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Old July 18th, 2008, 01:31 AM   #1
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Help!! Final Cut Studio 2 issues!

Hi there, and thanks in advance for reading this and hopefully responding with a possible solution! I've been having difficulty lately editing video. When I play it back I keep getting a message that I am having dropped frames possibly due to a slow disk or settings being incorrectly setup. I have my computer hooked up to an external monitor for editing thru firewire. I can change the settings in FCP but then the resolution ends up looking like total crap. I'm using a Mac Pro with 2 dual core 2.66 Xeon processors, 6GB of RAM, and using a separate Maxtor 500 GB 7200rpm internal SATA hard drive for video capture and editing. I've been looking into other drives and RAID configurations but I'm not too keen on spending 800 bucks for the RAID card. What are my options here? I bought a Raptor Hard Drive the other day, 10,000rpm SATA but it would not fit in my Mac Pro, so needless to say I returned it. I'm sure there's a way to hook it up outside the computer but what would I need to connect it to my mac then? Does it still hook up thru a SATA cable or now is it firewire or something? And is firewire 800 fast enough? Another note, I ran a test on the hard drive and I'm getting something like 35-45 MB/sec. Is this bad? What's good?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have another wedding video to edit and have yet to start since I am having these issues. Please help! Thanks!
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Old July 18th, 2008, 08:00 AM   #2
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Easy Answer

John,

You don't need a raid card to run a raid configuration in the mac pro. Pick up another 500gb drive and the create a raid O (striped raid) configuration using disk utility (You will have to reformat your current 500gb drive so make sure you back everything up). This will giv you a 1tb raid setup that should be almost twice as fast. Hope this helps.

Jonathan Schwartz
CA Video Productions
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Old July 18th, 2008, 11:21 AM   #3
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You shouldn't be getting dropped frames with your set-up if you are editing DV or HDV. Try to see if you are actually getting dropped frames on the tape. Sometime FCP over-reacts to drive stutters and throws the message up when no dropped frame is observable. Go into User Preferences and uncheck "Abort ETT/PTT....", do a test print to tape and see if FCP actually drops frames when it reports it. I have rarely had dropped frames and I go back to G4 systems with FCP.
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Old July 18th, 2008, 12:52 PM   #4
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What codec?

What are you importing your footage as? I have trouble playing back 10-bit uncompressed footage but not ProRes HQ or AIC. Native HDV might also pose some problems with it's long GOPs. Usually footage without effects plays back easily, but once you add layers and filters and stuff, the long GOPs cause more issues.

If you're going external, an eSATA enclosure and card for your computer will get you better write/read speeds. NewerTech sells a $24.95 eSATA extender cable which utilizes the two "spare" eSATA ports on the motherboard. They're a challenge to put in, but possible.

I'm getting about 120 mb (read) from my MacPro internal RAID 0 and 80 mb (read) from my external OWC RAID 0. Both use 7200 RPM HD's. There are external enclosures with quad interface (eSATA, FW800, FW400 and USB 2.0) so you'd have the fastest possible without an expensive RAID card.
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Old July 18th, 2008, 06:48 PM   #5
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Follow up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Schwartz View Post
John,

You don't need a raid card to run a raid configuration in the mac pro. Pick up another 500gb drive and the create a raid O (striped raid) configuration using disk utility (You will have to reformat your current 500gb drive so make sure you back everything up). This will giv you a 1tb raid setup that should be almost twice as fast. Hope this helps.

Jonathan Schwartz
CA Video Productions
Thanks for the replies! I currently have a 500 GB internal SATA for my boot drive and another 500 GB internal SATA for my video clips and projects. Are you saying to buy another 500 GB internal SATA and set the 2 video drives up in a striped raid configuration or all 3 drives? Will I have to reformat my boot drive or can it stay the same? This is seriously a foreign language for me so bear with me please.

I am importing my video in the DV-NTSC format. I've never really run into problems before but lately I've been doing more post-production work (magic bullet film effects, color correction, filters) so I think this may be bogging things down a bit. Maybe I should hold off on the filters and color correction until everything is edited to completion. Any more input would greatly be appreciated!
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Old July 18th, 2008, 09:26 PM   #6
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Filters would not generate dropped frame messages. Either the computer plays the filter or it gives you a render message. Dropped frame messages are from disk drive errors or bandwidth issues from formats that have uncompressed video. It's almost always the result of the drive being unable to supply the video file fast enough to the CPU. The format you are using is not going to cause bandwidth problems with the system you have. There is a possibility that the drive you have is defective or the interface to the drive has a problem.

First try to visually see a dropped frame before assuming that the computer is defective.
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Old August 6th, 2008, 11:16 PM   #7
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Still having issues!

So, I went out and bought another 500 GB SATA drive, installed it, backed up all my stuff, and set up the striped RAID configuration. I ran a test on the drive and the read and write speed increased dramatically. I went from maybe 30 MB/sec up to about 120 MB/sec. Unfortunately, I'm still having the same issue. I have seriously tried every configuration. I've even exported the video to quicktime, reinserted it into a new sequence and it still drops frames. I just don't get it. It's so incredibly frustrating. My computer is not even a year old, I have plenty of RAM, video RAM, a fast hard drive, etc. I've even tried lowering the playback resolution and playback framerate in my viewer and it doesn't make a difference. What's the deal?

Everyone keeps mentioning the whole setup thing and maybe it's not configured right for the project. All I know is that I've imported DV footage from my miniDV camera into FCP. I have it set up for NTSC DV. According to Apple, the dropped frames are due to either a slow disk (which I think I have resolved at this point) or an incorrect setup. Can anyone elaborate on this or give me an alternative setup idea?

At this point, my only option is to do the rest of the editing using iMovie or something and then reimport it for all the text work, graphics, and color correction. I just don't feel like this should be necessary. Something seems wrong but I can't figure out what it is! Help!!
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Old August 7th, 2008, 01:19 AM   #8
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filters will very much reduce playback rates, and WILL CAUSE dropped frames. applying filters use GPU & CPU processing time. if the hardware can't render the effect fast enough - 1/30th of a sec for 30fps - then you will get dropped frame messages IF FCP especially if fc* is set to Full Quality and Full Res. if you set these to dynamic, FCP will drop the FPS and the res of the screen to try to keep to the set frame rate. at some point FCP will put up a warning, or worse, audio starts to play out of sync. the audio out of sync is a bug which apple should address someday.

so if you have several filters stacked on top and you're dropping frames, thats normal.

getting only 30mb/sec from a internal SATA drive says there is something seriously wrong. most likely the drive is highly fragmented ( yes it happens on macs ) or the drive is failing and it is having hard time reading data. if the drive is failing, using in a raid set is the worse thing you can do as the entire raid is in jeopardy. at the very least, check its SMART status using disc utilites, but usually the SMART status only indicated a bad drive right before the very end.
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