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Subclips losing unique timecode

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Tory Stewart
Subclips losing unique timecode
on May 18, 2012 at 2:49:27 am

I'm working on documentary footage shot on the Canon T2i. The shooter recorded one wireless lav and a shotgun mic using the Zoom H4n recorder fed back into the camera. As usual the audio tracks on the video footage are buzzy and blown out so I'm syncing with Plural Eyes, merging the video with the synced Zoom audio, and subclipping from the merged clips. I've done this before without incident, but this time around I noticed that the timecode on the dual recorded audio tracks resets to start at 00:00:00:00 at the beginning of each subclip instead of retaining its unique timecode. The video tracks retain their timecode.

This behavior is limited to subclips that are composed of either one or both tracks of a stereo track generated by the Zoom (STE-000, 001, etc). It does not occur with subclips composed of tracks recorded by the Zoom in 4 channel mode or by other recorders retain the separate unique timecodes of the video and audio tracks.

I'm having no trouble match framing from the re-timecoded audio tracks to the sources file so I'm wondering if this is in fact a problem/anomaly, if so why it is happening, and if it means I'll have trouble generating OMFs down the line (or if that is always a hazard when working with subclips).

Any help would be much appreciated!


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Jerry Hofmann
Re: Subclips losing unique timecode
on May 18, 2012 at 12:32:40 pm

Did you transcode the T2i footage to ProRes before you edited?

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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Tory Stewart
Re: Subclips losing unique timecode
on May 18, 2012 at 1:06:34 pm

Hi Jerry,

Yes, all footage in the project has been transcoded to ProRes 422 before syncing with the Zoom tracks.

Tory


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Jerry Hofmann
Re: Subclips losing unique timecode
on May 18, 2012 at 1:36:05 pm

And the audio file format recorded was? Maybe if you export the audio files to aiffs? Might preserve the timecode.. wav files seem to do odd things so I've always transcoded them to aif's first.

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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Tory Stewart
Re: Subclips losing unique timecode
on May 18, 2012 at 1:40:05 pm

The audio files are 48kHz 16-bit wavs. I'll try batching exporting to aiff and see what happens.

Tory


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Jerry Hofmann
Re: Subclips losing unique timecode
on May 18, 2012 at 1:45:31 pm

Before you spend a lot of time.. just try it on few clips first.

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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Tory Stewart
Re: Subclips losing unique timecode
on May 18, 2012 at 3:33:04 pm

Exporting to aiff worked! I'll do the same for all zoom recorded stereo tracks and all audio from now on.

Follow up question: I have been editing with a ton of subclips with synced audio in wav format that has retained its proper original timecode. Should I export all those wavs as aiffs and reconnect all existing subclips to the new files just in case?

And finally: I wondered if there's any way to export a batch list of a bin of subclips that contains the timecode and source information of all the component tracks of the subclips? I have batch lists of all my synced and subclipped dailies bins but realize that if I ever want to capture from those they only reference the video files and not the synced audio tracks. I'm not anticipating this being crucial at any ponit, just curious if it's possible.


Thanks so much for your help on this Jerry!


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Jerry Hofmann
Re: Subclips losing unique timecode
on May 18, 2012 at 6:11:21 pm

Not sure you need to export the clips that are working OK. Can't say why they worked and others didn't though.

The batch lists of subclips is certainly possible, but I'm pretty sure it won't track the audio's TC... XML export might, though I know just enough about that to be dangerous. Maybe someone here's done it already...

You're merging these clips, right?

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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Tory Stewart
Re: Subclips losing unique timecode
on May 18, 2012 at 7:51:23 pm

Yes, merging clips before subclipping.

I've exported batch lists of the subclips for my own organizational purposes but was thinking that if I ever wanted to compile a list of selects from those, import the list to FCP and capture the clips, the clips wouldn't have the appropriate audio. I'm not sure what would be gained from compiling a Batch List in Excel rather than simply using the "find" function in FCP, other than that as the number of project files increases the "find" function becomes less efficient unless all projects are open all the time...


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Jerry Hofmann
Re: Subclips losing unique timecode
on May 19, 2012 at 2:32:05 pm

Only way to really tell if your workflow will work for you is to try a few clips all the way through the process. Subclips usually don't present any problems, but merged clips might have some problems. If all of the audio is aif, I think it will go better in the end.

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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Tory Stewart
Re: Subclips losing unique timecode
on May 22, 2012 at 4:20:30 pm

That leads to another snag: The majority of the audio for the project was recorded as 6-track polywavs. I synced the polywavs to the video, merged clips, and subclipped from the merged clips. The polywavs will not export to aiff. What do you suggest?

From other posts on the board I gathered that this was the recommended workflow for dual recorded audio: sync -> merge -> subclip -> edit. Should I have isolated the tracks of the polywavs first? What is the best way to deal with the clips I have already merged with the polywavs and begun editing?


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Tory Stewart
Re: Subclips losing unique timecode
on May 22, 2012 at 4:23:30 pm

To reiterate: the polywavs do not lose their timecode when I create subclips, the only clips that lose timecode are the stereo wavs from the zoom.


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Jerry Hofmann
Re: Subclips losing unique timecode
on May 22, 2012 at 7:30:55 pm

I think you've run into a bug or at least an unsupported "feature"... I hate to say it, FCP and wav files are hit and miss I think.

Are you having to mix both the stereo and poly files in the same clip always? could you add the stereo stuff later or?

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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Tory Stewart
Re: Subclips losing unique timecode
on May 23, 2012 at 3:56:10 pm

Further tinkering has revealed that the problem does not seem to have to do with wavs vs. aiffs after all! The audio tracks only lose their timecode when made into subclips if they were not recorded with time of day timecode.

Example of what I might be looking at: Twenty video clips shot on DSLR with unusable audio and two very long wavs recorded on the Zoom H4n while camera was rolling, leaving me with tons of audio that has no matching video and no time of day timecode. I sync the video to the audio with Plural Eyes, delete the bad camera mic tracks, arrange the zoom tracks the way I'd like them to be (ie lav on track 1, shotgun on track 2) trim the edges of the clips, link the video to the audio, lasso the clips in the timeline and drag into a bin called "Merged Clips."

Rather than work with the merged clips, which typically have a ton of excess audio hanging off the sides, I was advised to make subclips from those merged clips and work with those instead. Each time I make a subclip that includes audio from these tracks, the timecode of the Zoom tracks "zeroes out" at the head. For example, if I have an audio clip that starts at 00:00:00:00 and syncs up with video at 00:00:21:04, as soon as I subclip from the merged clip that track of audio lists 00:00:00:00 at the head of the clip instead of 00:00:21:04. If I option-command-F from the subclip, it does match me to 00:00:21:04 in the original audio file. If the zoom audio was recorded with time of day timecode, the tracks do not "zero out" at the head of subclips, whether those are wavs or aiffs. They retain their time of day timecode.

This whole issue doesn't affect my editing process so much as it makes me concerned about whether it will lead to any trouble in the finishing process. When I export an EDL of sequences that include these "zeroed out" subclips, I get an error message saying that the sequence contains clips that don't have timecode, and those clips always are listed as starting at 00:00:00:00 in the EDL. If I export EDLs that include footage from the merged clips, I get the same message but the "time code" for those clips is correct in that at least it lists the proper point in the wav file.

Is there any remedy for this? Should I work with the merged clips instead? I thought I had my workflow down with the merging and then subclipping but encountering these problematic audio files has thrown me for a loop.

Thank you!

Tory


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Jerry Hofmann
Re: Subclips losing unique timecode
on May 23, 2012 at 4:52:23 pm

Sure is weird..

I'd not worry about the problem if you're going to finish it all on the same station without having to actually use the EDL's. If you export to soundtrack pro for a finish is there a problem? likely not...

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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