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Synching related but not identical audio tracks

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Peter Grad
Synching related but not identical audio tracks
on Jan 7, 2016 at 11:29:13 am

I would like to create a music video containg the full audio on a single track along with four videos of singers, each one singing one part of a 4-part harmony. The lyrics and timing differ for large parts of each clip, but there are segments where lyrics and timing (but not the actual notes - it is 4-part harmony) overlap. Is there a way to force Logic Pro X to focus on one of those several-second long portions of overlap in order to properly synch the audio track and four video tracks? Once synched, i would turn off the audio in the individual video clips and rely solely on the single full audio track (recorded in Logic Pro X). Thank you for any help you can offer.


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Noah Kadner
Re: Synching related but not identical audio tracks
on Jan 7, 2016 at 6:14:36 pm

Nope that's going to be a manual sync most likely.

Noah

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Peter Grad
Re: Synching related but not identical audio tracks
on Jan 7, 2016 at 7:11:47 pm

I was afraid that was the case, thank you for your input, Noah. I did one video so far, it's doable, but it is quite tedious.


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Bret Williams
Re: Synching related but not identical audio tracks
on Jan 7, 2016 at 8:05:19 pm

I had to do a music video in X where they were lipping to playback of the song. That audio was captured quite clearly by camera mics but X refused to sync any of those shots to the actual recording. My guess would be that there were minute, imperceptible differences in playback speed from the device on set vs the actual recording.

What I will do next time... Record the entire song with a camera mic, very cleanly almost like room tone. Use THAT as my audio master song and sync all the shots to it. THEN, manually sync/replace that audio with the real song as a final step.

Maybe something along those lines helps your situation.


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Peter Grad
Re: Synching related but not identical audio tracks
on Jan 7, 2016 at 8:16:14 pm

Sounds like a good option, Bret. I came across software online that addressed your problem of slightly varying timing, Plural Eyes, which apparently is effective in tackling variable timing issues. In my case, though, i dont think it would help since it's not only timing but different lyrics at different points of the song. I was hoping there was some program that let you define, say, a three second segment where in fact there is overlap on the vocals on all four tracks, and synch them from that small fragment.


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Bret Williams
Re: Synching related but not identical audio tracks
on Jan 7, 2016 at 8:23:37 pm

If you're trying to sync new recorded vocals with previous recorded vocals I don't think that's gonna happen. Even if it's the same person there's just not much chance of the waveform matching specific peaks and valleys.


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Noah Kadner
Re: Synching related but not identical audio tracks
on Jan 7, 2016 at 8:43:03 pm

Yep- it would be awesome if automatic audio sync were smarter but it's really just looking for audio waveforms that are more or less identical over time with differences only in relative impedance.

This is like expecting two siblings to have identical fingerprints. Hence you'll need to use the processor in your head.

Noah

FCPWORKS - FCPX Workflow
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Bret Williams
Re: Synching related but not identical audio tracks
on Jan 7, 2016 at 8:48:11 pm

What's mind blowing is the Shazam app. It takes a waveform recorded from a mobile phone mic in a loud noisy restaurant, car, wherever, uploads a sample to the net, compares it to... what, EVERY song ever? Then nearly instantly tells you what song is playing. And it was doing this in 2008 on the original iPhone over 2G! Sometimes X has trouble matching a clip to a clip you tell it to match to.


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Peter Grad
Re: Synching related but not identical audio tracks
on Jan 7, 2016 at 9:13:09 pm

I agree, I acquired that app, and SoundHound, when both of them first came out and was stunned at how cool they were. Even more amazing, as great as they were just a few years ago, what used to take about 30 or 40 seconds now takes as little as four or five seconds to identify a song. You can even hum a tune, imperfectly, and SoundHound will nail it. I even tried it with an old Asian girlfriend of mine and her mom sang a song in Chinese, and SoundHound nailed it...


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Bret Williams
Re: Synching related but not identical audio tracks
on Jan 7, 2016 at 9:39:08 pm

Perhaps the old show "Name that tune" was just a front to recruit shazam employees that actually listen to a small recording! Must be it.


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Peter Grad
Re: Synching related but not identical audio tracks
on Jan 7, 2016 at 9:04:11 pm

The processor in my aging head, unfortunately, is in dire need of an upgrade...


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Peter Grad
Re: Synching related but not identical audio tracks
on Jan 7, 2016 at 9:03:05 pm

Believe it or not, Bret, I did do it -- struggled a bit -- but it came out fine. I should note these are soley for my own entertainment, and they do not meet professional or any stirct standard of measures... But when i put finishing touches on, i'll send you a link. I can't claim that i've synched it to milliseconds, but overall the video looks fine. But it did take a lot of tinkering, especially since I'm new to Final Cut Pro, and never took on a multiple video before.


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Bret Williams
Re: Synching related but not identical audio tracks
on Jan 7, 2016 at 9:05:49 pm

So much fun stuff I'd love to post, but most everything fun I do is always internal corporate stuff.


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Noah Kadner
Re: Synching related but not identical audio tracks
on Jan 7, 2016 at 10:52:49 pm

Shazam is actually incredibly complex but it relies on the fact that mathematically speaking every song has a unique DNA that can be quantified and matched from a database- just like your DNA and your fingerprint. How it works:

http://gizmodo.com/5647458/how-shazam-works-to-identify-nearly-every-song-y...

Which is not to say that audio sync shouldn't be made smarter and able to account for substantially similar, though not identical waveforms. But at this point it doesn't.

Noah

FCPWORKS - FCPX Workflow
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Mark Suszko
Re: Synching related but not identical audio tracks
on Jan 8, 2016 at 5:40:27 pm

I'm trying to follow this and have to ask: has everybody gotten so lazy from auto audio syncing that they've forgotten how to jam-sync free-run time of day time code into multiple cameras? Why can't you sync the wild clips by their time code? Or am I missing something?


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Peter Grad
Re: Synching related but not identical audio tracks
on Jan 8, 2016 at 6:51:19 pm

Here is what you may have missed:
1) I am a beginner wirh Final Cut and am notmfamiliar with time synching.
2) I may have been unclear, but I am using one audio-only soundtrack, composed with Logic Pro, and then attempting to match it up with four video clips, each recorded separately, each representing different melody lines - the lede and three backup harmonies. I am using a Canon Vixia HF R60, which I dont believe offers a time stamp, but perhaps i am wrong. Each of those video tracks was recorded separately, not simultaneously, so I am not certain your good suggestion of time synching would work in this case anyway since the time stamps would all be different.


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Noah Kadner
Re: Synching related but not identical audio tracks
on Jan 8, 2016 at 7:35:28 pm

Sorry for the detour- bottom line is no auto-sync for you.

Noah

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Peter Grad
Re: Synching related but not identical audio tracks
on Jan 8, 2016 at 8:41:14 pm

Well, we've got the precision of Shazaam and SoundHound to match songs perfectly, someone needs to apply fuzzy logic to an app that will match up approximate sounds one of these days...


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Mark Suszko
Re: Synching related but not identical audio tracks
on Jan 8, 2016 at 7:44:09 pm

Thanks for clarifying, Peter. In this situation, what I would suggest for the next time is to always record the full song for each take of each part, no matter if it's mostly silence with just a simple punch-in of the fourth tenor singing one little "ooh, yeah" or whatever in one chorus section. This gives you equal length "stems". If every take is a consistent length from a consistent starting point, everything will line up for you naturally, you can align automatically OR manually, to the starting click... then your only task is to manually go into each track and divide it up into the parts that are audible, and their relative mixing levels. Use a click track or visual sync point at the start, before the song, an you can edit that out of the final mix.


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Peter Grad
Re: Synching related but not identical audio tracks
on Jan 8, 2016 at 8:39:11 pm

Thanks Mark, I'll have to look into the use of click tracks...


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Noah Kadner
Re: Synching related but not identical audio tracks
on Jan 10, 2016 at 1:53:34 am

Also SMPTE timecode may be old school but it works 100% of the time...

Noah

FCPWORKS - FCPX Workflow
FCP eXchange - FCPX Workshops


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