Adobe Premiere Pro

FAQ:What is audio conforming?

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  • The following originally appeared in the Adobe Forums:

Audio -- Conforming problems

Note: At this point in time conforming audio is not an option and cannot be turned off.

I started a new project and brought in 5 video files that were 1 hour long each. Adobe Premiere conformed the files and the total size of the conformed folder was around 9 gigs. I created a new bin and named it storyboard and went to the first video file and edited the clip and dragged about 30 different length portions of that video into the storyboard bin. I then had it automate to timeline. I decided to save this project with a different project name in another drive and it decided to reconfirm the the video files but instead of conforming only the 5 main video files it duplicated 30 time the one video file that I added to story board. Now if I do a folder size of conformed files on the new drive it is a whooping 80 gig. So adobe is now treating sub clips that I grabbed from the main clips as a seperate video and even a sub clip that might be under 5 sec long, it creates a 2 gig conformed file for it. So 30 sub clips now = about 60 gigs of data. If anyone wants to test this, just go through my scenerio. This doesn't happen if you do save a copy but only when you are doing save as. (BjThomas - 9/13/03)

This is how Premiere Pro handles audio. The objective seems to be to reduce the audio processing overhead for realtime playback. Cynics might suggest that it makes life easier for the programmer, too. For every entry in the project list that has an audio component, Premiere Pro makes a conformed audio file for the whole clip regardless of how small an amount you are actually using. This is very different from the old way of rendering timeline segments, although I think audio rendering is still required in some cases as well (no doubt someone will put me right here if not). The party line seems to be that you need to change the way you work from habits born in earlier versions, but that doesn't address the issue with storyboarding segments from long files, does it? Using Scenalyzer Live to chop up the incoming material into camera clips will help in some cases, but those who shoot a whole tape in one go at events etc need to find another way round this disk space extravaganza. Bringing back sub clips (PPro only seems to support duplicate clips at the moment) so that audio only needs to be conformed once per source file would be one way to improve matters considerably. Allowing conformed audio to be disabled (and accepting the performance hit for RT) might be another unless conformed audio is so deeply embedded that there isn't a practical alternative now. Meanwhile, I guess this will remain an 'as designed' feature unless or until enough users find it intolerable and ask for a change. Not sure how many 'enough' is, though, or what options there might be for dealing with this issue.(David J - 9/14/03)

When I chop up a source clip into subclips in the Source Monitor and then drag to the Project Window, PPro does not re-conform. The only time I get re-conforming is if I use the Edit>Duplicate command. (Jeff Bellune - 9/15/03)

I checked very carefully before jumping in above. Clips were dragged from the clip window back into the project window rather than creating duplicates specifically. In my tests both previously and just before replying initially to this thread an extra conformed audio file was being created for each entry in the project file as I described above, behaviour which was also in line with that reported by others on the list. Tonight, I checked again in light of Jeff's comment above. No extra conformed audio files were being created except when using the specific 'duplicate clip' command. The help file states that one way to create duplicate clips is by dragging from the clip window into the project window. Doing this results in a clip which is not deleted when the original source clip is deleted, so these are not the familiar sub clips of P6.x and back. From the above it appears that there are two types of duplicate clip. Those created specifically though the duplicate clip command get duplicated conformed audio files, whilst those created in other ways do (might) not. But there is nothing I can see to distinguish between the two apparently-different types of duplicate in the project window. Using the 'copy' command (but not yet paste) on clips in the project window also creates a new pair of .cfa and .pek conform audio files. Paste then creates a further set of conformed files. Conformed files are left behind, though, after their triggering clips have been deleted and the project saved. I also tried closing Premiere Pro without saving the project, at which point new conformed files were deleted as Premiere exited. I have yet to get to the bottom of all this. Meanwhile, please take my comments in my earlier post above as possibly being completely or partially wrong. (David J - 9/15/03)

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