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TOPIC: New FCP Workflow with 5.1 monitoring and macMini M1 ?

New FCP Workflow with 5.1 monitoring and macMini M1 ? 14 Nov 2020 08:43 #110842

  • Vinc26
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Hi there,

My old MacPro 2009 will not support my old Saffire Pro under Big Sur to monitor 5.1 with FCP :(

And the new macMini M1 seems an incredible Mac to edit at very low price (with 16GB).

What do you think about the joined workflow? Will it work?
I want to be sure I will be able to monitor 5.1 through hdmi in my amplifier?
I want to be sure to be able to edit in 4K (simple edit... no need multi cam etc...)

The goal is to edit and preview cinema documentary. The final coloraturas grading and final mix will be done elsewhere...

Tell me if you have any remark? Any other suggestion?

:)

Vincent

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Last edit: by Vinc26.

New FCP Workflow with 5.1 monitoring and macMini M1 ? 16 Nov 2020 17:31 #110897

I think that you must connect the second LG monitor directly to Mac mini port and use an audio interface with 6 audio outputs also connected to Mac mini. I don't know what HiFi amplifier you are using but these devices were built to decode Audio/video compressed (MPEG-1/2/4, H-264) from DVB, cable TV, BlueRay, DVD... Is not a good choice for monitoring Audio from NLE either DAW.

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New FCP Workflow with 5.1 monitoring and macMini M1 ? 23 Nov 2020 14:16 #111004

  • Vinc26
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Hi, and thanks for your response.

Finally, for now on my MacPro 2009, Catalina, and RX580, I've made some tests:

Yes, the RX580 outputs multichannel very well through the HDMI port. No latency at all. And my amplifier Yamaha RX-V667 plays perfectly well 5.1 surround sound from Fina Cut Pro (10.5).

I'm waiting for a new amplifier rx-v 385, to support 4K60fps.

:)

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Last edit: by Vinc26.

New FCP Workflow with 5.1 monitoring and macMini M1 ? 28 Nov 2020 15:37 #111098

Buhardilla wrote: I think that you must connect the second LG monitor directly to Mac mini port and use an audio interface with 6 audio outputs also connected to Mac mini. I don't know what HiFi amplifier you are using but these devices were built to decode Audio/video compressed (MPEG-1/2/4, H-264) from DVB, cable TV, BlueRay, DVD... Is not a good choice for monitoring Audio from NLE either DAW.

Any HDMI capable AVR can handle uncompressed 5.1 audio (actually, even more channels) over HDMI.  It's part of the basic standard.  Some early DVD players could decode the bitstream and pass uncompressed 5.1 to the AVR.  Other devices too.  It's actually a very good solution.  You can pick the AVR HDMI as a sound output target within the OS prefs. 

Mid to high-end AVRs include lip-synch adjustment, meaning you can compensate for latency, source specific, in the AVR settings, matching up lip synch exactly.  

Another significant AVR advantage is, especially with the better ones, they have built in system auto-calibration.  Processes like Audyssy XP Pro, for example, can calibrate your audio system so that you're mix position matches industry standards for channel levels and equalization.  Pretty important to do, and no sound-card solution will handle that directly.  There are plugins....

I would choose a high-end AVR, perhaps a few years old if budget is an issue, and put a lot of effort into proper room and monitor system setup.  You won't end up with a calibrated dubbing stage, but you'll be close enough to get some good work done.

As to work flow, I'm in deep on a 5.1 project right now, first time using the latest FCP, and found a few issues.  Don't take the following as absolute, it's just what worked for me this time, and that can change.

1. The project needs to be set up as a surround project when you start it.  Changing later is supposed to be possible, but I've found that's not always true.  

2. If your camera records more than two tracks (I shot with a Canon that recorded 4 audio tracks), make them individual mono tracks, not paired for stereo or pre-grouped for surround.  

3. When a clip with multichannel audio goes into the project, I set up basic channel panning immediately. You select the clip, go to the audio inspector, turn off any unused tracks (I only used 3 of the 4), then select the track, assign a pan mode (basic surround mostly works, circle also), then pan the track to where you want it.  This can be changed later, but for cutting, I need to hear what's in the track.  

4. You might want to make a basic track level adjustment before cutting.  The two camera tracks I used for ambience/surround were about 20dB hot, and the dialog track was 10dB too hot, so I made those changes before any cutting.  I like to type in the change using Ctl-Opt-L rather than the clumsy track level drag, then tweak with keyframes.  

If working with a individual tracks, like perhaps dialog from one camera track, EFX tracks you're building, etc., you can drop them in and pan as required.  This is where a calibrated audio monitor system is really important.  If your system is wrong, your track will be mixed wrong.

When working with composite clips, make sure their sound settings match their source project.  They should, mine didn't always.  Then, when adding comp clips to a new project, make sure the target project sound settings match the clips, or your surround pre-mix won't work right.  

Make sure the audio meters are visible!  I don't know how people edit without them, even in stereo or mono.  I 5.1 project will show 6 meters, each labeled.  (BTW, while the channel order of the meters is a little non-standard, they are at least labeled.  Premier shows the meters in a different order without labels!) 

Lastly, it's not critical to have a full 5.1 monitor system to perform basic edits on a 5.1 project, so long as your sound output card has the ability to perform as a virtual surround source.  I have a Motu 4pre for rough cutting, it will do 2.0 surround, which virtualizes Ls, C, and Rs well enough to edit.  The final mix will be on my real, calibrated 5.1 system.

Make sure you understand what the LFE channel is for, how to use it, and what bass management by the end users can do.  

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