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LOUSY timeline navigation and playback (warning long detailed post) ?

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Mike janowskiLOUSY timeline navigation and playback (warning long detailed post) ?
by on Mar 31, 2016 at 11:42:54 pm

Hi all. Relatively new user to PP CC 2015, just switched from FCP7...and after three weeks of editing, watching training vids, and more editing, I'm ready to start asking questions about the finer points of working in PP CC.

The warning above was meant to convey that I want to be complete here, both with the description of my system, and the problems (or shall we say, anomalies) I'm having while working in Premiere timeline. The devil is in the details, as you all know.

Also, please note that I'm not at all interested in "you should get a Windows machine"-type responses. If you have something germane to Macs that works better on Windows (like a problem with Canon LUTs I just read about), that's great, I'm all ears...but trashing my platform and my previous tool of choice will get you nothing but trubba, brah. Also know that I've been editing with NLEs since Avid release 5.2.1...that would be 21 years ago. So it's not like I'm new to this business and it's trials and tribulations...

Right now, I'm mostly concerned with the system I must use at my major client's place of business...it's the legacy MacPro tower that I was running FCP7 on. Here's the System Specs:

screenshot2016-03-30at5.06.59pm.png [x]

We shoot, edit and deliver to WGN/Ch.9 in XDCAM EX 1080i60. At this juncture, I have two choices for media drives: a 4-bay LaCie RAID-0 unit hooked up via FW800, and the internal RAID set in the Mac Tower (3 x 1 gig, also RAID-0, used as the System Drive). I prefer to use non-system drives to hold media (best practice with FCP systems). I've got 13 of the 16 gig of RAM assigned to PP. I generally edit with Premiere, AE and Chrome open, and that's it. And, I've customized my edit workspace to a configuration that I like, and saved it as a new Workspace. I mention this because in earlier versions of FCP, deviating from the standard window configs could sometimes lead to performance anomalies...am I correct in assuming that that's not a concern with CC 2015?

FIRST ISSUE: Drives. The internal RAID is way faster, read-wise, than the external FW LaCie. But I just HATE the idea of system, app and media on the same drive. Is this a big issue with Premiere? Considering the relatively compact media (XDCAM) I'm using, is the FW800 bus fast enough to deal with my not terribly complex timeline (usually one layer, with occasional multi-layer comps, lower third keys, and a couple of mattes for segment transitions)?

SECOND ISSUE: playback is unacceptable, whether I use media via the FW drives or the internal RAID. I generally have the playback resolution set to 1/2, and yet I have stuttering, lagging playback, "late" video (eg, I know the cut should have happened but it's behind the beat of the music where I cut it). I also get random audio drops, both small (it just quits playing for a couple of seconds), and continuous (I hit the spacebar, hear audio for a second or two, and then...silent pictures...). This problem is exacerbated when playing over multi-track comps (when it chugs past the layers the video is way behind where it should be, I'm not seeing what I should be at that point in the timeline). At that point, I have to slap the spacebar twice, which stops, resets, and then plays properly...for a while, until it hits another spot where it starts to bog down again. Its playback performance is so poor that I can't review the project in Premiere with producers...I have to export a file and watch it in Quicktime in order to actually see what the show looks like. Surely, this can't be normal performance.

THIRD ISSUE: timeline operation is sluggish (so sluggish that producers can see it, and that's SLUGGISH!). There seems to be no rhyme or reason here...the "plus" and "minus" keys (to expand and contract the timeline) are, much of the time, bogus. I'll hit 3-4 plusses in rapid succession, to expand and focus on a small area...and the timeline expands a bit...then a b i t m o r e . . . then e v e n m o r e s l o w l y... In FCP, when I hit CMD-Plus and CMD-minus, the timeline opened and closed in sync with my keystrokes, there was no lag.

Other aspects of working in the PP CC timeline are equally annoying. Many times, I'll shift-click to lock all tracks...and can count to 5 before the locks lock. Or, even though I've shift-clicked, only the track I click on will lock, forcing me to click it many times before it finally deigns to lock all the tracks. Same performance problems exist when I try to select tracks...click, count to 3, THEN the track selects or de-selects. It's like the timeline buttons are made of molasses, and perhaps that's OK when you're cutting Grandma's 80th birthday video, but I've got a show to get out, and I need the timeline to respond.

FOURTH ISSUE: And this isn't a playback problem, per se, but an Export one. I can Export "directly" out of Premiere (by selecting the Export button) and get a fine looking/sounding file...but hitting "Queue", and exporting via the ME interface gives me a show which has strange audio "loops" (basically, the last second of audio as a segment fades out) in the black/slate breaks between segments. I've tried emptying the Media Cache db, as was suggested on a couple of forums, to no avail. One of the sales points of Premiere is the ability to Export in the background, so I can continue to work in the editor, so this is no small problem.

OK, I think that's enough for now. thanks for reading if you've gotten that far. I look forward to your responses.


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Tero AhlforsRe: LOUSY timeline navigation and playback (warning long detailed post) ?
by on Apr 1, 2016 at 4:09:50 am

Your screenshot doesn't work. I can run XDCAM easily on my late 2012 iMac so I'd guess there's something wrong hardware wise.


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Mike janowskiRe: LOUSY timeline navigation and playback (warning long detailed post) ?
by on Apr 4, 2016 at 2:50:16 pm

Hmmml...attempting to follow instructions again...



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Al LeVineRe: LOUSY timeline navigation and playback (warning long detailed post) ?
by on Apr 4, 2016 at 6:59:25 pm

Seems to be a bottleneck somewhere. It's hard to tell where exactly. Either in the OS (messy system, maybe you need a clean install), the hard drive or the memory.

Are you running a client monitor off an AJA card? What is your audio output set to? Options other than Built In Output often times can screw things up if not configured correctly.

Few observations:
• FW800 is pretty slow to be running media off of, but not impossible by any means. Maybe set it up to read off the FW drives but write (cache/render files) to your local drives.
• 16GB of ram is very low for a professional environment. FCP7 only used 4GB of ram, but Premiere will eat it all. Throw more at it. It's cheap.
• We had an editor on our show running 10.9 having very similar issues. He upgraded to 10.11 and his system is screaming again. But install more ram first.
• Your video card is pretty old and premiere loves a good modern video card.


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Mike janowskiRe: LOUSY timeline navigation and playback (warning long detailed post) ?
by on Apr 4, 2016 at 7:10:20 pm

AWESOME! Now this is advice I can take to the powers that be. thank you.


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Mark WhittleRe: LOUSY timeline navigation and playback (warning long detailed post) ?
by on Apr 11, 2016 at 3:23:03 am

OS on RAID 0? What happens when you lose a drive?

I would put the OS on an SSD all by itself. Re-format the existing internal RAID 0 again and keep your media and scratch files on there.

I'm running a stock standard (not a special Mac version) NVidia GTX970 card with web drivers in my 2009 Mac Pro. OK you lose the Apple boot logo but works great. I keep my crappy ol' GT120 card for when some random update breaks my nvidia drivers, I can put the old card in and install new drivers. Or you can buy a special Mac version of a modern GPU card. PPro needs lots of GPU horsepower.

I also have a Matrox MXO2 card but it is disabled unless I want to injest analogue video, or check levels on external scopes. Premiere runs faster without it and I feed my TV monitor via a DVI to HDMI adapter from the GTX970.

We are running Avid 8 on PC at one place I work, also via a MXO but Premiere 2015 on the same machine is very stop/start freezes all the time. PP2014 works fine. Avid MC8 is very stable but feels like a dinosaur compared to PP, especially now we are working with 4k source material.

In my own business on my old Mac Pro, PP2015 is the best version yet. Only get swirly beach ball delays in Multicam source sequences.


Also, if you only have 16GB RAM, quit AE and Chrome while running PP. Get more RAM if possible.

Good luck

Mark W.


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Tero AhlforsRe: LOUSY timeline navigation and playback (warning long detailed post) ?
by on Apr 11, 2016 at 8:49:46 am

[Mark Whittle] "OS on RAID 0? What happens when you lose a drive?"

RAID 0 means you get zero files back when it goes bad.


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Mike janowskiRe: LOUSY timeline navigation and playback (warning long detailed post) ?
by on Apr 11, 2016 at 2:03:01 pm

Thanks, this is good.


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Mike janowskiRe: LOUSY timeline navigation and playback (warning long detailed post) ?
by on Apr 11, 2016 at 2:03:29 pm

Shoulda said RAID 5.


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