Avid® Xpress® DV 3.5 FAQ
This document is an attempt to provide quick, easy access to frequently answered questions (FAQ) from Digital Media Net’s World Wide User Groups (WWUG) Avid Xpress DV forum. This FAQ was compiled by a carefully selected group of experienced Avid editors, integrators, and technicians. For clarity, the FAQ is divided into sections such as Integration, Operational, etc. We hope you find this document useful.
New or updated questions in this version are in red.
If you are still using Xpress DV 3.0, an archive copy of the FAQ for it is available here.
If you are still using Xpress DV 2.x, an archive copy of the FAQ for it is available here.
You may be viewing this FAQ on a mirror. A permanent version will always reside at http://xdvfaq.tripod.com.
The Xpress DV-FAQ Team;
Dale Reeves, Scott Carnegie, George Graves, Patrick Harris, Valerie Shoaps, Menno Drenth, Phil Lowe
FAQ Avid Xpress DV 3.5 - 04/16/2003
FAQ Avid Xpress DV 3.0 - 4/30/2002
FAQ Avid Xpress DV 2.* - 2/9/2002
FAQ Avid Xpress DV 1.* - Never released
1. Pre-sales Why are Avid's system requirements so strict? 1.2 What operating system will Xpress DV run on? 1.3 Will Xpress DV run on Windows XP Home? 1.4 Why doesn't Avid Xpress DV 3.5 run on Windows 2000 or Mac OS 9? 1.5 What other types of computers will run Xpress DV? 1.6 What additional features are included in the 3.5 PowerPack version? 1.7 What are the minimum system requirements? 1.8 Can I use my proprietary hardware capture card with Xpress DV? 1.9 What kinds of drives can I use for media? 1.10 Can I use Iomega’s Peerless FireWire™ drives for media? 1.11 Will Xpress DV work with my brand/model camera or deck? 1.12 What resolution does Xpress DV use? 1.13 Does Xpress DV support DVCPro25? 1.14 Is there a demo version of Xpress DV? 1.15 Can I edit 16:9 footage with Xpress DV? 1.16 Where can I get a custom keyboard for Xpress DV? 1.17 Does Xpress DV have real time audio scrubbing? 1.18 Does Xpress DV have Match Frame Function? 1.19 Does Xpress DV have a built-in titler? 1.20 What 3rd party AVX plug-in CG's are available? 1.21 What audio effects are real time and which ones are rendered? 1.22 What video effects are real time and which ones are rendered? 1.23 Can audio & video tracks be locked on the Xpress DV timeline? 1.24 Does Xpress DV have color correction? 1.25 Does Xpress DV have Boolean searches of bins and media? 1.26 What are the differences between Media Composer® and Avid Xpress DV 3.5? 1.27 What third-party plug-ins are available for Xpress DV? 2. Integration 2.1 Can networked drives be accessed in Xpress DV? 2.2 Can I use RAID-0/striping for Xpress DV? 2.3 I have a dual monitor system. Why can't I see motion video playback on my right computer monitor, even though I see stills in pause? 2.4 Can I install Xpress DV and Premiere on the same system? 2.5 Can I install Xpress DV and Final Cut Pro on the same system? 2.6 I’m seeing delay between what is showing on the computer monitor versus what I see on my NTSC/PAL external monitor. Why? Is this normal? 2.7 Is there a method for obtaining in-sync video and audio between both the computer and client monitor? 2.8 I installed the Xpress DV software and launched the application. It tells me that a dongle was not found. What’s a dongle? 2.9 Can I run other applications like Microsoft Office on my system? 2.10 Can I run anti-virus software on my Xpress DV system? 2.11 My Maxtor FireWire drive is not being seen when I boot my computer. What should I do? 2.12 I've just installed Xpress DV 3.5 and my video looks very pixelated. How do I fix this? 2.13 I've just installed Xpress DV 3.5 and I can't get any video to my NTSC monitor through FireWire. How do I fix this? 2.14 What different Analog to DV converters are available? 2.15 How do I check and set DMA mode for my hard drives? 2.16 What sound cards will work with Xpress DV? 2.17 How do I set-up and configure the Matrox Parhelia video card? 3. Operational 3.1 The analog inputs are greyed out in the Record Tool. Why? 3.2 I’m not able to do an Audio Punch In. I try but it’s not working. 3.3 I want to add some CD Audio to my project. Can I use the CD-ROM/DVD-ROM/CD-RW in the computer? 3.4 I can’t seem to be able to add keyframes to the audio tracks in the timeline. What am I doing wrong? 3.5 I just created a title in the title tool and saved it. It appeared in a bin. However, when I double click the title and it opens in the window, it is black. Nothing is there. What happened to my title? 3.6 My Xpress DV interface/program seems buggy. 3.7 Where is the countdown in the Digital Cut? 3.8 I have eight video tracks and I want to add more. The system is not allowing me to do so. Why is this? 3.9 Should I defragment my media drives? 3.10 I can't hear Audio scrubbing when I scrub the timeline. Why? 3.11 How are motion effects rendered? 3.12 Does Xpress DV have Avid's "archive to tape" feature? 3.13 What happens if I break or lose my application key (dongle)? 3.14 Ever time I double click a clip in a bin it opens up into a new source monitor. Is there anyway to prevent this? 3.15 How do I move my project from Xpress DV to another Avid system such as Media Composer or Symphony? 3.16 Does Xpress DV have a built in Waveform/Vectorscope? 3.17 How do I edit 16:9 material on Xpress DV? 3.18 How do I effectively delete media from old projects? 3.19 How do I delete unwanted Effects? 3.20 My system seems sluggish and very slow to commands. What can I do to speed it up? 3.21 How do I create special characters in the Title Tool? 3.22 What can I do about projects with source material in both NTSC and PAL? 3.23 How do I digitize and edit Beta footage? 3.24 Avid can't see my camera, what can I do? 3.25 How do I blur text in Avid? 3.26 My sound card won't work with Xpress DV. What can I do? 3.27 How can I digitize analog footage? 3.28 When I press play a white border flashes on and off around the composer window and the timeline will not play. What can I do? 3.29 When using DV scene extraction I am limited to 100 subclips being created. My tape has more subclips than this, what can I do? 3.30 How do I see what commands can be entered into the console?
Import/Export 4.1 What is a codec? 4.2 I want to export my footage from Xpress DV to use in Adobe After Effects®. How do I do this? 4.3 What resolution should I use in Adobe Photoshop for graphics I'm going to be importing into Xpress DV? 4.4 What resolution should I use in Adobe After Effects for graphics I'm going to be importing into Xpress DV? 4.5 What specifications should I use when rendering in After Effects for importing into Xpress DV? 4.6 What codec should I use when rendering in After Effects for import into Xpress DV? 4.7 I can't seem to export an AVI from Xpress DV that is larger than 2GB. How do I fix this? 4.8 When I try to import an AVI, I either get audio but only white video or get an error message and a QuickTime prompt for downloading software which fails. What can I do? 4.9 Does QuickTime Reference work over a network? 4.10 How do I make a DVD from my sequence? 4.11 When I choose "create DVD" from Xpress DV it exports a *.m2v and *.wav file, why? 4.12 Should I import items with RGB or 601 color levels? What's the difference? 4.13 I've received a *.wav file that was created in Pro-Tools that Xpress DV can't import. What can I do? 4.14 I've received an OMF that was created in a third-party application (Pro-Tools, Neundo, Logic, etc.) that Xpress DV can't import. What can I do? 4.15 I want to import a graphic for a duration longer than 60 frames. How do I do this? 4.16 I tried to import an audio file but I get a message saying that Xpress DV won't import an 8 bit audio file. What can I do?
Error Messages 5.1 Assertion Failed 5.2 Error: No desktop video resource 5.3 Exception: DIOConsumer - Digital Out Video underrun 5.4 Exception: 'omfiHPDOMAIN_INIT_FAILED' An error occurred validating the media directory 5.5 ADM_PLAY_NOT_ARMED 5.6 DIG_DV-CORRUPT_FRAME 5.7 AECIFS Manager - Load Library failed on AECIFS 5.8 Could not Initialize Authorscript 5.9 Exception:win32_mixer_get_details_error 5.10 Audio Hardware Underrun 5.11 Where can I find out what my error message means?
Miscellaneous 6.1 How do I spell Avid Xpress DV? 6.2 Are there books to learn more about Avid editing? 6.3 What are other on-line sources for Xpress DV information? 6.4 Where can I download a manual for Xpress DV? 6.5 Why is this FAQ on all one "page"? 6.6 Is everything in this FAQ correct?
1.1 Q. Why are Avid's system requirements so strict? Top
A. If you're new to Avid systems you are probably feeling a little frustrated about Avid's strict systems requirements. You must remember that Avid has priced this product very competitively to make it affordable for professionals, DV filmmakers, event videographers and even enthusiasts & hobbyists. Initially they have kept the certified systems list very small in order to insure that your system will have the same rock solid stability and performance that all Avid editors demand and expect. As Avid and their dealers become more experienced with Xpress DV on a wider variety of systems a broader compatibility list is being created. A good example of this is Avid's new Hardware Compatibility Feedback. These are non-certified systems that dealers and end-users have reported back to Avid are working without any problems.
We do have some very specific compatibility issues / system recommendations that we would like to address in the FAQ.
1. Avid does not recommend Athlon systems. While some users are reporting good success with these systems, many more are having problems. If you are going to get an Athlon, make sure you or your dealer install all the latest BIOS upgrades and chipset patches prior to installing Xpress DV
2. Xpress DV 3 is compatible with dual processor systems. When you use Xpress DV 3.5 in a dual processor system, the first processor handles the
system and all overhead, the second processor is dedicated to Xpress DV. Users of dual process systems can see an increase of 25% to 50% in performance over single processor systems of the same speed.
3. Make sure you use a certified graphics card, we recommend the following dual head cards: Matrox G550 or ATI Radeon 8500 VE
4. You want plenty of memory. 256 MB is the minimum, for best results put in 512 MB.
5. If you plan on putting Xpress DV on a laptop, stick with the tested and approved models. Unlike a desktop, laptops are loaded with proprietary technology.
Here are your best bets for getting Xpress DV up and running ASAP
1. Get a certified system. It's also a safe bet to get the latest version of a certified system. (IE Dell Precision 410 workstations are approved, but no longer available. Dell Precision 340 workstations work great.)
2. Get a turnkey system from you local Avid dealer or one of the many NLE turnkey specialists throughout the country.
3. Buy Xpress DV from an authorized dealer who can review your system specs with you and offers you free tech support if you run into problems.
1.2 Q. What operating system will Xpress DV run on? Top
A. For Windows, release 3.5 runs on Windows® XP Professional. Release 3.0 runs on Windows 2000 Professional with Service Pack 2. Release 2.x runs on Windows 2000 Professional with Service Pack 1 plus a Hotfix included on the Xpress DV CD-ROM or Service Pack 2. Release 1.x runs on Windows NT® 4.0 with Service Pack 5 or Service Pack 6a.
For Macintosh, release 3.5 runs on OS X 10.1.4 or later. It will run on OS X 10.2 (Jaguar) but you will have to re-install Xpress DV after upgrading the Operating System.
1.3 Q. Will Xpress DV run on Windows XP Home? Top
A. Xpress DV 3.5 is supported only on Windows XP Pro. Users have reported success with XP Home but Avid will not offer technical support with XP Home.
1.4 Q. Why doesn't Avid Xpress DV v3.5 run on Windows 2000 or Mac OS 9? Top
A. The PC version of Avid Xpress DV 3.5 utilizes DirectShow as its digital input and output mechanism. The version of DirectShow that is available for Windows 2000 does not offer the performance or frame accuracy required for a power digital video application like Avid Xpress DV. Similarly, Avid Xpress DV v3.5 requires the more reliable FireWire drivers of Mac OS X. In addition, the multi-tasking capabilities of Mac OS X are required to support the number and performance of software real-time effects in Avid Xpress DV. Avid Xpress DV v3.5 is optimized for Apple's powerful G4 Velocity Engine, and therefore cannot be used on any G3 Macintosh system.
1.5 Q. What other types of computers will run Xpress DV? Top
A. In general, any machine that has an Intel CPU and Intel chipset will be fine. AMD CPUs also work but try to avoid VIA chip sets as they are known to cause problems.
1.6 Q. What additional features are included in the 3.5 PowerPack version? Top
A. Includes all elements in basic package plus additional software: Avid DV FilmMaker's Toolkit, Avid IllusionFX™ Pack, Image Stabilization AVX plug-in, Full version of Boris FX and Boris GRAFFITI, and Elastic Gasket.
1.7 Q. What are the minimum system requirements? Top
A. The official requirements from Avid are:
Pentium® III or Pentium® 4 at 750MHz or faster
Windows® XP Professional
4MB or greater AGP or PCI Display that supports video overlay
200 MB free HD space
A qualified DV In/Out card, ADS PYRO 1394DV or SIIG 1394 3-Port PCI
IDE or Ultra2/Ultra3 SCSI drive or FireWire® drive. If SCSI drives are selected, use an Adaptec® 29160 SCSI controller.
The Canopus DV Raptor is no longer supported as of Avid Xpress DV 3.0.
Requires an Avid-qualified Macintosh
Mac OS X 10.1.4 or later
400 MHz or faster G4.
A qualified DV In/Out card, ADS PYRO 1394DV or SIIG 1394 3-Port PCI
In addition, the authors of this FAQ are providing our recommended base system. You will notice that we are recommending a more powerful system then the minimum. While Xpress DV will run perfectly on the minimum system specs, we feel that our base system specs will give you the extra power you'll crave once you start using Xpress DV 3.5.
Pentium 4® 1.4 GHz or faster
Windows XP Professional
Matrox G550 or the ATI Radeon VE video card
10+ GB system drive
60+ GB dedicated ATA100, LVD160, or FireWire® hard drive for video (based on
13GB per hour this enough space for almost 5 hours of video)
Texas Instruments based IEEE1394 (OHCI) card such as the ADS Pyro.
1.8 Q. Can I use my proprietary hardware capture card with Xpress DV? Top
A. It's now possible to run standard 1394 drivers with some proprietary capture cards (check with your card's manufacturer to verify compatibility).
To do so, you'll need to uninstall your card's proprietary software and then the card's capture drivers (sometimes it helps to physically remove the card, boot cold, then reboot with the card installed). If Windows detects the hardware, click through to cancel. Afterward, go into the Device Manager (For Windows XP, Control Panel>System>Hardware>Device Manager), locate the device and negotiate to
'Update Driver'. Click "Display a list of known drivers" and then select "Texas
Instruments OHCI Compliant IEEE 1394 Host controller".
1.9 Q. What kinds of drives can I use for media? Top
A. 7,200RPM ATA100 type drives, 7,200RPM or faster LVD160 SCSI drives, and 7,200RPM FireWire® drives
1.10 Q. Can I use Iomega’s new Peerless FireWire™ drives for media? Top
A. Even though the throughput of those drives would be sufficient for DV media, Xpress DV excludes removable drives for media use. This may change in future releases.
1.11 Q. Will Xpress DV work with my brand/model camera or deck? Top
A. The current Avid officially supported list of DV devices is always available at Avid’s web site. Click here (pdf file) to view the list.
1.12 Q. What resolution does Xpress DV use? Top
A. DV25 is the only resolution at this time. For NTSC it is 720x480 (4:3) or 854x480 (16:9). For PAL it is 720x576 (4:3) or 1024x576 (16:9).
1.13 Q. Does Xpress DV support DVCPro25? Top
A. Yes, version 3 does support Panasonic’s AJ-D250, AJ-D250E and AJ-D455 via FireWire.
1.14 Q. Is there a demo version of Xpress DV? Top
A. At this time no. There is, however, an excellent Product demo CD that you can request from Avid. Visit Avid's Xpress DV web site for more information. If you would like to see Xpress DV in action contact your local Xpress DV dealer. However, don’t just “use” your local reseller for a demo then buy it on-line. That’s really not fair to the reseller, is it?
1.15 Q. Can I edit 16:9 footage with Xpress DV? Top
A. Yes, Xpress DV can edit in 16:9 format. When you record to tape it will be in an anamorphic (stretched vertically) format. In order to have it fit on a 4:3 format with a letterbox you will need a 16:9 converter or you will have to resize your sequence's height to the proper aspect ratio.
1.16 Q. Where can I get a custom keyboard for Xpress DV? Top
A. You can buy the Bella EZ keyboard for Xpress DV from many on-line retailers. There is also the Logic Keyboard for Xpress DV. In addition, you can ask your local Avid dealer to order you a regular Xpress keyboard.
1.17 Q. Does Xpress DV have real time audio scrubbing? Top
1.18 Q. Does Xpress DV have Match Frame Function? Top
1.19 Q. Does Xpress DV have a built-in titler? Top
A. Yes, a basic Title Tool. For more elaborate titles, including rolls and/or crawls (which the title tool cannot achieve), consider a third party plug-in CG.
1.20 Q. What 3rd party AVX plug-in CG's are available? Top
A. Currently, the following:
All the above have downloadable demos which employ some type of protection when any title is rendered such as a red X, jail bars, etc. until the plug-in is registered. Photoshop® can be used for title work too but obviously will be run outside the Avid application.
1.21 Q. What audio effects are real time and which ones are rendered? Top
A. Audio EQ and level adjustments are RT. All Pro Tools® Audiosuite™ plug-ins are rendered but since it's audio the render times are extremely fast.
1.22 Q. What video effects are real time and which ones are rendered? Top
A. All video effects that are bundled with Xpress DV 3.5 have real-time preview. Most 3rd party plug-ins (including the IllusionFX™ package) will have to be rendered with the notable exception of the real time effects included with Boris Continuum Complete AVX.
The ability to display real time preview depends also on the systems power. Multiple effects (nested) could ask to much of the processor thus not showing or stopping the play out in real time. The lines in the timeline (blue, yellow and red broken bars) indicate the processor's ability to play back the real-time effects.
Red bars mark the ranges where the system was unable to display frames.
Yellow bars mark the ranges that caused difficulty for the system during playback.
Blue bars mark the location of frames that caused difficulty for the system because of disk speed limitations.
1.23 Q. Can audio & video tracks be locked on the Xpress DV timeline? Top
A. Unlike other NLE's, Xpress DV doesn't allow the user to drag clips around on the timeline without first telling the program to allow it. This assures that your clips will stay where you put them until you decide they need to be moved, giving you an additional level of protection and control not available in other programs. This is done by selecting one of two "segment mode" buttons (yellow arrow or red arrow at the bottom of the timeline.) This means that the Xpress DV timeline is locked by default. However, there are two other ways that clips or tracks on the timeline may also be locked.
The first of these, called "sync lock" is used to keep audio and video clips "locked" (synced) together, and is performed by clicking to the immediate left of the track indicator button (V1, A1, etc.), and is indicated by a " / " (chunky forward slash). To sync lock all tracks at once, click to the left of the TC1 button, near the bottom of the timeline. Sync lock keeps your clips synched when adding or deleting clips, or portions of clips, to and from the timeline.
The second type of lock is called a "track lock" and is used to keep any modifications from taking place on a locked track at all, rendering the track "read only." When a "track lock" is engaged, you cannot add to, delete from, move, or in any way alter the material on the locked track, neither can you delete the track itself.
To enable a track lock, highlight the track(s) you wish to lock, right mouse click on the timeline, then select Lock Tracks from the menu to lock them, Unlock Tracks will unlock selected locked tracks.
1.24 Q. Does Xpress DV have color correction? Top
A. Yes. As of version 3.5 there is a color correction function which allows for previous, current and next frame windows, reference frames, before and after splitscreens, patent-pending NaturalMatch color matching, safe color warnings and advanced vectorscope & waveform monitors.
1.25 Q. Does Xpress DV have Boolean searches of bins and media? Top
1.26 Q. What are the differences between Media Composer® and Avid Xpress DV 3.5? Top
A. Media Composer has the following features that Xpress DV doesn't;
Analog video capture (can be achieved with a DV/Analog converter)
Standard Finishing Images: 1:1, 2:1, 3:1
Standard Single-field Finishing Images: 2:1s, 4:1s, 15:1s
Standard Offline Images: 10:1, 20:1
Standard Progressive Offline Images: 14:1, 28:1, 35:1
Optional Single-field Finishing Images: 2:1s
Multicam Resolutions (Interlace): 4:1m, 10:1m
Multicam Resolutions (Progressive): 3:1m, 8:1m
RT Hardware 9 stream Multicam
Uncompressed 1 Stream
Uncompressed 2 Stream
24 Audio Tracks for Editing/Mixing
24 Picture Tracks
24 FPS Editing
Digitize to Timeline
2 Rows of info on Source and Composer Montiors
2 Rows of buttons on Source and Composer Montiors
Down Stream Keyer
In/Out Points phantom marks
Script-based Editing (available with PowerPack)
3D Effect Promote
Film Mask Effect
1.27 Q. What third-party plug-ins are available for Xpress DV? Top
A. Avid maintains a list of developers that make plug-ins for Avid here. For more info visit the individuals companies' website. Some of the more popular are:
3Prong - ColorFix - Advanced Color Correction; demo available
3Prong - DirtFix - Drop-out and Dirt Patching; demo available
3Prong - FlickerFix - Flicker Reduction; demo available
3Prong - SpeedRamp - Motion Effects; demo available
AVID - Pan and Scan - imports high-resolution stills for panning and scanning (as of Xpress DV 3.0, it is offered free when you register the software on the AVID website)
Boris - Boris Continuum Complete - Filters, Effects, Time Re-Mapping, etc.
Boris - Boris Red - 3D Compositing, 2D/3D titling and effects; demo available
Boris - Boris Graffiti - 2D/3D title creation; demo available
Boris - Boris FX - 3D special effects
ClearEffect - Spotlight - highlight or obscure an area of video
ClearEffect - Magnifi - target, zoom and output any user defined area of video
ClearEffect - dVeloper - image clarification tools
ClearEffect - dPlex - universal de-multiplexing tool
Digital Film Tools - Composite Suite - 15 visual effects
Digital Film Tools - Fast Blur - free blur plug-in
Digital Film Tools - 55MM - simulate camera filters, specialized lenses and optical lab processes
Digital Film Tools - ZMatte - blue/green screen keyer
Genarts - Sapphire Plug-ins - 193 image processing and synthesis effects; demo available
Genarts - Sapphire Essentials - 50 of the more popular Sapphire plug-ins available at a reduced price.
Inscriber - Title Motion - 2D title creation; demo available
Inscriber - Title Motion Pro - 3D version of Title Motion
Pinnacle Systems - TitleDeko Pro - 2D/3D title creation
Pinnacle Systems - Hollywood FX - 3D transitions, effects, composites and animations
Pixélan - Spicemaster, custom 2D effects and dynamic mattes; demo available
Profound Effects - Elastic Gasket, allows the use of most After Effects plug-ins in Avid; demo available
Profound Effects - Move, imports high-resolution stills for scan and pan; demo available
Profound Effects - Swim - a distortion / refraction style effect
Profound Effects - Transfer - apply common transfer modes between tracks
Red Giant Software - Knoll Light Factory - lens flares and light effects (available with the PowerPack)
Stage Tools - Moving Picture, imports high-resolution stills for scan and pan; demo available
Ultimatte - blue/green screen keyer
2.1 Q. Can networked drives be accessed in Xpress DV? Top
A. Yes, they can be accessed for import/export functions and also for recording to. Open the Console and type "alldrives". You should now be able to see your mapped network drives as media drives. You may need to have administrator privileges in order to access them.
Avid has Unity LAN Share, which allows up to 10 Avid Xpress DV systems to use shared media storage.
2.2 Q. Can I use RAID-0/striping for Xpress DV? Top
A. Certainly you can but why put that kind of risk on your media when a single ATA100, LVD160 or Firewire drive provides more than enough bandwidth for DV media? Anytime you put a RAID on a system the chances of failure go up exponentially by the more drives you have in the array. It’s not worth the risk in the FAQ team’s opinion.
2.3 Q. I have a dual monitor system. Why can't I see motion video playback on my right computer monitor, even though I see stills in pause? Top
A. Motion video playback only works on the left computer monitor with the Matrox G450 and G550 video cards. Move the Composer and Pop-up Source windows to the left monitor. In release 3.5, the left monitor is the default for these windows. Though previously ATI Radeon video cards could provide playback in either monitor, under Windows XP you are limited to playback on the left monitor. The Matrox Parhelia card can display overlay on either monitor.
2.4 Q. Can I install Xpress DV and Premiere on the same system? Top
2.5 Q. Can I install Xpress DV and Final Cut Pro on the same system? Top
2.6 Q. I’m seeing delay between what is showing on the computer monitor versus what I see on my NTSC/PAL external monitor. Why? Is this normal? Top
A. The delay is normal. The delay is caused by the amount of time it takes a DV device to convert the digital signal (which you see on the computer screen) versus what you see on the external monitor. Version 3.5 allows you to adjust the delay of your desktop playback to sync it with your external monitor with both audio and video. In your settings, go to desktop delay and adjust it until your desktop and external monitor are in sync. Many users report 8 or 9 frames to be the amount to adjust.
When desktop delay is activated there will be a delay in the play function and that there will be an offset between the output on the monitor and the location of the timeline indicator, thus editing on the fly will need frame correction afterwards.
2.7 Q. Is there a method for obtaining in-sync video and audio between both the computer and client monitor? Top
A. Yes. Get a Matrox G-450 video card (G-550 may work as well). Use the G-450 to power your main monitor from the right port on the card. Use the supplied Matrox VGA/S-video/Composite cable on the other port, and connect it to your client monitor. To use a dual-monitor setup, use a PCI video card and connect your secondary desktop monitor to that card. Many motherboards need the bios to "Recognize PCI video first". Otherwise, the Matrox/AGP card will be the only card recognized. This is true for the Intel i850 motherboard, for example. In the Matrox settings, make sure your monitor is set at 1024x768 32-bit TrueColor, and both the Use This Device as Primary Monitor and Extend My Windows Desktop Onto This Monitor are both checked. On the Dual-Head option tab, make sure the DualHead Clone or DVD-Max radio button is selected. Check both Use Dualhead Clone and Use DualHead DVD-Max boxes. On your secondary PCI video card, make sure Use This Device As Primary Monitor is NOT checked, and Extend My Windows Desktop Onto This Monitor is checked. Resolution and bit depth should match the Matrox card. Reboot your system.
This will play the video overlay in real-time to your client monitor. The resolution and color levels may be suspect but this method can be useful for real-time in-sync playback.
This method is not possible with the ATI Radeon video cards, you will not get real-time video overlay out through the S-VHS port when in Avid, only stills.
2.8 Q. I installed the Xpress DV software and launched the application. It tells me that a dongle was not found. What’s a dongle? Top
A. The dongle is your system key and is plugged into a USB port. A dongle works primarily the same way a serial number works but on a higher level. When launched, the Xpress DV software reads the dongle and the features available for your particular system. If the dongle is not connected, the software will not launch. If the dongle is removed while the application is running, a dongle not found error will occur. The Xpress DV application “looks” for the dongle approximately every two minutes. Every dongle has a unique system ID that is registered with Avid under the registrant’s name.
2.9 Q. Can I run other applications like Microsoft Office on my system? Top
A. Yes and no. You may install and run other applications on your system. However you should not run those applications while the Xpress DV application is running. This will cause less CPU time for Xpress DV and cause slowdowns. Install at your own risk. This is not to say that you shouldn’t install other types of software. Some software will actually enhance your Avid. Applications such as Photoshop, After Effects, Corel DRAW!, and Sound Forge, just to name a few, will allow you more creativity and more options in your editing. Trying to run your business on the same computer should be avoided, however. Remember this is a creative workstation not an office machine. Why risk bringing your money making computer down by catching a virus via e-mail?
2.10 Q. Can I run anti-virus software on my Xpress DV system? Top
A. If you insist on using your Xpress DV system to get your e-mail, then it would be highly recommended.
2.11 Q. My Maxtor FireWire drive is not being seen when I boot my computer. What should I do? Top
A. Shutdown. Disconnect the drive. Connect just the problematic drive. Reboot. Disconnect FireWire cable from back of drive--but still connected to the back of the computer. Take out power cable from the drive and let the drive spin down and turn off. Power drive back on and let is spin up. Reconnect the FireWire cable and Windows should launch the New Hardware Wizard.
2.12 Q. I've just installed Xpress DV 3.5 and my video looks very pixelated. How do I fix this? Top
A. You need to adjust a your settings. Go to Settings > Video Display and make sure your Real Time Effects settings are on "High Quality".
2.13 Q. I've just installed Xpress DV 3.5 and I can't get any video to my NTSC monitor through FireWire. How do I fix this? Top
A. First, check your setting under "Video Display" and ensure that you have "send video to DV device" checked. Next, turn off real-time playback from your timelime by clicking the green button to turn it blue. This sends the video out through the FireWire cable. You will need to render effects for them to show up when real-time playback is disabled.
2.14 Q. What different Analog to DV converters are available? Top
A. There are various devices that can be used. Avid keeps an updated list of supported converters here (pdf). Some of the common ones are:
Formac Studio DV and DV/TV (Macintosh only at this time)
Dazzle Hollywood DV Bridge (not recommended with Xpress DV)
Sony DVMC-DA2 (discontinued)
2.15 Q. How do I check and set DMA mode for my hard drives? Top
A. To view the DMA mode used by your drives, you need to open the Device Manager (Control Panel > System select the Hardware tab and press the Device Manager button) and view the properties of the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers. Double-click on the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers entry to expand it, the right-click on the Primary IDE Channel and Secondary IDE Channel entries (one at a time) and select Properties from the menu.
Now select the Advanced Settings tab. The Current Transfer Mode will be listed. To change, click the selection arrow on the Transfer Mode drop-down box. Remember, DMA is best, but sometimes a CD-ROM won't function properly in DMA mode. So if you find that your CD-ROM uses PIO mode, you can check to see if it will use DMA, but if you experience problems, change it back.
2.16 Q. What sound cards will work Xpress DV? Top
A. Avid doesn't have officially supported soundcards. Generally, consumer level cards work with Xpress DV. Users have reported success with the following cards;
Hercules Game Theater XP
Some sound cards may require the workaround in FAQ 3.26 to operate with Xpress DV.
2.17 Q. How do I set-up and configure the Matrox Parhelia video card? Top
A. Prior to installing the Parhelia card, Matrox recommends installing Service Pack 1 for Windows XP. Required to installing the card, you must install MS .Net framework (available on the Matrox install cd) as well as Service Pack 1 for .Net (available from Windows Update>Windows XP). It is also recommended to set the AGP Aperture Size to 64 or higher in your system's BIOS (more info here: http://www.pcmech.com/show/video/171/2/) and Assign IRQ to VGA enabled .
1. Physically install the Parhelia AGP card. Note that output #1 is located closest to the motherboard and output #2 is the other (this is reversed from previous Matrox cards). Connect the DVI to CRT adapter to output #1 and connect your left-hand monitor to the connector. Plug the CRT/S-Video dual adapter to output #2, connecting your right-hand monitor to the CRT connector and your NTSC monitor to the S-Video plug.
2. When booting into Windows XP, ignore the 'New Hardware Device Found/Install Wizard' messages and cancel out of them. Download and install the v1.0.3 drivers (or later, if applicable) available for the Parhelia from the Matrox website. Reboot.
3. Upon rebooting, the Parhelia card will enter the initial setup. It will display an 'A' on one CRT monitor and a 'B' on the other. Initially, set the 'A' to the left monitor, and the 'B' to the right-hand monitor.
4. Run the Matrox Power Desk utility. The following is an example initial setup which you can later tweak to your preferences:
Multi-Display Setup: 2 displays, Stretched mode + 1 feature display
Monitor and TV Adjustments: Adjust to personal preference
Quality and Performance Settings: Adjust to personal preference
Video Playback Settings: Check 'Use Overlay' and 'Use PureVideo/DVDMax'. The rest adjust to personal preference.
The rest of the categories depend on your personal preferences and are to be adjusted to your preferences.
5. To run in 'Media Composer'/Right-hand Video Playback' mode: Simply swap the CRT cables with each other (e.g.: Right-hand monitor into output #1 and left-hand monitor into output #2). Upon rebooting, the Parhelia will detect the new configuration and display the 'A' and 'B' setup mode again. Choose 'A' for the left-hand monitor and 'B' for the right (same as up above). Windows XP will continue to have the 'Start Button' on the left side, however, video overlay (playback) will only be possible on the right-hand monitor. Upon starting Xpress DV, you will have to move the Composer and Source monitors to the right-hand display.
3.1 Q. The track selections are grayed out in the Record Tool. Why? Top
A. Turn off deck control and they will be accessible.
3.2 Q. I’m not able to do an Audio Punch In. I try but it’s not working. Top
A. This happens for the same reason as the previous question, turn off deck control in the Record Tool and then Audio Punch In will work.
3.3 Q. I want to add some CD Audio to my project. Can I use the CD-ROM/DVD-ROM/CD-RW in the computer? Top
A. As long as your CD-ROM/DVD-ROM/CD-RW supports digital audio extraction (most modern ones do), insert the CD into the drive, select File | Import, change the file type to Audio, direct the finder to the CD drive, select the track(s) you want to import, click OK. The import will take place in two stages. First is the audio extraction and then there will be a sample rate conversion from 44.1 kHz to your project’s sample rate, 32 kHz or 48 kHz as applicable.
3.4 Q. I can’t seem to be able to add keyframes to the audio tracks in the timeline. What am I doing wrong? Top
A. Turn on Audio Clip Gain in the Fast (hamburger) Menu in the timeline.
3.5 Q. I just created a title in the title tool and saved it. It appeared in a bin. However, when I double click the title and it opens in the clip window, it is black. Nothing is there. What happened to my title? Top
A. In the Avid application, select the "Clip" pull down menu at the top of the boot screen. Make sure that "Render-on-the-fly" is selected.
3.6 Q. My Xpress DV interface/program seems buggy. Top
A. Try trashing the MCState file and restarting the Xpress DV application:
Drive:\Program Files\Avid\XpressDV\supporting files\MCState.
3.7 Q. Where is the countdown in the Digital Cut? Top
A. For whatever reason, countdown is not accessible with Digital Cut. There are, however, 3 countdowns in the Xpress DV goodies folder on the installation disc
3.8 Q. I have eight video tracks and I want to add more. The system is not allowing me to do so. Why is this? Top
A. Xpress DV 3.* is limited to 8 video tracks and 8 audio tracks. The workarounds are by doing a video mixdown and/or nesting.
3.9 Q. Should I defragment my media drives? Top
A. It is not recommended to defragment your media drives. The Xpress DV application can handle fragmented drives.
3.10 Q. I can't hear Audio scrubbing when I scrub the timeline. Why? Top
A. You'll need to activate the "cap lock' key on your keyboard. You can also scrub audio by holding the "shift" key while moving in the timeline. You may experience degraded scrubbing on slower systems.
3.11 Q. How are motion effects rendered? Top
A. You have a choice of how motion effects are rendered. You can set Xpress DV to default to anyone of the following, and still be able to change the settings before creating each effect;
Duplicated fields: Lower quality, quick. Will cause jaggies in most footage with edges.
Both fields: Lower quality, quick to render. Rendering motion effects with this setting will usually cause very jerky motion.
Interpolated fields :Best quality, slower. This setting will work best for most all work.
VTR Style: Causes the image to wiggle up and down a little just like a Sony BVW-65 or BVW-75 during slow motion playback, the intended effect.
3.12 Q. Does Xpress DV have Avid's "archive to tape" feature? Top
A. No, not as of version 3.5.
3.13 Q. What happens if I break or lose my application key (dongle)? Top
A. A non-functioning dongle will be replaced free. Contact Avid’s Customer Response Team at 800-800-AVID (2843) in the US or the Response Team for your country. A deposit on a credit card will be needed in advance of shipment, which will be refunded when you return the broken one. In the case of a lost dongle, Avid will replace your dongle for a fee. You cannot run the Avid software without it.
3.14 Q. Ever time I double click a clip in a bin it opens up into a new source monitor. Is there anyway to prevent this? Top
A. Once you have at least one source monitor open you can drag a new clip onto it to open it. Some people find this method helps reduce screen clutter. Or, if you prefer to use the double click method, you can go your user settings, select "Bin", and change "Double Click Loads Clip In; New Pop-up Monitor" to "Double Click Loads Clip In; Existing Pop-up Monitor".
Also, holding the ALT key while double-clicking the clip will open the clip in the active pop-up monitor will work for a single use. Another method is to go to Toolsets > Source/record editing and your clips will automatically open in the source window.
3.15 Q. How do I move my project from Xpress DV to another Avid system such as Media Composer or Symphony®? Top
A. In order to move a project from Xpress DV to another Avid system you NEED to digitize with accurate timecode. Save your project and copy your project file from Drive:\Program Files\Avid\Avid Xpress DV\Avid Projects\ (plus \"User Name" if opened as private) to a floppy or CD. Take any imported elements with you such as QuickTime™ movies or graphics.
On the new system copy the project file into the appropriate folder. Be sure to un-write protect all the folders and bins that you copy over. Launch Avid and open your project. Select all the clips you want to digitize and choose Clip > Batch Digitize. Avid will prompt you for the appropriate tapes and record the material you have selected. Select imported elements and choose Clip > Batch Import and navigate to the location of the graphics to import. Also, you could select your sequence and choose Clip > Batch Digitize to digitize only those clips used in the sequence. Finally, select your sequence, choose Clip > Re-link and follow the instructions. Your sequence will then re-link to your digitized clips and imported graphics. You will need to render any effects that aren't real-time on the
Consolidating a project and moving those media files from Xpress DV into Media Composer or Symphony will NOT work, these programs use different codecs for media creation and are not compatible. However, with the DV option upgrade, a Media Composer or Symphony system would be able to use media digitized with Xpress DV.
3.16 Q. Does Xpress DV have a built in Waveform/Vectorscope? Top
A. When in Color Correction mode a waveform/vectroscope is available, though it will not display real-time waveform playback. Many editors and motion graphics artists doing broadcast work rely heavily on their waveform monitor/vectorscope not just to keep their video looking great, but to meet broadcast legal levels and colors.
If real-time monitoring is desired simply plug in your hardware Vectorscope/waveform monitor into the analog output of the DV device connected to your Xpress DV system.
3.17 Q. How do I edit 16:9 material on Xpress DV? Top
A. Click on the Composer Window to highlight it. Pull down Bin and select 16x9 monitors.
3.18 Q. How do I effectively delete media from old projects? Top
A. Under the Tools menu, click on Media Tool. Highlight the desired project. Highlight all drives. Make sure to check Master Clips, Precomputes, and Media Files. Click Ok. A new window will have opened with all the media associated with that particular project. CTRL+A to highlight all and delete.
3.19 Q. How do I delete unwanted Effects? Top
A. Open Media Tool. Check all drives and current project. Check Precomputes and leave Master Clips and Media Files UNCHECKED. Click Ok, a new window will open. Keep it open and visible. Open the bin with the sequence(s) and highlight them. In the hamburger menu (lower left corner of the bin window) select "Select Media Relatives". Any clips in the open bins, including the media tool bin that are used in the sequence will be highlighted. In the hamburger menu of the media tool bin select "Reverse Selection" The precomputes that are not associated with that sequence are now highlighted. Hit delete and enjoy some more free space.
3.20 Q. My system seems sluggish and very slow to commands. What can I do to speed it up? Top
A. Make sure you have the required amount of RAM – 256MB. If you do, then you may want to try setting your playlength command. Open the console and type the word playlength followed by a whole number (ex. playlength 2). What this does is sets the amount of the timeline loaded in RAM to be played back behind and in front of the position indicator. The whole number represents minutes.
3.21 Q. How do I create special characters in the Title Tool? Top
A. Minimize Xpress DV. Navigate to Start|Programs|Accessories|System Tools|Character Map. Select a font. Select the character you wish to use. Press select. Press copy. Minimize Character Map. Maximize Xpress DV. Press CTRL+V to paste the character in the Title Tool. An alternative method for some special characters is to memorize the ASCII number. If you know the ASCII number, hold down the ALT key and type the number on the numeric keypad (the numbers above the letters won’t work), then release the ALT key. Viola, your special character in the current font! Some common ones are:
© = Alt 0169 ® = Alt 0174 ™ = Alt 0153 ¼ = Alt 0188 ½ = Alt 0189 ¾ = Alt 0190
· = Alt 0183 (small bullet)
¢ = Alt 0172
• = Alt 0149 (large bullet)
° = Alt 0176 (degrees)
When using the character map, note the keyboard shortcut in the lower right corner so maybe next time you won’t need the character map again.
3.22 Q. What can I do about projects with source material in both NTSC and PAL? Top
A. You'll have to choose one or the other then have the tapes of the opposite color system converted.
3.23 Q. How do I digitize and edit Beta footage? Top
A. You need to use a converter box like the DataVideo DAC-2 (Component) , Laird DV Signal Converter (Component, Composite, S-Video), or the Canopus ADVC-1000 (Composite, S-Video). This will convert you beta footage to DV and let you output the DV footage back to Beta via Component, Composite or S-Video, depending on the inputs of your transcoder. You can then use a 9-pin serial cable connected to a RS-232 to RS-422 converter such as the Addenda RS 2/8 between the Beta deck and your computer for deck control and to import the timecode into Xpress DV. If you're using a UVW-1400 Beta deck you can use an Addenda RS-2/U for deck control as the UVW-1400 does not use 422 control. Check your manufacturers guide for further compatibility issues.
In the Deck Configuration Setting, click Add Channel, choose Direct on Com X (where X is the appropriate communications port number), then click OK. When asked if you would like to configure the channel now, make sure the converter cable is connected and the deck is powered on, then click Yes. Xpress DV should find the make and model of your deck and load the appropriate template. Close the Deck Configuration Setting. Now in the Record Tool, select the newly added deck in the deck dropdown menu right below the transport controls. You will now have control of the RS-422 deck.
3.24 Q. Avid can't see my camera, what can I do? Top
A. Make sure your camcorder is either connected to one port on your firewire card, or daisychained off of your firewire hard drive. Only one port on your firewire drive can be used.
1.Keep the camcorder OFF when you launch your computer.
2. Launch the application.
3. Open an existing or new project.
4. Open the "Record Tool."
5. Turn on your camcorder.
6. Do an "Autoconfigure" in the "Record Tool."
7. Your camcorder will most likely use the "Generic..." setting and you should be all set. If it doesn't, look for the closest model number to your camera.
3.25 Q. How do I blur text in Avid? Top
A. You will make a matte key out of the title and effect in 5 steps.
1. Make a 3 video track sequence, put the video clip on V1 and put your title on V2.
2. Go into effect mode and double click on V2 to expand it, select the track with the alpha matte (it will be the 1.3), manually make an in an out point at beginning and end of track and copy the track.
3. Now collapse the title track by double clicking on it again and hit remove effect.
4. Highlight V3 only and place your time marker on the first frame of the title. Paste the matte onto V3. Apply the same blur effect to V2 and V3.
5. Apply the matte key effect to V3 (may need to be inverted).
You can find a tutorial that follows these steps here.
3.26 Q. My sound card won't work with Xpress DV. What can I do? Top
A. There are 3 workarounds.
1. Install the card with "drivers only", with no extra software for it to run.
2. Go to :\Program Files\Avid\Avid Xpress DV\SupportingFiles\DeviceMgrDLLs and rename DSoundADM10.dll to something like DSoundADM10.dl_. Then select your sound card as default audio device in the control panel.
3. As of version 3.5.4, Xpress DV also supports certain pro level audio cards (eg. M-Audio) for playback only.
In order to utilize these cards, the following steps are recommended:
Install XP with an onboard or consumer grade soundcard. Install Xpress DV with that device as the system default for audio playback (Control Panel>Sounds and Audio Devices>Audio>Sound Playback>your card or onboard device. After installing and running Xpress DV, install the new audio card. Go back to the Control Panel, and select the new device for playback as outlined previously. Upon starting Xpress DV, the new card will be selected for for playback via DirectSound drivers and can be confirmed via the Console. You must keep the onboard or consumer device installed in the system in order for this to work and is only for playback only.
If these methods don't work then you may need to get a consumer level sound card or us on-board sound.
3.27 Q. How can I digitize analog footage? Top
A. There are 4 ways;
1. Dub your footage to a DV tape and digitize from it with your DV deck or camera
2. Hook up your analog source to your DV camera or deck and use it to pass the signal through to Avid.
3. Get a transcoder with DV out that you can hook up your analogue source to. (see FAQ 2.14 for a list of transcoders)
4. Get a Canopus ADVC1394 card, you can digitize both DV via firewire or analog via RCA's in.
3.28 Q. When I press play a white border flashes on and off around the composer window and the timeline will not play. What can I do? Top
A. Make sure no windows are overlapping the composer window.
3.29 Q. When using DV scene extraction I am limited to 100 subclips being created. My tape has more subclips than this, what can I do? Top
1. Record all of your material and don't use scene extraction.
2. Once it's finished, click on your master clip in the bin.
3. Go in the bin menu and select DV scene extraction. You can then create your subclips with no limits.
3.30 Q. How do I see what commands can be entered into the console? Top
A. Open the console and type "showcmd". This will show hidden commands not normally listed. "help commands" will give you a list of ALL console commands. "help <cmd name>" ("help alldrives" for example) will sometimes yield additional info on a specific command.
Caution. Typing certain commands or nonsense into the consol might render your system useless to the point of having to uninstall/reinstall XDV.
4.1 Q. What is a codec? Top
A. Codec, an abbreviation of COmpressor/DECompressor, is any technology for compressing and decompressing media. Codecs can be software, hardware, or a combination of both. Some examples of codecs are Avid AVI, Avid DV, DivX, Sorenson and Cinepak.
4.2 Q. I want to export my footage from Xpress DV to use in Adobe After Effects®. How do I do this? Top
A. If After Effects and Xpress DV share the same system, the best way to export footage to it is to use QuickTime reference. QT Reference is a very small file that is simply a path linked to your OMFI media files. Open it up in any application that uses QuickTime (After Effects, Cleaner, etc.) and it will playback the media from your OMFI folder.
If you need to move your footage to another system for AE you can export a QT movie. Using the Same as Source setting will give you the best quality but a large file size. You can check your options to access various codecs installed on your machine.
Another option for moving footage from Avid to After Effects is the AE plug-in "Automatic Composition Import" from Automatic Duck. This allows you to import an OMFI file from Avid into After Effects which will re-build your Avid sequence in AE.
4.3 Q. What resolution should I use in Adobe Photoshop for graphics I'm going to be importing into Xpress DV? Top
A. Even though Avid is 720x480 (NTSC) you should use 720x540 (NTSC) when creating graphics in Photoshop. The reason for this is that Avid uses non-square pixels while Photoshop uses square pixels, so to compensate for the difference you need to increase the vertical size of the graphics.
To see an example of this, create a perfect circle in Photoshop at 720x540 (NTSC) and import it into Xpress DV. It will retain it's shape.
Create a perfect circle in Photoshop at 720x480 and import it into Avid, the shape will be warped as a result of Avid having to squish the pixels to make the graphic fit it's non-square pixel aspect ratio.
For PAL use 768x576.
4.4 Q. What resolution should I use in Adobe After Effects for graphics I'm going to be importing into Xpress DV? Top
A. For NTSC use NTSC DV, 720x480 at 29.97 frames a second. For Pal use PAL D1/DV 720x576 at 25 frames per second.
4.5 Q. What specifications should I use when rendering in After Effects for importing into Xpress DV? Top
A. Make sure your compositions are 720x480 at 29.97fps for NTSC or 720x576 at 25fps for PAL. For best quality render with these specs;
Render Settings Output Module Quality: Best Format: Quicktime Resolution: Full Video Output: Checked Field Render: Lower Field First Format Options: Compressor;
1. choose codec
2. Channels - RGB or RGB + Alpha
3. Depth - Millions of Colors
4. Color - Premultiplied
3:2 Pulldown: Off Framerate: Use comp's framerate (should be 29.97fps) Audio Output: Checked (if using audio)
48.000 KHz, 16bit, (match to your Avid project settings),
Stereo or mono
Render Settings Output Module Quality: Best Format: Quicktime Resolution: Full Video Output: Checked Field Render: Upper Field First Format Options: Compressor;
1. choose codec
2. Channels - RGB or RGB + Alpha
3. Depth - Millions of Colors
4. Color - Premultiplied
3:2 Pulldown: Off Framerate: Use comp's framerate (should be 25fps) Audio Output: Checked (if using audio)
48.000 KHz, 16bit, (match to your Avid project settings),
Stereo or mono
4.6 Q. What codec should I use when rendering in After Effects for import into Xpress DV?? Top
A. For most media, use the Avid DV codec. The Avid DV codec can be installed on any system that needs to render clips for importing into Avid, saving time and retaining quality. The material is created in the Avid DV native resolution, so the quality will be preserved when re-importing it back into the Avid Xpress DV application.
Chapter 19 of the Avid Xpress DV 3.5 User's Guide details how to install the codec on other systems.
However, if the media contains fine gradients or quality is of the utmost importance, use the Animation codec, which is uncompressed, at 100%. However, this method utilizes more disk space and takes longer to import into Xpress DV.
4.7 Q. I can't export an AVI from Xpress DV that is larger than 2GB. How do I fix this? Top
A. The 2GB file limit exists in Win98/98SE/ME, and is a limitation of the FAT32 file system. Windows XP supports file sizes up to 1000GB.
It seems that it is only AVI that has the 2GB limitation. The 2GB+ AVI format is called OpenDML AVI. Quicktime and MPEG files can both be exported from Xpress DV and be larger than 2GB.
If you are running FAT32 under Windows XP, upgrade your media drives to the NTFS file system. There is a utility called convert.exe that can convert a FAT32 volume to NTFS without repartioning. It is found in the winnt\system32\ folder.
Go to Start|Run then type "cmd" (without the quotes) and click OK which will bring up a DOS-style window. In that window at the C:\ prompt, type "Convert <drive letter> /FS:NTFS /V" (without the quotes) and press Enter. From that point, as long as there's enough free space on the drive, it's automatic and no user intervention is required. When the process is complete, type Exit at the C:\ prompt and then press Enter.
After upgrading your media drives to NTFS they would not be available to Windows 98/ME under a dual-boot set-up.
Check the Microsoft Knowledge Base for more information.
4.8 Q. When I try to import an AVI, I either get audio but only white video or get an error message and a QuickTime prompt for downloading software which fails. What can I do? Top
A. Xpress DV doesn't recognize the codec used to encode the AVI file. You need to encode the AVI with a codec that Xpress DV understands and will be able to import, such as the Avid AVI codec, or an uncompressed AVI.
If it's not possible to re-render the AVI with the proper codec then you need to convert it.
Some freeware or shareware programs for converting are;
The best solution is to use QuickTime files when importing into Xpress DV. Avid is optimized to work with QuickTime and will import these files with less trouble than with AVI's, the DV codec is available for rendering files in the QuickTime format.
4.9 Q. Does QuickTime Reference work over a network? Top
A. Yes it does. In the export options, check "Use Network Media References" and "Add Shares for Media Drives" to be able to read a QuickTime Reference file on a networked computer.
4.10 Q. How do I make a DVD from my sequence? Top
A. DVD's are created using MPEG2 files for video and wav files for audio. MPEG2 files can be export from Avid but users have found the process to be quite slow and the results not ideal.
The best way to create an MPEG2 file is to export a QuickTime Reference file from Xpress DV and encode it in a third-party application. Some third-party applications that can make an MPEG2 file to create a DVD from are;
Discreet Cleaner XL
4.11 Q. When I choose "create DVD" from Xpress DV it exports a *.m2v and *.wav file, why? Top
A. DVD's often have more than one audio track for the same video track (e.g. directors commentary) and having a separate audio file enables you to select the audio track you want played at a given time. When you create a DVD with your authoring program these two files will be merged into one properly formatted movie.
4.12 Q. Should I import items with RGB or 601 color levels? What's the difference? Top
A. In video, black is 7.5 IRE and white is 100 IRE. Translated to a scale of 0 to 255 used for graphics applications, 7.5 IRE = 16 and 100 IRE = 235. For video, any luminance levels that fall outside of this range may result in "crushed" blacks or "blown-out" whites.
For non-video graphics, black is generally 0 and white 255. When you import such an image or animation with the RGB option, Xpress DV will scale the values of every pixel so that in the imported file, black becomes 16 and white 235, the normal video range. This would be the option used for most work done in After Effects, Photoshop, etc.
If you have a file already in video color space, the 601 import option tells Xpress DV to leave the values alone.
If you have an alpha channel with black areas at 0 and white areas at 255 and import with RGB values, Xpress DV will compress the values into the 16-235 range, preventing your matte from specifying fully opaque or fully transparent pixels. The 601 option is therefore appropriate for importing mattes.
4.13 Q. I've received a *.wav file that was created in Pro-Tools that Xpress DV can't import. What can I do? Top
A. Pro-Tools exports a broadcast *.wav which has a timecode stamp in it that Xpress DV cannot handle. Rename the *.wav file with a .bwf extension. That's the Broadcast Wave File extension on a PC Avid, it will allow the file to be imported.
4.14 Q. I've received an OMF that was created in a third-party application (Pro-Tools, Nuendo, Logic, etc.) that Xpress DV can't import. What can I do? Top
4.15 Q. I want to import a graphic for a duration longer than 60 frames. How do I do this? Top
A. Enter into the console the following command "cmd_setImportSlideLength xx" where xx is the desired length of your import. Then import the file as you normally would.
This import duration will remain at this new length until you change it via the same method or close Xpress DV. Upon restarting the program, the import length will return to the length as listed in the settings.
4.16 Q. I tried to import an audio file but I get a message saying that Xpress DV won't import an 8 bit audio file. What can I do? Top
A. You need to convert the file to 16 bit. You can do this with a third party application or use Windows built in sound recorder.
To navigate to the Sound Recorder follow Start>All Programs>Accessories>Entertainment>Sound Recorder.
Pull down File|Open, navigate to the 8 bit wav, and open it.
Pull down File|Save as, then click the Change next to Format.
Select PCM and the appropriate Stereo or Mono, 48Khz (or 32Khz if your project is 32K), 16 bit setting. Then choose a new name such as "My wav file-16" to denote it as the 16 bit version and click Save.
Now you will be able to import the newly created 16 bit wav.
5. Error Messages
5.1 Q. Assertion Failed Top
A. Try creating a new user or try trashing MCState and Site_Settings.avs files from the Settings Folder inside Avid Xpress.
5.2 Q. Error: No desktop video resource Top
A. This will occur when trying to playback video. Make sure your screen resolution is set to at least 1024x768, that your color is set to 32 bit and the refresh rate set to 75Hz.
Other screen resolutions will work but these settings should ALWAYS work.
5.3 Q. Exception: DIOConsumer - Digital Out Video underrun Top
A. This may occur when trying to do a digital cut of a long sequence. This may be caused by a shortage of memory. The solutions are to increase your memory to at least 512MB or crash record on your recording device instead of doing a digital cut.
5.4 Q. Exception: 'omfiHPDOMAIN_INIT_FAILED' An error occurred validating the media directory Top
A. Trash your media databases.
For Windows, Click Start|Search|For Files and Folders. In the name box, type *.mdb and have it search all local hard drives. When the search is complete, delete all of the *.mdb files that are inside an “OMFI Media” folder. Repeat the process for *.pmr files. Once that is complete, relaunch Xpress DV.
For Mac, choose File>Find... while out in the Finder. Choose "Local disks" in the "Search in:" selector at the top of the dialog. In the name box, type .mdb and change the "file name" selector to "ends with". When the search is complete, delete all of the .mdb files that are inside an "OMFI Media " folder by selecting the file and choosing File>Move to Trash. Repeat the process for .pmr files. Once that is complete, empty the trash (Finder>Empty Trash...) and relaunch Xpress DV.
Xpress DV will take a few extra seconds to open as it rebuilds the media databases.
5.5 Q. ADM_PLAY_NOT_ARMED Top
A. This error occurs when you scroll along the timeline using JKL keys. It may be caused by using an unsupported video card or if your hard drive DMA mode is not set properly. Install a supported video card and ensure DMA mode is set properly.
5.6 Q. DIG_DV-CORRUPT_FRAME Top
A. This error occurs when trying to digitize media and it a hard drive problem. To correct ensure that the hard drive you are digitizing to is in DMA mode and is ATA100 enabled.
5.7 Q. AECIFS Manager - Load Library failed on AECIFS Top
A. The AECIFS Manager is part of LanShare of which most XDV systems are not attached to. And if that is the case, you can simply disregard the error. However, if the error really bothers you, open the PortServer setting and uncheck "Connect to LanShare on Launch". Now the next time you launch XDV, there will be no error.
On the other hand, if you are connected to LanShare and see this error, you are not connected to the PortServer and your shared media will not be accessible until you work out the connection problem.
5.8 Q. Could not Initialize Authorscript Top
A. This occurs when trying to export an MPEG or use the "Create DVD" function and can be caused by installing a DVD authoring program after installing Xpress DV. Either re-install Xpress DV or follow these steps;
1. Locate the following five DLL files inside the Avid Xpress DV folder:
2. Create a new folder anywhere on the system.
3. Move the five DLLs from the Xpress DV folder to the new folder. Make sure the files are no longer in the main Avid Xpress DV folder.
4. In the new folder, make copies of all the DLL files. To make the five copies all at once, you can shift-click the five DLL files so that they are all highlighted at the same time. Then go the Edit menu and choose Copy.
5. Now paste the copies into the Avid Xpress DV folder. Directly after choosing Edit, Copy in Step 4, go to the main part of the Avid Xpress DV folder. Choose Edit, Paste. This will paste the five copies into the Avid Xpress DV folder. Do not move the original files back into the Avid Xpress DV folder; it will not resolve the problem.
5.9 Q. Exception:win32_mixer_get_details_error Top
A. This occurs when you start Avid Xpress DV and may be because your sound card is not supported or isn't running with updated drivers. To fix this problem, update the drivers for your motherboard and/or sound card.
5.10 Q. Audio Hardware Underrun? Top
This information is taken from the official Avid Support Page.
A. Audio Hardware Underrun errors can occur at various times, and the error does not necessarily indicate a problem with audio. It usually means that one of the drives being used for media is spinning too slowly to capture/playback media at a fast enough rate. It could also indicate problems with the audio card on the computer.
If using IDE drives, make sure your drives have ultra DMA mode enabled. You can find out how to check DMA status in FAQ 2.15.
If you get the error when recording media, try recording to another drive. If you get the error when playing back media, try playing back media from another drive. If changing drives gets rid of the error, then the problem exists with the initial drive.
On the desktop, right-click the volume control speaker icon in the lower right corner of the Task bar and choose Adjust Audio Properties. Select the Audio tab. For Sound Playback and Sound Recording, check to see that the chosen driver is not Yamaha SXG. If it is, change that to another option. Make sure the "Use only Preferred Devices" option is selected. Press Apply, then close the window.
Right-click anywhere on the desktop and choose Properties. The Display Properties window will open. Select the Settings tab. Make sure the Colors category has 32 bit True color. Click the Advanced button (the resulting window options will depend upon your display/graphics card). Make sure the Refresh category is set to 75 Hertz (usually this category is on the Monitor tab.)
Shut down and disconnect any peripheral devices. Restart the computer and try to record/play media again.
5.11 Q. Where can I find out what my error message means? Top
A. Avid has a support page with many error messages listed that can help you resolve them. Follow this link and be sure to choose Xpress DV in the selection box at the upper right.
6.1 Q. How do I spell Avid Xpress DV? Top
A. Just like that. Not Express DV or DVExpress or even DVXpress. It's Avid Xpress DV.
6.2 Q. Are there books to learn more about Avid editing? Top
A. There are four books which are all excellent resources for the Avid editor wishing to learn more. Although none of the books discuss Xpress DV directly, all four are great resources. Newbies and seasoned editors alike can pick up any of these books and learn.
The Avid Handbook, Techniques for the Avid Media Composer and Avid Xpress - by Steve Bayes
The Avid Digital Editing Room Handbook - by Tony Solomons
Avid Editing, A Guide for Beginning and Intermediate Users - by Sam Kauffmann
Video Editing with Avid - by Roger Shufflebottom
Avid also had a training CD and book specifically for Xpress DV. You can get more info here.
6.3 Q. What are other on-line sources for Xpress DV information? Top
DVD HQ - Configuring TMPGEnc for High-Quality MPEG2
Zerocut - Avid and Matchback, Pulldown, EDL's, etc.
24P - White papers for film and 1080p/24
Adam Wilt - DV, DVCAM & DVCPro FAQ, timecode, editing, codec's, etc.
DV-L Email List - Pertaining to all things DV
Video University - Guides and Articles on Desktop Video Production
About.com - Extensive articles, tutorials and reviews pertaining to desktop video
6.4 Q. Where can I download a manual for Xpress DV?? Top
A. Manuals and Guides can be downloaded in pdf form from the Avid Knowledge Centre. Be sure to choose Xpress DV in the selection box at the upper right. In addition to the manuals you will also find very useful guides for many of Avids advanced features including the EDL Manager, FilmScribe, IllusionFX and Color Correction User's Guide.
6.5 Q. Why is this FAQ all on one "page"? Top
A. For ease of using the web browser's search/find feature to locate specific word(s). If it were broken up into multiple pages, a search/find would need to be completed multiple times.
6.6 Q. Is everything in this FAQ correct? Top
A. Hopefully! The Xpress DV FAQ team has done everything it can to make sure that the information here is correct. If you find anything you know to be an error please contact email@example.com. Please post questions regarding editing to one of the forums listed above, this e-mail address is for issues regarding the FAQ itself.
Avid, Avid Xpress, AVX, Digidesign, FilmScribe, IllusionFX, Media Composer, MediaLog, OMF Interchange, Pro Tools, Symphony, and Unity are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Avid Technology in the United States and/or other countries. Windows, Windows NT, and Windows XP are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft in the United States and/or other countries. Quicktime and FireWire are registered trademarks of Apple Computer in the U.S. and other countries. After Effects, Photoshop and Premiere are registered trademarks of Adobe Systems in the United States and/or other countries. Pentium is a registered trademark of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. All other trademarks from these or other manufacturers referenced in this document are property of their respective owners.
Avid Xpress DV Tip #1
You should never use Administrator as your daily log-on. If the Administrator account becomes corrupt, then you have no other way into your system.
Create a user with administrative privileges then use that for daily use. Should that user become corrupt, you can default to the Administrator log-on, create a new administrative empowered user, and delete the corrupt user. So, when setting up a new system (in order):
1. Install Windows XP as normal (which includes an initial factory set-up) and log-in as
Administrator. See note 1.
2. Create a new user and grant administrative power to that user.
3. Log-off Administrator
4. Log-in as the new user
5. Make that user auto log-on, if desired. See note 2
6. Install Xpress DV
Note 1: Some systems (Dell, for example) automatically create a separate Administrative
empowered user during initial setup. In this case, these steps are not necessary.
Note 2: If auto log-on is chosen, hold the Shift key during boot up to override.
Avid Xpress DV Tip #2
Once you have your user settings the way you want them, make a backup copy to a floppy disk and/or another location on your hard drive.
Occasionally user settings do become corrupt and need to be deleted. Then, rather than having to start from scratch, just copy your
backup settings into your Avid.
An additional plus to copying your user setting to floppy is that if you ever freelance somewhere, you can easily make the Avid in front of
you just like your own.
Another file to backup regularly is your site settings just in case something happens like the message in Question 5.1.
Avid Xpress DV Tip #3
There are many shortcuts that can be used to enhance the workflow for the Avid Editor.
1. While mapping your keyboard, hold shift for a second level of possible keys.
2. Map workspaces to your keyboard for quick movement between them. Xpress DV 3 has all 5 Toolsets mapped to Shift+F8 thru Shift+F12 by default
3. Lasso segments to apply the same effect to all of them at once. If the effect is in a bin double click it to apply to all selected segments.
4. Use the template option in the title tool to when needing multiple version of a similar title, useful for slates.
5. To save an effect, while in the effects editor alt+click on the effect icon in the upper left and drag it to a bin.
6. To apply specific parameters from a saved effect to a different effect, drag the templated effect icon onto specific parameters in the Effect Mode window. The other parameters for the clip you are modifying won't be changed.
7. When you have a multi-layered timeline and you want to lasso multiple clips, hold the "alt" key. This allows you to start pulling the lasso IN the timeline itself.
8. To save an EQ and have it show up in the presets menu do this. Save and name your EQ to a bin. In Avid open the bin; Drive:\Program File\Avid\Avid Xpress DV\SupportingFiles\Site effects\Site_EQs_Bin.avb. Place your saved EQ in this bin and it will now show up in the EQ presets menu.
9. Ctrl+Click a title in a bin and it will launch the title tool with the title in it ready to edit.
10. A good way to edit to a beat is to first map the "add edit" button to your keyboard. When you play your music in the sequence you can tap your "add edit" button right along with the beat. When you stop, you will have added edit points on the beat in your timeline.
11. To view just one video layer within many, Ctrl+Click the video monitor button, it will turn green and show you only that layer.
Windows XP Pro Tip #1
Make sure you have Win XP drivers for ALL your hardware and software.
The key word here is ALL. It only takes one outdated or not ready for XP driver to hurt your systems performance. This includes your sound, video and storage controller cards as well as your BIOS.
Windows XP Pro Tip #2
You need to make sure that you are running the very latest OEM drivers with XP support for your card. Almost every graphic card on the market is now based on technology from the big 3 players - NVidia, ATI & Matrox. Find out which chipset is in your card and go to these sights to download the latest drivers.
Windows XP Pro Tip #3
Give Xpress DV full use of your system resources. XP allows you to give programs priority for processor and memory usage. Here is how you do it.
Right-click on the My Computer icon, select Advances, click the Performance "Settings" button, you'll see a new tab, Visual Effects and then an Advanced tab. Click Advanced tab and you will notice a section that says Processor Scheduling and Memory usage. In the Processor scheduling select Programs (for Best Performance). This gives priority for running programs (like Premiere, etc.). Now on Memory usage select Programs. Again this gives programs priority to run programs from you memory. Now hit Apply and go to item #5 before closing out and re-booting.
Windows XP Pro Tip #4
Make sure Visual Effects are set to "Best Performance" Visual Effects are the fancy new animations XP uses for opening and closing windows and dialog boxes on your VGA screen.
These effects waste valuable system resources and they can conflict with the XDV GUI. Here is how to turn them off.
Right-click on the My Computer icon, select Advances, click the Performance "Settings" button, you'll see a new tab, Visual Effects and then an Advanced tab. Click the Visual Effects tab. Once there select adjust for best performance. This will allow the best format for processing performance of your video desktop display. Once completed hit Apply and proceed to close out and reboot (select yes) if prompted to.
Windows XP Pro Tip #5
For more tips & tweaks to optimize XP for Xpress DV, check out VideoGuys. Some of the tips here are very easy to do, others require going into the registry. As always, back up your system before doing any of these advanced tweaks.