25 Replies Latest reply on May 23, 2013 9:35 AM by the_wine_snob

    Need to merge multiple tracks down to avoid choppy playback.

    pdbrownphotographer

      I have Adobe Premier Elements 9.  I'm creating a music video from several takes recorded over a couple of hours, and have started lining the different tracks one on top of the other.  I find that by the third track, even with a 6 core processor and 8 GB of memory, that the playback is so choppy as to be unworkable.  I know I can Render the Timeline to get a smooth flow again, but as soon as I change one little piece it again becomes insanely choppy.  I thought I saw a way to merge the tracks down, but now I can't find how to do that, and I'm not even sure that that's the best solution to the problem.  Any suggestions?

        • 1. Re: Need to merge multiple tracks down to avoid choppy playback.
          A.T. Romano Level 7

          pdbrownphotographer

           

          I am not 100% clear on what you intend with "merge down". Are you talking about moving the contents of, for example, Video 3 to 2, something like that or something else?

           

          You can select a group of clips by drawing a rectangle around the clips with the mouse cursor and then using the mouse cursor to move the highlighted group to a new location. Is that what you had in mind?

           

          As for your computer resources...your Premiere Elements 9.0/9.0.1 is a 32 bit application running in the 32 bit compatibility mode of a 64 bit system and as such has the liabilities of 32 bit system, namely, maximum supported installed RAM = 4.0 GB with 3.0 GB or less of that available. Premiere Elements 10 and 11 become 64 bit applications when they are run on Windows 7 or 8 64 bit computer, thus affording them more resources of 64 bit system.

           

          Please evaluate your available RAM and free hard drive situation when the choppy problems set in. Is your computer optimized?

           

          More details of the project will probably be needed to get at the core of the matter if the issue goes beyond compromised computer resources.

           

          Thanks.

           

          ATR

          • 2. Re: Need to merge multiple tracks down to avoid choppy playback.
            pdbrownphotographer Level 1

            Thanks AT, appreciate your quick response.

             

            After looking at your answer, I thought I would try Elements 11 to see if that would  help, so I downloaded the trial version.  After installing it, it seemed to complete OK, but I could not find Elements 11 anywhere.  There was no shortcut on my desktop, nothing in the start menu, and when I went into the Program Files and (x86) folders on my C drive, only Elements 9 is there.  I tried installing it 3 times, every time it said it completed fine (and the 2nd and 3rd time the installer said it was already installed), but no sign of it anywhere.

             

            As far as what I thought I might be able to do is basically take the video from Video 1-3 once I have them edited the way I want so that they all sit at Video 1.  I don't know if this will make it easier to edit a new track.  After leaving my first message I found that adding a 4th track doesn't make things worse.  In fact as long as it is intact, it runs quite smoothly.  It's only when I start "poking holes in it" to see through to the lower tracks that it starts to get choppy, particularly when it plays a clip at Video 1, then switches to 2, then a third clip at level 3.  In looking at my Task Manager during the last edit session, I find that my RAM stays flat around 3.4 GB for the duration of the session, from the time Elements starts, regardless of whether it's choppy or not.  CPU utilization at one point spiked to 56%, but generally is around 19% max, and frequently at 3%.  Free disk space is 167 GB at all times.  I haven't optimized my computer in a while, other than running msconfig to stop unecessary files from starting at startup. I presume by this you mean defrag the hard drive, run checkdsk, and clear out any temp files.  I'll do that now, but suspect that's not the problem, since it runs fine until I start modifying multiple layers of tracks.

             

            Any suggestions you have on my installation problems with 11 would be very helpful, or any other ideas.  Appreciate your time.

            • 3. Re: Need to merge multiple tracks down to avoid choppy playback.
              A.T. Romano Level 7

              pdbrownphotographer

               

              Thanks for the follow up. First let us see if we can find Premiere Elements 11.

               

              1. Have you gone to Control Panel/Programs/Uninstall A Program and looked through the list of installed programs, searching for Premiere Elements 11 which should have a file size of about 1.23 GB. If it is not there, it is not installed.

               

              2. If you do see it in the Control Panel area just described, then close out of there and head for

              Local Disk C

              Program Files, not Program Files (x86)...assuming a Windows 7 or 8 64 bit computer

              Adobe

              Premiere Elements 11 (is it there?)

              If it is, then look for the Adobe Premiere Elements.exe file and create a desktop shortcut for it. DO NOT SELECT Adobe Premiere Elements 11.exe.

              If not, when you were installing it, did you ask for a different save location for it other the Adobe default? If not, as it progressed in the installation, did you watch it progress from beginning to end. Was there ever any evidence that somewhere along the line the install stopped and rolled back?

               

              When you installed the download, did you disable the firewalls and antivirus?

               

              Depending on how things go,

              a. make sure there are no signs of Premiere Elements 11 installed. Put the Premiere Elements 11 installation files in a safe place.

              b. use ccleaner on your computer, both regular and registry type

              http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner

              c. When you feel confident that the computer is as optimized as possible, then try to install Premiere Elements 11.

               

              We will be watching for your progress. Depending on your results, we will think about what next after you report back with the results.

               

              Thanks.

               

              ATR

              • 4. Re: Need to merge multiple tracks down to avoid choppy playback.
                pdbrownphotographer Level 1

                Thanks again AT

                 

                Nope, Elements 9 is in my list of programs in Control Panel, 11 is not.  The first two times I installed it I was not at my computer while it installed, but there were no messages other than "Install Complete" when I returned.  The 3rd time I watched the entire process, and no error messages or anything came up, it all proceeded smoothly.  I did not alter the location for installation, I did check the folder you described, nothing.    I will admit I didn't disable firewalls and antivirus, I'm always leary of doing that and have never had a problem because of leaving them up.  I have a hardware firewall in my router and I am not at all sure how to disable it.

                 

                From an optimization process side, defragmenter reported 0% fragmented.  Chkdisk hung 80% through step 4 after running for an  hour or so, so I booted out of it.  I will disable antivirus and try again.

                • 5. Re: Need to merge multiple tracks down to avoid choppy playback.
                  pdbrownphotographer Level 1

                  OK, so disabled anti-virus and AV firewall, tried again, same results.  Complete install, no indication of any problems, but nothing in Control Panel after.

                  • 6. Re: Need to merge multiple tracks down to avoid choppy playback.
                    A.T. Romano Level 7

                    pdbrownphotographer

                     

                    Thanks for the follow up.

                     

                    Did you notice any irregularies in the downloading process?

                     

                    The ccleaner (registry section) should clean out any leftovers from prior incomplete installs/uninstalls. Just say yes when it asks if you want to backup registry before the clean up. Nothing is a 100% guarantee, but I have used ccleaner registry cleaner many times without problems.

                     

                    Do you have the latest version of QuickTime installed on your computer? If you have Premiere Elements 9.0/9.0.1, I assume that you have? Besides the firewalls, antivirus, please check out permissions and User Accounts with Administrative Privileges.

                     

                    We will be watching for your progress tomorrow morning. Do not give up.

                     

                    Thanks.

                     

                    ATR

                    • 7. Re: Need to merge multiple tracks down to avoid choppy playback.
                      pdbrownphotographer Level 1

                      No irregularities in the download

                       

                      Installed ccleaner, ran it.  Nothing related to PE 11, one item for PE 9, cleaned everything, retried install, ran fine, still not there.  I do have latest QuickTime.Only have one user account, it does have admin priv.

                       

                      Thanks for the support and words of encouragement.

                      • 8. Re: Need to merge multiple tracks down to avoid choppy playback.
                        A.T. Romano Level 7

                        pdbrownphotographer

                         

                        Just about to close computer. It is after midnight where I am.

                         

                        Just this thought for when I check your thread in the light of day.

                         

                        a. In the download process, were you asked to download the Adobe Download Assistant? If so, did you?

                         

                        More in the light of day.

                         

                        ATR.

                        • 9. Re: Need to merge multiple tracks down to avoid choppy playback.
                          pdbrownphotographer Level 1

                          Lol.  As you can see, I crashed at the same time.

                           


                          Yes, I did use the download assistant to download the file.

                           

                          I'll try downloading again.

                          • 10. Re: Need to merge multiple tracks down to avoid choppy playback.
                            A.T. Romano Level 7

                            pdbrownphotographer

                             

                            It is getting to that time of night again, and I am just getting to post my thoughts on your thread.

                             

                            1. Have there been any breakthroughs in getting Premiere Elements 11 installed on your computer so that it shows up in the Control Panel area for installed programs? Premiere Elements 11 as a 64 bit application on Windows 7 64 bit might be the answer to gaining more resources for your video editing project. But, keep in mind, that Premiere Elements' Timeline content with orange line over it is the program telling you that you are not viewing the best possible preview in the Edit Mode Monitor. Render. This is a preview thing. You do not have to do it. But it is your window of opportunity to catch a problem sooner than later. It becomes essential when it comes to titles, effects, transition, and non native format video. The concept is common to Premiere Elements any version.

                             

                            2. As for your workflow, have you given any thought to the classical approach to working with the larger project in smaller pieces of it. If you use this concept, you would work segments of your grand project in several separate smaller projects, exporting each of the smaller project's Timeline content to an appropriate file type saved to the computer hard drive.. Then you would unite these exports into one grand project for the final product. I do not recall seeing your Premiere Elements 9.0/9.0.1 project settings for your present setup. If you want to consider this idea, please supply the information, and I will offer more specific how to details.

                             

                            Thanks.

                             

                            ATR

                            • 11. Re: Need to merge multiple tracks down to avoid choppy playback.
                              pdbrownphotographer Level 1

                              Sorry for not getting back to you earlier, very busy two days, so I haven't even been able to retry downloadiing 11.  Will do that this evening.  I noticed the red lines and knew that was a re-rendering issue.  Rendering takes so long, but I guess it's a necessary evil that I just need to keep doing regularly.  And the last time I edited I found it seemed to be working much better.  I'm also having issues even with YouTube videos being choppy, so I think I have computer problems I will need to sort out as well.

                               

                              Interesting idea on the splitting the project up.  So far I'm working on music videos, so they're only 3-4 minutes long, not a lot to split.  But I realize I can still save chunks of work that way as well to effectively merge multiple tracks into one.  I was afraid of having compression problems if I did that, so I want to save in an uncompressed format.  Is DV NTSC uncompressed, or would MS AVI be better?

                               

                              Also a new off topic problem maybe you can help me with.  There are a couple of small clips I can't seem to fade in/out.  I click on the Fade Video In and Out options, but nothing happens. Other clips work just fine.  I've even tried splitting the clip in two and applying fade in to one and fade out to the other, but no luck.

                               

                              Thanks again for all your assistance A.T.

                              • 12. Re: Need to merge multiple tracks down to avoid choppy playback.
                                A.T. Romano Level 7

                                pdbrownphotographer

                                 

                                You wrote:

                                 

                                Interesting idea on the splitting the project up.  So far I'm working on music videos, so they're only 3-4 minutes long, not a lot to split.  But I realize I can still save chunks of work that way as well to effectively merge multiple tracks into one.  I was afraid of having compression problems if I did that, so I want to save in an uncompressed format.  Is DV NTSC uncompressed, or would MS AVI be better?

                                 

                                There is no NTSC DV AVI uncompressed. DV is the compression, and .avi is the wrapper format that wraps the video and audio compressions. All video undergo degradation with re-encoding, but DV AVI appears to fare better in that regard than others. For that reason and others, it is preferred. If an uncompressed .avi is wanted for whatever reason, typically the recommended route is (in your case) Share/Computer/AVI with Presets = Microsoft AVI and the video codec = None under the Advanced Button/Video Tab of the preset.

                                But, a just in case note, even if you start with a Presets setting of "DV NTSC....." in Share/Computer/AVI route and even if you go into Advanced Tab/Video Tab there and change the video codec to Microsoft AVI, you no longer have DV NTSC and are replacing DV with something else.

                                 

                                If you have your computer optimized, then best we take a deeper look into the project settings as well as the export choices to see if we can get any choppy display from YouTube.

                                 

                                Looing forward to your results.

                                 

                                Thanks.

                                 

                                ATR

                                • 13. Re: Need to merge multiple tracks down to avoid choppy playback.
                                  the_wine_snob Level 9

                                  ATR has explained the DV-AVI (NTSC in your case) vs AVI [uncompressed] very well. The compression rate for DV-AVI is about 5%, so it maintains quality, even with multi-generational material. It also plays very well on a PC, and if one has Flip4Mac on their Mac, will also play well. I typify it as being "plain vanilla," and is basically the format/CODEC, around which, PrE is built.

                                   

                                  If I have several "round-trips," say between PrE and another program, i.e. multi-generational, I will often use one of the Lossless CODEC's, such as Lagarith, or UT. While they DO compress a bit, they are visually lossless. The upside is they allow for the exact same quality, but with some compression, and they are free. The downside is that one MUST download and install them onto every computer, that will handle the material. Many users fell that they are not worth the effort to download and install, and that they are not easily shared, because all other computers need the CODEC's, but I like using them. More info here: http://forums.adobe.com/message/4556586#4556586

                                   

                                  Now for your Fade In/Fade Out issue. If you are having problems applying what is basically a Preset, you can instead create the Fade In, and Fade Out by hand. Probably the easiest way is to just Keyframe the Fixed Opacity Effect (automatically applied to every Video Clip by PrE) over time. Starting with an Opacity of 0 (black) and progressing straight-line to 100 (completely visible), will give you the Fade In. Repeat, but in the reverse order, 100 - 0, at the Tail of Clip, will give you a Fade Out. Personally, I seldom use those Presets, since I have even more control (one can change the Interpolation, as desired) with Keyframes, and they are so very easy. Steve Grisetti has a great tutorial at Muvipix.com on Basic Keyframing, if needed.

                                   

                                  Good luck,

                                   

                                  Hunt

                                  • 14. Re: Need to merge multiple tracks down to avoid choppy playback.
                                    A.T. Romano Level 7

                                    pdbrownphotographer

                                     

                                    Oops.

                                     

                                    I just read Hunt's helpful suggestions and realized that I left out comments directed to your question about FadeIn and FadeOut.

                                     

                                    Besides his comments, I would have these questions:

                                     

                                    a. How are you trying to apply the FadeIn FadeOut.....Are you right clicking the clip, selecting the Fade option from the pop up or are you highlighting the clip, going to its Properties Palette/Opacity Panel and using the FadeIn and FadeOut there?

                                     

                                    b. For you, does it make a different which location that you use (if you are using "a" above)?

                                     

                                    Thanks.

                                     

                                    ATR

                                    • 15. Re: Need to merge multiple tracks down to avoid choppy playback.
                                      pdbrownphotographer Level 1

                                      Thanks to both of you, this is amazingly helpful.  I've never spent a lot of time in forums because I know how difficult it is to trouble shoot things remotely, but you guys obviously know your stuff.  I on the other hand am a pretty good still photographer just getting into video, so all this is new to me, but  you're doing a great job of guiding me through it.

                                       

                                      First, thanks ATR for the description of the difference between AVI and DV. I am only editing it my clips on one machine, I was just thinking of finding a way to simplify the footage and saving a version before continuing.  If I solve my other issues, then that may not be necessary, but it's still good to know.

                                       

                                      As far as the fade in/out issue, first to answer ATR's questions, I was doing option a), right click, fade, video in, then the same for out.  Wasn't aware of either the Properties Palette option or the Keyframe option.  Not sure I understand the latter, but appreciate the link to the tutorial and I'll check that out this evening.  I am familiar with the yellow lines inside each video track that has nodes inserted when the Fade In is engaged, and have manipulated those nodes (in fact I thought I had added nodes before, but can't remember how I did that).  So I'm sure I can figure it out without too much difficulty.  Quite the learning curve on this stuff

                                       

                                      Thanks again for your help!

                                      • 16. Re: Need to merge multiple tracks down to avoid choppy playback.
                                        pdbrownphotographer Level 1

                                        I think I may have been unclear, the choppy YouTube video was not what I created from PRe, but some that have been posted by other people, so I think the choppiness is coming from my computer.  I don't really understand why, I check the resource and my memory and CPU utilization are pretty low (memory < 50%, CPU < 20%, usually around 5%), so I don't understand why it's stuttering.  But that's a whole other problem beyond the intent of this forum.

                                        • 17. Re: Need to merge multiple tracks down to avoid choppy playback.
                                          pdbrownphotographer Level 1

                                          Just checked out a YouTube video on Keyframes, and realize that I have been using them, and the Ctl-Click piece was all that I was missing for adding the nodes.  So that should solve it.  I'll try it out when I get home tonight.  Thanks again!

                                          • 18. Re: Need to merge multiple tracks down to avoid choppy playback.
                                            pdbrownphotographer Level 1

                                            OK, so looks like I have everything under control now.  I re-downloaded ver. 11 of PrE, it worked fine this time.  Haven't tried running it yet, partially since I seem to have resolved most of the issues with using PrE 9, but I probably will upgrade.  It would be good to move to the 64 bit version. 

                                             

                                            Managed to get the fading parts to work by manually adding Keyframes, and have discovered that rendering frequently makes for a much quicker rendering time than leaving it until I've made a lot of changes.  I thought it rendered every frame every time you hit enter, but realize now it just renders the parts highlighted in red.  So that helps a lot.

                                             

                                            And appreciate the background information on different formats for saving my work to avoid compression problems.

                                             

                                            You guys were both extremely helpful.  Really appreciate all the time you spent with me, and your patience as I worked through this.

                                            • 19. Re: Need to merge multiple tracks down to avoid choppy playback.
                                              A.T. Romano Level 7

                                              pdbrownphotographer

                                               

                                              Thanks for the follow up with the great news that you have downloaded and installed Premiere Elements 11, and you are moving forward on evaluating the program. It was not clear to me what the key was to getting that Premiere Elements 11 to download for you. What do you think was the key step that resulted in success?

                                               

                                              Glad you found the suggestions in this thread helpful.

                                               

                                              Continued success and please do not hesitate to ask questions or ask for clarification on anything written.

                                               

                                              Thanks again.

                                               

                                              ATR

                                              • 20. Re: Need to merge multiple tracks down to avoid choppy playback.
                                                pdbrownphotographer Level 1

                                                I'm not sure why the first time I downloaded PrE it didn't work, but simply re-downloading did the trick.  It worked just fine the second time.

                                                 

                                                I tried it out last night, and it is a dream come true.  I presume it's the 64 bit capability that makes the difference, but everything is soooo much quicker and smoother now.  It's like I went out and bought a new computer!

                                                 

                                                I do have one question.  I couldn't find the Shuttle control, and after searching for help online for about 45 minutes I think I've determined that it is only available in Full Screen mode.  Is that true?  If so, does anyone know why?  I use it all the time, and to have to switch back and forth from Full Screen to use it seems a pain, although I haven't tried it yet.

                                                 

                                                Other than that, I think I love it, and am thinking of paying for the upgrade.  Two questions related to that: Is PrE 10 still available to buy?  It sounds like that would give me the shuttle all the time which might be a better route.  And, I see a lot of pushing towards Creative Cloud.  I really have a hard time imagining a program like PrE working from the cloud, given how resource intensive it is.  Is PrE from the cloud really viable?  Maybe I should go that route, since I'm a teacher and can get it for $20 a month for the first year.

                                                • 21. Re: Need to merge multiple tracks down to avoid choppy playback.
                                                  A.T. Romano Level 7

                                                  pdbrownphotographer

                                                   

                                                  Thanks for the follow up with the great news of your Premiere Elements successes.

                                                   

                                                  True, the Shuttle is only in the Full Screen in Premiere Elements 11 Windows (assumed Mac as well, but not sure since I do not have Mac computer). I think that was question was brought up in a thread here only the other day.

                                                   

                                                  As for Premiere Elements 10, Adobe direct is only selling the latest version Premiere Elements 11 and only is offering the tryout version of Premiere Elements 11. But Premiere Elements 10 can still be purchased from online source (looks like limited supply as of this writing).

                                                   

                                                  As far as I have figured out, that Creative Cloud and its subscription aspects do not apply to Premiere Elements. Have you been reading

                                                  http://www.adobe.com/education.edu.html?showEduReq=no

                                                  You can check with Adobe Marketing, but Premiere Elements is no part of that Photoshop crowd in the Clouds.

                                                   

                                                  Great progress. Keep up the good work.

                                                   

                                                  ATR

                                                  • 22. Re: Need to merge multiple tracks down to avoid choppy playback.
                                                    pdbrownphotographer Level 1

                                                    OK thanks again ATR.

                                                     

                                                    There are some features of Premiere Pro that may be useful to me (such as being able to sync video based on time-stamp and using the audio track to auto-sync.)  I'm going to check out the feature comparisons.

                                                    • 23. Re: Need to merge multiple tracks down to avoid choppy playback.
                                                      the_wine_snob Level 9

                                                      If you do decide to go the PrPro route, CS 6 has reached the end of its lifespan. Adobe stopped selling the physical media some time back, but still offers some of CS 6 (several suites of programs) as download. However, the full roll-out of the CC (Creative Cloud) for all of those programs, PrPro, Ps, AI, After Effects, etc. (not either PsE, or PrE) is slated for June 15th, and probably around that point, there will be no CS 6 download, with pertetual license - only CC. There were a few of the boxed, physical media packages available from certified resellers, but one had better hurry - when those are gone, there will be no more.

                                                       

                                                      Good luck,

                                                       

                                                      Hunt

                                                      • 24. Re: Need to merge multiple tracks down to avoid choppy playback.
                                                        pdbrownphotographer Level 1

                                                        Thanks Bill. Good to know.  I'm nervous about being locked in to paying a perpetual fee for the rest of eternity to use these products, especially if I leave the teaching profession. 

                                                        • 25. Re: Need to merge multiple tracks down to avoid choppy playback.
                                                          the_wine_snob Level 9

                                                          I am also not a fan of the CC (Creative Cloud) licensing concept - at least not yet.

                                                           

                                                          I feel that my timing was good, when I upgraded from CS 5.5 Production Suite to CS 6 Production Suite.

                                                           

                                                          There are still some Bugs with CS 6, that were not in CS 5.5, and I fear that since CS 6 has reached the end of its life, Adobe will never address those. Right now, they do not affect me, or my Projects, and if they do, then I can do those Projects in CS 5.5.

                                                           

                                                          Only time will tell whether I am adequately tempted to go with PrPro CC (actually the full Production Suite).

                                                           

                                                          Between you and me, I really like editing in PrPro, and basically only have PrE installed, to test problems in this program. However, from time to time, I force myself to use PrE, to stay somewhat current in it. Just did my first ever DVD output, completely from PrE 11. As I am so used to PrPro and Encore for that type of output, I struggled a bit, but needed to do it, to know what others encounter. For larger, more intense Projects, I would not give up my PrPro, AE and Encore - no more than I would give up my Photoshop for Photoshop Elements. Just my personal preferences, and I admit that I recommend PrE and PsE more than PrPro and Ps, for most users - they do not need to power of the two "big-brothers," and can save a boatload of $, by sticking with the Elements programs.

                                                           

                                                          Good luck, and please let us know how things progress.

                                                           

                                                          Hunt

                                                           

                                                          BTW - you mentioned some Audio aspects, and PrPro CS 6 has made some major changes in how Audio is handled. I strongly recommend the AdobeTV episodes on Audio in PrPro CS 6, and also Audition CS 6. Some very, very useful changes.