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Bizarre Final Cut Pro Issues - any ideas?  

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MadMisha
(@madmisha)
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@davemorris

I guess it all depends on the size. I haven't really done anything on my own that was arena sized and theatre is limited on space and although I've not done the math in a long time, most aren't 4000 pixels(although rapid improvements might change it very soon). I really only hack my way through Watchout when it's needed. I am by no means a pro at it. The 10 foot rule helps a lot too! Small event's here don't often bring everything in 4K. It's usually easier to scale down some things than scale all the others up.

 

To be honest, I can't see that much difference going up in resolution after a certain point. I don't really care if things are in 4K(let alone 8K). Maybe it's my hatred of video all together. I don't watch Youtube in a theatre. I'll personally stick with 1080.


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DroneBot Workshop
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In response to why I'm moving to 4K, as it's a fair question!

Obviously an electronics channel doesn't need to be in 4K, it would be fine in 720p. In fact, I said exactly that at the beginning of my first 4K video.

The reason for the upgrade is mostly because the equipment I have been using to make videos is old, some of it VERY old. I have cameras that date back to 2010, and two of the computers I use during production were purchased in 2011, and one I used for audio was actually purchased in 2009!  Many of these items were starting to show their age, you have no idea how many videos I could have released if I weren't forced to re-record things because of equipment failures (or wait for hours when the Asus computer I used for audio wouldn't reboot).  

Since I needed to buy new equipment anyway, I chose devices that were 4K capable. So for a while it was like Christmas around here with new stuff arriving every day. I remember one day having three deliveries that totalled five 4K monitors (BTW, if you ARE in the market for a 4K monitor I can't say enough wonderful things about the Phillips 27BE 27-inch ones, they are superb and dirt cheap).

And finally, YouTube has been giving preference to 4K videos in their recommendations tab, and as 65% of my views are from recommendations that is the icing on the cake!

Now back to the problem!

I'm now convinced that the problem is NOT with the Mac M1, but with the ClonerAlliance UHD recorder setup.  Note that I said "setup", as I'm hoping it isn't the recorder itself.

I spent the last couple of days doing experiments, testing different settings. And this morning I did multiple takes of a scene for my next video. And, thanks to another "glitch" I encountered, I think that I may have a theory about what is going wrong.

The ClonerAlliance device, like my previous AGPtek 1080 device, records to an external USB storage device. In my case, I use a USB 3 memory stick, a 256 GB Kingston Data Traveller drive.

I'm now starting to think that the problem is with that USB stick, as the glitches are intermittent. Plus, I looked up the specs of that drive and where it gets poor marks is in its write speed.

So I've ordered a "Patriot Supersonic RAGE Pro" stick that is rated as being one of the fastest ones available, its write speed is almost three times faster than the Kingston.

It will be here tomorrow.  As will another SanDisk external SSD which I ordered on the weekend, as I want to start rendering onto SSD and not hard drives.  

Between the two of them, hopefully I'll get this resolved!  And I'd like to thank all of you who have contributes here, via email and private messages, with all of your advice I'm pretty sure I can get this issue licked.

Thanks

😎

Bill

 

"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak


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LydaRA
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Writing to a USB flash stick, eh.  How long have you had that stick?  Could you be exceeding the cell lifecycles?


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DroneBot Workshop
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Posted by: @lydara

How long have you had that stick?  Could you be exceeding the cell lifecycles?

It's pretty well brand new, purchased it when I bought all the new equipment in March. But I never thought to check it's write speed, which in retrospect is silly as I purchased the MicroSD cards for my camera based upon their write speed but didn't think of the UHD recorder.

😎

Bill

"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak


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LydaRA
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@dronebot-workshop  Could also be a bad batch of chips.  Could also need to tweak the OS' driver settings for that class of device.  Most have erred on the side of "safe YANK removal" instead of performance.


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DroneBot Workshop
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Posted by: @lydara

Could also need to tweak the OS' driver settings for that class of device.  Most have erred on the side of "safe YANK removal" instead of performance.

I'm not quite following you, I have very few settings on the ClonerAlliance box and certainly have no way of adjusting its USB driver parameters.  Basically, all I can do is change a few video settings and update firmware if new releases are available (and I'm at the most recent one).

Or am I missing something?

😎

Bill

"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak


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LydaRA
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@dronebot-workshop Mac OS is just a skin over top of Linux.  So I'd be looking for Linux driver mode tweaks.  I haven't had to tweak Linux in seven years, you not of much specific help.  I do know MS made some waves when they up and decided to change USB media write modes.  Surely Mac/Linux has settings that require launching Terminal to enter into the shell...


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DroneBot Workshop
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@lydara

Sorry, I think I should explain my setup, as you're under the impression that the Mac is being used with the USB stick in question.  It isn't, I'll explain:

The Mac isn't involved with the USB stick drive, they have never met and never will LOL!  You're solving the problem for the wrong piece of equipment, I don't take the files directly from the UHD recorder to the Mac.

I have a process for getting video and audio from my workshop to my Mac, through a Linux computer in my office, which connects to the workshop via an Ethernet-USB extension setup. It has worked well for years, and is capable of transferring data from the UHD recorder, two cameras and the Zoom audio recorder all at the same time, although I always transfer them individually.

All my files  go to the Linux computer, my "MEDIA" machine which is currently an Intel NUC 8 with an i7, 2 SSD drives and 32 GB of RAM. On that machine I evaluate and rename every video and audio clip before sending them to the Mac.  That machine also has a couple of external drives, as I archive every clip I record. 

I also used to use it to convert the WAV files into AIFF files for the Mac, but I've found that the Mac will also work fine with WAVs, so I don't do that anymore.

I'm pretty sure that the slow drive speed of the Kingston is the issue, I don't think it's defective, I just think it isn't up to the task of capturing streaming 4K video at 30 fps.  It really hasn't got very good specs, I just chose it on price and as I have bought a lot of Kingston memory products over the years and have been pretty happy with it.  My fault for not thinking about it, it has an older cousin that has worked fine on the old 1080 recorder for years, but recording 4K is a different beast than 1080. 

And tomorrow I'll find out, as I'll have two options to test it. The USB stick I ordered is one of the fastest available, and the new SDD drive is literally supposed to be the fastest external SSD on the planet right now (it's the same one I use to hold my FCP project files on the M1).

Between the two of them, I should be able to see if my theory is correct.

😎

Bill

P.S.

Posted by: @lydara

Mac OS is just a skin over top of Linux.

I think you meant to say UNIX, not LINUX, LOL!

🤩 😋 😎 

 

 

"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak


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MadMisha
(@madmisha)
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@dronebot-workshop

It sounds like you still plan on using a USB flash drive. Why? It could record to an external HDD/SSD. They usually have better ratings for read/write and it sounds like you have some around already. Why not go with that option? That would be the best of both worlds.

 

Also, why record on an independent device? You could do a screen capture directly on the PC and share the files over your network. That sound like the easiest method to me. I do know that Xsplit does charge a monthly subscription. I hate that. But there are other options. I'm not suggesting it, I'm just curious.


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DroneBot Workshop
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Posted by: @madmisha

It sounds like you still plan on using a USB flash drive. Why? It could record to an external HDD/SSD.

I have no problem using an external SSD if that's what it takes. Much cheaper than my next option, which is a new recorder.

The only reason I went to a USB stick was that it's what I've been doing for the last four years, so I'm used to it and my setup with the USB extender works well with it. But I have no issue going to an external SSD.

I'm getting what is supposed to be the world's fastest external SSD today, a SanDisk Extreme Pro. While it is intended for my Mac, I will first use it on the recorder and see if it resolves the issue. 

If it does, I'll try the new USB stick, which is also due to arrive today. If the stick works, I'll continue to use it.  

If it doesn't work I'll look for a small fast SSD, 500 GB would be more than enough. Either a premade unit or a case and an M.2 drive.

BTW, I am now convinced that the "Final Cut Pro Issue" was a red herring, I think it’s just more "sensitive" to an actual defect in the video.

The reason I say this is that I have now seen the glitch when reviewing a video clip on my MEDIA computer, before it ever went to the Mac. It happened near the end of the clip, it seems more common in longer clips.

I also have LISTENED to the audio track at high volume and can hear a faint "clicking", which is not on the tracks from the ZOOM. The audio on the recorder comes directly from the ZOOM monitor output, so the sound will be in sync, so it shouldn't be picking up any noise. I'm wondering if the clicking is really audio that wasn't digitized fully. Just a theory, may just be interference in the input connection.

So this is why I'm convinced that it is either the recorder or the storage device (i.e. USB Stick) that is at fault. And I'm really hoping for the storage device!

😎

Bill

"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak


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MadMisha
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@dronebot-workshop

You might find this site helpful. https://ssd.userbenchmark.com/ They have actual ratings of write speed and despite SanDisk claims, theirs is not really that high(Although very trustworthy, I stick with them for my SD cards). You can also filter by 2.5". I have had a lot of luck with Samsung 870. We use them for Protools(kind of related use case: multitrack recording from a DAW) and have never had an issue. But, to be honest, anything within that range would probably be fine.

 

Also, since most SSDs come in completely closed cases, you can easily just use them as a portable drive and use a SATA to USB 3.0 adapter. Fairly cheap and no need for the old bulky external drives.(I actually like the way things are changing)

 

Posted by: @dronebot-workshop

Either a premade unit or a case and an M.2 drive.

Unless the M.2 drive is directly on your motherboard and taking advantage of the PCIe express lanes(all 4), it would be a waste. You would still be limited by your connection.

Posted by: @dronebot-workshop

I also have LISTENED to the audio track at high volume and can hear a faint "clicking", which is not on the tracks from the ZOOM. The audio on the recorder comes directly from the ZOOM monitor output, so the sound will be in sync, so it shouldn't be picking up any noise. I'm wondering if the clicking is really audio that wasn't digitized fully. Just a theory, may just be interference in the input connection.

Clicking can be caused by memory buffer issues. That could be caused by the recording device or exactly what you're thinking your problem is. If you couldn't write fast enough then you might be having some memory buffer overflow on the thumb drive. It sounds like(pun completely intended) you have good evidence of the culprit.


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DroneBot Workshop
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Posted by: @madmisha

You might find this site helpful. > https://ssd.userbenchmark.com/ < They have actual ratings of write speed and despite SanDisk claims, theirs is not really that high(Although very trustworthy, I stick with them for my SD cards). You can also filter by 2.5". I have had a lot of luck with Samsung 870. We use them for Protools(kind of related use case: multitrack recording from a DAW) and have never had an issue. But, to be honest, anything within that range would probably be fine.

Thanks for the link. The statistic I was quoting regarding the SanDisk drive was for external SSD drives.

I'm using a Samsung 970 EVO Plus in a couple of my computers as the boot drive, and I have to agree they are excellent products.  Mounted in a small case, they would be great for this application.

And I have used SanDisk, among other brands, in my cameras and just bought a bunch of their "high endurance" MicroSD cards for some Raspberry Pi projects. 

Posted by: @madmisha

Unless the M.2 drive is directly on your motherboard and taking advantage of the PCIe express lanes(all 4), it would be a waste. You would still be limited by your connection.

I actually just want an M.2 for the form-factor, this drive will be in a case connected via USB3 to the UHD recorder, so it isn't going to achieve its maximum specs anyway.  I'll probably just buy the smaller, 1 TB, version of the SanDisk if I need an SSD to do the job.

What I want, and why I gravitated to the USB keys, is I want something very portable.

The UHD recorder, like its 1080p predecessor, has a USB3 jack on it. You plug your storage device into the jack, and record the video.  When you are finished recording, you just pull out the device (there is no "eject" function, sadly) and plug it into something else to read the files.

In my case, the "something else" is a 4-port powered "USB hub" that is actually part of the USB-Ethernet system I have running to my office MEDIA computer. This is how I transfer all my audio and video files from the workshop where I record to the office where I produce the videos.

Now, I know it's petty, and I can easily fix it, but the thing I like the most about using the USB key is it is simple. It stays in the recorder except when I remove it to transfer files, and it is small and light, so it just holds itself in the USB connector.  An external SSD needs someplace to be put down.

So if I do end up having to use an external SSD, I want a small one. And I'll need to build a couple of small shelves to rest it on!

Update

Amazon just delivered my packages, on a holiday too, I'm impressed! I have both the new USB key and the new external SSD. I have already made a test recording with the external SSD, and it turned out great, but to know for sure I'll need some more tests, with more devices (i.e. PC, Raspberry Pi, Jetson Nano) and longer videos.  I also, of course, want to try out the new USB key with the same input sources.

Right now, I am getting material together for a number of screen recordings that I need to make for upcoming videos. I want to do a bunch tomorrow morning, with both drives. Then I'll see if the USB Key is adequate, or if I need to get an external SSD.

😎

Bill

"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak


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