FAQ: Fixing stuttering, stuttery, choppy and overall slow playback in Adobe Premiere Pro

Adobe Employee ,
May 21, 2019 May 21, 2019

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One of the common issues is slow and stuttering playback. Here is a video by the inimitable Colin Smith about how to combat this issue:


 

  • Addresses:
    • Premiere Pro Issues:
    • Issues with certain formats:
    • Issues with your system:
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Adobe Employee ,
Jun 14, 2019 Jun 14, 2019

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Did this video help you solve any of your issues? Let us know!

 

If you are still having performance issues, your media is probably too heavy for your computer. It's a common problem as footage these days is so highly compressed. Even expensive computers can struggle with certain footage.

 

For example, 4K H.264 or HEVC media from your camera or mobile device needs additional handling in order to edit with it smoothly in most cases (especially 4:2:2 10-bit video). In that case you'll need to do one of the following:

 

    • Reboot the computer.
    • Check Audio Hardware Preferences. Choose Edit > Preferences > Audio Hardware > Default Input.
    • Lower the playback resolution to 1/2 or less.
    • Disable "High Quality Playback" in the Wrench (Settings) menu in the Program Monitor.
    • Choose Preferences > Memory and allocate more RAM to Premiere Pro, but not so much as to starve the OS.
    • Choose Project Settings > General and ensure Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration is enabled.
    • Make sure you are working with your media on high speed hard drives connected via your motherboard or a high speed port.
    • Render the area that is lagging. Set In and Out around the area and choose Sequence > Render In to Out. Use also the Render and Replace function for sections of video that have heavy effects.
    • Close unnecessary panels if you are not working with them, like Lumetri Scopes.
    • Use the proxy workflow
      1. What you'd like about this workflow:
        • Much easier to playback than Long GOP media (and even easier than 4K ProRes at 1/2 res or the like)
        • Ideal for laptops and lower powered computers
          • Exception:
            • H.264 presets
            • They are of a small file size, but are not as performant
      1. Things to keep in mind:
    • Copy (or transcode) the footage to a "clean" .mp4 or to an editing codec like ProRes, GoPro Cineform...
      1. What's good about transcoding?:
        • ProRes or DNxHD/HR: Easier to playback than .mp4 wrapped media (but not as easy as lighter weight proxies).
        • Transcoding back to .mp4, which can also work to change variable frame rate problems. 
          • Try Handbrake or Shutter Encoder  for this.
          • Performance isn't as good as ProRes, however, may be OK for a shorter or smaller editing sessions. File sizes are much smaller, as well.
      2. Things to keep in mind:
        • ProRes, etc. temporarily takes up a great deal of storage.
          • These intermediate files can be deleted after the project is complete.
        • Media Encoder might not be able to import the files. In that case, use the freeware, like, Shutter Encoder, which transcodes all files to either ProRes or back to a playable version of your .mp4.
    • Delete the Media Cache and Media Cache files.
    • Resetting the preferences can fix unexplained performance issues. To do so, after synching your settings, do the following steps.
    • Upgrade RAM by adding more RAM. Try 32 GB for editing with 4K footage.
    • Upgrade GPU: A GPU with 4 to 8 GB VRAM is what to look for at a minimum.
    • Upgrade hard drive: Solid state drives are very fast and work well.
    • Upgrade CPU. Only the most modern ones can playback 4K at 4:2:2 10-bit.
    • Adequate cooling: make sure that your computer is not becoming overheated by not staying cool enough. Install monitoring software to make sure that you are in the right zone for cooling. Upgrade fans or another system if you need to.
    • Click the "Global FX Mute" button. This temporarily disables all effects. This allows for smoother playback.

 

Thanks,
Kevin

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New Here ,
May 09, 2022 May 09, 2022

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Thanks for the advice, it really helped speed up Premiere.

Nick Gear

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Guide ,
Feb 28, 2020 Feb 28, 2020

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Beleive it or not there are many things that can effect playback when using Preiere Pro. Quick Sync, CUDA Open CL and ASIO etc. It takes a while to get Premiere Pro tweaked out 100% as seen in the video below.

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New Here ,
Sep 24, 2020 Sep 24, 2020

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Hi,

 

I may be the only person in the world with this issue but I eventually figured out that my playback was laggy because the default audio input was wrong. I went to Edit --> Preferences --> Audio Hardware --> Default Input. The default input was the mic on my ancient webcam from like 8 years ago. I switched it to a more modern microphone and the playback improved a lot. I assume switching it to be nothing would have worked to (I'm not using the audio input for anything) but I didn't confirm that.

 

Regards,

 

John

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Adobe Employee ,
Jan 31, 2022 Jan 31, 2022

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Thanks for mentioning this, John. I have added your comment to my list of Performance issues I am advocating a fix for. There are numerous bugs to upvote with the following search on User Voice. Please upvote the bug that most closely matches your case here.

 

Thanks,
Kevin

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New Here ,
Mar 24, 2022 Mar 24, 2022

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Holy crap this finally fixed my choppy playback! Thank You!

 

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New Here ,
Apr 05, 2022 Apr 05, 2022

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I was almost breaking down when I tried switching the audio latency. I don't know why it was also picking old preferences but anyways, changing from 30ms to 100 made it work like a charm!

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New Here ,
Mar 11, 2022 Mar 11, 2022

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Kudos to you, Collin Smith.  Your section on hardware solved my problem of dropped frames.  The cinematographer gave me the raw video and audio on a thumb drive.  I plugged the thumb drive into my computer and never downloaded it into my harddrive. So, when I tried to use Premiere Pro, I got a stuttering of video.  Dropping frames like crazy...transfer of data from the thumb drive into work station.  Transferred the raw video and audio onto my harddrive and...puff, problem gone! In my thickest Chicago accent "YOU DA MAN"

 

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Adobe Employee ,
Mar 11, 2022 Mar 11, 2022

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Very glad to hear that, Anthony. Colin is the man! He used to work at Adobe, you know.

 

Cheers,

Kevin

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Apr 03, 2022 Apr 03, 2022

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I may be the only person in the world with this issue but I eventually figured out that my playback was laggy because the default audio input was wrong. I went to Edit --> Preferences --> Audio Hardware --> Default Input. The default input was the mic on my ancient webcam from like 8 years ago. I switched it to a more modern microphone and the playback improved a lot. I assume switching it to be nothing would have worked to (I'm not using the audio input for anything) but I didn't confirm that.

 

Regards, https://mattresskid.blogspot.com

https://mattresskid.blogspot.com

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