Making XDCam duplicates with correct timecode

Recently, I’ve had to make duplicates of XDCam Masters from a variety of different media- some XDCam, HDCam, DVCPro. Now, making XDCam masters is a pain, especially when you have 100’s of clips on a single disc. There’s no quick and easy way of doing it. No way of batch exporting. No way of simply dragging a .mov onto the disc. You can drag .mxfs onto the disc, but there isn’t a way of batch exporting to mxf. Not only that, but since other people are using these discs as masters, they need to match the timecode of the window burns you’ve given out.

And then there’s this problem:

So what I used to do was this

  1. Insert clip into a new sequence.
  2. Apple-0 to bring up sequence settings.
  3. Set the starting timecode of the sequence to the starting timecode of the clip.
  4. Change the audio outputs to dual mono.
  5. Export to XDCam.

This method was very error prone, and took forever. One day, I realized I wouldn’t make the deadline for getting the disc out if I did it my normal way. So, I clicked around in Final Cut until I came up with an unlikely solution- Multiclip Sequences. Here’s the simplest way I’ve found to quickly export to XDCam from any source media, while maintaining timecode-

First off, it takes a bit of setup.

  1. Go to your User Preferences, and go to the last tab, Audio Outputs.
  2. Duplicate the Stereo Monitor: L+R preset.
  3. Set up the new one like this:
  4. Hit OK, and make sure there is a check mark next to the new preset. From now on (until you change it back), all new sequences will have a dual mono output, prefect for exporting to XDCam.

Now you’re ready to go. To make things easier, I added buttons in the Browser for “Make Multiclip Sequence” and to export “Sony XDCAM” (It’s the second one on the button bar list- the first is to import.) You can also make shortcuts to these commands, and I even set up Spark to hit that shortcut key, then hit enter on the screens that follow.

So now, to actually export-

  1. Select the Clip you want to export to XDCam.
  2. Make a Multiclip Sequence using the shortcut or button bar. Default settings are fine.
  3. A bin with a multiclip and a new sequence called “Multiclip Sequence x” will appear in the browser.
  4. The new sequence has the right timecode, and if you check your sequence settings, you’ll see the audio outputs are correct.
  5. Notice that for some reason, the last frame is cut off. If you’re giving raw footage, this likely won’t matter, but you may want to open the Multiclip Sequence, and type “v” (to select the closest edit- your playhead should be at the very end of the timeline) and then “]” to move the edit 1 frame forward.
  6. Now, you should be able to export your new Multiclip Sequence to XDCam perfectly with correct timecode.

Of course, it’s helpful if you have already transcoded the files to the XDCam codec- do it overnight in Compressor, and then the hands on portion will go much faster.

I hope this helps!

Posted in Tutorials

Visual Enhancement Pro Filter

I’d like to announce “Visual Enhancement Pro” filter. Visual Enhancement Pro in itself is not a revolutionary plugin- it simply is a reapplication of the state of the art technologies used by CSI units and top secret spy agencies. It allows you to enhance several parameters to get an image that is impossible with other enhancement tools, all within Final Cut.

Watch the video below for more info. You can download and install the plugin here.

I plan on adding more features in future releases, including:

  • License plate enhancement
  • Rotating around subject in 3D from single camera
  • And more! Let me hear your suggestions.

Thanks to Tim Stotz for his help.

Posted in Tutorials

Controlling Final Cut with your iPhone

FCP Control- Control Final Cut with your iPhoneAlmost a year ago, Scott Simmons from The Editblog wrote a blog with suggestions for video apps for the iPhone. One caught my attention, and I’ve been working on it off and on ever since. And now, with a new update from Snatch, we’re a bit closer.

To get this working, you’ll need to buy ($5.99) and install Snatch (link to iTunes store). Then, you’ll need to download the Snatch Server on your computer here. Snatch uses bonjour, making it pretty simple to set up and use (and can also be used without bounjour). It has cursor control, scrolling, an app switcher and a keyboard with customizable screen. The latest release made it possible to easily share screens. So once you have it set up, you can install a screen I quick threw together just for you ;-). You can download FCP Control 1.0 here (right click, and save as).

On your iPhone, launch Snatch, and go to the “Keys” tab, and hit “Edit”, and then “Load Screen,” making sure that you are connected to your computer. On your computer, navigate to where you saved fcpcontrol1-0.remote and select it. You’ll be prompted to overwrite the current screen. Say yes, and Wa-la! You can easily control Final Cut now.

I’ve decided that playback is probably the most useful thing, so you won’t be able to do any actual editing. Features I’ve included are:

  • Go to previous marker
  • Add a marker
  • Go to next marker
  • Play in to out
  • Play to out
  • Go to in
  • Set in point
  • Set out point
  • Go to out point
  • Rewind
  • Reverse
  • Pause
  • Play
  • Fast forward
  • Toggle play/pause

The buttons simply send a keystroke to the computer, which will act as shortcuts in Final Cut, so you’ll have to have the keyboard set up to the default. If you don’t, you can simply change the keystrokes on this screen to whatever you wish.

If anyone is a GUI designer, let me know- I’d love to make this look a bit less, well, utilitarian.

Hope you get good use out of this, and let me know if you have any questions in the comments.

Posted in FCP Control

Carnival of Errors

Carnival of Errors from Alan Dague-Greene on Vimeo.

Synopsis: The fight for control of carnival land will pit clowns against mimes in a musical standoff that will tickle the funny bone and excite the senses. The Ben-Hur of single shot musicals.

A couple weekends back, I helped out on a film shoot as part of the International 48 Hour ShootOut. I had worked with the same group of people in November on Quillions, and had a blast again. During production, I was a Production Assistant, helping by controlling music for lipsyncing (I used Remote on my iPod Touch), burning CD’s for practice, taping a mock up of the set on the floor as we only had access to the space for 4 hours, and whatever else needed it. I also worked on Visual Effects, making the mime disappear at the very end. A good, yet busy weekend.
On a different note, I will be starting full time as assistant editor at Idea Spring Editing tomorrow. More on that later.

Posted in Video

Quality of blank DVD media

You’ve heard warnings of bad DVD media, most likely. But how can you tell whether your stack of DVDs is a dud or good? Evidently, you can’t tell by a brand- you have to do some sleuthing to see if it’s good or not.

Sadly, this method only works after you have bought that stack, but at least you can tell whether to get the same kind again.

First, you’ll need to insert your blank media into your Mac (this method only works on Macs, and I can only say that it works on Leopard). Open up the System Profiler by choosing “About the Mac” from the Apple Menu, then hitting the “More Info” button. Then, choose “Disc Burning” under “Hardware”. This will bring up something like this:


What you’re looking for is the Media ID, which is highlighted in orange above. Take that code, and go to Search for the ID on the page (you may need to remove spaces), and see if it comes up under 1st, 2nd, or 3rd class media. Hopefully it’ll be under 1st class.

Posted in Tutorials Tagged with:

Follow all Followers Twitter Applescript

NOTE: Twitter has turned off the necessary API that allowed you to post from the command line, meaning this method no longer works.

Looking to keep up with following your followers on Twitter without clicking through Twitter’s interface? I whipped up a script that will do that (with help from all over the web, including the bulletin boards at

Download the script

This is Mac only. The script will open in Script Editor, and hit CMD-R to run the script. It’ll prompt you for your username and password. It will then retrieve all your followers (not just the first 100), then retrieve all your friends (not just the first 100), and send a follow twitter message to all your followers who aren’t your friends.

Feel free to mess around with the script (but be careful- if you change the wrong thing, you can end up like me with a whole lot of messages accidently showing up on my timeline).

If you find this useful, especially if you use Twitter for business purposes, feel free to send me a few bucks through PayPal.

Posted in Tutorials launched

I’ve been working on another site, over at It’s an aggregate site, where I’ll be posting links to Final Cut tutorials from around the web.

When I learned Photoshop, I did it through tutorials that I found through one site. I couldn’t find a similar site for Final Cut, so I decided to make it.

If you have any interest in Final Cut, it’s a great site for picking up little tidbits and project savers.

Check it out at

Posted in Tutorials


ChinStr.apps is a niche hobbyist app development company, specializing in apps for birders and homebrewers and in making Big Data relevant. Read more about ChinStr.apps.