Final Cut Pro 6 timeline freezing

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by DrRock, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. DrRock macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2005
    I've been working on a large editing project for a long time now. I am very very close to finishing, and now my computer is acting up.

    The main problem is that the functions of FCP will just "freeze up" on me intermittently.

    I'll click somewhere in the timeline, and when I hit spacebar to play, it will pinwheel on me for a REALLY long time. Then it will try to go, but then it will pinwheel again, and try to "catch up" to itself. If I hit the spacebar to stop & catch up myself, it will try to process all these commands at once it seems, and mayhem ensues.

    I've had some luck with clicking on another FCP window, like a viewer window or something. That makes it stop somewhat quickly, because it's a definitive action, unlike hitting the spacebar, which once you start, who knows whether your starting or stopping...

    Anyway, that's usually just a temporary fix to get me to where I can save. After that, I quit, logout, restart, shut down, what ever I can try.

    Sometimes that works, but seemingly only for about a max of 45 minutes until it freezes again. Subsequently, the freezing will occur at shorter intervals.

    I've tried clearing space on my drives, and eliminating unnecessary media from the project, but is there anything else I can do? Some have suggested reinstalls for this kind of thing, or deleting the preference folders, old render files, etc.

    I would LOVE some advice on this, as I have a deadline looming, and producers breathing down my neck.
  2. handsome pete macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2008
    How many layers of video are you working with?

    What is your scratch disk/hard drive configuration? (ie. using a raid? internal/external? how are they connected? where is your footage located? etc.)
  3. DrRock thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2005
    Lots of layers. Lots & lots of layers. I'm sure this is a factor, I'm just so close to finishing, and I need to be able to manipulate things individually, so I keep the layers. I'm close to picture lock, so once that's done I can create a work sequence with a single layer of video &that may help.

    My media is on several drives, which I'm sure is a factor as well. I use several drives for my capture scratch too, just as a necessity. My main drive is a 250gb internal with about 45 gb free, my secondary internal is 300gb with about 145 gb free. I have media on any of 6 external drives, ranging from 250gb to 1.5 TB.

    Again, I'm sure all of this is to blame, but is there any process I can use to just get things up to speed so I can finish? Thanks!
  4. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    How many layers is "lots & lots of layers"? What exactly is a "large editing project" (is the timeline 3hrs long, do you have 200hrs of source footage, is the whole thing a collage of 4000x4000 multi-layered PSDs, etc.,)? What are your timeline settings? What are your RT playback settings? What specific kind(s) of media are you using in the timeline? How big is your FCP project file? If your FCP project file is really big how many sequences do you have in your project? What are the complete specs of your machine? How are the external drives connected to your machine?

  5. DrRock thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2005
    It varies. It's at least 8-10 layers of video in some spots. In others it's just one, and everything in between. I have 20 layers of audio in some spots, I have video files, audio files, jpegs, layered psds.

    The video footage is from a JVC Evero GZ-HD7, converted with mpeg streamclip, using the DVCPro 1080i60 codec. The sequence settings match the footage, of which there is at least 30-40 hours.

    My External drives are all 7200 rpm, all connected via firewire 800. I have a G5 Dual 2.3 Ghz Power PC processor, I'm running OSX 10.4.11, I have 8gb of DDR SDRAM.

    I'm running Unlimited RT, but the issue occurs on Safe RT as well. The main sequence is roughly 90 minutes long. I have several sequences of the individual scenes probably 30 or 40, as well as assembly sequences, title sequences, etc. but they all exist in a single project.

    I will eliminate as many layers as I can, a well as any unnecessary media. I was wondering if it would be worth the time to create a new separate project for each of my sequences, and if that would help, or if that would bog the machine down more, due the multiple media files, as many of my media files are used in multiple sequences.

    The program has been running fine overall, until just the last week or so. I'm wondering if I'm just getting close to hitting the wall with it.

    Anyway, I'm sure I answered my own question as to the "why", but any help on the "how" as in how to fix, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  6. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Before we can help w/the 'how' we have to have a better understanding of they 'why' (hence all the questions).

    Just some things off the top of my head:
    - Make sure all the images/gfx are no bigger than 1920x1080 unless you need to pan/zoom on the image then just make it large enough to get the job done.
    - Increase the size of FCP's Still Cache (FCP->System Settings->Memory & Cache)
    - Turn off Audio Waveforms and thumbnails in the timeline if they are on.
    - Close all timelines that you aren't currently working in.
    - Create a new project and copy and paste only your active timeline into the new project.
    - Break the 90min timeline into smaller timelines (20min or so) and work out of those.
    - redistribute the media on your HDDs to get it on the fewest number of drives while still keeping each drive at 10%-20% free space. The external drives are probably a big killer because you have them daisy chained and all sharing the same bus (all FW ports on Macs all dumped onto a single FW bus).

  7. DrRock thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2005
    Great, thanks for the info. I'll give those a try.
  8. matteusclement macrumors 65816


    Jan 26, 2008
    PSD's and/or transparencies

    I don't know what version of FCP you have, but I remember when I added a tiff, or gif, or something with transparencies, it was locking up. Just an idea. Did you add anything new recently?
  9. lighthouse_man macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2005
    Untick "Put hard disks to sleep when possible" in the energy saver preferences if you have it chosen.
  10. DrRock thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2005
    Thanks Lethal-

    So if I move the media around, I'll have to reconnect, right? I've done that in the past, and it doesn't always reconnect. Is there a simple method for doing a "Wholesale" reconnect? Or do I have to go one-by-one and click-click-click on all the files? Most of my drives are maxed, so I'd have to buy a couple more drives.

    I'm beginning to wonder if there is a problem with the one drive in particular. Most of the newer files I've been working with are on that drive, and the problem seems to be happening only since this newer stuff has been introduced. It could just be a coincidence, but I wonder if this is a possibility.

    The drive is a 1.5 tb, and it has about 575 gb of free space. It would seem like that would be plenty of free space, but the other drives are full like I said.

    Thank again!
  11. DrRock thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2005
    It's FCP 6. I've been having a guy do a lot of color correction, and I've introduced many new video files, which may be a factor. Most of the new footage is in solid layers though. I did a test where I made a smaller, more simplified project on a different drive, and I had no problems at all. I'm not sure if that's due to the project size, or the fact that it's on a different drive. I guess I'll create a smaller, simpler project on that same drive and see what happens...

    Thanks for the info!

    Also, lighthouse man, I did uncheck the "put drives to sleep" option, and no dice. Thanks though!
  12. DrRock thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2005

    Ok, so I've tried those suggestions, and I still have the same problem. It seems to be one particular set of media files that causes the problem. When I am working in particular audio clips it freezes as described.

    The audio was captured & added to the timeline thusly:

    When we shot, our camera didn't have XLR in, so we recorded audio on a DV camera (Canon XL2) with a boom mic. The audio was captured via firewire into FCP 6 as long clips, about an hour or so, the length of a DV tape.

    I edited the video with its original poor in-camera audio first, as I didn't have the ability to capture my DV audio until after the fact.

    After capturing the DV audio, I synced it to my picture by creating several timelines (one for each scene) with my complete raw footage of every take from two cameras, including the associated audio, and using the slate, synced the DV audio to the varying video clips, so that all video & audio would be synced.

    I then went into my edited timeline, selected each video clip by double-clicking, and making note of the in & out points, using the original timecode of the original clips.

    I then went back in to the audio sync timelines for each take of each scene, and marked the sections I needed to sync of the clean audio, then copied & pasted them into my edited timeline.

    Yes, it was extremely tedious, and I'm sure there would have been an easier way to do it, but this is where I am now.

    Also, when I captured the audio, I did so onto an external drive (WD 1 TB My Book), but I neglected to format the HD for mac first. I was able to capture the footage fine, and I could get it into the timeline just fine, but I couldn't render. I sought out help here, and I was informed of the formatting problem.

    To fix it, I bought a second drive (WD 1.5 TB My Book), copied the files over from the 1 TB, then formatted the 1 TB for Mac, and used it as a backup of the files on the 1.5 TB drive.

    Of course this resulted in a media offline situation, so I reconnected to the new version of the files on the 1.5 TB. Ok, so no problem there, all works fine.

    So, in a nutshell, all of my audio clips in my edited time line are copied & pasted from other timelines. They were also copied from their original location, and reconnected to their new location. Is it possible that the program is simply bogged down searching through all of the timelines, & copies of clips, & maybe even having an issue with the fact that the original clips are on two different drives?

    Is there a way to reconnect to the original files as a batch or something, and might this help? Or is it possible that there's a problem with the drive itself? And if so, would buying a third drive, copying again, and reconnecting again make a difference?

    Sorry for the novel guys, but I am at my wits' end. I'm 3 weeks past deadline and I am frustrated beyond belief. Thanks!
  13. advres Guest


    Oct 3, 2003

    To batch reconnect everything in your timeline just right click on it in your browser and select reconnect media. It will have tabe for the render files, offline and online clips. Only select the offline clips tab. Once you point it to a certain file, FCP will automagically reconnect all other files that were next to that file in the original hardrive location. So, move clips from one drive to another but leave the folder they live in intact with the rest of the files.
  14. DrRock thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2005

    Great! Thanks for the info!


    It appears that the problem was a hard drive or drives going bad. I had three WD MyBook drives, all Firewire 400, daisy chained. I bought a Lacie 2TB d2 quadra, and copied & reconnected all of the media that was on the drives. Things are working smoothly now (knock on wood). Thanks for all of the info guys.

    Also, I was once told that WD will replace a bad drive under warranty, but does anyone know if they would be willing to do a refund? I don't really feel like using WD drives again after this whole episode.

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