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Multicam audio mixing is not there or I don't know what I'm doing

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Sam Lee
Multicam audio mixing is not there or I don't know what I'm doing
on Aug 12, 2015 at 10:52:54 am
Last Edited By Sam Lee on Aug 12, 2015 at 1:48:56 pm

I'm editing a 4-camera multicam on AVC-I 100. Cam 1 has lave 1-2, cam 2 has lav 3-4 and so forth. So far I'm finding that the latest ver of FCP X is severely limited to cuts only audio editing between angles. In other words, I can't sweeten or mix between the audio tracks. Why do I need mixing and overlapping? Because certain scenes contain lav tracks that are placed on different people. In other to remove distracting background noise, I only use the active track. The non-active tracks have to be muted or else the noise floor will add up after there are 4-8 cumulative tracks. When cutting from different mic, there's a shift in sound characteristic. Mixing will allow it to be less noticeable

In a way I'm trying to manually replicate the auto mix functionality found on professional sound recorders such as Sound Devices 788, 688 series, Zaxcom Nomad.. It actually will auto mute unused mic tracks and swiftly increase the level when there's sound. This is a huge feature because the combined lav tracks' noise level is decreased dramatically. I typically would auto mix all of the lav tracks into a final track. It's working quite well actually. Unfortunately not all shoots I can bring the pro sound recorder due to limited crew members or other reasons.

The bottom line: Is this something for Logic Pro or I'm not doing it correctly in FCP X?


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Bret Williams
Re: Multicam audio mixing is not there or I don't know what I'm doing
on Aug 12, 2015 at 12:41:48 pm

It can't auto mute but you can certainly edit and mix tracks just like any other video/audio. If you need audio dissolves you can add an audio only fade or manually cross fade the audio as usual. Many complain that as you change video angles there is always an edit to the audio, even if there is no change to the audio track. If this is a nuisance, you can always drag out the first audio track from a clip and deactivate the others. I usually do this once picture lock is generally achieved, but before final audio mix as it's cleaner for keyframing levels, and is visually a better representation of what's going on. What specifically aren't you able to do?

Here's how mine looks with audio extended and manual dissolves between different mics. This is a roundtable type discussion where each had their own mic. Usually the fades occur in the deadspace before someone starts talking and the dead space after the other. Makes it easy to tighten/loosend the gap between speakers later and not have to worry about the audio overlap.



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Sam Lee
Re: Multicam audio mixing is not there or I don't know what I'm doing
on Aug 12, 2015 at 1:44:59 pm

For some odd reasons I couldn't perform audio components on my MBP 2014 earlier. But after trying it on the Mac Pro, it worked! The photo helped a lot to show that it's possible to expand audio component. This saves me a lot of time and headaches. Thanks.

I've only begun to edit the 4 cams shoot with 6 lavs. So far doing this is far faster overall than exporting audio to Logic Pro and then recombine.

For cam 1, it appears that I can manually turn only 1 of the 4 tracks (which is the lav mic) and mute all other tracks to reduce excessive ambient noise. It's quite tedious do to all 4 cams via the expand audio component. But it's more comforting to do this than going to Logic Pro via .xml. From limited hands on experience with this method, I think this has to be done at the near completion stage of the edit where the scene will not likely to be changed. If there are content editorial changes, it'll take many hours to re apply all of the extra fade in/out handles to sweeten the audio.


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Bret Williams
Re: Multicam audio mixing is not there or I don't know what I'm doing
on Aug 12, 2015 at 1:57:51 pm

Actually, that is just expanded audio you're seeing, not audio components. There's really no need to delve into audio components. Especially to MUTE tracks one by one.

If you have a camera angle with 1 mic you want to use and 3 tracks you want muted, then you want to simply turn off those other 3 tracks in the audio pane of the inspector panel for that angle from within the angle editor.

And changes later really aren't that big of a deal. On the edit I used as an example, there were numerous content changes afterwards. Most of it content deletion to or rearrangement. But even with the dragged out audio, I could simply go to the beginning of where a chunk was to be deleted (on timeline) and press shift+cmd+B to slice through everything. Then go to end of the chunk and do the same. Then you only need to choose the elements on the primary between those two slices an press delete. At this point you may have eliminated the clip that had the audio track, so all you need to do is turn on the audio for whichever clip is then appropriate and drag it's audio track out and adjust it's fade. But that's editing. Everything can't happen automagically! If you slice through the dragged out audio portion, FCP creates a disconnected piece of stand alone audio appropriately connected to the timeline, but I delete those and do what I just mentioned instead.


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Noah Kadner
Re: Multicam audio mixing is not there or I don't know what I'm doing
on Aug 12, 2015 at 3:34:06 pm

Yep I would not go into the audio components much until picture is fairly locked- to avoid having to redo a lot of work.

Noah

FCPWORKS - FCPX Workflow
Call Box Training


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Kathy Murphy
Re: Multicam audio mixing is not there or I don't know what I'm doing
on Aug 12, 2015 at 5:17:20 pm

As a matter of interest, how long are your clips and how long did it take for FCPX to make them into a multicam clip? I have given up on using that function as it takes so long that it's faster for me to just multi layer.


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Sam Lee
Re: Multicam audio mixing is not there or I don't know what I'm doing
on Aug 12, 2015 at 8:39:39 pm
Last Edited By Sam Lee on Aug 12, 2015 at 8:43:39 pm

Yes. Making multicam clips are tedious also. These days I tend to batch group them based on the SMPTC TC. They're usually about an hour long for non continuous recording. There are times where they're 2-3 hours long (live events) spanning over 4 days. That's the biggest so far and X handle it without crash but at the cost of taking about a day to generate proxies (needed when there are more than 4 cams). Those takes a lot of processing time and I typically have to setup in the morning and come back in the evening for it to be done. The library size increases as well. The advantage I see in multicam is the multicamera window where you can see all angles at once. And you can easily tweak the angle after the fact. To me it's worth the extra long processing time, especially when there are more than 4 cams.


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