The Joys of Post Production


The Stars of Video Killed the Fairytale Star

I have nearly completed a rather large project – a DVD of Video Killed the Fairytale Star, Sunnyside Environmental School’s Spring musical.  I ended up only editing one complete performance, rather than cutting together bits and pieces.  But that is a two hour show, with a three camera shoot and 14 channels of field audio in Pro Tools.  Plus, there is the Wednesday music-only performance (only one camera, and only 5 additional audio channels).  And highlights from rehearsals…

The round trip between Avid Symphony (Media Composer is more or less identical, except Symphony has some added color correction functionality), and Avid Pro Tools continues to be a pain.  Both programs say they can export and import AAF files that just link to existing media.  But that mainly fails completely from Pro Tools field audio into Symphony.  And now, going from picture lock in Symphony back to Pro Tools is also a pain.

I have tried variations on the “Send to Protools” workflow, and there are problems.  Problems whether I tried to link to existing media or copy media.  In particular, including video doesn’t work at all.  Maybe I should have tried before I relinked to the original AMA media files – the lower-res proxy files, transcoded to Avid DNxHD 36, it might have gone more smoothly.  And maybe Media Composer 7 will work better – AMA is supposed to be further buffed.

Fine.  So I have to separately export a video file.  And you can’t export a QT reference with AMA, so it takes a while (45 minutes per hour long segment).  Then I’ll have to repeat that, using mastering quality, once the audio is mixed and laid back in.  Sigh…

Then, the Send to Pro Tools was working, except for the two audio channels associated with my mixed down former multi-cam video (e.g., A1 and A2 don’t get transferred, although A3-A16 do just fine).  WTF?

So, finally, I did an Export (to Pro Tools), consolidating the audio into OMF aiff-c files.  The only problem now is that the markers didn’t make it to Pro Tools.  So if I go back and – one by one – copy the markers onto one of the audio channels I am exporting, then they will come across.  Maybe I should put markers on audio tracks only to begin with, or the timecode track? I tried just exporting the two channels, A1 and A2, that have the camera audio from two of the three cameras on the shoot.  But for some reason, the Avid then does some really slow bit where it is “Copying media files…” that didn’t seem to happen when I exported all 16 audio tracks at once.  I guess it is the AMA media again?  Because I already had to import (instead of AMA linking) the field audio from Pro Tools to begin with – so only those A1 and A2 tracks are AMA linked.


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