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frame advance audio scrubbing with PP CS5.5?

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Cliff Stephenson
frame advance audio scrubbing with PP CS5.5?
on Jun 27, 2011 at 7:28:59 am

Not sure where this is most relevant so if you see a post over in the Premiere forum, forgive. Just as many others this week, I'm making a full transition from Final Cut Pro to Premiere Pro CS5.5.

I've looked around for nearly two days now and haven't been able to find an answer. Here's my issue and I'm praying there's a way to set this correctly.

I'm on late 2009 Mac Pro dual quad-core with the NVidia GeForce GT120 card with 12GB of RAM and a Blackmagic Decklink HD Extreme 2. The NVidia is running out to the standard monitor and the Blackmagic is running HDMI out to a 32" Sony HD monitor. Audio is running from the Blackmagic left and right analog outs to a pair of studio monitors.

I generally cut documentary and behind the scenes work and, as such, a typical way I cut is that I use the preview/source window to set my in and out points and then drag the set clip into the timeline (not too unusual), but I like to use the audio scrubbing to find the break between words (sometimes also having to insert words from elsewhere in the interview to "construct" the complete sentence). So frame accuracy with audio is a big part of my editorial process. So when creating a Blackmagic sequence with my XDCAM EX 1080p24 footage I'm having trouble figuring out playback to get frame by frame scrubbing to work consistently.

If I go into the Premiere Pro preferences and select "Blackmagic Design Playback," when I go to my project I can see the video played through my HDMI and hear the audio from the external speakers, but I can't get frame by frame forward or backward audio scrubbing. If I switch over to Adobe Player in the 'Player Settings' of the Premiere Pro preferences, I can now get frame by frame scrubbing in the source window, but no video through HDMI and I can get video through HDMI from the timeline but no frame by frame scrubbing from the timeline. Additionally, forward or reverse using 'L' or "J' with "Blackmagic Design Playback" is pretty bad as it sounds like the audio is racing through, but the video looks to be moving at almost real time pace. Using "Adobe Player" doesn't have this slow glitching.

Is anyone able to do frame by frame scubbing in both windows while getting their video out from both source and Timeline via HDMI? In Final Cut, frame by frame movement using the left or right arrow would give you scrubbing from either and it seems odd to me that Premiere Pro isn't doing it. I was thinking about moving over to the Matrox Mini, but I don't want to go that route if frame by frame scrubbing in all windows isn't available on that either.

Thanks in advance.


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John Pale
Re: frame advance audio scrubbing with PP CS5.5?
on Jun 27, 2011 at 4:26:04 pm

Responded to your post in the PPro forum.

Having the same scrubbing problem with Decklink Studio. monitoring via HDSDI video and analog audio.

different hardware

Mac Pro 2006 Quad 2.66
Mac OSX 10.6.7
10gb ram


Premiere Pro 5.5
Blackmagic 8.01


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Alessandro Cofanelli
Re: frame advance audio scrubbing with PP CS5.5?
on Jul 2, 2011 at 9:31:21 am

Mute audio during scrubbing is a known bug of decklink cards on PP5 under MAC OSX.
Blackmagic design customers support said me they are working to correct it, but they do not have an ETA now.

---
Alessandro Cofanelli
Top Service Audiovisivi
http://www.topserviceitalia.com


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John Pale
Re: frame advance audio scrubbing with PP CS5.5?
on Jul 2, 2011 at 8:05:09 pm

I wrote BMD support about it, and it sounded like it was the first they have heard of it.

Hopefully, with the new influx of switchers from FCP, it will get prioritized. It basically makes editing with Premiere impossible for me.


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Alessandro Cofanelli
Re: frame advance audio scrubbing with PP CS5.5?
on Jul 4, 2011 at 11:14:59 am

From the mail i received from Blackmagic design EMEA support on 2011. 06.30:

Hi Alessandro,

Thankyou for your email.

On these issues, certainly the lack of audio whilst scrubbing has been identified, and our development team are working on this. I’m afraid I don’t have an ETA on this, but I would expect this to be fixed.


So they confirmed it's a known bug.

---
Alessandro Cofanelli
Top Service Audiovisivi
http://www.topserviceitalia.com


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Cliff Stephenson
Re: frame advance audio scrubbing with PP CS5.5?
on Jul 5, 2011 at 3:48:13 am

Well, I've had to move on and picked up an AJA Kona LHi card. AJA's responsiveness to getting things fixed while everyone is running from FCP7 to Premiere Pro is impressive. It seems like Blackmagic is fighting to keep up and I can't wait for something as basic as this. I've had no issues once I installed the Kona card and now get HDMI out to my external monitor while getting frame by frame audio scrubbing.


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John Pale
Re: frame advance audio scrubbing with PP CS5.5?
on Jul 5, 2011 at 5:03:39 am

I got an e-mail a few hours ago from BMD saying the bug will be fixed in the release version of 8.2 (the bug still exists in the beta).


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Matt Dowling
Re: frame advance audio scrubbing with PP CS5.5?
on Jul 6, 2011 at 1:14:36 am

Hi John,

The audio scrubbing bug has been fixed. I will get this fix and a handful of other improvements built into the next beta drop of version 8.2 which should be in the next day or so.

Regards,

Matt
Blackmagic Design


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Alessandro Cofanelli
Re: frame advance audio scrubbing with PP CS5.5?
on Jul 5, 2011 at 8:01:51 am

I'm thinking to do the same: i have 5 macpro workstations with decklink cards. I need to move soon to premiere pro, and i need the bugs to be corrected as sson as possible. Are you able to make a comparison between your decklink and the new aja? Is there any feature you have miss with new card or others you've gained?

---
Alessandro Cofanelli
Top Service Audiovisivi
http://www.topserviceitalia.com


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Cliff Stephenson
Re: frame advance audio scrubbing with PP CS5.5?
on Jul 6, 2011 at 12:01:53 am

Hey Alessandro,
I find the AJA LHi to be the most stable, dependable card I've used for work with Premiere Pro thus far. The Blackmagic was, perhaps, a bit more usable with regard to video playback (I'll explain that in a second), but the AJA is overall more satisfying. When I say the Blackmagic was perhaps more dependable on video, the thing I recall (but I can't say with 100% reliability because I pulled the card out of there about a week ago) is that I didn't lose video signal between panels (meaning source or timeline). With the AJA, I get a brief (1 second) black flash on my HDMI monitor if i move from one clip to another in the project window or from the source window to the timeline and back. It's almost as if you're changing resolution (which I'm not), but it's a quick black flash (sometimes green) that seems like the card is in process of sending out the signal. When you're in the timeline, it plays seamlessly from clip to clip, even when skipping around.

As for audio, it's a bit more hit and miss. AJA recommends you don't output using the AJA audio setting in Premiere, but rather the default audio output (I actually am using the Built-In output from the preferences). It's definitely hit or miss though as occasionally I'll start to play a clip and there will be no accompanying audio and I'll have to quickly pause and restart the clip to hear audio output. I do, however, get complete audio scrubbing when moving frame by frame.

Unfortunately, I can't say with any guarantee that you'll like the Kona card more than the Blackmagic, but what I can say is that I've been exceeding more impressed with AJA's dedication to making fixes and providing updates in an expedited manor. I feel like most of the weirdness/quirkiness of Kona is stuff that they'll iron out quickly now that the rush is on. I had two different driver updates show up from them in the first three days of working with the new card. They were also the first (and still the only) ones to come up with a quick work-around for external monitor output using Final Cut X. I've had Premiere Pro since last November and the frame by frame audio scrubbing is something the Blackmagic cards never did with Premiere, so I'm not sure why they're just getting around to working on it.

So, as for performance, I think the Kona edges out the Blackmagic, but not without some asterisks assigned, but for dependability and peace of mind that potential future problem will be handled quickly and with great priority... I would say don't waste a day switching over to AJA. I'll put it another way. Without frame by frame audio scrubbing in Blackmagic, I couldn't actually do any work with Premiere when I first picked it up last year. Now, with the new AJA card, I've actually switched all my big projects over exclusively to Premiere Pro and have total confidence that I can work within that system now.

Hope that helps.
Cliff


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Alessandro Cofanelli
Re: frame advance audio scrubbing with PP CS5.5?
on Jul 6, 2011 at 6:43:22 am

Thank You Cliff,
your small comparison is very important to make me take a decision.
I'll wait until the final 8.2 drivers to see if, as promised, the bug will be solved: if not, Aja will be my way.

Thank's again.

Alessandro

---
Alessandro Cofanelli
Top Service Audiovisivi
http://www.topserviceitalia.com


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Cliff Stephenson
Re: frame advance audio scrubbing with PP CS5.5?
on Jul 7, 2011 at 12:40:17 am

Alright, another update.

I reinstalled my Blackmagic HD Extreme 2 card this afternoon alongside my AJA LHi.

First thing... I had no issue running both cards simultaneously. I simply used a different HDMI input for Blackmagic than for AJA. Both cards worked wonderfully in the same machine at the same time. The results were interesting.

Blackmagic just released 8.2 beta 2 which is why I was interested in reevaluating that card. Frame by frame audio scrubbing still isn't functional in this latest beta (hopefully it won't be too much longer- Matt's message about the bug being fixed was just yesterday). But here's what I found, performance-wise, with both cards (this is all cutting with native XDCAM EX 1080p 23.98)-

Blackmagic: MUCH smoother with video scrubbing than the AJA. You could very easily grab your CTI, either in the source window or timeline, and scrub through very fluidly, but without audio. However, when moving through footage backward or forward at higher speed (using either the J or L keys), the Blackmagic seems to choke a bit. The audio scrubs appropriately fast, but the video seems to move at almost real time, making it impossible to to hit "L" a couple of times and move to a specific point in a clip. It's almost like the video portion can't keep up with the audio. This behavior is only in Premiere Pro. Final Cut 7 always had smooth video scrubbing at all speeds.

AJA: Much choppier on video scrubbing, but smoother on fast forward or reverse. Dragging the CTI through the timeline or the source window makes it very hard to "scrub search" for a specific place in a clip or edit. It hits basically highlight frames and if you pass something you like and see a great frame (like a slate I scrubbed past this morning) it could take you another minute or two to actually track it down and you really have to do it via either real time playback or fast forward/rewind. The Blackmagic is much better at being able to find that clip just scrubbing back through the video moving the CTI. Audio is REALLY spotty on the AJA though. It doesn't output when you play a clip about half to a third of the time (especially when moving from source to timeline and you end up having to pause and play to get it to output again). With the Blackmagic, I never had any problems getting the audio output to my monitors. The AJA also has the video funkiness I mentioned earlier where the video briefly drops out when going from source to timeline and back or clip to clip in the source. The Blackmagic video was consistently present with no drop outs.

So overall, having now used both cards on the same machine and being able to switch back and forth, I'd have to say I'm leaning more toward the Blackmagic again. If they can get frame by frame audio scrubbing up and running in the next beta and also improve the power and fluidity of fast forward/reverse, then there's no reason to not use Blackmagic 100% of the time. But without frame by frame scrubbing, I still can't use it yet. Amazing how such a simple, often overlooked feature can cripple a card's ability if it doesn't work right.


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