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Ben Balser

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Ben Balser

About Me

Basic Information

  • About me

    Apple Certified Master Trainer since 2005. Teach for TechOne Center Baton Rouge, LA and Gulf Port, AL. Plus for AATC's across the US, corporate/worship/higher-ed/broadcast facilities. Retired IT Engineer of 20+ years. Producer, consultant, educator, author, composer. Began composing at 5, filmmaking at 13. Slowly backing off of productions, ramping up more composing work, getting closer to a real retirement than I ever thought I'd live to see.

Contact Information

Member since
Tuesday, 26 July 2011 12:15
Last online
31 minutes ago
  • Jaime thanks user 'BenB' in the forum message ' Old mac's library can't open. ".fcpcache.tmp" couldn't be removed.'.
    14 hours 18 minutes ago
  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Can not write file' in the forum.
    15 hours 21 minutes ago

    I'd be tempted to run Disk Warrior on that drive. If it can't fix something, that drive has major issues and may die. I'm sure I'm over reacting. But that just seems not so kosher to me.

    OR you needed to run maintenance before the last TimeMachine backup (Disk Utility, Disk Warrior).

    I dunno, but I'd be nervous, and perhaps look for a more reliable, professional backup app, like Carbon Copy Cloner.

    Again, I may be over reacting...
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'problems with clips and previews greyed out/ export crashing =(' in the forum.
    18 hours ago

    Whoa! That's a LOT of Events in one Liebeery!
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  • Jonathan thanks user 'BenB' in the forum message ' Importing Audio?'.
    22 hours 11 minutes ago
  • Ben Balser created a new topic ' What If Apple Made A Drone?' in the forum.
    22 hours 16 minutes ago

    What If Apple Made A Drone?

    As a drone flier, I found this very exciting. It would be so wicked awesome if Apple actually did this. HA!

    www.dronethusiast.com/meet-the-apple-drone/
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Importing Audio?' in the forum.
    22 hours 22 minutes ago

    Channels are not married to left and right outputs. Dual monos are by default panned center. Stereo pair marries them to be one exclusive left and one exclusive right. But you can mix them, pan them, how ever you want with dual mono. Nothing anywhere states one channel has to go to one output.
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  • Jonathan thanks user 'BenB' in the forum message ' Importing Audio?'.
    yesterday
  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Importing Audio?' in the forum.
    yesterday

    My old HVX200 and HPX170 were DVCPRO-HD P2 that supported 4 channels. I always got 4 channels when I imported them. I can set them at 2 stereo pairs, or 4 monos, or 1 stereo pair plus 2 monos.

    Multitrack audio depends on the audio/video codec. WAV is one of many flavors that supports that, not the only one.

    Yes, sometimes we do two mics, but on-camera mic and lav. Mixing in room tone is something done very lightly, not too much, you don't even want it noticeable. But it can fill out the overall sound nicely.

    When I do NOT do that, is when I have lots of cutaways with SOT, a lot of music, lots of situations in the video where I use the interview voice, but there's other sound. Then I don't want the interview to have room tone, it can interfere with the other stuff. And you want it to sound constant across the board. Dry talking head is OK if there's not much actual talking head time on screen, mostly cut aways, inserts, music, etc.

    Not "tracks", that's what a DAW has, but "channels". Then you'll mix those dual mono channels in FCPX. Mute the boom channel, and set the lav channel to where it sounds optimum. Then slow, gently, carefully bring in the boom, just enough to fill it out, without being noticeable.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Move libraries from local location to network drive' in the forum.
    yesterday

    What type of network, what type of network drive?

    Default location for importing media into a Library is in the Inspector. Select the Library in the Libraries pane, go to the Inspector. The top section is Storage Location, where you'll see a Modify Settings button.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Importing Audio?' in the forum.
    yesterday

    Are you video taping, also, or just audio recording?

    A stereo pair is a married pair, fixed panning, period. Panning only reverses left to right and right to left.

    Dual Mono is what you want, and you'll have to change that.

    Browser, select the clip, Inspector, Audio, Channel Configuration, and change it to Dual Mono. Then you'll get to adjust each channel's pan independently.

    So, why use both mics together, rather than just one good mic as a mono channel?

    [File Attachment: ScreenShot2015-03-25at8.16.25PM.png]
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Old mac's library can't open. ".fcpcache.tmp" couldn't be removed.' in the forum.
    yesterday

    10.1.2
    10.1.4
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic '10.1.5 PRE-RELEASE DISCUSSION' in the forum.
    yesterday

    I hope they add the "make me a dry vodka martini" function at long last. Or the "telepathic interface" which I've been waiting a decade for. Geez...
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  • Jonathan thanks user 'BenB' in the forum message ' Importing Audio?'.
    yesterday
  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Importing Audio?' in the forum.
    yesterday

    There is a difference between Expand Audio Components, and Expand Audio/Video. Components is where you do the surgery. I don't see the need to detach audio when you can expand the components, in most cases.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Can not write file' in the forum.
    yesterday

    HEY KID! GET THE HELL OFF MY LAWN!

    Just kidding, welcome! There are no newbie questions, just newbie answers, and then stuff that makes no sense. I mean, how the hell does that damned computer even work in the first place? Helicopters! There's one for ya! How the hell do they even fly? Anyway...

    What are the total capacities of these drives? That seems like plenty of free space, but just curious, to get the numbers nailed down.

    Permissions can in fact be an issue with external drives. Did this just suddenly occur when you opened this Library one day, or were you having issues leading up to it? Were any changes made to your system at all (new software installed, old software uninstalled, new peripherals, etc)?

    If you select the external drive, Command-i, bottom of the Get Info window, can you give us a screen shot of that? Just curious...
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  • Jonathan thanks user 'BenB' in the forum message ' Importing Audio?'.
    yesterday
  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Importing Audio?' in the forum.
    yesterday

    First, there are no audio only dissolves for clips that also contain video content. I think Alex3D has a custom one posted on this forum.

    That that option does is tells FCPX to look at your file's audio channels, and the content on each. If they are the same, they are configured by default to be a stereo pair. If the content is different on each channel, for example if you had an interviewer's mic on Channel A, and the interviewee's mic on channel B, they are configured as dual mono. These can be changes after import in the Inspector > Audio > Channel Configuration. On a clip that has the same content on both channels, this setting won't do anything, since they were recorded as such, and FCPX will recognize them as such, and leave them set that way.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Will running my TB drive through my TB monitor rather than thru my Mac Book Pro port slow performance' in the forum.
    yesterday

    If your drive has TB though, put the monitor at the end of the chain. Your drive is not getting anywhere near the max throughput of a TB connection.
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  • Finnur Bardarson thanks user 'BenB' in the forum message ' 'new mac pro's & fcpx'.
    2 days ago
  • Ben Balser replied to the topic ''new mac pro's & fcpx' in the forum.
    2 days ago

    That is not unusual, most directories have errors in them. The are designed with some fault tolerance, but if the get to messed up your drive wil crash, with very little if any recoverable data. The majority of crashed hard drives are not due to physical damage, but corrupted directories. There is now way to determine which is which unless you have a kazillion dollars. So we toss them as bad, not worth taking the chance. Disk Warrior is great preventative maintenance to avoid this. So yes, it should be rebuilding the directory almost every time you run it.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Suggestions Needed: Blu-Ray External Read/Write Drive' in the forum.
    2 days ago

    These days they are all pretty much the same. Otherworld Computing (dot com) has some nice ones.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic ''new mac pro's & fcpx' in the forum.
    2 days ago

    Also, who is running weekly and monthly maintenance routines? We run Disk Utility to repair all drives once a week, and verify free space on all drives. Verify all unnecessary files are trashed and trash is emptied. Once a month we run Disk Warrior to repair the directories on all drives, too. Just wondering out loud if anyone else does these things religiously?
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'for BenB snapshot workflow..' in the forum.
    2 days ago

    I wonder if you're really saving time making snapshots and changing angle content, rather than dropping the master Multiclip into a new Project and editing it from scratch. Changing that much content in a timeline, I've never seen anyone do that exactly. My studio hasn't done that, so that's new. Would be interesting to get Ronny's take on this.

    The many years I taught and consulted for legacy FCP I rarely found anyone who actually used the button bar. Most folks found learning keyboard shortcuts (the way I taught them, at least) much faster and easier. But if buttons worked for you, fill out the feedback form, let the dev team know you want them. I'm sure there are other users asking for more buttons, too. The more folks who ask, the closer it gets to being done.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic '44.1kHz & 48kHz Audio Files?' in the forum.
    2 days ago

    Oh yes, that. Always process the file for sure.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Assign Keywords in Timeline?' in the forum.
    2 days ago

    Shift-F shouldn't duplicate anything. If you're doing snapshots, I'd keep the snapshot as my archive, as it is time stamped in the name. Then continue with my original. And if you are doing snapshots with Compound Clips or Multicams, yes, you are duplicating those, so the new snapshots don't interfere with the originals. But normal clips should not be duplicating with Shift-F. That is something very wrong.

    I hated the button bar. Slow, hard to see, crowded. Learn the keyboard shortcuts, they're easy to learn, and you'll work much faster.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Rendering/Exportings' in the forum.
    2 days ago

    Keying will be easier with optimized ProRes than H.264 originals. At least in my experience. I also optimize anything I'm going to retime. Other than that, I use 7D and GoPro Hero3+ native clips all the time.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic ''new mac pro's & fcpx' in the forum.
    2 days ago

    Late 2013 Mac Pro (tube), 3GHz 8-core, D700 GPUs (don't get the slower GPUs), 1TB SSD internal, P2 12TB RAID external. I've no real issues at all.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Bit OT, but fun. How Pro is FCPX interface? Just came into my mind.' in the forum.
    3 days ago

    Many amateur videographers only do a couple weddings a month, get paid, but are doing it for fun. So "getting paid" is not a measure of professional or not. Defining professional from amateur is a gray area today.

    I have a friend who is an amateur golfer. Plays in specifically titled "amateur" events and tournaments. She also teaches. She gets money from it, but it is not her full time job, it is a hobby that happens to bring in a few bucks. She is an amateur, but scores like a pro, and does it as a hobby. Huge gray area when trying to draw hard lines between pros and hobbyists these days.

    I've said it before, I'll say it again; Two terms in the video/broadcast/film industry no longer have any real meaning. "Professional" and "Industry Standards". Nothing is strictly professional, there are no industry standards any longer, not at all.

    But German beer is forever, thankfully.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'New Audio Tracker for Live/Location Work' in the forum.
    3 days ago

    GarageBand won't record multiple tracks like we're talking about with these other apps. Auria does AFF import/export, too. So even though it is iPad specific, you can get projects into PT or LPX just fine.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Bit OT, but fun. How Pro is FCPX interface? Just came into my mind.' in the forum.
    3 days ago

    "If it isn't Scottish, it's crap!"
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic '44.1kHz & 48kHz Audio Files?' in the forum.
    3 days ago

    Audacity can do a good job at that, too.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Rendering/Exportings' in the forum.
    3 days ago

    Depends on the format of your original. Highly compressed codecs often don't transcode as cleanly. ProRes 422 will transcode over several generations and not lose a bit of image quality.

    1- Format/codec of original media?
    2- How much color grading and effects are you using?
    3- Format/codec of desired exported files?
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Rendering/Exportings' in the forum.
    3 days ago

    Yes, you can switch between Optimized (full quality) or Proxy (quarter quality).
    You can NOT switch between Optimized and Original, you're going to use one or the other. But can use either with Proxy.

    During import, you can chose to create Optimized and/or Proxy.

    During export, you would switch FCPX back to working with Optimized or Original, which ever you decided to use.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'New Audio Tracker for Live/Location Work' in the forum.
    3 days ago

    Auria for the iPad has been doing this for a couple of years now. Will also read multiple inputs on an iPad from interfaces from Apogee and others. I've used it a lot on various locations and love it, and only $25.
    auriaapp.com/Products/auria
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Easiest way to send file from FCPX to Motion 5' in the forum.
    3 days ago

    Fill out the feedback page!
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic '44.1kHz & 48kHz Audio Files?' in the forum.
    3 days ago

    OK, open both in QT Player. What are the duration? Different? Then you'll simply have to adjust the duration of one. I'd work on the audio file, myself, in LPX. I find it retimes audio with better quality and accuracy than FCPX.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'New Voice Processor' in the forum.
    3 days ago

    FCPX already has audio filters that do lo-fi very well, lots of great vocal filters. That is a nice overall mixing plugin for music, though. Singing voices are a whole different universe than speaking voices.

    FCPX has a Voice category of audio filters. And to get phone, AM radio, though a wall type effect, look at the EQ category, ChannelEQ, Presets, EQ Tools. There are several great presets that serve as starting places for that type of effect quick, easy, free.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Assign Keywords in Timeline?' in the forum.
    3 days ago

    Shift-F, takes you to the Browser original, add it there. Quick, easy.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic '44.1kHz & 48kHz Audio Files?' in the forum.
    3 days ago

    "But when I add the 44.1k file that just has a 48k header (tricking FCPX so it thinks that no conversion is needed)..."

    How are you changing only the header of the file?
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic '44.1kHz & 48kHz Audio Files?' in the forum.
    3 days ago

    OK, I'm confused. Do they match or not? Do you want them to or not?
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic '44.1kHz & 48kHz Audio Files?' in the forum.
    3 days ago

    I've never put the two together in a Timeline raw before. But, I know in a Sync clip they drift out of sync over time. You can always manually change the speed of an audio clip (Cmd-R).
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Rendering/Exportings' in the forum.
    3 days ago

    MUCH easier, and faster.
    ;)
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Motion Tracking inside FCPX' in the forum.
    3 days ago

    FCPX will never have the extensive toolset as Motion. To put both in one app would require junking up interfaces very badly, which IMHO would be a huge step backwards.

    Remember that Apple has publicly said their plan for FCPX all along has been the DSLR model. You buy the body, then add on accessories that you want, don't pay for what you don't need. At $299 (USD) it is way cheaper than PPro or MC. So adding on SliceX/TrackX I don't see as an issue. Besides, Coremelt can devote more resources and focus more on that than Apple can. Apple has a LOT on their plate, so let the guys who are best at specifics do it. The price is right for it.

    But yeah, Motion and FCPX aren't becoming the same application. They're going to share tools, probably more and more, but I can't see that happening 100%. NLE interface and motion graphics/effects interfaces simply are apples to onions.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Bit OT, but fun. How Pro is FCPX interface? Just came into my mind.' in the forum.
    3 days ago

    Ah, German irony, how ironic. Those Germans...
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  • Ben Balser created a new topic ' Keyword Collections Remembered' in the forum.
    4 days ago

    Keyword Collections Remembered

    A lot of FCPX users don't know that you can in fact assign keyword collections during the Import process.
    Click here for full article.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic '10.1.5 PRE-RELEASE DISCUSSION' in the forum.
    4 days ago

    In a UNIX operating system, there are many parts working together to form the whole. "Frameworks" are one of those parts. It is not really an application that can be tested by itself, it is an programing interface. Let me quote Apple, "The AV Foundation framework provides an Objective-C interface for managing and playing audio-visual media in iOS and OS X applications."
    developer.apple.com/library/ios/document...Framework/index.html

    It is like a set of commands and variables a programmer can use to manage, manipulate, and play audio and video media inside of the OS X operating system. Check the link above to glimpse a list of these commands and variable.

    It's like FCPX is an End User Graphical Interface, for us to use AV Foundation programming language, to have OS X do work for us. You could very easily do everything at a command line with AV Foundation commands and variables that you an do in the FCPX interface.

    Now, you want to use the FCPX application, or do you want to learn Object-C programming language, the AV Foundation Framework, and work at a command line? You'll get the same end result.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Bit OT, but fun. How Pro is FCPX interface? Just came into my mind.' in the forum.
    4 days ago

    "...a crappy consumer app" that a couple of feature films were edited on? Are we still having that discussion?
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic '44.1kHz & 48kHz Audio Files?' in the forum.
    4 days ago

    Never tried, but you could select the 44.1 (I didn't know they were conformed) in the Timeline, go to the Retiming menu, select "Automatic Speed". See what that does.
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  • Justin thanks user 'BenB' in the forum message ' Rendering/Exportings'.
    4 days ago
  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Rendering/Exportings' in the forum.
    4 days ago

    Render files are like a bounce in LPX, or a mix-down. When you have multiple sources of clips, photos, multiple audio files, graphics, titles, etc. in a Timeline, each element is an individual video stream from the hard drive to the CPU/GPU to FCPX. Thus you have multiple streams of media all at one time that FCPX has to deal with. This is why a lot of benchmark tests for RAID drive systems look at how many video streams of what format can be read at one time.

    When you stack enough of this stuff on top of each other, it can overwhelm the hard drive's throughput capacity, or eat up too much RAM, or tax the CPU/GPU. Then you need to render.

    The resulting "render file" is a very simplified file that mixes it all down into one video stream (source) and two audio streams. Or as you put it, a "preview" file, a bare bones data file. It is functionally the same as an export, except it is specific to the OS and FCPX, to make writing time very short, and may not always be 100% resolution exactly. It is a proprietary code and not something that anything else can read/use. It is a temporary file. Thus, when you change something, it becomes useless and you have to render again.

    Exporting on the other hand is a similar, but different story. You are flattening all your "layers", so to speak. You are creating a flattened file so there is only one video and two audio streams (for stereo, six for surround), BUT it is written in a more complete, more standardized code, that conforms to the codec specifications you're writing too (ProRes, H.264, MPEG-4, etc). Plus, unlike a render file, it has header and footer data so other apps can identify it and use it. It has metadata (renders don't have metadata per say). It has a thumbnail, a poster frame, etc.

    When you need to render depends on the complexity of your timeline, the codecs used in the timeline, and the hardware you are running on. Now, I have a rMBP and I can easily cause it to require rendering. But then I'm using heavy duty plugins like mObject that can bog things down. Do a heavy enough composite in FCPX on those laptops and they're require rendering to playback with any efficiency.

    Also, playback, when it is stressing the hardware, FCPX will degrade the image quality on purpose to give you decent playback, good enough to edit with. It will do this much more so when set for "Better Playback" then with "Better Quality". So that setting comes into play, also.

    In FCP7 you weren't required to render before exporting. If you were not getting everything exported, there was a problem with the system. I never rendered before exporting in legacy FCP.

    Optimized Media is only a ProRes full quality version of the original media. It is only necessary if the original media would stress the hardware. GoPro clips on your laptop will play fine to a point, but add text, color grading, stabilization, fish-eye correction, and you'll need to render for any realistic, useful playback. REDUCED RAW will bog down a MBP quickly, even with a Thunderbolt SSD drive (I do this often). Mostly due to Long-GOP being very complex and CPU intensive for playback (every 8-12 frames must be read and processed to calculate and playback each individual, single frame), or do to massive proprietary data like REDCODE RAW 4K. Optimized converts it all to ProRes, which retains 100% image quality and fidelity and reduces the stress on the hardware required for playback. It also will export faster, as the Long-GOP format doesn't have to be dealt with, tying up valuable CPU time.
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