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Can't get isolated audio channels, using XDCAM Transfer to import EX3 footage into FCP

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Sam Linder
Can't get isolated audio channels, using XDCAM Transfer to import EX3 footage into FCP
on Mar 12, 2012 at 6:12:51 pm

Hello All, this is my second post, so please bare with me as I try to provide enough info on my issue here.

Yesterday we shot with an EX3; audio was two lavs, one lav to channel 1 (left) and the other to channel 2 (right).

When I preview the footage in XDCAM Transfer, the audio reflects the above. But when the footage is imported into FCP, the audio has been mixed across the stereo channels, so that each channel contains both the left and right sources, preventing the isolation of the respective lavs.

I've searched the XDCAM Transfer settings, FCP settings, and the forums here and elsewhere. I cannot find "audio pass through" or similar settings in XDCAM Transfer, and neither can I find settings to remedy the issue in FCP. Most of the posts to the forums here deal with linked audio, and while I tried various solutions, the issue seems to be occurring at import, as the waveforms of each channel are aurally and visually identical upon import.

Has anyone experienced a similar problem and found a suitable solution?

Thanks very much.

Sam

FCP 7.0.3 / OS X 10.5.8 / MacBook Pro 2.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo / 4GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM


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Jerry Hofmann
Re: Can't get isolated audio channels, using XDCAM Transfer to import EX3 footage into FCP
on Mar 13, 2012 at 12:16:46 am

You sure the FCP clips are not just panned center?

Jerry

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Sam Linder
Re: Can't get isolated audio channels, using XDCAM Transfer to import EX3 footage into FCP
on Mar 13, 2012 at 4:07:33 pm

Hello Jerry, and thanks very much for your response.

The panning in FCP was the first thing I checked, but the fact that both waveforms looked the same (when I knew they were supposed to contain separate mic sources) tipped me off to the problem, initially.

I've since solved the issue, or rather, created a temporary work-around that will need to be refined when I have more time.

Because the audio was fine when previewed in XDCAM Transfer, and because the audio tracks were combined into two mono mixes immediately upon importing into FCP, it seemed liked the issue was with with the XDCAM Transfer settings. I tweaked the settings until the audio was imported correctly-- this involved unchecking the "MONITOR: 1/2" box and sliding the L/R fader to one side; Also, in XDCAM Transfer preferences, under General, I checked ALL the audio channel boxes ("1/2, 3/4, 5/6, 7/8"). Somehow this allowed the footage to be imported with the proper audio.

When next I import EX3 footage with different audio on both channels, I'll first do some test imports to see which of the settings results in proper import. I know the work-around above is by no means ideal, and that I'm having a greater issue of some sort that will hopefully be revealed when my proper settings are discovered. Will have to investigate further when time allows.

Thanks again.

Sam

FCP 7.0.3 / OS X 10.5.8 / MacBook Pro 2.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo / 4GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM


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David Safford
Re: Can't get isolated audio channels, using XDCAM Transfer to import EX3 footage into FCP
on Aug 2, 2012 at 3:00:24 pm

Hi Sam -

I tried what you suggested, and it didn't work for me. Have you figured it out in any greater detail since your post?

Thanks!


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David Safford
Re: Can't get isolated audio channels, using XDCAM Transfer to import EX3 footage into FCP
on Aug 2, 2012 at 6:37:54 pm

Nevermind. I just realized my transcoding software is the problem. Guess I'll finally start using Compressor.

- David


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Sam Linder
Re: Can't get isolated audio channels, using XDCAM Transfer to import EX3 footage into FCP
on Aug 2, 2012 at 7:55:48 pm

Have you been using MPEG Streamclip?

I too have been experiencing this on a recurring basis. Just when I thought it was fixed, the issue reappeared. Now it seems maybe MPEG Streamclip is the issue.

The audio channels are intact until transcoded with MPEG Streamclip, and after transcoding they become irreparably mixed.

As a work around, I have been transcoding with MPEG Streamclip, and then swapping the original, uncompressed audio into the synced timeline. This works for my projects because I have been working on sequences with one or two long clips; it would be a mess if there were many short clips.

Have you given it a try with Compressor?


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David Safford
Re: Can't get isolated audio channels, using XDCAM Transfer to import EX3 footage into FCP
on Aug 16, 2012 at 2:01:16 am

Yeah, I'm sticking with Compressor from now on since it maintains the dual mono tracks. The downside is that Compressor takes a REALLY long time in comparison to MPEG Streamclip, and I typically have about 10 hours of footage to transcode at a time. But I shoot in some pretty noisy situations, so it's important that I'm able to separate the lav from the shotgun.

If time is of the essence for you, I'd say just stick with what you're doing as long as it's working. Otherwise, you might want to switch to Compressor. I mean - I loved Streamclip until I realized it was turning my audio into stereo. It amazes me that a program like that wouldn't even give you the option of maintaining the integrity of the audio tracks.


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Robert Schmidt
Re: Can't get isolated audio channels, using XDCAM Transfer to import EX3 footage into FCP
on Jan 31, 2013 at 4:44:00 pm

Just had the same problem with Avid:

Trying to transcode XDCAM in MPEG Streamclip by using QT reference.
Stream Info always says "mono".

I changed my export settings in Avid to: Mixdown Audio Tracks: AIFF-C
Works!


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Kiersten Lane
Re: Can't get isolated audio channels, using XDCAM Transfer to import EX3 footage into FCP
on Jun 25, 2013 at 11:07:40 pm

Most likely a different problem than earlier described. But, my audio was echoing after xdcam transfer. Thought it was a problem with the transfer. But, It wasn't. It was a problem with Quicktime Pro player. It plays fine in FCP as well as Quicktime 7 and even preview. Took me a moment to figure out the problem. I should of checked the footage on multiple players before just assuming it was something wrong in the transcoding process. Hope that helps someone!


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