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Sony Z1 + Kona LHe = Sync problem and clicks

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Bob Cole
Sony Z1 + Kona LHe = Sync problem and clicks
on Jun 22, 2007 at 11:58:16 pm

Finally trying to use my Z1 for a high definition project. And it hasn't been pretty.

I've been trying to digitize directly from the camera: component video into LHe, audio through a Mackie mixer into LHe, firewire for control & timecode.

FCP 5.1.4, DVCPro HD 1080i60, 1080i29.97. Easy Set-ups and manual setups, several variations. Using LHe to monitor via an SD monitor, as I don't have an HD monitor yet. Using Kona's latest-before-FCP 6 drivers, freshly reinstalled.

Result: audio is well out of sync and regularly clicks, much like overdriven digital audio. The audio on the camera tape, monitored via headphone from the camera and from the Mackie mixer, is clean.

I've searched this forum and have seen similar issues. I don't use the Kona for system audio, I've freshened my FCP and QT preferences. My question is: does anyone else operate the way I'm trying to (Sony Z1->DVCProHD), and if so, could he/she tell me the RIGHT way to do this?

Thanks much, I hope.

-- Bob C


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JeremyG
Re: Sony Z1 + Kona LHe = Sync problem and clicks
on Jun 23, 2007 at 1:04:43 am

You aren't going into the XLR inputs of the mackie are you?

Those are mic inputs.


Have you read this?

http://www.aja.com/pdf/support/AJA_whitepaper_HDV.pdf


Jeremy


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Bob Cole
Re: Sony Z1 + Kona LHe = Sync problem and clicks
on Jun 23, 2007 at 4:07:49 pm

[JeremyG] "
You aren't going into the XLR inputs of the mackie are you?"


No, but the AJA White Paper was useful. My RAID (of three drives inside the Mac Pro) is pretty full -- only 150 GB out of the original 1.5 TB available. Kona's Disk Read/Write Test gives 133/118, which should be enough for DVCPro HD.

I will check out the Disable Polling trick from the White Paper, delete some files from the RAID, and try again.

Thanks for your help.

-- Bob C


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JeremyG
Re: Sony Z1 + Kona LHe = Sync problem and clicks
on Jun 23, 2007 at 10:24:34 pm

Do you have your reference set to free run?


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Bob Cole
Re: Sony Z1 + Kona LHe = Sync problem and clicks
on Jun 25, 2007 at 2:39:28 pm

[JeremyG] "Do you have your reference set to free run?"

No. When I changed it to Free Run the sync problem disappeared, but the clicking remains. I'm off to get another hard drive so I can offload some files and see whether that helps.

Thanks!

-- Bob C


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JeremyG
Re: Sony Z1 + Kona LHe = Sync problem and clicks
on Jun 25, 2007 at 2:50:16 pm

It's a reference issue then. When you go into capture mode, the Kona should go into video in ref. Make sure you keep it to free run. Where's the clicking happening? In the audio?



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JeremyG
Re: Sony Z1 + Kona LHe = Sync problem and clicks
on Jun 25, 2007 at 3:11:49 pm

Sorry, what I meant to ask, is what does the clicking sound like? Is it very prominent? Is it intermittent and random or regular?


Jeremy


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Bob Cole
Re: Sony Z1 + Kona LHe = Sync problem and clicks
on Jun 25, 2007 at 4:25:58 pm

[JeremyG] "When you go into capture mode, the Kona should go into video in ref. Make sure you keep it to free run."

Sorry - don't understand this. Are you saying that the Kona does something on its own when I start capture?

In Kona Control Panel, I have reset the reference to Free Run. I tested this by turning the power to the Horita black burst generator off and on. When I turn it on, the Kona Control Panel displays "525i29.97." When I turn the black burst generator off, that label disappears.

re: the audio clicks. I'm testing with an interview which was very cleanly recorded with a Schoeps mic and sounds perfect when playing the tape, both from the camera and, while capturing, through the Kona-driven reference speakers. But when I play back the captured file, there are rather quiet clicks, which seem to cluster near the interviewee's actual words. iow - quiet when there is little audio to be heard. They are rather random except for that tendency.

I just got back from the local CompUSA, where I bought a bunch of external FW drives, so I could offload a lot of files from my internal RAID. When I talked with an AJA tech support person about a similar issue, he suggested that a loaded-up RAID might be the source of the problem. (He was not correct, as it turned out. My problem was that SD and HD timelines weren't playing back without dropping frames; the solution was to make sure that the Sony Z1 wasn't powered up or connected to the computer. Go figure. It worked when I disconnected, it again gave problems when I reconnected.)


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JeremyG
Re: Sony Z1 + Kona LHe = Sync problem and clicks
on Jun 25, 2007 at 4:58:45 pm

You are on an intel machine, and there seems to be issues with audio. I recently did some editing on site and was using an HD1400 DVCPro HD deck via firewire and an intel MacBook Pro. The audio problem reared it's ugly head there, too. Light clicking on parts where the audio was low. I could not get rid of it and Walter Biscardi learned that it might be a word clock (sync) issue with intel macs. A big big problem. I have not heard of this, though, with a card. Maybe since you are using FW for tc/deck control, this might be the cause of the clicks since the mac and fw signal aren't syncing properly, but that is a guess at this point.

[Bob Cole] "Are you saying that the Kona does something on its own when I start capture?"

It might. Try to keep your KonaCP in plain view when you capture. (make room for it in your FCP interface). When you start capturing, what does the reference do? Turning off your BB generator is a good idea, but make sure you have physically set your ref to free run in the KonaCP.

Jeremy



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Bob Cole
solution! but weird
on Jun 28, 2007 at 12:43:26 pm

Okay. I'm getting good capture to DVCPro HD in FCP 5.1.4, but I don't understand why, especially because some of the "bad" settings make more sense than the one that works. I assume that there's something else I haven't set correctly.

Source: Sony Z1, NTSC video shot in HDV format, Menu: In/Out Rec -- Component -- 1080i (playing back from my camera) It doesn't seem to matter whether I have the iLink(firewire) connected.

These settings result in audio clicks and sync drift:

Bad Setup 1:
Kona Control Panel-Inputs Tab-Analog Format:Component(Beta)
Kona Control Panel-Setup Tab-0

Bad Setup 2:
Kona Control Panel-Inputs Tab-Analog Format:Component(Beta)
Kona Control Panel-Setup Tab-7.5

Bad Setup 3:
Kona Control Panel-Inputs Tab-Analog Format:Component(SMPTE/EBU N10)
Kona Control Panel-Setup Tab-7.5

This setting gives clean audio, without any sync problems:
Kona Control Panel-Inputs Tab-Analog Format:Component(SMPTE/EBU N10)
Kona Control Panel-Setup Tab-0

Any insights are welcome.

-- Bob C


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JeremyG
Re: solution! but weird
on Jun 28, 2007 at 4:28:19 pm

You shouldn't be able to add setup to HD video and you should not be able to choose Beta color space in HD either.

Are you sure you aren't capturing to SD? That could be your problem is you are trying to capture HD.


Jeremy


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Bob Cole
Re: solution! but weird
on Jun 28, 2007 at 4:36:53 pm

[JeremyG] "Are you sure you aren't capturing to SD? That could be your problem is you are trying to capture HD."

frame size: 1280x1080
compressor: DVCPro HD 1080i60



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JeremyG
Re: solution! but weird
on Jun 28, 2007 at 4:49:22 pm

Keep your KOna CP visible when doing your capture and tell me what happens when you try and capture. The setup and Componenet levels should not stick.


Jeremy


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Bob Cole
Re: solution! but weird
on Jun 28, 2007 at 4:57:28 pm

[JeremyG] "Keep your KOna CP visible when doing your capture and tell me what happens when you try and capture. The setup and Componenet levels should not stick."

Capturing now, with Kona CP visible. Component(SMPTE/EBU) and 7.5 IRE are sticking.

And the output from the Z1 is supposed to be Component(Beta).



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Bob Cole
Re: solution! but weird
on Jun 28, 2007 at 5:22:39 pm

Well, the plot thickens.

Those settings did stick, and the played-back audio has no clicks.

But it is out of sync, several seconds over a 16-minute capture. If anybody is capturing successfully from a Z1 to DVCPro HD, I'd like to hear what all their settings are, both on camera and computer.

-- Bob C


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Bob Cole
Re: solution! but weird
on Jun 29, 2007 at 3:07:42 am

AJA tech support duplicated both of my problems, the more critical one being the capture. Capturing via component (SMPTE) from Z1, using firewire for timecode leads to audio sync drift. After disconnecting the firewire, the sync problem disappeared. But of course, no camera control and no original camera tape timecode in the captured file.

I have been trying to avoid buying an HDV deck; does anyone know for sure that the cheaper Sony decks which use firewire/iLink don't have this problem?




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gary adcock
Re: solution! but weird
on Jun 29, 2007 at 11:22:17 am

[Bob Cole] "using firewire for timecode leads to audio sync drift. After disconnecting the firewire, the sync problem disappeared"


This does not surprise me, FW is not a truely stable control protocol, with tolerances of +/- 6 frames, and the longer you use it the less accurate it gets.

When ingesting audio this over FW and the video is being brought in over a more "stable" or "consistent" connection - yes the audio will drift.


gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows


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Bob Cole
Re: solution! but weird
on Jun 29, 2007 at 11:47:39 am

[gary adcock] "When ingesting audio this over FW and the video is being brought in over a more "stable" or "consistent" connection - yes the audio will drift."

Audio is coming in via the camera's analog out, through a mixer.


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gary adcock
Re: solution! but weird
on Jun 29, 2007 at 3:36:19 pm

[Bob Cole] "Audio is coming in via the camera's analog out, through a mixer. "

I stand corrected, but you are still using differing protocol and pathways that can both cause the timing to suffer.

The old saying was audio follows video but when the audio needs to go through converters and mixers and the like = yes the timing of your signal needs to be re-calibrated since you are not using any sort of "clocking" to generate a fixed sync signal for the audio to lock its timing to.


gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows


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Bob Cole
Re: solution! but weird
on Jun 29, 2007 at 2:33:15 pm

[gary adcock] "W is not a truely stable control protocol, with tolerances of +/- 6 frames, and the longer you use it the less accurate it gets."

Gary, I'm bringing video in through the camera's component outputs, the audio through the camera's analog outputs (using the stereo pair only, not the composite video that is part of the same port).

Are you saying that any device that uses firewire for control only (not audio or video) is unstable? So, the Sony HDV decks that use firewire rather than 9-pin RS-422 will be just as unstable?


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