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Baffling Audio Problem

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Collin Alexander
Baffling Audio Problem
on Jul 25, 2011 at 4:58:41 am

Stereo audio files that used to play correctly now will only play one side, or the other, but not both. On successive playbacks, audio will alternate between playing on the left, then the right. Occasionally, audio will playback on both sides, so it's intermittent.

This is not related to a particular project. Backup versions from months ago used to work fine, they now exhibit the same issue.

I've tried restarting, trashing all pref files. This doesn't help.

I've tried switching from stereo to dual mono configuration. The audio files are for sure AIF, 48K.

I exported the timeline, and get this: The left half of the audio file sounds correct, like it's playing at 48K, and the other half plays too slowly, probably at 44.1. What the . . .?

I am on my knees, begging the Final Cut gods to show mercy on me.


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Loic de Lame
Re: Baffling Audio Problem
on Jul 25, 2011 at 6:42:19 am

Hello.

Sorry to hear about these wild phenomenas....

Curious of a few things.

What happens when you play audio that hasn't been through FCP in any way? (Music, downloaded video, youtube, etc.)
What is your system? (OS version, computer model, FCP version, etc.)
Do you use any capture cards or devices that you're porting the audio/video through? Or is this just a built-in/line out/digital out signal?

How does audio play with SoundTrack (or any sound editing application you may have)?

I'm assuming you tried a Refresh Devices in FCP?

Have you looked at the app Audio/Midi Setup and checked those settings for anything weird?

What is your hard drive setup like regarding scratch disks? Wondering if, for some reason, a bad hard drive may be causing this? Weird if you're experiencing problems with archive projects though. And I know it doesn't make sense cause a failing hard drive would cause other problems. But figured I'd ask.

Can't think of anything else at the moment. Hopefully I or someone else will be able to help with your answers.

~ Loïc


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Loic de Lame
Re: Baffling Audio Problem
on Jul 25, 2011 at 6:52:11 am

P.S. Just did a quick search about resetting the audio system of a mac and found this.

http://hintsforums.macworld.com/archive/index.php/t-101741.html

2nd to last post says....

If you have admin privileges on your Mac, you can restart coreaudio from the command line as follows:

start Terminal.app
enter the command:
sudo kill -9 `ps ax|grep 'coreaudio[a-z]' |awk '{print $1}'`
press enter
enter your password when prompted and press return


Might be worth a shot......?


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Collin Alexander
Re: Baffling Audio Problem
on Jul 25, 2011 at 4:19:46 pm

I'm using a Mac Book Pro, 17", OS X 10.5.8, FCP 6.0.6.

No capture cards, just internal audio from the mac. The problem is in FCP, other apps like Quicktime, iTunes, etc. don't have a problem with audio.

The project lives on 2 external FW drives, but I've now duplicated the problem using audio files on my internal drive, without the external drives hooked up.

I've duplicated the problem using audio never touched by FCP.

And now I'm hearing in real time what happened on export - one side playing at one speed, the other side playing at another speed.

I haven't tried the core audio reset thing in terminal. That's a little scary, but here goes . . .



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Collin Alexander
Re: Baffling Audio Problem
on Jul 25, 2011 at 4:37:18 pm

I made a brand new project in FCP, with new prefs files, new scratch disk, imported one stereo audio music file, 48K AIF, file never touched by FCP. Immediately had the problem.

Sent audio file to new Soundtrack Pro project, it plays just fine.

It also plays fine in Finder, MPEG Stream Clip, iTunes.


:-(



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Loic de Lame
Re: Baffling Audio Problem
on Jul 25, 2011 at 4:50:05 pm

W.E.I.R.D.

If I understand correctly, no matter where you move the media (internal or external) the audio still exhibits strange behaviors. However, now you hear both channels, except that they sound like their at different sample rates.

Is this true of archived projects?
This media that your working with worked correctly before your first post, as an idiot check...
If you play the media in QT, VLC, etc., does it still have that weird sample rate discrepancy?

When you say you've duplicated the problem with audio never touched by FCP, I assume you mean that it started acting weird after you put it in FCP?

Have you double checked sequence settings (idiot check)?
Would deleting the render files with Render Manager be of any use? And maybe removing any filters you may have?
Are these sequences nested?

Out of curiosity, if you export an OMF/AAF and bring it into SoundTrack, does it still do its weird thing?

Considering that you say that you duplicated the problem with audio completely unrelated to your project, I'm assuming that if you started a new project and used this audio it would continue to have these problems?


Trying to throw ideas out there....

Hoping that you won't have to do this next part, but....

One thing worth trying is removing FCP with FCS Removerand then reinstalling just FCP from the install disc by getting to the install package of Final Cut.

If memory serves (hopefully), load your FCP disc and, in Finder, right-click the installer package and select Show Contents. I believe that it will open up a Finder window showing all the packages that get installed for the apps. You want to select the Final Cut package that doesn't have an m in the extension (so .pkg if I'm right). That will install only Final Cut. While that's going on, get the FCP 6.0.6 Update downloaded and install that when FCP is finished installing.

If you have some user prefs, you'll have to copy those in order to put them back and not have to rebuild them yourself, btw.

Let me know if you need some further explanation on the reinstall and I'll see if I can be more useful. :~P

Good luck and I'll post again if I think of any other ideas.

P.S. Just saw your post in my email as I was writing this.

~ Loïc


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Collin Alexander
Re: Baffling Audio Problem
on Jul 25, 2011 at 9:32:06 pm

Yes, I take a 48K AIF file, it plays correctly in Finder, Logic, Streamclip, and Soundtrack. The file itself is fine.

I put that file into a brand new project, new sequence in FCP, and I get this weirdness. Either one side cuts out, or the other side cuts out, or else one side plays at the wrong speed. Occasionally it plays correctly, but not usually. Most often, it alternates left-right-left-right on successive plays.

Yes, I've tried sequence settings, user prefs, system settings . . .

I guess I'll try a complete re-install. Oh boy, what joy.



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Collin Alexander
Re: Baffling Audio Problem
on Jul 25, 2011 at 11:09:52 pm

A complete re-install of FCP, firmware update, does not solve the problem.



Oh dear this is horrendous.



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Loic de Lame
Re: Baffling Audio Problem
on Jul 25, 2011 at 11:15:07 pm

Hey.

Sorry to hear that nothing's working.

If I were you, I'd try to do a reinstall of just FCP with the FCS Remover and such. Cause it saves A LOT of time.

But good luck and please post back if you're successful or not! Always helpful to know the outcome of things.

~ Loïc


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Brendan Murphy
Re: Baffling Audio Problem
on Oct 26, 2011 at 3:46:50 pm

Collin, I just read your post, and I have been having the same problem. Exactly as you describe, and yours is the only post in months that has captured what I have been experiencing. I was wondering if you started noticing this problem at a point when you began working on a particular type of audio. Here is what I mean. I have a project where I got the video/audio from OLD vhs tapes. As a matter of fact, I copied the VHS tapes to DV tapes years ago, and just imported them to the computer in the last year. Here is the strange part. The camera I used to first digitize the vhs tapes and put them on DV had a 32kHz sound format I believe. Unfortunately, I don't have that camera anymore. It was a Canon ZR10 I think. When I imported the DV tapes to my Mac, I am not sure, but I likely used the default capture settings I had which were for 48kHz. Then of course the sequence settings come into play. However, no matter how I set them, I get the same results. Here is one more variable. I did not seem to have a problem with the audio until I added background music. It was .mp3. However, if I remove these mp3 files from the timeline, the problem does not go away.

Does any of this sound familiar to you and have you had any luck fixing any of this?


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Collin Alexander
Re: Baffling Audio Problem
on Oct 26, 2011 at 4:41:12 pm

Brendan,

I too was bringing audio from many different formats into the project. That may be the original culprit. You may be able to solve it by identifying exactly which piece of media is corrupted (according to FCP).

Try this:

Restart your computer.
Open the bad project. DON'T play it, this will trigger the problem.
Make a new project, and a new sequence, with the correct settings.
Copy a few objects from the bad project, paste them into the new one. Play it, see if you have the problem. If not, save the new project.
Copy and paste a few more objects. Play it, and save it if you still don't hear the problem.

See if you can hone in on exactly which clip triggers the problem. Then you can try deleting that clip from your bad project, SAVE AS a different name.


I'm having this problem on a Mac Book Pro, playing the same project on a Quad Core works fine. Also, at one point I became convinced that the problem was related to a particular FILE NAME. I had a version that was working good, then saved it as the old file name, and it immediately began having the problem. When I saved the good one with a new name, it would work fine (until something else triggered the problem).

It is quite odd.



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Loic de Lame
Re: Baffling Audio Problem
on Oct 26, 2011 at 5:32:52 pm

If it's of any use, http://www.digitalrebellion.com/promaintenance/ has their Pro Maintenance Tools software. Specifically the Corrupt Clip Finder may be of interest.

~ Loïc


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