Help me make my audio/video fcp life easier. I'm spending far too much time encoding and converting, and there are issues once I've done that; how do I speed the process up? I'm going to be doing this on the road for 12 months, so I really need a better method. (detailed description of tech specs/issues inside)
I've tried to be as clear as I can in the following description, to avoid misunderstandings. I understand this is a long post (sorry!).
SECTION A: MY SPECS
OS: Mac OS X 10.5.8
Processor: 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor
Memory: 2 GB
HD capacity: 148GB (normally about 70GB free)
Chipset Model: NVIDIA GeForce 9400M (is this relevant?)
Make: Canon Rebel t2i
Video files: 1280 x 720, 59.94fps (the only 1280 x 720 format) - Audio is 48khz, bit rate 44,625
Encoding: .mov, H.264, Integer (little endian)
Make: Zoom H2
What I use: MP3, bit rate is 256kbps
Software I own/use
MPEG Streamclip 1.9.2
Quicktime Pro 7.6.6
SECTION B: MY CURRENT EDITING PROCESS
I record video and audio files of street-performer concerts to upload to my youtube channel
. Once I've made the recordings, and come home to my computer, I
1) Transfer Videos from camera to computer.
2) Export files with MPEG Streamclip Batch to: Video; 1280 x 720 (unscaled), Apple Intermediate Codec, little endian, Quality 50% (files are massive still, about 5GB per song), not interlaced. Sound; uncompressed, stereo, 48khz. This takes AGES, but is necessary so that my computer and fcp can handle the editing process.
3) Transfer audio files (mp3, 256kbps) from Zoom H2 to computer
4) Open FCP, import video and audio files.
5) Add videos and audio files to timeline. This requires rendering of the audio files.
6) Edit videos, which requires some rendering of videos, depending on type of edit (which takes a long time).
7) Export to quicktime - makes roughly 5GB files per song.
8) Convert this file using MPEG Streamclip to MP4, H.264, quality 50% (small file sizes for youtube upload), takes AGES
9) Upload end result to youtube.
As you can tell, this takes a long time, and there are other problems:
1) Rendering mp3 files to match audio from video files in fcp creates little "pop" sounds every so often, and the audio slowly slips out of sync (the auido from Zoom H2 has about 4 extra "frames" per 30 seconds)
2) Keeping the quality at 50% in all MPEG Streamclip exports reduces the quality a little (as does uploading it to youtube), but the videos are still better than most youtube videos out there (see example
SECTION C: QUESTIONS ON HOW TO RESOLVE THIS
Okay. I've done some homework, and found that I should convert the audio to aiff before importing it to fcp (which has trouble with mp3 files).
a) Should I record audio on Zoom H2 in .wav (instead of .mp3) format, 48khz? This would require I get a bigger SD card, as the files become much bigger. I think recording in mp3 is fine, but when converting to aiff will it slip out of sync in fcp as it does now? Would recording in .wav instead of .mp3 avoid that?
b) What audio settings should I choose to match those of the video settings when converting the audio files to .aiff?
c) Converting audio files to aiff before importing to fcp will get rid of the "pop" sounds
. But MPEG Streamclip doesn't allow you to add audio files to their batch export, and Audacity doesn't allow you to export aiff in their batch either. Do I really have to sit there exporting each audio file, one by one? Does anyone know of other (Mac compatible) software that will allow for batch exporting of audio files to aiff?
a) The converting to AIC of original files, editing movie in fcp (with a few renderings needed), then exporting edited movie to quicktime, then converting that quicktime movie to mp4 process takes AGES and creates massive files. Do I need to pimp my current computer (put in a faster processor or more memory?) or buy a new computer (and if so, what specs... I have enough cash to buy a better mac, but probably not the absolute best)? Each full performance, once exported to AIC, when reduced to 50% quality, is roughly 20-40GB! Or, is there a way of speeding up my above process?
SECTION D: APOLOGIES!
I'm sorry this is such a long question, and don't expect a huge number of responses. Does anyone know of a better forum to ask these questions? Does fcp offer support? Or should I contact a University professor? Does anyone know anyone I can contact, perhaps for a paid tutorial (London, UK)? I'm about to go on a 12 month trip around the world filming street performers. We're traveling on bus and train and boat (no planes), on which I plan on making edits to videos so I can upload them to youtube at internet cafés. In other words, I REALLY need to speed this process up.
[final question: does anyone know anyone who has traveled the world uploading videos to youtube at internet cafes?]
Thanks a lot for your time, and again, I'm sorry for making it such a long one!