Audio imported from a video is different between DAWs - can anyone explain why?

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Audio imported from a video is different between DAWs - can anyone explain why?

Post by Captain_Dan » Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:05 pm

I've imported the same h264 .MOV video (with .aac audio) into every program I have access to and it looks like there's up to a 2 frame difference between Nuendo 7 and Pro Tools. Picture here: https://imgur.com/O5UbIMa

My guess would be that it's something to do with how different programs deal with compressed formats. I've noticed this happening with N7 a lot before so I always go by the AAF / OMF's audio as being the true sync rather than trusting any audio imported from a video. Is there any reliable way of knowing which DAW is providing the most accurate decode of the video's audio?

If you ever have to sync content to the reference track of a video how do other people deal with this sort of situation and how do you know which one is correct?


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Re: Audio imported from a video is different between DAWs - can anyone explain why?

Post by Captain_Dan » Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:03 pm

Hmm yeah I did have a look through that but it deals more with video. Interestingly I just made my own test video (h264 .mov 128bit aac) and Pro Tools seems to be sample accurate with the original WAV whereas Nuendo 7 is a frame and a half off as you can see here: https://imgur.com/ZhYVNEh

I had a very professionally embarrassing day yesterday as a result of this issue. I was working with someone in Pro Tools and they were asking me to accurately sync things up to the reference track which I WAS as far as I was aware, so I looked like a total idiot. Apparently Nuendo's accuracy with .aac audio from an h264 seems to be off for some reason - are they planning on fixing this in future?

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Re: Audio imported from a video is different between DAWs - can anyone explain why?

Post by ltf3 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:22 am

For what it’s worth I’d advise against ever using h264/mp4 video or any mp3/aac Audio ever, anywhere in audio to picture work. It’s too prone to exactly this kind of thing due as you said to the compression which literally breaks down the notion of discrete frames. This compressed audio also gives issues in video editing apps ... it’s a delivery technology not a production format.

Ask for ProRes LT ( or Proxy) from your video source ... most AV apps can export it even on PC where OS level support has been deprecated.

The video will play great, your audio will stay in sync ... you won’t look back.
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Re: Audio imported from a video is different between DAWs - can anyone explain why?

Post by Fredo » Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:44 am

I can't repeat it enough.
There are 2 things that are crucial for anyone working in audio post.
(And that goes for the video editors as well)

2pop front and back (usually @ 48 frames)
BITC


Those two things will prevent any sync issue and guarantee proper sync throughout the process, from rushes to final master and pull.

I really don't understand what is so difficult about it.

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Re: Audio imported from a video is different between DAWs - can anyone explain why?

Post by Captain_Dan » Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:03 pm

I mean on the one hand sure in a perfect world I can totally see where you're coming from, but on the other it certainly seems like something's not right and is worth pointing out if other DAWs can do this correctly? There are actual glitches in the imported audio of the latest video I'm working on - as you can see the start is chopped up and different to the (totally correct) Pro Tools import.

To answer your question, the difficult part is saying to clients, "I don't use Pro Tools and sadly my DAW is not as accurate at importing audio so can you export out a reference WAV with 2 pops as well just to be on the safe side?" especially if it's a short project or a quick 24hr turnaround where I don't have time to explain what 2 pops are to an editor who's never done them before

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Re: Audio imported from a video is different between DAWs - can anyone explain why?

Post by Fredo » Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:49 pm

Sorry man, 2pops (white frame for video editors) and BITC are standard procedure in audio post, no matter what DAW you are working with.
Asking for it (or better, making it part of your delivery specs) should make you look as a real porfessional, not the other way around.

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Re: Audio imported from a video is different between DAWs - can anyone explain why?

Post by MattiasNYC » Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:21 pm

Well this is a Nuendo forum, so really regardless of whether or not we ask for a 2-pop it would be better if Nuendo imported audio from a video file correctly, assuming there is such a thing.

If Pro Tools imports audio correctly and Nuendo doesn't, then a 2-pop is a workaround. It seems absolutely fair to me to request Nuendo to do this right.

PS: I can't remember the last time I got a 2-pop for TV shows. Fortunately I've been working 99% in Pro Tools recently so it hasn't been a problem. ;-/
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Re: Audio imported from a video is different between DAWs - can anyone explain why?

Post by Oliver.Lucas » Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:08 am

No it's an industry problem, no it's an industry problem, no it's an industry problem, no it's an industry problem, no it's an industry problem, no it's an industry problem, no it's an industry problem, no it's an industry problem, no it's an industry problem, no it's an industry problem, no it's an industry problem, no it's an industry problem, no it's an industry problem, no it's an industry problem, no it's an industry problem, no it's an industry problem, no it's an industry problem, no it's an industry problem, no it's an industry problem, no it's an industry problem, no it's an industry problem, no it's an industry problem, no it's an industry problem, no it's an industry problem

fade to black
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Re: Audio imported from a video is different between DAWs - can anyone explain why?

Post by Fredo » Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:36 pm

OK, so far for offering solutions and giving advice how to work around a problem.

This forum is meant to be a place where "users are helping users", but if you prefer it to be a place just for complaining, fine be me.

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Re: Audio imported from a video is different between DAWs - can anyone explain why?

Post by GNP » Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:04 pm

Agreed.

I import the video, plus the OMF/AAF given to me by the editor that was exported from Premier Pro.

I don't do any shifting. When I compare the audio from the video VS. the audio I extracted from the OMF, there's at least a 2 frame difference.
When I play both, you can literally hear a doubling effect.

I figured it's safer to keep the OMF audio files where they are, rather than shifting them, but I really don't know.

Any ideas?
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Re: Audio imported from a video is different between DAWs - can anyone explain why?

Post by GNP » Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:08 pm

MattiasNYC wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:21 pm
PS: I can't remember the last time I got a 2-pop for TV shows. Fortunately I've been working 99% in Pro Tools recently so it hasn't been a problem. ;-/
Agreed! I used to think 2-pop was essential, nowadays hardly any of my clients really give a sh*t about it.
The point is, 2-pop doesn't help with any sync issues. See my other message above. I don't see how adding a 2-pop is going to help.
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Re: Audio imported from a video is different between DAWs - can anyone explain why?

Post by Fredo » Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:02 pm

GNP wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:04 pm
figured it's safer to keep the OMF audio files where they are, rather than shifting them, but I really don't know.
Absolutely.

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Re: Audio imported from a video is different between DAWs - can anyone explain why?

Post by Tumppi Järnefelt » Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:04 pm

GNP wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:08 pm
MattiasNYC wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:21 pm
PS: I can't remember the last time I got a 2-pop for TV shows. Fortunately I've been working 99% in Pro Tools recently so it hasn't been a problem. ;-/
Agreed! I used to think 2-pop was essential, nowadays hardly any of my clients really give a sh*t about it.
The point is, 2-pop doesn't help with any sync issues. See my other message above. I don't see how adding a 2-pop is going to help.
That is unfortunate for both of you.
I insist having 2pop in the beginning and in the end. I would not work without. If someone refuses to put those in I have to ask why? It isn't time consuming nor difficult. We use always self made white paper that gives simple but strict info about how video and audio must be delivered to us.

Also when making frame rate conversions, with these two 2pops I can make sure my conversions are spot on...
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Re: Audio imported from a video is different between DAWs - can anyone explain why?

Post by Fredo » Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:28 pm

GNP wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:08 pm
Agreed! I used to think 2-pop was essential, nowadays hardly any of my clients really give a sh*t about it.
Reason the more that you have to insist on it.
The point is, 2-pop doesn't help with any sync issues. See my other message above. I don't see how adding a 2-pop is going to help.
Mind me saying, you are wrong about that.

A 2pop is lined up with a white video frame @ 48frames before picture start and –ideally- 48 frames after the last frame.
So you *always* have a proper reference of audio vs. video.
When working with multiple people/studios on a project (Composer/sound designer/Foley studio/Remote Post-Sync/ADR) a 2pop is indispensable.
If there is one thing that is unreliable, then it is video length.
One editor delivers video from first frame, another one leaves a few seconds of black, etc … You can’t possibly know.

What if the picture starts with a few seconds black, or a fade in?
How can you possibly know where the first frame is? How many library music tracks have you seen which have a half- or whole- second of silence at the start, so that the music starts later than the video. That is what video editors do.

They are unreliable, and so is the reference audio that is included in the videotrack.
Logo’s, reference tones, countdowns, start- and end credits are added long after the final lock of the picture edit.
The Colorgrading and VFX people are also sending out video’s to different persons.
And most likely, these versions will not have the same length, because Titles, Opening Sequences, closing credits and other stuff is worked on by other people. And yes, someone will give instructions to another person using “another” video edit than yours.
So at one point many different versions of the “locked” video are circulating.

Just a month ago, I worked on a movie where the director has made a cue list for the composer using a video (without BITC) where a 5 second Billboard was added at the start. The composer was working on the same video as we had. (and has added a 2pop)
The poor man has composed his complete score to cues which were 5 seconds off.
I can go on for a while if you want…

So, please don’t tell me that BITC and 2pops are of no use.

Fredo

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Re: Audio imported from a video is different between DAWs - can anyone explain why?

Post by MattiasNYC » Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:31 pm

Tumppi Järnefelt wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:04 pm
That is unfortunate for both of you.
Not really. I haven't had a sync/tc/frame rate problem sneak up on me for a long time. I can't even remember the last time it happened.
Tumppi Järnefelt wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:04 pm
I insist having 2pop in the beginning and in the end. I would not work without. If someone refuses to put those in I have to ask why? It isn't time consuming nor difficult. We use always self made white paper that gives simple but strict info about how video and audio must be delivered to us.

Also when making frame rate conversions, with these two 2pops I can make sure my conversions are spot on...
Bye / Tumppi
I don't think either of us are saying that 2pops are bad or should be avoided or are useless or anything, I think the point was simply that it's possible to end up in a situation where asking for a redelivery of something that already works fine just because you want a 2pop is going to make you look annoying. It would cause more work for the editor for what they perceive as no good reason. The fact that including the 2pop makes for some sort of insurance should something go wrong doesn't change the fact that if everything is working fine then you asking for a redelivery is just you wasting their time.

I was personally just saying that I've had more projects than I can remember - on Pro Tools - where I received content without a 2pop and it all worked fine. On top of that deliverables for some content requires that there is no 2pop, and there were cases over a year ago when the video editor asked me in an annoyed way to re-export and send mix/stems back without the pops. But that's really a different issue I suppose.

But 'yes', of course it's a convenient and releatively easy thing to include on the timeline for the editor, and it's very useful for us.
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Re: Audio imported from a video is different between DAWs - can anyone explain why?

Post by MattiasNYC » Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:35 pm

Fredo wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:28 pm
So, please don’t tell me that BITC and 2pops are of no use.

Fredo
I don't read it that way. The way I read it was this:

- Importing content gives a problem.
- Having a 2pop shows that problem.

but

- Having a 2pop doesn't solve that problem.

In other words, a 2pop doesn't help sync. It just makes it easier to see if something is off and by how much. Now, all a 2pop is is a piece of audio in an agreed upon location on the timeline. If you have one video file and you rip audio out of that file into different applications and the audio ends up in different positions then having a 2pop doesn't make that not happen. It still happens. In addition to that you can still see it. I agree, having a common frame of reference makes it easier to line up the audio correctly, but the technical issue remains.

I think that was the point.
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Re: Audio imported from a video is different between DAWs - can anyone explain why?

Post by Fredo » Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:40 pm

MattiasNYC wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:35 pm

- Having a 2pop doesn't solve that problem.
Yes it does.
  • It shows that the import is wrong, and how much it is off-sync
  • It allows you to shift the audio to the place where it needed to be upon import.

Does ot solve the problem our beloved application has? NO
Does it offer a workaround for the problem: YES.

And that is exactly what this forum is for. Helping other people.

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Re: Audio imported from a video is different between DAWs - can anyone explain why?

Post by GNP » Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:17 pm

Okay, with or without the 2-pop, the main problem still remains.

imported OMF/AAF from Premiere Pro/FCP - is a few frames off, when comparing to the audio direct from the video. When playing both, doubling effect is heard.

But I choose to stick with the the OMF/AAF provides, rather than trust the audio from the video, like the OP.

What do we do here? Is this a Premiere Pro to Nuendo translation problem? Do any settings need to be tweaked in Premiere Pro, before exporting the OMF/AAF to a Nuendo user?
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Re: Audio imported from a video is different between DAWs - can anyone explain why?

Post by GNP » Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:20 pm

Captain_Dan wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:03 pm
Hmm yeah I did have a look through that but it deals more with video. Interestingly I just made my own test video (h264 .mov 128bit aac) and Pro Tools seems to be sample accurate with the original WAV whereas Nuendo 7 is a frame and a half off as you can see here: https://imgur.com/ZhYVNEh

I had a very professionally embarrassing day yesterday as a result of this issue. I was working with someone in Pro Tools and they were asking me to accurately sync things up to the reference track which I WAS as far as I was aware, so I looked like a total idiot. Apparently Nuendo's accuracy with .aac audio from an h264 seems to be off for some reason - are they planning on fixing this in future?
Damn, haha that sucks.
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Re: Audio imported from a video is different between DAWs - can anyone explain why?

Post by Fredo » Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:30 pm

GNP wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:17 pm
imported OMF/AAF from Premiere Pro/FCP - is a few frames off, when comparing to the audio direct from the video. When playing both, doubling effect is heard.

OMF/AAF place audio according to embedded timecode, so these are not off-sync.
When an OMF or AAF is off-sync, then you have other troubles than video encoding.

Embedded audio (and especially highly compressed video/audio) is never completely accurate.
AAC and mp3 audio are always offsync, and that can be compensated for at the video encoding and/or at video import.
I have no idea if an application can know if it is compensated for upon encoding or not.
I also don't have a clue what the usual tolerences are. (But these should be less than 2 frames, that is true)
And I alos don't know which encoders actually compensate for that.
Expect for ER Media toolkit from Audio Spot, they have an option for that in their encoder.


Bottom line is, AAF/OMF are (pretty much always) correct.
Embedded audio in video rarely is.


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Re: Audio imported from a video is different between DAWs - can anyone explain why?

Post by GNP » Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:43 pm

Fredo wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:30 pm
GNP wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:17 pm
imported OMF/AAF from Premiere Pro/FCP - is a few frames off, when comparing to the audio direct from the video. When playing both, doubling effect is heard.

OMF/AAF place audio according to embedded timecode, so these are not off-sync.
When an OMF or AAF is off-sync, then you have other troubles than video encoding.

Embedded audio (and especially highly compressed video/audio) is never completely accurate.
AAC and mp3 audio are always offsync, and that can be compensated for at the video encoding and/or at video import.
I have no idea if an application can know if it is compensated for upon encoding or not.
I also don't have a clue what the usual tolerences are. (But these should be less than 2 frames, that is true)
And I alos don't know which encoders actually compensate for that.
Expect for ER Media toolkit from Audio Spot, they have an option for that in their encoder.


Bottom line is, AAF/OMF are (pretty much always) correct.
Embedded audio in video rarely is.


Fredo
Aaahh okay, that confirms my guesses I've been doing it correct all along, as still as many unanswered questions as to why this phenomena exists. Thanks Fredo.
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Re: Audio imported from a video is different between DAWs - can anyone explain why?

Post by MattiasNYC » Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:05 pm

Fredo wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:40 pm
MattiasNYC wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:35 pm

- Having a 2pop doesn't solve that problem.
Yes it does.
  • It shows that the import is wrong, and how much it is off-sync
  • It allows you to shift the audio to the place where it needed to be upon import.

Does ot solve the problem our beloved application has? NO
Does it offer a workaround for the problem: YES.

And that is exactly what this forum is for. Helping other people.

Fredo
Pretty much what i was saying.
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Re: Audio imported from a video is different between DAWs - can anyone explain why?

Post by Fredo » Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:45 pm

GNP wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:43 pm
... as still as many unanswered questions as to why this phenomena exists. Thanks Fredo.
This is a side-effect from encoding/decoding from Wav to AAC/MP3 (and even worse from AAC/Mp3 to AAC/Mp3).
But as said, I don't have a clue what and who is correct and/or incorrect.
It's just a thing that happens and should be compensated for at encoding and/or decoding.

Bottom line, you possibly can't know.
And stay away from it.

Fredo

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Re: Audio imported from a video is different between DAWs - can anyone explain why?

Post by GNP » Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:11 pm

Fredo wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:45 pm
GNP wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:43 pm
... as still as many unanswered questions as to why this phenomena exists. Thanks Fredo.
This is a side-effect from encoding/decoding from Wav to AAC/MP3 (and even worse from AAC/Mp3 to AAC/Mp3).
But as said, I don't have a clue what and who is correct and/or incorrect.
It's just a thing that happens and should be compensated for at encoding and/or decoding.

Bottom line, you possibly can't know.
And stay away from it.

Fredo
Got it. Thanks alot Fredo!
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