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Audio problems - changed in-out points opening on new machine (XML fix not working!)

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Stephen Kennedy
Audio problems - changed in-out points opening on new machine (XML fix not working!)
on Mar 18, 2012 at 7:49:52 pm

Hi,

I have a problem that a few people seem to have had. I recently moved a large project on to a portable HDD to open on a new laptop on the road. When I did, the audio is all messed up - the duration of each clip in the timeline is ok, but the in-out points have been shifted different amounts.
After a bit of research, I found that most people are using Matt Lyons tutorial to fix this: http://library.creativecow.net/lyon_matt/fixing-fcp-assets/1

I followed this tutorial exactly, but its not working.
The sequence setting Im using is Prores 422(HQ) 1920x1080 24p. Here are the precise and full settings:

Frame Size: 1920 x 1080
Editing Timebase: 23.98 fps
Field Dominance: None
Pixel Aspect Ratio: Square
Anamorphic 16:9: Off
Video Processing: High Precision YUV allowed
White Point: White

Compressor: Apple ProRes 422 (HQ)
Millions of Colors (24 bit)
No Data Rate Limit
No Keyframes Set
Quality: 100

Audio Settings:
16-bit 48.000 kHz Stereo

I made this the default setting (with the tick), and it seems to have worked, in that when I open a new project, the sequence is like that.
I exported the XML, closed project, closed FCP. Edited the XML to change all timebase to 24, and all NTSC to FALSE. Checked with another find, and those things have indeed been changed.
Then I open a new project (as per tutorial) and import the XML, but the sequence still opens with the audio having green bars and having the same problem as before. Additionally, the XML came in with errors, it said:

WARNING: Non-critical errors were found while processing an XML document. Would you like to see a log of these errors now?

Here is the log:

Sun, Mar 18, 2012, 15:04 - Errors Found Importing Edit 12.xml
: and mismatched. Data defined in element will be used.( line 65535 )
: and mismatched. Data defined in element will be used.( line 65535 )
: and mismatched. Data defined in element will be used.( line 65535 )
: and mismatched. Data defined in element will be used.( line 65535 )
: and mismatched. Data defined in element will be used.( line 65535 )
: and mismatched. Data defined in element will be used.( line 65535 )
: and mismatched. Data defined in element will be used.( line 65535 )
: and mismatched. Data defined in element will be used.( line 65535 )
: and mismatched. Data defined in element will be used.( line 65535 )
: and mismatched. Data defined in element will be used.( line 65535 )
: and mismatched. Data defined in element will be used.( line 65535 )
: and mismatched. Data defined in element will be used.( line 65535 )
: and mismatched. Data defined in element will be used.( line 65535 )


I cant find a way to see line numbers in Textedit, so Im not sure what these are referring to.
Anyway, if I export the XML from that sequence to take a look at it, it seems like all the timebases have been fixed to 24, but the NTSC has 125 TRUEs in it. Where have these come from?
Surely Prores has nothing to do with NTSC or PAL, so where is FCP getting this from?
Does anyone have any ideas?
Im at a critical point in the edit and the deadline is looming!

All help much appreciated!
Thanks,

Steve Kennedy


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Michael Gissing
Re: Audio problems - changed in-out points opening on new machine (XML fix not working!)
on Mar 18, 2012 at 9:37:51 pm

Lots of variables. How did you transfer the project and media? Straight copy or Media Manager? Is the media and the sequence 23.98 or 24? You mention both frame rates.

Is the audio double system or is the audio out of sync but the pictures OK. If double system what are the audio files? broadcast wav, wav, aif and are all sample rates 48khz and bit depth 16 or 24 bit only?

Also why are you using an XML? is it just to try and fix your project or are you going between different versions of FCP?


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Stephen Kennedy
Re: Audio problems - changed in-out points opening on new machine (XML fix not working!)
on Mar 19, 2012 at 2:29:55 pm

I didn't use the media manager, which is probably a mistake, but in 8 years of using FCP I've never had this problem before. Just copied all the files, opened up the project on the new machine and reconnected the media.
Im a bit confused about the whole 23.98/24 thing to be honest. If you set a sequence as 23.98 and export the XML, it comes out as 24 in the , so I was assuming they were interchangeable. The shift that is occurring in the audio files is pretty big, and wouldnt necessarily be accounted for by a mismatch between 23.98 and 24. On one audio clip the jump is about 15 seconds.
The audio is double system, and the files are 48 16 wavs from a Zoom.

The only reason I'm using XML is to try and fix this madness as per Matt Lyons tutorial.

I would have a crack at fixing this manually, but I cant even really see how I could - I have about thirty sequences referencing these audio files, some with many, many cuts. I've tried renaming the audio on the hard disk, and bringing it in fresh and reconnecting it to the clips, but the messed up in/out points remain the same.

Literally pulling my hair out over this.

Would really appreciate any help.


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Michael Gissing
Re: Audio problems - changed in-out points opening on new machine (XML fix not working!)
on Mar 19, 2012 at 10:41:26 pm

It is a weird problem. The audio should be already stamped with the correct frame rate from the original import and when synced.

If the audio files have been restamped with a different frame rate then that would explain the problem but I am not sure how that might of happened. The sync would then be related to how far from the head of the audio clip so it will not be a constant. So the project and media were copied and then the project opened and reconnected on the new machine. I suspect the easy setup was not set to match the sequence rate before opening the project. I must admit the XML fix in Matt's tutorial is one I have not had to do as I have never had a sync import problem.

Perhaps Matt can help? He is often on this forum.


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Stephen Kennedy
Re: Audio problems - changed in-out points opening on new machine (XML fix not working!)
on Mar 20, 2012 at 5:04:35 pm

I would love to get hold of Matt and get his opinion on this - I'm on his profile, but cant see any way to send him a personal message, does Creative Cow not allow you to send personal messages, or is it just buried somewhere?!
Im totally at a loss at what to do. The XML fix doesnt work (its adding NTSC to everything even though Im wokring in Prores - though I dont know if thats actually the problem or not), renaming and reimporting isnt working, starting from an earlier project isnt working... Aaaarrrgh!
Deadline looms, sound post-production and score designers are waiting for picture lock, and Im stuck here with a project i cant even use.
So ready to switch to Premiere.


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Matt Lyon
Re: Audio problems - changed in-out points opening on new machine (XML fix not working!)
on Mar 22, 2012 at 5:07:43 am

Hey Stephen, you found me!

I'll try to help but I'm not sure how much I can add. A 15 sec jump is more then I've ever encountered.

Do you still have access to the original machine and the original project files? Does the audio have the green bars on those projects? (on the original machine and original media drives)

If so, you'll probably want to fix the problem before you export and move to a new machine. I don't remember if I ever tested doing the XML while simultaneously moving a project to a new machine. I could see how that might blow FCP's mind though...

Also, if you are changing the NTSC TRUE flag to FALSE, but it is getting changed back to TRUE by FCP, then something is obviously happening to make those changes not stick. Since you are also getting those XML errors, you might want to scrutinize your XMLs and make sure you got the syntax EXACTLY right. Even a missing space could mess things up. And make sure you fully quit FCP and start with a new, empty project each time before you load your XML.

Another way to troubleshoot this might be (I'm just tossing out ideas here):

Let's assume the original audio was imported incorrectly at the very start of your show. In other words, the "DV NTSC 29.97" sequence preset was selected when the files were originally imported. (I'm probably getting the exact name wrong, sorry). You'll know this is true if you can open the files on the original machine and verify if the green bars are there.

So as an experiment, try reverting your FCP sequence default to "DV NTSC" on your road machine. Now open the project file (not your "fixed" xml).

Check the audio in and outs. Are they okay? If they are, and you have the green bars, you could now attempt my XML audio fix.

Anyway, hope this all makes sense ... it's late at night here :) Good luck!

Matt Lyon
Editor
Toronto


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Stephen Kennedy
Re: Audio problems - changed in-out points opening on new machine (XML fix not working!)
on Mar 25, 2012 at 12:36:40 pm

Hey Matt,

Thanks so much for responding to my madness.
I managed to get someone back in the UK to set up my computer for me and check the project was still working there (no green bars, no messed up audio) and then send the XML from that version of the sequence. Oddly, when I then opened the two XMLs side by side, they were pretty much identical: the working one had TRUE running all throughout it, so I could see that wasn't the problem, and the frame rates were the same in the messed up and correct version. Very strange.
But I did notice that in both versions the reference to the actual audio files was listing them as 25fps, so I just tried renaming the audio files and reconnecting them under a PAL easy setup. It worked, thank god.
Then I realised some of the audio files I had imported later in the project were still wrong, which was because about halfway through the project I had used an AJA IO to bring some stuff in at 29.97, so then quitting the project, setting easy setup to NTSC, and reimporting them seemed to fix that.
All working now, I think. And now I think I slightly understand the situation with this bizarre habit of FCP to 'timestamp' files, but can't really understand why Final Cut would do something so perverse!
Anyway, thank you so much for getting in contact and helping me.
I'll buy you a beer if I ever come to Toronto.
Cheers,

Steve


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Matt Lyon
Re: Audio problems - changed in-out points opening on new machine (XML fix not working!)
on Apr 2, 2012 at 11:31:22 pm

Hey Steve,

Glad it worked out and I'll happily accept a beer if you ever make it out here :)

The timestamping thing seemed to originate as a way to "help" the user by automagically doing audio pulldown for telecine'd film material. Given the headaches it has caused for so many users, I imagine Apple might have implemented this feature differently had they known. My speculation is that cameras like the 7D have increased the amount of people doing double system sound, which has probably caused a spike in users experiencing this problem.

Just out of curiosity, is there any reason in particular you are moving projects via XML, as opposed to plain old FCP project files? You probably already know this, but you could just copy and paste the relevant timeline into a new project and the file size will be pretty small.

Matt Lyon
Editor
Toronto


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