Let's start with why you need all clips to be one clip?
With the canon xf 100 camera, every time you press record, it creates a new folder on the card with the clip inside. Each 32Go Cf card is around 80mn of HD footage. So when you copy one card to your computer, you get dozens of small mxf clips inside differents folders. As i have more than 200 hours of footage, I would like to get one big clip of 80 mn for each card I have emptied. With 200 clips, it is easier to work on my edit than with 2000. I can import each big clip in the source monitor and play with it like if it was a full tape.
What is strange is that I have made some testings with Edius, and in one click you can create a new sequence from a group of mxf files that you can then handle like a clip with two mono tracks. In Premiere, you can easily create a sequence from mxf clips, but then what can you do with that sequence if everytime you import some parts of it in your master sequence, you cannot get two mono tracks ? I don't want to pan for each stereo clip.
So, to summarize, if I import each small original mxf clips inside premiere, I can get two mono audio tracks from them on the timeline. If I create a new sequence from the same mxf files, and then send parts of that sequence in a new sequence to make my editing, I cannot get two mono tracks from that merge sequence. And that's my problem. I would prefer to edit with Premiere pro.
Your best option might be to add all clips from a card to a sequence. Then export that out to a new file. It'll contain one stereo audio track, but as you bring in that newly exported file (which is not one single clip), you'll be able to break out that stereo track into two mono tracks.
Thank you Jim.
I have two hundred fifty hours. So if I export all the files, you can imagine the problem. And into which format should I export ?
If I export as avi files, I need three times more space (80 mn of MXF 422 converted need around 80 or 90 gigas).
Another solution would be to merge mxf files together and to export as a new mxf with no reencoding. But from what I know, no software can do that. There is always re encoding !
If it were me, I'd export to something lossless.
And you're right...that will take up lots of space. But such is the nature of video editing. I've always found it best to accept that and accommodate it, rather than try and get around it somehow.
250 hours is less than 6 TB, so what is your concern?
You could copy and paste the mono tracks into the sequences that you created with combined clips. I do similar workflows for multi-camera sequences sometimes.
On another note, unless my clips were contiguous I wouldn't combine them into sequences for raw footage, even if I had thousands of clips. I think in workflow it is much easier to select an individual 20 second clip for trimming a 7 second shot than trying to pull the same 7 seconds out of an 80 minute sequence. That time compounded over hundreds of shots seems like a lot more work to me. Also, I tend to organize clips by date, B-roll type, Interview subjects, etc., and having the clips combined would prohibit that simple organization.
Best of luck.
Thank you Stephen, but I personally prefer to edit with one big file per card (or per tape) I can scrub easily, instead of having hundreds of small files with numbers (like mxf files), especially when I have hundreds of hours of footage. To help me, I can always make a detailed shot list.
So I tried to do like this ; sorry for my English and if I repeat certain points, but I hope it could help other people :
on the timeline, I imported all the mxf clips coming from one card,
then I calculated a new wav stereo file from all the files,
then I made a nested sequence with all the mxf clips, but without the original sound tracks (only video, not audio),
then I merged that nested video sequence with the new wav stereo file I have calculated ("merge clips"),
then I could import that new merged clip in the source monitor and edit on the timeline with two mono tracks.
But I met two new problems for a good editing:
First of all, as I already described, after I closed and reopened premiere pro, one of my two mono tracks on the timeline became empty: you can see the segments on the timeline but there is no more sounds inside. It is clearly a bug of ppro. I’ve read different posts with audio problems on mxf files imported into ppro.
So what I did is that instead of calculating a new stereo wav file from my original sequence, I calculated two mono files, one for each channel. Then I imported those files into ppro and and I merged it with my video only nested sequence. I, then, could edit properly with two mono tracks even if I closed and reopened ppro.
But the problem is that now, if, for any reason, I become out of sync on the timeline between video and audio segments, there is no more red indications to tell me the number of frames out of sync. And of course, you cannot use the functions of ppro to re-synchronize ("move into sync, slip into sync"). And this is a huge problem (strangely, a nested sequence keeps that function but it has only one audio track).
I sometimes wonder how the programs are developed. Mxf files is supposed to be a step ahead, but it becomes in the real editing, at least with ppro, two steps backward. From what I’ve read on the net, many people like me lost a lot of time trying to find a solution for editing mxf with ppro, and even if I decide to work with two mono tracks as I described, which is long and painful with hundreds of hours, how can I be sure I won’t meet another audio issue later on.
It is clear that the developers of ppro are not editors or directors. All I want to do with my mxf files is the basic of the editing. I want a car I can drive properly, not a car with air conditioned, that has no brakes.
So if they hear me : could you please update ppro so that we could edit properly with mxf files? It means :
1/ inside ppro, merge all the clips from the same card into one clip, that we can edit with two mono tracks if we decide
2/ keep the out of sync function for each audio channel with that merged clip.
Of course, if there is a workaround, I would be happy to know it.
I work with the same camera and editing program.
I think most professionals would find your workflow unique.
It would be nice if premiere would interpret your raw footage sequence as seperate mono tracks if you wanted that.
I really hope you are right and that I'm the only "professionnal" who meets such a problem with ppro and mxf...
Unfortunatelly, I have no other choice than editing that movie with Avid. I don't feel comfortable with that program but all I want to do with my mxf files is possible there.
Thank you for your help.
I also work with the Canon MXF format, and understand the issues you face. I would say that what ikenti is describing is like working with a tape format. He wants to scrub all the takes in one long sequence, like you would by shooting various clips onto a tape. (am I right here?). But unless you were wanting to create one long hour of video to show to someone, it seems a bit odd for final sequencing. However, I do shoot one hour concerts and so having a seamless video of the whole concert without having to create the sequence from sequential clips might be helpful. Then you could take Cam1/ B Cam and C Camera and edit from that with multicamera editing.
Does that make more sense? It would be a nice feature to have Pr simply understand that if you throw sequential takes onto a timeline that it could seamless run them together. I believe you can do that with Sony cameras and their utilities.
Am I making sense?
al_ The way that you decribe is already possible for spanned clips. Also, creating a master sequence fron 1 camera's raw clips is quick and easy.
Where his process breaks down is when he wants to use the Camera 1 raw footage sequence as source material.
The trimmed clips show up in new sequences with stero audio, where he preferred the dual mono audio clip in the original raw sequence.
There are several ways to deal with this and get footage edited, however the OP is not happy with these options.
One option would be to use the stereo audio in your new sequences. All the information from the Dual mono tracks is there.