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Old September 2nd, 2009, 11:25 AM   #1
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6.5 vs 2 or 3.0...please don't laugh..tks

Well... I confess because of the ease and straightforwardness of 6.5 I use it to slice & dice imported footage and also for audio enhancement. It's what I'm used too!! 6.5 is where I started using Premiere. BTW, I use versions 2 and 3 for the rest of the process.

Now for my basic question in regards to audio enhancement.

With 6.5 there is a section where one can:

a) mute channel
b) swap channels
c) copy 1 channel to the other side (right to left and vice versa) which has no audio
d) convert/transform a stereo channel to mono or vice versa

Where are the equivalent tools found in the higher pro versions?

OK, have a good laugh now at my expense.

Thanks Gents!
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 02:14 PM   #2
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First of all... I am a CS4 user and you should be laughing at ME.

The functions you describe are all available and in the Audio subsection of the Effects. There is "Fill Left", "Fill RIght", "Swap Channels", etc.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 02:38 PM   #3
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Well Marty... I certainly hope your closing statement does not mean that CS4 is adding grey hairs to your head because its giving you a lot of trouble! Personally, I already have way too many of them. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

As you may or may not read in one of my other threads, I'm trying a very crippled trial/demo version of CS4 which does not show any MPEG functions, setting or parameters at all!! Go figure because that's what most of us need.

Would you mind telling me what you think of the quality of the MPEG encoding and possibly sending me clear screenshots of the settings,parameters and ranges to I can visually see what CS4 offers in the MPEG arena? Hope that was asking for too much,however I like to know what I'm getting if and when I decide to upgrade in the future.

Thanks for your consideration and help,

Bruce
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 03:01 PM   #4
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Hey Bruce.... CS4 is a real trainwreck for me, made even worse by the difficulties encountered by Cineform with full implementation of their great codec.

Workflow with CS4 is very cumbersome compared to earlier versions. For example, to simply grab a still frame, you must go through a render queue process which launches Media Encoder, which is now a separate program.

Render times are much slower as well.

Having said all that.... I do like the ability to queue renders, but beyond that, I haven't realized any advantage over CS3.

So far as MPEG is concerned, I've never used Main Concept.... I typically would render out to a Cineform HD intermediate, or an uncompressed SD intermediate, and then do my final outputs in TMPG Enc.

So far as the settings and parameters of the MPEG output module within Media Encoder, all looks the same as CS3 to me, but since I don't use those functions, I could be wrong.

In addition to all the boilerplate settings (size, pixel aspect, etc), you can set encoding for variable or constant, manipulate those amounts in minimum, target, and maximum (in the case of variable), there are GOP settings, and advanced settings which include:

quantization
buffer size
noise control
color primaries
transfer characteristics
matrix coefficients

and more.

A screen cap would be possible, but much of what you are probably curious about takes a lot of scrolling.

My guess is that there is no difference in the Main Concept features in CS4 from CS3.

Having said that, I always achieved superior results with TMPG Enc. It's great, reasonably fast, versatile, simple interface, and only $100.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 06:05 PM   #5
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Hi Bruce,

I second Marty's take on the MPEG workflow
(Cineform -> TMPGenc; Procoder is a good alternative; forget Premiere).
On a different note: I jumped only last year from 6.5 to CS3,
and I went through the same kind of head-scratching
over those audio manipulations you mentioned. Other than that,
CS3 is now working pretty reliably (it took some OS tweaking, of course),
and - after having read a gazillion posts on CS4 - I decided that
my next jump will not happen before the launch of CS6 Service Pack 2...
So, be reassured:
nobody - NOBODY - is laughing at you & your wisdom.

Best

Vasco
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 07:58 PM   #6
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Please, if I may relay why I’m searching for the best possible “budget” MPEG-2 encoder and whether CS 4 will suffice or even be an reasonable improvement over CS2/3:

I head a volunteer video ministry which most the time consists entirely of myself. I
record the church service where I attend with 2 (SD) Canon GL-2 cameras (that’s all I’ve got as I pretty much fund the whole endeavor as well) and after a lot of work it gets broadcast on local public access TV several times per week. The problem is even though I give them an MPEG-2 dvd compliant file on dvd encoded with either the CS2 or 3 encoder at the very highest possible quality settings and rendered to the max bit depth, when broadcast it looks fair to mediocre at best because they put the file through further processes which absolutely denigrate/degrade the quality to a marked and significant degree. Don’t ask me how… but they somehow manage to butcher the quality and what the viewer sees!

To clarify, when I state “highest quality settings” I mean just that. For example:

a) Two pass VBR
b) Encoding rate is 9.00 (as high as you can go) for min, max and average.
c) The "slider" is on 5 for the highest quality

It’s interesting that from the input I’ve received respondees don’t seem to care for the Adobe Media encoder or do not use it at all choosing instead to use other sources for the encoding part of the workflow. If I may ask, since Cineform and to a lesser extent procoder) is (for me anyways) on the expensive side, I’d be very interested to trial TMPGEnc and evaluate that program/solution.

Which version or flavor do you use and what encoding settings do you use? I tried the TMPGEnc 2.5 “free” version which won’t open up any of my .avi files to process which the reason behind it is a mystery to me.

The cost is in the doable ballpark comparatively speaking if it’s a good, solid solution which will yield superior results to CS 2 or 3.

Also, can you feed into TMPGENC the contents of an Adobe timeline and how is that achieved? I know zero about frameserving if that’s the term I should be using here.

Lastly I was wondering about rendering and encoding times. Is this a “it takes all night” type application? Most of my project timelines probably average around 45-50 minutes.

You know, somewhere online I read about some setting in the export window on a drop down contextual menu where you had the opportunity to select/tick-off "the highest possible quality" or something like that.

Vasco, you got me curious. What did you do to tweak the OS to your performance satisfaction & liking? What OS are you using? And yeah.. CS6 "service pack 2 " is not coming anytime soon!

Anyone, please feel free & welcome to join in the conversation and share your knowledge, experience and expertise.

Thanks!
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 08:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Pelley View Post
Vasco, you got me curious. What did you do to tweak the OS to your performance satisfaction & liking? What OS are you using?
Vista 32:
a) disabled SuperFetch
b) installed CleanMem
c) set IncreaseUserVa to 2560
Does it make sense?
I don't know; probably not, but it works for me.

Now, my question #1: since you say you shoot
with two GL2s, why do you use CF? Am I missing something?

Question #2: wouldn't your public access guys
accept a miniDV, or a plain USB key with an AVI file?

Anyhow, re: TMPGenc
Here's a nice discussion of TMPGenc's settings:
DVD-HQ : Configuring TMPGEnc for high-quality DVD-compliant MPEG-2

Hope this helps

Best

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Old September 2nd, 2009, 10:42 PM   #8
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Hi Vasco

Sorry, but what does "CF" mean? Did you mean Cineform?
To my knowledge Cineform costs a lot more than I can justify at this point in time considering:

1) I've been umemployed long term and
2) I'm just a small guy doing this for free for my local church as a volunteer with most of the resources (aka cash and equipment)coming from my own pocket.

The prices on their website ranged from $499 to 1,499.

What product of theirs were you using?

Thanks for the tutorial link which is appreciated.

Regrettably due to their processing once they get their hands on my program, I would not dare give the local access guys anything but the following otherwise the end result would be a nightmare qualitywise as seen by the cable audience. Hence I encode at the highest possible settings becaus ei know from experience that it only goes downhill fast from there!

1) Plain dvd complete wth structure and hiearchy like one would expect (vobs/ifos and the like) or:

2) A dvd with an Mpeg-2 dvd compliant file on it.

Yes, I could give a tape or an avi file howevr if I entrusted the rendering and coding to them the end result would be poor as they are not as concerned about quality as I am.

BTW, which version of TMPGEn do you use as there are several to choose from.

Do you use TMPGEn Express, plus or the free version?

The running score seems to be Premiere 0, TMPGen 2!!

Regards,
Bruce
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 09:56 AM   #9
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Hi Bruce,

in a nutshell:
1) I mentioned Cineform (CF) only because you
brought it up in an earlier post
(BTW: I use Prospect HD4 to edit my HDV stuff),
but as long as you stay with SD (standard def) you can completetly
forget about it and save the money;
2) since you shoot SD, your workflow should be pretty straightforward:
capture into Premiere -> edit -> export to whatever you need;
3) and that's why I'm suggesting you deliver to your PA guys
a plain and simple AVI file; ask if that would work for them;
4) if I were you (i.e. working with SD)
I'd still be using Premiere 6.5: there's nothing wrong with it,
it does the job & it's pretty stable; if you want to minimize
anger & crashes, it's probably a good idea to stay away from CS4;
4) if you'd rather go the DVD route, get TMPGenc 4 XPress ($100)

Hope this helps

Best

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Old September 3rd, 2009, 10:15 PM   #10
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Hi Vasco,

Well, since I don't own the full fledged version of CS4 I'll believe you that it crashes and work is lost which is exactly what happens with Premiere 6.5 which I've used for years so I can't say which is more stable at the moment. Very frustating and makes me angry when it happens several times during 1 editing session.

6.5 is what I'm used to for the editing and cutting part which for the most part works fine.

However, that being said... the titler, the improved media encoder and the quality of the rendering is compelling for using CS2 or 3.

I'll give express a try in the near future.

Thanks for you input.

Bruce
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Old September 4th, 2009, 08:36 AM   #11
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Bruce,

at the very beginning, my 6.5 on W2K used to crash fairly often
- it ran coupled with a Canopus DVRaptor card
on an OOOOOLD ('04) Pentium computer with only 1GB RAM,
which I still use as a backup for short, SD and audio-only projects -
until I did some tweaking
(don't remember exactly what, but if memory serves,
I believe it involved shutting down a number of unnecessary services;
I'm sure on the web you'll find old tweaking suggestions for 6.5).
Then it behaved, with a caveat:
the titler has alway been a problem, causing a number of crashes.
Try to look for those tweaks: they might make your day!

Now I'm using CS3, and it's acceptably stable
(<1 crash a day).
But before opening the (new, improved) titler,
I ALWAYS hit the SAVE button. And I constantly monitor resource usage.
And (as prevously stated) I installed CleanMem,
which flushes the RAM every thirty minutes or so.

Again: SD-only shouldn't be a problem

May I throw in a suggestion: are you sure
you wouldn't get more mileage
(and likely more stability) out of Premiere Elements?
Just a thought...

Best

Vasco
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Old September 4th, 2009, 12:33 PM   #12
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Bruce, I'm afraid you're digging in the wrong direction.

If the DVD you supply to the TV station looks fine, it really is not your fault that the picture is bad when transmitted. You should investigate with the video engineers at the station why is that happening.
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Old September 4th, 2009, 01:09 PM   #13
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Bruce,

I second Ervin's suggestion.
Just FYI:
we've edited a number of short & long documentaries
on Premiere 6.5 (SD PAL):
they've all been aired by Swiss Public TV on prime time
w/out any complaint whatosever;
some have been aired several times as reruns
(we delivered first on miniDV, then on full-size DV tapes)

Best

Vasco
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Old September 4th, 2009, 06:17 PM   #14
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Sorry Guys!

I've travelled that ground before on and off repeatedly throughout the course of time and when the subject is brought up are either clueless, mystified (and admit it) or they aren't telling what causes it if they know. I go down to the cable station while it is showing and point out things to their attention so they can see for themselves.

Of course I can't make up with encoding, no matter how good for whatever happens once the program is in their hands.

And please don't get me started on the audio which is my biggest headache of all...

The volume of the master track is normalized and leveled/evened out on each individual segment to the extent possible tediously by hand and you know what happens? The viewing audience can't hear it (worse case) or the volume on the TV has to be turned up 75% of the way to the top so it can sorta be heard.

The joys of life I guess!
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Old September 4th, 2009, 08:26 PM   #15
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A couple of things come to mind

First of all, how does the quality of your show compare to other shows aired by the station?

Second, do they accept any other delivery format? Some stations would take a DV tape... maybe that would work better for you too.

And lastly, how is your relationship with the station? Maybe they intentionally mess up your video/audio because they don't like the content of it... just speculating here...

Did they give you any technical requirements? Bars/tone at the beginning, required audio level, text/graphics no brighter than 80% white... this kind of stuff. Without these, there is no way they can calibrate their machines to show good video...
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