Solving Problems With Capture Now 

Posted on by Larry

[This article was first published in the September, 2010, issue of
Larry’s Final Cut Pro Newsletter. Click here to subscribe.]


William Aleman sent this in:

I want to comment on your advice about never using “Capture Now” in Final Cut Pro. My experience has been a different one in the years I have using the same feature through camera and tape desk, specifically DV.


For a while I thought I was having the same problem you have described in some of your tutorials and newsletters, until a technician, Alberto Santamaria at dBm, in New York City, explained to me that the cause of my problem was not Capture Now in FCP but a mechanical problem related to the device. Also, he gave me the solution to it.


Using the camera or desk in stop mode and then play causes a mechanical delay in the head of the transport, between the Stop and Play mode of the device. In contrast, using Play followed by the Pause, causes no delay in the transport because the head of the transport is still holding the last frame at the moment of the pause. When using Stop and Play, the stop position releases the head from the tape and when coming back to play, the head has to re-locate the last frame where the stop happened. Between these two steps, when we hit Capture Now in FCP and then hit play in the camera or desk, FCP has detected a fault frame (a delay) resulting in one: or the audio gets out of sync with the picture, or to FCP reports that it has missed a frame. Other time it displays a dialog box saying: “Timecode code break” or something similar. (It has been awhile since this has happened to me, so I don’t remember the exact text) but we can get the picture.


The solution is:

1. In the device, find the frame where we want to start capturing
2. Pause
3. Hit Capture Now in FCP
4. Hit pause in the device
5. And never use stop and play for Capture Now.


I hope this can help some of the readers who still using digital tape.

Larry replies: Thanks, William, for sending this to me.

I am not a fan of Capture Now, however, for some formats Capture Now is the best option. I like the workflow you suggest here.

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