Latest post Wed, May 20 2009 9:48 AM by musikwerks. 14 replies.
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  • Wed, Mar 11 2009 10:39 AM

    • Asterix
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    Adrenaline Online Sync Issues

    Folks,

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts that you may have.........

    I am using an Adrenaline with DNxcel on an HP8200 Workstation to online the output from 4 Avid Offline suites (ranging from Media Compsoser to Express DV). All the offline suites are setup as SDI with Mojo's and are being fed with "house sync" from a DVC BBG3 unit. Each offline suite uses external Lacie Firewire drives as the media storage. The adrenaline has 4 TB of Transtec raid storage. There are no long cable runs and the suites were all installed by qualified AVID engineers.

    I am having terrible problems with projects being redigitised to online resolution but are out of sync. All of the "human" elements in the equation are experienced editors and I am confident that all digitising / editing is not part to the issue.

    I have managed to establish a few issues that are "adding" to the basic problem, but still can't get to the bottom of the whole issue.

    On some  digitised footage (Digibeta) I can see "dirty" camera edits that are certainly causing problems - up to 4 frames each dirty edit that all adds up if the clips are not broken down into more manageable clips.

    The problem persists though if we are cutting up Programme Master tapes that are technically "fine" ie no TC breaks etc...

    I have tried different ways to test the remaining sync problems.......sometimes up to + / - 5 frames...

    I ask the offline editors to give me a guide playout tape to load in to create a horizontal wipe to match guide vs redigitised clips.

    I also hook up the media drive of the low resolution media and do the same horizontal wipe as a test.

    Both of the above methods from different suites are all showing sync issues......

    The problems are the same  if I redigitise from a Sony DVW-A500P or either of our Sony J3 / Sony J30's.

    Another deck that I have tried to use is our Sony HDW-M2000 deck in downconvert mode - though bizarrely it manages to digitise all clips in 1 frame early! I.e if you try to load in a master programme clip that starts at 10:00:00:00 and therefore allow a few seconds of black berore to check TC issues, when digitised the first frame of picture starts at 09:59:59:24?????

    The problem has been fairly persistent over the last 6 months or so, and I am confident that it was not so much of an issue before that - though as we all know the wily way of the Avid has hiccups from time to time!!!!!

    The suites are managed by an Avid Support contract and are well maintained ad are all running the latest versions of the software.

    I am now going round in circles trying to find an area of "common fault" that I can try to fix. I am now paranoid about sync and spend more time having to fix sync than actually making our programmes look nice and deliver a highest quality product.

    Anyone else having similar experiences?

     

    Cheers!

     

    JT

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Sun, Mar 15 2009 7:27 PM In reply to

    • BobRusso
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    Re: Adrenaline Online Sync Issues

    There are few things to look at. Are the systems in fact looking at external reference? Are the correct decks selected in the capture tool?

    Are any of these dubs?  I've seen where the VITC and LTC on dubs won't match. Either way can you check to see that the VITC and LTC match?

    I believe by default the Media Composer checks the timecode every 6 frames. This can be shortened so the breaks are caught earlier. With the capture window open type: tcbreaktolerance 4

    It will now check every 4 frames, I'm not sure it will help but its worth a try.

    You say you have Express DV systems, do you mean Xpress Pro? XDV never supported a Mojo and was firewire capture only. I have seen exactly what you're describing when capturing via firewire and using an A-D converter. The video will pass through the A-D converter and it takes a few frames for the conversion to happen. Meanwhile the time code is traveling directly via the RS-422 cable. This is different for different A-D converters.

    Avid has support for a number these converters and what I've seen happen is different user setting will have the correct converter selected and other won't.

    https://www.youtube.com/avidevangelistbob [view my complete system specs]

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  • Sun, Mar 15 2009 8:05 PM In reply to

    Re: Adrenaline Online Sync Issues

    I am confident that it was not so much of an issue before that

    I and others have experienced this issue for a long time (I think I first noticed it in 1997 when I started onlining more shows on the Avid rather than in a tape-2-tape room).

    It seems to happen with all Sony 1/2 inch camcorders. Unless the camera persons are very meticulous about creating continuous timecode, you will experience small TC jumps/breaks that will go unnoticed by an NLE (it's not Avid-specific).

    I've grown the habit of capturing for offline with a TC burnin. During editing, I'll color code all master clips that appear to have TC discrepancies between burnin and Avid metadata. After editing, I'll consolidate the final sequence, and manually correct the metadata for all clips that have a different TC in Avid then they have on their burnin.

    Also, I always do a shot-by-shot eyematch between offline and online, or - mostly these days - between offline and DI conform. Explore the gang-function, it allows you to have one sequence in the source monitor and one in the record monitor, and gang them together. Click through one, and the other will "chase".

    If the burnin is unpleasant or unacceptable (for instance: you need to present the offline cuts without the burnins to clients), you can skip the TC correction steps, and manually correct all shots that appear different when eyematching each shot between offline and online.

    You might be a little more lucky if you narrow the TC Break Tolerance in the console, but beware, since setting it too narrow will mean that perfectly continuous takes might be aborted by the Avid (TC on the RS422 always wanders back and forth a bit, is not clocked to the video).

    Also, if you use TOD on set, you don't have these issues. On the other hand, you will be spending much more time capturing, since every shot will generate a TC break.

    Media Composer Symphony | PT Ultimate | Win10 HPZ | OSX MBP | ISIS5000 [view my complete system specs]
  • Sun, Mar 15 2009 8:53 PM In reply to

    • luca.mg
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    Re: Adrenaline Online Sync Issues

    I agree with Job except that I came across this even with Digital Betacam and IMX decks; feeding black burst or not does not make much difference. Before onlining I do a videomixdown; after online I drop the videomixdown on top of the onlined sequence and put a 50% superimpose effect and eye check cut by cut if the edits match and slip not matching clips until they're fine, usually they're one or two frames off consistenly; errors are easier to find than by gang, but both techniques lead to the same result so use wichever one You're more confortable with (having a reliable assistant to do either the gang or superimpose sequence check for You is much better!). I never trash and redigit the audio to avoid messy situations. It's a lot of work and this really should be fixed, especially because older Avid systems did not have this problem.

    Symphony 21.9, BM Intensity Pro 4k, Windows 10, i7-5930K, 32 GB ram, Quadro K620 [view my complete system specs]

    peace luca

  • Sun, Mar 15 2009 9:19 PM In reply to

    Re: Adrenaline Online Sync Issues

    luca.mg:
    except that I came across this even with Digital Betacam and IMX decks

    Uhm, those are 1/2 inch formats as well (in fact, I was mainly inferring DigiBeta).

    Media Composer Symphony | PT Ultimate | Win10 HPZ | OSX MBP | ISIS5000 [view my complete system specs]
  • Sun, Mar 15 2009 9:47 PM In reply to

    • luca.mg
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    Re: Adrenaline Online Sync Issues

    My mistake, You wrote 1/2 I've read 3/4... time to go to sleep?! Anyway I just noticed that it's the first post for Asterix: welcome to the club.

    Symphony 21.9, BM Intensity Pro 4k, Windows 10, i7-5930K, 32 GB ram, Quadro K620 [view my complete system specs]

    peace luca

  • Sun, Mar 15 2009 11:17 PM In reply to

    • Chad
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    Re: Adrenaline Online Sync Issues

    Yep - this costs me two hours on every show I online.  The video mixdown check is the quickest and easiest, although the TC burnin option is the most accurate (although many producers and offline editors loathe having TV burnt in on offline rushes.)

    There is a rackmount unit called the Timecode Watchdog which is meant to fix it, but I've never been able to convince my facility to buy one (at 650GBP each.)

    It is a real pain, and can be eliminated on Digibeta cameras by asking every operator to use some button I've been told about next to their Record button called "sync" or something like that...but this is basically impossible on our show that uses between 10-12 freelance operators (and not always the same ones) on each show.

    Avid MCA 3.0 on WinXP SP2 3Gb RAM [view my complete system specs]
  • Mon, Mar 16 2009 8:14 AM In reply to

    • TrevorA
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    Re: Adrenaline Online Sync Issues

    This is, as you can see, a known but pretty much ignored issue.

    Beware digitising 'on the fly' as this can cause these problems.

    They aren't limited to sony camearas - I've had the same issue on studio shows that were recorded direct to tape.

    Shot matching is the workaround - and a very painful one it is. 'Total Conform' indeed.

     

  • Mon, Mar 16 2009 8:48 AM In reply to

    • luca.mg
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    Re: Adrenaline Online Sync Issues

    If You just want Your online to match the offline the superimpose method is fine, but if You want an accurate sequence/EDL for future reference You'll have to go the TC burn in way, this will involve adjusting the audio as well. As fixing this major problem is not properly an issue for the Feature request forum maybe we all should post in the Chat with Avid forum about this badly needed fix. As stated: this wasn't happening in the good old days of the Mac Quadra (MC 4.x - 5.x, I seem to forget what the relese was), it is a malfunction introduced quite a few years ago with the latest Meridien systems and nobody fixed it up to now.

    Symphony 21.9, BM Intensity Pro 4k, Windows 10, i7-5930K, 32 GB ram, Quadro K620 [view my complete system specs]

    peace luca

  • Tue, Mar 17 2009 8:51 AM In reply to

    • TrevorA
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    Re: Adrenaline Online Sync Issues

    For completeness, I believe the problem relates to Avid grabbing *one frame* of timecode information when digitising and then extrapolating that across the duration of the clip (so last timecode value is start timecode + duration).

    Because digitising space used to be an issue I guess.

    One workaround, that I have never personally tried, is to feed the tape timecode into an audio track and use that as your timecode source ('read audio timecode'). That should result in a timecode for a given frame matching the tape original, but is probably rather cumbersome.

    Another workaround is to only capture at your finishing resolution The problem there, particularly on ISIS, seems to be a hideous slowdown in the editor responsiveness. 

  • Tue, Mar 17 2009 9:09 AM In reply to

    Re: Adrenaline Online Sync Issues

    TrevorA:
    One workaround, that I have never personally tried, is to feed the tape timecode into an audio track and use that as your timecode source ('read audio timecode').

    But I have and it works. That said it has 2 limitations.

    1) You need a time code reader. If you want something PC based look at a company called Allperman & Velte. Any betacam will also do.

    2) When you freeze and move frame by frame LTC timecode does not work. VITC will. Your timecode reader needs a video VITC input for that.

    I've had some LTC/VITC problems in the  past. Thats why I blank the vitc lines on the input side of every (digi) beta I have. The beta then regenerates VITC. I set the time code readers in my machines all to LTC (not auto or VITC).

    Then I have this vague memory of PC com ports have problems with synchronous data transfer. Something that Powermac's of the past did not have. But I will have to search if that has anything to do with the issue here or I'm just saying a lot of *%^(* now...

     

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  • Tue, Mar 17 2009 9:39 AM In reply to

    Re: Adrenaline Online Sync Issues

    luca.mg:
    a malfunction introduced quite a few years ago with the latest Meridien systems

    It was right there on Mac ABVB (v6/7) as well as on my very first Meridien (v9).

    I didn't know about the Timecode Watchdog. Seems great. I'd buy one as soon as some 1/2 inch recorded show comes my way (not happening so much these days).

    Media Composer Symphony | PT Ultimate | Win10 HPZ | OSX MBP | ISIS5000 [view my complete system specs]
  • Tue, Mar 17 2009 3:51 PM In reply to

    • luca.mg
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    Re: Adrenaline Online Sync Issues

    Job, whenever this started it shouldn't work like that, and most of all a Whatchdog shouldn't be needed: Avid should be accurate regarding TC as it used to be.

    Symphony 21.9, BM Intensity Pro 4k, Windows 10, i7-5930K, 32 GB ram, Quadro K620 [view my complete system specs]

    peace luca

  • Fri, Mar 20 2009 6:52 AM In reply to

    Re: Adrenaline Online Sync Issues

    accurate regarding TC as it used to be

    I'm pretty sure it never used to be.

    Media Composer Symphony | PT Ultimate | Win10 HPZ | OSX MBP | ISIS5000 [view my complete system specs]
  • Wed, May 20 2009 9:48 AM In reply to

    • musikwerks
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    Re: Adrenaline Online Sync Issues

    +1 for this problem

    Digitising from Sony Digi Beta decks via SDI Mojo and SDI Mojo DX.

    Sitting here with the producer over my shoulder previewing the final audio mix and getting chewed out beccause it's not in sync.

    Really pissed off. Since when did accurate timecode become an optional extra?


    FIX IT AVID!

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