QT Movie Exports with Split Track Audio

If you’ve been in the business long enough, you probably remember doing split track master layoffs to tape machines. For me it started with 1 masters that had VO on channel 1 and everything else on channel 2, and progressed to using D2 and digital beta that allowed you to layoff vo on one channel, natural sound on channel 2, and stereo music on channels 3&4. If you were fortunate enough to have higher end decks, you were able to layoff up to 8 discreet audio channels. 

If you’ve never done this you may wonder why you would want to do such a thing. It’s all about the revisions. Before everything was on the computer, doing changes to a tape masters could be a real pain and very time consuming. Often you would need to make a change to the VO, or maybe the client wanted to change the music. If all you had was a mixed master you were pretty much out of luck for the quick fix. It was back to all original elements. 

Now that everything is digital and all file based, changes are easier then ever. That is, as long as all of your original elements are still on the computer. But what happens if a project comes back for changes or an update a year after it was originally done? Maybe a translation into a different language (this happened to me recently). Most editors I know usually have a mixed master layoff (many of us don’t have access to the high-end decks that cost more then a house) and/or a QT export of the final master sequence that gets archived to a DVD or HD Backup system. But that doesn’t help much if the changes you need to make involve audio. However, since the release of QT 7 there has been the ability to export multi-track QT movies from FCP that retain all of the individual audio tracks so you can make whatever changes you need! The problem is, most editors don’t seem to know about it. This article will walk you through the process step by step.

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Blog Posting – Take 2

The finale of the big Lions project this year was in Bangkok Thailand, where I spent a few days doing some on-site editing, as well as a little sight seeing.

While I still feel like starting this blog was a good idea, my timing could have been better. 

Shortly after starting the blog in February, I went into my busy season of editing. Two rooms going almost 12 hours a day, sometimes longer. Not only did we have more projects in general this year, but we had the added factor that almost all of the videos were in a new format to us (Watchout) which made everything take 2-3 times longer then if they had been standard videos (good for business, bad for a tight schedule).

On top of editing, I still had the business side of things to take care of as well. Needless to say, something had to give and one of those things was doing regular posting to the blog. 

Now that I’m past the busy season, I plan to start doing weekly posts every Friday, and over time 2-3 times a week. We’ll see how it goes this time around. 

Compressor Cluster Submit Problems, and Solution

When Compressor (part of FCP Studio) works, it works well. And when it doesn’t, it can be a really pain and waste of time trying to get things working again. For me it’s a true love/hate relationship.

Have you ever went to submit your batch compression only to find that you don’t have the option to submit it to anything?


When you try to click on the cluster as shown above, you don’t have the option to select the default “This Computer”, or anything else for that matter. If you just try to submit it anyway, you’ll get an error telling you to re-install Compressor. But don’t (at least not yet).

There is a simple Terminal command you can run that will, at least for the moment, fix the problem. Try the following.

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Video_TS Folder Tip, Follow up Demo

Since this tip appeared on the Digital Production Buzz podcast, there have been a few emails asking for more details, and a few people reporting that they can’t get it to work. To help iron out the details and hopefully solve some of the problems I have posted this quick screencast to demonstrate how it works. If you continue to have problems (or figure out a way to import the audio as well) please email me. Video after the jump.

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Flash Encoding: VBR or CBR? It depends.


It’s been a few years now since the battle over which video format would dominate the web. It’s hard to argue that over the last few years Flash is by far the clear winner. From entertainment sites like YouTube to news organizations like CNN, when you watch video changes are it’s Flash encoded.

I would argue that as far as quality, bit rates and file sizes go, Flash is not the best choice out there. But its cross platform ubiquity is unquestionable.

This post is not going to get into all of the ins and outs of Flash, but I want to discuss one point. VBR (variable bit rate) and CBR (constant bit rate) encoding.

Read moreFlash Encoding: VBR or CBR? It depends.