Saturday, November 21, 2009


I'm not on Twitter (Wha?) Yup, but I found out there's a keystroke a day at FCPkeystrokes which is cool because I'm quite the habitué when it comes to the keyboard and keyboard commands. Check it out.


X29-Renamer is created to take those OS X "unfriendly" long names and truncate them, including and respecting any file extension, to the 31 characters that OS 9 accepts. In addition, to avoid name conflicts, the program will uniquely number each file or folder before the extension up to a maximum of 999.

This FREE software could be handy if someone is still using an OS9 based Avid or worse and you need to share files between the two. ;)

Sanyo H.264 Green MP4 Fix

Sanyo H.264 Fixer automatically "swaps" the H.264 component from the old (7.3) QT with the new one. Nothing is changed, except it can now play videos from the SANYO XACTI HD camcorders. This is a fix for the "green MP4 of death". NOTE: If your video is choppy, it means your computer is not fast enough.

Thought this was interesting although I've never run into this problem but here's a FREE app to help out.

Friday, November 20, 2009

AutoDesk Smoke 2010

Autodesk Smoke is coming to the Mac. It'll be ≈ $15,000.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hard Drives Keep Spining Down

Western Digital MyBook external drives are notorious for having a mind of their own (firmware) which spins them down seemingly every other minute (actually every 10mins). During a 60min export a friend called and asked me why it was failing repeatedly seemingly in the same location. Could the files be corrupted somehow? Asking about his set up I knew the problem when he mentioned there were two WD external drives connected to the system.

There are a few things to you can do to stop this.

01) Boot into Windows and alter their firmware with Western Digital's own tools. Good luck with this.
02) Pay $10 for No Spin. Which I haven't tried.
03) Install the FREE Keep Drive Spinning but under Snow Leopard it'll require Rosetta.
04) Download the FREE Disksomnia, which I've mentioned before, but in order to download it you must provide your email address (they email you a link to download it...evil) which opens you up to spam, their newsletters and other junk. Also, the Disksomnia installers requires your admin password which I never like. Pacifist shows that all it installs is the app and then sets it as a log-in item.

I don't like log-in items and just need the app. Yay for pacifist.

05) Mac OS X Hints has a Bash Script to keep the drives spinning. Your luck may vary with this.

This has become such a bother for me that I'm no longer using or accepting WD External drives for editing from clients.

Some suggestions I've received are essentially variations on the same idea: Put a media file on the drive and keep it playing in a loop. Small .mov, .mp3, etc...

Syncing Two Mics...after the fact

You know about sub-frame audio editing but let's say the audio has already been edited into your timeline and a re-edit isn't feasible.

FCP (as far as I know) has no simple way to adjust audio in the timeline in less-than-a-frame increments. If you adjust the In and Out points of an edited-in audio clip with Shift held down to alter it by a sub-frame it'll just adjust the length of the clip and reset the In point provided there's space available in the Timeline.

A handy way to get two mics that are ever so slightly out of sync into sync is to apply the AUSampleDelay audio filter to one of the audio clips.

Get your audio as close to synced as possible in the Timeline.

01) I like to turn off Snapping (tap the "n" key), then tap the "s" key for the Slip Tool.

02) Click on the audio clip that you want to get closer to being into sync and after you click and hold, hold down the Command key to enable more precise adjustments. Move your audio clip one frame to the left or the right (trial and error to see which sounds better).

03) Now, head over to Effects > Audio Filters > AUSampleDelay and add it to your clip. Then start adjusting the "in to out delay" number by increments of 1000 or so until your audio is pretty much in sync. This, again, will be some Trial and Error. (some prefer to call this Trial and Improvement...sigh)

What AUSampleDelay does is tell the audio of an audio clip it's applied to to hold it's horses for a little bit before it starts playing. So if the other mic's audio is running ahead of the second mic's audio, you can tell it to wait just a fraction of a second before it starts so they both start simultaneously.

Quick Tip: Hit Command + 5 to get Focus on the Effects Window, then hit Command + F and type in "AUSample" to quickly get to the filter.