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Audio lags when placing markers

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Tom Readdy
Audio lags when placing markers
on Jun 13, 2019 at 2:48:30 pm

Hi - I do a lot of work with music, and often need to place timeline markers whilst music plays (using the * key) . However audio tends to lag and slow down when I hit the place marker key, even if the work area is completely cached. This is incredibly frustrating as it completely throws my rhythm when trying to hit beats in a song. This happens in all kinds of comps, under all sorts of conditions. I'm sure this didn't used to be a problem in older versions of After Effects?!

Does anyone know why this might be happening, and what I can do to fix it?

Thanks

Tom


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Audio lags when placing markers
on Jun 13, 2019 at 5:52:28 pm
Last Edited By Dave LaRonde on Jun 13, 2019 at 10:05:39 pm

Is it uncompressed audio? It should be. It's well worth it to convert compressed audio to uncompressed.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Tom Readdy
Re: Audio lags when placing markers
on Jun 14, 2019 at 9:56:42 am

Hi Dave - yes, it's an uncompressed WAV


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Audio lags when placing markers
on Jun 14, 2019 at 3:35:57 pm
Last Edited By Dave LaRonde on Jun 14, 2019 at 3:44:06 pm

Glad to hear it's a wav. I've used the same technique successfully. I can't speak to CC 2019. I just had it installed yesterday because the boss said I had to have it. The TV engineer who installed it & I both agree -- new CC versions are more trouble than they're worth. I expect trouble today.

Having said that, here's my technique used in AE CS 5.5:
  • Listen to the audio file over & over so you know where you want to put markers. it's unlikely you'll want them on every single beat.
  • Start with a comp with ONLY the audio layer in it -- your objective is the audio.
  • Make a black solid & a white solid for later.
  • Set the comp viewer window to REALLY LOW size & resolution -- hell, you're only working with audio, you don't need to see a thing well other than the timeline.
  • Highlight the audio layer.
  • Hit the period key to start previewing the entire audio clip.
  • Hit the asterisk key to set the markers. You're only human, so some of them won't be precisely on the beat. Accept it.
  • When done making markers, it's time to check your work. Go to the head and add the first solid.
  • Using the k key, jump to the next marker. Add the opposite-colored solid. Repeat until done.
  • When done, do a RAM preview (still at really low size & resolution). The comp should flash black & white on the beat. You should be able to get a real-time preview, maybe not the whole comp, but enough to check the placement of many markers. If they're off, grab 'em, move their positions on the audio layer & move the corresponding solid's in point. Check again & tweak until right.
  • If the comp's too long to preview the whole thing, re-set the work area & repeat the process above.

I've had success doing this on about a half-dozen occasions. I've NEVER had better success using one of those effects that makes keyframes on the beat.... and I've tried! They're just too damn inaccurate. Automation of cutting accurately on the beat is a stinkin' myth.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Tom Readdy
Re: Audio lags when placing markers
on Jun 18, 2019 at 8:40:24 am

Hey Dave - thanks for the reply! That sounds a good work around - much appreciated.


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