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MME not allowing round trip from Avid

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Ray Kowalchuk
MME not allowing round trip from Avid
on Apr 26, 2012 at 11:53:21 pm

Hi, anyone using MME (MultiMedia Exchange, by ConSol) in an Avid workflow? It converts the Final Cut Pro XML export to an Avid AAF.

"Avid First Workflow"
The only way I can see of getting Media Composer to link to clips exported from CatDV is to import the camera media into Avid and drag the media into CatDV for logging. When the logged clips are sent back to an Avid bin they sometimes link properly, depending on the original media, and sometimes don't. Our camera original are Sony HDV files (.M2T) and Canon XF (.MXF), and they usually link...kind of. The clips arrive and are immediately populated by the original video file ("MEDIA OFFLINE" is replaced with the first frame of video in the source window) but I get an error message that the clip is not happy with the audio: "Exception: Sequence refers to non-existent track in clip. Please turn off monitoring and re-edit to the following clip. You may then re-enable monitoring. ,clip:AA0026, missingTrack:A2"

Well, I can follow the instructions and remove the clip from the source window, unlink it from the media and "Modify" it so that the audio clips are not included, and the video relinks and plays without an error. Not QUITE a solution, though, as sometimes (always) audio is important.

Anybody have success with MME? Better yet, anybody have the same problem and figure out how to fix it?

Ray


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Robb Harriss
Re: MME not allowing round trip from Avid
on Apr 27, 2012 at 3:02:46 am

Have you tried manually "attaching" the media to the CatDv log reference?

Non-linear: all the time and nothing but.


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Ray Kowalchuk
Re: MME not allowing round trip from Avid
on Apr 27, 2012 at 3:59:09 pm

Hi Robb,

by "CatDV log reference" I guess you mean the CatDV clip that has automatically linked to the video and is rejecting the audio." I don't know what you mean by 'manually "attaching"' (but it sounds kind of, um, manual, and undesirable for a workflow).

After modifying the clip to be video only it was happy as a solo video file. I just tried to modify it back to include the two audio tracks and I was denied: "Exception: CM_NO_SOURCE", meaning, I guess, that once the audio is unlinked from the source you can't put back track references and browse to them (again, way too manual for a workflow, but may lead to some clues as to why it works so intermittently).

It also seems all or nothing (all clips or no clips, of a particular format), depending on who's standing in the room when I say, "See, it doesn't work!" (and it does work. I see myself adding that to the workflow chart -- Step 7. bring a stranger into the room, point at import process and say, "See, it doesn't work!")

MME users, show yourselves!


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Robb Harriss
Re: MME not allowing round trip from Avid
on Apr 27, 2012 at 4:31:48 pm

I haven't been on Avid in quite a while, so I'm just running though some troubleshooting ideas (not intended as part of a realistic workflow).

I'm suggesting to manually relink just to see what happens. When I'm troubleshooting I tend to create a test project with clips for testing.

It's not at all unusual for me to use FCP to first separate my footage into clips, capture those, and then import them into CatDV. My process is slightly different because I'm coming off of HDCam tape. Which formats are giving you trouble?

here's a brief explanation of attaching media. I've had to do it when I've recklessly moved footage around without regard to CatDV.



Non-linear: all the time and nothing but.


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Ray Kowalchuk
Re: MME not allowing round trip from Avid
on Apr 27, 2012 at 6:22:17 pm

Sorry, Robb, it's in Avid the relinking isn't happening properly. I'm not having any trouble with linking the Avid media in CatDV; it recognizes which audio MXF belongs with the video MXF and creates new clips ("metaclips," with a blue MXF folder icon) and treats it like any other Quicktime file that might be in a CatDV catalong.

MME is a standalone widget that runs separate from CatDV to which you can export an FCP XML and it converts it to an Avid AAF. (There's also a java plugin for CatDV that lets you skip a step and right-click "Send to MME.") The AAF you can drop into a bin and voila -- your CatDV clips are now Avid clips and should relink to the original Avid media. Most often, video does, you see the "MEDIA OFFLINE" replaced with video, you think the world is swell, then when you try to play it winges about the audio tracks not existing (not offline, or not linking; it insists they DON'T EXIST. But they do...).

Of course, FCP has it a lot easier back and forth because if it's Quicktime, everything is compliant. For those that are migrating from FCP to Avid, it might be worthwhile to get MME working in all cases (or even integrate it into CatDV).


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Robb Harriss
Re: MME not allowing round trip from Avid
on Apr 27, 2012 at 7:02:45 pm

But what format are the offending clips?

Non-linear: all the time and nothing but.


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Ray Kowalchuk
Re: MME not allowing round trip from Avid
on Apr 27, 2012 at 7:27:23 pm

They're Avid media, Op-Atom MXF, separate video and audio files, all with ".mxf" suffix. CatDV doesn't mind; there's some metadata that allows them to automatically create a new clip that *works* like a Quicktime movie, but actually has a different icon, a blue folder with "MXF" on it. (Unfortunately, subclips of a metaclip also have the same icon, unlike the little green subclip of a Quicktime.)

The new, CatDV-created clip is what gets logged and sent back to Avid via the MME widget, to great video joy and great audio weeping. There must be a glitch in the new Avid clip's audio-recognition, but whether this was introduced by the CatDV metaclip, the MME translation to AAF or Avid's reading of the AAF, the jury is out.

"non-existent track" indeed. Kinda like when you KNEW the next mouse click was going to give you yet another "Unexpected error." No it wasn't!


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