fcp / motion audio sync issue

Posted by albert 
fcp / motion audio sync issue
March 17, 2006 03:01PM
This is tedious, so bear with me.

I'm editing spots in FCP 5 and using Motion 2 for text creation. I don't like the "export to Motion project" feature because I version spots alot and it's easier to replace scenes in FCP instead of Motion. So here's my workflow (bear with me, the problem is comming):

In FCP I export a still frame of a composited scene that I want to comp graphics on. That still goes into a Motion project as a base layer & I add all the graphics with the approiate timing based on the scene in FCP. I save the Motion project after turning off the still frame layer and drag the Motion file into my FCP timeline. Easy enough and works great, giving me the flexibility to change the underlying scenes as nessary in FCP.

As part of the versioning process, I spend alot of time right clicking on a Motion file in my FCP timeline and selecting "open in editor" to bring the file up in Motion. I then make the approiate changes and do the "save as..." thing and bring the new file into my FCP timeline.

Here's where the problem comes in:

After doing that 3 or 4 times, my audio playback in FCP goes out of sync! Video plays and the audio is about a second late consistantly throughout the timeline. If I never open a Motion file directly from the FCP timeline, I never have an audio sync problem. Ever. The only time this happens about the 3rd or 4th time I right click to open a Motion file using the "open in editor" option.

Now here's the strange part: The only 2 ways I've found to correct this playback sync issue are to either put the computer to sleep and wake it up, or quit FCP and relaunch it. Nothing I do with the external video playback settings in FCP has any effect, nor does any tweaks in the Blackmagic control panel.

The other strange part: If I export a file (QT movie, etc...) while having this audio sync problem, the audio in the exported file is in perfect sync!

It's very annoying.

I have 3 suites with the same configurations and this happens in all three rooms.

Here's the software/hardware lineup: Dual 2.5GHz G5's, Blackmagic HD cards, 4GB ram, FCPHD 5.0.4, Motion 2.0.1.

FCP projects are typically SD 720x486 with either Apple's Uncompressed 10bit 4:2:2 codec or Blackmagic's 10bit codec. Motion projects are matched appropriately to the FCP sequence settings (SD 720x486 for standard def stuff).

Apple won't touch this issue and Blackmagic just goes "Huh?"

Your thoughts/comments on this matter would be greatly appriecated!

Al Martin.

Re: fcp / motion audio sync issue
March 17, 2006 03:30PM
Sounds like a rendering issue to me. Next time it happens, try disconnecting the audio file at the location where the Motion object is, and then reconnecting the audio. I've been running into audio glitches on my current project where the above process often fixes the issue. A render-file dump also corrects this on my end, but it's time-consuming.
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