Old 02-09-2007, 09:20 AM   #1
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Default Reaper & Video - lots of problems

I posted this in another thread but it's got buried and I though it deserved a thread of its own, plus I've added a couple more test since that last post.

These are tests of various video formats within Reaper.

TEST1 - Format: MPEG1 (VCD PAL) Length: 0m45s
This file worked reasonably well (although video and audio didn't always sync perfectly) UNTIL I moved Reaper's video playback window, at which point audio and video lost sync until I stopped and restarted the transport. Shortly afterwards reaper froze up, causing me to End Process in the tast manager.

TEST2 - Format: MPEG1 (VCD PAL) Length: 48m
A big file (496Mb). Burnt In Timecode on this one. Unfortunately audio/video sync just didn't work. Audio seemed to play about 2 seconds ahead of the video. Difficult to test sync between BITC and Reaper frames due to this.

TEST3 - Format: AVI (Cinepak 25fps 320x240) Length: 4m20s
Video preview didn't work at all. Just a black frame with some dancing white pixels. Audio could be heard. Again, Reaper froze causing me to End Process in the tast manager.

TEST4 - Format AVI (PAL DV) Length: 3m09s
BITC on this one. Audio and video stayed nicely in sync and Reaper felt responsive when playing and moving around the timeline. BITC and Reaper's Big Clock matched at all times. Definately the best of the bunch. Would like to test with a longer wideo in this format, but unfortunately DV codec produces MASSIVE files as it's almost uncompressed (this 3 minute file was 711Mb!). **EDIT** After finishing up this post I went back to the Reaper project, which was still open with this video file, and Reaper had locked up again.

TEST5 - Format MPEG2 (PAL DVD) Length 4m20s
Highly unresponsive. Reaper imported it OK, and a frame was visible in the Video preview window, however when I press play Reaper often partially froze, moving the video on 1 frame every 10-20 seconds, with no audio.

TEST6 - Format WMV (v9, 320-240, cbr, 25fps) Length:2m20s
Not bad. Played well and was reasonably responsive to moving about on the timeline, however audio and video were slightly out of sync.

TEST7 - Format MOV (Sorensen3, 320x240, 25fps) Length 2m20s
Quite unresponsive when moving about the timeline. Large pauses before being able to do anything in Reaper. Audio and video were at least 2s out of sync.

All the video files playback fine in Windows Media Player, Vegas and Cubase 4.

With all tests I had problems as soon as I moved the video playback window from one monitor to another. Video and audio would lose sync, and sometimes Reaper would lock up.

The only real solid format I found was the AVI DV codec. Unfortunately this is impractical in a working situation due to the huge file sizes needed, and presumably the RAM usage is very high. Files that were more compressed (MPEG1 / AVI Cinepak) all showed major problems, making them unusable.

I could possibly supply some example videos although some of them were too large to do so.

Test Machine: AMD Duel-core 4400+ (not overclocked), 2Gb RAM, Windows XP SP2, Matrox Millenium P750 (dual monitor), RME HDSP9652.

Hope this helps
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Old 02-09-2007, 09:51 AM   #2
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.... I'd suggest there should be a separate "Reaper video" forum, because every program I've encountered that handles video has a gazillion posts about formats...

It seems to me like it would be easier to tweak Reaper to use just one or two formats (the DV ones - or something that you could include the codec in Reaper that you could convert to to make it easier for both to coexist?) and leave it at that?

/ haven't started playing with video in Reaper yet
// will "soon"...
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Old 10-11-2008, 05:56 PM   #3
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Default reaper fairly useless for video work

Yea I have had little success using Reaper to do sound for a film - even a 1:30min short I am working on. Love the program aside from its inability to maintain video audio sync and hope this gets fixed in the next update, or someone sheds more light on the nature of the sync problem in relation to missing codecs or whatnot.
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Old 10-11-2008, 08:37 PM   #4
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Video is HUGE. It's the nature of the beast. 720x480 pixels plus a soundtrack flashing by at nearly 30 times a second makes for a LOT of data flowing; and much much more for HDTV!

Studios used to use multi-million dollar systems with massive video RAIDs to try to keep up with the data flow. It's only in the past handful of years that desktop can keep up with it.

Here's how the big boys do it:

Make a SMALL uncompressed placeholder copy of the video to work with. 320x240 is all you need and keep it UNCOMPRESSED like an avi so your cpu doesn't have to do even more work decompressing it on-the-fly.

Keep it on a secondary hard drive (not your boot drive) in an empty partition or one that is very well defragmented so the file is contiguous. It needs to stream easily without the head bouncing around a lot or doing other things!

Do your audio in 48K. Audio for video is 16bit/48k at final. Then it will sync.

When your audio is done, render it out (16bit/48k remember!) and then add it back into the original LARGE video in a video editing program like Vegas or Premier.


Erightsoft.com's SUPER is a VERY handy tool to keep around - you can make placeholder videos or strip the audio out of videos to work with. And it's FREE....

I work with video on a 2.8Ghz single-core XP laptop using Vegas and Reaper, editing on a separate Seagate USB2 drive with ZERO problems.

You just have to think a bit before you dive in to realize that you are going to be dealing with a LOT more data flow than a typical audio project and plan accordingly....

Last edited by TimOBrien; 10-11-2008 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 08-13-2009, 06:04 PM   #5
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I am having problems with video sync too. Working with compressed avi files does seem to help but the thing is, when I play the song with video too, my ram and cpu usage are as low as ever -no different from when there is no video at all, so I think the problem is, reaper is not diverting any of my available processing power into syncing the vid which seems pretty stupid since it is there not being used.

Is there any way I can divert cpu and ram usage into reaper for this? 90% of my computer's resources are not being used when it is obviously needed.

I am developing for soundtracks so accurate syncronization is absolutley essential.
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Old 08-15-2009, 06:16 AM   #6
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Default How to achieve a good a/v sync in Reaper

When I was experimenting with A/V sync in Reaper I was having the same problems with audio/video being out of sync. As I know a lot about video, different formats etc. I figured it might have something to do with keyframes... so I encoded an DivX AVI with every frame as a keyframe and it worked . It sounds logical that DV video syncs well as DV video consists of only keyframes... Almost every other format uses other types of frames between keyframes so that's what makes Reaper lose sync.

So in order to have good a/v sync in Reaper, use only all-keyframes videos. it still isn't perfect, though. As I remember, if you loop a part of the video, Reaper loses a/v sync, no matter how video is encoded .

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Old 08-17-2009, 05:53 PM   #7
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How are you all dealing with timecode burn ins and MTC offsets?

Usually episodes have a 2 or 10 second black slug in front of them before the timecode starts. I would love to not have to cut that.
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:30 PM   #8
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I usually set the timecode for the session and then jump to the location of the offset(ie. 23.976 and 09:58:30:00). Once the cursor is there you can open up Project Settings, subtrack cursor position, change the resulting offset from a negative to a positive number (because it's absolute time you may need to fiddle with the milliseconds to get exactly the frame start you want) and then I have my session offset.

When it comes to lining up the video or anything like that I use the tempo/timecode hack that is outlined on the postproduction wiki page. This way I can nudge the video forward or back frames until the window burn lines up with the time and ruler in Reaper.
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Old 09-29-2009, 01:45 AM   #9
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Default Attention ! Any solutions for a Video-problem ?

I´m trying to build 5.1-soundtrack for the first time(worked with 2-channel-stereo for years), but it`s impossible, because of video not working in Reaper. I just payd my license for Reaper and thought that this problem is solved.

I use PC: 2,5Ghz Pentium dual-core, 2 Gb of RAM, G-force GTX-260-graphic card.
I´m playing with PAL-colors and rate: 25 frames/sek and my videos are edited and exported from Premiere cs3.

My tests:

1. (microsoft).AVI - compression: microsoft video 1 - no
fields(progressive) - resolution: 480x270.
"Jammed in one frame or in blank screen"

2. Same .AVI as above, but resol: 640x480 and keyframes put on every
frame(when exported from Premiere)
"Jammed in a one frame"

3. (Quick time) .MOV - compr: Sorenson - no fields - 640x480 - keyframe on
every frame.
"Jammed in a one frame, when trying to zoom in. When not zoomed a much,
screen goes blank when paused and showed when played, so can`t see a
paused video"

4. (Quick time) .MOV - compr: jpeg(25 separate frames/pics in a second) -
"Jammed and sometimes goes blank when zoomed in and when zoomed back
out, screen stays blank when paused(like in test 3)"

5. DV-avi, uncompressed - res: 480x270
"Out of sync or jammed when trying to go forward/backward 1 or 4 frames
at a time(when zoomed in).

6. DV-AVI(basic PAL) - interlaced: lower field first - res: 720x576
"Jammed and blank, even without zooming"

I tried all 6 tests with the same video(first in lenght: 28min. and then with shorter: 10min.) and source video material was progressive(de-interlaced) DV-AVI, 720x576, 16:9 widescreen, PAL.

I also tried, if codecpacks could help, so I tried with K-Lite-codecpack, then Combined-Community-codeckpack. With all possibly codecs enabled. And still NO ! My source materials(video and audio) are in well defragment and in separated partition of my hard drive(that was someones advice) and I exported video and audio separately.

Let`s try this: below is a simple formula about video, quote and fill it(please) if you have a solution that really works !

RESOLUTION (and is it 4:3 or 16:9):
KEYFRAMES(if enabled to set up):
CODECS/CODECPACKS(for playback):

I know about dozen of people, who would like to start using Reaper, because it`s a fine and intelligent software, but none of then can`t, because they also need a working video-playback, so do I.
I´m trying to do a soundtrack to a non-commercial shortfilm(28min. movie) and with 5.1 soundtrack. If this "video-bug" or what-ever-it-is can be solved, I will be more than happy !
It has to be possible to zoom in and work frame by frame without sync-problems, blank-screen and jammed frames, if you want to achieve a working movie, without disturbing out-of-sync foleys and voices and without extra 1000 hours of sweat and tears. Otherwise this tool/software is useless for movie-/ musicvideo- / document-makers.

p.s. Someone said that audio for video should be 48Khz and 16bit. I disagree. If the video is going to be on DVD and your source material is recorded in 24bit, keep it that way until the end. (audio on DVD = 48Khz/24bit and audio on cd = 44,1Khz/16bit) If you have example Dolby Digital encoder, the final dynamic range will be 20bit and in DTS (if remember it right) it will be 24bit and if possible to use ucompressed(pcm)audio, keep that 24bit, it will give you over 40db larger dynamic range than 16bit ! And that`s not "hifi" or "highend" -bullsh.., that is a big difference that everyone can feel and hear(ok, maybe not everyone)

Thank`s, if you could read this far, now let`s focus on the video-problem...
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