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Dual Unit Audio Syncing

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Luke Ogden
Dual Unit Audio Syncing
on Jul 27, 2016 at 4:26:50 pm

Hi folks,

I've just finished a job shooting four days with dual system acquisition, I'm looking for an efficient workflow of syncing up all of my clips with the relevant audio stems in Final Cut Pro.

Footage: XAVC-I 1080 50p from an FS7 (camera footage has reference audio)
Audio: WAV 48KHz from field recorder

The two systems were kept in sync with a timecode box

Lastly I've tried the 'synchronise clip' feature but It requires you to select the correct two takes and can't be done in batch. I've also looked into Pluraleyes which I have but requires me to transcode the camera negative to a .mov which I'm reluctant to do.

Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

27" iMac 3.4 GHz Intel Core i7, 16GB 1333 MHz DDR3, OS X 10.9.1 //
Adobe CC Suite


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Brett Sherman
Re: Dual Unit Audio Syncing
on Jul 28, 2016 at 12:06:33 pm

You could use multicam instead of synchronize clips.

--------------------------
Brett Sherman
One Man Band (If it's video related I'll do it!)
I work for an institution that probably does not want to be associated with my babblings here.


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Joe Marler
Re: Dual Unit Audio Syncing
on Jul 28, 2016 at 1:19:50 pm

As Brett said, try multicam, even though you have one audio and one video source.

Also make sure each group of clips from each device labeled in the FCPX metadata (either camera angle or camera name). Below is the procedure:

1. Import all clips
2. In Event Browser at top left select List View (it's the button above the red X at left)
3. In Event Browser, click on clip name to sort by name. All the clips from each camera or device should be grouped together.
4. Select a group of clips from one camera/recorder (Click on 1st, go to last and Shift-click).
5. In Inspector at upper right, click on Info button. If Inspector pane is not on, turn it on with Window>Show Inspector
6. At bottom of Inspector Pane, click the drop-down box and select "General". This shows more details.
7. In the Inspector Pane, enter a camera name. When you press Enter it will add that camera name to all the clips you have selected in a single step.
8. Repeat step 4 and 7 for each camera/recorder.
9. In Event Browser, select all clips from all the cameras you added camera name info to.
10. Right-click on the selected group and select "New Multicam Clip", then set checkbox "use audio for synchronization"


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Luke Ogden
Re: Dual Unit Audio Syncing
on Jul 28, 2016 at 2:55:00 pm

The problem I have with doing it as a Multicam is if I want to do a batch of clips (all the clips from one location, scene, day for example) FCPX is going to spit out one long Multi-cam clip.

What I'd like is the clips as they were shot with the, sound recordist's audio added as discreet channels. They must to this kind of thing all the time if feature film work flows, I just can't find an efficient way of doing it.

27" iMac 3.4 GHz Intel Core i7, 16GB 1333 MHz DDR3, OS X 10.9.1 //
Adobe CC Suite


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Luke Ogden
Re: Dual Unit Audio Syncing
on Jul 28, 2016 at 5:13:40 pm

For what it's worth I think I've found the solution to my workflow problem: a £150 app called Sync-N-Link

I also came across this solution for doing manual synchronising clip-by-clip and keeping things neat:

Once you've imported your audio and video clips, sort them so that they're in descending order by creation date/time. This will mean one of two things- if you're files were recorded with time of day TC, they'd look like this

VIDEO CLIP1
AUDIO CLIP1
VIDEO CLIP2
AUDIO CLIP2
VIDEO CLIP3
AUDIO CLIP3

If there was no universal reference TC, then the creation date stamp will still list files in the order they were created- in that case, the list would look like this

VIDEO CLIP1
VIDEO CLIP2
VIDEO CLIP3
AUDIO CLIP1
AUDIO CLIP2
AUDIO CLIP3

In either case it makes it relatively easy to pick out what goes with what, baring any extra audio or video clips from false rolls.

Ok, so set your media filter to HIDE REJECTED. Once you've done this, select your first audio and video clip and choose the sync command. Once you've done this, while the original audio and video clips are still selected, hit the DELETE key. This will mark the two original files you've just sync'd as Rejected and hide them from view (note they're never deleted and can be viewed at any time by changing the Event Filter view).

This means you're progressively cleaning up your Event as you go, hiding 2 original clips and leaving only the new Sync Clip visible. This is especially helpful when you have LOTS of clips to sync.

To speed up the process, remember that OPTION+COMMAND+G is the keyboard shortcut for creating Sync Clips. Also, I mapped the keyboard so that COMMAND+O is "Open in Timeline". After you've sync'd 2 clips, I always do this to make sure that the audio and video waveforms are lining up.

Remember that if you sync 2 clips and they turn out NOT to be matching items, you can just UNDO back a couple steps to get you back to before you sync'd the clips.


27" iMac 3.4 GHz Intel Core i7, 16GB 1333 MHz DDR3, OS X 10.9.1 //
Adobe CC Suite


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