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Shooting music video with DSLR... how can I make syncing easier and more accurate?

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Jon Melot
Shooting music video with DSLR... how can I make syncing easier and more accurate?
on Jun 2, 2016 at 4:53:33 pm
Last Edited By Jon Melot on Jun 2, 2016 at 5:14:26 pm

Hello all,

I recently recorded a music video with a handful of DSLR cameras. I learned a TON with the first shoot and am now preparing for the second shoot. One of the things I need to figure out better is a way to sync everything better. I think the solution might be setting up a timecode sync, but am not sure. Heres my challenges.

The video is taken during a live concert setting. So we basically get about 5 take stop record. 3 of those are during rehearsal, so we can shoot right footage that wouldn't have the crowd in it. Two of the takes are shot from the POV of the audience. So, we basically used anywhere between 4 and 7 cameras to record 5 different takes, and then sync them all up in post (which understandably is a struggle). Since we're not working off timecode, each performance is a little different, and camera positions are't consistent, establishing common syncing points that are correct and can be time aligned is a challenge. To make it even mores, after we get a rough sync, we'll receive the audio (remixed and mastered) and need to tweak some more to sync up where stuff has been corrected in audio post. Phew.

So, I'm thinking some kind of timecode generation/sync would be the best way to simplify this. There seems to be lots of issues with syncing multiple DSLRs over timecode, but I'd love to figure out a way where we could sync all these cameras from all these different takes, and then sync those to the final audio file. Perhaps I'm asking too much.

As a benefit, the band plays to a click and a track... So, they're performance should be largely the same for each take. I fI could figure out how to sync up to that click/track or have that broadcast a master timecode, then perhaps there is solution there?

Any thoughts?


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Aaron Star
Re: Shooting music video with DSLR... how can I make syncing easier and more accurate?
on Jun 3, 2016 at 8:10:09 am

Timecode slate is how most sync multiple cameras. Slate has running TC via a display, that is synced to the audio playback TC. Most pro editing software will sync your tracks automatically via TC. Each camera shoots the running TC at take start. Then you set the TC on the camera file via the editing software based on what you see on screen.

"pluraleyes" is another option, that will sync audio tacks of multiple video clips to a master audio file. Some editing software has this function built in.


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Mike Smith
Re: Shooting music video with DSLR... how can I make syncing easier and more accurate?
on Jun 5, 2016 at 10:31:19 am

Your mastered audio is your key sync reference point. You'll want to make that a master track and align the other audio to that - bearing in mind takles will differ in expression and timing, and the sync will be far from exact. All your non-master sound is reference only. And you need to pick the best footage to present your band as it wants to be seen aligned with the master audio - which is not necessarily always the footage that synced to a particlular part of the original performances, depending on your cutting approach, as you'll know from watching other "live" performance videos.


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Steve Crow
Re: Shooting music video with DSLR... how can I make syncing easier and more accurate?
on Jun 5, 2016 at 3:48:33 pm

Have you tried a sync tool like plural eyes to do all the syncing automatically for you in post?

Steve Crow


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