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AJA Kona Support in Premiere CS5.5

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Josh Pappas
AJA Kona Support in Premiere CS5.5
on Jul 25, 2011 at 6:56:30 pm

I posted this in a forum on Adobe's website, where I was told that posting here might get better feedback. Thanks in advance for your help.

I'm new to Premiere, and I've encountered some unexpectedly poor performance that I'm currently attributing to my AJA Kona 3, but I'm wondering what I can do about it. I downloaded a trial of CS5.5 and installed the latest AJA drivers (9.0.3) and Adobe plug-ins (9.0.1). Here's my system configuration:

Mac Pro 4,1
2 Xeon 2.93 Ghz
16 GB RAM (10 GB allocated to PP/AE/AME)
OSX 10.6.5
AJA Kona 3
No CUDA-enable GPU
External RAID storage array w/ fiber interface

I'm working with a mix of source materials - XDCAM EX footage, ProRes 422 or Animation graphic renders, DVCPro HD or Uncompressed captures - all at 1080/59.94i

For starters, sometimes I have clips that shouldn't have to render that begin stuttering or failing to play, but after I stop and attempt to play that portion again, it works fine. This becomes very problematic during Export to Tape operations, when it can play through most of a sequence then hang up at the end. It seems most prone to this when switching between video codecs in the same sequence where they are not marked with any render-indicating color. I assume this means the Kona is handling those clips and should be able to play them without any problems. Is there some configuration issue I should look at that will address this? Maybe RAM allocation?

Secondly, I can't figure out how to output timecode via the 9-pin RS-422. It seems that Premiere is not sending any timecode information to the Kona, because when I enable timecode overlay from the AJA Control Panel, it doesn't show anything. If I open a Quicktime file using AJA TV, the timecode will display as expected. Is there a configuration option within Premiere that I'm overlooking? Not offering TC output seems like it would be a major oversight, so I'm assuming this is something I simply can't figure out.

Third, I'm experiencing an odd issue when scrubbing the sequence to find edit points in the audio. When I scrub frame-by-frame, it seems that the audio being played is always from the frame I just scrubbed FROM, not the frame I scrubbed TO (i.e., the current frame). This is not intuitive, and also not how Premiere works in non-AJA sequence presets. I'm assuming that this is just an AJA bug, but wanted to mention it in case I'm overlooking something.

I know this is a lot for one thread, but I appreciate the community's time, expertise, and help. I really am excited about working with Premiere instead of FCP, but these issues can be frustrating.

Thanks,
Josh


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Jason Jenkins
Re: AJA Kona Support in Premiere CS5.5
on Jul 25, 2011 at 7:57:55 pm

Do a search in this and the Premiere Pro forums and you'll come up with some good info that was discussed recently.

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!


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Tom Daigon
Re: AJA Kona Support in Premiere CS5.5
on Jul 25, 2011 at 9:05:54 pm

Hi Jason. Im the person at the PrP forum that suggested he post here and get some help from the experts at AJA ;-) Both Users and engineers can be good sources of info. And the folks at AJA excel at providing knowledgeable tech support.

Tom Daigon
Avid DS / PrP / After Effects Editor
http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com


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Jason Jenkins
Re: AJA Kona Support in Premiere CS5.5
on Jul 25, 2011 at 9:59:55 pm

Oops! Didn't mean to give Josh the runaround, but I knew there were some good threads on this subject.

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!


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walter biscardi
Re: AJA Kona Support in Premiere CS5.5
on Jul 25, 2011 at 9:08:42 pm

[Josh Pappas] "2 Xeon 2.93 Ghz"

You need to have an 8 core machine minimum to make the AJA Kona work correctly with Adobe Premiere Pro CS 5.5 I've already documented that in this forum. Particularly for ProRes material.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

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Josh Pappas
Re: AJA Kona Support in Premiere CS5.5
on Jul 25, 2011 at 9:44:18 pm

Sorry for not being clear - It's two Xeon processors, and each has 4 physical cores.


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walter biscardi
Re: AJA Kona Support in Premiere CS5.5
on Jul 25, 2011 at 10:07:13 pm

[Josh Pappas] "Sorry for not being clear - It's two Xeon processors, and each has 4 physical cores."

Well then that should be good to go.

I'm not sure what to suggest for anything else you're having issues with at this time. I'm also brand new to Premiere Pro as well. We were having slow / stuttering playback issues originally but then determined that was due to the four core machine I was testing on. Since I moved to the 8 core, playback has been very smooth and normal with ProRes, XDCAM and P2 material.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

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Josh Pappas
Re: AJA Kona Support in Premiere CS5.5
on Jul 26, 2011 at 1:07:13 pm

We're talking about increasing the RAM in this workstation, so maybe that will help. It seems that it's easily using all 10 GB of the current allocation for PP/AE/AME, and sometimes it feels like we've hit a wall when it runs out while multitasking. I'm looking at 32 GB, which doesn't seem unreasonable from what I've read.

Thanks for your help. I'll post an update if anything changes.

Josh


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Tom Grotting
Re: AJA Kona Support in Premiere CS5.5
on Jul 27, 2011 at 7:25:31 pm

What Graphics card are you using?

Tom Grotting
Digital Pictures
Minneapolis


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Josh Pappas
Re: AJA Kona Support in Premiere CS5.5
on Jul 27, 2011 at 7:34:11 pm

I've got two Nvidia GeForce GT 120 cards for dual DVI output, but no CUDA support, unfortunately. That's another upgrade being considered, but probably under next year' budget.


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Josh Pappas
Re: AJA Kona Support in Premiere CS5.5
on Aug 2, 2011 at 6:28:17 pm

I may have found an issue that sheds some light on this. I pulled up AJA's recommended slot configuration, which says that the Kona 3 should be in slot 2 or 3. Ours is in slot 4. I'm going to move some things around to see if that helps.

Out of curiosity, the system specs show slots 3 and 4 as both being PCI-e x4 slots, so what would be different about being in 3 instead of 4? If it works, it works, but I always like to know why.


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Jim Curtis
Re: AJA Kona Support in Premiere CS5.5
on Sep 7, 2011 at 4:18:08 pm

My experience with my LHi and Pr CS5.5 has been disappointing. There's a lot of lag/delay, which makes editing with an AJA preset and watching the results on my attached monitor a very slow process. Scrolling the timeline is not smooth, very jerky, and there are long durations between the frames that are displayed, even with ProRes footage, for which the LHi is purportedly optimized.

I have taken to working in a native Sequence to do all my off-lining and mixing. And then just copy and paste my sequence into an AJA Sequence when it comes time for color-correction or screening on the big calibrated monitor. Fortunately, this is usually pretty fast, unless I've set up Submix audio tracks with effects (and I do this often - it's one of the things I love about Pr.). Those don't get copied over to the pasted-in sequence.

I can't imagine doing this in an ad agency or big edit room environment, where the clients want to see a big screen picture all the time.

There's a reason that Avid charges so much for their hardware. You get full-time big screen performance with fluid timeline scanning on their systems using their codecs. So, I have just learned to lower my expectations with Pr, FCP and AJA, and work around the shortcomings.

Jim Curtis
jamesphilipcurtis.com


MacPro 3,1; 2x4 3GHz; 32G RAM all the same brand; 10.6.8; QT 7.6.6; FCS3; CS5.5; MC 5.5; Kona LHi in PCI slot 3 (9.0.3); Primary display: 30" ACD; Monitoring: Kona LHi SDI to AJA HDP2 converter to HDMI on the HP DreamColor.


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Tom Daigon
Re: AJA Kona Support in Premiere CS5.5
on Sep 7, 2011 at 10:27:58 pm

Jim for the moment I am also working in Adobe sequences, but hoping that external monitoring is resolved one way (third party) or the other (Adobe).

This issues will eventually (some are already looking to Avid for alternatives) piss off some of the higher end users (facilities, boutiques) that Adobe doesnt want to lose.

Adobe, I know your plate is very full, but this one could have tragic consequences on your new found popularity.

Tom Daigon
Avid DS / PrP / After Effects Editor
http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com
Mac Pro 3,1
8 core
10.6.8
Nvidia Quadro 4000
24 gigs ram
Maxx Digita / Areca 8tb. raid


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walter biscardi
Re: AJA Kona Support in Premiere CS5.5
on Sep 7, 2011 at 10:42:45 pm

[Jim Curtis] "I have taken to working in a native Sequence to do all my off-lining and mixing. And then just copy and paste my sequence into an AJA Sequence when it comes time for color-correction or screening on the big calibrated monitor. Fortunately, this is usually pretty fast, unless I've set up Submix audio tracks with effects (and I do this often - it's one of the things I love about Pr.). Those don't get copied over to the pasted-in sequence.

I can't imagine doing this in an ad agency or big edit room environment, where the clients want to see a big screen picture all the time.

There's a reason that Avid charges so much for their hardware. You get full-time big screen performance with fluid timeline scanning on their systems using their codecs. So, I have just learned to lower my expectations with Pr, FCP and AJA, and work around the shortcomings."


We're using the following work-around in our shop while we wait for AJA to update the drivers / plug-ins....

Set the Player to Adobe. This means the output to the AJA card is disabled when viewing materials in the Source Monitor. We listen to the audio via the Mac output and view the material in the Source monitor.

Set the Audio Hardware to anything BUT the AJA Kona board. This eliminates the audio drop outs when editing in an AJA sequence.

Set the Mac System Prefs > Sound to anything BUT the AJA Kona board.

Yep, these are pretty lame workarounds for the moment but I'm now editing with clients in the room who are definitely enjoying the native workflow. From what I understand the bulk of the issues are actually in AJA's court right now as they work through new drivers / new plug-ins for us.

As for Avid, you are aware that Avid hardware is AJA, correct? In fact most all NLE's use AJA hardware in some fashion or another.

Avid is gearing up to support the AJA Kona boards natively with Media Composer 6 so pretty soon you won't have to pay a premium to get "Avid native hardware."

So whether you go PPro or Avid, you'll be able to use your Kona boards. Right now, for us the solution is PPro since it operates with all of our hardware. Avid will get another look as soon as they support the Kona boards.

But we're already delivering broadcast HD projects out of PPro. Yep, the AJA Sequences are a bit wonky right now, but it's not causing any client issues or editor issues to slow us down.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

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Javi Aledo
Re: AJA Kona Support in Premiere CS5.5
on Oct 20, 2011 at 8:59:36 pm

Any solution for lag problem when scrubb on Premiere thru Aja Kona 3?

CG, Music, Photography, Programming...
http://www.JaviAledo.com


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