FORUMS: list search recent posts

Final Cut Dolby E to HDCam workflow

COW Forums : Apple Final Cut Pro Legacy

<< PREVIOUS   •   FAQ   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Jonathan Slyker
Final Cut Dolby E to HDCam workflow
on Mar 15, 2011 at 2:46:45 pm

I was wondering if anyone had some advice on a good workflow for mastering to HDCam from Final Cut Pro with stereo mix on channels 1&2 of the tape and Dolby E (including 8 tracks) on channels 3&4?
Honestly, I havne't had to work with surround audio before, and I'm trying to do some recon for if/when the studio I work for needs to switch. I know I'll need to get an encoder/decoder. A question I had was whether I should recieve an encoded file from our sound designer (working in Pro Tools) which I then place on tracks 3&4 of the Final Cut sequence, or whether I get all 8 tracks which when I edit to tape the encoder processes and puts to tracks 3&4?
I have plenty of other questions, but I'll leave it at that for now. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Equipment I have already:

Mac OSX 10.5.8
AJA Kona LHe
Sony HDCam Deck: HDW-1800
FCP version 6.0.6


Return to posts index

Mark Spano
Re: Final Cut Dolby E to HDCam workflow
on Mar 15, 2011 at 4:27:38 pm

Since proper surround monitoring requires you to be able to listen to check down the mix and all channel assignments, getting into surround requires a lot more investment. To do this properly, you'd need a 5.1 speaker setup, a monitor controller, and then potentially software or hardware to encode/decode to and from Dolby E. My advice would be to have the encoding done in mix session, since the mixer will at least already have a proper 5.1 monitoring setup. If he/she does not already have the Dolby encoding tools (either the Dolby E hardware encoder/decoder units or the Minnetonka SurCode software encode/decode plugin set), you may be able to rent these. Dolby E delivery is specific to certain cases - most networks and cable channels are moving away from tape delivery with encoded surround to HDCAM-SR with discrete channels. I'd shy away from buying any Dolby E equipment now.

Once you have an encoded Dolby E file (usually a 24-bit/48kHz stereo WAV file), you can drop that into your sequence and lay it off. The HDCAM deck must be set to receive DATA on those channels (the manuals describe how to set this) so that the automatic bit depth/sample rate converter is disengaged for the stream. I have layed off Dolby E to HDCAM via FCP version 6 and 7 and Kona LHe with success. It is good to have some confidence monitoring though. I would not have felt great about it unless I had my Dolby E decoding Tektronix waveform analyzer in the chain so I could hear both stereo and surround tracks playing back from tape in sync. Tough stuff to be certain about, especially when delivering to major networks. Safest bet sometimes is to take it somewhere where all of this is already setup for assurance.



Return to posts index

Jonathan Slyker
Re: Final Cut Dolby E to HDCam workflow
on Mar 15, 2011 at 7:15:13 pm

Thanks for the response. It seems like the best bet on my end is to have our audio mixer encode on his end and send me the WAV files as you mentioned. If we do switch to doing surround I realize that will mean a bit of an overhaul to our audio department. As well as some purchases on my video end. I do have a Tektronix WFM 5000. Does this mean I may not need to buy a decoder for monitoring the surround audio when editing to tape? That would be nice.
Another thing i was wondering about was the 1 frame offset. Is this something that will be included when the encoding is done, or do I have to manually do this in my Final Cut sequence? Like I mentioned, I really have no experience working with surround audio files, sorry if my questions seem uneducated (it's because they are). I appreciate the information and help in this. The more I can explain to the higher ups, the more likely it is that we'll do it correctly the first time.


Return to posts index


Mark Raudonis
Re: Final Cut Dolby E to HDCam workflow
on Mar 15, 2011 at 8:30:01 pm

Jonathan,

Test. Test. TEST. Then TEST some more!

You will NOT get this right the first time.

YES, you should have a proper monitoring setup to do this. As you mentioned, sync is a big part of
getting this right... or wrong. Not being able to confirm that will guarantee you a fail from network
QC. Once you have all the equipment in the chain set up, dialed in, and ready, it's not that hard. However,
expecting this to work withOUT the proper monitoring environment or exhaustive test (delivered to the network in question), you will FAIL.

Mark



Return to posts index

Mark Spano
Re: Final Cut Dolby E to HDCam workflow
on Mar 16, 2011 at 4:06:44 am

With the WFM5000, I don't think there's an option for Dolby decoding. You might want to ask Tektronix. I have the WFM7000 and the AMM768, and I use the AMM to decode Dolby E, but I think there's an option for the 7000 as well.

The 1 frame offset is either figured in in the encode or the layoff. If your sound mixer figures it in, then your WAV file should be laid down at the timecode he started his bounce. If he doesn't then it's up to you to offset the file in your timeline. The third thing is the spec for whom you're delivering. Some networks require the offset so that the 1 frame decode time is factored in to make audio in sync with picture upon playback. Some don't, and will have their own delays in line in the broadcast chain. Always best to get the delivery spec before you make a guess.



Return to posts index

Jonathan Slyker
Re: Final Cut Dolby E to HDCam workflow
on Mar 16, 2011 at 3:51:58 pm

Thanks again for the responses. I'm definitely a Test, Test, Test type of person, which is why I'm on here trying to get all the info I can well before we actually have to start implementing this at the studio I work for. The info and advice is definitely helping me understand what I will need to do to get this right. I've been reading up a lot as well and the overall picture is starting to become a little clearer. Thanks again.


Return to posts index


元 素
Re: Final Cut Dolby E to HDCam workflow
on Sep 13, 2011 at 3:07:52 pm

Thanks all you who ask and/or answer.As a novice I really learn a lot from these.


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]