2015 February

The currently installed soundcard driver does not support directsound input

Posted by | Audio | No Comments

If you’re getting the following error from your DAW
the currently installed soundcard driver does not support direct sound input
Don’t panic.

If you want to you can reinstall all your drivers:

RealTek Drivers


But it’s probably not going to help. Or you can just do this:

For Pro Tools:
Go to Setup>Playback Engine Preferences
Select Asio4All v2, not the other Asio stuff or whatever else there is.

For Adobe Audition:
Got to Edit>Preferences>Audio Hardware
Under Device Class, choose ASIO.
Under Device, choose, ASIO4ALL v2


If you don’t see the selections as I mentioned above, then try to reinstall your driver, and ASIO4ALL, and then go through the ASIO4ALL selection process.

For other DAWs, try to do something similar. I’m not familiar with other DAWS too much.

Hope this helped.

My Experience With the Atomos Ninja

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In the recent handheld shoot of the film The Girl Without A Song, which is currently in post production, we decided to use two Atomos Ninjas for our two Nikon D800s. I was skeptical at first of inserting a technology in the middle of my shoot that I knew not much about. My DP, Nicholas Collister was adamant about using it. He owned one and kept telling me about the benefits. He suggested I buy a unit for the second camera. I was unconvinced, and wasn’t sure if the money wouldn’t be spent better elsewhere. I was also concerned that it might cause production delays during the shoot because of unfamiliarity with the technology.

Nick however was extremely confident, not only in his ability to use it, but also in the Ninja’s ability to aid in our shoot. So we settled and rented the second Atomos Ninja for our second camera unit. It was truly a blessing. Here are the three primary ways we benefited:

  1. Focus Peaking: We were shooting at f2.8 handheld. At that depth of field even a slight movement of the camera person or the actor or a combination can throw the scene out of focus, and that’s where focus peaking is absolutely crucial as it arrests your attention until things are back in focus.
  2. SSD Drives: The fact that we were able to shoot in 125g or 250g drives meant that we didn’t have to have multiple smaller cards to worry about. It also meant that Data Wrangling was a lot easier.
  3. Histogram: The histogram kept us in check on the visual details of what we were shooting.
  4. Avid DNxHD: It allowed us to shoot in Avid DNxHD Codec.
  5. No Time Limit: While this was not an issue for us, if you’re going to shoot documentaries, or find yourself in a situation where you have to shoot for longer than 12 minutes without having to stop recording, the Atomos Ninja will prove to be invaluable.

Below is a discussion I had with Nick regarding our use of the Atomos Ninja on our shoot.

To Shoot or Not to Shoot Handheld

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When I first started planning the shoot for “The Girl Without A Song,” one of the considerations was budget. The way I handle budget is to figure out how to make my shoot day shorter. One of the ways I do that is to shoot with two cameras, especially in a back and forth dialog scene. That way I get both angles on the same take, and if both actors have a good take, I get to actually cut back and forth a perfect take where the the actor reactions to each other is perfect. It means I have half the setups. Of course, it also means that lighting isn’t perfect. I know. I also know that nothing else is perfect either. So I worry about everything being a little better, and not just worry about lighting being perfect. At my skill and budget levels, I just worry about better. I have neither the time nor the money for perfection.

I had been wanting to do a handheld shoot for some time. I personally like the art form. On this set, what I realized was that not having locked off shots is also a great way to save time. The moment you say go, shooting can begin. There is no exact position to go back to. Everything is a little more fluid. So for my part I would encourage filmmakers with tight budgets to try handheld. It takes a different kind of planning, especially if you’re shooting at f2.8 for the whole shoot. You have to be extremely careful to make sure you have the right focus.

But some filmmakers chastised me for my choice, and told me handheld filmmaking is a sign of laziness. Well. I’ll heed their advice when I see their films. Here’s a video of my DP Nicholas Collister, on his take on our choice of shooting handheld.

What is the role of the Independent Film DP?

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I worked with Nicholas Collister on a film that I recently wrapped shoot on, “The Girl Without A Song.” Nick was the DP on the shoot. He is unlike any other DP that I’ve worked with so far. He did a lot of the grunt work, that a DP with traditional film industry training or orthodoxies might have felt beneath him or her. Nick took up some of those tasks without even being asked to do so. Needless to say that it made my life as a Producer/Director much easier.

For instance, I had been mulling over how to accomplish the job of Data Wrangling, as we did not have a dedicated Wrangler on set, since budget was tight. Nick took care of the that every evening and made me copies too. My life was a lot easier simply because of his attitude towards filmmaking. I wanted to talk to him to figure out how he ticks. Nick eloquently describes his approach in the videos below. Maybe it will help other DPs trying to find the balance in their relationship with Directors.

I hope to work with Nick on an upcoming shoot.

Izotope RX4 Connect for Pro Tools

Posted by | Audio, Pro Tools, Tutorials | No Comments

The primary reason to use RX4 Connect is to be able to use all the modules available in Izotope RX from inside your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), like Pro Tools, Logic, etc. If you’re using Pro Tools, then it’s extremely useful to be able to use RX4 Connect. While you may have access to individual plugin modules inside your DAW, you might sometimes want to do all the processing at once, and that is impossible to do when using a DAW like Pro Tools, which takes over your sound card and does not allow RX access to the sound card in your computer. So the trick is to connect Izotope RX to your soundcard, through an Aux track you set up in your DAW.

That is what the video below will show you how to do.


The video above is part of our Audio for Filmmakers series. If you are a filmmaker, and you don’t have access to all these audio tools, it might still be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the audio tools used in professional film production, just to know the possibilities with software today.

Adobe Premiere Pro CC Media Pending Error Solved

Posted by | filmmaking, Random | 4 Comments

So you’re using Premiere Pro CC. And all of a sudden your viewer freezes on a frame. You can hear the audio when you hit play, but but the video is frozen. And if by chance it unfreezes, it says “Media Pending.” And to make things worse, Premiere Pro CC doesn’t even load after you shut it down, without a restart of your machine.


You’ve searched the Internet far and wide. Everyone tells you to reconnect this way or that, and nothing works. You are now getting irritated by the fact that I’m rambling on without giving you the solution. All I can tell you is that I found a solution for myself. And it’s two of the the simplest things:

Solution 1:

Don’t use Magic Bullet Looks. Just get rid of it from the effects panels of the video files where you put them. And all will be fine.

Solution 2:
Another solution that seems to work is to add cuts in your clip. If the clip is long, just add cut points on it in the timeline and it will stop the media pending sign. It’s a ridiculous solution, but it works. It seems to be an indexing problem and a large clip just never seems to get indexed, either because of size or plugins added.

Leave a comment if the suggestions work!