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BWF timecode wrong in Premiere Pro CC2015

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Neil SadwelkarBWF timecode wrong in Premiere Pro CC2015
by on Apr 11, 2016 at 2:34:49 pm
Last Edited By Neil Sadwelkar on Apr 11, 2016 at 2:35:24 pm

Discovered a setting ('Indeterminate Media Timebase') in Premiere Pro preferences, which, if not set correctly, can have disastrous implications when one is exporting an EDL/AAF/XML, particularly for sound post.

Basically, Premiere 'guesses' timecode of imported files if it cannot explicitly read them. Whereas, for the same audio files, AvidMC and FCP 7 correctly reports the original TC. So, even if your BWF files have timecode, if Premiere Pro cannot read them, (and if the above setting is set to a frame rate different from your original TC rate), then the media files in PPro in the project window as well as in the timeline, show a wrong timecode. Wrong start, wrong end and wrong in and out point as well. This carries through in the AAF/XML. So your ProTools session will be an adventure.

I was given a project shot on Alexa, with sound from a Zoom recorder. This timeline needed to be translated to Avid because the remainder of the edit was to be done on Avid MC. I tried export via AAF, but simply could not translate it correctly from PPro to Avid. Even tried porting to FCP 7 via XML, same result.
Video relinked fine. But audio, not.

What may have happened is that when the original BWF files were imported, that Premiere Pro system may have had this 'Indeterminate Media Timebase' setting set to (default?) 29.97fps. So, all the Zoom audio files 'reported' a 29.97fps timecode in the Premiere Pro timeline. The editor edited away, without noticing that the audio TC was not continuous but skipped a frame every three frames.

And this 'skippy' and nonsensical TC went out via the AAF and XML. So neither FCP7 nor Avid could relink audio.
But use this setting with care.

-----------------------------------
Neil Sadwelkar
neilsadwelkar.blogspot.com
twitter: fcpguru
FCP Editor, Edit systems consultant
Mumbai India


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