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M. Dale Prins

This is the topic where we discuss Adobe Premiere.

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In poetry:

I like Premiere 6.0,

even though it dies on me every 90 minutes or so.

Dale

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mike_h   

My 6.5 was crashing about every 9 minutes, especially when I was doing audio. I got to where I knew when it was about to go: the mouse-click-to-response-ratio increased, as if errors were accumulating somewhere, and I'd save, save, save, knowing that any second I'd have accumulated too many errors to save anymore. (Something theological there.) Then kaboom, flatline, reboot. And Premiere takes forever to reload from scratch. I think I nearly memorized the names of all the guys that designed the program in the opening credits screen. And did you ever notice that the first name on the list (I forget, thank God) never changes, as if he did most of the work, and the other designers randomize after him differently each boot. I kept my guitar nearby, and wrote two different "Waiting Songs" to play while I waited for Windows and Premiere and the DV500 card driver to load. I'm really proud of my Waiting Songs. Meanwhile, any time I'd ask my "friends in the business" for advice, their unanimous answer was "Throw your Premiere and PC out the window and get a G4 and FCP." Which I really appreciated. Really. Then I went to this Video Expo last month and sat in on a couple workshops where the instructors started two different classes with a poll as to which NLEs people were using. I always crouched low in my seat, knowing that when he got to Premiere there'd be a palpable sense of "Only losers use Premiere" -- and sure enough, that was exactly the case. (I will provide names and dates if the Adobe cops are listening and threaten to come get me.) Indeed, when I confessed what program I was using, I was singled out in the class for, if not ridicule, than polite dismissal, a terrifying flashback to gradeschool homework or horseplay traumas. And yet, despite all this, I really don't mind Premiere when it's working. I'm even willing to consider that maybe Windows or my PC is as much to blame for my troubles as the program. Someday, I really do hope to throw them all out the window and get a G4 -- or, rather, a G5 now, and FCP. (I do hope the Mac/FCP cops are monitoring this.) In the meantime, I'm playing both Waiting Songs. I can teach them to you, Prins, if you want to pass the reboot time pleasantly.

Thanks for listening. This has been therapeutic.

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M. Leary   

What systems are you running your versions of Premiere on?

I just got 7.0, and apparently, as Asher told me, you don't have to render changes and wait and wait in order to view them. I am hoping that will solve some of the problems with the program crashing, as I haven't had much problem with it crashing. I can see how that would be frustrating. Having it crash during audio editing makes sense, which currently compels me the Brakhage/Deren route...no audio. At least until I could use some better software. Thus:

Going the Mac route is extremely appealing to me. I just can't sink all that cash in the new system and all the new software that would entail.

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(M):

: What systems are you running your versions of Premiere on?

At home, a computer I built myself on the cheap: a 1.1 GhZ AMD Duron with 384 MB of memory. At work, an eMachines 800 MhZ Celeron with (I believe, and I don't have the energy to walk the 25 feet necessary to check) 256 MB of RAM. Both run 98SE. Both crash equally often.

: I just got 7.0, and apparently, as Asher told me, you don't have to

: render changes and wait and wait in order to view them.

If there is one thing I hate hate hate about 6.0, it is the rendering time. Two weeks ago, I did a little three-minute-forty video at work: Nothing too fancy, just my boss (uninteresting note: his was "Eileen" story no. six) speaking in front of a backdrop that I digitally removed and replaced with our association's logo, and maybe five bars at the bottom of the screen at various times giving information about the company. And it took an hour-freakin'-half every time I wanted to preview the stupid thing.

: Having it crash during audio editing makes sense, which currently

: compels me the Brakhage/Deren route...no audio.

I easily -- easily! -- had more problems with the audio in "Eileen" than the video, and after all that audio work, it still turned out crap crap crappy. There's a reason why my last film, "S.C.," was silent 'cept for a soundtrack; and why one of my next two films, "Patty Gets a Haircut," will be completely silent; and why the other of my next two films, "A Week of Prayers," will be -- um, actually, the sound mix may very well be more difficult than with "Eileen," but never mind that. (Oh, and (M), I will respond to your PM later today.)

: Going the Mac route is extremely appealing to me. I just can't sink all

: that cash in the new system and all the new software that would entail.

I have the perfect solution for you Chicagoians.

Timeshare a Mac.

mike_h:

: I can teach them to you, Prins, if you want to pass the reboot time

: pleasantly.

If they can be used as rendering waiting songs as well, absolutely.

Dale

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Thom   

Wow, so many things to discuss.

First, let me say that I do not promote PC or MAC to be the better system, which to some would disqualify me immediately. In my opinion, it is not the system base but the hardware within. Remember the G4 (G5) are the top Apple computers and PCs have, in my opinion, more than caught up. You can build an extremely reliable and powerful PC. I have yet to experience an issue with my system and it was built for audio production. I hope this doesn't jinx me.

I think the issue here is that most IBM compatible users (PCs) aren't sure what they are buying and MAC just happens to build the G4/5 at a semi-professional level, aimed at the professional market. Build a high-end PC and you will see a noticeable difference in performance. If building is not an option then I would suggest purchasing a high-end gaming system, they are quite powerful computers. In addition to that I would also recommend researching the higher quality components of a system so you know what you are getting or what you need to upgrade (i.e. audio card, video cards, hard drive, data transfer rates, etc). I have friends who use MAC and friends who have built, or purchased, $10,000 systems and to be honest the quality is comparable. It is all in the hardware.

Second issue here is software. I say "COME ON PEOPLE!!" Use what you can afford. Use what you like. Use whatever it takes to get your art created. Even Final Cut Pro is a novice system to the pros. People who treat non-FCP users, as second-class citizens are simply purists, which would then beg the arrogance question. Software is a tool to aid the filmmaker. The Final Cut Pro argument is not only futile but also pointless. I have tested many different video programs and FCP is not better or worse. In all honesty, it belongs in the same category as Premiere and Vegas. It

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Thom   

(M):

: What systems are you running your versions of Premiere on?  

At home, a computer I built myself on the cheap: a 1.1 GhZ AMD Duron with 384 MB of memory.  At work, an eMachines 800 MhZ Celeron with (I believe, and I don't have the energy to walk the 25 feet necessary to check) 256 MB of RAM.  Both run 98SE.  Both crash equally often.

: I just got 7.0, and apparently, as Asher told me, you don't have to  

: render changes and wait and wait in order to view them.

If there is one thing I hate hate hate about 6.0, it is the rendering time.  Two weeks ago, I did a little three-minute-forty video at work: Nothing too fancy, just my boss (uninteresting note: his was \"Eileen\" story no. six) speaking in front of a backdrop that I digitally removed and replaced with our association's logo, and maybe five bars at the bottom of the screen at various times giving information about the company.  And it took an hour-freakin'-half every time I wanted to preview the stupid thing.

Well, there is the problem in detail. You have outlined it perfectly. IT IS the system you are running the software on. If you are going to edit on a PC you need to use the Pentium chip and not the celeron OR the AMD Athlon chip not the duron. The systems you are using are low-end performance systems and cannot handle the task you are putting it up to. Rendering is also hardware dependent and even the fastest of systems takes time. I can render a preview section of 1200 frames in no time but a finished product is much more time consuming. Many have a separate system built that is only used for rendering.

Understand, if you purchased a PC with the same budget that a G4/5 costs, you would have an incredible machine!

: Going the Mac route is extremely appealing to me. I just can't sink all  

: that cash in the new system and all the new software that would entail.

I have the perfect solution for you Chicagoians.

Timeshare a Mac.

No thanks. I like my PC although I wouldn

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M. Leary   

I am up for time-sharing the Chicago hive-mind.

Great stuff Asher, this is why I turn to you in my darkest technological hours. Thank you as well for defending all things PC. I have had no problem with my system, and I run everything from Adobe Audition to Premiere on a Celeron and experience little trouble. Even though I wish I had gotten the Pentium with a video card upgrade, but nevertheless I can just come down and watch you do everything for me anyway.

I have a hard time understanding the advantages of FCP, I wish someone would outline them for me. Quite frankly, I like the ultra-intuitive set-up of Adobe software. And for those already accustomed to Photoshop and other such programs, Premiere is not hard to poke around. Certainly you could take classes on it, but it is also easy to pick up and use yourself.

The technological savvy of the New Wavers (especially Godard, Truffaut, and Rohmer) was minimal. So take heart Mike H.! Back in the 60's if there were a discussion session at a film convention and someone asked what tracking equipment everyone else was using, Godard would have raised his hand and said: "What the hell is tracking equipment?!"

Delannoy would have stood up and called Godard an infantile filmmaker, so out of touch with the most advanced contemporary techniques that he would never produce anything worthwhile. Little would Delannoy know that thirty years later no one watches his films while everybody watches Godard. So the technology behind a film will only be as useful as the vision of the director. The New Wavers had little to work with in terms of technology (at first) and they produced an overwhelming monolith of good film.

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mike_h   

Asher, thank you for interjecting the Voice of Reason. Forgive my rant. There's many hours of frustration (and Waiting Song) behind it. You are absolutely right about the software being the tool, and the differences between programs often being a matter of class consciousness. It's been very difficult for me to get advice from anybody I know on the topic, as mentioned, making me feel pretty isolated as I've tried to slog through it all. In fact, I probably came into Premiere a bit of a snob myself, having learned NLE on Media 100 (at a friend's posthouse) and then feeling like the Adobe product was a bit of a tinker-toy comparatively. I've never really liked either the titling or the audio interfaces. The latter was especially frustrating this last project as I had to export every line of dialog to Cool Edit to do the real work and then re-import. Of course, now that Adobe's taken over Cool Edit and renamed it Audition I'm sure it integrates very nicely, and I'll have to save my pennies for the upgrade (thereby deepening my commitment to PCs and Premiere, sigh). I'm running Premiere 6.5 with a DV500 card on a PowerSpec PC with an AMD Athlon chip, and two hard drives (a Maxtor 36.5 GB and a Western Digital 120 GB). The resources may indeed be the problem as only one out of three memory slots seems to work. I have a 256k memory stick in the working slot, but whenever I try to put additional memory in the other two slots, the system fritzes and crashes. So maybe I need a new motherboard. On this project, I was spread thin with my own resources (financially) and committed to finishing a project on my computer, regardless of the problems, and so having the system crash every few minutes when all I did was twang the audio rubberband or adjust the EQ setting made me a little crazy. I'm better now. Though I probably will think seriously about getting a new motherboard before I try any more projects. Also, I went through a bit of IRQ trauma and found myself playing this shell game with IRQs in order to get everything to work without a conflict. The only way I finally found to make it work was probably a dumb one, but it worked, namely to close out one of the Serial Ports and stick the DV500 on that IRQ, which introduced its own problems, which I won't get into. If I seem like I'm babbling on here it's because this is the first time I've been able to talk about this stuff with somebody, so again, thanks for listening. I think that about takes care of all the bottled up rants, but you must admit, they have been sublime.

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mike_h   

Back in the 60's if there were a discussion session at a film convention and someone asked what tracking equipment everyone else was using, Godard would have raised his hand and said: \"What the hell is tracking equipment?!\"

Who's Godard? laugh.gif

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Thom   

I think that about takes care of all the bottled up rants, but you must admit, they have been sublime.

You are right, they have been sublime and speaking of sublime, I want to hear those waiting songs!!

It sounds like you have a pretty nice system with plenty of space.

They say that the capture card and the video card should never share an IRQ. Plus skipping a port allows the video card to remain at a cool temp.

Memory - You probably need more, which I think you have indicated. I know this may sound like a stupid question but does the motherboard support the memory stick? Are they the same as what RAM is currently on the board? I assume it is DDR.

I personally haven't worked with the audio in Premiere extensively. But the RAM is very important for any envelopes or effects, audio or video. The more RAM the more possibilities.

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Asher:

: Well, there is the problem in detail. You have outlined it perfectly. IT IS

: the system you are running the software on.

Um, yeah. My system sucks. But I'm cheap. And it's not as though "Eileen" or "Ernest" would have looked or sounded substantially different if edited on a better system; it just would have been edited substantially faster. (That goes double for "Ernest," which has has a transparency overlay in about 95 percent of the frames; transparency, for reasons easy to understand, substantially slows down Premiere's rendering process in my experience.)

Now. If I ever, for example, decide to make a feature-length film based on my 65-percent completed play "Father, Daughter, and Holy Spirit," I would buy a new system. And two 200 GB hard drives. And a Canon XL1S. But everything I have in my current queue is short enough and straightfoward enough (the animation bits in "A Week of Prayers" perhaps excepted) that my current system ought to do just fine, even if it occasionally annoys. As (M) says, if Adobe Premiere was good enough for Godard in the '60s, it's good enough for me.

Speaking of (M):

: Quite frankly, I like the ultra-intuitive set-up of Adobe software. And for

: those already accustomed to Photoshop and other such programs,

: Premiere is not hard to poke around.

Yes. Since I use either Photoshop or Pagemaker at work on a nearly daily basis, I was able to be relatively proficient at Premiere in less than a week. In my limited time with FCP, it's seemed less intuitive.

Has anyone tried any of the Avid systems?

Dale

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Thom   

Asher:

: Well, there is the problem in detail. You have outlined it perfectly. IT IS  

: the system you are running the software on.  

Um, yeah.  My system sucks.  But I'm cheap.  And it's not as though \"Eileen\" or \"Ernest\" would have looked or sounded substantially different if edited on a better system; it just would have been edited substantially faster.  (That goes double for \"Ernest,\" which has has a transparency overlay in about 95 percent of the frames; transparency, for reasons easy to understand, substantially slows down Premiere's rendering process in my experience.)

Hey, we are all looking for the most financially viable option, so I am right there with you and certainly not pointing the cheap finger. I think many of us are interested in the low cost option. My only point was to say that if it takes long and systems lock up or crash then it is probably the system and not the software.

And two 200 GB hard drives.  And a Canon XL1S.

Why would you choose the XL1s? There is a Sony and a Panasonic that are held up a little higher than the XL1S. I do not know enough about any of them but would appreciate your input. I do understand that the Panasonic features are really burried in the menu system which is a negative aspect to me.

Speaking of (M):

: Quite frankly, I like the ultra-intuitive set-up of Adobe software. And for  

: those already accustomed to Photoshop and other such programs,  

: Premiere is not hard to poke around.

Yes.  Since I use either Photoshop or Pagemaker at work on a nearly daily basis, I was able to be relatively proficient at Premiere in less than a week.  In my limited time with FCP, it's seemed less intuitive.

Now Vegas Video is an intuitive program.

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M. Leary   

Mike H. -

What issues did you have with Cool Edit? I did just get Audition, I am anxious to see how well it works with Premiere.

Oh man, the Canon vs. the Sony and Panasonic. This is going to get good.

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mike_h   

What issues did you have with Cool Edit? I did just get Audition, I am anxious to see how well it works with Premiere.

My issues were never with Cool Edit -- I loved that program. It really treated me like a grown up in terms of the options it gave me, rather than the audio component of my Premiere, which wanted to make too many decisions for me. The issues had to do with interface: Premiere 6.5 audio allowed me to work with the audio in .avi file form, but didn't give me as much control or options as I wanted. Cool Edit was great, but you had to export from .avi to .wav, do your sweetening, then import back into Premiere -- but now all the audio you'd worked on in Cool Edit was in .wav file form -- a "lossy" format (though I'm not sure how much loss is involved at this level), but also the .wavs were completely detached from picture and all the file-managing abilities of Premiere which you have when you stay in their system. I assume Audition overcomes this and lets you use all of Cool Edit's potential on the audio files on the timeline, without the import or export. I'm looking forward to hearing your report on how you like it. Even though you're apparently going not doing much audio.

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You guys in Chicago are lucky. Geographically, you could possibly pitch in and share equipement... i.e a monster of a PC system or a G5.

Several years ago I joined with some friends here in Winnipeg to buy a Sony camera. The informal cooperative transformed my filmmaking perspective. Suddenly I could make lots of short films when ever I wanted because the camera was freely available. Collaboration and pooling resources is obviously the key... and access to good gear goes far.

I also love what was said earlier... at the end of the day, just go and make your film, regardless of the software/hardware. Limitations (and dogma rules?) can inspire creativity: perhaps a film made without software? Editing in camera? Just a thought.

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If you wanna go mac, you don't have to go the G5 route. Last year I was doing videos for my church (one/week) using my G3 12" iBook running Final Cut Express (Photoshop Elements version of Final Cut Pro). All told this system comes out to right around $1500 and it hardly ever crashed (if at all, can't remember).

[insert non sequitur]

Cool Edit got bought out by Adobe!! I love that program. I got the limited edition of Cool Edit Pro along with my Echo GINA soundcard (for my old 333Mhz Windows 95, still kickin' it computer). At first I though it was just a throw-away freebe but the more I used it the more I loved it. It's a super program - super fast (even on a dinosaur machine), super stable, super easy to use. Only flaw? No version for Mac.

I've done quite a few videos where I exported the audio out of my mac, edited on my PC then transfered it back.

Favorite Cool Edit feature? those six buttons that help you zoom in, out, and around the audio you're editing. If only all software was as well thoght out.

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Neb   

Is Premiere CS4 too ancient to discuss in here? Should I start a thread called "Really old versions of Premiere Pro" before I start asking questions? I just feel like my questions are a bit too amateur to ask on the big Adobe forums.

stupid.gif

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I don't think so. Although, considering none of the participatants have participated in the thread since 2003... who knows if they have anything to say. :) (I use Final Cut Pro and have not worked with Premier in about six or seven years, so I am not much help...)

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Thom   

Unfortunately the filmmakers forum here dries up quickly--no matter how hard we try to get it going. All I can say is...post your question and see what happens. I currently edit in CS5 and CS5.5 and Vegas Pro 11.

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