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Old July 17th, 2008, 05:38 AM   #1
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83 min feature - Soundtrack Pro?

I want to get peoples take on this workflow.
Our audio guy wants to work in STP for foly, mixing and ADR. Is this even possible for a feature. There are many things that I loath about STP but it integrates so well with the studio and will provide that final spits (for HD-CAM SR). Does anyone have any experience using this system for anything serious. Has someone sweated a feature with this app? What would you do if your project originated in FCP and your audio guy wants to cut in STp?
Thanks,
-C
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Old July 17th, 2008, 05:50 AM   #2
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All I will say is that we tried using STP for post sound and foley on a G5 for a 20 minute short and it crashed so much we gave up. I'm not sure what version of STP it was (or maybe it was just ST) but it's whatever version ships with Logic.

I ended up doing the post sound work straight in the timeline of FCP, solid as a rock.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 08:44 AM   #3
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I dont use stp as I find it too clunky, my workflow is final cut for track laying and rough cutting and then pro tools for final mixes and sweetening.

I then export the final mixes from pt and lay them back on the FCP timeline for final print.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 11:23 AM   #4
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I have used the latest STP extensively for both audio mixing and music creation.

Don't use it. Avoid it at all costs.

It's slow, buggy, clunky, bad interface, and is really designed for music creation, not audio mixing. I thought it was OK while I was only doing music stuff, but then started on with mixing and immediately decided to switch to Pro Tools. OMG Pro Tools. :) PT rocks.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 02:11 PM   #5
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I was disappointed by the lack of stability when "Soundtrack Pro" was upgraded to "Soundtrack Pro 2". But I very much needed the surround sound capability, so I didn't see a choice at the time.

I've been working with it since then, and yes, it crashes for no apparent reason every now and then or shows some other weird unexpected behavior. Still, all in all it helps me get the job done. Maybe the type of projects that I do and the workflow that I use just happen to make it less likely to expose its weaknesses, I really don't know. Maybe a few of the bugs have gotten fixed over time?

If I was forced to use something other than Soundtrack Pro, I'd probably use Logic instead. I already have it, and it, too, supports surround sound. As much as I'd like to play around with Pro Tools, a surround sound-capable Pro Tools system costs a LOT of money.

- Martin
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Old July 17th, 2008, 03:56 PM   #6
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What will my workflow be if I don't use STP? I mean, come on, it is so easy to integrate it from the "Send To" command. How else am I going to give my audio editor heads and tails on the audio (with "Send To" it link with the original audio click and allows heads and tails)?

If I were to use an audio app like Pro-tools, logic pro and/or cubase, what will my workflow be - bounce down single tracks to an aiff/wav file and then import in another edit. What about OMF for protools?

Ugh - I hate to say it but I may be force to stick with STP simply because of the "Send To" command. I don't want to export 40 hours of audio.
-C
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Old July 17th, 2008, 04:08 PM   #7
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Export OMF from FCP to pro tools and all you will get is the consolodated audio with extra handles that you can specify. I have tried STP and it just doesnt hack it for me as pro tools has way better editing and plug-ins. OMF from fcp to pt will give you the track lay as done on the video edit.

You can also export a guide quick time movie in Dv format and it will play with PT and the timecode timeline, I am using macs so I can also output the guide pic onto a big screen via firewire.

I use Pro tools LE 7.4.2 with the dv toolkit and even though you think stp will interface with fcp it is just so clunky compared to the FCP-PT workflow I use.

I also have broadcast PPM meters with pro tools so that all my final mixes are correct levels and is is very easy to re-sync the AIFF final mixes back onto the FCP timeline for delivery.

One other note to add is that pro tools can also work with virtual katy so if there are and re-edits the audio, automation and guide picture can be re-conformed to a different cut.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 10:07 PM   #8
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I'm glad (and unhappy) to read this string.

I feel pretty much the same way. I have even reached out to Apple on several occasions in a fairly nice way to offer them some insight on how what to do with Soundtrack Pro to make it less clunky, more intuitive; to bring it up to the level I perceive FCP to be. I get NOTHING back from them or snorts like who the heck am I to bring this up and nothing is wrong.

I went digital in my audio studio in 1990. I have used a bunch of different DAWs. I find audio in FCP is no walk in the park either, but I'm getting the work done. If I'm not working with video, I use PTLE; an 003R with third party preamps and A/D conversion. It really works for me.

If anyone from Apple gets this, again, STP (and the audio section of FCP) need work. I can help.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old July 17th, 2008, 11:59 PM   #9
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I sure hope Apple do get your comments Ty and I too was glad (and sad too!) to see this thread (having just paid out a shed load of money to get FCS2 and a MBP!!!). Obviously, I've just started learning STP2. Compared to the relative ease and intuitive user-friendliness I experienced with Sony's Vegas 7 etc. package then STP2 seems VERY clunky in places. I thought it was just me..... but obviously this is not the case - so I do feel happy about that!

A whole new ball game - but I will judge it better when I'm more up to speed as I'm determined to master it. I'll look at Pro Tools also I think.
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Old July 18th, 2008, 02:31 AM   #10
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Andy let me know if you need any further advice on PT as I have a fully working LE system with dv toolkit here.

One other important thing I use in PT LE is the PPMulator metering a bargain at £50 and essential for broadcast delivery :http://www.rawmaterialsoftware.com/ppm.php
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Old July 18th, 2008, 02:50 AM   #11
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I'm so close to buying FCS and this worries me that STP freaks out with audio.
Also large or long play times in the time line also crashes.

Simon
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Old July 19th, 2008, 01:34 AM   #12
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Thanks Gary for the kind off of help if I need it!
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Old July 27th, 2008, 12:37 AM   #13
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Admittedly, I've never used Soundtrack Pro for anything as long as a feature film, however I have used it for several small jobs, and not once has it crashed on me. I'll also admit, I'm not a full time audio mixer/editor, but as someone who spends a fair bit of time cutting together stuff in Final Cut Pro, I find that switching between Final Cut and Soundtrack to be a lot easier than switching between Final Cut Pro and Protools LE. This is not because of the workflow - as Gary said, the workflow between Final Cut and Protools LE is quite good once you invest in the tools (which are quite expensive!), it's mainly things like terminology and shortcut key changes. Although I have great respect for Protools (I've used it on several occasions now for various projects), and if I were SOLELY an audio editor I would stick with Protools 100% - but jumping from Final Cut to Protools LE is just too annoying! I keep on pressing all the wrong keyboard keys! Menus aren't where they would normally be in an Apple application. Yes - you soon start remembering where everything is again and you can just get on with it, but it's still annoying. And also, don't get me wrong - I don't think Soundtrack Pro is perfect. But considering it's price and it's amazing range of features (you can do some amazing stuff that you can only do in Protools with some really expensive plugins!), it's worth getting to know.

Obviously I respect the views and experiences from people like Ty who actually work with these various software packages on a day-to-day basis, but I also want to push the point that the latest version of Soundtrack Pro is still a great tool, and you can honestly get the job done using it. Sure it's not as powerful and well evolved as Protools - but I think if your someone who's primarily a Final Cut editor who's started doing more and more of the audio side (which is becoming a scary trend these days as budgets get smaller and less people are doing more things) then Soundtrack Pro is well worth investigating fully.

The main reason I'm posting today is to prevent other people from just skim reading this thread and instantly thinking that Soundtrack Pro is completely useless and a waste of time and money. It's not. It's a great tool. Give it a test run before you give up on it.

It's also important to note that although Protools LE is relatively cheap (and interfaces like the mBox are fantastic!) - by the time you add the other software tools that you need to get your timeline out of Final Cut and into Protools, it suddenly adds up quite dramatically.

Christopher, in answer to your original question, unfortunately I don't know anyone that's edited and mixed a whole feature using Soundtrack Pro. However, I do know many people and post houses that use Soundtrack Pro for high budget commercials and corporate videos. If you already have Protools, or another high end system in place, then obviously you'd use that. However, if at the moment you only have Final Cut Studio, then give Soundtrack Pro a test, and if it doesn't suit your working style, then start investigating other alternatives. Just keep in mind you can't just buy an mBox and have it INSTANTLY work with Final Cut Studio (you need the DV Toolkit, etc.).
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Old July 29th, 2008, 11:55 PM   #14
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I've tried to use Soundtrack Pro and Soundtrack Pro 2 and I figured something out: these applications are designed for doing awesome demos at trade shows. And sadly, that's it. In my experience they crash too much to be taken seriously. Maybe a future version will achieve some stability. But for now, stick with serious audio post production tools like Pro Tools, Digital Performer, or some of the other professional applications that have been used by professionals for years for editing and mixing audio. I can't believe Apple representatives can demo Soundtrack Pro 2 and suggest you use it on real project with a straight face. And this coming from someone who loves the Macintosh and edits with Final Cut Pro and LiveType and preparing DVDs with Compressor and DVD Studio Pro. All part of a stable set of tools. What's up with Soundtrack Pro? It's like a game of "who does not fit" among the Final Cut Studio applications. To be fair Soundtrack Pro has many wonderful features and a very clean interface and the idea of round-tripping w/ Final Cut Pro is wonderful, but it fails to work in the crucible of professional production.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 01:04 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Drews View Post
Our audio guy wants to work in STP for foly, mixing and ADR. Is this even possible for a feature.
I am curious as to why your audio guy wants to use STP.

Has he successfully used it before a project like you are doing?

The reasons he wants to use it and his experience (and success) with the program seems to be relevant.
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