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BWF Timecode Off in FCP, Double-Checked w/ Wave Agent

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Ryan Biller
BWF Timecode Off in FCP, Double-Checked w/ Wave Agent
on Dec 8, 2010 at 10:01:53 pm

So we did a double system shoot and used a Tascam HD-P2 jam-synced to a Panasonic AJ-HDX900 using LTC.

We've sent the audio off for transcription and used the program BWF Timecoder to generate audible SMPTE and pieced that together with the audio content per the transcribers' deliverable request.

Here's the rub- when bringing the source BWF audio into FCP, the Start TC is off. This is confirmed using using Sound Device's Wave Agent to double check timestamps and metadata.

As a triple check, those SMPTE files have timestamps as well and they match their sources' info in Wave Agent AND their TC Start lines up in Final Cut just fine.

So the question is- why is the BWF TC start off in FCP; the duped SMPTE files are correct and the sources' info displays correctly in Wave Agent?

-It should NOT be a matter of drop or non-drop BWF import pref in FCP, I've fooled with that preference setting just to see and it does nothing for Start TC...

And I could 'Modify->Timecode...' in FCP, but as stated, Wave Agent says the files already have the proper TC data, so I think the bug is with FCP not the source files.



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Michael Gissing
Re: BWF Timecode Off in FCP, Double-Checked w/ Wave Agent
on Dec 9, 2010 at 4:48:51 am

FCP tries to be super smart with BWFs and wav files in general. When you import the files your sequence settings and your default sequence settings must match exactly (frame rate DF or non DF).

Check the import procedure outlined in this tutorial -

If you have a a mismatch, then you will have to delete and reimport.

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Bouke Vahl
Re: BWF Timecode Off in FCP, Double-Checked w/ Wave Agent
on Dec 9, 2010 at 12:17:25 pm

BWF does NOT have timecode.
It has a timeSTAMP, measured in samples.
Thus, TC 00:00:01:00 on a 48Khz file is notated as 48000
Now this means that depending on your software frame rate setup, the calculated timecode from the BWF timestamp is shown, and this will vary if you change settings.

So all programs that work with BWF MUST ask you for a desired setup before they can calculate the timecode!

Besides that, FCP needs a restart between toggeling the DF / NDF BWF import.
(that is a big gotcha..)

Have a look at the numbers and do some math, you probably will find out what went wrong where.

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