Here is the gist of the problem: being the amateurs that we are - we spliced together a final edit with an NLE and then pipelined that copy into DaVinci Resolve. No problem there.
The issues arose when we were forced to monkey with our "picture lock" in Resolve itself - appending the cut with FX plates imported from AECS6. Normally this would be a non-issue but we already had a mastered sound track matched to our original picture lock. As you might guess, messing with one or two keyframes for our FX plate handles screwed up the timecode sync between the master sound track and the "picture lock".
There's no need to dwell on the obvious problems with our workflow. Since then we've learned from our mistakes. Right now we're just trying to administer damage control and see what we can salvage from our master sound track (if anything).
That said, is it possible to extract & repackage sound elements from a sound file with a lossy compression (MP3) or is the only alternative to re-master the sound file in its entirety to ensure it syncs with the new picture lock?
For instance, would we need to start again by re-linking the original sound files to the original raw footage and use an AAF to create/conform a new audio track to fit the new picture lock? Can an AAF file be used in an equivalent fashion when syncing sound files the way EDLs are used to align video footage?
on Apr 12, 2015 at 5:17:26 am Last Edited By Andrew Akada on Apr 12, 2015 at 5:18:20 am
Yes, the final audio file was an MP3.
This is not a field I have much experience in so I cannot say with any degree of certainty how bad the tracks are misaligned - but I can say that all the cues across the full span of the 18-minute video are off by about a second now.
The post production process has been tumultuous but after reviewing the pipeline I think I have divined where the timecode went astray.
We began with a master (footage only/no sound - still matched) and the final sound track (MP3). The footage master required FX work and against our better judgement we imported the entire video sequence into AECS6 and worked on individual scenes within that clip before exporting those particular scenes to be incorporated into a new, final "picture lock" in DaVinci Resolve.
These FX plates that were shunted from AE to Resolve already may have had extra keyframes or handles on them. Coupled with the fact that Resolve's Scene Detect is no perfect science - I believe this is where things got messy.
All told, there were about 4-5 clips that were rerouted via Resolve from AE that could have messed with our sync.
After breaking down my options I assumed that the most difficult task would be to try to re-engineer the master sound file - while the easiest task would be to simply go back into After Effects and rework the plates so that way they align with the original copy of the film (i.e. the one that matches the sound file) and thereby forgo having to remaster the sound at all.
Again, this is all theoretical since I have no frame of reference for what is feasible or not. Occam's Razor is the watchword.