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Old June 20th, 2002, 05:11 PM   #1
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Thinking about buying Avid DVX

I'm trying to put together a small production studio and am looking at an Avid express (3?) workstation. I'm also looking at the Canon XL1S camera. Has anyone experienced audio problems on Avid with the XL1? My supplier mentioned something about audio syncing problems. I'm not terribly savy in the audio department so am a bit lost. The Avid website mentions capture problems but I'm assuming it occurs when using the XL1 as a feeder deck or source deck. I didn't see anything about audio.
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Old June 20th, 2002, 08:27 PM   #2
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Hi Becky,

On captures longer than 5 to 10 minutes the audio can get out of sync with some NLE's. The reason is that Canons audio is not a perfect 48.0000MHz. Rather, it is something just short or just over, I can't remember which. In short captures there is no problem. Most NLEs have an option to adjust for this in a preference setting or by specifying a Canon source.

I used to edit on Avid Media Composer and Symphony. I switched to Final Cut Pro when I sold my production company. I prefer FCP, but if you already have a PC it might not make sense to switch to Mac.

The XL1 is a great camera for starting a production company. It delivers very high quality results, is very flexible and expandable to meet the needs of a growing company. Good luck.

Jeff
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Old June 21st, 2002, 11:13 AM   #3
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Thanks Jeff!

Thanks for explaining the 48mhz audio problem. Is there an effective way of dealing with the syncing problem over 5 minutes? I won't have to worry about it too much for a while. I don't know much about DVX yet. I looked at FCP and was impressed, however I'm doing work for Nebraska Public TV and they don't accept FCP (yet). I also looked at Premiere and liked the real time capabilities but EDL's aren't nearly as easy for the editor's to work with as OMF's. They do all of my color correction and audio tweaking. Your vote of confidence for the XL1 is much appreciated since I'm really leaning in that direction. It seems like the best solution for the field work that I'm doing. I'm so glad that I found this forum, I'm located in the boonies and am the only producer for hundreds of miles so the info I've gained is priceless.

Becky
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Old June 21st, 2002, 02:04 PM   #4
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The audio sync problem only effects 16 bit, 48KHz, 2 channel audio. Many people choose the 4 channel, 12 bit, 32KHz mode because it offers 2 more channels of audio. The sync problem doesn't effect the 32KHz mode. The downside is that the 12 bit is slightly lower quality than the 16 bit.

If you choose to use the 16bit mode there are several ways to handle the drift. One is to capture in short chunks (less than 10 minutes). The other is to check your NLE software. Avid DV or Premiere may have a setting in preferences for capturing longer clips. You enable the preference before you start capturing clips. At least that's the way I do it in FCP. It works like a charm.

Jeff
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Old June 21st, 2002, 03:23 PM   #5
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I'm just about ready to order my camera and shortly after that my workstation. I'll investigate the software concerning the audio syncing when I get everything in. The decisions are the tough part for me. Thanks for helping me make the right ones.

Becky
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Old June 21st, 2002, 03:27 PM   #6
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I hate to disagree, but, I have all of my XL-1 cameras set at 4 channel, 12 bit mode and they ALL get out of sync capturing into Cinestream. None of them get out of sync capturing to Vegas. So, you can't just unilaterally say that 4 channel won't and 2 channel will.
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Old June 21st, 2002, 03:41 PM   #7
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I may be wrong, but the audio capture problems as they relate to Avid, only concern the 48KHz, 2 channel mode. The 4 channel, 12 bit mode does not have a sync issue with the Avid. The few instances of users reporting a problem in 12 bit mode have been traced to incorrect monitoring of the audio during capture. As a Mac user I am unfamilar with Vegas or Cinestream and I do not offer an opinon on them.

Jeff
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Old June 24th, 2002, 08:41 AM   #8
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Is there a substantial loss in quality using 12 bit? I can see I have a lot to learn concerning audio. I guess I need to buy a book that will explain some of it. Any suggestions? I've been using 16 bit just because I figured more was better. It's time for me to get serious about it now.

Becky
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Old June 24th, 2002, 10:37 PM   #9
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The loss of quality is a subjective measurement for many. I don't hear the things now that I heard when I was twenty (or did the birds change their calls). The 12 bit 32KHz has been compared to sounding better than an audio cassette but not as good as a CD (16 bit, 44KHz). The 16 bit 48KHz is said to be better than a CD but not as good as DAT. However, at that point my ears can't tell the difference. I think if most of your work is for broadcast I would experiment with the 12 bit audio. I think it sounds about the same as Betacam SP or even a little better.

Jeff
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Old June 26th, 2002, 03:30 PM   #10
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Audio Sync and Premier

I too was plagued when using Premier to capture from my XL1 tapes. Seems there is a program called Scenalyzer which appears to capture properly with no audio sync problems. Those captured files can then be imported directly into Premier. Cost only $33 to download at Scenalyzer.com
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Old June 26th, 2002, 03:52 PM   #11
 
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...or you can go with Vegas Video 3. I never have any probs with it and my XL1s. Sonic Foundry has a history with digital audio recording.....one of the best. But I also use ScenalyzerLive for capturing.
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Old July 16th, 2002, 01:42 AM   #12
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I believe that the sync issue that is at hand here is related to the tape format as much as the means of acquisition or audio settings. In my experience miniDV (as compared to DVCAM) drops sync on its audio, and this seems to be regardless of the capture application. In fact, that is one of the main reasons to go with DVCAM, as the audio is locked.
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Old July 17th, 2002, 01:42 PM   #13
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audio spec's for DV sync is for sync to be within 1/3 of A FRAME = no WAY CAN YOU SEE IT OUT OF SYNC ON TAPE ....

it is true that if you start 2 camera and sync them to a film slate that somewhere over the next 4-8 min they could drift out perfect sync to at the MOST 2/3 of a frame out of sync with each other ( this doesn't cause a echo ) . then over the next 4-8 min it could drift back to perfect sync ... you are not going to see it as out of sync nor are you going to hear it as out of sync .... it's a non issue for single camera shoots .....

just about all NLE have fixed/work arounds for consumer camera's not digitizing audio at a perfect 48K or 32K ....
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