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Discussing the editing of all formats with FCS, FCP, FCE


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Old August 8th, 2002, 10:34 PM   #496
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DVD Studio Pro users: Are you using AC3 or PCM audio encoding?

I have a question for those of you authoring DVDs:

I am authoring a music video DVD and have encoded the audio in stereo AC3 format using DVD Studio Pro's AC3 encoding program. I have used the highest quality settings, but compared to the original AIFF audio, the AC3 audio sounds terrible: very compressed and much lower in volume. I have never noticed this before because up until now I've only encoded speech in AC3. My question is, is AC3 supposed to sound this bad? What do you DVD creators out there use? I'd like to use AC3 because the bit rate is much less than AIFF, which gives me more bandwidth more the video stream and less chance of skipping during playback. But since this is a music video, the audio quality should get priority.
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Old August 8th, 2002, 11:36 PM   #497
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Rob,
At what point in your process did you observe that the sound was bad? During previewing the disc or after mux'ing and burning it?
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Old August 8th, 2002, 11:42 PM   #498
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There's no way that I know of to completely eliminate that flicker. I might try changing the frame rate in FCP (to, say, 29.97), exporting to a DV Quicktime and then re-importing to see if it somehow lessens the effect when you ultimately go back out to PAL rate. But I don't think you'll be able to eliminate it completely; some frames are going to be darker than others.

Like Bruce recommended, you might have to consider somehow making it an artistic feature.
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Old August 9th, 2002, 01:26 AM   #499
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I would only encode in AC-3 if I wanted to create 5.1 Dolby Digital sound, which would be on anything I would ever do. Not sure, but I think DVDs also require a stereo mix (AC-3) in addition to 5.1. That doesn't answer your question, I know.

But Dolby Digital (which is what you refer to as AC-3) is not supposed to sound that bad, no. Not at all.
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Old August 9th, 2002, 01:43 AM   #500
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Ken, I only listened to the audio in preview mode. I have not yet built the disc image. Does it sound different after the disc is burned?

Joe, yes AC3 is Dolby Digital. That's why I was surprised at how much the audio quality had degraded after encoding. In the AC3 audio encoding application that comes with DVD Studio Pro, you can choose from among 5.1 channel, 3 channel, stereo channel and single channel encoding. I chose stereo because that's what the source audio is. Do you notice a significant change from the original audio when you encode audio in your DVD projects?
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Old August 9th, 2002, 03:42 AM   #501
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3rd ATA Drive or external firewire

Hi Guys!

I've got a little dilemma here, I'm running a G4 500 (AGP Graphics) and I've already got 2 internal HDs, (27Gb original and 45 Gb IBM Deskstar) and as it happens, space has run out again and I'm thinking of adding another HD. There's space (I think) for another HD in the bay and I'm considering getting another ATA drive. Problem is... the ATA controller that came with the computer is already taken up with 2 drives and so does that mean that I have to get another ATA controller (PCI card?) or am I better off with an external firewire drive (more expensive!). Anyone with any experience of firewire drives (to be used as a capture drive with FCP3, dropped frames? 7200rpm? 5400rpm?)

Any help at all regarding this matter would be greatly appreciated!

cheers!

Adrian
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Old August 9th, 2002, 04:03 AM   #502
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DSR-11 digitization problems?

Hi all: Just pulling this off into a seperate thread, 'cause I think this needs to be a question all by itself:
What's a good - economical - VTR for DV work? I was considering the Sony GV D-1000 video walkman, the DSR-11 and the DSR-20. But - hold your breath - while the DSR-11 will play and record DV (it's basically oriented around DVCAM), the specs say -

<<DV Format Recording and Playback
The DSR-11 is capable of recording and playing back DV format tapes (SP mode only)*. The standard-size cassette can record for up to 270 minutes, while the mini-size cassette records for 60 minutes.
* The transition from cut to cut may not be smooth when recorded in DV (SP) format. In between scenes where the recording format is changed from DV to DVCAM, or vice versa,
transition may not be smooth. This is a normal and expected phenomenon.>>

1. Does this mean what I think it does? Are there issues with pulling DV off this VTR, and printing DV to tape on it? Does it only work OK with DVCAM?
2. Now my head's spinning: Can I pull DV footage off this VTR (i.e. shoot DV) edit it, and write back to tape in DVCAM format?

I thought I had my understanding of formats OK, buuut this one has me stumped...Anyone out there know more about these beasts?

Best,
Ram
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Old August 9th, 2002, 06:51 AM   #503
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FireWire drives work fine for capture. Go with any 7200rpm drive or the great big 5400rpm 160gig (size does matter). If you go the internal route check out the Sonnett RAID 0 cards. Sonnett http://www.sonnettech.com/product/tempo_ata133.html builds great cards and that will give you the ultimate speed short of SCSI. It requires 2 drives to stripe as a pair and the card controls them. I think a total of 4 drives can be hooked to 1 card. But FireWire works great

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Old August 9th, 2002, 06:56 AM   #504
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Great news Paul. I always like a happy ending. Thanks for the update.

Jeff
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Old August 9th, 2002, 07:03 AM   #505
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I have been working with stereo classical music DVDs using Studio Pro. Early on I printed both the PCM tracks and the AC3 tracks to a test disc just to toggle between the two. Using a playback system of "moderate" capabilities typical of what most consumers might have, I could detect no distinct difference between the two.

Just my two cents worth.
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Old August 9th, 2002, 02:06 PM   #506
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check out the firewire boxes(add your own drive) by granite digital @
www.granitedigital.com. they also make swapable bay drives with cheap bays like $30 so you wouldnt hve to keep buying those boxes if you end up needing more drives.
another advantage over building your own drive is at least you know what kind of ata is inside.

that is if you decide to go the firewire route!
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Old August 9th, 2002, 05:17 PM   #507
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Jeff,
Can you believe that this mac doesn't have a modem in it? I'm typing to you on my PC. I just bought a modem on ebay (26 bucks for a genuine Apple internal thankyouverymuch-ebay) so I'm going to get this thing on line and download every new driver I can. Once I get that done, I'll get back to you with all the details.
Stand by. You guys are GREAT!
-Kyle
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Old August 9th, 2002, 06:45 PM   #508
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It only records and plays back SP mode not LP. This is because of the difference in width of the tracks between mini DV and DVCam. The caution about cuts is meant if you are doing linear editing (tape to tape). You can not mix cuts of mini DV and DVCam when you are doing linear editing. If you do edit mini DV to tape, then switch to DVCam, the scene may break up at the edit. This deck will work fine as a source deck in transferring to a NLE system. It will also be fine to print your timeline to tape. You can mix mini DV and DVCam in a non linear fashion without a problem. It is also listed as being compatable with FCP3 by Apple http://www.apple.com/finalcutpro/qualification.html

Jeff
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Old August 9th, 2002, 07:16 PM   #509
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I am using the Tempo ATA100 card, it has worked great so far, I have a 400 G4, and now I have 5 drives running. If you get the PCI card, make sure to put your two new drives on the far left hard drive plate. There are three plates to mount your hard drives to and when I tried stacking two in the middle, I tried closing the door but something didn't quite want to fit right.
There are two extra power plugs in the G4 I think. Follow the power cables, it should be tucked up behind where the cd-rom drive is. Get a long pci cable too.

I had an external firewire drive, after I upgraded to OS9.2, it wouldn't recognize the drive so I have to re-initialize it, a big hassle since I had over 500 video clips for a project I'm working on. I ended up batch capturing all the footage to my internal drives, now I don't use the external anymore. when I get a laptop, I'll use it for that. Also make sure the external drive you get is fast enough to capture DV. Mine wasn't as I found, playing back was okay, but I had to capture to my internal drive, then copy the clips to my external. A direct capture dropped so many frames, it was useless to use it to capture directly. I was in a bind and needed some extra space in a hurry, it was the fastest drive they had 7200, but Logitech makes bad drives. Spend the extra money and get a fast, big, external drive if you go that route. That extra money for a good drive is worth it.
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Old August 9th, 2002, 08:03 PM   #510
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That's interesting news. Which bit stream mode and compression preset did you use? Did you encode it as a stereo track, stereo with a sub frequency channel, 5.1 or...? I listened to the audio through a professional pair of studio monitors, so maybe that's why I instantly noticed a difference. I'll try encoding my audio again -- and this time experiment with various settings, burn a test disc and listen to it on my cheap surround sound system.
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