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AJA Ki Pro Dopping frames and slipping timecode-Is there a drive test utility?

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Rich Kaelin
AJA Ki Pro Dopping frames and slipping timecode-Is there a drive test utility?
on Apr 9, 2015 at 10:15:25 pm

To the point: is there a utility to test Ki Pro drives? One that will detect a drive that is failing and will drop frames?

Quick Why: one of my Ki Pros is dropping frames and the timecode AND video is slipping when it does. I am assuming it is the hard drive...AND I DON'T KNOW WHICH Drive it is. We have 8 Ki Pros, and well over 20 drives.

Details: So we set up a shoot around Christmas for a concert. Nice theater, nice lighting, all star band with a revolving cast of characters. I just sat down to start the editing and mastering this week, since they only want the finished product ready for this Christmas season.

The setup was 5 cameras (including one on a 30' jib) all run into Ki Pros for iso as well as into a Panasonic 410 switcher for a line cut. The line cut was recorded on 2 separate Ki Pros for safety. There is also a multi-track recording (with timecode) of the show which will be mastered and laid back in. So now I am doing a really polished cut in FCP using multiclip, which is working fantastically.

I used timecode to get my in-points and synced that way. While cutting I noticed that camera 3, the jib, is occasionally dropping frames, screen jitter, whatever. Now, I run across a place where the camera iso drops a frame, but the program cut, which happens to have the same camera at this point, is just fine. So only the iso record is dropping. It happens to be the jib, which is almost always a great go to shot, so I want to use it a lot.

A bit later I take that camera for a vocal, and I notice it is WAY out of sync. I can't figure out how only one clip in the multiclip slipped. Then it dawns on me, the dropped frames. So I open the raw footage, set new matching in-points, lay camera 1, which is fine, in a new sequence, then I lay the problem camera with the same in-point on top of it, and sure enough the audio echos, The clip and timecode no longer match. I don't totally understand this, since a timecode generator is running, so I would think that even with dropped frames, it would record the right timecode.

So I slip the tracks until audio matches as best I can tell, and it is off by a full 7 frames. I then make a new multiclip with this camera offset, and cut away. A few hours later, I see the camera is out again. So I go through the same process, and now it has slipped 11 frames.

I originally had two questions, but now realize that since the timecode did indeed slip, creating the multiclips via timecodes vs in-point would likely have not been a resolution.

Thanks for any help and suggestions.

Rich Kaelin
Kaelin Motion Production Services
http://kaelinmotion.com
New York


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gary adcock
Re: AJA Ki Pro Dopping frames and slipping timecode-Is there a drive test utility?
on Apr 10, 2015 at 8:33:52 pm

[Rich Kaelin] "Details: So we set up a shoot around Christmas for a concert..... I just sat down to start the editing and mastering this week, since they only want the finished product ready for this Christmas season. "

first, your data handler should be shot. This should have been flagged immediately when backing up the content.

The unit's check the media on boot, I have seen a unit reject a drive that was not working correctly


" So only the iso record is dropping. It happens to be the jib,"

My guess it was not the drive but the signal from the camera, with the dropouts being cable issue or the like (common on Jibs)

ON the TC issue, 11 frames over 10 mins is about the difference between Drop Frame and Non-Drop Timecode- are you sure which are you working in and how were the recorders set?

gary adcock
Studio37

Post and Production Workflow Consultant
Production and Post Stereographer
Chicago, IL


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Rich Kaelin
Re: AJA Ki Pro Dopping frames and slipping timecode-Is there a drive test utility?
on Apr 10, 2015 at 8:48:36 pm

Gary,

I set up and engineered the entire thing. As I said, the jib looks fine on the program, and looked fine on all monitors and scopes all night, it is only the iso record that shows any issues.

I also set all the AJA Ki Pro machines to matching settings and triple checked them. Plus, I don't know if it would matter, as a TCG was feeding all of the decks via a DA. Also, way more than 10 minutes for 11 frames, inconsistent time to slip ratio. I would edit a half hour of program no issue, then one song later see major slip. Very odd...except that if I watch the jib iso I see a section with major dropped frames in that segment. So it seems to make sense. In one instance, the beginning of the song is synced, then 2 minutes in I see major slip. I watch the iso, and there is a 30 second stretch where I see many dropped frames. On other sections I watch and there are zero drops.

Also, since I synced Multiclip via an in-point (not timecode) DF vs NDF should have no relevance in the fact that visually the footage falls out of sync with the soundtrack. 5 of 6 sources stayed in perfect sync.

Lastly I loaded and formatted all media, as well as transferred it all to the drives I now edit on. Zero issues were flagged. I have one 250GB drive that the machines accept, then it fails a few minutes into recording. That drive is marked as bad. These drives NEVER showed any issues, until I watch in post.

Which brings me to my QUESTION...is there a utility to test drives? Will a standard utility work? Can it be done with USB 3 or firewire connections, or should I find an eSATA adapter? Do the machines have a test mode built in?

I just want to figure out which drive it was and pull it. I really hope it is not a machine issue. We don't use them that often.

Rich Kaelin
Kaelin Motion Production Services
http://kaelinmotion.com
New York


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