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Audio sync eight select video clips to one half hour audio clip: proper work flow in FCPX

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Steven J Dorr
Audio sync eight select video clips to one half hour audio clip: proper work flow in FCPX
on Oct 27, 2013 at 4:56:18 pm

I am trying to sync single-cam, multiple-clips to a, single continuous audio clip all recorded at a live performance. Does anyone know a good work process?
Thanks for any help.
Here is what I tried.
Working single-handed, I recorded a half-hour live musical performance. I started by strategically placing the audio recorded and beginning recording audio at the beginning of the performance on a digital audi recorder (Tascom - .wav file) and while that was recording, I moved around the hall and recorded 22 short video clips with a Canon HF G20 (MXP, PF30).
After importing the audio and video, I put in and out points on 8 of those video clips. Next I highlighted those 8 video clips along with the single half-hour audio clip and selected clip -> synchronize clips. The sync finished but the resulting "synchronized" clip had multiple video clips (and some of their audio tracks) bumped up against each other in the wrong place on the half-hour audio. Actually, the clip is properly synchronized for a few seconds before other audio portions start playing simultaneously and various video clips play for a few seconds before jumping to another video segment.
Other things that I have tried:
1. I converted the .wav file to an .aif before syncing, but got the same result.
2. If I just sync one video clip to the long audio clip it works, but that creates a lot of work. Maybe I am resigned to that for this shoot, but maybe there is a better way to shoot in a similar situation the next time.


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Bill Davis
Re: Audio sync eight select video clips to one half hour audio clip: proper work flow in FCPX
on Oct 27, 2013 at 7:12:58 pm

Seems confusing. You have one continuous audio track that covers the whole "performance." But did you stop and start the camera for all your video clips? Is it ONE performance (like a long symphony piece?) or a bunch of songs like a band performance?

And most critical, what are you trying to get as an end product? If it's video against ALL the audio, you're obviously going to have big gaps where you were moving shot to video shot. Or are you trying to get individual "songs" with just a single camera shot for each?

I'm jut confused as to what' the "global timekeeper" of the project might be? The audio or the video? And do you need to keep sync over long stretches or just over "highlights?"

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Audio sync eight select video clips to one half hour audio clip: proper work flow in FCPX
on Oct 27, 2013 at 11:02:41 pm

I've had weird things happen with synchronized clips too (golf ball hits syncing with slate, for example, even when everything has timecode).

Try a multicam clip.

First label all of your video clips angle as "video" in the inspector when selecting the clips in the event browser.

Label your audio clip angle "audio"

Then select all those clips in the browser, choose to create multiclip, sync by camera angle and check the box to use audio for synchronization. I'm away from fcpx at the moment, so I'm going by memory, but that should get you close.

That should put your master audio as one angle and all of your video as another angle.

Then, simply choose to use the "audio" angle for audio and the video angle for video.

Yes, you'll have gaps of black in between shots.


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Steven J Dorr
Re: Audio sync eight select video clips to one half hour audio clip: proper work flow in FCPX
on Oct 31, 2013 at 3:50:14 pm

Thank you all. As recommended, the Multicam clip route with Audio Sync worked fine.
To answer Bill Davis, I have one continuous audio recorder clip of the entire performance to match with eight short camcorder clips. The camcorder clips were created while moving around the hall and starting and stopping the camera.
To anyone who has tried and failed as I did by selecting all clips and then selecting Sync Audio, I would recommend creating a new event and reimporting the source clips. "New Multicam Clip" was greyed out until I created and imported to the new event. Perhaps some files created by earlier attempts at sync stopped New Multicam Clip from being an available option.
Once again, thanks to all.


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