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FORK FLOW IN FCPX with video and external mics

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Kinga Kielczynska
FORK FLOW IN FCPX with video and external mics
on Feb 19, 2020 at 11:13:33 pm

Hi All,
I will be starting editing a project that contains:
a video track with corresponding audio
3 external audio tracks with dialog and music

There is 8 hour of the source material that needs to be cut down to 1 hour.
My question is if i should synchronise all before i start editing? This would cause a lot of work in locating all the audio clips to match the AV clips from the camera... I would prefer to do it once the edit is locked (with the sound from the camera).This way I only have to synch the clips i used in the edit.
What is the best way to approach it? Would Plural Eyes work to synchronise after the edit is locked? Or is it better to synch it all before the start of the edit in FCPX?
And I am on tight schedule: It all needs to be done in one week.
Thanx a lot for your help,
Kinga

kinga


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Robert Olding
Re: FORK FLOW IN FCPX with video and external mics
on Feb 20, 2020 at 4:43:24 pm

If time is of the essence, I'd sync before editing.

Robert Olding

Studio Eight | Director of Photography
https://www.studioeightmn.com
Minneapolis, MN


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Kinga Kielczynska
Re: FORK FLOW IN FCPX with video and external mics
on Feb 21, 2020 at 4:33:13 pm

Thanx a lot Rober for your advise.

kinga


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Chad Greene
Re: FORK FLOW IN FCPX with video and external mics
on Feb 20, 2020 at 5:43:43 pm

Kinga, I agree with Robert. I cut documentaries with hundreds of hours of raw media and we always prep our footage first because it saves time down the line. It is also how FCPX is designed to work.

However, I also know we sometimes have to cut corners to hit a deadline so here is a thought for you... Create a Multicam or compound clip with your camera media, then use that to cut your footage down. Later you should be able to open up the sections used and add the good audio below.

I would caution you however. As I type this I can see multiple areas where it could go sideways and end costing more time than you will save. Maybe you can do a quick test and see if it works for you before editing.

Chad Greene : Mahoney Media : Minneapolis, Minnesota : iMac Pro 2017, OS 10.14.6 FCPX, Kona-LHi


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Kinga Kielczynska
Re: FORK FLOW IN FCPX with video and external mics
on Feb 21, 2020 at 4:41:40 pm

Thanx Chad, to test things is always good. compund clips was a good idea (not sure how to do it with multicam as i only have footage from one camera). but i am testing now how the plural eyes handles 'pre edited' sections. that is stuf that is layed out but not fine tuned. so i wil not have to synch all but just chosen clips.
Thanx a lot for sharing your experiece!

kinga


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Joe Marler
Re: FORK FLOW IN FCPX with video and external mics
on Feb 20, 2020 at 5:50:34 pm

[Kinga Kielczynska] "Would Plural Eyes work to synchronise after the edit is locked?"

I think that would work but (when I used Plural Eyes) I would normally sync everything in Plural Eyes before import. The other approach is export a project XML, sync in PE then re-load the sync'd project XML. I haven't tested that procedure.

As Robert mentioned, my preferred approach is sync everything before editing. We used to use Plural Eyes or the built-in FCPX audio sync, but now use hardware-based Tentacle Sync which is much better.

If you have multiple cameras you often need to sync first to give the editor the choice of angles. Plus syncing by audio on a bunch of short timeline clips is difficult. Typically a waveform analyzer like Plural Eyes or FCPX audio sync is more reliable on longer clips - say 20-30 sec or longer. If you have a bunch of short start/stop clips they fail to sync more often. If the audio sources are from different sides of the venue, echo and reverb will vary which can throw off audio sync.

Ideally every camera and recorder should be set to the same time of day. Within FCPX that makes the clips sort adjacently in chronological order. This makes it easier to find time-related clips in the FCPX Event Browser.

If the cameras and recorder clocks were not properly set, first determine by inspection how far off they are. Using FCPX menu Modify>Adjust Content Created Date/Time, you can batch adjust all clips from a single device to the correct date/time.

Each batch of clips from each device should be labeled in FCPX with a camera name or angle name - before syncing them. Select all clips from a given device, then in Inspector under the Info tab, enter a camera name (same for each audio recorder). That metadata is needed in case you create a multicam via FCPX.

Even if you have a single video source and multiple audio sources, in general use a multicam clip not a sync clip. There are various reasons for this.


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Kinga Kielczynska
Re: FORK FLOW IN FCPX with video and external mics
on Feb 21, 2020 at 5:32:29 pm

hey Joe,
thanx so much for an in depth advise. i am testing: 'The other approach is export a project XML, sync in PE then re-load the sync'd project XML. I haven't tested that procedure'. - it seams to work fine. i kept my cuts longer following to your advise wheru explained how plural yes synchs beter on longer clips.
Also such a good tip about modyfying date created!
Just one question for future reference: when u synch the clips in plural eyes before you start the edit
do u do it by importing media from the finder or a sequence from fcpX? I would like to know best way to do it and would appreciete your advise.
thanx,
kinga

kinga


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Mark Suszko
Re: FORK FLOW IN FCPX with video and external mics
on Feb 21, 2020 at 8:13:32 pm

Future tip for the next project: before you begin set all the recording units to free-run, time-of-day time code, and re-synching later becomes trivial, with or without automated audio waveform-matching. Even if you're off by a few seconds you'll be close enough that manual synching will be easy as jogging a few frames forward and back.


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Kinga Kielczynska
Re: FORK FLOW IN FCPX with video and external mics
on Feb 21, 2020 at 9:14:38 pm

Hi Mark,
Thanx for this great tip, unfortunatelly i just have 'date created' as the only refernce. and it doesnt seam to match- there is like one hour gap btw them the video and audio device. all the takes are very similar so its very hard to match in edit... i wonder if it could be done in audio sotware? after i did tests in Plural Eyes with both: XTML and media it doesnt work there (works 25 % of the time) i am a bit troubled. i will try this Modify>Adjust Content Created Date/Time suggested by @Joe Marler
thanx a lot,
kinga

kinga


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Joe Marler
Re: FORK FLOW IN FCPX with video and external mics
on Feb 22, 2020 at 10:16:14 pm

[Kinga Kielczynska] "there is like one hour gap btw them the video and audio device. all the takes are very similar so its very hard to match in edit... i wonder if it could be done in audio sotware? after i did tests in Plural Eyes with both: XTML and media it doesnt work there (works 25 % of the time) i am a bit troubled. i will try this Modify>Adjust Content Created Date/Time"

Setting cameras to free run timecode (IF available on all cameras AND recorders, and IF you plan ahead) is a nice trick. However to be really effective it requires the ability to simultaneously zero the timecode on all cameras AND recorders. Then in the NLE you sync on timecode. Dave Dugdale found an IR command to zero the free run timecodes on Sony Alpha cameras, and it worked pretty well:





If there is a one hour gap between the audio and video, the time of day clocks on those devices were not set properly. You can fix that as mentioned above. However that will NOT fix a difficult sync problem - only make the relevant files sort adjacent to each other. But it's nonetheless an important step, because to sync them in a multicam clip in FCPX you must first identify what clips are temporally related.

The file dates are not vital for Plural Eyes. If PE often fails to sync clips, that simply means audio waveform sync is not reliable in this case. Fixing the file dates within FCPX won't help. It could be levels too low, too noisy, varying reverb, clips too short, etc. There is a reason people use hardware timecode.

Your original question was whether to sync everything first or edit then sync the 1 hr result. My preference is sync everything first, but if PE is only syncing 25% of the clips, that is difficult. You could edit based on camera audio then for each clip select that in PE as camera 1, then select all the other audio clips as camera 2, then have it look for a match. No matter how you do it, it's going to be a lot of work.

This is simply a difficult situation and I am sorry for all the work.

The last time I shot something like this I brought several Tentacle Sync devices, put them on all the venue cameras and this reduced the sync time to about 60 sec.


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