7 Replies Latest reply on Jun 21, 2009 11:43 PM by westonwoodbury

    Audio problems (cuts out) when playback timeline

    westonwoodbury Level 1

      Hello all,


      I've searched the forums and Google a bit and it seems my problem isn't very common.  Not enough to find anything, anyway!


      The problem is that in Premiere CS3, while playing back a project (rendered or not rendered), all seems fine and then the audio cuts out.  Playback continues with no sound.  Stop, play, the audio works again for a second or two of playback.  It happens randomly, sometimes it'll go the entire sequence without a problem, other times it'll practically only play momentarily.


      I've tried messing around with the buffer in "audio hardware", setting it anywhere from 512 to 3000+.  Same problems.


      It happens on all of my larger projects.  Anything more complicated then a simple 1 or 2 tape shoot, it'll start having fits with this.


      I've also tried 2 different sound cards--the onboard audio, and then I disabled that and hooked up my FireWire MultiMix, using it as the sound card.  It seemed to work at first, but then it started cutting the audio on playback with the mixer too.


      Any help, ideas, suggestions?  Not sure what else to experiment with here.  Drivers for both sound cards are up to date and so is Premiere/Soundbooth.






        • 1. Re: Audio problems (cuts out) when playback timeline
          the_wine_snob Level 9

          Audio cutting out, can often be traced to insufficient power in the I/O sub-system. When a HDD is required to source a lot of data at the same time, something gives.


          Please tell us more about your system, especially a full breakdown of the I/O (HDD's, size, speed, controller type and how allocated). There might be something there.


          From your statements, it appears that you're working with DV-AVI Type II files, that you captured in PrPro. Is this correct? If not, please also give complete details on your Assets.


          Good luck,



          • 2. Re: Audio problems (cuts out) when playback timeline
            westonwoodbury Level 1



            HDD setup:


            -system and program files on a 320 internal SATA 3.0, 7200 .  This drive is farther partitioned (I didn't do it!), seperating windows / program files.

            -all project files and captured files on a seperate 1TB SATA 3.0 7200 .  I set all scratch disks to this drive, also.


            I'm working in particular right now in a HDV project that combines HDV footage and some SD NTSC footage.  But, we've had this audio problem when editng only SD footage inside of a SD project; it's just a matter of the editing getting complicated enough, it seems.


            Also, when audio starts dropping, it seems if I immediately save/close, and then just reopen premeiere, it's good to go again.  This may point to temporary.. ram?  But we've had this audio problem over multiple sets of RAM (we recently upgraded, and the old RAM is out of the system).


            Any other info you may need?






            edit:  also; the files are edius captured (canopus codecs)--however, again, we have the audio dropping problem in projects that onlyc contain files captured with Premiere.

            • 3. Re: Audio problems (cuts out) when playback timeline


              Sorry to not be much help to you right now, but I was just about to post a similar audio problem. Here's a quick description, I think you'll agree it's similar.

              No problems when editing SD, but now doing my first HDV project and after a while the audio starts to cut out. This happens when previewing audio from the project window as well as in the time line. In fact where ever it's possible to listen to the audio track.


              In my case, I've digitised several hours of HDV footage and rough cut 4 short (1.5min) video modules. These are just the interview elements. It does seem to feel like it's a RAM problem, but I've also checked out the Scratch file locations and they've got at least 65gig of spare capacity. I'm not using the project HDD location for the audio scratch files .


              Frustratingly, as you correctly point out, saving and restarting seems to freshen things up, but eventually it all start over again. By the way, booting up this HDV project seems to take ages! Is this common?



              • 4. Re: Audio problems (cuts out) when playback timeline
                the_wine_snob Level 9

                Well, except for that partition (I know, it's not your fault) , things look pretty good.


                One question would be where your Windows Virtual Memory (Page File) is located, and how it's managed, i.e. static, or dynamically by the OS?


                That might yield a clue, or maybe not.


                Good luck,



                • 5. Re: Audio problems (cuts out) when playback timeline
                  westonwoodbury Level 1



                  Well I went in and manually set PF (from auto) to 4000 - 8000 after the problem starting appearing; haven't seen a difference as far as playback.


                  Mark, in our case, I might point the problem to low hard disk space (on all of the drives), maybe getting everything off and a fresh format would help, I really can't say until we get more space to be able to do so.  But it seems you have plenty free for scratch.


                  As far as just HDV, it seems Premiere's decoding of the format is just really, really bad.  I can't even playback 1 HDV file smoothly, never have been.  Granted, we don't have great hardware and the machine wasn't 'built ground up' for HD editing; but Edius and Avid both handle multiple tracks of HDV, edited, playback in realtime with no lag, on the exact same machine.  Also, Premiere handles SD well, but again as soon as the project gets massive with a long length 20m+ and lots of effects and complicated cutting, it does the same thing to the audio playback.


                  It's like how Premiere allocated resources stacks up and gets bogged down or something.


                  On load times, I've found it's normal to have insane load & save times, again, with the complicity of the project.


                  I don't understand why the ASIO buffer time doesn't fix it; when I have similar problems doing music editing in audio software like Sonar, simply turning up the buffer time causes more delay in the audio but fixes the problem.


                  I'll report back here if I make any headway on the issue--any other ideas anyone has are more than welcome!




                  • 6. Re: Audio problems (cuts out) when playback timeline

                    In my opinion Premiere CS3 is simply to inept to effectively handle HDV.  Load times, as mentioned, are rediculous but audio on the time line cutting in and out makes the program completely unusable. CS4 may have resolved this...but I doubt it.

                    • 7. Re: Audio problems (cuts out) when playback timeline
                      westonwoodbury Level 1

                      I think Rastus is right.  From all accounts using Premiere for HDV footage at our studio, it barely handles playback and basic editing, and causes tons of problems once a project gets somewhat complicated.  It handles standard def somewhat decent, until again, a project gets too complicated, then a slew of problems and instability appear.


                      Having a super high end system that's really built for crunching renders and handling HD probably would help, but I don't expect it to be an end solution using Premiere.


                      As for a "fix" follow-up, copy/pasting into a new project helped a little bit.  It stopped crashing and the audio playback dropping problem isn't nearly as frequent. So if you come across this problem and can't relieve it, I'd suggest creating a completely fresh project, then pasting the timeline into it.




                      p.s. CS4 experiments handled it even worse, and it won't allow me to choose any of the alternate codecs I have installed for preview render settings.