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Recycle computers and electronics

-February 27, 2002-

It was Audio night and so Audio dominated the evening. Lets "hear" what went on. Sorry, couldn't resist.

As usual Stump the Gurus was up first and Terrence McCarthy joined regulars Andrew Balis and Ken Stone to answer a few FCP troubleshooting questions posed by the crowd. A few questions asked and answered were:
Q) Some of my fonts dont appear in Boris Calligraphy and sometimes they do and not all of them ever do. What's up with that?
A) Well not all fonts seem to be compatible with All applications but if some of the some fonts that appear one time and dont appear the next time, then something is wrong. Perhaps call Boris support and see what they have to say.
Q) I shoot with a Canon XL1 and capture that media with a JVC deck and I get sync drift. Why?
A) Make sure your SAM (sync adjust movies) box is checked in your preferences. It adjusts playback and there should be no sync loss. We are not sure if this is the same with the XL1s.
Q) Why to I get this black line along one side of my clips when I capture.
A) What your seeing is this under scanned part of the image. You are basically out of title safe and it's completely normal. Now for TV this is OK, but not for QT movies which will show it. So..crop the edges by 2 pixels and you should be fine.
Q) I cant put a transition between two nested sequences. How come?
A) Unless those nested sequences have handles which it sounds like it doesn't, then there is no way to put a transition between the two. Perhaps put them on different tracks and apply a transition.
Q) Can I raise my volume above 12 dbs? I can hardly hear it.
A) Why not do this. copy your audio tracks and paste them below the copied audio track. This will give a boost in volume. Also, you can set your PAN to Zero and it will automatically raise your db level 3 points
Q) I apply a filter to my nested clip/sequence and then I want to futz with it later. How do I do that? Double click?
A) OPTION Double click and it loads it in the Viewer and then you are good to go.
Q) How come when I capture Offline res and then put it into my timeline, I have to render?
A) If your sequence settings are not set to RT Offline and you capture RT offline, then you have to render.

DV Creators Steve Martin was back after a long absence with this month' tip/trick of the month and this month we got TWO tips/tricks for the price of one. Heck, he owed us for being gone so long.
Lets say you have several clips that you want to apply transitions too and want to do it in a couple clicks of the mouse. Well here is how you do it.
Make sure all your clips or stills have in/out points. (Remember, a transition needs media on both sides of the transition point in order to work so if your IN point is at the very beginning of your clip or your OUT point is at the VERY end of your clip, than you will get that infamous "Insufficient Content for Edit error.)
Now lasso all your clips and drag them directly into the timeline. You should have numbered your clips in sequential order so they fall in that order in the timeline. Now pick a transition. In this case Steve picked a butt ugly Star Iris and spent a few moments turning it into a Star of David. He then saved that Star of David as a Favorite and made it default by control clicking on it in the browser. Now the cool part. Lasso all the clips in the timeline with your playhead positioned at beginning and drag them up to the Canvas window and drop them into the OVERWRITE WITH TRANSITION box. Boom, all you clips now have Star of David transitions between all of them with a single drag of the mouse. Very cool.
But was Steve done yet? Not on your life.
Since this was Audio night Steve showed us the very cool new feature in FCP 3.0 called Mark to Markers.
First select the clip (audio track) before you hit M so the markers appear on the clip and not on the timeline. Now hit M on the beat as you play your music. See the little markers? OK, now say you want to drop a clip in between 2 of those markers. Well hit Command A for Mark to Markers and this very cool In and Out point appears on the timeline. Now drag a clip into the overwrite box and that clip now appears nicely right in that space between the In and Out points. This is a very quick method for cutting music videos to the beat of the music. Will save you hours.

Jason Davies from Bias-inc was up next with the very cool app no one seems to be using that came free with your copy of FCP 2 and 3 called Peak DV. Interesting to note that all it takes for someone to use this app is for someone to show what this app can do for your audio woes. Bet ya a whole bunch of folks went home that night to finally install it. It's much more powerful than you think.
Jason showed us Peak DV on OSX and it's a beauty with a very intuitive interface. With its myriad RT effects you can no longer complain about no RT audio mixing in FCP. It's in Peak DV so why not use it.
You can change the duration of the audio without change the audio's pitch which is killer. Works great if you have to speed up a clip but want your audio to not sound like a baby chipmunk.You can tile the windows, batch convert audio files, by setting up a script. Yes, you can have video while editing you audio. You can manually edit your audio clips down at the sub pixel level. This is a very powerful tool so use it. You wont regret it.
Now since Peak DV is a free app one might think there is a big cousin out there that costs the big bucks and you really ought to use that cause it is so much more full featured. Well, you are right, but it doesn't cost the big bucks. For only $199.00 you can upgrade to DECK 3.5 and get into Multi track audio editing and mixing and get into it big time.
Just export your audio from FCP as a OMF file into Deck and, behold a full featured multi track audio editing program with a realtime mixer with individual channel faders, pans, mute, solo, and record controls. Awesome for that kind of money.
Go to Bias-inc and hang around the site for a little while. No more complaining about FCPs inability to handle audio in RT. It;s there, free in the box, and if that is not enough, go check out the cousins, Deck and Peak.

Our first show and tell was a dandy and brought up a couple folks who are actually making money with FCP. Dave Poncia, and Joe Talbot were hired to shoot and edit an Alanis Morissette Concert taped live at the Whiskey in West Hollywood using 5 Beta SP cameras with a couple of roving XL1s thrown in. A video truck was brought into do a Live edit and live mix which was later transferred to DV Cam for editing in Final Cut. Seems the live edit underwent extensive re editing once it got into Final Cut. So it goes.
Biggest problem Dave and Joe had was finding an opening for the concert which there was none. Fortunately Alanis has a girl following her around with an XL1 and so they used footage of her getting ready and generally clowning around but found the audio from the XL1 unusable.
Joe made a point of telling the audience that it was persistence that paid off here in getting the gig. He just made and continued to make repeated requests to be a part of this Concert and it paid off. They surrounded themselves with the very best creative talent they could find and the results certainly showed it.
Expertly edited and filmed it looked like a million bucks on the screen.
If you have a PC you can view the results HERE. Otherwise, wait for Microsoft to get it's act together and allow Macs to view this terrific work.

Dan Brockett and Randy Bickler of Big Little Films were up next with one of the best demos lafcpug has seen in a long time.
What is often over looked by independent film makers education is field audio production, which is often in evidence in some of the show and tells we see at the meetings. Folks just dont take the care with audio as they do with video. Of course you find it to be a HUGE mistake when you get back and try to fix the audio problems you encountered in the field only to find you really cant. Moral of the story? Invest in good equipment, surround yourself with good people and do NOT think you can fix it in post.
Essentially Dan and Randy gave us a eight hour seminar crammed into 25 minutes. Rather than comment on each item they went through I'll just list them here.

*Overview - What can I do to improve the sound I capture while shooting? The audio limitations of prosumer/consumer DV camcorders and the audio limitations of location shooting.
*Microphones - Which mics should I be using for DV filmmaking?
What are the best low cost options? Should I be using two mics? Mic technique, special purpose mics.
*Mic support - This stuff is so important, it gets it's own category. Boom poles, boom pole holders, mic mounts, zeppelins, windsocks. Which ones do I need and why?
*Mixers - Do I need an audio mixer? What are some cost effective, high-quality portable mixers?
*Accessories - All of the other paraphernalia you need to be prepared for most situations. Cables, adaptors, harnesses, headphones, cases, etc. We'll cover it all.
*The Business Side Of The Equation - Rent versus own - Should I buy all of this stuff? How much does it cost to assemble a field audio package for DV filmmaking? Double system sound?

25 minutes? Yeah. It was amazing and hopefully if there is enough interest, Dan and Randy will do an all day hands-on class covering the above.

By this time all ears were facing the lobby where we we out and visited with each other and hung around Bob Wendt and played with his X2 two channel field mixer and the new X5 five channel field mixer The folks from Focus Enhancements were also out there showing off FireStore.

Next up was Kevin Klinger, President of SmartSound who showed us SonicFire Pro 2.1. Now lets say you have a finished movie and you now have no money to score that finished movie cause you spent all your money on the movie. What do you do? SonicFire Pro just might be the answer This ain't no canned electronic music maker either. This is a sophisticated and intuitive product with high quality REAL music that human beings actually produced. Yeah, you can get your dose of techno-pop, but if want to score your own royalty free music, then this is an app to look into.
Very impressive when you see it in person and very powerful when you hear it.

For more info go to the web site

Next Show and Tell was by long time member Vicky Wagner who showed us what she did for Group101 films. Seems Food and spoof was the monthly assignment so Vicki did a short spoof of those goofy cooking shows populating the air waves. Titled "Shelley's Supper Club"

it's a very funny yarn starring a woman named Shelly who is the star of her own cooking show. Shot with a GL1 and edited with FCP, it seems two invited guests also share the home set with her. They also seem to drive Shelly crazy after awhile
What's very cool and a testament to it's star, R. Sky Palkowitz, that all three of these characters are performed by the same person. These are three very well defined characters. Nice job Sky and Nice job Vicki

Next up was "Biff Yeager" who showed us his first ever project cut on FCP, and shot on a VX1000. A very nice music video titled "On the road of Life" or "I can change a tire by myself."
Starring Erin Hawkins who sings the title song, Biff shot this up in Kern County. It tells the story of a young woman who leaves her boyfriend and strikes out on her own to discover herself. Seems her life is a flat ire but damn if she cant change it. And in the end, it looks like she does.
Very catchy tune and worthy of air play. Where's Erin playing next? I'll go see her.

World Famous Raffle was up next and the following prizes were given out. WE appreciate those who donated to the cause.

Prizes included
Sonic Fire Pro -
Sonicfire Pro
HipFlics -
Totally Hip
3 copies of Non Linear 4 Field Guide to digital video and Film editing -
Michael Rubin
5 Gift Certificates -
Poquito Mas Restaurants (Hey, we gotta eat)
1 T-shirt -
Peak - Bias Inc
CD and DVD labels - Meritline
2 PowerStart Guide 2/3 -
DV Creators
Speed Truck Challenge Video and T-shirt - Darren Purcell
five-pack of Sony Mini DV tapes - Tape Stock Online
Vivistar DVD-R discs -
Tape Stock Online
5 FCP Keyboard KeyGuides - Neotron Design
2 DV Companion for FCP 3 - Intelligent Assistance
6 pack of adult contemporary Music CDs - Sound Adventures

Special thanks must go to Chris Rogers, and Doug Lindeman for taking tickets. Ken stone for taking pics. Mark Havener for doing the lights. Dan Brockett for taping the show, and of course Promax for footing the bill.

Michael Horton,