The agency that I'm an editor for is finally switching from FCP 7 to Adobe's Premiere CS6. However we are having issues with laggy playback in Premiere CS6. Before I explain my current issue, let me explain the issues I've had prior to this and how I solved them. I've spent the entire day working with AJA support and my companies IT guy trying to fix this issue. So far we have gotten it to about 90% full functionality, but it sadly still lags more than Final Cut 7. We are editing Alexa Pro Res 4444 footage with sync sound with all our sequence settings set to Pro Res 4444 with no render bar. At the start of the day, we were having massively laggy playback while using the external monitors. Although we did not solve it completely we did manage to figured out that most of the issues had to do with a number of settings and current software versions.
In the Preferences,
1st we switched the audio hardware device default to Built-In Line Output
2nd we switched Audio Output Mapping Map Output for Built-in Line Output
3rd our Playback Default Player is set to Adobe Player, and our Audio Playback is set to AJA Kona
-Our AJA Kona settings are set to 1080p 23.98 which is the closest we can get to our sequence which was shot in 23.976. The Match Sequence setting doesn't seem to work at all as both monitors go black.
4th we went back to finder and set in our SYSTEM PREFERENCES all our Audio playback to Line Out instead of the Kona card.
5th we downgraded our Premiere's version from 6.0.2 to 6.0.1 because there has yet to be an AJA Kona update for that Premiere 6.0.2 version.
6th We also upgraded from Snow Leopard 10.6.8 to Lion's 10.7.5 as all CS6 versions are optimized for 10.7 and later.
Changing all these things made premiere much more responsive inside just the program and additionally on the external monitors as well. For what ever reason switching the Audio made the sequence and Premiere seemed to be the biggest speed boost.
Although it is more responsive, and a lot more friendly to use with the external monitors, it's still only about 90% as responsive as Final Cut 7. There is still a quarter second from when I hit the space bar to play the clip to when it actually responds and begins playing. There is also a slight delay about 50% on the sync of the audio. Typically this causes the beginning of the clip to be slightly out of sync, but usually by the end of the clip, the sync seems to "catch up."
To most people, I could see how this would be fine and workable, but we show a lot of work to clients, and having just one part go out of sync for even half of a second is a major problem. We will be forced to retract to Final Cut 7 until this problem is 100% solved. I know other people are running into this external playback Issue. I've read countless forum posts about this, none of which seem to give a definite fix or fully explain exactly the issue they are having. So far the only work around I've seen is using your External monitor as your main computer monitor and just maximizing the video for playback to clients, thus bypassing the whole AJA Kona cards system. But that also doesn't work because that doesn't look very professional and i would prefer to have smooth playback through premiere just the same as we already do for Final Cut 7.
I believe now that the problem we are experiencing is with the mercury transmit. Would having an Nvidia card over an ATI change how the mercury playback functions? Or is this purely a communication issue with the AJA card and premiere to which will be improved upon in future software updates?
Mac Pro 2010 version
2 x 2.26 Quad Intel Xeon
ATI Radeon HD 4870 512 MB
PPro Version 6.0.1
AJA Kona LHi
AJA control Pannel 10.3.2
All AJA Kona LHi drivers and plug-ins installed and up to date.
Pioneer Elite HDMI External Monitor 1
Flanders Scientific LM-1770 M SDI External Monitor 2