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HDV, Kona LHe, & A/V Sync

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Brian Conner
HDV, Kona LHe, & A/V Sync
on Apr 21, 2007 at 2:32:32 am

Configuration:

MacPro 3GHz w/ 4GB RAM
Kona LHe & KL-Box
Sony HVR-M25U
Mackie 1402
Mac OS v10.4.8
FCP 5.1.3
QT 7.1.4
MacPro has 4 drives installed, two of which are striped RAID 0, and the RAID 0 volume is the Scratch Disk

Problem: Clips captured from the Sony M25U as DVCPRO HD 29.97 lose A/V sync, about one second, and lose more sync as time progresses. Sync is right on while logging and while capturing. If the client places the playhead near the end of a clip and plays from there, the sync difference is the same as it is when she plays through that point from the beginning of the clip.

Troubleshooting so far:

1) Double-checked PCI Slot Utility - configured as 4 / 4 / 1 / 16, LHe
is in Slot 3

2) Created new user Account, logged in as new user. Same issue

3) Checked A/V sync in FCP with external video/audio off. Same sync problem

4) No 3rd party codecs installed

5) Playback in QuickTime Player also has same A/V sync problem

6) Double-checked that Playback Control is set to 0 frames Offset

7) Repaired Permissions

8) Ran First Aid on all volumes

9) Client has blackburst generator, but it is not being used because the HVR-M25U does not have Ref In. Kona LHe is set to Free Run Reference (Aja Tech Support agrees this is an OK arrangement)

10) Zapped PRAM

11) Have not made animal sacrifice or swung a dead chicken over head
while chanting

Anything I've overlooked? Anyone experience this and found a solution?


Brian Conner


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Timecode Multimedia
Re: HDV, Kona LHe, & A/V Sync
on Apr 22, 2007 at 2:51:59 pm

Call AJA again. I believe there is a delay issue and must be set manually.
I do my best not to work with HDV. Everytime we have, it's been a hassle.

Stuart Ferreyra
Timecode Multimedia
President
Santa Monica, CA 90025
http://www.timecodemultimedia.com


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Brian Conner
Re: HDV, Kona LHe, & A/V Sync
on Apr 22, 2007 at 3:03:34 pm

Playback Control Offset is set to 0 frames, but this thing seems to be happening during capture. It's out of sync in QuickTime Player and in Aja's VTR Exchange app.

I'm beginning to suspect the Kona LHe card itself, but that seemingly doesn't make sense. Even so . . . .

I will be talking with Aja Tech Support first thing Monday morning, to find out what Hector had the client do to troubleshoot this when he spoke with them Friday afternoon.

Related question: When capturing through a Kona LHe, should the audio be 24 bit? It's 48k sample rate 24 bit. Is that correct?


Brian Conner


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gaffney film
Re: HDV, Kona LHe, & A/V Sync
on Apr 23, 2007 at 1:35:04 pm

I had the exact same problem with a m15u. I finally switched to capture audio over f/w instead of analog into the LHe and now it's fine - perfect sync. I spoke to AJA several times but we never figured it out.

vince



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Brian Conner
Re: HDV, Kona LHe, & A/V Sync
on Apr 30, 2007 at 9:17:22 pm

[gaffney film] "I had the exact same problem with a m15u. I finally switched to capture audio over f/w instead of analog into the LHe and now it's fine - perfect sync. I spoke to AJA several times but we never figured it out."

Vince,

It's pretty darned amazing, but it turns out that you are correct. Not using the Kona card for audio in either direction seems to be the workaround for the moment.

In fact, as soon as I changed the audio output in Audio Video Settings > A/V Devices from Aja Kona to iMic USB Audio System (which is fed into my Mackie audio board), the dropped frames stopped completely.

I'm waiting for Hector to call me back so I can lay this bombshell on him.

Thanks, Vince, and I'm sorry I didn't take your solution more seriously as first.


Brian Conner


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gaffney film
Re: HDV, Kona LHe, & A/V Sync
on May 1, 2007 at 10:10:17 am

Happy it's working for you. I spent a few days with AJA support as well and we never resolved the issue. In my case I believe that the digi 002r was the problem. But since that's where I want my audio to end up, the f/w solution is fine for me. i will be watching this to see if there is a real solution though.

vince



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gary adcock
Re: HDV, Kona LHe, & A/V Sync
on Apr 23, 2007 at 2:10:55 pm

[Brian Conner] "Playback Control Offset is set to 0 frames, but this thing seems to be happening during capture. It's out of sync in QuickTime Player and in Aja's VTR Exchange app."

What camera was this shot with and are your extracting 24p from the HDV stream. Without camera info all of this is moot,

IF the capture is off in both FCP and VtrEx then the tape is screwed up or some consumer HDV camera you are recording to has an offset built in.

gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows


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Brian Conner
Re: HDV, Kona LHe, & A/V Sync
on Apr 23, 2007 at 2:19:23 pm

Thank you, Gary.

They are using a Sony Z1U. Please see my precious reply to Walter and Vince for more info.

Also, they are using a Sony UWP-C1 wireless mic. Playback from the M25U shows perfect sync. The sync problem only shows up after capture.


Brian Conner


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Brian Conner
Re: HDV, Kona LHe, & A/V Sync
on Apr 23, 2007 at 2:21:18 pm

Forgot to answer the other question you asked, Gary. This is 29.97 all the way. No 24p at all.


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walter biscardi
Re: HDV, Kona LHe, & A/V Sync
on Apr 23, 2007 at 1:52:14 pm

I have a Sony M15U connected to our Kona 3 via the HD10AVA box and we have zero audio sync issues capturing to DVCPro HD. Sounds like you have a frame rate differential or something going on there.

I just checked a documentary we completed (over 500 shots captured) and it shows up as 24bit audio which is the default. All tapes shot 1080i/60 and captured at DVCPro HD 1080i/29.97 into FCP. No sync issues. We've completed three documentaries using the HDV to DVCPro HD workflow and it's not a problem here. All audio and video captured using the Component / Analog Audio outputs of the deck through the converter to HD-SDI into our Kona 3.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com
HD Editorial & Animation for Food Network's "Good Eats"
HD Editorial for "Assignment Earth"

Read my blog! http://blogs.creativecow.net/WalterBiscardi


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Brian Conner
Re: HDV, Kona LHe, & A/V Sync
on Apr 23, 2007 at 2:15:07 pm

Thank you, Vince and Walter.

The client called late last night to say she has captured several clips in a row without any sync issues. But she said she did them with Capture Now.

While I was on site just before the NAB, I experienced the sync problem with the first two clips we captured, but then it corrected itself the evening before I left from there for the NAB. I assumed it was resolved.

I'm not making that assumption, and told her to call me today to tell me if the sync issue returns after an overnight shutdown,or not.

I'll also be calling Hector at Aja later this morning to get a recap of all the things he had her do last week.

BTW, Vince, I've never heard of taking the audio through FW while the video is going through the Kona card. I would have never figured audio and video would be in sync doing that. Heck, I didn't even think it was possible to do that.


Brian Conner


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gaffney film
Re: HDV, Kona LHe, & A/V Sync
on Apr 23, 2007 at 4:35:56 pm

I tried everything and discovered it by accident. But it worked and I'm still setup that way. My video is coming in component and i believe that the green channel has sync?

somehow it works great. i thought my problem was using a digi002r but it was out of sync either way.

vince



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Brian Conner
Re: HDV, Kona LHe, & A/V Sync
on Apr 23, 2007 at 4:43:48 pm

Well that's just crazy enough to work. ;-) (no offense intended)

I hope we don't need to try that. I like giving them the option to adjust audio levels on the fly through the Mackie board.


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gary adcock
Re: HDV, Kona LHe, & A/V Sync
on Apr 23, 2007 at 2:15:03 pm

Additionally

how are you getting the audio into the kona card Via XLR or are you capturing via the differently.

more info brian.




gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows


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Brian Conner
Re: HDV, Kona LHe, & A/V Sync
on Apr 23, 2007 at 2:32:10 pm

Audio signal path:

M25U analog audio outputs > Mackie 1402 > KL-Box > Kona LHe

Video signal path:

M25U HD analog component output > KL-Box component input > Kona LHe

However, we are having problems using the KL-Box. Aja has sent a second one that has the same problem. The HD-SDI Out does not send a signal to the Blackmagic HDLink box. When we switch to the LHe's octopus cable, it works fine. Aja Tech Support is puzzled. At the moment, the octopus cable is connected in place of the KL-Box.

But WRT the sync issue, it makes no difference whether we use the KL-Box or the octopus cable.

BTW, even though previously I had a specific conversation with the client about 29.97 vs 24p WRT to the Z1U, I just now sent an Email to her asking for confirmation that the Z1U really is set for 29.97.


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Brian Conner
Re: HDV, Kona LHe, & A/V Sync
on Apr 23, 2007 at 6:15:01 pm

OK, I just spoke with Hector, Aja tech support.

He had one idea. He recalls a case with some sort of problem that was caused by using two 23" Apple Cinema HD Displays with a MacPro. Sounds off the wall, but he'll try to find the details of that case.

My client has the Radeon x1900 card, so I doubt that's the problem.

I did re-confirm that the Z1U is set to 1080i60, so it's not 24p.

Hector is willing to send a new Kona LHe card.


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gary adcock
Re: HDV, Kona LHe, & A/V Sync
on Apr 23, 2007 at 6:25:32 pm

Brian

I do not believe it is the Kona card, you are missing something or the client is not telling you everything. if some of the tapes are good and some are not that leads to computer or camera operator error.



gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows


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Brian Conner
Re: HDV, Kona LHe, & A/V Sync
on Apr 23, 2007 at 6:32:04 pm

I agree 100%, Gary. I have never figured the LHe was the culprit.

Problem is, this client is a total neophyte, knowing zero about video, editing, Apple computers, troubleshooting.

I've got my hands full on that side of the thing, never being certain they have done exactly what I've told them to do for a given troubleshooting step.


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Brian Conner
Re: HDV, Kona LHe, & A/V Sync
on Apr 24, 2007 at 7:50:51 pm

Problem has morphed into dropped frames warning, per client. In Safe RT, she gets dropped frames warning, in Unlimited RT she sometimes gets sync problem, but not always. So, in the troubleshooting steps outlined below, 'dropped frames' is in Safe RT, 'out of sync' is in Unlimited RT.

More troubleshooting:

1) Disabled External Video - No problem, no dropped frames, sync OK

2) New User Account - Dropped frames, out of sync

3) Move media file to other internal drives - Dropped frames, out of sync

4) Kona System Test, Read/Write Test - 150 MB/sec read & write. No indication of low data rate on any individual frames in the Text window of System Test

5) Kona System Test, Playback file - 150 MB/sec read. No indication of low data rate on any individual frames in the Text window of System Test

Hector, Aja Tech Support and I agree that all the above tends to indict the Kona LHe card.

My plan is to have the client ship me the system so I can replace the LHe and test/repair until it's resolved.

So, we still can't conclude anything, but at the moment it looks like the LHe card might be the culprit.


Brian


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Brian Conner
Re: HDV, Kona LHe, & A/V Sync
on Apr 24, 2007 at 7:53:09 pm

Also, I had her invoke the 'secret' Internal Tools' menu and open Playback Meter.

Playback Meter gives zero indication that any frames are being dropped.

Almost makes me think the dropped frames warning is in error . . . except for the A/V sync problem (unless the two are not related, which seems unlikely.)


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Brian Conner
Re: HDV, Kona LHe, & A/V Sync
on Apr 28, 2007 at 9:43:32 pm

OK, I have the client's system now. All of my testing so far has led me to absolutely no solid conclusions.

Yes, when I set External Video to None, the dropped frames problem goes away. That seems to indict the Kona LHe. But, I've replaced the LHe card, and the replacement behaves the same way. Plus, the A/V sync problem is still here.

If I create a DV NTSC project, there is no dropped frame problem when playing out to external video. No A/V sync problem either.

Now I'm thinking the problem is the MacPro itself. It doesn't seem to be able to push out DVCPRO HD video/audio frames properly in either direction.


Brian Conner


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Brian Conner
Re: HDV, Kona LHe, & A/V Sync
on Apr 29, 2007 at 12:19:38 am

More troubleshooting:

I installed the original LHe in my MacPro (same specs as the client's MP), installed the Kona LHe 3.3 software, restarted, and amazingly no dropped frames. At that point, it looked like there was a problem with the client's MacPro. Not a pleasant discovery, but at least it looked like I was getting some place.

However, I restarted again and captured a clip. Looked fine going in, but when I played it back, the A/V sync problem was back. I dropped it in the Timeline, and I got the dropped frames warning.

So, I'm back at square zero. And frustrated.

Also, I found the Panasonic/Apple DVD with the DVCPRO HD clips that Apple handed out a few NABs ago, back when FCP 4.5 came out. Copied the 1080i clips into the client's MP and tried to play them in a sequence. Dropped frames warning. That means the client's clips, that he shot on his Sony Z1U, are not the problem.

Anybody got a Quad 3Ghz MacPro working well with a Kona LHe? Please tell me about it.

At this point, I'm thinking the configuration is the problem, and that Aja has got some serious work to do. But my sample size is exactly two MacPros, so it's kinda small.

HELP.


Brian Conner


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gary adcock
Re: HDV, Kona LHe, & A/V Sync
on Apr 29, 2007 at 2:37:48 am

[Brian Conner] "Anybody got a Quad 3Ghz MacPro working well with a Kona LHe? Please tell me about it. At this point, I'm thinking the configuration is the problem, and that Aja has got some serious work to do. But my sample size is exactly two MacPros, so it's kinda small."

Brian,
As I said before IT IS NOT THE CARD- you changed the card.

I have seen this same setup ( mactel and LHe) in over 30 machines in 4 different companies, and I have 2 in my office. None of them exhibit this issue.

Last time we went thru this with you on the cow, some of the setup steps had been left out when you were trying to capture HDV using FW for deck control.

Has the firmware been updated on the machine? - do not take for granted that it is.

Have you configured the PCIE slot utility?
- if not that would explain it not working after the restart.

What else is connected?
- the mac pros do not like booting with some devices attached via FW and/ or USB.

Dropped frames are never the card, it has to be something else.





gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows


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Brian Conner
Re: HDV, Kona LHe, & A/V Sync
on Apr 30, 2007 at 5:12:33 pm

Both the client's MacPro and my demo MacPro are configured the same, and both exhibit this problem.

I created am 8 bit NTSC sequence and dropped a 720 X 486 clip into it. When External Video is set to None, I get no dropped frames or sync problem. But when I set External Video to the Kona card (720 X 486), I get the dropped frames warning.

If I drop NTSC Bars and Tone from the FCP Generated Items menu into a 720 X 486 Timeline, and play it back, it drops frames with External Video set to the Kona card.

This happens even if nothing is connected to any output from the Kona card.

Hector, Aja Tech Support, is going to try to duplicate my configuration and test it there.


Brian Conner


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gary adcock
Re: HDV, Kona LHe, & A/V Sync
on Apr 30, 2007 at 6:08:02 pm

Brian

Has the Firmware been updated on the computer?

Have you updated the PCIE slot utility?




gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows


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Brian Conner
Re: HDV, Kona LHe, & A/V Sync
on Apr 30, 2007 at 6:26:21 pm

The firmware on both MacPros shows up in System Profiler as MP11.005C.B04. Is that the firmware you're referring to? That's supposed to be the latest.

You ask whether I've updated the PCIe Slot Utility. A search on Apple's download site doesn't bring up any updates for Expansion Slot Utility.

A few minutes ago, Hector at Aja made two suggestions that I haven't tried yet:

1) Remove 3rd party RAM

2) Move the Kona LHe to Slot 4


Brian


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gary adcock
Re: HDV, Kona LHe, & A/V Sync
on Apr 30, 2007 at 9:24:37 pm

Brian

have you ever configured the slot utility?

it upgrades with the OS it does not have a separate upgrade.

and I said was it updated- if it has never been configured it is most likely your issue.

gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows


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Brian Conner
Re: HDV, Kona LHe, & A/V Sync
on Apr 30, 2007 at 9:38:11 pm

[gary adcock] "have you ever configured the slot utility?"

Gary,

That is actually listed as #1 in the troubleshooting steps at the very top of the thread.

Expansion Slot Utility is set, and has been set, to the second choice: X16 Graphics slot, two X4 slots (slots 3 & 4), and one X1 slot (slot 2). The Kona card is in slot 3.

I also spelled that out in another reply on this thread.

As you can see from my recent reply to Vince, his suggestion has provided the workaround that resolves both issues. I'm waiting for Hector to call me back, so I can tell me about this development.


Brian


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alex
Re: HDV, Kona LHe, & A/V Sync
by
on Jun 1, 2007 at 2:44:05 pm

Hi Brian,
I would like to know if you finally solved this problem because i'm geting the same thing here.


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Brian Conner
Re: HDV, Kona LHe, & A/V Sync
on Jun 1, 2007 at 2:51:46 pm

Alex,

It's not a simple answer. First, my client's system needed to use firewire for the audio from the deck (and an iMic for audio out of the MacPro). The source of the problem appears to be the Kona Audio.

My MacPro, OTOH, seems to have been corrected by installing the Aja Kona 3.4 software. That solution did not resolve my client's problem, however.

Rudy at Aja Tech Support has been riding herd on this since Hector handed it off to him, but nothing he's suggested has resolved the problem for my client. The firewire audio workaround is the only thing that's kept my client from throwing the system off the top of a high-rise building. That's how passionate they've become about this issue.


Brian Conner


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