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Media Composer link to original sound rushes?

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Guy Fixsen
Media Composer link to original sound rushes?
on Apr 23, 2015 at 7:24:08 pm

Hi. I am a recordist/sound designer and I sent sound rushes to an editor a couple of months ago and now, after syncing etc., he has sent the first AAF back to me. I was assuming I would be able to link to my original sound rushes but he is telling me that MC creates an MXF containing the audio files and that now all links are to copies of those rushes wrapped in that MXF. So when I import his AAF it is impossible to link to the original rushes. Furthermore, the filenames of the clips in Protools bear no relation to the rushes names so I can't imagine how I can go looking for alternate takes etc.

I am fairly new to using Protools for Sound Design so it may be that I am missing some feature that makes this all much easier - Could someone enlighten me?

Thanks!


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Shane Ross
Re: Media Composer link to original sound rushes?
on Apr 23, 2015 at 9:59:58 pm

What's wrong with the MXF files? Why can't you work with those?

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Guy Fixsen
Re: Media Composer link to original sound rushes?
on Apr 23, 2015 at 10:19:09 pm

I probably could work with the MXF files but it seems wrong that I can't just link to the original rushes. It seems crazy for the editor to have to send all the audio back to me when I have it already. Surely going from one Avid product to another it should be possible to just reference the same audio?

Plus, the filenaming in the MXF is changed compared to my rushes - it's now the names that the editor assigned when he made subclips - so it makes it harder to find alternate takes etc.


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Shane Ross
Re: Media Composer link to original sound rushes?
on Apr 23, 2015 at 10:36:09 pm

I can only speak from my experience. I've always been given production audio...synched it to picture...edited, and then sent AAF or OMF to the audio post guy. Except for that ONE show that I sent EDLs and they used that to link the audio. But I never changed the clip names.

Someone might have a way...but I don't know it. Is there a ProTools forum here?

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Guy Fixsen
Re: Media Composer link to original sound rushes?
on Apr 23, 2015 at 10:39:56 pm

Thanks for the benefit of your experience Shane - interesting to know. I guess an EDL could only help if the audio has timecode (?), which in my case it doesn't.

I would like to know if the issue is the changing of the clip names.


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John Pale
Re: Media Composer link to original sound rushes?
on Apr 24, 2015 at 1:18:20 pm

Not saying it will work, but it only takes a few minutes to try...

AMA link to the original audio rushes in a new empty bin. (Yes, you can AMA link audio files..not commonly done, but it's possible)
Duplicate the final sequence and put it in its own bin. (Don't mess with the original, close its bin immediately)
Select the duplicate sequence in the bin, and then all the original audio rushes clips in their bin.
Using the Relink command, attempt to Relink the duplicate sequence to the selected original rushes based on Source File Name. The original file names are retained in metadata when the editor first imported them, and the files are the exact same length..so it's possible the sequence will link perfectly to them.

If the Relink is successful, export a new AAF. I have doubts this will work, especially given the lack of time code, but it's worth a few minutes to try.


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Guy Fixsen
Re: Media Composer link to original sound rushes?
on Apr 24, 2015 at 3:39:00 pm

Thanks very much for your input John, I will send this to the editor and see what happens. I think what it really comes down to is that the shoot was done without timecode. I didn't realise this would impact linking files so that's interesting to learn. I can't really understand why audio files aren't linked in the same way as video files in MC. Seems wasteful and inelegant to make new versions but hey I guess Avid have done it that way for some reason...


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Michael Phillips
Re: Media Composer link to original sound rushes?
on Apr 24, 2015 at 1:19:59 pm

Pro Tools still adheres to TAPE or SOUNDROLL conform when coming from Media Composer when looking for source information. In your scenario, lack of timecode may be am issue as well. When importing BWF files, and no soundroll or tape is declared in the file, I will duplicate the file name into the soundroll column. After importing an audio file, display the following columns in your bin:

Tape
TapeID
Source File
SoundRoll

Once of those columns will have the file name captured from the name of the file, or from the metadata in the BWF header.

I find most often, that it is the TapeID that carries the full file name - or it will be Source File. In order to make an EDL - EDL Manager will automatically default to using Tape/Source File (cannot choose either or -it is Tape first, if nothing, then Source File), Camroll, labroll or SoundRoll.

By duplicating the values from any of the columns above that contain the source name to the SoundRoll, you can now generate an EDL. Then timecode may be an issue.


Michael


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Guy Fixsen
Re: Media Composer link to original sound rushes?
on Apr 24, 2015 at 3:38:09 pm

Thanks very much for your input Michael. I think what it really comes down to is that the shoot was done without timecode. I didn't realise this would impact linking files so that's interesting to learn. I can't really understand why audio files aren't linked in the same way as video files in MC. Seems wasteful and inelegant to make new versions but hey I guess Avid have done it that way for some reason...


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Michael Phillips
Re: Media Composer link to original sound rushes?
on Apr 24, 2015 at 3:55:15 pm

One of the issues is what assumptions are being made by both applications when working with source that do not have timecode. Media Composer did/does import with a timecode of 01:00:00:00 whereas an AMA link starts at 00:00:00:00 - then it is up to Pro Tools to make some assumption as to what the timecode might be, etc. So all applications have to be on the same page when making these assumptions - we all know the saying of that goes with "assume"...

That being said, in future workflows, you might consider passing the WAV files through Sound Device's Wave Agent where you can apply a timecode that gets embedded into the BWF chunk that is now used by all applications.

Secondly, you can do as Shane suggested and pass of the Avid MediaFile audio files with an AAF as it will contain whatever timecode and offset management as part of the workflow.

Thirdly, export all your WAV imports as BWF which will embed the timecode as seen in the START column and use those as new BWF masters in Pro Tools, but this does not gain you much compared to method #2 unless going to some program that does not supprot .mxf and AAF.


Michael


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Guy Fixsen
Re: Media Composer link to original sound rushes?
on Apr 24, 2015 at 4:44:49 pm

Thanks Michael. Rather frustratingly, I did actually pass the files through Wave Agent as I needed to turn mono wavs into polys. Had I known I could just add TC at that point...! Living and learning...


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Guy Fixsen
Re: Media Composer link to original sound rushes?
on Apr 24, 2015 at 10:22:29 pm

So my current solution to the above is to get all the audio in MXF form from the editor. However, the Channel Names do not come through correctly. Where the channel names were originally "Radio...", "Boom..." etc. they are now "(A0)","(A1)" etc. I should add that the MXFs I have are all single channel files. MC took the original polys and made one mono file for each channel. So actually maybe it makes sense that there are no 'Channel Names' as such. But it seems there should be a way for this metadata to be passed on to PT from MC. Is it possible for MC to create multichannel MXFs for example, or rename the single channel MXFs using the Channel Names?


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Michael Phillips
Re: Media Composer link to original sound rushes?
on Apr 24, 2015 at 11:15:16 pm

Monophonic import has been buggy for several versions of software where one of the issues is not importing track metadata beyond Track 1. Every The latest version got better with using the BWF AMA plug-in but only later versions provided better support for monophonic. See my blog on this topic here:
http://24p.com/wordpress/?p=185


Michael


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Guy Fixsen
Re: Media Composer link to original sound rushes?
on Apr 25, 2015 at 1:12:36 am

In my case I'm not talking about monophonic import. The issue is with poly BWAVs imported into MC. They then get turned into mono MXFs which fail to carry metadata over to Protools.


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