Avid Matchframe Doesn’t Work

January 23, 2010

Hi Mikel,

There is 1 major concern that is going to upset a lot of the editors and story producers over the next several weeks and make their work more tedious; the matchframe issue. I’ve dissected the problem with several people, including Avid, O-bit, and an Avid Supergenius recommended by Lenny. We’ve concluded that this is a bug with the software.

Every scene for our show gets multigrouped. This is the general procedure for reality shows. A sync map is made of the footage, master clips are assigned auxiliary timecode, subclips are made from the sync map, and then the subclips are multigrouped by auxiliary timecode. Multigroups are the easiest way for editors to work because all the footage pertaining to a scene in the show can be put into one group.

When one of our multigroups goes offline, due to media being moved, drives not being mounted, or numerous other reasons, the footage needs to be relinked to come online again. Once the footage is relinked, the multigroup will come back online and everything will appear fine. However, any sequence that has been created with that group will become corrupt with a matchframe issue. When pressing matchframe on the sequence it will match back to the correct multigroup but the wrong frame.

I have nearly exhausted all possible solutions.
1. Have restructured the Unity to one allocation group, optimized, and media databases rebuilt on all the workspaces.
2. Have tried reverse corrupting the corrupt sequences with earlier bins that are uncorrupt.
3. Have tried editing the corrupt sequences into new sequences.
4. Have tried creating new user settings, projects, bins, and site settings.
5. Have tried relinking several different ways, including just the source clips, just the subclips, just the master clips, just the multigroup, and just the sequence.
6. Have turned on “enablecommitmulticam” in the console, then committed the sequence to multicam, which replaced the multigroups in the sequence with the individual groups that the multigroup is composed of. This was a test to understand the problem better, but not a solution.

Moving forward, there are 3 possible scenarios, as almost all our sequences have the potential, and will most likely, become corrupt with this issue.

1. Whenever an editor wants to matchframe to the multigroup, it will still load the correct multigroup, just the wrong frame. They can then type the timecode for the correct frame and continue working.
2. We are currently working in Avid 3.5.4. We can test this issue on Avid 4.0 and see if the bug has been cleared up. Lenny said he may be able to get us a 4.0 system to test it on. I’m not sure how much it would cost to upgrade all the systems to 4.0 if this is the solution.
3. And the final solution, which is the most outrageous and asking for more trouble than its worth, is to find a version of Avid and a different operating system that does not have this issue, Mac or Windows. I have never had this issue on a show before, which leads me to believe its a bug between Avid 3.5.4 and Macintosh 10.5.5.


I have found a solution.

If a sequence or multigroup has offline media in it, it should not be relinked. Instead, the master clips that the sequence is comprised of should be relinked. The sequence will then matchframe correctly.

When I tried relinking before, I was trying to fix already corrupted sequences. Relinking the master clips will not fix a corrupt sequence, but it will prevent a good sequence from going corrupt.

If a good sequence or multigroup are offline, and someone tries to relink those items, instead of relinking the underlying master clips, the sequence will become corrupt. The only way to fix the matchframe problem is to then recut the multigroup into the sequence again, replicating all the edits that have been made (aka cleanprinting). Or, pulling a bin out of the project backups.

This can definitely be considered a bug with Avid. I have found no official documentation of this error on the internet, but Avid was designed to allow relinking of sequences and multigroups and it doesn’t work correctly. Perhaps a newer version of Avid would have fixed this, but it’s not necessary as I will inform everyone to never relink a sequence or multigroup.
-Matt Rittorno

If you have workflow questions or other post-production needs, I’m available to work. Check out my services and contact info here.


8 Responses to “Avid Matchframe Doesn’t Work”

  1. I had this problem on Media Composer 2.8.4 a year or two ago, but since it only crept up on the final day of a 16-week edit, the editor used workaround #1 of the three you mentioned and we never looked back. I haven’t seen it since, now I know to keep an eye out for it. Thanks!

  2. Scott Warren said

    I am having an issue trying to match frame from a grouped clip in my timeline. When I go to match frame, it 1. does not match back to the correct TC (11 frame offset) 2. Doesn’t match back to the correct camera. Same shot, but different camera. I just can’t seem to understand why this is happening. Thoughts?

    • Perhaps your group or sequence got relinked in Avid, whether you did it or Avid did it by itself. If you try recutting the same group into your sequence (i.e. overcutting or cleanprinting), and then try matching back again, does it work?


      • Casey said

        I am having this problem now, working on Avid 5.0. Both of these problems actually. Still, the way we have been fixing the “match frame to right group but wrong frame” problem is to over cut the group back into a new sequence. But the problem when we match frame and it matches to the right group at the right frame but the wrong camera we cannot figure out. Is there any new information on this?


  3. Brandon Balin said

    This issue is still in MC version 5.5.x
    I had some friends go through the same problem. 2 different places same problem. The cause was the sequence was consolidated. I highly recommend using automatic duck media copy to move media ( it’s free now so there is no excuse 🙂
    Interesting thing is in some tests, if you decompose the sequence with 0 frame handles and relink it to your original master clips it appears to fix the match frame issue, the only problem is the sequence is online but the groups you match frame to are offline. I need to some actual hands on testing, I wasn’t present in the room with the initial decompose. But that seems a closer step to not having to clean print.
    Hopefly this had been fixed in 6.5 or 7. I never really had to deal with this because I know my way around the Fire Swamp,

  4. Shawn S said

    Is anyone having this issue still and find a solution? I’m on Avid MC 6.3 and still having this issue. Is it for sure because of consolidating sequences? I know I did a lot of consolidating but can’t figure out a solution wether that was the cause or not. Apparently some editors don’t like it when you tell them it still works to the correct group and you just have to take an extra second to type in the timecode you want to go to.

    • I’m pretty sure this is still an issue for 6.3. I had this happen again the other day on 6.0.4. I don’t know if it happens during consolidating necessarily, it seems to happen more when relinking a group, or a sequence with groups in it. A better solution than typing the timecodes would probably be either going back to a previous version of the sequence before the relink (project backups / old cuts / the attic), or overcutting the group into the corrupted sequence.

  5. Eric Stapf said

    Thank you for your due diligence. This issue just came up on our show and b/c this article was the 1st thing to pop up in google, we were easily able to diagnose what had happened. Thanks!!!

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