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Outputting to Tape

When outputting to tape from Xpress Pro, you have the following four options, though the last two are not available unless you control your deck or camera with an RS-422 serial connection:

  • Crash-record: Crash recording involves pressing Record on your deck or camera and clicking the Preview Digital Cut button in Xpress Pro's Digital Cut window. It is the most common output method for editors using DV cameras or decks for output.

    (According to Avid, crash recording by simply clicking Play in the Timeline and pressing Record on your camera or deck may not be as safe as using the Preview Digital Cut button to play your sequence; the click Play method may produce audio-video sync problems.)

    However, the crash-record method does not allow you to perform an assemble edit or insert edit. You cannot control exactly where your movie will begin on your recording tape, nor the timecode of your sequence on tape.

    If your client demands particular timecode for your outputted sequence, you need to perform a digital cut insert or assemble edit using an RS-422 serial connection, as DV decks and cameras do not respond completely accurately to FireWire device control, making timecode-accurate device control over FireWire unreliable.

  • Digital cut controlled by 1394 (FireWire): A digital cut allows you to set the In point on your recording tape where you want the output to begin. It also allows you to determine the portion of your Timeline that you output to tape.

    If you're outputting a DV sequence to a DV deck or camera controlled by 1394 (FireWire), you can perform a digital cut, but it may not be precisely frame accurate.

    Hence, the Insert Edit and Assemble Edit options normally displayed in the Digital Cut tool do not appear when you're controlling your deck with 1394 (FireWire).

  • Digital cut (insert edit): This method— which requires reliable RS-422 control of your deck or camera—is a frame-accurate output method that requires you to stripe your recording tape before output (record black with timecode on the entire tape).

    An insert edit digital cut is the most sophisticated type of output to tape because it allows you to insert material anywhere on your recording tape without disrupting timecode, even if the tape already has material recorded on it. In addition, an insert edit digital cut allows you to choose which tracks of your sequence you want to output, allowing you to, for example, lay video from your sequence over audio that's already on the tape.

    (For more information on controlling your deck or camera with RS-422, see the sidebar “Reading Timecode Accurately” in Chapter 4.)

  • Digital cut (assemble edit): This type of digital cut—which is possible only with RS-422 serial deck or camera control— is more limited than a digital cut with an insert edit. You cannot select tracks to output; you must output every track in your sequence.

    However, the advantage of the assemble edit method over the insert edit method is that it's faster; you need to prestripe only 10 to 20 seconds of the recording tape rather than the whole thing.



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