Locking Sound to Picture? What's your method?

Which file format do you use to score to picture?

  • QuickTime

    Votes: 32 80.0%
  • AVI

    Votes: 1 2.5%
  • Video Capture

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • VHS

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Other

    Votes: 7 17.5%

  • Total voters
    40

Frederick Russ

Founder Emeritus
This is an extensive subject so based on the suggestion from Scott Cairns I'm putting up this poll.

I'm interested to see what file format everyone is using, hardware setup, compression, picture size, etc. Share your knowledge!
 

Herman Witkam

Senior Member
Mostly the director does the encoding, and gives me an internet link to it. Only thing I have to do is to load it in my sequencer, so I'll be glad to gain some knowledge on that point from this topic, in case I have to do it myself.
 

Scott Cairns

Senior Member
Hi Frederick, sorry, I was supposed to create the poll. :?


I have received AVI files and CD/DVD's and video tapes for my project so capturing has been a requirement too.

I usually capture the video at 320 x 240 and double that size upon playback in my sequencer.

Here's an interesting point I read; I use NO compression or codec on my video capture as apparently any form of this will up the CPU usage. The resulting file is quite large but it only stays on my drive for the duration of the project.

I've been hearing that some of the Mac guys are using a new form of encoding, might've been mpeg4? Apparently this is pretty slick and efficient. One option is to do two pass encoding for a better quality file. I haven't yet experimented with this though.

Also, if you have a seperate machine available, you might want to capture and encode on that as it can take a long time.

I capture with an ADVC-100 via a firewire port on a networked slave machine.

The advc-100 also has analog outs if you ever want to output a VHS sample with your music for a client to see. Many of the lower end capture cards will have analog and/or digital in but will lack the analog outs.

If you run a Mac or have Vegas for the PC you can preiview your video out to firewire which essentially means you can output the video file playing on your computer to a TV. I'm still not aware of any PC sequencers that have a preview to firewire option.
 

Peter Emanuel Roos

Senior Member
When I experimented with writing music to video (see example on my website), I did all kinds of conversion tests, using DVD Vob files as input. My favorite codec now is the new Indeo one (not the old, free one). After ripping the Vob file from the DVD (which can be compared to getting the director's material) I first create a rather big AVI file (using the Indeo codec), with high quality settings and a 1:1 aspect ratio, for instance 1024 x 768. This is the point where I also set the target frame rate and interleave setting.

From this "master" I create a smaller version with a SMTPE time code burn in Vegas, with some optional brightness control. I use this version in Logic or SX2 to run along with midi.

After I have mixed and mastered the audio, I import the big AVI, the small AVI and the audio mix into a Vegas project, check the time alignment and render the big video with the audio to the required output format.

I have found Mpeg-2 to be the lousiest format, and prefer Windows Media and DivX. For internet publishing you have to create as much versions as you can host (IMO). When you work with a director, the syncing and rendering is all up to him and his team.

My 2 cts, I am just in interested amateur in this area :wink:
 

Simon Ravn

Senior Member
As everybody else probably, I sometimes receive files on CD, sometimes VHS. I then render that to 720x576 PAL DIVX format and use a separate PC running Cubase for nothing but video sync, sync and temp track. This works flawlessly and is very responsive.
 

Peter Emanuel Roos

Senior Member
Good idea,

I once tried to use my laptop for this (with it's big 1600 x 1280 screen) running Vegas, but it didn't react well to the midi time codes sent from Logic on my DAW.

I agree this SHOULD work fine, so I will keep this in mind for a next time :)
 

Waywyn

Senior Member
i tried a lot of stuff and converted around and i dunno if i am doing something wrong or if its the best possibility.

i only use quicktime for everything what i do, encoded with sorenses 3 codec.
i also tried avi and other formats but i either get error messages or the pictures are really taking so much ram that it is nearly impossible to do music :)

so i convert everything what i get to quicktime and can have files about 4 GB in my project and i can do whatever i want as long if the resolution is not too high. but something around 400x300 to 640x480 works okay and the frames are not damaged.
 

Peter Emanuel Roos

Senior Member
Don't forget that AVI is not a format, but more a data wrapper. I guess the same actually applies to QuickTime. The codec that you select to compress the individual frames is the most important.

For my use on the PC platform, I once bought the XP version of the Indeo codec, which works best for me.

DivX may be great for just compressing and playing back movies, but it will give you serious backtracking and syncing problems, probably because it uses keyframes sparsely.

I never got an acceptable quality/size ratio with Mpeg.
 

Ned Bouhalassa

Senior Member
For my tv work, I still mostly use the old-style VHS system, and have a PAL/NTSC international player by Samsung. I use Emagic's Unitor 8 + Logic, and it's pretty solid. I did a feature a couple of years ago using Quicktime, and I loved the non-linear aspect of that, but 2 things make me want to stay with VHS for now:

1. I only have one screen, albeit a 22" Apple cinema, and I need all the space for big instruments like RMX.

2. I want to save the cpu for playing back all those great samples and softsynths!

I just really like my compromise between power and physical clutter. One computer (G5 dual) + one computer screen keep me happy.
 

Dr.Quest

Senior Member
For the last few years I've been using Quicktime. I can't imagine going back to linear tape sync. In the mid nineties I got a DC Miro 20 card and digitized my own Quicktimes with Adobe Premiere. Now, since most of the things I do are animations that start life in Flash or some 3d program, I make the QT's direct in the computer.
I've been experimenting with a codec called Sheer, that give full rez picture are reduced CPU load. Very sharp and clear. (The files can still be quit large.
I use Final Cut to edit picture if I need to.
J
 

Scott Cairns

Senior Member
Ive sent picture out to a TV full screen via Vegas firewire. But its still too clunky for my liking. (like locking your sequencer to Vegas)

These days I maximise the video picture on the right hand monitor inside Cubase.

I actually did mention to Max once (FX-Max) that it would be good to have a kind of FX-teleport for Video. It would be ideal to run video off a seperate machine and stream it over CAT6 cable to the host. The compression and CPU load could be handled by the slave machine.

I might have to ask Max again about the possibilities.
 

José Herring

Senior Member
I'm pulling my hair out.

I got a DVD ripper--Easy DVD Ripper--to rip my films that are now being delivered on DVD. THE .AVI FILES PLAY SLOWER THAN THE ORIGINAL MATERIAL. Has anybody ever experienced this before? Is there a fix for this?

Thanks,

Jose
 

Dr.Quest

Senior Member
josejherring said:
I'm pulling my hair out.

I got a DVD ripper--Easy DVD Ripper--to rip my films that are now being delivered on DVD. THE .AVI FILES PLAY SLOWER THAN THE ORIGINAL MATERIAL. Has anybody ever experienced this before? Is there a fix for this?

Thanks,

Jose
It's the editors job to supply the sound designer/composer with picture to your specs. You should specify a picture format that works for you. If they supply something that slows you down they are going to blame you. There is no question about it.
Ask them for a format that works and insist on it. It's your reputation here that's on the line. Ripping picture from DVD's should not be the way to go UNLESS that is what works for you smoothly. If AVI works for you ask for that. Quicktime works for me and that's what I require. If it is sent on vhs with no timecode I charge the client to take it to a transfer house and do it right.
Just my thoughts on this.
J
 

Scott Cairns

Senior Member
Jose, sometimes the neatly compressed video clips with a small file size are a strain on the CPU when they playback.

Ive heard of guys running straight uncompressed video, the filesize is huge but it is dumped right after the project anyway.
 

Dr.Quest

Senior Member
I've had very good response using the Sheer Video codec avaiable here...
http://bitjazz.com/sheervideo/
They have a fully functional demo. Resave your movie using the Sheer codec after you install it. Large file size (but smaller then uncompressed)
but smooth playback. Try it a see what you think.
Cheers,
Jamie
 

fictionmusic

Active Member
I use a variety of formats. I still have two big sony Umatics (BVU-800 and the VO-5600) which I like a lot, mainly because of the computer power they leave free. I sometimes get stuff on VHS, and a more and more quicktimes.

I am always looking to improve the whole system and am thinking of using a seperate PC just for video. I need to learn more about it though, and the systems I already have are pretty stable (but if either of the U-matics crap out I am not going to get them fixed)