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FCP X destroys my audio

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Oliver Peters
FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 12, 2014 at 5:30:45 pm

This is now the second time that FCP X has burned me on audio. I have a 5 min. project with audio sources coming from a 4-channel WAVE file (mono mic tracks) and stereo music cues. Stereo mix.

Everything sounded fine through the mixer, but it was impossible to get an export that was clean. Every export attempt resulted in a file with an intermittent crackle/distortion on the right channel. And at peak volume! Tried various audio/video and audio-only formats. All the same.

I ultimately had to download and install Soundflower, so I could hijack the audio stream. This let me record the audio playing in real-time using QTX. I then resynced that audio file audio and the video mixdown in FCP7 and then exported a clean version. Sheesh!

I still have no idea what's causing the crackle in the export and is therefore still a problem. I've pretty well lost trust in anything FCP X does with audio.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 12, 2014 at 5:43:26 pm

So it plays back OK in real time but exports with noise?

Or are you hearing the noise through a capture card but not soundflower?


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Oliver Peters
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 12, 2014 at 7:35:16 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "So it plays back OK in real time but exports with noise?
Or are you hearing the noise through a capture card but not soundflower?"


Audio is being monitored via built-in Mac output to a mixer. Sounds fine there. Also sounds fine when captured via Soundflower. This is not a little crackle. It's a second or more of full-on digital distortion in the right channel.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 12, 2014 at 10:34:24 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Audio is being monitored via built-in Mac output to a mixer. Sounds fine there. Also sounds fine when captured via Soundflower. This is not a little crackle. It's a second or more of full-on digital distortion in the right channel."

I have only had the opposite problem. Audio distortion out of capture card, fine in exports.

To make tc burns in fcpx, put related clips in a synced multiclip and change the start timecode to the start tc of the multiclip.

This works well for interviews, not so well for a bunch of short clips. It will at least save the XML hassle.

Or add tc window burns with Compressor after ingest. This works great for a bunch of disparate short clips.

I am trying to leave FCS3 behind as much as I can.

Jeremy


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Oliver Peters
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 13, 2014 at 12:05:32 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "I have only had the opposite problem. Audio distortion out of capture card, fine in exports."

Yes. That's common and is often a bad card or bad drivers. I've replaced several Konas for that. AJA has a GREAT approach to their warranties. However, that's usually crackling like LP static. This noise is 1000X worse.

[Jeremy Garchow] "To make tc burns in fcpx, put related clips in a synced multiclip and change the start timecode to the start tc of the multiclip. "

I had 3 burns - 1 for each cam plus 1 for sequence.

[Jeremy Garchow] "I am trying to leave FCS3 behind as much as I can"

LOL. Not me. In fact, I'm still using Color quite a bit.

Actually, I'll probably do the next job of any complexity with Media Composer.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Howard Duy Vu
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 13, 2014 at 12:59:52 am

[Oliver Peters] "LOL. Not me. In fact, I'm still using Color quite a bit.

Actually, I'll probably do the next job of any complexity with Media Composer."


Do what you want, but FCPX is more than capable of handling complex projects. This audio bug I agree should be fixed, but it's actually the only major audio bug I've come across and it's fairly easy to work around. Actually, FCP7 was very glitchy when dealing with audio with different sample rates. Also, there's really no reason to use Color since Davinci Resolve is out there and is way faster and more stable.



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Oliver Peters
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 13, 2014 at 1:21:57 am

[Howard Duy Vu] "but FCPX is more than capable of handling complex projects."

Sure. I've been cutting with it since 10.0, including large commercial campaigns and even a feature film. It's quite capable, but nearly everyone of these jobs required a certain level of workarounds. I often get the feeling of 3 steps forward, 2 steps back.

[Howard Duy Vu] "This audio bug I agree should be fixed, but it's actually the only major audio bug I've come across and it's fairly easy to work around. "

You've been lucky. In addition, it loses render links. Not as bad as before, but still there. XML round trips don't support compound clips. XML roundtrip with Resolve and RED files come back to X at the wrong size. In the past, there were numerous render corruption issues (fixed by 10.0.9). Occasionally it still overruns the undo stack, which means it didn't save anything after the stack stopped. The project I'm on crashes about twice a day. Consistent RAM leaks, requiring app relaunching to speed up the app.

[Howard Duy Vu] " Also, there's really no reason to use Color since Davinci Resolve is out there and is way faster and more stable"

I'm quite familiar with Resolve and it's a very powerful grading tool. But, I still feel Color is faster when you are doing a feature film grade that doesn't need an exotic level of grading. Especially considering that most of these projects (that come to me) were originally edited in FCP 7. I find the results in Resolve to be a bit too harsh at times. I prefer the look of Color or Baselight.

[Howard Duy Vu] "Actually, FCP7 was very glitchy when dealing with audio with different sample rates."

I don't disagree. I never mixed sample rates in FCP 7 if I could avoid it. But I also never got the sort of digital junk I have run across in X's audio. Chalk it up to AV Foundations, I guess.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 13, 2014 at 3:28:33 am

[Oliver Peters] "Yes. That's common and is often a bad card or bad drivers. I've replaced several Konas for that. AJA has a GREAT approach to their warranties. However, that's usually crackling like LP static. This noise is 1000X worse.
"


Mmm. No. This is FCPX specific, and it's not the FCP7 crackle, this is blast you out of the seat, WTF was that? type of noise. It's just like you are describing, but it's in real time over hardware, not in the export.


[Oliver Peters] "I had 3 burns - 1 for each cam plus 1 for sequence."

Same technique, then.

[Oliver Peters] "[Jeremy Garchow] "I am trying to leave FCS3 behind as much as I can"

LOL. Not me. In fact, I'm still using Color quite a bit.

Actually, I'll probably do the next job of any complexity with Media Composer."


So on the one hand, you aren't leaving FCS3, but on the other hand, you are leaving FCS3!

Just kidding, I get it. Color isn't doing it for me anymore. I was hoping for Speedgrade, but that's still a moving target for now. It has to be Resolve for the moment.


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Oliver Peters
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 13, 2014 at 2:19:00 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Mmm. No. This is FCPX specific, and it's not the FCP7 crackle, this is blast you out of the seat, WTF was that? type of noise. It's just like you are describing, but it's in real time over hardware, not in the export."

Wow. I've never had *that* in live playback. Sheesh! FWIW - here's a screen grab of the waveform.



[Jeremy Garchow] "Color isn't doing it for me anymore. I was hoping for Speedgrade, but that's still a moving target for now. It has to be Resolve for the moment."

Well, for real surgical corrections, Resolve is the best, but most feature and basic spots and corporate projects don't need a zillion nodes. In fact for most of the latter, I've been happy to stay inside FCP X and use the Color Board or Hawaiki or something else.

The last feature I graded was shot on Alexa and edited in FCP 7. The client wanted a definite "look". Between director and DP, I ultimately went through 4 processes: Color, Resolve, Color again and FilmConvert.

I find that the "rooms" design of Color is easier and faster to quickly move up and down the timeline and apply adjustments, than doing this with nodes in Resolve. I can look at the timeline and know precisely which Secondary was used to create a part of the look and simply slide those around very quickly. The Resolve UI is a mess if you don't work with a control panel and definitely not optimized for dual displays. Plus if you are working on a system using an AJA card, it's useless.

There's a lot about SpeedGrade CC that I like, but some far, the whole Direct Link thing with the Lumetri filters is a total performance dog. Maybe after a few updates it will be optimized. However, operationally, SGCC is a lot closer to Color than Resolve.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 13, 2014 at 5:33:07 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Wow. I've never had *that* in live playback. Sheesh! FWIW - here's a screen grab of the waveform."

That is so weird that it's in one channel. I have never seen this problem, but I guess I will look out for it.

[Oliver Peters] "Well, for real surgical corrections, Resolve is the best, but most feature and basic spots and corporate projects don't need a zillion nodes. In fact for most of the latter, I've been happy to stay inside FCP X and use the Color Board or Hawaiki or something else."

Me too. I hear you, I don't want to complicate anything more than it needs to be, but Resolve does help. For primary/secondary without and keying/tracking FCPX works well. Resolve allows us to go a bit deeper.

While Color is supper straight forward, it has trouble with 4k sources, the LUT implementation is all or nothing (not clip based), and making changes are a real pain as keyframes are very hard to edit. The tracking is just OK, and matte creation could be better.

I also think that while the rooms make sense, it is really hard to rearrange the stacking order once something is done. Since you can't copy/paste room information to the next room (like a secondary to another secondary, or primary out to primary in) it makes things more complicated and very time consuming. If you don't have a super set plan going in, or something changed midstream, Color has some rigid handcuffs without starting a whole new Grade, where in Resolve I would be able to simply start other nodes and connect it all back up in the order that I need.

Plus the XML jockey in and out of Color is getting old.

[Oliver Peters] "There's a lot about SpeedGrade CC that I like, but some far, the whole Direct Link thing with the Lumetri filters is a total performance dog. Maybe after a few updates it will be optimized. However, operationally, SGCC is a lot closer to Color than Resolve."

I really like the 12 different control levels (master/shadows/mids/highlights, and then the shadows/mids/highlights on each of those). The keying methods are pretty good, and I like the widget.

The workflow is stodgy, though, I agree. I hope it can get a little better. I also like the layers in Speedgrade that can be rearranged, and also you can control the strength of each layer. This is much more control than Color gives, but I know what you're saying. Where Ae is layered compositor and Nuke is nodal, Speedgrade is layered with Resolve being nodal. These are both valid, just different.

Jeremy


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Oliver Peters
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 13, 2014 at 6:10:11 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "While Color is supper straight forward, it has trouble with 4k sources, the LUT implementation is all or nothing (not clip based), and making changes are a real pain as keyframes are very hard to edit. The tracking is just OK, and matte creation could be better."

Agreed. The last 4K-sourced feature I graded in Color was an all-RED project. I found it earlier to "pre-grade" in RCX, then export RedLogFilm 1080p ProRes4444 files, after which I then did the final grade in Color. Worked like a champ and ten times more responsive than trying to grade native RED files in Resolve even today. I almost never use LUTs, preferring to create the curve from scratch myself. But yes, Color only uses a display LUT approach. Resolve's tracker blows every other tracker in a color correction tool away.

[Jeremy Garchow] " If you don't have a super set plan going in, or something changed midstream, Color has some rigid handcuffs without starting a whole new Grade,..."

Yes and no. On the Alexa-sourced film I referenced in the other post, my starting point was to use the Primary In as a place to neutralize the shot. Then S1 was my basic "look". S8 was for edge vignettes. This left me S2-S7 from all other adjustments, like isolations for faces and other such "power windows".

In a dialogue scene cutting back and forth between two angles, I might have PI/S1/S8 the same on all shots, but then have something on S2-S7 on only one angle. Very simple to add the secondaries to each alternating shot simply by moving through the timeline. Then go back and tweak as needed.

I find that maintaining this kind of a structure in Resolve is harder. You can really get confused with how you've set up nodes from shot to shot over the course of 1,000-2,000 shots in a typical 2 hour film.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 13, 2014 at 6:24:11 pm

Color does work well with Red as Red supports it, even today. But if you have other 4k sources, it's a lot harder unless you do a crap ton of transcoding. I'm over all of that.

[Oliver Peters] "This left me S2-S7 from all other adjustments, like isolations for faces and other such "power windows"."

Right, but you might not know which order you need those in, so you start in the middle, like S4. But if you need S4 to move to S5, you have to start all over. And S4 will effect S5, so you might have to go back and adjust S5 to get it back to where it was. It's a pain.

But, you can also use this to an advantage and work backwards. I do this a lot in Color. Start with the primary out, and work back, and then circle back to primary out.

FCS3 is dead, long live (insert something else here)!


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Chris Harlan
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 13, 2014 at 6:31:41 pm

Oddly enough, I've had that exact problem with FCP7 a few times over the last year, maybe two. It always involves an imported WAV file, not AIFF, so I think something my be going on at that level. I had just assumed that it was part of FCP being set loose to drift away like a ghost ship, and it hasted my move back to Avid and Premiere. Maybe its a WAV/Foundation thing.


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Oliver Peters
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 13, 2014 at 6:37:20 pm

[Chris Harlan] "I had just assumed that it was part of FCP being set loose to drift away like a ghost ship, and it hasted my move back to Avid and Premiere. Maybe its a WAV/Foundation thing."

Great. You've made me feel even more comfortable with these tools ;-( Windows anyone?

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Chris Harlan
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 13, 2014 at 6:46:41 pm

The other very odd thing that seems to happen with imported .wav is that they will occasionally become unstable in the FCP timeline and drift off their internal timing momentarily to create a weird loop while also cutting out a portion of the file that can't be gotten rid of other than matching back to the source file. Its really annoying, and completely unpredictable.


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Oliver Peters
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 13, 2014 at 7:01:12 pm

[Chris Harlan] "he other very odd thing that seems to happen with imported .wav is that..."

I've never run into that with FCP, but I have run into weird issues with double-system sound sync in earlier versions of Premiere.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Scott Witthaus
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 13, 2014 at 12:53:54 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Actually, I'll probably do the next job of any complexity with Media Composer."

Now Oliver....does this have anything to do with being on the advisory board of the Avid Customer Association? Did you have to drink the purple Kool-Aid?

;-)

Scott Witthaus
Senior Editor/Post Production Supervisor
1708 Inc./Editorial
Professor, VCU Brandcenter


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Oliver Peters
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 13, 2014 at 2:41:59 pm

[Scott Witthaus] "does this have anything to do with being on the advisory board of the Avid Customer Association? "

LOL. Actually it's the other way around. There's a lot in X that I'd like to see Avid embrace.

The truth of the matter is that since the intro of X, I've approached every job weighing whether to cut it in 7, X, PPro or MC. Most of the time I've gone with X. The same is true of this project.

Unfortunately, every time I feel like problems with X have settled down, I hit some sort of roadblock that boils down to problems, performance, etc. This is one of those. There is absolutely no reason this distortion should be occurring. The fact that it does, points to some sort of engineering defect in either FCP X or AV Foundations. I'm sure Apple will figure it out, but it doesn't give me warm and fuzzies about doing more "road testing" when clients are involved.

On top of that - and even in spite of all the 3rd party utilities - X still doesn't check off the "plays well with others" box. ;-)

None of this means I'll stop using X - just that I will have to be more careful and less trusting in the future. The bad news is that the options aren't great. I don't like projects sitting with a subscription-based product and Avid needs to modernize. So, like someone else here said the other day, we are left with choices of "stodgy, subscription or WTF".

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Scott Witthaus
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 13, 2014 at 5:19:12 pm

I agree, we all make those choices.

Did you create a new user by any chance? I know there was that thread over on the FCP-L where a user was tearing his hair out over X doing a lot of strange things and it turned out to be a corrupt user setting. Everything is running smoothly for him now. Just a thought.

Scott Witthaus
Senior Editor/Post Production Supervisor
1708 Inc./Editorial
Professor, VCU Brandcenter


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Oliver Peters
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 13, 2014 at 5:52:17 pm

[Scott Witthaus] "I know there was that thread over on the FCP-L where a user was tearing his hair out over X doing a lot of strange things and it turned out to be a corrupt user setting."

Nope. I posted stuff about that in an earlier thread. It's related to user pref lock files. It can be fixed without a new user setting by deleting the contents of the User/Preferences/ByHost folder.

But, since you bring that up, this is another problem with FCP X. No other apps seem to have this same issue. And since no one can pin-point the reason for the original corruption, who's to say you won't corrupt the new setting a week later?

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Douglas K. Dempsey
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 12, 2014 at 6:38:44 pm

Yikes! Will be following this thread closely, as that is a disaster.

I used to get intermittent crackles or pops -- usually at cut points in the audio tracks -- in FCP7, which seemed to be created by FCP, since the original files had no noise. I always assumed it was my fault somehow, and the only work-around was to re-import audio.

Anything heard in realtime on the tracks, of course, went through to the export.

But have not yet heard this on FCPX, e.g. noise created at export. Mostly working with dual mono (one track from on-camera mic, other from boom or lav) in which I sometimes mix the two if the camera mic reverb enhances the sound, usually in wide shots, or just do with the boom/lav otherwise. No export of audio for any other enhancements, and no hardware mixer, just rubber-banding tracks with keyframes and output, usually Export Master File.

Doug D


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 12, 2014 at 6:49:47 pm

Sounds nasty.

Are all the music cues WAVs as well?

Simon Ubsdell
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Oliver Peters
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 12, 2014 at 7:43:12 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "Are all the music cues WAVs as well?"

Nope. Music came as MP3. I converted to 24/48 AIFFs in QT before bringing into FCP X.

FWIW - this project was originally started in FCP 7. I synced the WAVs with two cameras for interviews there, because I needed to give the client a review copy with burn-ins. When time came to edit, I XML'ed the selects sequence to X. I could not get the WAV audio to come up right in X. So I re-imported the WAVs fresh into X and re-synced the audio for the interviews. Since I've never had this problem before in X, it's possible that something was munged under-the-hood thanks to the XML. That doesn't make things better, but it is an additional variable.

(rant on) Going on 3 years (almost) and Apple still can't deliver a product that successfully replaces FCP 7 for complex work, I'm sorry to say. Not to mention that the timeline with all the freaking connected clips for audio and video is a complete embarrassment!!!!!!!!!!! (rant off)

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Scott Witthaus
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 13, 2014 at 11:59:11 am

[Oliver Peters] "Not to mention that the timeline with all the freaking connected clips for audio and video is a complete embarrassment!!!!!!!!!!! "

Can you post a screen shot?

Scott Witthaus
Senior Editor/Post Production Supervisor
1708 Inc./Editorial
Professor, VCU Brandcenter


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Oliver Peters
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 13, 2014 at 2:31:02 pm

[Scott Witthaus] "Can you post a screen shot?"

Sure.



I will ultimately clean this up after the cut is locked by the client. By "clean up" I mean, remove the disabled clips and overwrite most back to the main storyline.

I know some here like the magnetic timeline and connected clips. I don't. I'll take tracks any day over this. I dislike the whole "move out of the way to make room" paradigm. The lack of ability to overwrite a connected clip creates this vertical clutter. To avoid it, you have to use a workaround of secondary story lines. Plus when you move chunks around, you have to pay extra attention to the connections and often move connecting points to avoid inadvertent moves.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Scott Witthaus
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 13, 2014 at 5:24:52 pm

I see.

You know me, just love those Compound Clips. I would have CC'ed the hell out of that one!

:-)

Scott Witthaus
Senior Editor/Post Production Supervisor
1708 Inc./Editorial
Professor, VCU Brandcenter


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Oliver Peters
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 13, 2014 at 5:53:42 pm

[Scott Witthaus] "I would have CC'ed the hell out of that one! "

CCs are evil. There is a CC at the head, though. CC do not correctly pass through many of the translations.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Richard Herd
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 12, 2014 at 7:22:07 pm

[Oliver Peters] "what's causing the crackle"

Wow, There's a lot of weeds to wade through to find a cause: hardware drivers on the audio i/o, maybe (idk)?


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Steve Connor
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 12, 2014 at 7:37:03 pm

Which FCPX version are you using?

Steve Connor

There's nothing we can't argue about on the FCPX COW Forum


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Oliver Peters
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 12, 2014 at 7:43:42 pm

[Steve Connor] "Which FCPX version are you using?"

10.1.1.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Scott Witthaus
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 12, 2014 at 8:09:26 pm

wow that is strange. I have not seen/heard anything like this on any of the systems here. hmmmm....

Scott Witthaus
Senior Editor/Post Production Supervisor
1708 Inc./Editorial
Professor, VCU Brandcenter


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Steve Connor
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 12, 2014 at 8:10:32 pm

[Oliver Peters] "[Steve Connor] "Which FCPX version are you using?"

10.1.1.
"


The only time I've seen any issues with digital distortion like you are describing is in 10.1, I haven't seen it at all since the recent update.

Steve Connor

There's nothing we can't argue about on the FCPX COW Forum


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Oliver Peters
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 12, 2014 at 8:13:30 pm

[Steve Connor] "I haven't seen it at all since the recent update."

FWIW - it's also forgetting renders when I re-open the app. Not all, just a couple and always the same ones.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Steve Connor
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 12, 2014 at 8:25:16 pm

[Oliver Peters] "FWIW - it's also forgetting renders when I re-open the app. Not all, just a couple and always the same ones.
"


I had that behaviour stop with the recent update too! I suppose you've trashed prefs and reinstalled?

Steve Connor

There's nothing we can't argue about on the FCPX COW Forum


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Oliver Peters
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 12, 2014 at 8:32:59 pm

It hasn't been re-installed, prefs have been recently trashed.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Howard Duy Vu
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 12, 2014 at 8:15:45 pm

I have had this happen: it would play fine in the timeline, and then the export resulted in a crazy bit of distorted noise at the trouble spot.

I tracked it down to audio that had a weird sample rate, something like 48.0576. This usually happens if the audio is attached to some video with a different or odd framerate, and you use something like Cinema Tools to reconform the framerate.

What you should do is find where the distortion sound is happening and take a good look at all the audio in that section and make sure it's all 48kHz. Re-export it from Compressor for example. Basically something standard. FCPX currently doesn't play very nice with odd sample rates for whatever reason.


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Oliver Peters
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 12, 2014 at 8:37:25 pm

[Howard Duy Vu] "What you should do is find where the distortion sound is happening and take a good look at all the audio in that section and make sure it's all 48kHz. Re-export it from Compressor for example. Basically something standard. FCPX currently doesn't play very nice with odd sample rates for whatever reason"

Hmm... Does seem like a possible culprit, but all the audio is absolutely correct regarding sample rates. OTOH, it may be attached to slo-mo'ed video clips that were rate-corrected in CT. But the bottom-line is that you are saying it is unreliable with mixed/odd sample rates. Thus my general concern about its reliability with audio at all.

This project will go through a ProTools conform/edit/mix from original sources, so the X temp mix is only for client review.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Oliver Peters
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 15, 2014 at 9:15:19 pm

I did a little more sleuthing on this issue. It appears to boil down to mixed sample rates. Although it seems to be a bug as to why it's happening. Here's the situation.

The points on the timeline that cause the distortion on export are places where I used a specific set of B-roll shots. These were 25fps H264 clips that I externally converted to ProRes 23.98 and imported into FCP X. (Converted via MPEG Streamclip and then conformed with Cinema Tools.) The transcoded video is ProRes at 23.98, but the resulting sample rate of audio in the new files is about 46KHz due to the frame rate change. The audio is never used and these clips appear in the timeline with volume reduced to nothing. Audio was not detach or removed - only silenced - but still present as part of the clip in the timeline.

When I detach and remove the audio from these clips, there is no distortion on export in these areas. If I copy-and-paste only the connected audio clips (my WAV dialogue and my AIF music cues) to a new timeline, also no distortion. So that leads me to pinpoint these specific B-roll clips as the source of the distortion - even though none of their audio was ever in the mix.

I have done this sort of thing for a long time with both FCP "legacy" and FCP X, so it would appear that with Mavericks and/or FCP X 10.1 something has changed regarding the tolerance for mixed sample rates. Maybe an AVF issue?

FWIW - this project has other clips that were transcoded/conformed externally from 59.94 and/or 29.97 to 23.98, as well. None of these seem to pose any issues. Only the clips that started as 25fps.

At least, that's the preliminary analysis as of today.

Cheers,
Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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alban egger
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 16, 2014 at 8:33:52 am

It could be not FCPX or the 25fps were the issue but the specific encoding of those 25fps files. Did they all come from the same source?

I recently had a similar issue with audio peaks AND video glitches when I encoded some h.264 files I got from an agency into Windows Media (it was supposed to play in a Digital Signage system). After Effects, Edius and MPEG Streamclip on the PC failed.
I then tried MPEG stream clip and QT7 on the Mac side of my studio. No chance to get them clean. And MPEGStreamclip doesn´t fail very often!

Finally tried FCPX (without much hope)....worked like a charm. Don´t ask me why and how, but it was the only software that was able to re-encode these h.264 move into ProRes which I could then work with normally. All this was while I maintained the 25fps. No conforming necessary.

So maybe their is something with the GOP order or keyframe settings that FCPX didn´t like in your case. If they all come from the same source, maybe their settings are exactly what throws FCPX off, while the ones I got where apparently the other way round.
If they are different sources /encoders, then we might see more of this and it could be a conforming issue.

Did you try to conform them to 23.98 within FCPX instead of Cinema Tools (now called auto-speed, was conform-speed).



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Oliver Peters
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 16, 2014 at 2:02:06 pm

[alban egger] "Did they all come from the same source?"

Yes. These were from the same source and I transcoded in MPEG SC to ProRes, changed the frame rate to 23.98 using Cinema Tools and embedded TC/Reel ID in FCP 7. Real-time playback is fine in all places. No indication of any problems.

[alban egger] "Did you try to conform them to 23.98 within FCPX instead of Cinema Tools"

I didn't do that with these, although I had some 29.97 sources that I conformed in FCP X that way.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Dave Gage
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 16, 2014 at 6:06:14 pm

[alban egger] "I recently had a similar issue with audio peaks AND video glitches when I encoded some h.264 files I got from an agency into Windows Media (it was supposed to play in a Digital Signage system). After Effects, Edius and MPEG Streamclip on the PC failed.
I then tried MPEG stream clip and QT7 on the Mac side of my studio. No chance to get them clean. And MPEGStreamclip doesn´t fail very often!"

Alban,

I had a similar problem, but opposite result with video last year. I had one user on my website with a newer Android device that couldn't view any of my video. I first thought it might be a Flash Player problem or an issue with HTML5 video, but he couldn't even get the .mp4 video to play on his Android when I just sent the file over.

I typically use the x264 codec, so I then tried straight .mp4 exports from Compressor, FCPX, and QT7, but none would work for him. I then tried an export from MPEG Streamclip using x264 and he got it to play. He's the first and only user that has reported this problem, but it does seem odd.

Dave


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Oliver Peters
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 18, 2014 at 2:30:55 pm

The conclusion of the saga is that this issue is related to the inclusion of clips with an odd sample rate. In this case, 46.034, which was a result of conforming 25fps clips to 23.98fps using Cinema Tools. FCP X may or may not have issues with other odd sample rates created by speed conversions. This audio CANNOT be present in the timeline. It must either be disabled in the clip Inspector pane or must be detached and removed.

Just as a sanity check, I ran some tests to replicate the issue. I created a new 23.98 sequence testing the same mix of conditions I had in the problematic sequence that X exported with distortion. I included a conformed clip with the 46.034 sample rate (audio present in timeline but silenced). Different machine, different media, brand new Library/Project. FCP X replicates the distortion on export.

FCP 7 and Premiere Pro CC export the clip WITHOUT any distortion.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Craig Shamwell
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 19, 2014 at 6:11:38 pm

Did you report this to Apple via the feedback section?
I am sure you have Peter, but sometimes this part of the process of all of us helping to make the editor better gets overlooked.
I had a similar problem with my Smartsound Files sounding good in the Audio Editor, but output inserted random pops! Its been fixed and a patch was issued. Let us know what Apple says!?


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Oliver Peters
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 19, 2014 at 6:16:20 pm

[Craig Shamwell] "Did you report this to Apple via the feedback section?"

Yes, they are aware of the situation. The odd sample rate is the issue coupled with how FCP X deals with audio media these days.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Ben DeJong
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 23, 2015 at 9:36:46 am

I came across this thread because as an audio guy who is only getting more into video, I know that my .wav files are the best. Upon import though, I have had to bounce them as .aiff files instead because once I put a .WAV file in fcpx it distorts across the entire track. I tried different sample rates and nothing would fix this. I cannot figure this one out. I keep finding other FCPX bugs the more intense projects I do.


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Steve Connor
Re: FCP X destroys my audio
on Feb 23, 2015 at 11:47:29 am

That's odd, I've never had issues with .wav files in FCPX at all


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