badly or is it FCP?
on Oct 7, 2010 at 6:56:22 pm

This is the first time I've done a 23.98 layoff with this card. All the drivers, FCP, OS X, QT are the latest and greatest. My sequence is 1920x1080 23.976 ProRes 422.

When I try to do a layoff I will get an abort message telling me that my drives aren't fast enough or too many real time audio tracks. I have a 4 way RAID 0 array connected via eSATA which clocks in at 200-220MB/sec with the Disk Speed Test program. I've also knocked down the real time audio tracks from 8 to 4 and re-rendered. Funny enough as soon as I did that last one, now I get NO audio to the deck when doing a layoff. Regular playback has audio just fine.

The dropped frames are intermittent, sometimes after a minute or so sometimes 12 minutes or so. The entire timeline has been mixed down to the 1920x1080 23.976 ProRes 422 specs. All the media is on the RAID 0 array, no other external drives are hooked up. My system is this:

2 x 3 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon, 4 GB 667 MHz DDR2 RAM (Just ordered 4 more GB's)

I also just did the latest upgrade to FCP 7.0.3. This version of FCP has been very stable for me and I've had no problems up until now, I can playback anything and it looks great. Also trashed all the pref files.

Another thing I noticed is when I activate the Edit to Tape window the signal stops going to the HDMI and component outputs. I get "No Signal" displayed on the monitor. I haven't tested the other outputs. I had the component set to down convert to SD. After these outputs are shut off they will not come back on unless I actually turn the computer completely off and then restart. But as soon as I go into Edit to Tape the outputs shut off.

I do not have a tri-level sync hooked up but from what I've read about the Blackmagic cards you don't need it. I'm getting one today just to check. I have noticed in the past with any FCP card that when you don't have the proper sync and you're doing a layoff and try to insert into a tape you can get that one frame blip. The deck (SR 5500) doesn't complain with the input video as sync source, but I am noticing a one frame discrepancy. The in point is right on but the outpoint goes one frame long with a repeat of the out frame as that extra long frame. (but that could be due to the lack of tri-level sync).

It's the dropped frames with ProRes and now the no audio out via HD SDI embedded audio that I can't figure out.

I've been editing on Avid and FCP for about 10 years so am very familiar with ups and downs but this one has me stumped.

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Kristian Lam
Re: Studio 2 Behaving badly or is it FCP?
on Oct 8, 2010 at 7:34:50 am

Hi Michael,

If you are able to sustain a normal playback in Final Cut Pro with the timeline you're going to output to tape, then I don't think it's your drive not being able to keep up. I've seen instances where Final Cut Pro displays a dropped frame warning when it encounters some other problem.

Do you have the output of the deck connected back to the DeckLink card? Can you try removing it and see what happens when you go into the edit to tape mode?

Also, in the Edit to Tape window, check your audio track insert menu in the bottom right corner to see if the different settings make a difference.


Kristian Lam
Blackmagic Design

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