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General Lag, Waveform Showstopper

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Chris Frantz
General Lag, Waveform Showstopper
on Jan 16, 2015 at 6:46:57 pm

We've been using FCPX for awhile now, and have run into some serious issues. The biggest is probably the waveform generation issue. This NLE is basically dead in the water if you import a clip over 40 minutes in length with more than a single stereo track. It crashes and burns on Mac Pro's from 2013 kitted out all the way. Codec is Prores always, storage is fiber attached XSAN, versions are 10.1.3 on Mavericks. Cache has been switched locally to the SSD as a test, but usually exists on the XSAN. Premiere handles the files fine, without a hitch and draws the waveforms almost immediately. FCPX will take 15 minutes per file, then cause the system to lag and occasionally lose them while zooming. All the files are from different broadcasters, and some filmed internally. We've turned off background rendering, switch to no waveforms in the TL, turned off show waveforms in the prefs, all to no avail. Any thoughts?


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: General Lag, Waveform Showstopper
on Jan 17, 2015 at 4:43:37 am

Is your library on the SAN too?


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Chris Frantz
Re: General Lag, Waveform Showstopper
on Jan 17, 2015 at 5:11:38 am

They are stored locally. All leave in place media.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: General Lag, Waveform Showstopper
on Jan 17, 2015 at 2:29:30 pm

There is definitely a lag on long clips. Once the waveform is drawn, it does speed up.

Cache off of the SAN is definitely the way to go. A fast SSD is a great place to dump it.

Waveform and thumbnail drawing has always seemed to be a slow point with fcpx. Sometimes, I trash them all and start over and that helps a ton, but it takes a while. The performance has been getting better with every update, but I still have issues when going in to the audio components in the inspector on long clips as I have to wait for those to draw.

Please report this to Apple.

Jeremy


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Chris Frantz
Re: General Lag, Waveform Showstopper
on Jan 17, 2015 at 3:30:08 pm

I have reported it to them in different ways a few times and haven't heard anything back. I don't expect to either without an enterprise contract. This is a crippling bug that knocks this NLE out of the running for any long-form TV.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: General Lag, Waveform Showstopper
on Jan 17, 2015 at 4:25:49 pm
Last Edited By Jeremy Garchow on Jan 17, 2015 at 4:27:16 pm

When you first import a movie, you'll notice the little render wheel spinning in the middle. If you quit X before that is done, you'll get a warning about Processes not being complete, and if you quit now, they won't complete. I find it's best to leave X running until that wheel stops spinning.

I clean thumbnails (not peaks data) often, and even with the rebuilding time, X seems to perfom better, especially if you move libraries and caches around to different machines.

Keep reporting to apple, and keep caches local.


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Charlie Austin
Re: General Lag, Waveform Showstopper
on Jan 17, 2015 at 4:43:18 pm

Also, and you may already do this, turn off any type of audio analysis in the import prefs, including "group stereo separate mono".

-------------------------------------------------------------

~ My FCPX Babbling blog ~
~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Chris Frantz
Re: General Lag, Waveform Showstopper
on Jan 17, 2015 at 7:05:17 pm

All audio analysis is off in the preferences. The odd thing is that it seems to draw for a few seconds, then hang, then when you force quit the beachball, it will come back with a few of the waveforms partially drawn. Then you zoom in one step, and they disappear entirely, even you zoom back out another step. On top of all that, FCPX by default will draw waveforms in the inspector, event browser, and the timeline. These seem to be independent of each other. And because of the way it displays audio, it draws a mix down of however many audio channels to display as the general audio track. On top of all of that, the only place you can zoom in and interact with the waveforms is in the timeline.

So it's doing all of the extra lifting for nothing and still not letting us use the program without letting it digest a 52 minute file for 15 or 20 minutes. How is this not the biggest problem with FCPX? IMO it contributes to massive program lag, cache bloat, and general system performance. Apple are you there?


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Bill Davis
Re: General Lag, Waveform Showstopper
on Jan 18, 2015 at 8:15:12 pm

In general, two things I've come to accept about X is A) it's constructed around high precision calculations. And B. That default construction concept is very much a double edge sword. That it can accept DV25, iPhone, H-264 (dslr) and RED Epic all into a single timeline is great. As are its sub-frame audio editing capabilities. These are great benefits. But they also imply a program that has to apply high precision uncompromising math to some exceptionally large data sets. I suspect that with audio waveforms, generating a database of very precise pictures of potentially billions of samples in an hour program takes some serious grunt. And X can fool users since its "instant get to work on import" seems to happen like magic. The thing is that, as Jeremy and Charlie imply, if you never give X the chance to complete calculating the waveform image caches, but keep shutting down impatiently, you may be inadvertently making things worse, not better. This also presumes the source audio matches your project settings so you're not asking X to transcode AND draw its high rez audio waveforms simultaneously. Seriously,so many worldwide users from network tv to film and beyond now use X daily, that there is surely a solution to this. My suspicion is that the nature of the audio coming in and the project settings might be mismatched. I say this because I've imported plenty of 60 and 90 min content and gotten right to work. Yes, sometimes it takes overnight to let the audio (or sometimes the video!) to complete processing under the hood. Or I might have to force it for export and be patient for export. But the system always gets the work done if I let it, and typically way faster overall than before I switched to X. Good luck.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Chris Frantz
Re: General Lag, Waveform Showstopper
on Jan 18, 2015 at 11:55:55 pm

Wait you're kiddibg, you're waiting overnight to start working because of waveform rendering? How do you bill your client for that wasted day? I can take these same files into FCP7 and Premiere, with the same sequence settings and they work fine. I'm able to get to work right away. I'm not the only one with this issue. For the record, premiere also can do sub frame audio editing and can also import plenty of different types of footage. Again, FCP7 handles these prores files delivered for broadcast just fine.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: General Lag, Waveform Showstopper
on Jan 19, 2015 at 1:17:18 am

I agree that this is a problem. Waverorms and cache always has been in X. It used to be a problem on all files, and there would be many more beach balls. This has obviously been worked on by Apple becuase it gets better and better. Now, it seems to be long files that have the most problems.

And as Bill says, letting it sit before quitting seems to help. I don't wait overnight, that would be impractical. I keep working.

I would also, just for yuks, copy one of the offending files to local storage. Make two libraries. Import the one copy from local, and one from the SAN and note any performance difference.


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Steve Connor
Re: General Lag, Waveform Showstopper
on Jan 19, 2015 at 12:14:45 pm

Really hoping for some speed increases in the way FCPX handles waveforms & thumbnails in the next release. PPro CC 2014 can also take a while to generate the waveform and thumbnail data, but once it's in then it's much faster on my machine.

It's not enough of an issue to stop me using FCPX but it's the one thing I wish they would improve.


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Bill Davis
Re: General Lag, Waveform Showstopper
on Jan 21, 2015 at 9:57:27 pm

[Chris Frantz] "Wait you're kiddibg, you're waiting overnight to start working because of waveform rendering? How do you bill your client for that wasted day? I can take these same files into FCP7 and Premiere, with the same sequence settings and they work fine."

Just so we're clear, millions of people cut everyday in X and don't have to wait for anything. We're trying to address a particular use case where the OP is seeing waveform generation delays. These happen in ALL NLEs. For many reasons. Perhaps it's the nature of the original files verses the storyline settings that's causing something to have to do a long transcode. As a general example, I've had SD work take LONGER to process than HD work. Could NOT figure out why. Then I realized that the source footage was HD and to "dumb it down" at little as possible, every large raster frame had to process into being a smaller raster frame before X could bring it into edit on an SD storyline. Is that a flaw? Or is trying to do the best possible mathematical job of shoehorning 1920 x 1080 pixels into a 640 x 480 gird something you might VALUE as a producer?

Judging any NLE based on reading stuff in a forum where people come to fix their unusual problems is always a suspect strategy IMO. And that includes those who judge AVID or Premier in the same way.

Basically, it's the dermatologist problem. No matter how handsome the subject, if all you do is spend all day with a magnifying glass staring at it's blemishes and flaws, then you are NOT getting the total effect of the subject.

FWIW

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Chris Frantz
Re: General Lag, Waveform Showstopper
on Jan 21, 2015 at 11:08:33 pm

I realize you're a staunch defender of this software, but please realize I and others (even in this very thread) have said this is indeed a problem. I don't think it's from looking too closely at the problem, more like it's unable to do the work that other NLE's can do, including it's older counterpart. This isn't a matter of sequence settings, or problems with QC'd source material. Encode a 50 min prores 422(HQ) file, embed 8 channels of audio, then drop it in a timeline of your choice and whatever settings you want. Tell me it doesn't beachball or take 10-20 minutes to draw the waveforms. If one works, two or three certainly will not. Work can't be done with these types of files, which make up a ton of long form stuff. It makes sense then that this isn't well documented, as there's not very much long form stuff cut on FCPX, quite possibly for reasons such as this. I've talked to Apple, they've acknowledged the issue now. Test it out and you may as well.


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Bill Davis
Re: General Lag, Waveform Showstopper
on Jan 24, 2015 at 4:47:21 pm

Let's see, 48,000 cycles per second times 8 tracks times HOURS of content and all the software has to do is create visualizations with enough precision that the user can zoom into the subframe level anywhere they click and shuffle that data in and out of RAm so the system stays instantly responsive for the user.

Can't imagine WHY that should take any time at all!

Particularly when the CPU and GPU(s) might also be processing video transcodes simultaneously.

Oh, and organizing everything into a user definable database to in order to store future edl decisions.

You are right, it's stupid, unusable software and you should definitely pick something else to learn.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Chris Frantz
Re: General Lag, Waveform Showstopper
on Jan 24, 2015 at 5:30:21 pm

I never called it stupid. It's fine software for some use cases, just not for long form. It's just software buddy, no need to get personally offended on its behalf. And, once again, FCP7 could handle it no problem albeit without subframe accuracy and premiere pro can handle it with subframe accuracy in just a few seconds. It's a bug, Apple has acknowledged it. It crashes when I import broadcast ready files and try to work with them others have said similar. If you don't have a solution, that's ok, hopefully it will be fixed in the next release. Enjoy your weekend, relax it's just software.


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Charlie Austin
Re: General Lag, Waveform Showstopper
on Jan 24, 2015 at 5:47:20 pm

[Chris Frantz] "It crashes when I import broadcast ready files and try to work with them others have said similar."

FWIW, I regularly use similar sources as you (20-120 minute clips with 6-10 channel stems mix of stereo and mono) and I don't get crashes. It does take a while to draw the waveforms though. Hopefully this is being addressed as we speak. :-)

-------------------------------------------------------------

~ My FCPX Babbling blog ~
~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Mike Warmels
Re: General Lag, Waveform Showstopper
on Sep 12, 2015 at 3:33:59 pm
Last Edited By Mike Warmels on Sep 12, 2015 at 3:38:38 pm

Well, I am having a similar problem. One that is costing me loads and loads of time everyday and I suspect it's the bloody waveform stuff on FCPX.

I have 21 XD-CAM discs from a one week shoot converted to Apple Pro Res in separate clips. I have then made 21 synchronised clips with all the separate 8-track audioclips belonging to this video. That was a bit of a hassle, a number of bugs showed up (4 out of 21 synchronised clips of 40 minutes didn't register the 8 tracks of audio, the other clips did. (Workaround: cut them up in bits, but WHY do a few have that problem and others not???))

I have turned off the original audio, but now everytime I click on one of these synchronised clips to edit with them I get a beach ball. Sometimes 1 second, sometimes 5 or even up to 10, all day long!!! I suspect FCPX considers these synchronised clips as one big file (and not a collection of smaller separate files: video clip and 8-track audio clip). But editing with it is HORRENDOUS!!! I suspect FCPX has to check all the audio everytime I click on it: 8 tracks for 45 minutes each.

Now, I would suspect FCPX to be smart enough to see these synchronised clips as a collection of a lot of little clips. But I doubt it does. I tried to consolidate a two minute clips
and the consolidation turned out to be 78GB big. I checked the separate library I made for consolidation and noticed it had included ALL the clips from the synchronised clips from the two discs I used... in total 90 minutes of HD Apple Pro Res material. Why doesn't it just include the two original clips I used????

Now I have had run-ins with avid FCPX fans, but I am sorry to say: the programming of FCPX is not thought through yet. And I run into that often enough. And again: synchronising clips and using them normally works fine on other NLE's. Whenever a project gets big (like a series of six episodes and you have som 20 hours of footage, and now with synchronised audio) FCPX is slow slow slow... Final Cut SLOW would be a better name for it. I work 75% of my normal speed, the rest is just waiting for that darn beach ball.

I agree with Chris on this: you can't work when you're on a time schedule with the audio handling of FCPX.

(Oh I am on a 6 core MacPro trashcan, using Thunderbolt discs, local Library on internal SSD etc the works... I been through all that.)


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Neil Goodman
Re: General Lag, Waveform Showstopper
on Sep 13, 2015 at 3:00:21 pm

[Chris Frantz] " never called it stupid. It's fine software for some use cases, just not for long form. It's just software buddy, no need to get personally offended on its behalf. And, once again, FCP7 could handle it no problem albeit without subframe accuracy and premiere pro can handle it with subframe accuracy in just a few seconds. It's a bug, Apple has acknowledged it. It crashes when I import broadcast ready files and try to work with them others have said similar. If you don't have a solution, that's ok, hopefully it will be fixed in the next release. Enjoy your weekend, relax it's just software."

Its the usual "your holding it wrong" bs from Bill.

excuses and excuses while not actually trying to offer a solution and furthermore, denying theres a problem.

PPRO and Avid can bring in hour long clips with 16 channels of audio and guess what - it doesnt take all night or crash the program to start working the clips.

Before you launch into defense mode - why not try the other programs and realize that this indeed possible in the other apps w/o headache.

This is a bug - no if ands or buts about it.


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Bill Davis
Re: General Lag, Waveform Showstopper
on Sep 15, 2015 at 6:13:03 pm

Just for the record. I helped Mike figure out the fix in another thread. Which started with my brain not accepting that it's just a "bug" and therefore no solution is worth pursuing outside of waiting for Apple to "fix" things for me.

You think like you think. I think differently. Today, I (and I presume Mike) are happy about that.

; )

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Chris Frantz
Re: General Lag, Waveform Showstopper
on Sep 15, 2015 at 6:36:20 pm

Was that fix open in timeline and delete the channels you aren't using? Because that's not a fix, that's a deal breaker when it's not necessary in other NLEs.


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Bill Davis
Re: General Lag, Waveform Showstopper
on Sep 15, 2015 at 11:31:09 pm

As I understand it, it was a temp workaround while X 10.1 was active. They did work in 10.2 on the audio side and I think it got fixed along with .mp3 processing now being something like 10x faster. X evolves like every other software. 5 years ago I'd never worked with a muxed digital file containing the data for video and 8 audio tracks in a single file. Today that's what you get from a Black Magic ATEM switcher in default mode. So I had to learn to use THAT file in X when I got handed files from that new system. Monday I didn't know how to deal with them. Tuesday I did. And later word got upstream to the software team and I presume they changed things so it's no longer a big issue. Unfortunately that shop did not upgrade their software regularly - so they were stuck on the version with the issue. How is that on Apple? What part of that is different from how you've done computerized editing your whole career? Cuz the only thing I see being different is that I didn't have to get a new plastic disk to get it fixed. If you are unwilling to trouble shoot stuff like that, the solution is clear. Do like the AVID guys used to and if you find a version that works - freeze it and just ignore all updates as long as you can. But good luck with that strategy in the modern era of constant change.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Joe Marler
Re: General Lag, Waveform Showstopper
on Sep 12, 2015 at 6:45:23 pm

[Chris Frantz] "Encode a 50 min prores 422(HQ) file, embed 8 channels of audio, then drop it in a timeline of your choice and whatever settings you want. Tell me it doesn't beachball or take 10-20 minutes to draw the waveforms. If one works, two or three certainly will not. Work can't be done with these types of files, which make up a ton of long form stuff. "

If this is a reproducible scenario that happens on any X system under these conditions, I'd hope it would be fixed fairly quickly. When a problem is encountered on mainstream tasks, customers with enterprise support on high end products can't be told "I'm sorry that's just totally broken, it may be fixed in the next major version". That is what hot fixes are for.

That in turn raises the question whether Apple distributes private FCP X hotfixes to enterprise customers. If yes why cannot other customers get those. If no, then how are those customers coping? Either way this implies there is some solution for the rest of us.

If it is *not* reproducible that implies it's something unique to your system, which gives hope of some procedural workaround.


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