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Old March 31st, 2011, 06:11 PM   #1
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Final Cut Express 4 Corrupted Audio

Hi, the very weirdest thing ever is happening to my project in Final Cut Express.

The last couple of posts I put up here are all related to the same project that I'm working on right now. I'm finished with editing and burning the DVD. In attempting to get the best finished quality, I'm exporting from Final Cut Express using Quicktime compressor and selecting the best quality of all the options. Now one of the movies have an extremely weird audio coming out from it where there is an interview with someone. Instead of hearing the person's voice there's an odd bassy sound that actually sounds like it has a rhythm. It's not music, it isn't anything that I've ever heard so I cannot even describe it appropriately.

I went back to the audio tracks in FCE to ensure that audio from someplace else didn't end up on the timeline and in fact the timeline is clean. It only happens on that particular part of the video. When I playback right there in FCE, both video and audio are perfect.

What is this sound and how do I remedy this problem?
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Old April 3rd, 2011, 09:53 PM   #2
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Re: Final Cut Express 4 Corrupted Audio

Without hearing the audio clip it's impossible to tell what's causing it or how to correct it exactly however...

If you're exporting files to be authored as a DVD it could be you inadvertently selected the wrong format for the audio.

DVD audio should be AC3, at 44.1 khz with a bitrate no higher than 256kbs, which is a compressed file that is Dolby compliant.

Also, you may want to make sure that NO preprocessing is selected (see screenshot). Make sure that the DC and LowPass filters are turned OFF and that the compression preset is set to NONE.

Do those things, try a test encode of no more than a few seconds from your clip and see if that helps.
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Old April 4th, 2011, 07:13 AM   #3
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Re: Final Cut Express 4 Corrupted Audio

Thanks for the response. Would you put up the screenshot?
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Old April 4th, 2011, 06:02 PM   #4
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Re: Final Cut Express 4 Corrupted Audio

Here's how the audio sounds. Out of the entire program of 21 minutes, this is the only section that has gone bad. After about close to 1 minute of this garbled sound, the audio is fine once again.
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File Type: wma VN620023.WMA (93.3 KB, 59 views)
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Old April 9th, 2011, 11:04 AM   #5
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Re: Final Cut Express 4 Corrupted Audio

You're right, that's not a problem caused by compression or any other filter.

That file is totally corrupted; it sounds as if it's grabbed audio from another source - or sources somewhere (somehow) and looped it on itself. I've never, ever heard such a thing nor could possibly come up with an exact cause.

I would suggest that either A) The Final Cut project itself is corrupted, which can cause an amazing array of strange problems or; B) Just the audio portion of the project has become corrupted.

It could also be caused by core OS X components that have become unstable, such as the DYLD cache, the directory and other deeper parts of the OS X foundation.

Try doing system-wide maintenance such as Onyx (run all it's maintenance routines) DiskWarrior to address the directory and also do a SAFE BOOT which will clear cache and other items and, zap your PRAM. If you're not sure how to do these things the routines have been posted here on the forum.

If after doing system cleanup maintenance you're still having the issue the only suggestion I have is to start with a fresh FCE project and rebuild it.

This is one of the weirdest issues yet.
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Old April 9th, 2011, 11:44 AM   #6
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Re: Final Cut Express 4 Corrupted Audio

Check this out:

I raised the pitch in the clip (not the speed) and it's clearly a piece from a music track; you can hear the vocalist start to say, "I get" or, "I guess...".

Whatever it is I'd suggest looking at any music tracks you might have put into your project - and possibly deleted at some time and see if it sounds similar.

Still the weirdest issue yet...
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File Type: wav corrupted loop-1.wav (1.26 MB, 50 views)
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Old April 10th, 2011, 10:53 AM   #7
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Re: Final Cut Express 4 Corrupted Audio

Wow!! Actually, "I guess" is the beginning words of the person whose speech is corrupted. There is music in the entire program yes, not songs, but instrumentals and only at this 21st minute of the video does the audio get corrupted. He's saying "I guess it's a favour...having a small part to play in welcoming..."

I appreciate the effort you've taken with this.

I'm in the process right now of applying your suggestions. Will make a response in a couple minutes. I've also downloaded Onyx and Maintenance 1.3.5 from Apple downloads.
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Old April 20th, 2011, 09:57 AM   #8
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Re: Final Cut Express 4 Corrupted Audio

How did this work out for you? I'm sure many other editors including myself are curious how you fixed the problem.
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Old April 20th, 2011, 10:16 AM   #9
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Re: Final Cut Express 4 Corrupted Audio

Hi, I downloaded the FCS Maintenance software and cleaned up the cache. Then, I downloaded Onyx and Maintenance 1.3.5 and it recommended a back up of all of the files using Time Machine before doing anything, however, I don't have an external hard drive that's formatted for the Mac, so I halted that operation.

My next step will be to do over the project, however, I'm waiting on word on whether there are any editing changes to make, before I do it over. When it's done over and exported, then I'll know if the audio is clean throughout.

Will post back here about the result.
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Old April 20th, 2011, 09:32 PM   #10
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Re: Final Cut Express 4 Corrupted Audio

If you've downloaded Onyx you don't need Maintenance; the routines in Maintenance are part of the Onyx suite.

While it's always a good idea to backup your system before performing any system-wide maintenance I can tell you that it's highly unlikely that you'll end up with any issues after running Onyx and all it's cleaning/maintenance routines.

If you need more help just ask.
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Old April 21st, 2011, 10:24 AM   #11
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Re: Final Cut Express 4 Corrupted Audio

Okay. I ran all of the Onyx features. The audio at that particular point still gets corrupted on export. It takes on a different type of sound to the one that I posted above, but the location and duration of the corrupted part is identical. So, I'll have to rebuild the project. Thanks for the advice, it's much appreciated.
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