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Old May 13th, 2003, 06:16 PM   #1
 
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OSX and FCP3 driving me nuts! (Rant)

Final Cut Pro 2 has never, ever given me any problems. Ever. You can have different audio tracks with all sorts of different sample and bit rates and they play back simultaneously from the timeline with zero problems.

Enter OS X (bleh... but I won't go into that now) and Final Cut Pro 3. Lots of time I get beeps in my audio until I mix it down (is Mac OS X unable to handle different sample rates like OS 9 could?). I have the latest build of both the OS and FCP3. I am trying to play back a simple stereo 48khz AIFF file (it's the only sound in the entire movie) with the video which lasts about 6 minutes. There is no camera audio present. Even with mixing down the sound I sometimes get hiccups and teeny burts of static during playback from the timeline or even Print to Video. There is nothing at all special about the AIFF file. It happens at random (and sometimes not at all) and I have no other programs running or external firewire devices connected. Did I mention that I'm using one of the latest Macs with the mirrored drive doors? Logically, this should work without giving me any problems, but I cannot make it do so every time all the time, like it should.

Does anyone have any ideas on what I can do to get around FCP3's shoddy programming? (besides exporting as a movie and then re-importing in FCP2... wait... now THAT'S a good idea! Always rely on FCP2 when FCP3 fails, which is often). Also does anyone have any idea why FCP3 (with the exception of the color correction and a few other tools) is INFERIOR to FCP2? I hope FCP4 isn't even worse. I am a bit frightened now about FCP4.
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Old May 13th, 2003, 06:31 PM   #2
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Interesting how people have such different experiences. I have FCP3 running OSX and I have never had one problem.

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Old May 13th, 2003, 07:13 PM   #3
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I haven't had problems either...

Curtis, you may want to try this:

Preferences>General>Audio Playback Quality>set to "Low"

See if this helps at all. You will still need to render or mixdown for final output, but it may solve some of your issues during the edit.
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Old May 13th, 2003, 08:17 PM   #4
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Curtis,
Can you tell us more about how the AIFF file was created? Also, does it play cleanly stand-alone from, say, the Quicktime player?
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Old May 14th, 2003, 12:41 AM   #5
 
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The AIFF file was created by Reason. It was created as a normal 48khz stereo 16 bit file. And yes, the file plays fine through Quicktime, Sound App (OS 9) iTunes, etc. It is the only audio on the timeline and has no cuts or corssfades, but a few level adjustments here and there (small ones). The breakups happen at random points in the timeline. But sometimes nothing bad happens. I have to admit that the audio is usually fine when working with camera audio and a couple added sound effects, etc. The biggest problem is the audio beeping during preview (even in the preview window) before mixdown. FCP2 handled it fine why not 3?

Saving as a self-contained FCP Movie and playing it through FCP2 worked perfectly though I shouldn't have to do that. I rarely use OS X at all and only have a few programs over there, so I don't think anything else could be corrupting it. It has the latest version of Quicktime 6.

Could it be the firewire device itself? I usually use a Sony DV Converter during editing and that has only shown a few breakups in this audio sequence. But when I outputted to my friend's Sony VX2000 camcorder, there were more audio breakups. I didn't try my Canon XL1 with this.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 01:13 AM   #6
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Hmmm...well the beeping and the need to render the audio suggests an incompatibility with a preference or project setting. Just to clear through matters that you may already looked at:

1. Have you checked your Audio/Video Preferences settings to ensure that they're set for 48KHz audio?

2. Have you looked at the audio clip's recognized characteristics in your Browser bin to verify that FCP sees it as Stereo 16 bit and 48KHz?

3. Have you checked your Sequence -> Settings to verify that its Quicktime audio setting is at 48KHz (and, under the Advanced button, that it's set to 16 bit stereo)?
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Old May 14th, 2003, 11:32 AM   #7
 
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1. Yes
2. Yes
3. Yes

What I can't understand is that there was no need to mixdown in FCP2, even with default preferences (which is the way I usualy keep things set, more or less). No beeping. Unless you had more audio tracks than your computer could handle.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 01:21 PM   #8
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Well, I think you've reached the boundary of my imagination, Curtis. The only time I've encountered such a problem with FCP 2 or 3 was when the audio sampling rate was different than the sequence settings. But clearly that's not the case you're encountering.

How big is the AIFF file? Is there someplace you can upload it where I can grab it and see how it works with my FCP 3? I'd be happy to do so in the interest of general education here.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 01:41 PM   #9
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Do you have the latest OSX release and FCP3?

I agree with Ken, it sounds like a pref or seq setting someplace. can you create a new project and play the aiff? another idea is to completely trash your preference files and start fresh. it's a pain but that'll clean up incompatibility.
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Old May 15th, 2003, 01:06 AM   #10
 
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How do I delete preference files in OS X?

The AIFF file was created with Reason which is a popular music/MIDI sequencer. It is a version of Pachelbel's Canon for a wedding DVD menu. The video had many many clips with lots of color correcting filters goin' on and the such. I have never tried to play the AIFF without the video in FCP.

Ken,

go to

--(file has been removed since Ken has downloaded it)--

to check it out. I'll leave the file there for 48 hours or so. It is 66.4 megs. This is the exact same file I was trying to use in the timeline.
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Old May 15th, 2003, 01:34 AM   #11
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Curtis,
I have the file and will take it for a spin Thursday. (I'm busy hosing down my DSL modem right now.)
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Old May 15th, 2003, 03:49 PM   #12
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Curtis,
Well, try as I might (and I did try mightily) I could not induce all of the problems you've described with this audio clip. But I could induce some.

While I could not induce "burps" or static, I did notice that one of the background electronic "instruments" is very raspy and gives the piece a static-like, muddy sound every so often. Listening through PC speakers or a television might easily give the impression of occasional static.

I did notice that the clip does need to be rendered when mixed with my other audio AIFF files. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that its sampling rate is exactly 48kHz. This is somewhat unusual. My AIF's tend to come in at around 47.952kHz. My DV audio comes in at a true rate just below or just above 48kHz, but never spot-on at 48kHz.

But that's about all I discovered.
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Old May 15th, 2003, 05:54 PM   #13
 
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Actually I hear clipping quite a bit when playing many audio files in FCP's timeline. There is no clipping on the final output. It only clips when I have many audio tracks playing simultaneously. Do you hear the clipping when playing it through Quicktime? Also, my audio system hooked to the computer is quite good, with floor standing speakers and lots of power.
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Old May 15th, 2003, 06:15 PM   #14
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Do as Charles suggests and set audio playback to Low. How many megs of Ram are installed on your system?
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Old May 15th, 2003, 07:52 PM   #15
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Curtis,
No I do not get clipping but the level of the audio is rather high.

Yes, Charles' recommendation is worth a double-check.
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