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Problem switching among views in multiclip in timeline & viewer

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Edwin Adkins
Problem switching among views in multiclip in timeline & viewer
on Mar 25, 2012 at 4:02:02 am

Hi,

I'm trying to edit a music performance with 6 HD camera angles in FCP 7.0.3 using multi-clip for the first time, and having trouble. The media is 6 X HD (prores 422 (LT); 1920 x 1080 -- the browser says the data rate is 12.2 MB/sec) and it sits on a G-tech GSPEEDQ, 7200 RPM, 4 TB RAID5 (I think it's RAID5, but not 100% sure) external drive connected with eSATA. The drive is about 2/3 - 3/4 full. I'm using a MacbookPro (2.66 Ghz intel core duo, 4 GB ram). I'm seeing three problems:

1) I can switch among angles 1-4 during playback, but when I switch to 5 and 6 both simply show as black -- but I know there is underlying media, b/c when I stop playback, the correct frame for either angle will suddenly appear.

2) After a bit of playback time, problems develop in both the video and audio (stuttering, freezing entiely, or audio plays while video freezes)

3) If I set the Viewer on 4 angles up, I can watch them okay, but if I change to the 9 angle view (in order to see all 6), then the image freezes soon after starting playback.

So... from scouring the forum posts, I am guessing that this is an issue with my hardware. I don't think it's the sequence settings, since the media plays fine for some angles, for a while, then stops. But I've tested many sequence setting (RT is now at Unlimited, and frame rate is quarter, playback video quality is Low -- I've tried both on Dynamic, as well. I've even tried using the keyboard shortcuts instead of the multiclip button controls over the timeline. Nothing makes a difference. And the difference between what I'm seeing and other posts is that I never get dropped frame warnings, just stuttering and problems with playback.

If it's hardware, I'm guessing that it's more likely the drive than the processor. At 7200 RPM and with eSATA, the only thing I can think to change is how it's striped. Is the difference between RAID 0 and RAID 5 really dramatic in terms of performance? or is the GSPEEDQ just not a great drive? When I shop online for drives, the data rate is not always stated clearly, making it difficult to go spend $300-500 without knowing it will solve the problem. I also don't think it's processor/RAM, but I guess it's a possibility.

Any suggestions are most welcome. I'm totally new to multiclip, and have learned most of my troubleshooting so far from this forum!

Thanks,
edwin


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Edwin Adkins
Re: Problem switching among views in multiclip in timeline & viewer
on Mar 25, 2012 at 12:53:15 pm

Update: I used media manager to reduce the project to about 750 GB, moved it to a Glyph 1TB drive (7200 RPM, RAID0, tried both FW800 and eSATA cables) and FCP multi-clip is still behaving *exactly* the same way: won't switch to angles 5 or 6 of the multiclip.

If neither the connection (FW800 vs. eSATA) nor the drive (Glyph RAID0 vs G-tech RAID5) make a difference... I'm kind of lost. As I said, I've tweaked the Sequence settings (RT, playback quality, etc.) and still no luck. It's interesting that I never get dropped frame warnings...

Hoping someone has insights...

edwin


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Jerry Hofmann
Re: Problem switching among views in multiclip in timeline & viewer
on Mar 25, 2012 at 1:25:19 pm

Sure sounds like a hardware problem to me. It's likely that the drives aren't keeping up, the RAM is filling up, or the graphics card isn't up to the job.

Start by testing how fast the drives are performing. AJA and Blackmagic Design both have free drive speed or system speed utilities. You can download them free from their sites. AJA's is called System test I think.. downloads with their drivers which have an uninstaller. They need to exceed the data rate of all 6 cameras combined.

Jerry

Apple Certified Trainer, Producer, Writer, Director Editor, Gun for Hire and other things. I ski. My Blog: http://blogs.creativecow.net/Jerry-Hofmann

Current DVD:
http://store.creativecow.net/p/81/jerry_hofmanns_final_cut_system_setup

8-Core 3.0 Intel Mac Pro, Dual 2 gig G5, AJA Kona SD, AJA Kona 2, Huge Systems Array UL3D, AJA Io HD, 17" MBP, Matrox MXO2 with MAX - Cinema Displays I have a 22" that I paid 4k for still working. G4 with Kona SD card, and SCSI card.


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Edwin Adkins
Re: Problem switching among views in multiclip in timeline & viewer
on Mar 25, 2012 at 2:30:07 pm

Hello Jerry,

thanks for your attention to this. I've downloaded and run the AJA test tool on both of my drives, on various settings and found:

Using eSATA: write speeds are typically 90-95 MB/s; read speeds are typically 110-120 MB/s
(the numbers are more like 70 write, 80 read using FW800)

If my ProRes files are 12.2 MB/s, it would seem that the drive throughput should be okay (6 x 12.2 = 73.2 MB/s), particularly on eSATA.

I don't know how to test the processor or graphics card...

edwin


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Edwin Adkins
Re: Problem switching among views in multiclip in timeline & viewer
on Mar 25, 2012 at 9:49:01 pm

Hi again,

Still confused about this one. I've learned one thing: I had switched off the warning about drop frames. After switching that back on, I'm seeing: a) I am dropping frames, and b) RT Extreme attributes it to drive speed. But my AJA tests seemed to indicate that it was NOT drive speed/throughput. Am I misunderstanding what the numbers mean? 12.2 x 6 should be about 73 MB/sec. My AJA tests for my drives with eSATA show a *minimum* of 90 MB/sec, but it's typically more like 110 to 120 MB/sec. Are the AJA tests not as meaningful as one might guess? Do you need a very fast system with a very large margin of error (a factor of 2 or 3)? Or, if as one post said, the fact that the drive is reading from multiple places on the platters to read 6 angles simultaneously, performance will be lower than throughput tests would indicate?

I even went to Tekserve here in NYC, and was told some typical things: 4 GB is the most FCP can use (so upgrading to 8 GB won't affect performance); I should erase user preferences and see if that helps; and I may be looking at time to get a new machine (i.e., the processor's too slow).

Since RT Extreme is telling me it's the drives, I guess I need to take that line of troubleshooting as far as I can (at least before buying a new machine). I see a couple of options:

If I need a new drive, can someone suggest something that is very fast (faster than Glyph or G-tech) and can run on a MacBookPro?

If I need to recreate the project with media with a much lower data rate -- I've never done this -- can someone suggest a few key settings?

If all else fails, I can just limit my multiclip to 4 angles, and stack the other two on the timeline. Kind of brute force workaround, but I guess if that's how it has to be...

thanks,

edwin


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Jerry Hofmann
Re: Problem switching among views in multiclip in timeline & viewer
on Mar 25, 2012 at 10:43:47 pm

Your drivce speed is low if the drives are stripped in an array... they should be clocking a LOT faster than that. Are the drives in the enclosure just separate drives? or does it appear in the finder as a single drive?

Sounds like they aren't in an array... just a bunch of individual drives.

Jerry

Apple Certified Trainer, Producer, Writer, Director Editor, Gun for Hire and other things. I ski. My Blog: http://blogs.creativecow.net/Jerry-Hofmann

Current DVD:
http://store.creativecow.net/p/81/jerry_hofmanns_final_cut_system_setup

8-Core 3.0 Intel Mac Pro, Dual 2 gig G5, AJA Kona SD, AJA Kona 2, Huge Systems Array UL3D, AJA Io HD, 17" MBP, Matrox MXO2 with MAX - Cinema Displays I have a 22" that I paid 4k for still working. G4 with Kona SD card, and SCSI card.


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Edwin Adkins
Re: Problem switching among views in multiclip in timeline & viewer
on Mar 25, 2012 at 11:24:00 pm

By "a LOT faster", what do you mean?

Hopefully I can answer you well enough...

I have two... I'll call them "boxes" (maybe "volumes" is a better word?):

one box is a G speed Q, 4TB, RAID5. It has 4 x 1 TB individual drives within a single box, and it appears in the Finder as a single drive. While using this one, I first started seeing the problems with the multiclip function. I re-did an AJA test on that, "sweep video frame sizes", and got 95 -110 MB/s write, 120-130 MB/s read (using eSATA); the I re-did the AJA test, set to "Disk read existing file" and got about 120-130 MB/s

the other is a Glyph Portagig 62, 1 TB, RAID 0. It has two disks within a single box, and it appears in the Finder as a single drive. The Glyph Manager software that comes with the drive says it checks out okay. I used Media Manager to copy the project over to this drive, while reducing the total project size. I did the AJA test (sweep video frame sizes) and got pretty much the same results (105-110 write, 110-125 MB/s read). With the AJA test "disk read existing file" I got 105-115 MB/s.

Sorry if this is too much info. I'm new to these throughput problems, so I'm not sure what's useful or not...

Thanks again,

edwin


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Edwin Adkins
Re: Problem switching among views in multiclip in timeline & viewer
on Apr 10, 2012 at 1:12:33 am

An update -- with the solution: The files had to be divided between different DRIVES. Using a single RAID wasn't working. Instead I had to move half of my video files onto a separate RAID, with a separate eSATA conncection. I still don't know exactly why: whether it was that the drive heads weren't able to find files fast enough, whether it was the eSATA card I'm using, whether it was something else... but taking 3 of my 6 video files and moving them onto a separate RAID enclosure with a separate eSATA is working. So I'll have to buy another drive, but it's better than buying a entirely new system...

Thanks to Jerry for the insights, and hopefully this can help others.

Edwin


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