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Old October 27th, 2009, 05:14 PM   #1
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XDR/nano with Avid Media Composer

Since everyone here appears to be a shooter, I'm starting a thread about the post process with the XDR/nano and Avid Media Composer.

We are recording MXF 50Mbps LongGOP onto a nanoFlash with firmware 1.0.112 using SanDisk Extreme IV 16GB cards. Our source is XBox 360, PS3 and other game consoles outputting non-HDCP 720p 59.94 over HDMI(We are converting to HD-SDI using a nanoConnect due to a color level issue that should be fixed in the next nano firmware release.) We are editing on Avid Media Composer 4.0.2 with Adrenaline hardware although we will soon be upgrading to the Nitris DX due to the problem mentioned below.

I encountered several problems with using the MXF files in Media Composer but the ease of use, portability and future enhancements of the nanoFlash make it worthwhile.

1) Fast-Import - I was expecting the media to fast-import into our Avids in much the same way that P2 media imports. It's basically a real-time import(1min clip takes 1min to import). It's not the bundled card reader(thx, btw!) as the 1min clip copies to the computer in about 10 seconds. I've tried different import options but it's always the same. In talking with Avid, they say that since the XDCamHD media is supported in AvidMC, AvidMC will not transcode on import no matter the settings you choose. I'm hoping that AMA support inside Avid will be implemented soon and make importing nanoFlash media easier and faster.

2) Consolidate/Transcode - Sometimes during a transcode/consolidate, the audio gets completely removed from the new file leaving only the V1 track in the new master clip. Sometimes in the new master clip, the A1 and A2 tracks are still there but are missing the audio data. Sometimes both the new file and the original nanoFlash media have their audio removed and we have to re-import from the CF card. This is about the only bug we've encountered so far with the nanoFlash and it's randomness is frustrating. We seem to have a workflow that keeps everything intact but it was painful getting to that point since we're in the middle of production.

3) Adrenaline Hardware - I mention this as a warning to others with Adrenalines as it's no fault of CD. The Adrenaline IO is incapable of outputting the XDCam HD codec. You must convert to DNxHD in order to output or view over broadcast monitors. Should be pretty obvious to people familiar with the Adrenaline but I thought I'd mention it.

If I think of or encounter anything else while working with the XDR/Flash media inside Avid, I'll post it here. I'd love to hear of other people successes and problems using these products together.

Thanks,
Ted O'Brien
Post-Production Engineer
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Old October 27th, 2009, 07:33 PM   #2
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Daily Media Composer Editor Responds

Hi Ted:
First, thank you for starting this thread. I am also a daily Avid editor as well as Final Cut Pro user. Although we have both major NLE's in the house, our primary editing is performed on Avid Media Composer, while our finishing and work arounds are performed in FCS 7.0, I am also a shooter and I am greatly pleased with my Flash XDR.

....Allow me to respond to your points in a point by point manner......

You Wrote: "1) Fast-Import - I was expecting the media to fast-import into our Avids in much the same way that P2 media imports. It's basically a real-time import(1min clip takes 1min to import). It's not the bundled card reader(thx, btw!) as the 1min clip copies to the computer in about 10 seconds. I've tried different import options but it's always the same. In talking with Avid, they say that since the XDCamHD media is supported in AvidMC, AvidMC will not transcode on import no matter the settings you choose. I'm hoping that AMA support inside Avid will be implemented soon and make importing nanoFlash media easier and faster."

......Once you get the Avid Nitris DX box your Nano MXF Long GOP issues are over. Simply playout that wonderful Long GOP via the HD-SDI output into your Nitris DX box's HD-SDI input and capture in any codec inside AMC you please.

You Wrote: "2) Consolidate/Transcode - Sometimes during a transcode/consolidate, the audio gets completely removed from the new file leaving only the V1 track in the new master clip. Sometimes in the new master clip, the A1 and A2 tracks are still there but are missing the audio data. Sometimes both the new file and the original nanoFlash media have their audio removed and we have to re-import from the CF card. This is about the only bug we've encountered so far with the nanoFlash and it's randomness is frustrating. We seem to have a workflow that keeps everything intact but it was painful getting to that point since we're in the middle of production."

......OK. I've had this same problem with the CD Long GOP MXF files intermittantly not working, or sort of working. In the CD's Flash XDR User Manual, under NLE support, they list their Long GOP as being "Partially Supported." The solution is *don't transcode.* Instead, perform a *video Mixdown* of those nasty GOP's and then you will not loose your audio ever.
The workflow is as follows............
> Mark clip (s)> Special Menu>Video Mixdown>Select Mix down Codec >Select Bin> Start Mixdown>Bin>Highlight (Double Click) Mixdown Clip>Put in Source Window and mark *IN*>Timeline>Highlight original clips in sequence>Mark *IN* and *OUT* in Record Window>hit the letter *B* on keyboard = Done !
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Old October 28th, 2009, 10:07 AM   #3
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Not Enough Editors

Hi Ted:
There may not be enough editors in this part of the forum to support this thread. (??)
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Old October 29th, 2009, 12:21 PM   #4
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As long as you are working with 50Mbps files in Avid you should be fine once you solve the hardware issues. Avid still has problems with files that are 100Mbps and above.

Avid does not support those files, as no other camera/recorder writes to that format. Convergent will have to work with Sony to provide Avid with a plugin to AMA (Avid Media Access) to support those files.

For my workflow, CD has solved a major problem by providing support for Sony optical disc format. When the update is available this will allow me to record and archive in the Sony disc format (50Mbps only). It allows me to provide clients one format that will work in any OS and on industry standard NLE's. Not having access to 100Mbps files and above will only effect my in house work. For the majority of clients the 50Mbps files should be fine.
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Old October 29th, 2009, 12:31 PM   #5
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Dear Friends,

I had confirmation this morning that Avid 4.0.2 does not yet support our 100 Mbps Long-GOP files. Our earlier information was that it did.

We are working with Avid on this.
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Old October 29th, 2009, 12:57 PM   #6
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Thanks Dan.

Good luck with Avid.
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Old October 29th, 2009, 01:23 PM   #7
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Big Message to Dan, Mike & Tommy

Hey Guys:
I've been developping this Big idea which is a much easier route to having your Long GOP CD 100Mbps files recognized by Avid than trying to actually get the Avid programmers to make Long GOP 100 Mbps compatible. *Please consider the Avid A M A media mange route instead ! Avid AMA is a real freakin breakthrough because AMA does not *Copy* or *Ingest* or *Transcode* the media in any way - It manges it ! AMA will simply handle the CF cards where they're at as if they were on a hard drive ! This is another reason why I was hoping you guys would turn on the FireWire Interface on the XDR ! If you plugin the XDR via the FireWire interface, then it's just like attaching a hard drive to the Avid system. Keep the cards in the XDR and Avid will see them via AMA.

For the Nano, Simply use the supplied USB CF card reader or get the FireWire 800 one and plug it in and Avid will read it instantly from there ! No more ingesting or fast importing of Nano clips! Now the clips all suddenly appear in bins ! IT's freakin amazing man !

Also please consider this. Avid was originally designed to run on the MAC only, and is fully MAC compatible. You get PC or MAC on one CD straight out of the box, so your choices aren't so limited in this respect either. Many editors run both FCP & Avid on their MAC laptops without issue.
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Old October 29th, 2009, 01:47 PM   #8
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Bob Willis is way ahead of me :-)

Hi Bob:
I see in re-reading your post that you also pinpointed Avid AMA as a possible solution to the Long GOP non-compliance in Avid.
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Old October 29th, 2009, 02:40 PM   #9
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Mark,
AMA is a new Avid editing function and as yet is not fully developed (ie first generation). Since my current version of Avid does not use this new function I do not have first hand knowledge of all of the details of AMA.

I do know that AMA does not work for the majority of my editing needs. It works best for news and very quick turnaround. It does not work well for editing material that has to tracked and kept organized such as long form documentary projects.

As soon as I am able to upgrade and test material I should have a better understanding of the best uses of AMA in an editing workflow.
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Old October 29th, 2009, 02:47 PM   #10
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Here is a link to the Avid page that describes AMA, Avid Media Access.

AMA (Avid Media Access) The fastest route from shoot to edit

I suggest that anyone test out the whole workflow before you commit to it for any project. Although it offers great benefits for many users, it may not fit your or your clients needs.
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Old October 29th, 2009, 03:56 PM   #11
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A Company Which Rests on its Laurels

Hi Bob:
Thanks, but I already know what Avid Media Access is. I have checked out this page long ago. I think at the very least AMA could prove to be part of the Long GOP compatibility solution. However, I feel sorry for the folks from CD who have to work with Avid. Perhaps the fact the CD is the leading company in Solid State Digital Recording will smooth the way for them with Avid ? Avid has an excellent product but as an end user I remain totally unimpressed with the company's lack luster attitude toward its customers. Avid is one of those companies who rest on their laurels big time ! They tend to be *very arrogant* and *condescending towards their user base* However, if you are an Academy Award Winning Editor, then you have the company's ear ! Oh man, don't get me going ! James Cameron asked for 3D capability from Avid and got it in 6 weeks. We asked for Canon 24 F HDV support in early 2005 and got it in mid 2009 ! Man ! I get mad everytime I think of that one friends ;-) ! I remain totally impressed with Media Composer, but the company itself ? Well....

Last edited by Mark Job; October 29th, 2009 at 04:03 PM. Reason: To correct errata
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Old October 29th, 2009, 05:50 PM   #12
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Mark,
I was only trying to provide sources of information for anyone on this forum since I did not have hands on in-depth information. I had no intention of starting any company bashing. I find Avid an innovative company that takes the time to put out a product that works the way an editor expects. They do take longer than some companies to provide support for formats and cameras and solve the various issues that arise with new technology advances. But most of the time when they come out with a solution it works well day in and day out.

I do not find their approach condescending or arrogant. In fact lately it seems that they are working hard to find and implement solutions to user problems. Obviously you have had issues with their lack of support for a specific Canon format. I remember waiting for them to support the new format of XDCAM HD when it came out and it did seem to take forever, but now I think the way Avid deals with XDCAM EX and XDCAM HD is a better approach than many others.

I do hope Convergent Designs does have luck with working with Avid to support their various formats above 50Mbps. I would have wished them luck with Adobe or Apple as well. It is always tough when trying to work out issues with any large company. I think CD has a great product and I want it to work with Avid on files above 50Mbps(because I think Avid MC is a great product). I'm sure they will find a way, they always seem to find a solution. With their support of Sony's Optical disc format 50Mbps files, I may not even need the 100Mbps files for a while. You may have different needs.

I am looking forward to using both products together.
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Old October 29th, 2009, 07:43 PM   #13
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Company Bashing or User Feedback ?

Hi Bob:
I think you misunderstood my POV on Avid with my last post. I want to clarify and qualify some of my statments.

You Wrote: "I had no intention of starting any company bashing."

.....If you recall in some of my other posts I am one of the first people to almost always defend Avid Media Composer. I use this tool to make most of my post production living and I am the first to agree with how good an application AMC really is. However, I make a BIG distinction between the company's *product quality* and the company's *customer service quality* because I strongly believe it is simply *not enough to have the best product.* IMHO, this is where I see Avid is at right now. Now am I bashing them or giving user feedback ?

You Wrote: "I find Avid an innovative company that takes the time to put out a product that works the way an editor expects."

....You are absolutely right and I agree with you 100 % You will get no argument from me on this.

You wrote: "I do not find their approach condescending or arrogant. In fact lately it seems that they are working hard to find and implement solutions to user problems. Obviously you have had issues with their lack of support for a specific Canon format."

....This is where I must agree to disagree with you. I do agree they are working hard to improve their flagship product, but Avid pays next to no attention whatsoever to independent boutique post production setups like ours, or to one man band freelance editors.

....If you are a TV network editor or an Academy Award Winner, then when they say jump, then it's a jumping situation for Avid. They do have a forum, but disent is quickly muzzled there. I only gave you one specific example of a format they didn't support, while you gave another, but it is how they treated the editors who were promised a free upgrade patch for Canon HDV 24 F in 2005 and how they treat higher profile industry editors which really insulted and alienated many good people. In the end Canon 24 F came out as a paid upgrade in AMC 3.5x

You wrote: "I do hope Convergent Designs does have luck with working with Avid to support their various formats above 50Mbps."

....So do I and I think they will because they are a high profile industry leader in what they produce, so they will get treated right.

You wrote: "I think CD has a great product and I want it to work with Avid on files above 50Mbps(because I think Avid MC is a great product). "

......I totally agree 100 % with you. Furthermore, it didn't take convergent design that long to come out with Canon 24 F support, or many other feature requests from their product user base ! Let us not forget this point.

You wrote: "I am looking forward to using both products together."

......So do I. I also have no choice, because in this industry many Tv and film jobs are exclusively Avid post.
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Old October 29th, 2009, 08:22 PM   #14
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Avid AMA and nano/XDR

Just an FYI and I can not say much due to an NDA, but I think we will see much better integration of the nano files, including 100 Mbps Long-GOP with Avid AMA in the coming months. Stay tuned for more info and announcements.

Cheers-
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Old October 29th, 2009, 08:31 PM   #15
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Awesome, Mike!
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