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Compressor vs FCP for QT with 5.1 Surround

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Daniel Raim
Compressor vs FCP for QT with 5.1 Surround
on Mar 5, 2012 at 11:54:21 am

Hey All,

Can someone please advise me on the best workflow to get a QuickTime (ProRes 422 HQ 1920x1080 23.98) movie with 5.1 Surround form a FCP 7 timeline? The distributor needs the file to encode for online streaming and download for iTunes, Netflix, etc.

My timeline is set to ProRes 422 (HQ) 1920x1080 23.98. I have all 6 mono tracks (C L R Ls Rs LFE) set on the timeline. All the tracks are enabled (1-6) and I made sure Audio Output Tab is set to 5.1 / Dual Mono.

Do I need to down mix to -3db (in the Audio Output Tab) or leave it at 0db ?

Audio is config to: discreet channels.

Am I missing a step before export?

Can I simply send them a self-contained movie straight out of FCP, or do I need to export via Compressor with audio set to 5.1? Is there any difference between the two?

This VIMEO tutorial is what got me confused:

Thanks in advance!
Dan


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Daniel Raim
Re: Compressor vs FCP for QT with 5.1 Surround
on Mar 5, 2012 at 4:34:25 pm

Update: Our distributor is requesting a QT movie file. These are the specs:

Video:
ProRes 422 (HQ)

Audio:
Multi-channel AES3 LPCM (302m) - minimum 16bit, 48kHz:
Ch. 1 - Left , Ch. 2 - Right, Ch. 3 - Center, Ch. 4 - LFE, Ch. 5 - Left Surround, Ch. 6 - Right Surround, Ch. 7 - Left Total, Ch. 8 - Right Total

I think I'm on track now but I still have a couple work flow questions. I have 8 audio tracks on the timeline. Ch 7 and 8 is the stereo mix. I unlinked the stereo mix and hard panned Ch7 left and Ch 8 is hard panned right.

I'm still not sure about the down mix db....Do I need to down mix to -3db (in the Audio Output Tab) or leave it at 0db?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Dan


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Mark Spano
Re: Compressor vs FCP for QT with 5.1 Surround
on Mar 5, 2012 at 8:19:07 pm

To avoid confusion, I would output the audio from your mix as separate files, rather than grouping it in with the QuickTime. Make a video-only ProRes HQ QuickTime, and send along your mix as eight separate WAV files, all with the exact same starting point as your QT. This way you can label each one with the channel designation, and there will be no chance for them to be laid out incorrectly.

If you still want to output the QT with the audio tracks, line them up exactly as they asked for them (L/R/C/LFE/Ls/Rs/Lt/Rt). In your Sequence Settings / Audio Outputs tab, choose 8 outputs, all dual mono, don't worry about downmix. Right click on each track in the Audio Mixer and designate it to the proper output (A1 goes to 1, A2 goes to 2, etc.). Now when you export your Quicktime file, it will have eight mono channels, in the order you arranged them in FCP.



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Daniel Raim
Re: Compressor vs FCP for QT with 5.1 Surround
on Mar 5, 2012 at 8:31:15 pm

Thanks so much for the feedback, Mark!

Another quick quick questions: with all tracks set to dual mono I should set the Config to: Discrete Channels?

And what if I decide to to pair track 7&8 as "Stereo" - do I still set Config to: Discrete Channels or Channel Grouped?

Thanks again!


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Mark Spano
Re: Compressor vs FCP for QT with 5.1 Surround
on Mar 5, 2012 at 8:36:04 pm

[Daniel Raim] "with all tracks set to dual mono I should set the Config to: Discrete Channels?"

No - leave that at Grouped. Discrete is usually fine, but harder to test in QuickTime Player, so I leave it set to Grouped.

[Daniel Raim] "And what if I decide to to pair track 7&8 as "Stereo""

Don't bother pairing track outputs. When you're outputting QuickTimes it is best to leave them all set to Dual Mono, that way they can be recovered in the correct order at the destination.



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Daniel Raim
Re: Compressor vs FCP for QT with 5.1 Surround
on Mar 5, 2012 at 9:48:58 pm

Thank again, Mark. Just tested the QuickTime and everything seems to work great!


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Andrew Hecker
Re: Compressor vs FCP for QT with 5.1 Surround
on Jun 9, 2012 at 12:45:59 am

Let me re-address this. I'm doing virtually the same thing, FCP 7 timeline @ 24fps (let me be clear, its 24, not 23.98, nothing has 23.98 in any setting anywhere I can find) ProRes 422 1920x1080.

I've exported a .mov without audio I exported, first .aif files (my timeline mix has groups of discrete tracks for each level of the mix--I mute the ones not needed for each purpose track). I first a surround window in compressor. I started with the .mov file and "add surround sound" ended up with all the activity on a separate track. Frustrated with getting a new window, I tried to link the video back to that track "add video" but it would not accept the .mov file because it didn't have audio. For some reason its not as basic as it looks and I don't know why. So I came here.

So this recommends exporting .wav files and doing it in FCP. So I put the .mov into a FCP timeline. I let it use settings that match the clip. First I dropped in an .aif file. Funny, the .aif, made from the same time line DOES NOT sync with video. I have sync marks at the start and end, the audio is short by 5:12 over (slightly over) an hour and a half program. The video file matches the length of the original file exactly. .wav files created from the same timeline do the same thing and needless to say, the resultant lipsync is gone. I haven't even gotten to trying to make 5.1 with this craziness happening.


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Subrata Sen
Re: Compressor vs FCP for QT with 5.1 Surround
on Jul 9, 2012 at 7:52:23 pm

This craziness keeps on happening to me all the time, and I have to stretch the sound by slowing it to 99.9% and only then it matches. Any plausible reason from anybody?


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Subrata Sen
Re: Compressor vs FCP for QT with 5.1 Surround
on Jul 9, 2012 at 7:54:35 pm

This craziness keeps on happening to me all the time, and I have to stretch the sound by slowing it to 99.9% and only then it matches. This 99.9% thing


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Andrew Hecker
Re: Compressor vs FCP for QT with 5.1 Surround
on Jul 9, 2012 at 8:45:22 pm

99.9% or whatever estimate you make to this is not mathematically accurate for syncing 5.1 sound with lipsync. This stuff should be an exact frame accurate match. That's technically how all sound works, two files, the video frame sequence @ frame rate, displayed with a sound file at whatever data/sampling rate.

By the way, the only solution I found to this sync issue was to export each track with a video track tied to it. For 5.1 that was two stereo pairs and two mono tracks. That will copy and paste directly into the timeline in sync. Once I assembled the tracks I was able to export the .mov file with 5.1 in tact.

Curiously, even after creating a proper audio track tied to video, you cannot separate the two, like extracting or copying and pasting. That will result in a 23.98 audio track again. So to me, this seems like a flaw in the QT time flag--a design error.


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Michael Gissing
Re: Compressor vs FCP for QT with 5.1 Surround
on Jul 10, 2012 at 12:00:59 am

Once again the FCP frame rate stamp feature bug is biting. Once you pull a wav or aif file into FCP it stamps a frame rate based on your current Easy Setup NOT your sequence settings. This sync bug is so common that it often comes up here a few time each week so search for Matt Lyon's tutorial on how to fix or prevent the bug biting.


If the aim is a quicktime with picture married to the PCM tracks then you have to use FCP or Quicktime Pro to marry the audio tracks with a quicktime video without audio


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Andrew Hecker
Re: Compressor vs FCP for QT with 5.1 Surround
on Jul 10, 2012 at 1:33:32 am

Add to that, I have changed the Easy Setup settings to 24p and it still imports stills as 29.97. It ignores its own settings. The real bad part about this is that no developer will ever be able to fix this.


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Subrata Sen
Re: Compressor vs FCP for QT with 5.1 Surround
on Jul 11, 2012 at 6:08:42 am

I have arrived at 99.9% exactly from this aspect which you have pointed out. And getting perfect lip sync. Somehow, despite the FCP timeline showing 24 fps, I have this feeling that the video runs on 23.98 fps, and the audio takes the 24 fps normal route. To match, the audio has to be stretched like this: 23.976 divided by 24 into 100. This comes to 99.9% and the audio matches beep to beep.
I have a feeling that either this is a bug in FCP or maybe I have put some selection in FCP on, which goes for preserving the camera metadata, ignoring the timeline settings. Have not been able to figure out yet. Any clue to solve this?


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Subrata Sen
Re: Compressor vs FCP for QT with 5.1 Surround
on Jul 11, 2012 at 6:21:49 am

@Andrew: It's not necessarily true that you have to export the video and sound together. If you export the video and the sound tracks separately in 24 fps (after matching the sound with 99.9% stretch) they will match in a non-fcp platform (for example in soundscape or protools and also in all cinema platforms like DCP and DI platforms where sound and picture need to be separate for cinema projection). The picture in cinema platform will run in 24 fps, despite the FCP's anomaly of running it in 23.98 fps and hence the audio goes perfect lip sync with 24 fps video out. I had just completed my feature film and figured this out with lots of sleepless nights.
If you are not going into cinema platform and will stay in video platform only, you can do the following: give the output of the video track and the audio tracks separately in 23.98 fps. Now they'll match after you import them back in FCP timeline.


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Michael Gissing
Re: Compressor vs FCP for QT with 5.1 Surround
on Jul 11, 2012 at 6:27:22 am

Did you check the frame rate that FCP has stamped on the audio file? Changing the speed doesn't fix the feature/ bug but it corrects the error.

If you want to fix it and have it reliable for all frame rates in FCP then follow the details in Matt Lyon's tutorial.


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Subrata Sen
Re: Compressor vs FCP for QT with 5.1 Surround
on Jul 11, 2012 at 6:55:48 am

Yes, the FCP even after stretching shows 24 fps. Even the video shows 24 fps.


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Paweł Gładys
Re: Compressor vs FCP for QT with 5.1 Surround
on Apr 26, 2013 at 1:58:21 pm

Use AIFF insted of WAVE. should work.


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