Turnover Blues

Much as I want to love Adrenaline, we’ve had our share of problems in the last couple of weeks, all related to turnover — problems with OMFs, EDLs and cut lists, as follows:

OMFs — If you want to deliver OMF media to sound and any of your media is MXF, you won’t be able to export. MC offers no help — you just bomb — and you’ll have to suss the problem out for yourself, cutting your sequences down and redoing the export until you finally find the errant clip or clips. This is a double gotcha since MC really wants to create MXF media now, and you have to turn off MXF file creation in several hidden places to make sure you don’t get any (see this post for details). In our case, it was a sound effect clip. Check your media drives and look for an “Avid MediaFiles” folder (as opposed to an “OMF MediaFiles” folder). Your MXF files are going to be in there.

EDLs — In MC version 2.7.2 and 2.7.3 you simply can’t make audio EDLs. Yes, you read that right. You’ll crash or see an error message. The solution is to upgrade to version 2.7.5 or 2.7.6. Loading a newer version of EDL Manager won’t work. In our case, after an upgrade to EDL Manager 23.7.5 we were unable to run MC at all and had to revert both MC and EDLM. For your system to work properly MC and EDLM versions must match (that is, the digits after the dot must be identical — MC 2.7.6 goes with EDLM 23.7.6). If you don’t want to upgrade MC (we’re in a critical period and can’t risk it), the workaround is to load a later version of EDLM on a standalone system and make your lists from there.

Film Lists — Unless you’re satisfied with Avid’s Web template you’ll crash when you try to make a list in FilmScribe 23.7.2. The solution is to replace your FilmScribe template folder with a new one from Avid. The problem is that most vendors don’t know about the fix, but I’m told that MC 2.7.6 / FS 23.7.6 includes it.

All in all, this is not much of a testament to Avid’s ability to test their software in a real-world, Hollywood-style environment. Turnover to sound and online/DI is mission-critical for us and when we need to do it, we need to do it now. And it’s not much of a testament to the now-forgotten decision to split off FilmScribe as a separate application. One key rationale was that as a standalone ap, it could be updated more quickly. But if we can only use the version that matches the installed version of MC that rational doesn’t hold up.

The silver lining to all of this is that MC 2.7.6 is supposed to be stable and fast and include a host of bug fixes — including everything mentioned here. I’m hopeful, but only time will tell.

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2 Comments on “Turnover Blues”

  1. Norman Says:

    If this is true across all system configurations (rather than just yours) then this is truly horrifying. The concept of regression testing is to avoid just this sort of major screw up and FCLs and EDLs are such an integral part of what we do that it is more than surprising beyond all measure. It would testify to a truly leaky culture at Avid.

    I’m going to check with our Supreme Avid One to see if we’re experiencing similar problems. We’ve done a few handover tests using our system (which I think is 2.7.3) with no EDL issues. We did have problems on some machines with the FCLs.

  2. Steve Says:

    I believe that these are all known bugs, not just on our system. I hear that version 2.7.5 fixes a lot of things, including the cut list problems and the EDLs, and maybe the OMF/MXF thing, but I don’t haven’t tried it yet.

    Remember — it’s sound EDLs that are the problem. Picture EDLs work normally. And cut lists work with the HTML template, which is the default. It’s the Avid columnar template, the one most people I know use, that is the issue.

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