Possible Workaround For Video Problems In Pro Tools 11 - Part 2

02-23-2014 09:00 AM

In part 1 we heard that Paul Sinkovich had told us about a free app - MXF4mac Player from Hamburg Pro Media, which will open and play nearly any flavour of MXF files, even in full screen. It will open most MXF variations. It supports XDCAM HD, AVC-Intra, DNxHD, HDV, Uncompressed SD/HD, Uncompressed Avid 10 bit, DVC-Pro HD, IMX-D10,DV, Meridien, Sony Proxy and more and it is compatible to QuickTime movies and other formats (e.g. .mp4, .mov, .avi, .m4v, .wav, .aif, .aiff).
However the free MXF4mac Player on is own isn’t enough, you need to buy an ‘in app’ purchase (Avid take note) called TC Sync which then allows you through MIDI Time Code (MTC) and MIDI Machine Control (MMC) to sync Pro Tools and the MXF4mac Player together so that you aren’t asking Pro Tools to handle the video and in this part Paul is going to explain and demonstrate with the video above how he uses MXF4macPlayer with TC Sync, over to you Paul.
Before I found the MXF4mac player from Hamburg Pro Media I would have to do the following…

  1. Import BPAV folder(s) from camera to hard drive.
  2. Convert BPAV to quicktime files. (This is time consuming)
  3. Import quicktime files into Avid Media Composer or FCP7.
  4. Edit.
  5. Export quicktime ProRes or H264 video and audio (as a guide/check track)
  6. Export AAF for Pro Tools. (audio only)
  7. Do audio work in Pro Tools.
  8. Export stereo mix of audio from Pro Tools.
  9. Import audio mix back into Avid Media Composer or FCP7.
  10. Marry audio with video sequence.
  11. Export final master/mix of audio and video.

Now using the MXF4mac player and FCPX this is what I do…

  1. Import BPAV folder(s) to hard drive from camera.
  2. Convert to MXF files. (A lot faster than transcoding to QuickTime files).
  3. Import native files into FCPX. (The same can be done with Avid Media Composer and FCP7).
  4. Edit.
  5. Export FCP XML of edit. (A “Sequence” is called a “Project” in FCPX).
  6. Export video from FCPX as H264 or ProRes as my guide video track - ProRes is quicker.
  7. Using X2Pro software from Marquis Broadcast, convert FCPXML to AAF file. (Audio only)
  8. Open Pro Tools and import session data (AAF file exported from X2Pro).
  9. Using TC Sync from Hamburg Pro Media, I can open my exported ProRes or DNxHD or MP4 file, and sync it up to my audio session in Pro Tools eliminating any sync problems I might encounter with having the video inside of Pro Tools as a track. It remains completely outside of Pro Tools and MXF4Mac Player with TC Sync syncs up perfectly.
  10. Edit audio, add music, fx and mix in Pro Tools.
  11. Export stereo master mix from Pro Tools.
  12. Import stereo mix back into FCPX and marry with edited sequence (Project).
  13. Export out of FCPX master ProRes file.

Inside of the free MXF Player is a “plugin store” to purchase TC Sync and other plugins:

  • DCP Import (220 EUR).
  • J2K Codec (249 EUR).
  • P2 Import (free).
  • TC Sync (449 EUR).

MXF4Mac has varying prices, depending on whether you want import/export options.
Mike says - Thanks Paul for taking the time and trouble to explain your workflows and produce a video to show how you use the free MXF4mac player and in app purchase - TC Sync. It is interesting to see that Paul, as an independent operator feels it is worth the expense of buying the TC Sync plug-in for the free player so that he doesn’t have any problems playing a wide selection of video formats in sync with Pro Tools.