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Old January 22nd, 2003, 04:28 PM   #1
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Dropped Audio Frames

Greetings everyone!
Please excuse this question if its been asked before but I have searched high and low for a solution to this problem. I've created a video montage of stills with a musical audio track added using a wav file. The file is rendered to a DV file but when I try to send the file back to my DV camcorder I get a singular dropped frame that re-occurs without and specific frequency. Sometimes its occurrence is once in a 7-minute period sometime itís as high as 5 times in that same period.

I can duplicate the same effect if, while sending the file back to the camera, I click on the start button in windows XP. I have tried several software programs, MSP 6.0, VSP 5.0, VSP 6.0, Premier 6.0, arcsoft show biz - and all show the same problem. I have even switched cameras swapping my rendering camera a Sony 103 D8 camera for my Sony vx2000 and the same result. I even moved my hard drive to another computer with the same effect.

I have even tried re-rendering the file and used a freshly formatted Maxtor 7200rmp 40-gig drive with only the source file on it. Still I get at least one dropped frame.

My system specs are follows:

AMD 1600+
Primary Hard Drive 40 gig Maxtor 7200rpm 100 ATA rpm drive
DV drive 80 gig Maxtor 7200rpm 100 ATA drive
Backup Dive 30 Gig 7200rpm 66 Ata Drive
512 MB DDR memory
ADS Pyro fire wire card
Sony TRV103/Sony DV2000 cameras

Any help here will be met with lifelong gratitude.

-pat
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Old January 22nd, 2003, 06:10 PM   #2
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Dropped Audio Frames

Hi Patrick,

<<warning! kind of a long post!>>

Are you running any other software or services in the background such as a virus scanner?

Video editing is very processor-intensive. Every single service you may have running in the background takes valuable time slices away from your editing software.

As a result, sometimes errors can occur during the rendering process as different services interact with the CPU.

Here are some suggestions that I recommend to customers during my tech support calls that may also help you.

First, I note that you are using a separate hard-drive for video. Good idea. Additionally, that drive should ideally be on an IDE channel other than your primary boot-drive.

The reason is that whenever Windows XP needs to write to, or read from the swap file, it has to stop whatever it was doing on the hard-drive to complete the write/read function. This can (and usually does) interrupt the data stream out of the IEEE-1394 port.

If you are using a second hard-drive on a different channel, this should eliminate a possible source of the problem, as Windows will keep streaming on the second drive while writing on the first.

Second, How large is the cache on your hard drive? Generally, the larger the hardware cache on the drive, the better. Most, but not all hard drives out there today under 40gb usually have only 2mb of cache. If you decide to purchase a hard-drive, try to get one with 8mb of cache. The cache works as a temporary first-in-first-out buffer-- i.e., when the drive sends data, it fills the cache first then streams the data from the cache, allowing the drive time to do other tasks without interrupting the data stream.

If the drive has to stop sending data for a second to take care of housekeeping tasks or thermal calibration, the cache will continue streaming data to the 1394 port without a glitch-inducing interruption. The larger the cache-the more time the drive has to pick up where it left off.

Here is an additional idea to try... Barring a hardware problem or somthing else I'm missing, this usually fixes dropped video and audio frames in about 80% of the situations I have encountered:

Before doing this procedure, be sure to close all open programs, because a reboot will be required afterwards:

On the task bar, click <START> ----> <RUN>, and type "msconfig" (without quotes) in the textbox and click <OK>.

Then, follow this procedure in order:

At the top of the menubox, click on the "startup" tab.

Click on <Disable All>. (donít worry, they can be re-enabled later)

Next, click on the "services" tab.

Check the box "Hide All Microsoft Services".

Click on "Disable All".

Click "OK"

A message will appear: "You must restart your computer for some of the changes made by System Configuration to take effect"

Click "Restart"

The system will reboot.

When the system boots back up, a message will appear about the System Configuration. Click though this message, but do not restart the system. Click on "Exit Without Restart" instead.

You will now be at the Windows XP desktop. There should now be no software or services running in the background to interfere with the rendering or transfer process.

If this fixes the problem, then you can start selectively re-enabling services and start-up items one at a time until the problem happens again. That way you will know which software item or service is causing the problem.

If have other hardware in your system that is not essential to NLE, you can also make a hardware boot profile to selectively disable unneeded hardware at boot, thereby possibly freeing up additional resources as well. If you have no success and want to try that, let me know and I'll write up a procedure for that as well.

Sorry everyone for the long post, I do have a tendancy to be long-winded!

I hope this helps, let me know your results!
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Old January 22nd, 2003, 10:13 PM   #3
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i don't see a network card listed - but if you have one disable it when you transfer to tape ...

do you have VIA chip set ? make sure you have newest chip set drivers ...
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Old January 23rd, 2003, 09:34 AM   #4
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Phil,
That may be a long post but it's incredibly useful! I've had a few problems from time to time and I think I'll bookmark your post for future reference :)
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Old January 23rd, 2003, 02:43 PM   #5
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Phil
All I can say is:

"YOU DA MAN!!!!"

Its been almost 4 months that Iíve been having this problem and I've tried one or more of those corrections individually, but never could put together a way to get all those background applications to shut down.

I think the advise about moving the DV drive to a different IDE cable was the most significant improvement.

Iím eternally thankful for your advice.
-pat
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Old January 23rd, 2003, 02:52 PM   #6
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Aw, shucks... glad to help.

donatello has a good point as well though. If your system is on a network, (even on a cable modem or DSL modem via a network card) it's also a good idea to temporarily disable the network card in your device manager while editing or capturing and re-enabling it afterwards.

Network cards and the associated drivers/services can be resource hogs as well.

Good luck!

-Phil
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Old January 23rd, 2003, 02:57 PM   #7
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I'll add that to my pre-Export -back-to camera list of things to do.
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Old January 31st, 2003, 07:27 AM   #8
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Master/Slave for second drive?

Thanks for the advice on this Phil. I am sure it is helping a lot of people.

I am now looking at adding a second 80MB drive to my Dell Dimension 8200. The first one is configured as the master on one channel. The second channel has a DVD drive and a CD-RW drive.

If I understand correctly, I need to move either the DVD or CD-R to the same channel as the HD that is already there. I would then attach the new one to the second channel. If some distant memory serves, PCs don't like having two master HDs, so I need the new one to be the slave on the second channel.

Questions:
Is the above correct?
Does it make any difference where I put the CD-R and DVD drives?

Harder question:
While I understand the theory of using a dedicated HD for video, would using Striping not be even better, now that I will have two disks?

Acceleration tip:
If you are running an Intel chip set, don't miss this at:

http://support.intel.com/support/chipsets/iaa/

Haven't had a frame drop since installing it, though that was only yesterday...

All this will become more complex soon. I have my eye on one of the new external HP DVD 300e writers, which work at 4x speed and have Firewire and USB2 connectors. Seems more flexible that replacing the internal CDR drive....
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Old January 31st, 2003, 08:41 AM   #9
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Pat:

If you're using MSP 6.0, make sure that when you render your completed file, you go to the video settings tab, click on the audio tab and select "48,000" as your quality level. My MSP 6.0 came defaulted at "42,000" which is not compatable with DV.

Good luck!
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Old February 10th, 2003, 11:21 PM   #10
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IDE Configuration not that simple - according to Pinnacle

Pinnacle makes different recommendations on the configuration of a second drive for video work.... I have copied and pasted this from their FAQ.

Question
I am using a separate physical IDE drive for video work. How should I set it up in relation to my other IDE devices?

Answer
The general rule is that an IDE bus will run at the speed of the slowest device on the controller. Thus, if you put a high-speed hard drive on the same IDE controller as a CD-ROM or Zip drive (which are "slow" devices), the hard drive will run very slowly. It does not matter which device is Master and which one is Slave. With this in mind, note the following examples:

1. If you have one medium-speed OS hard drive, one high-speed video hard drive and one CD-ROM drive, you should put the CD-ROM as Slave on the primary IDE controller and the video drive alone on the secondary IDE controller.

2. If you have one high-speed OS hard drive, one high-speed video hard drive and two CD-ROM drives (or one CD-ROM and some other removable media device like a CD-R or Zip Drive), you should put the CD-ROM drives together on the secondary IDE controller, and Slave the video drive to the OS drive on the primary IDE controller.

3. If you have one medium-speed OS hard drive, one high-speed video hard drive and two CD-ROM drives (or one CD-ROM and some other removable media device like a CD-R or Zip Drive), you should use the same configuration as in Example 2, because even though the video drive cannot run at full performance because it is slaved to a slow OS hard drive, it will still do better than it would if it were on the same IDE controller as a removable media drive like a CD-ROM.
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