Avid® Xpress® DV 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 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, George Graves, John Kilgour, Patrick Harris, Scott Carnegie, Corey T. Burns, Gary Bettan, Olias Sunhillow, Aaron Busalacchi
FAQ Avid Xpress DV 3.* - 4/30/2002
FAQ Avid Xpress DV 2.* - 2/9/2002
FAQ Avid Xpress DV 1.* - Never released
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 Professional? 1.4 Will Xpress DV run on Windows 2000 Server or Windows 2000 Advanced Server? 1.5 What other types of computers will Xpress DV run on? 1.6 What are the added features in the 3.0 PowerPack version of Xpress DV? 1.7 What are the minimum system requirements? 1.8 Can I use other manufacturer’s video capture (Pro One, RT-2500, etc.) like I use in my Premiere® system? 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 what is rendered? 1.22 What video effects are real time and what is rendered? 1.23 Does Xpress DV have the ability to lock audio & video tracks in the 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? 1.27 What third-party plug-ins are available for Xpress DV?
2.1 Can networked drives be accessed in Xpress DV? 2.2 Can I use RAID-0/striping for Xpress DV? 2.3 I’m not seeing motion video playback on my right computer monitor on my dual monitor system. I am seeing stills when in pause. 2.4 Can I install Xpress DV and Premiere on the same system? 2.5 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? 2.6 Is there a method for obtaining in-sync video and audio between both the computer and client monitor? 2.7 I installed the Xpress DV software and launched the application. It tells me that a dongle was not found. What’s a dongle? 2.8 Can I run other applications like Microsoft Office on my system? 2.9 Can I run anti-virus software on my Xpress DV system? 2.10 My Maxtor FireWire drive is not being seen when I boot my computer. What should I do? 2.11 I upgrade for the PowerPack 2.x to 3.0, where is the stabilizer? 2.12 I've just installed Xpress DV 3 and my video looks very pixelated. How do I fix this? 2.13 I've just installed Xpress DV 3 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?
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?
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?
5. 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 Where can I find out what my error message means?
6.1 How do I spell Avid Xpress DV? 6.2 Are there books to learn more about Avid editing? 6.3 What Internet user forums are there for Xpress DV? 6.4 Is everything in this FAQ correct?
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 Win2K 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.
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 last is being created. A good example of this is Avid's new Hardware Compatibility database. 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. Windows XP® is not currently supported. XP support will probably be added in the near future.
2. 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
3. Xpress DV 3 is compatible with dual processor systems. When you use Xpress DV 3 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.
4. Make sure you use a certified graphics card, we recommend the following dual head cards: Matrox G550 or ATI Radeon 8500 VE
5. You want plenty of memory. 256 MB is the minimum, for best results put in 512 MB.
6. 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. 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.
1.3 Q. Will Xpress DV run on Windows XP Professional? Top
A. For now, Xpress DV3 will only run on Windows 2000 Pro. There will probably be Windows XP support later in 2002.
It will load and attempt to run but Avid’s CustomDV.sys file was written for Windows 2000 Professional and does not work on XP. Control of DV cameras/decks and digitizing or playback through FireWire is not possible because of this. Running Xpress DV in Windows 2000 emulation mode will not work either.
Please keep in mind that unlike other NLE systems in this price range, Xpress DV is an Avid. This means that rock solid stability and dependability are designed into Xpress DV from the ground up. There is no room for compromises on this issue.
While XP is the most recent Windows Operating System, it still has some issues to be worked out. The bottom line is that under Windows 2000 Pro Xpress DV3 runs perfectly and Avid will not release XP drivers until both the drivers and the OS is up to Avid's extremely high standards for stability.
1.4 Q. Will Xpress DV run on Windows 2000 Server or Windows 2000 Advanced Server? Top
A. Simply put, no. Now the rhetorical question, why would anyone want to put out the extra money for the server editions of Windows 2000 when it runs on the less expensive Pro edition?
1.5 Q. What other types of computers will Xpress DV run on? 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 are the added features in the 3.0 PowerPack version of Xpress DV? Top
A. Includes all elements in basic package plus additional software: Knoll LightFactory AVX, Pinnacle Commotion 4, Sonic Solutions DVDit! SE, Image Stabilize AVX, DV Filmmaker's Toolkit and the IllusionFX™ Pack
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® 2000 Professional with Service Pack 2
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 for Avid Xpress DV 3.
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.
Pentium 4® 1.4 GHz or faster
Windows® 2000 Professional SP2
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 other manufacturer’s video capture (Pro One, RT-2500, etc.) like I use in my Premiere® system? Top
A. Only Texas Instruments based IEEE1394 (OHCI) cards will work with Xpress DV 3.x.
When you install Xpress DV, it takes over the IEEE1394/FireWire device, so any other NLE applications that use it stop working. (Note: you can set up a dual boot system which would keep the Xpress DV drivers isolated or use the DV Select Utility).
It is easy to understand why so many are interested in combining one of these popular real-time solutions with Xpress DV. What you need to understand is that these cards are more like Premiere accelerators. They add a subset of real-time capabilities and features to Premiere using its plug-in architecture. They DO NOT make the core Premiere 6 application, features, transitions and FX real-time.
Xpress DV is a professional NLE solution that gives you an editing environment suitable for long format editing - day in and day out. It is a software based solution, so there is no need for a real-time capture card or the complexity and problems they can create. The more you use Xpress DV the more you will realize how much more productive it is. If and when Avid makes Xpress DV real-time, you can bet that they will make it real-time across the board. You won't be forced to use a limited subset of real-time features.
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 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 and AJ-D250E 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, however, when you export to tape 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 PostOp 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:
Pinnacle Title Deko
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 what is 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 what is rendered? Top
A. All video effects that are bundled with Xpress DV 3 have real-time preview. 3rd party plug-ins (including the IllusionFX™ package) will have to be rendered.
1.23 Q. Does Xpress DV have the ability to lock audio & video tracks in the timeline Top
A. Yes. Click the small button to the left of the tracks you wish to lock together. A small "/" will indicate which tracks are locked.
1.24 Q. Does Xpress DV have color correction? Top
A. While there is some minor control with the color effect, traditional color correction (such as Avid Symphony™ has) is not in Xpress DV.
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? 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
Uncompressed 1 Stream
Uncompressed 2 Stream
RT Hardware 9 stream Multicam
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
Single Field Stepping
In/Out Points phantom marks
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
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
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
Pinnacle Systems - TitleDeko Pro - 2D/3D title creation
Pinnacle Systems - Hollywood FX - 3D transitions, effects, composites and animations
Pinnacle Systems - Knoll Light Factory - lens flares and light effects (available with the PowerPack)
Pixélan - Spicemaster, custom 2D effects and dynamic mattes; demo available
Profound Effects - Elastic Gasket, allows the use After Effects plug-ins in Avid; demo available
Profound Effects - Move, imports high-resolution stills for scan and pan; demo available
Stage Tools - Moving Picture, imports high-resolution stills for scan and pan; demo available
2.1 Q. Can networked drives be accessed in Xpress DV? Top
A. Some users have reported success with playback and digitizing to networked drives, though this is untested as of the release of this FAQ. You can access networked drives for import and export functions.
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 or LVD160 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’m not seeing motion video playback on my right computer monitor on my dual monitor system. I am seeing stills when 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, the left monitor is the default for these windows. ATI Radeon video cards can have playback in either monitor.
2.4 Q. Can I install Xpress DV and Premiere on the same system? Top
A. Yes. Xpress DV need its own custom DV driver to run. Using the DV Select Utility, you can switch between the Microsoft and AVID DV driver. Just make sure you check the option to install Utilities when installing Xpress DV.
2.5 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 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.
2.6 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. 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.
2.7Q. 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.
2.8Q. 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?
2.9 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.
2.10Q. 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.
2.11Q. I upgrade for the PowerPack 2.x to 3.0, where is the stabilizer? Top
A. Region Stabilize AVX effect now resides in the Image category
2.12 Q. I've just installed Xpress DV 3 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 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. Some of the common ones are:
Laird LTM Series
Data Video DAC-2
Miranda DV Bridge
Dazzle Hollywood DV Bridge (not recommended with Xpress DV)
Sony DVMC-DA2 (discontinued)
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;
Both fields (rendering motion effects with this setting will usually cause very jerky motion)
3.12 Q. Does Xpress DV have Avid's "archive to tape" feature? Top
A. No, not as of version 3.x
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 can not 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. A DV option may become available in a future release of Media Composer which would make the media between Xpress DV and MC compatible.
3.16 Q. Does Xpress DV have a built in Waveform/Vectorscope? Top
A. As of version 3.0, Xpress DV does not. If you need to monitor your signal simply plug in the Vectorscope/waveform monitor into the analog output of the DV device connected to your Xpress DV system. Many editors and motion graphics artists doing work for broadcast rely heavily on their waveform monitor/vectorscope to not only keep their video looking great, but also to meet broadcast legal levels and colors.
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), 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.
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 is on the same system that Avid is on 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. QT reference does not work over a network.
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. Apple DV NTSC or Apple DV Pal.
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 2000 supports file sizes up to 64GB. If you are running FAT32 under Win2K, repartition 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.
Check the Microsoft Knowledge Base for more information.
It seems that it is only AVI that has the 2GB limitation. Quicktime and MPEG files can both be exported from Xpress DV and be larger than 2GB.
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. 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. 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. 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 make your selection at the top of the page "Avid Xpress DV"
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 three 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
6.3 Q. What Internet user forums are there for Xpress DV? Top
A. There are two forums that may interest the Xpress DV editor.
World Wide Users Groups
Another site that will be of interest to all Avid users is Avid’s Knowledge Center.
6.4 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.