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Final Cut 7 stuttering playing prores 422 LT

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Aaron Fisher-Cohen
Final Cut 7 stuttering playing prores 422 LT
on Oct 24, 2012 at 12:25:02 am

Specs:
Mac Pro early 2008
Dual quad core 2.8
8GB RAM
Lion 10.7.5

Now that that's out of the way...

This is really frustrating. I have a project that's about 1TB in total, all in prores 422 (LT). From the time I launch FCP, I have about 5 or 10 minutes, give or take, before every clip starts skipping and stuttering to the point of unusability. I've checked everything I can think of. I'm not taxing my RAM, CPU, or HD. My scratch drive is a 2TB internal drive dedicated to scratch, so there's nothing else using it. I've tried shutting off everything else on my system but that doesn't help either. The only way I've been able to fix it is to restart FCP, but then it all just happens again. I've tried copying clips to other HDs when it starts happening, but I get the same result regardless. When it's working, I'm able to play a 2 angle multiclip perfectly, with the HD transferring at about 45 MB/s. Single clips usually are about 23 MB/s, but when it starts stuttering, Activity Monitor says it barely is able to go above 15.

Any ideas? This is driving me nuts.


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Aaron Fisher-Cohen
Re: Final Cut 7 stuttering playing prores 422 LT
on Oct 24, 2012 at 12:25:22 am

Another thing I just remembered. When the problem happens, I can still go into Finder and play the clips fine using quicklook.


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Chris Jones
Re: Final Cut 7 stuttering playing prores 422 LT
on Oct 24, 2012 at 1:07:55 am

This happens to me sometimes too. But I have to restart my computer to fix it. It drives me crazy.

I have an early 2009 MacPro with 8 cores. My RAM is a bit low though. Only 8 gigs.

I'm running Snow Leopard.

I hope someone knows the answer.


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Chris Tompkins
Re: Final Cut 7 stuttering playing prores 422 LT
on Oct 24, 2012 at 12:11:31 pm

While one HD will play those clips, you really should have a raid or at least a larger drive. As drives fill up, they slow down.

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Ryan Holmes
Re: Final Cut 7 stuttering playing prores 422 LT
on Oct 24, 2012 at 1:36:39 pm

[Chris Jones] "My RAM is a bit low though. Only 8 gigs. "

FCP7 is a 32bit app and can only take advantage of 4GB of RAM. The additional RAM will help if you have other apps open at the same time (Mail, Safari, Motion, After Effects, etc.). But as far as FCP is concerned it can only utilize 4GB.

As for your problem my first idea is how full is the hard drive where the media resides? More than half full can result in dropped frames. Secondly, how is the drive connected (internal, Firewire, USB, eSata)? Finally, is the hard drive part of a RAID enclosure or is it just a stand alone drive. While ProRes(LT) is a small data rate codec, the best way to handle any video is with a RAID setup. It guarantees the best read/write speeds compared to a single drive.

Ryan Holmes
http://www.ryanholmes.me
vimeo.com/ryanholmes


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Final Cut 7 stuttering playing prores 422 LT
on Oct 25, 2012 at 1:48:27 am

'Sup Aaron!

Have you tried trashing FCP preferences? If not, directions below:
http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1846

Do you have anything running in the background (like anti-virus software) or is spotlight trying to index the drive?




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Aaron Fisher-Cohen
Re: Final Cut 7 stuttering playing prores 422 LT
on Oct 25, 2012 at 1:59:38 am

Here's an update.

I bought a new HD today to test that. It's a WD Black 3TB 7200 drive. Should be no problem, but I had the same issue.

I've tried transcoding the original Prores LT 1920 file a couple different ways. I did some in Prores LT 1440x1080 and also in Prores LT 1280x720. To my surprise, the 1440 plays a lot better than the 1280 files even though the 1440 have almost twice the data rate. I'm getting really nervous and confused here because this shouldn't be happening.

Even when it's only music (AIFF 16bit 48k) without video in my 1920 and 1280 timelines I get the same stuttering.

More info: I tried importing the original 1920 files into FCP X and they seem to play better there. Unfortunately I can't cut in X because the client only has 7 and he needs a project he can open once he's got it.


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Aaron Fisher-Cohen
Re: Final Cut 7 stuttering playing prores 422 LT
on Oct 25, 2012 at 2:00:39 am

No, there's nothing in the background that would interfere with FCP.

Here's an update.

I bought a new HD today to test that. It's a WD Black 3TB 7200 drive. Should be no problem, but I had the same issue.

I've tried transcoding the original Prores LT 1920 file a couple different ways. I did some in Prores LT 1440x1080 and also in Prores LT 1280x720. To my surprise, the 1440 plays a lot better than the 1280 files even though the 1440 have almost twice the data rate. I'm getting really nervous and confused here because this shouldn't be happening.

More info: I tried importing the original 1920 files into FCP X and they seem to play better there. Unfortunately I can't cut in X because the client only has 7 and he needs a project he can open once he's got it.


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Chris Tompkins
Re: Final Cut 7 stuttering playing prores 422 LT
on Oct 25, 2012 at 11:44:44 am

How is the drive hooked up?
What else is hooked up?

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Aaron Fisher-Cohen
Re: Final Cut 7 stuttering playing prores 422 LT
on Oct 25, 2012 at 12:59:04 pm

My scratch drive is internal. I have 4 internal drives:

1 System Drive
2 Windows Drive
3 Scratch Drive
4 Media/Time Machine (Partitioned)

I also have a Drobo hooked up that I use only for backup for everything that Time Machine doesn't back up. (TM backs up my system drive and the Drobo backs up all of my editing media)

I've switched TM off while this whole thing is going on, just to be safe.

I experimented a little further trying to narrow down the issue and I'm starting to think that FCP maybe just doesn't like Prores LT at 1920x1080 59.94. I encoded some Prores 422 (not LT) at the same res and frame rate and it seemed to have less of a problem, even though the data rate far higher. That's one of the biggest mindf***s here is. It doesn't seem to be a data rate issue. Higher data rate video plays totally fine in some cases.

Lastly, I ended up editing in Premiere (which worked fine with the original video) and I think I'm just going to finish there and export XMLs for FCP. Then I'll try to figure out more.


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Chris Tompkins
Re: Final Cut 7 stuttering playing prores 422 LT
on Oct 25, 2012 at 1:30:46 pm

Is "3 Scratch Drive" where the files are?
Is this a 7200RPM drive?
ProRes LT is not very taxing, it should play fine even 1080/60i

How full is the drive?

Do you have an external FW drive to try?

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Aaron Fisher-Cohen
Re: Final Cut 7 stuttering playing prores 422 LT
on Oct 25, 2012 at 1:36:49 pm

It's a WD Caviar Black 7200 6Gb/s drive. Should not be in issue at all and like I said, I can play higher bit rate stuff from that drive no problem. It's only about a third full.

I do have a FW drive I can try, I'll do that when I have a chance.


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Aaron Fisher-Cohen
Re: Final Cut 7 stuttering playing prores 422 LT
on Nov 1, 2012 at 1:57:05 am

To anybody following this thread, I figured something out...sort of.

After editing in Premiere for half a week without any issues, I came back into FCP to try some things out. I noticed that even though single clips stuttered like hell, a two-clip multiclip played flawlessly. This obviously made no sense at first. Then, I wondered if Final Cut was automatically lowering the playback quality for the mulitclip, so I set the timeline to play at "medium" quality and, lo and behold, the single clips played fine, too.

So, even though I had my playback quality setting at "dynamic," I guess FCP didn't recognize that it had to play single clips at a lower quality. As soon as I forced it too, it seems to have worked.

I still think it should be able to play these clips at full quality without issue but this is good enough for now since I can't really visually tell the difference anyway.


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