FORUMS: list search recent posts

Playback performance not perfect

COW Forums : Apple Final Cut Pro X

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Tom Brooks
Playback performance not perfect
on Sep 26, 2013 at 4:38:35 pm

I have two systems with FCX. On my 12-core (64GB RAM, Radeon HD5770 w/ 1024MB, Areca-driven 8-drive RAID 6 that gets about 700MB/Sec), the playback hitches and stutters every now and then.

Either it's a little hiccup in the audio, or a skipped frame, or maybe the audio goes out of sync for a short while and I have to stop to get it back again. I'm running an AJA iOExpress with the latest drivers.

This seems like a robust machine for the job and the drive is certainly up to the task.

Is Final Cut X just unable to provide perfect A/V Output like Final Cut 7 used to? Or, could I be missing something in the setup that is causing this?

I guess the first question should be, are any of you getting absolutely rock-solid playback performance, 100% of the time?


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: Playback performance not perfect
on Sep 26, 2013 at 5:18:17 pm

[Tom Brooks] "Either it's a little hiccup in the audio, or a skipped frame, or maybe the audio goes out of sync for a short while and I have to stop to get it back again. I'm running an AJA iOExpress with the latest drivers."

Normal for X. I've seen it with every machine and every type of i/o device. Even saw it at official Apple press briefing demos on what should have been an optimized machine (top-of-the-line iMac). Playback from FCP X is generally good, but not as reliable as FCP 7, PProCC or Avid MC. That's why it's called "broadcast monitoring" and NOT "broadcast output" ;-)

The bottom line is that you CANNOT reliably play out of FCP X directly for air or tape recording externally. That being said, make sure you have the most updated drivers for your device and make sure these are installed LAST, after any edit application installations.

- Oliver

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


Return to posts index

Ronny Courtens
Re: Playback performance not perfect
on Sep 27, 2013 at 6:51:38 am

I agree. On our Thunderbolt iMac bays FCPX playback performance is perfect for broadcast monitoring. But on our current MacPro systems we do get an occasional hiccup, especially with larger and complex projects. We never use an NLE for laying back to tape, we didn't not do that with classic FCP or Avid either.

- Ronny


Return to posts index


Jakub Vomacka
Re: Playback performance not perfect
on Sep 27, 2013 at 8:13:51 am

I used to have hickups in FCPX related to FCPX trying to authorize system.burn (service?). Note that I dont have original Apple DVD drive.
It is very uncommon but who knows, maybe it will be your case too.

You can view Console if that is the case. (it says "com.apple.SecurityServer[19]: Succeeded authorizing right 'system.burn'..........- last message repeated 107 times"). That many times causes the hiccup.

this is only relevant info i found on web: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4696673?start=15&tstart=0

solution for me is either disconecting the drive, removing manualy bluraypublishingserver, or having open toast all the time while editing which takes care of system authorizing DVD drive


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: Playback performance not perfect
on Sep 27, 2013 at 12:33:05 pm

From my experience, even iMacs haven't been flawless. The optimum "stock" set-up, though, seems to be a fully-loaded iMac (max RAM, best GPU, SSD or Fusion drive) with a Thunderbolt RAID (Promise Pegasus, for example). That's until the Mac Pro "tube" comes out.

For the film I'm cutting, we hot-rodded a newer model Mac Pro Quad-core and it's one of the better performing machines I've worked on with X. It has 32GB RAM and the ATI 5870 plus a Kona LHi. I replaced the boot drive with a Crucial SSD. There are 3 x 1TB internal drives as RAID-0. Projects go on the SSD, Events on the internal RAID (linked media only). Then all media is on a MAXX Digital EVO array connected via SATA/Mini-SAS to an ATTO card.

On this Mac Pro, I can typically play long timelines (the whole movie in fact) without hiccups. The main problems occur when I jumps around in sequences during revisions while working with the director. Most of the time, I will see hiccups on the viewer, but not with LHi's output. Occasionally it hiccups on the output, too. This is with 1080p/23.98 ProResPROXY media. Generally, when it does hiccup, I will stop and restart the timeline playback and it settles down.

FCP X seems to suffer from two issues. The first is that if you have a large job in there, you really need to let it fully load and really get settled in. These means on a large movie, give it several minutes. Even though it looks like everything it needs to buffer is completed, it often isn't. The second is that is has a huge RAM leak problem. The longer you run it, the "stickier" it becomes. This is often fixed by relaunching X. The best performance is if you shut down nightly with a complete fresh start in the morning (power off completely if you can, not just a computer shutdown). Then during the day, restart FCP X 2 or 3 times.

I also see some issues with how one starts and stops a sequence. I have seen the same in FCP 7. If you start/stop playback using the space bar, you will tend to see more stuttering, than if you use the JKL keys.

Unlike Ronny, I have output to tape directly from FCP "legacy" and Avid MC/Symphony/NC for years and never had the same issues. There is however a big difference in how these NLEs interact with external i/o hardware and how X does it. With X, there's less direct control between the NLE and the card. Instead, X hands it off to the card by way of the OS's video subset. So everything is a bit "looser" than with FCP "legacy", Avid or Premiere Pro.

FWIW - on the Mac Pro described above, I did a clean install onto the SSD before starting this film.

- Oliver

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


Return to posts index

Dave Gage
Re: Playback performance not perfect
on Sep 27, 2013 at 5:42:57 pm

[Oliver Peters] "The best performance is if you shut down nightly with a complete fresh start in the morning (power off completely if you can, not just a computer shutdown). Then during the day, restart FCP X 2 or 3 times."

Interesting. I use the free app, "Free Memory", so I always know where my MBP's 16GB of RAM are. Whenever I see it drop below 10GB, I re-boot FCPX. My experience is the same, it just works better after the re-boot.

I almost never completely cold re-boot my MBP though unless I'm doing hardware upgrades. Would you mind expanding on why it's good to occasionally re-boot the machine vs. simply restarting? I'm a "sleep" and "restart" kinda guy.

Thanks,
Dave


Return to posts index


Oliver Peters
Re: Playback performance not perfect
on Sep 27, 2013 at 8:07:42 pm

[Dave Gage] "I almost never completely cold re-boot my MBP though unless I'm doing hardware upgrades. Would you mind expanding on why it's good to occasionally re-boot the machine vs. simply restarting? I'm a "sleep" and "restart" kinda guy."

Restarts and sleep never completely clear out problems with the machine, because some info is always held "hot" in a "standby" mode when there's power applied to the machine. So a reboot isn't truly that when it comes to the machine's hardware. I frequently run into problems with PCIe cards, like KONA or BMD, that are only solved with a full power down/power up procedure.

- Oliver

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


Return to posts index

Dave Gage
Re: Playback performance not perfect
on Sep 27, 2013 at 9:44:37 pm

[Oliver Peters] "I frequently run into problems with PCIe cards, like KONA or BMD, that are only solved with a full power down/power up procedure."

Makes sense, but since I only use a MBP and virtually never use external hardware (except to back up), I'd imagine that isn't quite as relative for my situation.

I do think though that it wouldn't hurt for me to do that once a month. In theory, with the newer Lithium laptop batteries you don't need to take it all the way down to 0% and then let it sit over night to completely run down the battery, but I still try to do that once or twice a year for good measure.

Thanks,
Dave


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: Playback performance not perfect
on Sep 27, 2013 at 9:59:52 pm

[Dave Gage] "Makes sense, but since I only use a MBP and virtually never use external hardware (except to back up), I'd imagine that isn't quite as relative for my situation."

I think it does, because the same thing applies to other electronics within the computer. It's a bit different with a laptop, since you are technically always running off the battery. So there, I'm not sure if it is ever truly off unless you pulled the battery. That's probably overkill. OTOH, it's not recommended to run any laptops constantly with the power adapter plugged in.

[Dave Gage] "In theory, with the newer Lithium laptop batteries you don't need to take it all the way down to 0% and then let it sit over night to completely run down the battery, but I still try to do that once or twice a year for good measure."

That's still recommended Apple procedure. I try to do it once a month, but I have a 5-year old MBP, so it's an older style battery. I definitely don't do that on the iPad, but it's always running on battery.

- Oliver

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


Return to posts index


Dave Gage
Re: Playback performance not perfect
on Sep 27, 2013 at 10:29:48 pm

[Oliver Peters] "OTOH, it's not recommended to run any laptops constantly with the power adapter plugged in."

Yes, my understanding is that this can be a cause of the batteries expanding and thus making the "clicks" on the trackpad very difficult. I believe have a bit of this going on at the moment.

[Oliver Peters] "So there, I'm not sure if it is ever truly off unless you pulled the battery."

You mentioned with the battery in, a complete shutdown might not be possible anyway. Speaking of removing the battery, I will have to remove my battery in the very near future to see if and how much it has expanded and how much this is effecting the difficulty of the clicking on the trackpad. It might be time for me to put in a new battery.

Speaking of general maintenance, do you ever randomly zap the PRAM for good measure. I used to do back in the "old days" but not so much anymore.

Thanks,
Dave


Return to posts index

Tom Brooks
Re: Playback performance not perfect
on Sep 27, 2013 at 1:48:24 pm

Jakub, I did find a crash happening every 10 seconds, related to an X-rite i1Profiler software, which had been uninstalled. I got the updated runtime UNinstaller and ran it. That stopped the app crashing (which was happening in the background). But Final Cut X still hitches now and then. Interesting what you can find if you dig a little deeper, though.


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]