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FCPX External monitoring.

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Roger Poole
FCPX External monitoring.
on Apr 21, 2017 at 12:17:11 pm

Having recently adopted FCPX after too many years with FCP legacy, I'm wondering if anyone out there has a successful external monitoring solution for FCPX 10.3 (El Cap)
I'm on a cheesegrater Mac Pro with a Blackmagic Decklink Studio 2, which works great in FCP7. I monitor out from the Decklink via HDMI and analogue audio 1-2 to the mixer which outputs to a pair of Yamaha Monitors. Everything is good. Video quality is spot on, likewise the audio. Everything calibrated correctly.
However, with FCPX things are pretty abysmal. There is no control panel within FCPX other than AV out, on or off. I tried just about every Blackmagic driver released over the past two years, to no avail. The video quality on the external monitor is terrible and when paused steps back a few frames. when still the picture snaps sharp but not as it should be.
The more I have dug into this problem the more I see others with similar problems, to which there seems to be no solution. Blackmagic support have been very - well, supportive, but nothing seems to work. Also I have read of AJA users having problems with FCPX. For now I have removed all BM drivers from the FCPX boot disk and have to work without external video and use system sound for audio output. Fortunately I have FCP7 on another boot volume and have all the in's and out's I could wish for interfacing nicely with all my external hardware. Is this too much to ask of FCPX?


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Oliver Peters
Re: FCPX External monitoring.
on Apr 21, 2017 at 12:38:29 pm

Good luck. External monitoring in FCPX feels like an afterthought. You will have much better results with AJA, however in either case, you'll have better luck with other apps. But, FCPX takes care of a lot of the scaling "in app" before sending video to the third party unit/card. So in some cases you get better results. For example, 4K timelines, scaled and played out in HD. If your hardware can support the throughput, then X handles this more seamlessly than others.

Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Roger Poole
Re: FCPX External monitoring.
on Apr 21, 2017 at 3:52:18 pm

Thanks Oliver, that's what I feared but I'm hoping someone has found a way to do it.


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Andy Neil
Re: FCPX External monitoring.
on Apr 21, 2017 at 6:02:07 pm

I used to have a pretty good solution with My AJA Kona Lhi, but in the newer versions of FCPX (10.2) and OSX, I've lost external monitoring completely. I'm not sure what people use these days.

Andy

https://plus.google.com/u/0/107277729326633563425/videos


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Noah Kadner
Re: FCPX External monitoring.
on Apr 21, 2017 at 6:48:35 pm

Is that card still shipping? If not a bump up to a newer PCI card from BMD may make a difference.

Noah

FCPWORKS - FCPX Workflow
FCP Exchange - FCPX Workshops
XinTwo - FCPX Training


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Jeff Kirkland
Re: FCPX External monitoring.
on Apr 21, 2017 at 9:08:05 pm

I'll be the first to admit that my external monitoring needs aarent that demanding but I'm perfectly happy with either a straight HDMI output from my Mac or via a Blacmagic Ultrastudio Mini Monitor.

Playback is fine using either method even from 4k timelines and colour accuracy is pretty much indistinguishable between them, although I'm sure if I were a professional colourist I might be a little more picky.

The mini monitor drivers have been known to be a bit buggy but I haven't had a single BMD driver related crash since I did my annual clean install over the Christmas break so they seem to have gotten things back on track - in my experience at least.

----
Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer & Cinematographer
Hobart, Tasmania | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Jiri Bakala
Re: FCPX External monitoring.
on Apr 21, 2017 at 9:09:22 pm

This seems to be a problem. I am on the 'garbage can' Mac with an external chassis and BM 4k card and all is well in DaVinci, FCPX can "see" the card but only outputs black on the external monitor. Annoying. Has anyone actually figured out how to externally monitor from FCPX?


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Roger Poole
Re: FCPX External monitoring.
on Apr 22, 2017 at 12:21:12 pm

Thanks everyone. Noah, yes the studio 2 has been superseded by the 4k version but when going to FCPX with the current drivers installed I am prompted to update the card firmware, so the Studio 2 is still supported by Blackmagic. Other niggles I have are that Apple have still not included bars and tone for output calibration. I got around that by stealing them from fcp 7 and they work perfectly in X, the reference tone showing exactly -12 on the FCPX meters. However, the output from the card is peaking on my mixer when the sliders are set to zero and my PPM's light up like a Christmas tree. Reducing the output levels to -4 gives me PPM4 and zero on the mixer. Likewise the video output is too hot and when playing out bars the colours are correct but the pluge bar stands out like a lighthouse. All in all pretty useless if I can't rely on my monitor for CC and sound mixing. For now the Blackmagic drivers are removed and my studio periferals lay unused by FCPX, which is not ideal and not how I want to work, Thanks also for the AJA suggestion which was my thought​ too, but going into various forums it seems there are problems with AJA and​ FCPX also, the common denominator here seems to be Apple. I really like FCPX, it has some amazing features but accuracy is fundamental if my stuff is going to look and sound right on other people's displays.

Best, Roger.


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Duncan Craig
Re: FCPX External monitoring.
on Apr 22, 2017 at 8:53:48 pm

I'm using an Intensity Pro in my Hackintosh, it's been running now for almost 5 years. HDMI to a large monitor and analogue audio to a mixer and speakers.

In order to change the available settings for the card you need to open the BM preference pane which is in the main OS System Preferences. Do this with FCPX closed. Adjust your frame rates and resolutions here. When you reopen FCPX it will use whatever settings you've used in the preference pane.

Since updating to 10.3 I've found scaling of a 4k project to my 1080p monitor to be much more responsive.

FS100, EX1, GoPro, 2x Hacks, FCPX etc


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Eric Santiago
Re: FCPX External monitoring.
on Apr 23, 2017 at 3:24:32 pm

Intensity Pro as well as the Extreme3D+ worked for a long period of time with FCPX.
I haven't updated that cMP to 10.3.x yet so I think Ill venture soon.
I try to keep some workstations at lower versions due to older projects.


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Duncan Craig
Re: FCPX External monitoring.
on Apr 23, 2017 at 3:56:06 pm

I've just checked Sierra 10.12.4 along with FCPX 10.3.2 and monitoring through my Intensity Pro is still working fine.

FS100, EX1, GoPro, 2x Hacks, FCPX etc


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Roger Poole
Re: FCPX External monitoring.
on Apr 23, 2017 at 11:52:34 pm

Thanks for the suggetions guys, I do have an Intensity pro somewhere. I'll try to dig it out and give it a go, but I'll have a problem with the audio because everything here is wired balanced XLR, even the Yamaha HS5's are balanced only, no RCA connectors. Nevertheless I'll be delighted if I get good video monitoring with the Intensity Pro, then figure out the audio later.
Duncan, yes I'm aware of the Blackmagic control panel in system preferences, but I find it sort of dumbed down from the version used in FCP7 where video monitoring is as sharp as a tack and everything just works very well, hence my frustration with X. Thanks for your input though.

My quest continues.


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Bret Williams
Re: FCPX External monitoring.
on Apr 24, 2017 at 1:02:26 am

Do you perchance have your timeline set to "better performance?" You keep talking about sharpness and that's not an issue I've heard of anyone having.

_______________________________________________________________________
http://BretFX.com FCP X Plugins & Templates for Editors & Motion Graphics Artists


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Roger Poole
Re: FCPX External monitoring.
on Apr 28, 2017 at 12:51:53 pm

When I say sharp I mean that viewing the output from the Blackmagic card in FCP7 I can see every hair on a dogs back. In FCPX, same card, same cilp, I can see on the video monitor, which end of the dog has teeth . Having said that, a GoPro clip on FCP7 shows moire on masonry, both on the computer display and the video monitor. In FCPX, same clip, the moire is not there on the computer monitor, so something good is going on. Thanks for your input though.

Best, Roger.


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Bret Williams
Re: FCPX External monitoring.
on Apr 28, 2017 at 1:11:37 pm

You didn't answer if your timeline is set to best quality or best performance. Additionally, moire is a fields problem, or a scaling problem. You can set the FCPX canvas to show both fields or not. Plus you may see a moire pattern if you're not viewing at 100%.

_______________________________________________________________________
http://BretFX.com FCP X Plugins & Templates for Editors & Motion Graphics Artists


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