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Some settings for broadcast in Final Cut pro 7

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Esther Casas
Some settings for broadcast in Final Cut pro 7
on Apr 14, 2014 at 10:43:57 pm

Hello everybody!

It will be my first time doing editing for broadcast and I have lots of new set up I have to make sure I do right before I start...I will really appreciate if some of you have the information to help me out with my doubts?

By the way, I decided to go with FCP 7 instead of FCPX because they also want the OMFs...and X can't create them yet. Do you think FCP7 is good for broadcast?

Ok, here my questions for master submission:

they ask for:

60 sec color bars and tone+slate+10sec countdown 2pop+ 2sec black+3sec video pad header at the 01:00:00:00 mark + film (starts at 01:00:03:00)+ 3 full second video tail + trailer(10sec black and silence)

my questions:

- The video has to be 1080i at 29.97fps, so in final cut 7, which color bars should I use? there are many, but the ones I think that match will be either there is the HD 1080i60 or the NTSC one? is it correct? which one is best?

-what is this "video pad, header and tail" exactly? just video on the same film track? not black?

- what exactly they mean with "trailer"? is just a black silent end?

- they want a 2pop "keyed" over my slate, with white circle, do you guys have a standard 2pop countdown for broadcast or know where I could find it?

THANKS SO MUCH IN ADVANCE EVERYBODY!!
Esther.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Some settings for broadcast in Final Cut pro 7
on Apr 14, 2014 at 11:35:23 pm

The 1080i 60 bars should be fine. By the mention of the word "trailer", those specs sound like they'd be for video that began its life as a transfer from film, i.e. a telecined film. If it's not from film, it sounds like you ought to begin the video 1:00:03:00... and black would be a good substitute for "trailer".

No mention of the duration of the slate; unless specified, 10 seconds should be good.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Esther Casas
Re: Some settings for broadcast in Final Cut pro 7
on Apr 14, 2014 at 11:41:10 pm

Dave, thanks so much, this is what I thought for trailer...they want 20sec slate..

Another question for you: they say they want a 2 pop countdown "keyed" into the slate....and beginning 10 sec before the program. What do they exactly mean with this? "key out" my countdown from background(?)or do they mean it to overlay? Not sure what is standard for broadcast for this..

Thanks again!!! :)


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Shane Ross
Re: Some settings for broadcast in Final Cut pro 7
on Apr 14, 2014 at 11:52:25 pm

[Esther Casas] "Do you think FCP7 is good for broadcast?"

Yes. Used it for 6 years cutting for broadcast.

Looks like Dave has your other questions well in hand, but I have one to ask you. Do you have an online editor for this? Someone skilled with delivering a show to the broadcast specifications of the network? That isn't some easy thing that anyone can do. Not only is there color correction (to make things look pretty, and match shot to shot), but also picture legalization...making sure the video levels fall within broadcast safe. If you've never done this...I suggest hiring someone to do this.

Because you mentioned OMF, I assume you are having the show mixed professionally...which is good. FYI, FCX can export OMF files...or rather the newer, better format of those called AAF...with the aid of third party plugins:

http://www.x2pro.net/

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Esther Casas
Re: Some settings for broadcast in Final Cut pro 7
on Apr 15, 2014 at 12:00:36 am

Hello Shane,

This is actually a program for PBS...a low budget one though, this is why I am doing this and not a super skilled in broadcast....So yes, I have to deliver what they want and they ask for OMFs, so I also assume that they have technicians checking my master for color and audio. the program on the link you sent (thank you)costs money...and as they don't pay enough...for now I will stick with FCP 7...

BUT, I have to mix the audio and add a color bar with tone on my monitor to make sure we are within their parameters...which is not the easiest thing to do if you have never done it before, this is why I am on this forum now...So my next questions are for sound....i hope you can help me on that too. I am going through all now and will post later my audio questions if you don't mind and think you can help?

thanks so much! can't do many things without this forum!!
Esther.


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Shane Ross
Re: Some settings for broadcast in Final Cut pro 7
on Apr 15, 2014 at 12:14:04 am

[Esther Casas] "This is actually a program for PBS...a low budget one though"

Local PBS? or National? Because PBS has some of the strictest broadcast specs around. They are often used as the go to standard when people ask for broadcast delivery. Because if you can meet their specs, you can meet just about anyones.

[Esther Casas] "so I also assume that they have technicians checking my master for color and audio."

Yes, that's called QC...Quality Check. And they are tough.

[Esther Casas] "BUT, I have to mix the audio "

YOU are doing the final mix? Or they are hiring someone to? You are beginning to scare me. If this is a local PBS airing, I'd feel more comfortable. I was able to squeak a show or two for air on Montana PBS by doing things myself. Back when we had AVR75 as a full res codec (Avid thing...and it wasn't all that high res). Trial by fire. Please tell me this isn't national, or big market.

As for sound, I have done my own mix, but only on promos where I received masters with fully mixed audio, broken into stems, so levels were already set and mixed to appropriate levels. That and I've done a fair amount of work on non-broadcast work to get my chops in. But I'm not a full audio mixer, and audio specs for network are beyond me, so I send it out.

Budgets that are too low to pay for proper online and mix to meet specs? Recipe for disaster.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Esther Casas
Re: Some settings for broadcast in Final Cut pro 7
on Apr 15, 2014 at 12:15:35 pm

Hello Shane! my fault writing it wrong...
I am NOT doing final mix...they are, but they ask for very specific set up for tracks and I am not sure what they mean, I am ashamed to ask them directly...this is why I am here.

If anybody knows what these specs mean, please do let me know, I have two questions for you:

1) AUDIO PHASING and SYNCH

Channel/track
1 stereo full mix left
2 stereo full mix right
3 stereo M & E left
4 stereo M & E right

"whether audio is delivered mixed or not, you must provide OMF files as well as separate and clean audio tracks for: band, vocal and dialogue

WHAT ARE EXACTLY M & E MEAN?
IS FULL MIX A TRACK WITH ALL OF THE tracks I HAVE TOGETHER?

I still don't have the audio actually, so I am not sure what will they be giving me, but once they are, the turnaround is very fast so this is why I ask now...Do you think I should ask what exactly they are giving me in terms of audio files so I can plan ahead?

2) time code (this is for camera operator, correct?)

"Drop-frame tiemcode SMPTE 12M must be present on the longitudinal track with identical VITC recorded as follows":

fORMAT: 480I
FIELD1: 16&18
FIELD2: 16&18(279 & 281)


I might be confused, but this is while recording, correct? the timecode they use for camara purposes?
does mine from Final Cut 7 has to match exactly this one I assume? they don't say...

Do you normally add one time-code on video when deliver broadcast? (sorry again if this is a naive question...first time, a but confused..)

thanks to all of you!


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Mark Suszko
Re: Some settings for broadcast in Final Cut pro 7
on Apr 15, 2014 at 2:45:13 pm
Last Edited By Mark Suszko on Apr 15, 2014 at 2:47:39 pm

As far as the 2-pop, what they are asking for I think is the way I do a slate, which is that the countdown appears ON the slate, in one corner of it. This goes back to the days of cuing actual tapes on reel to reel or cassette video decks. They roll the tape up to the 2-pop mark and park it there, so that when ordered to play, the tape starts in black and program begins 2 seconds later, giving the machine time to get up to stable playback speed. But if all you have is a slate, THEN a countdown, nobody knows exactly what's loaded on the machine, without rewinding it and reading the slate over. To prevent accidentally taking the wrong tape source live to air, better to see the slate and countdown simultaneous, dig?

More and more, at least for commercials and PSA's, I'm requested to not even do slates, countdowns, or even bars and tone anymore; where feeds are file-based, and sent by FTP, played off of servers, they just want one or two frames of black, the program, and a few seconds of black at the tail end, to cover the switch to the next source. This of course puts a lot more responsibility on the editor to get the levels right the first time, as there's usually no longer a dedicated tape op engineer adjusting those levels at the destination. So you're more likely to get a pass/fail as far as Q.C. because the facility isn't interested in spending their time correcting your mistakes.

For the audio specs, they want four independent tracks of audio: they want to be able to make alterations in level or content without having to un-do the rest of the audio mix.

M&E track I think might mean Music and Effects, but that's a guess.

They want the time code a specific way because that is how their automation handles cuing and sequencing playbacks. Everything in a TV station and network is tied to a master clock. Your final tape or file-based output can have any time code you want on it: the settings for it are controlled in your timeline preferences. So, set them to match what these specs want. If your first frame of video is supposed to appear at 1:00:00:01, By Farnsworth, it had better.


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Esther Casas
Re: Some settings for broadcast in Final Cut pro 7
on Apr 15, 2014 at 4:06:12 pm

Hi MARK, thanks for your answer!
Ok, so I will put the countdown over the slate. Clear now, makes sense.

Timecode, I know I can use the TCG or the TCR form Final Cut 7, but I am not sure what these settings mean? I have been searching only and can't really find what this means exactly, so I am not sure if my time-code will be the one they want? any idea? THANKS AGAIN!!!

"Drop-frame tiemcode SMPTE 12M must be present on the longitudinal track with identical VITC recorded as follows":

FORMAT: 480i
FIELD1: 16&18
FIELD2: 16&18(279 & 281)


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Mark Suszko
Re: Some settings for broadcast in Final Cut pro 7
on Apr 15, 2014 at 4:56:28 pm

When you make the slate, be sure the countdown part doesn't obscure any information.


They are not so much interested in the time codes of the sources in your timeline, but in the master timeline's own code itself, and more to the point, of the tape you output this program onto. You ARE putting this out onto video tape, right? Something like Digi-beta or D-2 or what? Or is it going onto a hard drive or into the "cloud" via FTP?

TCR is a time code READER, reading the codes of sources or the timeline. TCG is a Time code GENERATOR, and you can customize the time that it begins from in those settings in the control panel.


There are two basic "flavors" of Time Code: drop-frame, and non-drop-frame. Spend some time reading up on these in wikipedia later, but for now, they are asking for drop-frame time code, which adjusts the numbers on the timeline and master tape created by the "print to tape" command, so as to coincide with real time. Non-drop-frame TC will create a gradually increasing offset between what the time display for the timeline says, and what the real-time clock says. We don't want that to happen. For the OMF files to be of any use, the time codes on the master timeline and the master tape made FROM that timeline need to be exactly the same.

I wish you nothing but success, Esther, and please do't be insulted, because that's not my intention al all, but the fact you have these kind of entry-level questions suggests they've put you in the deep end of the pool and handed you an anvil to swim with. That's not fair to you. You need more training, without the deadline pressure, to do your job well, and I hope you ask them to get it for you soon.

Good luck!


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Shane Ross
Re: Some settings for broadcast in Final Cut pro 7
on Apr 15, 2014 at 4:59:12 pm

[Esther Casas] ""Drop-frame tiemcode SMPTE 12M must be present on the longitudinal track with identical VITC recorded as follows":

FORMAT: 480i
FIELD1: 16&18
FIELD2: 16&18(279 & 281)"


Wait...format is 480i? That's a DV format...standard definition. Do they want an HD master? Because you mentioned 1080i 29.97 at the start. What is the exact deliverable? Tape...what format? Tapeless Qt file...what format?

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Esther Casas
Re: Some settings for broadcast in Final Cut pro 7
on Apr 15, 2014 at 5:35:48 pm

Hi Shane,

I am getting video files from a Sony Handycam HD AX-2000 and I can deliver a digital file, AppleProRes (HQ).

This is why I am confused with this specs regarding timecode..
I already said it on my previous post, it is a very low budget for pBS, and this is why I am responsible, they told me I could ask them, but before, I like to make sure I understand what I am talking about...and here I am. SO I really appreciate you guys taking your time to inform me. I just need to breath not and not be stressed to keep moving forward...

thanks!


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Esther Casas
Re: Some settings for broadcast in Final Cut pro 7
on Apr 15, 2014 at 4:44:16 pm

Hi mark! i forgot to ask you something else, as you seem to know much more than me...

They talk about "video blanking" and ask for "horizontal blanking must not exceed the limits specified per SMPTE standard: 1080i(240M) maximum 3.94 usec

full-screen content should fill the raster in each field as shown:

1080I format and 21-560 for field1 21-560 (584-1123)for field2

Is this the information for the camera when recording on set? I am not sure if an editor has anything to do with video blanking? it is responsible of the camera operator, correct?

thanks again!!


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Mark Suszko
Re: Some settings for broadcast in Final Cut pro 7
on Apr 15, 2014 at 5:02:34 pm

Others with more insight should chime in, but regarding your blanking, etc. that's all part of defining the video spec for the signal. You monitor it using a waveform monitor and vectorscope display. If the pre-set for the project is correct, and the recording deck for outputting your master tape is set up properly, it likely will not be an issue. But that doesn't mean you should just ignore it. Your FCP 7 includes virtual waveform and vector scopes; though not as good as real external monitoring, they are better than nothing at all. You can look up detailed instructions online to learn how to use scopes to check blanking intervals on a video signal. USe the underlined part in your keyword search. Also be sure you know how to use those scopes to monitor your video signal for proper levels of brightness and colors, too. or the QC department is just going to kick the tape back to you as unacceptable.


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Esther Casas
Re: Some settings for broadcast in Final Cut pro 7
on Apr 15, 2014 at 5:30:45 pm

Hey Mark, I will look into this, thanks so much.

I am actually getting video files from a Sony Handycam HD AX-2000 and I can deliver a digital file, AppleProRes (HQ). If so, are these specs you are describing for video blanking the same? i guess is just for video input when i do log and transfer into final cut 7?

and yes, unfortunately, the bugdet is low and they asked me, I agreed, then later they sent me all this info, and is overwhelming, but not impossible...so here i am doing homework for all of this.

thanks so much!


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Shane Ross
Re: Some settings for broadcast in Final Cut pro 7
on Apr 15, 2014 at 4:56:52 pm

[Esther Casas] "Channel/track
1 stereo full mix left
2 stereo full mix right
3 stereo M & E left
4 stereo M & E right"


Channel 1 is the full mix left, channel 2 is the full mix right. Channel 3 is Music and Effects ONLY (No narration nor dialogue nor b-roll audio) Left,a nd Channel 4 is Music and Effects right. This means that they are expecting you (the company that is delivering the show), to do the mix. And then they want an OMF on top of that...so that they have all the separate tracks of audio.

This is a complex delivery. The OMF you can send of the timeline of your locked cut. But for the other deliverables, if you are doing the mix yourself on the timeline, you need to export each track separately (or in pairs). The first two are easy, the next to require that you mute tracks and then export. Then make a new sequence, bring in the exported audio, arrange them as requested.

[Esther Casas] "I still don't have the audio actually, so I am not sure what will they be giving me, but once they are, the turnaround is very fast so this is why I ask now...Do you think I should ask what exactly they are giving me in terms of audio files so I can plan ahead?"

What sort of program is this? Concert video? Documentary with b-roll and interviews...where you add music and sound effects? If the turnaround is VERY fast, then recording audio levels properly from the start is key. But you also then need to make sure the mix on the timeline falls within spec, and doesn't peak. Unless they have an audio mixer who'll do the final mix. If you aren't skilled with mixing audio on the timeline, for broadcast...it would be wise to hire someone for that.

[Esther Casas] "2) time code (this is for camera operator, correct?)"

No. This is for you...they are talking about the final tape delivery you are giving them.

[Esther Casas] ""Drop-frame tiemcode SMPTE 12M must be present on the longitudinal track with identical VITC recorded as follows":

fORMAT: 480I
FIELD1: 16&18
FIELD2: 16&18(279 & 281)"


Standard information for timecode to be recorded onto a tape. This happens when you black a tape, and then output the program. A capture card is required for this action...AJA, Blackmagic Design, Matrox, MOTU.

[Esther Casas] "I might be confused, but this is while recording, correct? the timecode they use for camara purposes?
does mine from Final Cut 7 has to match exactly this one I assume? they don't say..."


No...this is while outputting the master. They need the timecode track on the tape to match that of the sequence...which happens when you output the show to tape. If you've never done this before...you need someone to do it.

I hate to say this, but you might be in over your head. I'm not questioning your creative cutting ability. There are many a creative cutter who know darn little if anything about online and delivery. There are those that can do the creative, and the online and output. Typically what is seen where I work (Los Angeles), there's a separation between creative cutter and online editor and audio mixer. Those who can do all three are rare. Unless you have skill doing all three, I highly suggest you inform the producers of this, and make sure they get the proper people to do the final work. Because you want delivery to happen right the first time.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Esther Casas
Re: Some settings for broadcast in Final Cut pro 7
on Apr 15, 2014 at 6:17:39 pm

By the way Shane, this is great info!!! and I just wanted to reply specifically to each of this to confirm some stuff:

- when you say "full mix left or full mix right", do you mean all the way to R or L? I panned R and L before (-1), I just want to make sure this is what you mean?

- "Then make a new sequence, bring in the exported audio, arrange them as requested"
I got lost here: I understand the process of exporting OMFs, but what do you mean with this sentence? if the audio tracks are already arranged, why do I need to re-import again into a new sequence? and do you mean re-import as OMFs? could you pls clarify?

- " If you aren't skilled with mixing audio on the timeline, for broadcast...it would be wise to hire someone for that."

They say to put the audio waves at -20dB and -10dB maximum pick. I guess I just have to make sure the picks are not more than -10dB controlling t with the mixer in final cut 7, which I have done before. Is this what you meant?

-"Standard information for time-code to be recorded onto a tape".
no tape here...only HQ digital file delivery, so the Drop-frame tiemcode SMPTE 12M is info only if you print to tape. I will use a regular timecode for sync purposes on final cut 7, yes?

thanks so much Shane, that will be it to confirm my questions with you!
:)


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Mark Suszko
Re: Some settings for broadcast in Final Cut pro 7
on Apr 15, 2014 at 7:32:14 pm

Make the time code drop-frame for everything.


Also, fire the Producer of this project.


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Shane Ross
Re: Some settings for broadcast in Final Cut pro 7
on Apr 15, 2014 at 7:44:19 pm

[Esther Casas] "- when you say "full mix left or full mix right", do you mean all the way to R or L? I panned R and L before (-1), I just want to make sure this is what you mean?"

Yes...panned LEFT and RIGHT...all the way.

[Esther Casas] "- "Then make a new sequence, bring in the exported audio, arrange them as requested"
I got lost here: I understand the process of exporting OMFs, but what do you mean with this sentence? if the audio tracks are already arranged, why do I need to re-import again into a new sequence? and do you mean re-import as OMFs? could you pls clarify?"


They want a single QT file, with a stereo mix on 1 & 2, and M&E on 3&4. When you edit your project, you have audio on multiple tracks...and if you exported just that, you'd end up with a stereo mix on 1&2, but not the separate M&E on 3&4. Here's what I did when I was responsible for the final mix and audio embedding.

Cut normally. I do assign audio to specific tracks: Interview on 1&2, B-Roll on 3&4. SFX on 5-8, Music on 9-12, VO on 13. Or I might add in more tracks for SFX for a total of 17 tracks. Anyway....that's how I edit. Now I mix and get things just right

Now I need to export a QT with a stereo mix and M&E. So the first thing I do is export an AIFF of all my audio...as a stereo mix. FCP defaults to a stereo output. In the SEQUENCE SETTINGS, AUDIO you can see this. OK, now I have those stereo tracks. I now mute, or disable all the B-Roll and interview and narration audio. I export another stereo AIFF...this is my M&E.

I import those back into my project. Duplicate the sequence...and then you can follow this tutorial for what I do next:

http://library.creativecow.net/ross_shane/multi-audio/1

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Esther Casas
Re: Some settings for broadcast in Final Cut pro 7
on Apr 15, 2014 at 10:57:50 pm

Shane thanks so much! this is great :)
I will check the tutorial and get back to you. You guys deserve to know if i succeeded...

Thank you so much for taking your time to reply, really appreciated!!


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Michael Gissing
Re: Some settings for broadcast in Final Cut pro 7
on Apr 16, 2014 at 2:14:49 am

No offence Esther but the challenge of these deliverables is not for people who need to ask what Full mix and M&E means.

I strongly recommend you hand over the audio to an experienced person to tracklay and mix to those specs. Also you need someone to grade and online the video to meet tech specs. It is crazy impossible to give you years of technical experience in an online post. These are professional jobs that need the right equipment and experience. FCP7 can be used as a broadcast finishing tool as I have for years but in a facility with the right audio and picture monitoring and a knowledge of what these deliverable specs mean plus software outside of the NLE.

Once you have worked with professional finishing houses you will never want to try and finish for broadcast again.


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Esther Casas
Re: Some settings for broadcast in Final Cut pro 7
on May 1, 2014 at 7:56:06 pm

Hello Shane!

Just wanted to thank you again for your tips and your video tutorial, it
s been great and I was able to do everything right, so thanks again!

I only have a question for you, as I could not figured out yet:

I follow all your instructions in how to change sequence settings of audio output in final cut 7 to 4 audio outputs ( as I am asked to do 1 and 2 Master mix and M&E 3 and 4). I duplicate the sequence, I change the settings and every time I do, there is a message appears:

"The current audio device does not support the number of outputs selected in the Sequence Settings Audio Output tab. Unsupported outputs will not be heard during playback on this machine unless downmixed to Stereo.

[ ] Downmix all autputs to Stereo (toggle in Audio Mixer)
[ ] Do not warn again "

I have the latest Mac Pro(2.7GHz 12core intel)...and I checked online and many people told me to "ignore" the message. I actually do because it can export the audio tracks on each output I assigned them to and everything looks OK, did you ever had this message? I have no idea how to get rid of it...just wondering..

Thanks again Shane!


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