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-   -   Editing question (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/high-definition-video-editing-solutions/14012-editing-question.html)

Betsy Moore September 2nd, 2003 01:44 PM

Editing question
I am the proud owner of an HD-1 ($2425--no tax, free shipping, thank you very much). I'm astounded by the picture, even on my SD Sony 32 ".

I'm planning on shooting a full length feature on it in late October/early November. So now, with a limited budget I'm looking for a computer. From reading this site religiously it seems like the editing will have to be uncompressed, especially if my hope is to eventually project it on a large screen. Found this computer at Best Buy for $1800. Is it good enough, fast enough, etc. to edit HD-1 footage?

" Toshiba Satellite Notebook with IntelŪ PentiumŪ 4 Processor 3.06GHz, Model: A25-S3072"
"From multimedia to number crunching, this portable performancer delivers peak performance. "

IntelŪ PentiumŪ 4 processor 3.06GHz, with 533MHz system bus
512MB DDR SDRAM for multitasking power, expandable to 2.0GB

Charles Henrich September 2nd, 2003 02:00 PM

Dont buy from a local supplier, thats always a waste of money. Go to www.dell.com and grab something there. Really good deals can be had by buying some of the refurbished equipment (although I'd never buy a refurb laptop).

Keith Loh September 2nd, 2003 02:07 PM

I disagree about going to a local supplier. Perhaps it is only in my location (Vancouver) but you can look up the parts yourself and get a local dealer to give you everything you need and even put it together. You just have to do a little research.

Heath McKnight September 2nd, 2003 02:55 PM

I'm biased, but go Apple with FCP and Mullen's 4HDV.

Also, buy a DAT for audio! Most mini-dv cameras (and the HD1 and HD10) are unbalanced and it makes for some crappy hiss or a canned sound. I'll never go through the camera again!


Betsy Moore September 2nd, 2003 03:10 PM

Thanks for the input, guys:) As far as the specs listed above are concerned, are they good enough? I'd love to use a laptop with external hard drives because I'm going to have to be awfully mobile for the next six months. There are no fancy special effects in the movie, just some extended double exposures a la Apocolypse Now.

Heath, how many man hours will synching DAT to image add to the editing process?

Paul Mogg September 2nd, 2003 03:11 PM

I own both PCs and Macs but am very biased towards the Mac as everything to do with video and audio just "work" seamlessly on the Mac, no .dll's, blaster bugs etc. etc. and best of all, no Windoze! But having said that, right at this minute, the only native editing options appear to be on the PC (Vegas, Premiere, Womble). I'm interested to hear how Steve Mullen's Mac FCP tools work though, as having used both Premiere and FCP extensively I think FCP is the beez kneez!
I wish you the very best with your movie, let us know how it goes, I hope to do the same myself shortly!

Heath McKnight September 2nd, 2003 03:30 PM

Trust me, go with DAT, even if adds time to your editing. The sound is really canned through the HD10, has a hiss through an XL-1 or GL-1.


Gints Klimanis September 2nd, 2003 03:58 PM


What methods do you use to synchronize your DAT audio to your video footage?

Heath McKnight September 2nd, 2003 04:17 PM

<<<-- Originally posted by Gints Klimanis : Heath,

What methods do you use to synchronize your DAT audio to your video footage? -->>>

I don't personally have one, but my friend and I used a time code-matching DAT and were able to easily sync everything up in post.


David Kennett September 2nd, 2003 04:35 PM


I bought an HD-10 a couple of months ago, so I know how excited you must be. I have been using a Toshiba 2805-S503 for a couple years now to edit DV. It's only a 900MHz P3, well below the specs for the software for the HD-10 (1), but I am able to capture and lay back to tape flawlessly. Finding edit points (especially audio cues) is tricky - but do-able. A friend's 2.6GHz P4 is smoooth. I have 80GHz and 40GHZ firewire drives, as well as a Pioneer A03 DVD burner in an ADS firewire case. I just loop them all together - capture to the firewire drives.

The Toshiba has an Nvidia GeForce2Go video module, which supports the directdraw window (the video window) on both the internal and external monitors at the same time. A friend's Sony VAIO (model?) only showed purple instead of video on the external monitor. In fact, the Toshiba can show the video in the small editing window on the laptop screen, while showing that video full screen on the external CRT display - very useful!

I would not hesitate to recommend Toshiba's laptops for editing.

The software included with the JVC is klunky and inadequate for any serious work, so your computer decision should be made after your software decision - and new software will be coming fast. I use Ulead's Media Studio Pro for DV, and I love its ease of use and flexibility. Ulead says M2T support will be coming soon. That will be my next move!

Good luck!

Betsy Moore September 3rd, 2003 12:56 PM

Thanks David:) So you're saying that with the right software I can edit uncompressed (decompressed?) HD-1 footage on a 3Ghz laptop? Is 1 Gig of memory enough do you think? And an 80 Gig hard drive--supplemented with external Hard drives?

Heath McKnight September 3rd, 2003 01:01 PM

More on audio
I think it's tougher to fix the audio recorded directly through the HD10 than to sync up the audio from a DAT.

Also, you CANNOT control the audio AT all on the HD10. It's totally automatic.


Ken Hodson September 3rd, 2003 01:24 PM

A 1 gig PC(or lower) can edit uncompressed. It is your HD's and PCI bus that gets swamped. If you are just doing basic cuts/fades with no real compositing of footage then 7200rpm non raid drives will be fine. Just have a lot of them. Have someone who knows computers partition and set up your drives for NLE. Most all computers come pre configured with just one big partition C: drive. Also use the fast internal drives for active editing and the firewire drives for storage and back-up. Also buy a couple extra batteries at purchase time. You can usually get a deal, you will need them, and will greatly improve the resale value down the road.
But to be truthfull unless you are really moving around a lot, get a desktop. It will cost you half as much. You will then be able to afford Premiere with Aspect HD.

Heath McKnight September 3rd, 2003 01:43 PM

I thought I read that to edit HDV, you should have a 2 ghz PC minimum...


Stephen L. Minor September 3rd, 2003 01:51 PM

Editing on a laptop
To Betsy,

I'm not sure if these guys are reading your post right. Your trying to edit UNCOMPRESSED HD on a laptop? The main issue your going to have is the hard drives. Most notebook drives are slow (4200-5400rpm) Then there's the issue of load, once you get going and start building a sizable project (you said a full length feature), you've got alot of stuff going on for your PC.

Currently, I have completed a short film on the HD10U. I did some playing around on my laptop a Pentium M 1.4 (that runs faster than a 2gig) 512ram, 60gig hdd and yea it's possible... but I don't recommend it. I've only tinkerd around with compressed stuuf on the laptop. At the office I have a Dell Workstation Dual 2gig w/ U320 SCSI drives for video editing, I'm setting up RAID this week, so then I can see doing uncompressed.

I'm not going to tell you not to do it. But if you are I hope you a VERY patient person and this is not mission critical.

Heath McKnight September 3rd, 2003 01:54 PM

5400 RPM drives can be a pain in the neck even with compressed DV, in my experience.


Penfold Plum September 3rd, 2003 04:17 PM

I agree with S.L.Minor, unless portability is critical you will get much more for your money with a desktop. Laptops make quite a few compromises in order to become small and portable. Either a desktop mac with FCP or a Dell would be my choice.

Heath McKnight September 3rd, 2003 04:22 PM

I've had great luck with my TiBook 400 mhz, but a G5 desktop is the way I'm going in a couple of months.


Betsy Moore September 3rd, 2003 05:06 PM

Heath, I have to admit, I hate Macs--sorry! I always found them bizarrely over-priced and buggier than a suite at the Moscow Hilton. I know, I know, I'm a heretic.

So if laptops aren't really a viable option, it sounds like the best non-Mac solution for uncompressed editing is a desktop with...

Ken Hodson September 3rd, 2003 05:11 PM

Heath, faster is always better. I was just illustrating that the 3ghz P4 wasn't the main factor in the equation. I used to edit uncompressed HuffYUV on my old 100bus Cleron 550. Uncompressed video is one of the easier forms of video for your computer to work with as long as your HD/PCI bus can handle it. When you start to get into high quality super compressed video thats when you need super cpu power to be able to decode/encode with any speed.
Like I said, as long as she gets a 7200 rpm drive in it, and has a knowledgeable person set it up right, as well as keeping the editing simple (no compositing), and not use the firewire drives as your active editing drives, she should be fine.
But like I suggested get a RAID desktop with Aspect HD and a nice light LCD(for portability)for the same money.

Heath McKnight September 3rd, 2003 05:54 PM


Having used both PC and Mac NLEs, I've decided to go with Macs for my editing solutions. A friend of mine edited with a fairly new Avid (at the time) once, and had to use his Apple Laptop to finish the project.

As a matter of fact, we got rid of our $2 million PC-based (Windows NT) NLE in favor of a cheaper FCP/Apple-based NLE set up. About 1/3 of the price, if I'm not mistaken. (Note, I had no bearing on that decision.)


Stephen L. Minor September 3rd, 2003 08:04 PM

Editing Solution
The choice of PC versus MAC is just a matter of preference. Both have Flaws and advantages. Macs are based on PC technology they use the same IDE/SATA HDD and there processors crunch numbers just like PC's. Based on that, they won't be faster or "better". But on the flip side they can be easier to use (for some). I have heard (from MAC people) the G5 won't be up to spec for some time, and your paying a premuim for it. Why not just get a Dell 650 WS w/ Raid and get the job done, it's even compared to the G5 on apple's web site. I find Dell's tech Support to be one of the best period (I've called just about all of them).

Here's one possible solution Betsy, get a Semi-portable PC. These are very small form factor case's (usually for gamers) go here for an idea http://www.thinkgeek.com/computing/handhelds/5fd7/
Of course, you need an LCD screen to be reasonable. But you could probably fit everything you need in a small suitcase and be much more realistic (hardware wise). Dell also makes a prescision mobile workstation that might handle the job but the price is a doosey. Good luck!

Brad Hawkins September 3rd, 2003 08:21 PM

Audio Sync
Perhaps I'm just stating the obvious, but you could always do it the old fashion way and simply use a clapper board. True it can take some time to sync everything up, but after a couple of scenes you'll get pretty good at it and fast too.

And on the topic of editing. Has anyone heard any more information on the new Pixlet codec that will be released with OS X 10.3? Do we know if this codec will work with the HD10?


Heath McKnight September 3rd, 2003 08:27 PM

Yeah, saving a lot of money with a non-timecode DAT (that's what I'll probably buy--I occasionally can get my hands on a TC DAT) and a clapper is a great idea!

Dell's tech support isn't that great; a simple freeze up had the guy telling me to wipe the computer.

Of course, Apple's is only, I think 6 am - 6 PM PST, M-F only...It did, however, receive a top rating.


Ken Hodson September 3rd, 2003 11:05 PM

Whats a clapper board?

"It did, however, receive a top rating."
It better had when they over charge as much as they do.

Heath McKnight September 3rd, 2003 11:14 PM

Maybe they meant to say a slate.


Ken Hodson September 4th, 2003 03:18 AM

Oh, slate board. And here I was envisioning something high-tech. Ha. But that is a great idea. Good call Brad.

David Kennett September 4th, 2003 09:09 AM


Just some expanded thoughts on HD1 editing. I understand the reasons for the uncompressed AVI editing, but it sure seems like there are some significant advantages to native M2T editing (specifically the HD1 format). (Smaller files, lower data rate, NO additional loss). Audio can be done externally with the included software. What we need is a utility to convert AVIs from other editors to HD1-M2T. We could then do the bulk of our editing natively, then add more sophisticated stuff from other sources.

Concerning hard drive speed - sometime ago I downloaded a little program from the Canopus site that checks hard drive continuous throughput. Not surprisingly, my laptop drive will do only about 5 MBYTES per sec. - barely adequate. My desktop drives (3) (7200RPM) run about 20 MBYTES per sec. Surprisingly, both firewire drives (7200 RPM) run about 30 MBYTES per sec - on either computer - go figure.

I agree with the other posts - a desktop is better - but a laptop is workable. Check out the dual monitor thing - whichever type you get.

Fernando Vossa September 4th, 2003 07:04 PM

Audio editing w/ HD cam
text from:


by Scott Thomas
Director of Engineering
the Victory Studios

There is a lot of questions regarding how to record audio separate from a HDCam camera and be able to sync it up later. Here are some thought that I have put together that may help clear up some of the confusion.

First, match the rates of the camera and audio device. If the camera is 24P, the audio device should be 30 frame Non-drop timecode. If the camera is 23.98P, the audio device should be in 29.97 Non-drop frame.

Second of all it is a wise idea to record audio on the HD tape as well as the external device. Ideally this would be the same audio that is feeding the external audio recording device (DAT, DA88, Nagra, DEVA, etc). Think of it as a great backup device. At the very least, turn on the camera mic. This gives a locked sync reference for checking the sync in post.

Third, remember that the biggest issue that we are dealing with is the difference between 24 frame and 30 frame timecode. The camera records 24 frame timecode and most audio houses that I have talked to want the audio to have 30 frame timecode for mixing. The other issue is that for downconversion and offlining to be guaranteed frame accurate, the timecode on the camera must be continuous (ie Record Run). This means that you can't just 'Jam' the timecodes together and let the devices free run.

So what should you do? Here are some options that have worked:

Option 1
Do nothing and let the post/sound house spend a lot of time (make a lot of money) syncing your sound up manually.

Pros: easy to do in the field

Cons: the bill

Option 2
Have a timecode slate that is displaying the timecode of the external audio recording device. At the beginning of every take, show this slate in the frame so that the time reference can be manually read off and used to lock audio in post.

Pros: Non-Obtrusive to camera operations
Audio sync points can be entered when logging tapes

Cons: Somewhat labor intensive in post

Option 3 (ideally combined with option 2)
Record the 30 frame timecode out of the external audio device onto one of the audio tracks of the HD tape while recording sound for sync checking (see above) on the other(s). In post, the audio device can chase this 30 frame timecode signal and sync up automatically.

Pros: Minimally-Obtrusive to camera operation (timecode can be sent wirelessly to camera)
If using a disk based recorder (i.e. DEVA), there is almost no time syncing up in Post


Option 4
Take the timecode (and in some cases the video out) of the camera and run it into a downconverter or timecode translator (i.e. Afterburner, Synch Box, Lockit). The converted timecode is then fed into and recorded on the audio device. What this does is convert the 24 frame timecode from the camera to 30 frame timecode on the audio device. This has been the most trouble-free in post.

Pros: Downconverted video available in the field (with downconverter)
Most trouble-free in post

Cons: More Obtrusive to camera operation (more wires)
More wires and gear to hook up in the field

Stephen L. Minor September 11th, 2003 04:25 PM

editing question
The Dell number I have is for only workstations and the military ONLY, it's not the PC user's number. Every time I talk to someone they are AMERICAN and real tech people who know computers.

Has anyone been able to edit the m2t files or an avi file with smooth playback? Even in the mpeg edit software that came with the camera, I get choppy playback. My workstation is a dual 2gig Xeon, 1gig ram, and U320 scsi. no smooth playback. Even my laptop is no slouch. 2.2gig P4, 512ram, 7200rpm firewire drives. I don't see the processors working too hard during play, and the files are pretty small (smaller than DV). So why can't I see this correctly? Who else is editing this m2t footage and whats your process?


David Kennett September 11th, 2003 06:37 PM

S. L.,

Don't know why you're not getting good playback! I edit on a P3 900 MHz - but its too slow for smooth playback. Took my edited stuff to a friend with a 2.6GHz P4 and it played fine(with both Elecard and VLC player). I can lay back my stuff onto tape and it plays fine in the camcorder.

BEWARE! There is no "snap to" when you drop a clip in the timeline, and it is easy to leave a black frame or two. My solution is to set the scale to "one frame" on the timeline, and I can see if there's a hole. I have to go back to "one second" to see what I'm doing with a dissolve, however - good luck

Heath McKnight September 11th, 2003 06:41 PM

I never thought I'd hear a 900 mhz PC being slow... :-)


Steve Mullen September 11th, 2003 10:46 PM

Re: Audio editing w/ HD cam
<<<-- There are a lot of questions regarding how to record audio separate from a HDCam camera and be able to sync it up later. -->>>

I'm always puzzled by why there is this sense that audio can't be recorded on videotape.

Has anyone really MEASURED a difference between DAT and HDACAM/DVCPRO100/DV/HDV?

Brian Mitchell Warshawsky September 11th, 2003 11:53 PM

Has anyone tried to record audio using Mini-Disk recorders?

It seems like it might be an attractive option for portability.


Brad Hawkins September 12th, 2003 08:28 AM

It seems to me that the reason people are not excited about audio on the HD10 stems from the fact that it does not have balanced inputs. It has nothing to do with opposition to recording on the camera tape, but opposition to the crappy inputs on the HD10.

As far as mini disc recorders go, all the mini discs I have seen (including the one I own) also use this form of unbalanced inputs.

From what I understand, pretty much any device that uses a mini jack instead of XLR will have this unbalanced form of audio. And even though our HD10s have the option of recording sound through XLR, the XLR is converted to mini jack when you connect it to the camera.


Brian Mitchell Warshawsky September 12th, 2003 02:32 PM

[Question ported over from another thread]

Is there anything good (besides the price) that can be said about the bundled NLE?

Besides the obvious speed problems, and the fact that its not FCP 4, just what CAN it do?

Assuming you will not be compositing graphics, or making a music video/ special effect, but are only planning to edit an old fashioned style black and white drama, how close does this get you?

Are basic fades and dissolves possible?

Can Audio be mixed from an external source?

Thanks for any advice,


Heath McKnight September 12th, 2003 02:34 PM

so much for my friend's theory of going mini-disc. nuts...

I'm guessing the XL-1 and XL-1s with an XLR adaptor plugged in will also be unbalanced?


Steve Mullen September 12th, 2003 04:24 PM

It's true the XLR becomes unbalanced before entering the camera, but this causes...?

Or, what is/are the reason(s) for using unbalanced?

I'm playing a game here. :)


Heath McKnight September 12th, 2003 04:28 PM

Wouldn't "unbalanced" be bad?

Is the XL-1 unbalanced? Is this why I always heard a bad hiss under my recordings?


Steve Mullen September 12th, 2003 04:50 PM

<<<-- Originally posted by Heath McKnight : Wouldn't "unbalanced" be bad?

Is the XL-1 unbalanced? Is this why I always heard a bad hiss under my recordings?

heath -->>>

Yes, the XL! is also unbalanced. Hiss is not related to balanced/unbalanced.

So what/when is unbalanced bad? :)

Or, when is balanced bad? :)

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