… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #274: Caution When Using AAF to Export Multichannel Audio

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

AAF is a great interchange format – but be aware of audio

A multichannel audio clip in the Adobe Premiere Pro CC timeline.
A multichannel audio clip in the Premiere Pro CC timeline.

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Recently, I was working with a production company that regularly exports 16 channel audio. While editing is done in Premiere, audio mixing is done in ProTools. The easiest and best way to move sequences from Premiere to ProTools, or Media Composer for that matter, is File > Export > AAF.

As we were working on this, though, we discovered a problem: The AAF process labels every exported audio clip using a number that references the sequence audio track, but those numbers are wrong.

For example:

  • Sequence Track 1 audio is labeled: File Name
  • Sequence Track 2 audio is labeled: File Name.01
  • Sequence Track 3 is blank
  • Sequence Track 4 audio is labeled: File Name.02

While the numbers are in order, the numbers don’t match track numbers and, if a track is empty, the numbers don’t reflect the empty track.

For editors and sound mixers working on fast-turnaround, tight deadlines, AAF audio track labeling can cause confusion. Now you know what to watch for.


Audio track labeling is based on the audio tracks in the sequence, rather than tracks in the source audio clip. This, too, is confusing if you remap track assignments when editing clips from the Source Monitor to the Timeline.

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… for Random Weirdness

Tip #012: Easy vs. Hard Frame Rate Conversions

Larry Jordan – https://LarryJordan.com

Changing frame size is easy. Changing frame rate is not.

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The basic rule of frame rates is: “Shoot the frame rate you need to deliver.”

Why? Because changing frame rates is non-trivial. Some frame rate conversions are easy, others will add jitter or stutter to the playback. The faster the frame rate, the more “real” the image will seem. Slower frame rates tend to have a lot of motion blur.

The good news is that if your project is bound for the web or computer playback, you can use any frame rate. The web is very flexible. Braodcast, cable and digital cinema are much less forgiving.

In general, it is easy to convert frame rates that are multiples of each other:

  • 24 to/from 48
  • 25 to/from 50
  • 29.97 to/from 59.94
  • 30 to/from 60

What’s hard is when frame rates don’t divide evenly. Now, the computer needs to play games creating false frames to get things to work out, or change the speed of playback, which is what we do to get from 24 to 25 or 25 to 24.

Tricky conversions are between 24 and 30 or 25 and 30 in either direction. These tend to cause jittery playback.


If you are shooting high-frame rate video for slomo, keep your project frame rate slower to provide the best results when slowing your media. So, a project at 30 fps provides better slomo than a project at 60 fps.

… for Apple Motion

Tip #093: Create Better Gradients

Larry Jordan – https://LarryJordan.com

Motion creates very poor gradients.

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The left image is a continuous gradient created by Motion. The right image is a gradient created in Photoshop. Clearly, the Photoshop gradient is MUCH smoother.

If you need smooth gradients, for example, for blend modes, you are far better off creating them in Photoshop, saving them as a PNG or TIFF, and importing them into Motion.

Most of the time I use TIFFs, but PNGs should work equally well.

… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #131: YouTube Share Settings Use Wrong Colors

Larry Jordan – https://LarryJordan.com

4K files default to the wrong color space.

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As you can see in this screen shot, the project settings are 4K frame size using Rec. 709 color space. (The settings are displayed at the very top.)

But the Share to YouTube settings default to Rec. 609, with no ability to change them back to Rec. 709.

NOTE: While the color values used in Rec. 601 (used for standard-def video) are similar to those in Rec. 709 (used for high-def video), they are not the same. Worse, FCP X should allow changing from one to the other, except that it doesn’t.

The workaround is to export your project as a master file (File > Share > Master File), then compress it using Compressor; or the compression program of your choice.

… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #109: Solve the “Missing Camera” Alert

Larry Jordan – https://LarryJordan.com

Using a consistent workflow is important.

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Bill Rabkin writes:

Recently, when I opened a library that I’ve been editing for a while and selected “Clip #1” in the Browser, FCP X displayed its red “Missing Camera!” warning. Apparently it still thinks Clip #1 resides in a camera card, despite my deleting Preferences and not having the DCIM, MISC, or PRIVATE folders on my external drive.

When I spoke to an editor at Access Framingham, our city’s Public Access Station for whom I do most of my videos, he suggested that I select Clip #1 in the Browser and then choose File > Import > Reimport from Camera/Archive.

I had never used this command before, never even knew it existed.

It worked! FCP X no longer complains when I try to share either a Master File or Current Frame.

I think the problem likely was caused because the SDHC card with the AVCHD file was the last camera card that I had copied to my external hard drive, and I don’t think I had ejected the SDHC card before I imported all of the raw footage into my FCP X Library from the hard disk sub-folders. The presence of the mounted SDHC card must have confused FCP X.

From now on, you can bet that I won’t create a new Library until all of the SDHC cards are back in their case!

… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #113: Remove a Yellow Alert – Option 2

Larry Jordan – https://LarryJordan.com

Sometimes, alerts happen because the FCP X database doesn’t update.

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Ziggy reports:

If you are getting a yellow alert in FCP X, it may be because the FCP X database doesn’t seem to update very quickly when you make a change to an external file, such as a motion graphics or VFX file.

If you know you just updated such a file here’s a quick workaround:

  • Select everything in the timeline (shortcut: Cmd + A)
  • Copy it to the Clipboard (shortcut: Cmd + C)
  • Then click anywhere in the timeline to deselect everything.

Your yellow alert should disappear.

… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #124: Update the Browser When a Multicam Clip Changes

Larry Jordan – https://LarryJordan.com

How to get the Browser to pay attention

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Antoine Le Pourhiet writes:

I solved a problem with multicam editing in Final Cut Pro X. I’m sharing it in case it helps others.

When you manually change the content of a multicam clip, the clip length doesn’t change in the Browser.

But what if I want to see the full clip in the browser to use keywords or Favorite/Rejected tags?

The solution is to make the clip fully visible in the Timeline (project) and then do a match frame (Cmd + F) so the clip refreshes in the Browser.

… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #087: Get Rid of a Yellow Alert

Larry Jordan – https://LarryJordan.com

Here’s what to do when nothing else works.

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JR Drew suggested this:

Here’s something to add to your list of “How do I get rid of that annoying little yellow alert on my event when I have checked every piece of media/title/generator/transition, looked inside every compound clip created in the entire library, and they are all present and accounted for???”

I don’t know why this worked for me, but it did:

SHARE (export) the timeline in each file type available (.m4v, .mp4, .mov).

Again, no idea what was probably created during the writing, but it magically made the alert icon disappear.

Larry adds: This sounds like you were experienced bad render files. By exporting into different formats, you repaced the bad versions with good. You probably only need to do this with a couple of different formats to clean out all the bad render files.

… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #037: Fixing Dropped Frame Errors

Larry Jordan – https://LarryJordan.com

Dropped frame errors generally mean hard disk or CPU problems.

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Tip #35 showed how to display the Dropped Frame Indicator. Green indicates that your system is fast enough to play the current media in real-time without dropping any frames, which causes stuttery or stopped playback.

However, when this glows yellow, you’ve got problems. Here’s what could be causing the issue:

Dropped frame errors are generally caused by one or more of these factors:

  • A hard disk that’s too slow to keep up with the video format you are editing
  • A boot disk with insufficient free space
  • A media disk (external drive) with insufficient free space
  • A hard disk that’s overly fragmented, or with confused disk directories
  • An effect that’s too complex for the CPU to calculate in real time
  • Insufficient RAM for the size of the project
  • A video format (such as HEVC) that’s too complex for the CPU to decode in real-time

Demanding more data from your storage than it is capable of delivering in real-time is the most frequent cause of dropped frames.

In general, try to maintain at least 20% free space on all storage devices. And, to make sure you aren’t running into problems, make sure the dropped frame indicator is turned on.