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Two Sources of Timecode - drifting

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Corbin Crawford
Two Sources of Timecode - drifting
on Aug 16, 2015 at 5:50:47 am

Hi folks,

Something has been bugging me a while in FCP and now in Premier Pro and I'd like to see if you folk can help me nip it in the bud and be rid of it once and for all. I'll be as short and concise as I can:

I get sent films via an FTP (Fetch for Mac). The films are sent in reels, or a chopped up continuous timeline for ease of download. Each media file comes with a burnt in timecode or ft/fr count.

I set the timecode window for Premier Pro to match the starting timecode of the media clip I am working on: so for instance Reel 1 will start at 01:00:00:00 or 12+00. Reel 2 might start at 02:00:00:00 or 12+00 etc.

I click play. I start working. Pause. All of a sudden the timecode window in Premier Pro and the burnt in timecode on the media are displaying different values (off by 1 frame to start, then 2, then 3 etc).


The person who sends me the media claims that the burnt in TC window matches the source TC count. I can't explain where in the daisy chain of re-compressions this drift starts. When the client sends the material to person A, or when person A burns in a timecode and sends it to me. Sometimes clients send person A footage with a timecode window already burned in - and he sends it to me and it can also be out of sync.

I haven't been able to find the starting point for this drifting error.

When I plug the media into Premier Pro I tell Premier Pro to make a sequence based on the media properties. I am inclined to believe that Premier Pro has the correct timecode count and that either the burned in timecode is a different framerate (despite being told it isn't) or that there is a general gremlin in the media that borks stuff up.

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