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Audio out of sync after Media Manager

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Mathias Gruffman
Audio out of sync after Media Manager
on Dec 8, 2011 at 9:46:56 am


First of all, I've searched around without any luck, so if this has been addressed earlier, I apologize.

I'm having a problem that drives me crazy, and I've spent hours and days trying to solve this now.
Due to handeling a lot of media and projects at the same time (I work at a film school) I want to use Media Manager as a way to archive the students projects.
But as the topic says, in doing so I loose sync between audio and video.

I'll try to step you trough the workflow, (i do know it may be a tad overcomplicated (so thereĀ“s lots of places I could go wrong)

The specs and workflow:
FCP 6.06
The films are shot with Canon DSLR 25fps, recording audio with an external CF-recorder at 48kHz/16-bit.

How we do Offline
We don't use Log & Transfers, so what I do is I convert the clips in MPEG Streamclip to an offline format, like AIC.
The material is copied to disk 1 and handed out to the students.
They edit offline, I "backup" the offline project on disk 1 to another disk (disk 2). I'm using Media Manager Create Offline, changing sequence to the online one (Apple ProRes422, 48kHz/16-bit).
They continue to work at the sound on disk 1 as I'll online the video on disk 2.

How I do online (on disk 2)
I transcode the used clips with MPEG Streamclip, put them in a Online-folder and reconnect the clips with this Online-folder. All is done on my copy of the project file on disk 2.
I'll add Reel manually in FCP after or before this, (not really noticing where this should be done), all clips get the same reel number.
Most of the sound I already have, beeing the one organizing the material in the first place.
So far so good.

Color (on disk 2)
I'll duplicate the sequence, name it "Color", and the students sends this very sequence to Color, bringing at back after render, giving a sequence named "Color (from Color)", still everything looks fine.
I'll duplicate this sequence to "Master".

Sound (disk 1)
The students (depending on the relevance or should I say time, do the sound-work and mix either directly in Final Cut or in ProTools 9.
In this very case it's directly in Final Cut, which I suspect may have something do do with my problem.

They continue to work in a offline project on disk 1, the video-tracks being locked.
When they are done...

...I copy the sound-clips from the sequence (cmd-a) and paste this in to the "Master" on disk 2 sequence, and everything looks fine. (Of course I still have both disk 1 & 2 connected to the computer)
This way I'll have a copy of the entire sound-work rather then one exported file.

Now I end up with a number of sequences.

Color (from Color)

The bold one's are the ones I'll mark and Media Manage Copy for archive. (This way we'll be able to get back to a project in different critical places.)

As soon as this is done, and I open up a sequence from the new managed project, I've lost sync.

What I do know
In this cases, the students have used both 48kHz and 44.1kHz sound files.
Sorry to say I can't tell you if the problem is isolated to only this circumstances.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!


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Mathias Gruffman
Re: Audio out of sync after Media Manager
on Dec 8, 2011 at 4:12:37 pm

Sorry about my lengthy post, but I might as well ad some more info:

First of all, the work I'm doing is on a Mac Pro 4.1, 2xQuad-Core 2,26 GHz, 8 gig of RAM, GeForce GT 120.

The workflow does seem to work if I take Color out of the equation, but I'm not 100 percent sure, cause after several days in search for an answer I might going blind.
If I didn't says so previously, the sequence does not show it's out of sync.

So now I'm thinking it's either problems due to;

-Color (having read in other posts it's know for be buggy previous to 7.03).
-To slow drives (5200RPM?) (cheap ones)
-Students use audio both from DSLR and external CF-reader (choosing either that sounds best).
(I remember something about the internal DSLR-sound is buggy, but not experiences this problem before I changed to this workflow, having more or less ignored it, we sync manually anyway, using our eyes and a clapper)
-The mix between 44.1 and 48kHz (giving the problem ONLY when I Media Manage (not on export using QTconversion)

I now manually solved this partly so we can at least see the films without the sync-problem (mostly).
I open the Color projects, sending the sequence back to FCP, the Offline-project with the "final mix sound", copied the video and pasted it over the offline video. Seems to work ok. Even after export.
Still no way to archive the project though, and absolutely no workflow I would like to practice for other projects.


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