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Sony PXW-Z280, Z190, X180 etc. (going back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.

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Old June 8th, 2010, 05:26 AM   #1
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.mxf Files Mishandled in Adobe Premiere

PROBLEM - Attempt edit .mxf files. I have a serious and bizarre issue with BOTH Premiere CS4 and CS5, which I am posting here and several other places, in hopes that someone might provide a suggestion before I pay Adobe for their comment. To wit, I have a Sony EX1 with an attached Convergent Designs nanoFlash, and am attempting to edit .mxf data (1080x1920 30p, 100Mbps, Long GOP). I can import and edit the .mxf files quite satisfactoriy into Vegas Pro 8, but in the timeline of both Premiere Pro CS4 and CS5, BOTH the video and audio show up ONLY in the video timeline! I can edit the video OK, but any edit of audio in Premiere is totally impossible - the only way the audio can be edited is to take it into Soundbooth, clip by clip from the Premiere timeline, and then bring it back into Premiere, where it again is combined with the Video (making transitions, etc. impossible). I am absolutely intent upon using the Convergent Designs nanoFlash data (taken from the Sony EX1 SDI output in uncompressed 4:2:2), since the nanoFlash data is just soooooo pristine, in comparison to the usual SxS collected 35 Mbps 4:2:0 data!

Before I go further, to let you know what I am running all this on: A BOXX 4850, ASUS motherboard, CPU Intel i7 Quad Core overclocked at 4 GHz, Memory 6GB DDR 1333, Video NVIDIA Quadro CX (yes, qualified for superb performance with Premiere CS5), two hard drives, both 7,200 SATA, 250GB for programs and 500GB RAID 0 for data, OS discussed below (first, Vista Ultimate 64 bit, then WIN 7 Ultimate, 64 bit. Tests of all hardware indicate that all are functioning normally.

On a totally clean installation, I first installed Vista Ultimate 64 bit, updated, and with everything else installed and updated (including NVIDIA, audio drivers, etc.) and the Adobe Production Premium CS4. Everything I then imported and edited, except the .mxf files, operated normally with very few crashes. The MainConcept XDCAM PlugIn was installed to permit importing .mxf data into Premiere. And as noted above, both .mxf video and audio data showed up only in the video timeline.

SOOOO, I conducted another totally clean install, this time with WIN 7 Ultimate 64 bit, Adobe Production Premium CS5 (no plug-in required for high data rate .mxf files) and again all drivers installed and updated. It might be noted that Adobes' Premiere CS5 still has a serious bug even in its latest rendition, namely, at least for .mxf files, one channel of stereo audio lags the other). BUT the same issue AGAIN showed up - both video and audio show up ony in the video timeline.

Convergent Designs staff has been exemplary in providing their, as usual, exceptionally timely and knowledgeable response when I presented them with this bizarre issue - but they have no solution for me - a similar configuration (PC, windows, Adobe, etc.) operates
fine on their setup! And they have provided me a high data rate long GOP nanoFlash generated test file which shows up fine on their set up, but which just exhibits the strange behavior on my Premiere Cs4 and CS5.

At present, I am able to edit test clips perfectly in Vegas Pro 8, export the file wrapped avi, coded in Adobe Media Encoder CS5, and then produced BD through Adobe Encore CS5 without a hitch - and with the nano data from the EX1 - WOW! What a comparative absence of artifacts - how sharp on the big screen - how great for blue screen, etc., etc.!

Soo, you might well ask, why don't I just use Vegas Pro 8, instead of either of the editions of Premiere? Well, I am still very slowly and laboriously learning the ins and outs of Vegas (using the excellent Editing Workshop provided by Douglas Spotted Eagle), BUT I have been using Premiere as an editor for the last thirteen years, and would like to continue to use Premiere.

If anyone out there has any suggestions as to the genesis and possible solution to my problems in attempting to utilize Premiere, it would be greatly appreciated.
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Old June 10th, 2010, 05:55 PM   #2
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MXF problem

William - I have a PMW 350 and CS4 & CS5 - and I share some of your grief as I can't get CS5 to handle the 4 channel audio properly yet. (It turns into 2 channel gibberish). I think it's a bug and a fix is due - but Adobe have been sitting on my support question for weeks now with no answer in sight.

Anyway - as far as your problem goes, have you tried importing files direct from the camera's SxS cards in either HQ mode at 1280 or SP mode at 1440. These can be imported as mxf files via Sony's free "Clip Browser" WITHOUT the need for the Main Concept codec.

I know it doesn't solve your problem with the NanoFlash, but it might be a pointer as to the real culprit.

Just a thought. Good luck!
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Old June 11th, 2010, 12:27 AM   #3
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William is struggling with NanoFlash MXF's and not EX mp4's.

Do you have any of the Calibrated-Q products installed? In some cases these are known to cause conflicts. If you convert an EX mp4 to MXF how is that file handled?
Alister Chapman, Film-Maker/Stormchaser http://www.xdcam-user.com/alisters-blog/ My XDCAM site and blog. http://www.hurricane-rig.com
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Old June 11th, 2010, 06:00 AM   #4
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Hi Alister,

"Do you have any of the Calibrated-Q products installed? In some cases these are known to cause conflicts."

Only our Calibrated{Q} Decode codecs work with Adobe products - and only with MOV files, not MXF files - so there would not be any conflicts with MXF files in Adobe and our products.

The only time we instruct users not to install our Calibrated{Q} Decode codecs is if they are using a Mac with Final Cut Pro. We have another line of Calibrated{Q} Import products that do work with Final Cut Pro on a Mac.


Calibrated Software
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Old June 12th, 2010, 02:26 AM   #5
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There certainly is a problem with the XDCAMEX importer in CS5 for EX footage that doesn't import the audio of EX1/3/350 MP4's. Adobe know about this and I know have a fix which is supposed to be in the next point release (although it didn't make the first one).

I've successfully edited MXF footage that has been converted by clip browser from EX MP4's but I've never tried nano flash MXF's - could well be a problem with that. IIRC I DID have a problem with 350 footage converted to MXF's as well (the difference being 4 channel audio over the EX1/3). I think the MXF footage is handled potentially by one of a number of importer modules in PPro.

Wil Renczes (Adobe Engineer) who sometimes hangs out on the Adobe PPro forum was incredibly helpful with my EX MP4 issues in CS5 and developed the fix to the importer - maybe try to get his help if he's contactable there?

William - I'm not sure exactly what you are seeing - do you mean that the audio portion of the footage does not show up in the audio timeline when you place a clip? Does it play at all - do you hear any kind of audio, correct or not?

What does the info for the clip say about the audio in the project panel or in the properties for the clip in PPro?

Does sound so far like it could be a similar kind of issue to what I have seen.

This is the post on the Adobe forums re my issue. You might find some of it useful, I'd especially recommend trying the renaming of importer components to see if you can force PPro to use a different module to import your MXF footage and see if that gives different results:

Adobe Forums: CS5 doesn't import native Sony PMW-350...

In my case, I could import the footage and get some audio working which then led on to Wil finding the problem.


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Old June 13th, 2010, 03:54 PM   #6
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I've Lived a Sheltered Life.......


Thank you for your responses and queries.

Chris - Alister is right!

Alister - I do not have nor have I ever had "Calirated Q" on any of my machines.

Paul -

First, everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) is able to import nanoFlash files as identified above (100 Mbps, Long GOP), with video in the video timeline and audio in the audio timeline (though one audio channel lags the other), but I am the ONLY one who can't see or edit the audio files in Premiere. To clarify, I have only ONE bar in the timeline, that is one bar in VID 1, in which both video and audio are combined. There are no bars or anything at all in any of the audio rows (such as AUD 1). I can apply the usual video effects to the single bar in VID 1, with no issues. If I play back the timeline in Premiere, on the monitor, I can see the video and hear one channel of the audio appropriately linked to the video, but with the second audio channel lagging the first audio channel. I can set VID 1 bar to display a series of individual frames representing a sampling of the video content. In Premiere, I can do nothing with the audio, except click on the bar in VID 1, export the audio content to Soundbooth, manipulate the audio in Soundbooth, and then export it from Soundbooth back into Premiere. If I delete one of the two audio channels (one of which is illustrated to lag the other) in Soundbooth before bringing it back to Premiere, and then export to Adobe Media Encoder, encode in MPEG2 in hi def, and bring the resulting file into Encore, I can produce a BluRay disc which look beautiful, with a one channel audio soundtrack which is of apparently great fidelity to what I originally recorded in the nanoFlash on the EX1.

And it just occurs to me that I am probably wrong in stating that the audio is combined with the video in the video timeline - what is much more likely is that the audio is just not represented in the audio portion of the timeline, and thereby cannot be edited in Premiere, even though right clicking the video bar in the timeline permits bringing the audio into Soundbooth as described.

I posted this whole issue in the Adobe Premiere CS5 Forum five days ago, and so far have not heard from Wil Renczes, although I saw his responses to you in the link you provided.

Now, my title above, "I've Lived a Sheltered Life" refers to the fact that I've never had to rewrap a file such as you suggested, from mxf to something like avi or whatever, I'm totally uncertain how to do that short of purchasing and installing a program to do that, and totally uncertain about the results, or under what setting by which to import it, etc.. I just give up! And likewise I do not comprehend the suggestion "trying the renaming of importer components..."?????



Paul, in looking up the audio data in which you requested info (by the way, Source Audio Data 48000 Hz - 24 bit Stereo, with a higher bit on the project, therefore, of course causing conforming upon import into Premiere),
I then had the thought that I've been on entirely the wrong track (yes, the PUN is intended), thinking that the audio was combined with the video (VID 1) bar, when in fact, the audio bar wasn,t showing up, just for the h..l of it, I decided to add a bunch of audio tracks in the timeline to the normal 3 tracks that were showing up, along with the usual 3 video tracks.........and THERE IN AUDIO TRACK 9 WAS THE AUDIO, SUBJECT TO THE NORMAL KIND OF CONTROL THAT HAS ALWAYS BEEN EXTANT. So, I clicked to delete the empty tracks, and then, as you will by now have guessed in AUD 1 track was the audio matching the video, in the timeline.....and every thing was fine, except that (yes, I immediately checked Adobe updates, again) the blasted audio - one audio track still lagging the other - after one evident set of fixes of Premiere CS5 already, Adobe evidently doesn't feel this fix is important.

I just don't know what to say. I have never, at anytime in my 19 or so years as an editor, and 13 years with Premiere ever found it necessary to use 9 audio tracks (previously never more than five). And duing the sometimes 19 hour days I have spent working on this abomination, and even though I KNEW that audio Preferences were set OK, I had checked them again more than twice, re number of tracks, stereo vs 5.1, etc., etc. after, I think, some on another Forum prompted me to check them again.

So, I have just uninstalled Adobe CS5 Production Premium, in view of Premiere's audio one channel lag which I can only hope they someday repair. And I have uninstalled Sony Vegas Pro 8, and I then attempt to clean up the Registry and install Adobe CS4 Production Premium, go looking for that missing audio placement (for whatever reasons, I'd bet a lot that if I create additional audio adding up to 9, I'll find it there in AUD 9, but at this point I can only conclude that faith is just that, and has nothing to do with the facts.....after all, that's why its called faith.

Goodnight, Chet.
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Old June 13th, 2010, 03:59 PM   #7
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It does very much sound like it's a bug in the importer to me - similar in some ways to the bug I saw.

Have you submitted a bug report to Adobe - I think that would be really helpful - maybe one day I'll get a nanoflash too, so it certainly would help.

Let's hope that Wil does get back to you...

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Old June 13th, 2010, 05:38 PM   #8
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There is a way to get rid of a lot of the Premiere Problems.
Just convert all your longgop files with Sony Vegas 9c to DVCPro HD
Hereafter it is easier edit in Premiere Pro.
Advantage: Intra frame editing with smooth playback
Disadvantage: Large files and extra time for converting
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