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4 channel mono export, 16 bit

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Andy Mees
4 channel mono export, 16 bit
on Mar 1, 2013 at 4:27:54 pm

HI All

I wanted to force FCP X to my will today ... but failed. I'm hoping one of you guys or gals might be able to show me the way.

Basically I needed to quickly export an SD video to (optical) XDCAM disc. Sony Content Browser is the current way forward with FCP X, or so I understand it. So I dropped my clip into an FCPX project, hit the Share > Master File option and tried to set it up to export with all the settings I needed for an XDCAM SD compliant export to my attached deck ... in this case that needed to be DVCAM PAL Anamorphic format with 4 mono channels of 16 bit audio. Everything went swimmingly re the interfacing with Content Browser Exporter bit, but forcing the export to adhere to the needed export format specs? Nightmare.

Try as I might I could not find a way to create an export setting that would give me 4 channels of mono audio from my simple stereo source. I could choose the Multitrack output option and "Add Track" to my hearts content, but FCPX just seemed to override that and only creates tracks based on active role assignment ... and even if I assigned the same role to each track it still automagically only created a single track for any given role. On top of that I eventually figured out that FCP X can't do 16 bit audio anyway (24 bit only) ...

... So scratch that. I decided to give Send to Compressor a try instead. I set up a preset to convert to Quicktime DV PAL Anamorphic w/ Audio to 16 bit Mono ... all good ... but still couldn't find a way to simply create a 4 channel output from my 2 channel source ie Channels 1 and 2 taking Stereo L and R respectively and Channels 3 & 4 preferably just being empty.

It was a bit disappointing, admittedly mostly because I wasted so much time trying and failing to make it work!

On reflection I'm guessing that one way would be to create some dummy audio and assign that audio to some dummy roles, add that to my project (sequence) and then assign those roles to my additional dummy audio tracks in the export dialog ... but holy hell this seems like an awful lot of work for what was ostensibly meant to be a quick and simple export to deck operation. Would that be the only way?

I was hoping to be able to just set up an export template and teach some non-editors to be able to do this as and when necessary . In the end I just had to give in and show them how to do it in FCP7 using an older laptop / install, which was luckily still an option. I'm really hoping that one of you kind folks will show me a way to do this quickly and simply in FCP X instead tho. I'm trying to put the FCP 7 system out to pasture.

Many many thanks in advance
Andy


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Mark Morache
Re: 4 channel mono export, 16 bit
on Mar 1, 2013 at 6:42:13 pm

I've been exporting 4 channels of audio ever since FCPX came up with "Roles".

I just did a test, and it was fairly easy to export, add an audio track, then select which audio roles I wanted to go to the new channel.

If you ever have a need for any stem audio, why not put some of that onto 3 and 4. You can Easily send any role to any channels.

In this one, I have all the roles sent to ch 1 and ch 2, soundbites to 3 and dialogue to 4.

When you assign roles to the audio channels you're exporting, the roles in the pulldown menu toggle when you select them so you can assign more than one role to each channel.

As for the 16 bit audio vs the 24 bit, you will probably need to create a compressor template for that.

---------
Don't live your life in a secondary storyline.

Mark Morache
FCPX/FCP7/Xpri/Avid
Evening Magazine,Seattle, WA
http://fcpx.wordpress.com


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Andy Mees
Re: 4 channel mono export, 16 bit
on Mar 2, 2013 at 2:40:11 am

Hi Mark

Thanks for that. That's pretty much exactly what I'd tried ... in the first attempt I just exported with additional tracks that were intentionally left blank (Fig 1) but those were ignored by the export process; in a second attempt I assigned the existing roles to the extra tracks (Fig 2) but it appears I convinced myself that that didn't work either ... I just tried it again now (at home) and it worked a treat. Darn it.





I'm guessing I threw myself off because the actual export to XDCAM still failed due to the 24 bit audio vs 16 bit audio issue ... but still, my concern was that I wasn't getting 4 channels despite setting them up.

Clearly my mistake, and apologies to all for the misdirection.

I may yet be able to bend this to my will! :-)

Cheers
Andy


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Todd Nystrom
Re: 4 channel mono export, 16 bit
on Jul 14, 2016 at 7:18:08 pm

Hi Andy,
This is the thread that I needed!!
I see in your attached screen shot that the ROLES AS drop down is on 4 CHANNEL MONO. This is exactly what I need. I am delivering to a TV network and am having a challenging time trying to configure the audio to the network's specs. I had delivered a file with the audio in standard stereo and they replied saying, audio must be 4 channels, and told me to split the stereo audio into 2 separate mono channels and pan them L&R on channels 1&2. That was easy. But they also told me to then duplicate those and add to channels 3&4. THAT IS THE PART THAT IS CHALLENGING ME. I even tried SURROUND but that created more issues. 4 Channel Mono is just the ticket.
Please advise!!
Thank you Andy!


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Paul Figgiani
Re: 4 channel mono export, 16 bit
on Mar 1, 2013 at 7:44:42 pm

Mark,

I don't think Andy is looking to export four discrete mono "stems." If this was the case you've explained how to do it.

Andy, you mention:

"... but still couldn't find a way to simply create a 4 channel output from my 2 channel source ie Channels 1 and 2 taking Stereo L and R respectively and Channels 3 & 4 preferably just being empty."

Can you elaborate? What would be the purpose of the empty channels (3+4)?

-paul.


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Mark Morache
Re: 4 channel mono export, 16 bit
on Mar 1, 2013 at 9:28:00 pm

I understand that. I was simply stating that the 3rd and 4th channels could be stem tracks. It may be more useful than simply duplicating the L and R stereo tracks.

The photo in my post shows all roles going out to channels 1 and 2, and single roles going out to 3 and 4.

I believe that Andy was just looking for a way to create a 4 channel clip so that he could conform it to the XDcam format and save it on a disc.

I find that monitoring all the roles in my timeline takes some time, but works fairly well when I'm paying attention to it as I edit.

---------
Don't live your life in a secondary storyline.

Mark Morache
FCPX/FCP7/Xpri/Avid
Evening Magazine,Seattle, WA
http://fcpx.wordpress.com


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Paul Figgiani
Re: 4 channel mono export, 16 bit
on Mar 1, 2013 at 9:42:53 pm

I believe that Andy was just looking for a way to create a 4 channel clip so that he could conform it to the XDcam format and save it on a disc.

Ah. I see and makes sense. Looks like T. came up with a viable solution ...

-paul.


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T. Payton
Re: 4 channel mono export, 16 bit
on Mar 1, 2013 at 9:34:30 pm

Andy,

Actually I don't think you need to do anything with roles.I made a custom quicktime movie setting in compressor. SD anamorphic video with this audio setting:



Added that Compression Setting as a a share destination in FCP X. Exported a stereo clip and 4 channels of audio. 1&2 stereo, 3&4 stereo but blank.



Is this what you were looking for?

------
T. Payton
OneCreative, Albuquerque


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T. Payton
Re: 4 channel mono export, 16 bit
on Mar 1, 2013 at 10:01:33 pm

So I am completely ignorant of XDCAM and didn't even realize there was a SD format. So did a bit of looking here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XDCAM#XDCAM_Formats

It said that the SD MPEG IMX format (which is built into FCP X) can accept 8 ch/16 bit/48 kHz or 4 ch/24 bit/48 kHz.

Did you happen to try exporting straight to IMX, without bothering with the 4 channels of audio? (You need to have a SD project or compound clip to see the IMX options).

If you do need the 4 channels, you could drop an audio clip on your timeline, assign it a different role, like effects and lower the volume all the way and get 2 stereo channels. Like this:



------
T. Payton
OneCreative, Albuquerque


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Andy Mees
Re: 4 channel mono export, 16 bit
on Mar 2, 2013 at 2:52:25 am

Hey Tim

Thanks for taking the time, it's much appreciated.

My playback deck is a PDW F70, which for XDCAM SD formats only supports playback of DVCAM, so IMX mastering was not an option in this case.

I did already try one direct to Compressor "4 channel" export settings option (I used the "Quadraphonic" setting) but that identified itself as such in the resulting file and so Content Browser Exporter still failed as it wasn't getting the explicit 4 mono channel audio file it was demanding. I'll give that 4 channel (L,R, C, Cs) option a try tho, its worth a shot ...

Cheers
Andy


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: 4 channel mono export, 16 bit
on Mar 2, 2013 at 4:27:33 am

MXF4mac has appropriate presets for this if it is something that you need.

It is not free.


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Andy Mees
Re: 4 channel mono export, 16 bit
on Mar 2, 2013 at 4:33:05 am

Thanks Jeremy,

In this case a value added third party based MXF export solution is not what I'm looking for ... at this point it's more an exercise in trying to find a way to make FCP X work for me as is, after all I'm only trying to do what is essentially a relatively simple export to a DV Quicktime movie (the rewrap to MXF and subsequent transfer to XDCAM disc is all handled by Sony's Content Browser app).

That said, I certainly appreciate the heads up. Much obliged.

Cheers
Andy


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: 4 channel mono export, 16 bit
on Mar 2, 2013 at 4:43:29 am

The only thing that stops FCPX from doing this directly is the 24bit audio.

The other way to go about it would be to dither the audio in Soundtrack Pro after you export a 4 channel DV movie like this:



4channels.png

Jeremy


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Andy Mees
Re: 4 channel mono export, 16 bit
on Mar 2, 2013 at 4:56:49 am

Yep ... it's just all becoming rather convoluted!

The simplest solution is just to hit the spacebar and record the baseband output from my I/O box directly into the deck ;-)

Color me just a little bit annoyed that FCPX wasn't yet quite flexible enough for me to make it work the way I wanted too (ie file based). No worries, I nearly got there.

For what it's worth, I tried exporting my sequence as XDCAM HD too but had exactly the same problem (it needs 4 channel, 16 bit, mono audio).

If I had a different XDCAM deck, one that supported IMX or HD422, both of which support files with a 24 bit audio configuration, then none of this would have been an issue.

I'll live.

Anyway, just let me say thanks a lot to yourself and everyone else who spent some brain cycles thinking on this one for me ... it's great COW support as always and very much appreciated.

Cheers
Andy


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Andy Mees
Re: 4 channel mono export, 16 bit
on Mar 2, 2013 at 4:41:07 am

No go on the Compressor front there Tim, like the other 4 channel settings I tried, that one creates one single 4 channel audio stream ... not multiple discrete single channel audio streams, which is unfortunately what XDCAM demands.

For experiments sake, I did just test an IMX export tho, and it worked a treat as long as I set up the export with 4x mono tracks. Seems the stumbling block for now re DV for possible XDCAM export is the 24-bit vs 16-bit audio discrepancy.


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T. Payton
Re: 4 channel mono export, 16 bit
on Mar 2, 2013 at 5:07:08 am

[Andy Mees] "it worked a treat"

Does that mean it worked?

------
T. Payton
OneCreative, Albuquerque


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Andy Mees
Re: 4 channel mono export, 16 bit
on Mar 2, 2013 at 5:19:37 am

Hi Tim

Yes, as long as I'm targeting an XDCAM format that's compatible with native 24 bit audio (like IMX or HD422) then the whole export to XDCAM disc process went through without a hitch :-) Unfortunately not a single one of my stack of XDCAM camera's or decks support either IMX or HD422. :-(

Ho hum. Luckily this wasn't a stuck between a rock and a hard place issue as I could just ask the guys to use FCP7 ... or even just crash record the baseband output from an FCPX attached I/O box. I really just wanted to prove to myself that it could all be done directly from FCPX as is.

Thanks again
Andy


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Eric Sternberger
Re: 4 channel mono export, 16 bit
on Mar 2, 2013 at 11:55:03 am

Hi Andy,


could you please specify the exact settings that worked with XDCAM HD422 ??
Because we need to deliver XDCAM-HD-Discs with 4 Audiotracks and never managed to deliver a file out of FCPX that content exporter is capable of to write to a disc.


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Andy Mees
Re: 4 channel mono export, 16 bit
on Mar 2, 2013 at 3:31:20 pm

Hi Eric

You need to choose the "Roles as Multitrack QuickTime Movie" export option and set it to use 8 mono channels and assign a valid Role to each of the channels. Do that and Content Browser Exporter will happily accept the XDCAM HD422 export and manage the rewrap to MXF. If you just need 4 channels then I'd be inclined to just duplicate those first 4 channels onto the second 4 channels ... but if preferable you might just add a dummy "mute" audio clip to your edit with that audio assigned to a custom "Mute" role, and then patch that in the export dialog to those unwanted extra 4 tracks.



Hope it helps
Andy


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Eric Sternberger
Re: 4 channel mono export, 16 bit
on Mar 8, 2013 at 9:30:11 am

Tranks Andy, it Works!
But i Never Managed to burn a XDCAM-Disc with 4 channels. Though cameras Support that....
With the Content exporter, ist seems you have to have 8 channels...


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Andy Mees
Re: 4 channel mono export, 16 bit
on Mar 8, 2013 at 3:16:41 pm

Thats great Eric, glad its working for you now.
Cheers
Andy


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Ilene Litvak
Re: 4 channel mono export, 16 bit
on Jun 25, 2014 at 12:35:35 am

I am new to FCP X but a long time FCP7 editor. I found my way through creating 4 roles so I can export a 4 track Pro res 422 Master file for my promo. My share window looks like your example with the tracks designated as mono. When my partner QC'd the export in Quick Time Pro 7, the audio sounds mixed although the inspector shows 4 discreet channels. I am baffled. Should I have created 4 extra audio tracks or is that only for XD Cam?
Many thanks
Ilene


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Andy Mees
Re: 4 channel mono export, 16 bit
on Jun 25, 2014 at 1:36:40 am

If I remember correctly, Quicktime Player 7 does not recognise discreet audio channels ... it sees only stereo pairs ... when it encounters a discreet audio channel, the player will simply it as a centre panned stereo pair, hence it all sounds mixed.

The steps I outlined above are specifically for dealing with Sony's XDCAM format which requires that the exported audio is using discreet audio channels, not stereo pairs.

For your workflow though, if you need to create your export so that an average Quicktime based player easily and properly reproduces your discreet audio channel separation, then you need to target the export using stereo pairs, and use the appropriate pan controls in the timeline to achieve the required track separation ...

I'm really not using FCPX enough to be offering definitive advice, but assuming you've set your roles up with something like a "Channel 1" and "Channel 2" role, or something like that ... if you use the Timeline Index to select all clips with the "Channel 1" role, then you can use the Inspector window to adjust all those clips at once ... set the Pan Mode to Stereo Left/Right, and the Pan Amount slider all the way to the left (-100) ... do the same for the "Channel 2" role except set the Pan Amount slider all the way to the right (100) etc etc.

Now, when you are in your Master File export settings, set it up using 2 stereo output pairs, set both the Channel 1 and Channel 2 roles to the first Stereo output, and the Channel 3 and Channel 4 roles to the second Stereo output

Something like that should work for your setup.

But check with a hardened FCPX user first ... there may be a much more obvious way.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: 4 channel mono export, 16 bit
on Jun 25, 2014 at 2:12:48 am

[Ilene Litvak] "When my partner QC'd the export in Quick Time Pro 7, the audio sounds mixed although the inspector shows 4 discreet channels."

This is a QT7 thing. You can't monitor 4 channels of audio at once unless you have 4 output channels to monitor.

The easiest way to QC is to reimport to the NLE and monitor each channel via hardware out, or listen and mute each channel on a two channel output.

You can also turn each channel on and off in QT7 as well like this:



0_audio.png


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Ilene Litvak
Re: 4 channel mono export, 16 bit
on Jun 25, 2014 at 9:24:01 pm

Many thanks for the tip...I am new to FCPX and a long time FCP7 user.
When we QC'd FCP 7 output in QT7 the audio sounded panned left or right. Now in Quicktime7 all tracks sound center mono and that was part of the confusion. Your tip made it easy for us to confirm that the spots were spit correctly.

We are also having a situation using an SD animation supplied by our client. It is used as a mortice over our promo. IN FCP 7 it played smoothly, even when mastered put as an SD 720x480 pro res 422 master. Now, in FCP X, I can't seem to get the same animation to play smoothly. The text is jumping and fluttering.
Any Suggestions? I am stumped...


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: 4 channel mono export, 16 bit
on Jun 25, 2014 at 9:58:55 pm

[Ilene Litvak] "The text is jumping and fluttering."

Is there anyway to show an example of this?


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Ilene Litvak
Re: 4 channel mono export, 16 bit
on Jun 25, 2014 at 10:36:37 pm

Hi Jeremy,
It was white text and a logo on a blue background bouncing as if there were only 1 scan line elements. I was using a 29.97 piece of animation in a 23.98 project. It always work in FCP 7 but not in FCPX. First I tried to export it from Quicktime 7 as a new 23.98 element but the problem persisted in FCPX so I opened a new project as 29.97 and used the animation as native and it seems to play smoothly. I have to deliver it this way but would appreciate hearing any suggestions as to how to use it as 23.98 in the future.

Many Thanks
Ilene


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: 4 channel mono export, 16 bit
on Jun 26, 2014 at 1:08:04 am

Going from 30 to 24 is going to cause issues no matter what.

X has a few tools in the retiming section to help out in the optical flow and blended options.

See if that helps, but it's be best to have the animations match the timeline frame rate.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: 4 channel mono export, 16 bit
on Jun 27, 2014 at 2:50:41 pm

By the way, MXF4mac has a free player that allows you to turn audio channels on and off right on the main window, it's very convenient, and it's free.

http://www.hamburgpromedia.com/products/mxf4mac/applications/mxf-for-mac-pl...


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Chih Fong Pan
Re: 4 channel mono export, 16 bit
on Apr 15, 2013 at 4:02:32 pm

Hi andy

So we can ignore that project propertis to select stereo or Surround?

Apple Certified Trainer - Final Cut Pro X,7 Level One


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