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Clay Lorance
Final Cut Pro and Audio
on Jan 5, 2010 at 8:36:31 pm

Forgive me if this has been covered before, but I just can't find an answer anywhere . . . and I've been looking for five years.

Why won't Final Cut allow me to access the audio that occurs after the last frame of video in a self-contained .mov file?

I've got literally hundreds of self-contained .mov files that have, say, a 15 second video track and a 30 second audio track. They play in QuickTime just fine. When the video is over, the screen goes black and the audio continues playing. When I drag one of these into Final Cut Pro and put it on the timeline, the audio track only goes as far as the last frame of video. Nothing I do will give me access to that audio. The only workaround I've found is to open the .mov in QuickTime, export the audio to .aif, then drag that .aif back into Final Cut Pro, and line it back up. It's very time consuming and should be completely unnecessary.

Thoughts/suggestions?

--CL


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walter biscardi
Re: Final Cut Pro and Audio
on Jan 5, 2010 at 9:00:00 pm

Option + Drag on the audio track doesn't extend the audio out?

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Clay Lorance
Re: Final Cut Pro and Audio
on Jan 5, 2010 at 9:10:22 pm

Nope! It's not a "link" problem. It appears as though the audio just isn't even brought into the project. It's like there's an underlying assumption that no one could possibly want audio without video. And the strangest thing is, I seem to be the only person who's ever run into this. I can find no mention of it on the Internet at all. None! Thousands of users, and only one has ever had a .mov whose audio is longer than the video?

--CL


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Michael Sacci
Re: Final Cut Pro and Audio
on Jan 5, 2010 at 9:52:22 pm

How where the movie files created. If you make a self-contained movie from FCP and the out point is after the end of the video the export will have full length of video by making the video black, but it is video. Just because there is no image doesn't mean there is no video. Same would be true with short audio, there would be silence but there is a full audio track.



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Clay Lorance
Re: Final Cut Pro and Audio
on Jan 5, 2010 at 10:24:36 pm

These videos come from multiple sources. We're a music company. We receive animation from graphics houses for things like show opens, titles, etc. The video we receive is silent with no padding. We score music to it (including music after the graphics for bumping, padding, etc) then marry the audio to the video in QuickTime Pro by simply adding a track to their original .mov. Hence, longer audio than video.

My main use of Final Cut is to make demo reels of our work. I drop various videos created as described above into a session and string them together with transitions.

If 30 bucks worth of Quick Time can create, store, edit, and playback .mov files with audio that is longer than the video, why can't several hundred dollars worth of Final Cut Pro use them?


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John Pale
Re: Final Cut Pro and Audio
on Jan 5, 2010 at 11:01:32 pm

that's a pretty unusual workflow, which is why you are not finding any chatter about it online.

Why not just marry the audio and video in FCP instead of Quicktime Pro? That should solve your problem, as FCP will add video black to pad out the file when you export.

QuickTime Pro has a number of functions that are not really supported within FCP (filters, etc.). Count this as one of them.


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Clay Lorance
Re: Final Cut Pro and Audio
on Jan 5, 2010 at 11:20:25 pm

Well, for one, Quick Time opens in about 2 seconds, compared to Final Cut's 30-second launch time. When I've got Nuendo or ProTools running (remember, we're an audio company), I don't see the need to launch yet another giant resource hog to do a job that can be done with a much simpler program. Not every .mov we create ends up in a demo reel, and we don't know until months later which ones will. Spending an extra five minutes (and untold hard drive space) on each file to give it black video at the end when we don't even know if we'll need it simply isn't an option.

Not only that, but these files aren't always created exactly the way I described. Nuendo, ProTools, Cleaner, etc can all create .mov files with longer audio than video.

So workflow issues aside, there are a lot of different methods by which someone could end up with a .mov that has longer audio than video. Why can't FCP use these files properly?


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Matt Lyon
Re: Final Cut Pro and Audio
on Jan 6, 2010 at 5:30:55 am

Hi Clay,

Based on your post, it sounds like you married picture and audio, then selected "save as..>self contained." What happens is quicktime stores the two elements (audio and video) as discreet elements in a "container." The audio and video aren't truly married together. The quicktime file just stores the bits for each track discreetly, and some pointer information that it references to know when to play each one (somewhat akin to a layered photoshop file versus a flattened image). The other programs you mention (Nuendo, Cleaner, etc) will actually encode true pixel information for all the "audio only" frames ... so, yes, they are creating quicktime movies with audio that is longer than picture, but that doesn't mean they aren't generating pixel info alongside the audio.
A more reliable workflow, imho, would be to marry your picture and audio in QT player, then use the "export..." command (using your favorite settings). This will generate a proper, flattened quicktime file that has proper picture information for the entire duration of the elements.
Hope this helps,

Matt Lyon
Editor
Toronto


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adam taylor
Re: Final Cut Pro and Audio
on Jan 6, 2010 at 10:35:27 am

sounds to me like you are using Protools to create a quicktime movie with the new audio attached to the guide video?

Thats a odd way to work. Your most flexible method would be to "Bounce to disk" each individual music piece and name them accordingly, as a stereo aiff file.
Then using whatever video package you choose you can marry together whichever bits you need, whenever you need without having to play through everything on the track to decide which is the relevant bit.

Adam Taylor
Video Editor/Audio Mixer/ Compositor/Motion GFX/Barista
Character Options Ltd
Oldham, UK

http://www.sculptedbliss.co.uk


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Paul Dickin
Re: Final Cut Pro and Audio
on Jan 6, 2010 at 1:41:28 pm

[Clay Lorance] "I've been looking for five years. Why won't Final Cut allow me..."
Hi
Because QT is a slide-show format as well as a video format 'container' it accepts individual frames with different duration-settings. FCP can only cope with QT movies that have regular movie-format fps settings.

BTW Premiere v3 or v4 in OS 9 days was very happy to have still images on the timeline as just one long-duration frame. But when hardware add-ons like Media 100 came along that flexibility had to be jettisoned.

So your oddly matched QT movies probably have a 15sec frame-length flag for the final frame - which QT player is totally happy with, but FCP ignores.

That's why - you did ask ;-)
It also presumably indicates that the rewrite of all the new NLE-friendly features that QT X needs (and the corresponding rewrite of FCP) is not a trivial matter, as irregular movie frame durations are probably hugely iPhone efficient/friendly...





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Clay Lorance
Re: Final Cut Pro and Audio
on Jan 6, 2010 at 5:08:28 pm

Again, I don't see the workflow efficiency increase in taking 5-10 minutes (an export) to do what can be done in 35 seconds (Save as self-contained) when we have to churn out dozens of these a day with only one or two potentially needing to eventually come into FCP several months later. Plus, a lot of the movs I receive come from another workstation where the only tools at hand are QT, PT or Nuendo. We're not a video house. We only have/need one seat of FCP.

Also, we use ProTools' "Bounce to Disk" or Nuendo's "Replace audio in video file" most of the time. You see, we often have to marry up to 20 different audio tracks to (copies of) the same piece of video. Taking each of these through an export process just isn't feasible from a time-management perspective.

So my takeaway from all of this is:

There's no way to get FCP to use all of the audio data that exists in a file even though EVERY SINGLE OTHER PIECE OF SOFTWARE ON MY MACHINE CAN DO IT easily and without fail every single time.

Accurate statement?


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