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Nearly invisible audio waveform mystery!

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Jenn Lindsay
Nearly invisible audio waveform mystery!
on Sep 13, 2016 at 9:57:17 am

Greetings, geniuses!

Several months ago I filmed a bunch of interviews and broll for an industrial/documentary. I'm a one man band with my shooting/lighting/audio/interviewing and I've only recently started attacking my age-old problem of terrible audio in the very air conditioned (ie, loud / blowy) office building I work in.

I've got an H4N Zoom and during the interviews use a Rode wireless lavalier lapel mic. During BRoll and group meetings i just put the H4N in a central place.

To my horror I came home and realized that several of my H4N audio files were silent (also silent-with-light-waveform are some of the audio filmed via the Sennheiser boom attachment on my Canon DSLR). But then, to my relief, when I loaded the stuff into FCPX I saw that there IS a waveform in the file. It's just nearly invisible/embedded on some channel.....

I seem to be switching modalities when I am going back and forth between plugging the lavalier mic and recording the room with just the Zoom but lord knows what I did. In some of the audio files, the waveform is nearly invisible, then it disappears, then it comes back fully, and almost ALWAYS you can hear my voice saying a string of expletives at that point. But I was just so busy with all the other gear that I don't recall what was going on, what kind of channel or mode (stereo, mono, etc) I must have been switching between.

The point is, I need to access that embedded audio. I'm including some screenshots to explain what I mean. If anyone knows
1) how I can access that embedded audio, and
2) what in the world is going on,
I'd be so relieve and appreciative.
Thank you guys!!!!!!!
Jenn

















http://www.JennLindsay.com
iMac 27-inch, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i7. 4GB GPU.
FCPX


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Jeff Kirkland
Re: Nearly invisible audio waveform mystery!
on Sep 13, 2016 at 12:44:58 pm

The faint waveforms are called Reference Waveforms. They are drawn by FCPX as a full height representation of a quiet waveform, giving you a way to see audio that is too quiet to make sense of with the normal waveform.

The bad news is that you are probably looking at the reference waveform representing the background hiss of a silent channel.

----
(For some reason I can't edit my own posts so apologies in advance for any stupid mistakes or bad English that I can't go back and fix)

Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer & Cinematographer
Melbourne, Australia | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Scott Witthaus
Re: Nearly invisible audio waveform mystery!
on Sep 14, 2016 at 3:49:05 pm

Yes. There is no audio on those clips, in my experience. For some reason FCPX puts a "ghost" waveform on the clip saying "there is an audio channel here but nothing on it". Did you check the box to "delete silent audio channels" on input?

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


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Robin S. Kurz
Re: Nearly invisible audio waveform mystery!
on Sep 17, 2016 at 12:55:25 pm
Last Edited By Robin S. Kurz on Sep 17, 2016 at 12:57:15 pm

[Scott Witthaus] "For some reason FCPX puts a "ghost" waveform on the clip saying "there is an audio channel here but nothing on it"."

Er… no. If there is in fact ZERO audio, then it will of course not show anything either. It doesn't just make something up, since that would obviously counteract the whole point behind it. Even the tiniest bit will register and be scaled to full height. So there definitely IS audio there, only it is extremely quiet. I also doubt that it's just mere noise, since it looks almost identical to the other more visible audio clips.

So are these being listened to on decent audio monitors or headphones, or just the speakers from your Mac? Because I would bet you'd easily figure it out by simply using either of the former.

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


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Scott Witthaus
Re: Nearly invisible audio waveform mystery!
on Sep 17, 2016 at 5:51:04 pm

[Robin S. Kurz] "Er… no. If there is in fact ZERO audio, then it will of course not show anything either"

Er, yes. At least you can tell my project that when it happened. The "ghost" waveform seems to have no relationship to what might or might not be there. So even though it might be just a barely audible hiss (when one is expecting full reference audio from a DSLR), FCPX for some reason shows that full, robust ghost waveform. Frustrated me for hours trying to find audio from the production company that all the time was never there.

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


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Robin S. Kurz
Re: Nearly invisible audio waveform mystery!
on Sep 17, 2016 at 12:49:01 pm

[Jeff Kirkland] "For some reason I can't edit my own posts"

On a side note: THAT is only the case when somebody has already written a response to your post. Otherwise there's no reason why you SHOULDN'T be able to. You're no exception.

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


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Jeff Kirkland
Re: Nearly invisible audio waveform mystery!
on Sep 17, 2016 at 1:23:43 pm

@Robin: if only that were true... I can't edit a post no matter what. If I could, I wouldn't have added the disclaimer. :-) I've raised it with the powers that be, but so far no luck getting it fixed.

----
(For some reason I can't edit my own posts so apologies in advance for any stupid mistakes or bad English that I can't go back and fix)

Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer & Cinematographer
Melbourne, Australia | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Robin S. Kurz
Re: Nearly invisible audio waveform mystery!
on Sep 17, 2016 at 1:45:29 pm

[Jeff Kirkland] "@Robin: "

WOW! The blind integration of TWITTER TAGS here is very VERY unfortunate!!


[Jeff Kirkland] "I can't edit a post no matter what."

If you say so. I just know that I, too, thought it had been disabled globally at first, until I figured it out. Until you REPLY to this post (and maybe even after a certain amount of time if not?) I can edit as much as I want. Oh well.

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


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Jeff Kirkland
Re: Nearly invisible audio waveform mystery!
on Sep 17, 2016 at 7:45:20 pm

Robin: Not sure what Twitter and I have done to offend you this week but I'm just here trying to help people despite the limitations of the forum software.

Unfortunately, quoting other posts in a reply doesn't work on an iPad which is what I use for 90% of my forum interactions. I can't even copy and paste text to fake the look of it. As a result, I have to resort to other more (or less) creative ways of directing my response to a specific person.

At no point am I disputing that you can't edit once someone's replied to a post. My issue started when a glitch in the forum software banned me from posting at all. Tim got that fixed but since then I haven't been able to edit any of my posts, replied to or not.

Between IOS autocorrect and not being able to edit a post, sometimes the replies can be a bit odd. If there's something I can do that you feel is less offensive than adding a disclaimer, I'm happy to implement it.

I am, as mentioned, just here to help.

----
(For some reason I can't edit my own posts so apologies in advance for any stupid mistakes or bad English that I can't go back and fix)

Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer & Cinematographer
Melbourne, Australia | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Robin S. Kurz
Re: Nearly invisible audio waveform mystery!
on Sep 18, 2016 at 1:45:05 pm

[Jeff Kirkland] "Not sure what Twitter and I have done to offend you"

Nothing. I was referring to the Twitter feed you get when you click on the @ Robin in your post. Has absolutely nothing to do with you. Something you may not be getting/seeing when viewing on an iPad. In which case, consider yourself very fortunate.


[Jeff Kirkland] "Unfortunately, quoting other posts in a reply doesn't work on an iPad"

Actually, it does work. Only it's extremely fiddly and frustrating. The forum here needs a major overhaul from the ground up, not just some colorful new icons.

Was all in all just a friendly heads-up in case you were hitting the same confusion I was in the beginning.

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


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Mark Smith
Re: Nearly invisible audio waveform mystery!
on Sep 13, 2016 at 2:55:55 pm

I ran into a similar situation recently with some audio clips that were much longer than the video clips. I narrowed the audio clips down to a similar range as the the video clips and compared camera scratch audio with recorded audio to make sure I was in the right ball park and then synced slips from there and that worked for me. This doesn't answer your waveform question but sort of addresses your other situation.


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