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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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Explorer ,
Jun 07, 2022 Jun 07, 2022

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Yeah explain why my M1 Max on my Macbook pro cant run Pr? Most Adobe products run on my brand new computer like crap! These programs are not updating and having any functionality on the newest computer platforms and GPUs....when are you actually going to speed up Adobe and not give us filler (oh look the heal brush can fix hair)...

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Community Expert ,
Jun 07, 2022 Jun 07, 2022

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@MadPlaid 

Did you migrate the apps or do a clean install?

I just have the M1 Mac mini and Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Media Encoder each run really, really well.  The main thing I had to avoid was installing any third party options that are not Apple Silicon ready.

 

 

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Explorer ,
Jun 07, 2022 Jun 07, 2022

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Yes I’ve done several clean installs using the Adobe cc uninstaller
software. --
Christopher 

(PII removed by moderator)

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Advisor ,
Jul 20, 2022 Jul 20, 2022

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Performance is low. Media support from cameras from well-known world brands such as Sony FX3, FX6 and FX9, as well as Fujifilm XT3 and 4 is not implemented at all. Users of these cameras write an outrageous number of comments that are still unsolvable. People complain about the poor performance of viewing media received from these cameras. We live on the threshold of a new era, and problems with the most popular cameras, among users and not only, persist. The Premiere program should not cause problems with media playback during the initial assembly of the material. Yes, of course, any files that are not written in editing codecs should be translated into editing ones (ProRes, CineForm), but in general, viewing performance should not depress and distract from the idea of creating a product. It turns out that the user is struggling with figuring out how to make it so that it's easy to see. It's not professional. I will also touch on the number of supported camera profiles when translated into the desired color space, which are only a few. Excuse me, gentlemen, answer me a question, but what do people in the world use only Sony, Panasonic and Red and Alexa? Where are other supported profiles from cameras from well-known manufacturers with their color spaces in the Interpret Footage tab? There are very few of them. Consequently, the user is restricted from using the tools of the program for the correct interpretation of the media. They do not work out LUTs professionally and part of the data is lost. There is an article about this by an Adobe employee. There are ideas and thoughts, but it takes a very, very long time for everything to be realized.

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Adobe Employee ,
Jul 20, 2022 Jul 20, 2022

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Hi Baffy,

Sorry for the frustration. The 4:2:2 10-bit formats that the cameras you mentioned do require the latest CPUs and Quick Sync. If you don't have those, you won't get the performance you might expect. I'm afraid that color profiles and LUTs are off-topic from this particular post about performance. Please upvote any feature requests for color workflow on User Voice.

 

Thanks,
Kevin

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Community Expert ,
Jul 20, 2022 Jul 20, 2022

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Yes, transcoding to ProRes is a professional choice (and highly recommended as it minimizes having a yellow line appear above the footage and allows for faster rendering and exporting).

Premiere Pro should see an embedded LUT if present or use the Media Color Space from the file if present.  In the case of Red footage, users have the RED Source Settings Effect automatically applied at the source level to manage Color Settings.

 

I think all of the companies that you listed post LUTs for preofessional to download for free:

 

There is a lot to learn and know about.  Rather than get frustrated about it, I try to enjoy that there's always more to learn.  Formal training or mentoring with someone extablished in the field are ccommon approaches to learning a workflow.

Fortunately, Adobe maintains the Adobe Support Community that has a weath of information to suppliment the user guides that anyone almost anywhere can access.

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Advisor ,
Jul 21, 2022 Jul 21, 2022

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I do not require the application of LUT to frames to redefine the color profile of the raw material. I'm asking Adobe to embed camera profiles in the Interpret Footage tab. Not LUTs, but color space profiles. Your employee fixed a topic on the forum about the quality of the use of LUTS and himself confirmed that the quality is lost with it. Color space profiles are needed.

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Explorer ,
Aug 01, 2022 Aug 01, 2022

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"There is a lot to learn and know about.  Rather than get frustrated about it, I try to enjoy that there's always more to learn."

-That's all well and good and we all want to remain as positive as we can, however when there are long standing performance glitches that are reported daily and update after update after update after update do absolutely nothing to address those issues, it's really difficult to stay on the "silver lining" side of things when we have deadlines to meet and clients to satisfy.

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Community Expert ,
Aug 01, 2022 Aug 01, 2022

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Which performace glithces are you referring to and with which versions of Premiere Pro and which OS?

Is your workflow built around ProRes, DNxHD, or Cienform?  In other words, is your workflow built around CODECs that are good for editing?  This is just a guess, but 90% of the problems reported in these forums have to do with trying to force one video file format or another to be good for editing.

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Explorer ,
Aug 01, 2022 Aug 01, 2022

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Hey Warren,

 

A couple glitches I'm going to mention aren't related to speed but are glitches nonetheless. I'm referring to:

1. Choppy playback (my specific case is in multi-cam and I actually just created a new post about it with hardware details)

2. Audio autosynch being incredibly slow and/or inconsistent.

3. Multi-cam audio panning hard left.

4. Image stabilizer applying random cropping to clips.

 

To be more specific to the choppy playback, I work around DNxHD. I've had 3/4 of those listed issues since 15.0. I've cleared my cache, fixed my audio input, lowered my res to 1/16 while editing. My computer was handling this exact file and exact source footage one week ago with complete ease and now premiere has crashed on me twice without the chance to save and has set me back over an hour now.

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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.

This video tutorial show the best setting for Premiere Pro on Mac and PC including CUDA, Open CL., Quick Sync and ASIO. Adobe CC 1 year https://amzn.to/3Da0qMN Link is monetized

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Explorer ,
Jun 07, 2022 Jun 07, 2022

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That video is from 2020, on a windows machine...

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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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Explorer ,
Jun 07, 2022 Jun 07, 2022

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I had Adobe support show/do that trick on my computer, it didn't work. 

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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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Contributor ,
Jun 01, 2022 Jun 01, 2022

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For me it doesn't matter whether I'm editing standard definition DV footage or 4KHEVC footage it still stutters particularly at the start of playback. And if the footage is 60 frames per 2nd it drops off about 30% of the frames no matter the resolution. I have a dual xeon PC with 768GB of ram using a server motherboard and AGTX1080 graphics card. All media and temporary drives are solid state drives.

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New Here ,
Jun 02, 2022 Jun 02, 2022

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Wow. That some heavy-duty equipment you have there. Sounds like you have some software issues...programs not playing well with each other. I'm new, so your way more qualified than I. It was my understanding that Premiere Pro is able to take the 1st shot and automatically sync all other shots from different equipment to the 1st shot. If your interested where I seen this, let me know. I'll research where I saw that in the tutorials.

Are you an editor?

Tony Rodriguez
(PII removed by moderator)

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Community Expert ,
Jul 08, 2022 Jul 08, 2022

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Have you tried Smart Rendering?  I work on a range of systems from $17,000 desktops to $1,600 laptops and ProRes source footage in a Sequence with matching ProRes Video Previews works just fine.  

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