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How would you approach this editing job?

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MichaelMaier
How would you approach this editing job?
on Oct 24, 2015 at 3:27:15 pm

Ok. I have a concert shot with several cameras. Should be a simple enough job, or so I thought. I sync the video clips to the main recorded audio track, which was recorded separated by the soundboard people and go to work.

But I couldn't sync the audio track they gave me with the video clips. I tried everything.

Then I finally asked a few questions to them and found out that the audio track they supplied is a mix from 3 different shows. It's all the same music, but from three different live presentations.

They basically made a single show out of 3 shows. No wonder I couldn't sync it. For syncing software, the waves would never match the scratch audio from the cameras perfectly once the mix jumped to a segment from another show as the video and scratch audio wouldn't be from that show. Manually we have the same problem as it gets out of sync. It was not shot with locked timecode.

Now all three shows were videotaped. So the video material is there to match the audio. The problem is the amount of work it would be to go hunting for the in sync parts.

Because it's not like they used audio from concert 1 for song 1 and audio from concert 3 for song 2 etc. They mixed all 3 concerts in each song. So it can be that the first 20 secs of a song is from concert 1 and then the next 15 secs is from concert 3 etc.In the same song!

The camera placement is also different between the concerts, which makes things even worse.

I have tried several types of approaches to edit this but I feel I'm going around in circles.

How would you approach this, short of editing it like a feature film and going hunting for bit by bit, which would just be way too much for the type of job.

Thanks for your ideas.


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Glenn Sakatch
Re: How would you approach this editing job?
on Oct 24, 2015 at 4:52:58 pm

Its hard to say without really seeing and hearing how big of a mess this is, but you may want to reverse your process a bit.

You are trying to cut to the final audio essentially? Typically, the audio wouldn't be finalized until after the edit is done, so perhaps you should ignore the fact that you have a soundboard recorded file for your first pass.

You do have individual cameras with complete songs, with audio correct? For example 5 cameras from show 1, 5 from show 2 and 5 from show 3...each with some sort of sound?

I would cut show 1's song 1 together, as best as you can with those cameras. Doesn't have to be perfect, but will give you a base layer for show 1. Will also show you where there are holes in the coverage that you are going to need from the other shows. Same thing for the other shows. 2 or 3 passes on each song per show to get a base. Then combine these 3 cuts into 1 master cut for song 1. then I would put the final audio underneath it, and trim individual shots to sync to the audio. Of course the pace of your edit is going to make it either easier of harder to keep the audio and video looking like it is in sync. Longer visual edits are more likely to drift over a different version of the song.

Again, hard to visualize all the issues you are encountering without sitting in front of the mess, but this is my typical workflow for concerts anyway...with the exception of having to sync to a final audio bed in the last step.

My other question would be if the audio guy has a list of how he pieced together the show? That information might come in handy. I find it odd they would cut around sound wise that much for each song, unless they are editing at chorus points, or solo points or something else with an obvious change.

Glenn


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MichaelMaier
Re: How would you approach this editing job?
on Oct 24, 2015 at 10:16:14 pm

Yes, the whole thing is odd.

You are correct that I'm trying to cut to the final audio. Because the final mix is a combination of the 3 shows, this basically dictates how I will have cut. The final audio is basically an unofficial EDL. So I don't see a point in cutting it to anything but the final mix.

Yes, the audio guy gave me a rough list of how he pieced together the final mix, after I asked very "patiently". But the problem here is that we have no timecode sync and the scratch audio tracks in camera are useless to sync. So I have to sync by eye, which is very difficult in some angles. Maybe if I was a musician. But I'm not. It would be fine if I had to sync only once per show. But this is not the case.

So the audio list, lets call it Audio Decision List, is not really that useful. It only tells me if I should look in concert 1,2 or 3 for the footage in that point of the timeline. But it doesn't solve the sync problem. If I have to sync by eye on every cut, it will take forever.

It doesn't solve the sync problem because it doesn't give me a precise point where I should mark-in in the source video. It only gives me a precise point where that video should go in the timeline. Which won't match because they have different 00:00:00 times. Who knows when the camera was started.

So I would have to find an absolute 00:00:00 before the ADL would make any sense. Because the ADL is just like 00:00:00-00:15:00 = concert 1, 00:15:00-00:35:00 =concert 3 etc. But where is 00:00:00 on each camera if they were started in different times? I mean, the cameras are not timecode synced.

I'm not sure if I'm being clear enough here.

But thanks again for trying to hep.

I did several concerts and it was always a straight forward multicam live editing job. You do the usual cheat with inserts etc. But this is something totally different.



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Shane Ross
Re: How would you approach this editing job?
on Oct 25, 2015 at 5:12:59 am

Here's what I'd do.

Sync up the footage to each song they were shot with.

Choose the version of the song that is the better performance, use that as the base, and the footage that goes with it as the base.

If any shot from the other performances...good camera angle, great energy, or composition...look...I'd grab it and try to use it for a few seconds in the other performance. Make it sync up the best I can, but again, only use it for a couple seconds. I might even use a shot that's cool in a completely different section than the one it occurs..."cheat" it. use it because it's cool.

Fairly simple.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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MichaelMaier
Re: How would you approach this editing job?
on Oct 25, 2015 at 9:45:07 am

[Shane Ross] "Here's what I'd do.

Sync up the footage to each song they were shot with."


You mean sync up the footage with each song from the final mix? How would you do that if each song in the final audio mix is made up from a mix between the 3 shows? If you sync the beginning it gets out of sync as it changes in the middle of the song to another show and then back etc.


[Shane Ross] "Choose the version of the song that is the better performance, use that as the base, and the footage that goes with it as the base.

If any shot from the other performances...good camera angle, great energy, or composition...look...I'd grab it and try to use it for a few seconds in the other performance. Make it sync up the best I can, but again, only use it for a couple seconds. I might even use a shot that's cool in a completely different section than the one it occurs..."cheat" it. use it because it's cool.

Fairly simple."


I have the feeling you may not have understood the problem, if you say it's fairly simple. It is definitely not. Fairly simple is a straight rock concert shot live with 10 cameras where the final audio mix is exactly from the same show. ;)



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Shane Ross
Re: How would you approach this editing job?
on Oct 25, 2015 at 10:17:39 pm

[MichaelMaier] " How would you do that if each song in the final audio mix is made up from a mix between the 3 shows? "

Wait...they didn't just record each show and have one recording per performance? They MIXED THE PERFORMANCES? WHO THE F%&^ DOES THAT and expect anyone to be able to edit to it? Sorry I misunderstood that. That's fine for making a CD or downloadable AUDIO file, but to edit picture with? Ouch.

No...if they want you to be able to edit a concert video they need to get you each INDIVIDUAL performance. Or, know that this will take a long time because you can't sync anything, so bill hourly or say that you will. Or I HOPE that you are, because the way they have provided things to you makes editing it pretty darn near impossible.


[MichaelMaier] "I have the feeling you may not have understood the problem, if you say it's fairly simple. It is definitely not. Fairly simple is a straight rock concert shot live with 10 cameras where the final audio mix is exactly from the same show. ;)"

yeah i wayyyyyy misunderstood. sorry

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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MichaelMaier
Re: How would you approach this editing job?
on Oct 26, 2015 at 8:00:55 am

[Shane Ross] "Wait...they didn't just record each show and have one recording per performance? They MIXED THE PERFORMANCES? WHO THE F%&^ DOES THAT and expect anyone to be able to edit to it?"

Honestly, I have never seen this before. I'm not sure why they did it. It makes no sense. Like you said, for a CD I could see it. Maybe they also want to use the audio to make a CD and are just trying to use the same audio mix for the video to save money. I don't know. It's crazy!



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John Pale
Re: How would you approach this editing job?
on Oct 25, 2015 at 3:03:39 pm

May I ask how long this concert is and how many songs? Even though there are different performances, I am assuming these are the same songs. Hopefully we are talking small differences that throw off sync a bit and not wildly different versions with a lot of improvisation. I'd also be inclined to initially approach its sort of like Shane suggested, cutting the performances to their original audio and not the final mix. I'd use these edits as source material. You are going to have to make several passes on each song to get it right. Make a new sequence with the final mix audio of the first song. Edit in the video from the version of the first song you like best on video track 2. Leave video track one empty. Sync it up at the beginning (first note or drum beat). It will obviously fall out of sync. Try to adjust the video where it falls out by slipping shots a frame or two. If it's impossible to make a shot look right, because the performance is too different, lift it out and leave a black hole. Go through the whole song doing this. Add the video from another performance of the song to video track 3, and do the same thing...then again for the third performance on video track four. Hopefully, by the time you complete the process, the performances will reveal themselves as not too different and you will have a usable shot where all the black holes are. Duplicate this sequence and save it. Now, on the duplicate, begin to merge the different performances by moving shots down to video track one. Remember, your job is not to be a detective and match every shot to its original audio. Just make it believable and entertaining. Do this for every song (keep the songs separate sequences for now), work on joining them later). I've used this technique for several songs but never for an entire concert, but depending on the performances, it can work, even though it's time consuming. I don't know of any magical fast solutions to this problem.


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MichaelMaier
Re: How would you approach this editing job?
on Oct 26, 2015 at 8:42:41 am

The concert is about one hour. So quite long to use this approach. But thanks for the suggestion. If I can't make it work in a simpler way I will give this a try.



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John Pale
Re: How would you approach this editing job?
on Oct 26, 2015 at 1:20:48 pm
Last Edited By John Pale on Oct 26, 2015 at 1:21:39 pm

Good luck. Sorry, I don't have anything better. Make sure the people responsible know how difficult they have made this.


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