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External video player sync with Pro Tools by MTC and MMC
Old 23rd August 2020
  #1
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External video player sync with Pro Tools by MTC and MMC

Hi,
Since Pro Tools Video Engine doesn't work with H.264 video, i'm trying to have a video player that can be slaved to Pro Tools by MTC and MMC.
I've already tried:

Video Slave 4 - Doesn't work well after an hour using it.

MTC Video Player - Can't download any demo versions

Mitti - Playback starts ok. But when stops, cursor points by 3 or 4 frames ahead of pro tools. If Pro Tools stops on 01:01:02;10, it stops at 01:01:02;14, for example.

Horae - Demo version lasts less then 10 minutes. It doesn't let you know if it works.

xJadeo - Playback starts ok. But when stops, cursor points by 3 or 4 frames ahead of pro tools. If Pro Tools stops on 01:01:02;10, it stops at 01:01:02;14, for example.

VDMX5 - It takes an eternity to set up MIDI slave settings, and it doesn't work.

Reaper - Playback starts ok. But when stops, cursor points by 3 or 4 frames ahead of pro tools. If Pro Tools stops on 01:01:02;10, it stops at 01:01:02;14, for example.

Logic Pro X - Playback starts ok. But when stops, cursor points by 3 or 4 frames ahead of pro tools. If Pro Tools stops on 01:01:02;10, it stops at 01:01:02;14, for example.


PS
- i'm not converting my video to any other format or codec. I work 6 to 7 hours a day with dubbing and ADR projects for films and TV shows. There is no way to convert up to 20 videos with 40min duration every week.

- I'm not necessarily searching for a free software. Have no problem to pay for it. But i think that USD 500 is too much for a software that isn't reliable (like Video Slave, for example).

- I'm trying to do this operation with a second machine linked to the first one by ethernet cable, using Network Midi, but all the tests i did using one machine too. No sucess.


The setup i'm using is:

Pro Tools 2019.6

Machine 1
-Mac Mini Late 2012
256 GB SSD
16 GB RAM
OS X Mojave
Machine 2
-MacBook Pro Early 2015
128 GB SSD
8 GB RAM
OS X Mojave
Old 23rd August 2020
  #2
Just don't accept H264 for audio post. Most places don't, for good reasons.
Old 24th August 2020
  #3
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I wish i could. Netflix, Viacom and many others works with H.264.

:(
Old 24th August 2020
  #4
H264 is a consumer delivery format, not suitable for production.
Even their own editors will prefer exporting to HiRes or DNxHD, as it is a lot faster than exporting to H264.
If they resist advice, then batch convert video on arrival, with something like ffworks or so. Will save you time.
Old 24th August 2020
  #5
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TVPostSound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedro Nuccini View Post
I wish i could. Netflix, Viacom and many others works with H.264.

:(
They do NOT work with H264, only a deliverable.
H264 is not a working codec.
Demand a DNXHD36, its a happy medium between size and seeing sync.
Old 24th August 2020
  #6
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TVPostSound's Avatar
Wait a minute, are you doing international dubbing?
Thats why they send you H264.
Old 24th August 2020
  #7
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Thank you guys for the advices. But there are other reasons i want to work with a slave video player in a second machine:
I already have this second machine available here. Itยดs saves CPU and RAM process (i think so). It gives me another screen to work with.
I've watched so many videos and read so many forums. Saw many people linking Pro Tools with Logic or Reaper, but i just can't make it work.
All the softwares i listed above shows some kind of issue. It shoud be simple to work, but i's not.
Anyway, thank you all.
Old 24th August 2020
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TVPostSound View Post
Wait a minute, are you doing international dubbing?
Thats why they send you H264.
yep
Old 24th August 2020
  #9
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There's no way around this unfortunately, using compressed video even on a separate computer is not going to work well, due to the nature of how frames are calculated.

I use ffmpeg for batch processing of videos all the time, can convert anything to DNxHD or ProRes once you have it all set up. Once you have all the commands in order it converts quickly. Would look into that to solve this problem.
Old 24th August 2020
  #10
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VS4 working here w/ H264 video, MTC. SMPTE to USB MTC done by Colin Broad box.
Old 24th August 2020
  #11
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I haven't had any issues using VideoSlave4 to do this - can you share what was bad about your experience? I sync my two machines using an ethernet cable and the VS Daw plugin.
Old 24th August 2020
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedro Nuccini View Post
Hi,
Since Pro Tools Video Engine doesn't work with H.264 video
This is actually not true.
It does.
But like all the players you tried, it has a hard time with H264 when used in non-linear editing. It's a keyframe issue.
Old 24th August 2020
  #13
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nucelar's Avatar
 

Hi, we are in a similar situation, we receive a huge volume of h264 videos for dubbing. We are a multi room facility, we try to keep everything as simple as possible, so a satellite system in every room for video playback is out of question. Even if the sw would run on the same machine it would add a layer of unwanted complexity at no real advantage.
Pro tools can handle h264 but we never use it. We transcode everything to Prores Proxy. For voiceover shows where lipsync is not an issue we can live with 720p resolution, which helps to keep filesize a bit smaller.
It is an effort that pays off as general smoothness and agility during recording and mixing.
My advice is to figure out a nice automated way to transcode to Prores Proxy or dnxhd 36 and forget about external video playback. We use ffmpeg set up as a OSX service.
Old 24th August 2020
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ayushahuja View Post
I haven't had any issues using VideoSlave4 to do this - can you share what was bad about your experience? I sync my two machines using an ethernet cable and the VS Daw plugin.
In fact, Video Slave is almost fine, but after a certain time using it, playback gets little crazy in the first 1 or 2 seconds, and after that it goes on. But i still think that it doesn't worth the price (about 2.500 BRL). Um using the demo version, but i'm sure that's not the reason.

About the video format: both Reaper and Logic Pro shows this sync issue even with no video tracks in the session (i've tested both with an empty timeline, with no video files). It seems to be an MMC issue or latency.
Old 26th August 2020
  #15
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Video Slave is really the only viable software option if you're doing this professionally (i.e. for money and on time). It has worked well for me when I've used it although I don't need it anymore.

Finding a streamlined process for transcoding would be much more efficient than messing around with all these other options.

Adobe Media Encoder has watch folders so you can set your presets, set your folders, and move on with your day. The encoding is GPU accelerated as well. The main downside is you can't just buy it you have to subscribe and install their stupid application manager. But if this is part of your daily routine the cost is negligible even if you don't use any other Adobe program.

Avid hilariously recommends the free Shutter Encoder instead of providing a solution themselves. And that's not a knock against Shutter Encoder. It works well and I believe offers watch folders too. So that would be my second recommendation and it's free (donations accepted).

Either of these would serve you better than a third party playback option. Especially with all the stops and starts and looping you probably do. I wouldn't use anything but Satellite for this if you absolutely had to go out of the box.
Old 26th August 2020
  #16
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cubivore's Avatar
 

what's the problem with using desktop video? i've been dubbing using just one computer for over a decade and never understood why people need the external machine for video playback. for me it's all about how much ram the video card has. if you're stuck getting h264 you can use Compressor on mac to set up a preset to batch convert a whole pile of videos to ProRes (my favorite, but huge files). these days you could probably convert a whole series in under an hour.
Old 27th August 2020
  #17
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Mundox's Avatar
Setup a Pro Tools 10 rig. That one has no problemos with H264.
Old 27th August 2020
  #18
Gear Head
 
Simplicisimus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedro Nuccini View Post
Hi,
Since Pro Tools Video Engine doesn't work with H.264 video, i'm trying to have a video player that can be slaved to Pro Tools by MTC and MMC.
I've already tried:

Video Slave 4 - Doesn't work well after an hour using it.

Mitti - Playback starts ok. But when stops, cursor points by 3 or 4 frames ahead of pro tools. If Pro Tools stops on 01:01:02;10, it stops at 01:01:02;14, for example.

xJadeo - Playback starts ok. But when stops, cursor points by 3 or 4 frames ahead of pro tools. If Pro Tools stops on 01:01:02;10, it stops at 01:01:02;14, for example.

Reaper - Playback starts ok. But when stops, cursor points by 3 or 4 frames ahead of pro tools. If Pro Tools stops on 01:01:02;10, it stops at 01:01:02;14, for example.

Logic Pro X - Playback starts ok. But when stops, cursor points by 3 or 4 frames ahead of pro tools. If Pro Tools stops on 01:01:02;10, it stops at 01:01:02;14, for example.
They all behave the same and I find it's hardly any limitation at all. I think it don't have anything to do with H264 codec, but the way MTC is working - apparently MTC don't send "current position" on playback stop, so remote video player always drifts few frames after stopping, but it's not a problem in the usual workflow. As soon as you touch your position or restart playback video instantly resets to the actual frame. It also works with looping, because MTC is constantly sending the TC.

We use XJadeo daily for years and it works flawlessly.
Good luck!
Old 28th August 2020
  #19
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minister's Avatar
You'll never get H264 to work great.

On a Mac, these applications batch convert very quickly, you could even program a script and automate the process even more, just drag and drop:
Shutter Encoder (for making MXF's)
EditReady (for making DNxHD or ProRes
FFMPEG (for making DNxHD or ProRes)

There are likely others.

Get an assistant to receive materials and start the conversion right away. Or, if you are a one-man-band, make it an immediate step upon receiving materials.
Old 28th August 2020
  #20
Gear Addict
 

Has anybody tried this?

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/portra...77119728?mt=12


I know it's apple only, but it might be a great, cost effective solution.
Old 18th September 2020
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simplicisimus View Post
They all behave the same and I find it's hardly any limitation at all. I think it don't have anything to do with H264 codec, but the way MTC is working - apparently MTC don't send "current position" on playback stop, so remote video player always drifts few frames after stopping, but it's not a problem in the usual workflow. As soon as you touch your position or restart playback video instantly resets to the actual frame. It also works with looping, because MTC is constantly sending the TC.

We use XJadeo daily for years and it works flawlessly.
Good luck!
Do you use XJadeo with another third part app? Jack Audio or something? I've tried, but it did not sync well.
Old 18th September 2020
  #22
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Video Salve 4 has been rock solid for me.
Old 18th September 2020
  #23
Gear Head
 
Simplicisimus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedro Nuccini View Post
Do you use XJadeo with another third part app? Jack Audio or something? I've tried, but it did not sync well.
We use simple MTC send/return via Portamidi. If you're running on the separate machine, you can connect the machines via MIDI cable, or you can use MIDI over Network, but your network connection needs to be on cable (no wifi) and best to avoid busy network connections with multiple peers.
If you're running on the same computer, you must install somekind of loopback virtual midi port that you can use as send/receive.
Old 18th September 2020
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simplicisimus View Post
We use simple MTC send/return via Portamidi. If you're running on the separate machine, you can connect the machines via MIDI cable, or you can use MIDI over Network, but your network connection needs to be on cable (no wifi) and best to avoid busy network connections with multiple peers.
If you're running on the same computer, you must install somekind of loopback virtual midi port that you can use as send/receive.
I tried using jadeo with no portmidi or jack transport, but with some lag and outsync issues. I'm having a hard time to understand how portmidi works. Installed with terminal, but nothing happens, can't find any setup or something eles.

I'm already using two Macs linked by ethernet cable and using Network Midi.
Old 19th September 2020
  #25
Gear Head
 
Simplicisimus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedro Nuccini View Post
I tried using jadeo with no portmidi or jack transport, but with some lag and outsync issues. I'm having a hard time to understand how portmidi works. Installed with terminal, but nothing happens, can't find any setup or something eles.

I'm already using two Macs linked by ethernet cable and using Network Midi.
Portmidi just uses the default Midi input on your machine, so if you already have setup working Network Midi connection it should work out of box, you just need to select Portmidi sync in Xjadeo. Of course you need to send MTC from your DAW to the slave machine running Xjadeo via Network midi.
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