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Reconforming audio

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Anders Teigen
Reconforming audio
on Sep 12, 2011 at 8:51:58 pm

Hi, all. I'm going to work on a feature documentary that is also going to be cut down for TV. The audio guys worries about the workflow - and they should. I've been through this several times before, but I am not content with the workflows we've jacked on those projects - and I am still searching for the holy grail of autoconforming.

My big issue is: reconforming according to the picture edit is not good enough. Not-sync-sound may move around when cutting down a film.

THIS IS HOW I USED TO DO IT, MORE OR LESS
"The multi-dummy-track-method". When editing, I keep dialog, voice over, soundfx/atmos and music on dedicated tracks. When finishing the longer edit, I export OMF and a reference film to Audio Post. I also export AIFFs of the said sound categories, and reimports them into the edit (same thing with picture). While Post works on the longer edit, I get the axe and go to work on the shorter edit - still trying to keep the story working. More often than not things have to move around, some times picture and sound needs to be split, music moved, voice over moved, and so on. When sound are finished with the long version, I ask for AIFFs of the mix, with content, TC and lenghts matching my own dummy-AIFFs. Then it is a simple task to replace the dummies with the final mix. As long as its stereo, it is managable. Then it goes back to Audio Post for cleanup.

WHAT WE DREAM ABOUT
DaVinci Resolve has this neat feature for working with picture: when you've changed something in FCP, you just mail the XML to the color-guy, and as long he is working on identical videofiles his grading from the previous version is kept in the new edit - even if things are chopped up and moved around. I want this for audio!

We've looked into several options. Pyramix, Logic and ProTools are potential platforms in post. But all workflows I've seen is based on changes in the video track. This requires a lot of cleanup. I would like something that recognises the individual sound segments, and moves and modiefies them according to my timeline - without loosing the work done on the long version.

Regards
Anders


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Michael Gissing
Re: Reconforming audio
on Sep 13, 2011 at 12:52:42 am

Have a look at http://virtualkaty.com/

An alternative is http://www.editrace.com/


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Anders Teigen
Re: Reconforming audio
on Sep 13, 2011 at 6:27:15 am

Well, I have looked into both Virtual Kathy and EdiTrace, but it seems like their workflow also is based on changes in the picture track, moving whole segments of the edit, keeping the internal relationship. But how does it act when pieces of sound moves around internaly - like VO or music, or offscreeen dialog?

Please correct me if I am wrong, I am very interested in any hands-on-experience. I have not used those programs myself, only browsed info on their websites, and searched forums.

Virtual Kathy is also pretty expensive, I'll rather stick to "Manual Kathy" labour if it comes down to that.

Pyramix has the posibility to import FCP XML (from FCP 7). Anyone been through that workflow?
Guess you have to copy media to the Audio Workstation, but can you then get a new edit by xml and keep all the work allready done?


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Michael Gissing
Re: Reconforming audio
on Sep 13, 2011 at 7:25:12 am

If you reload broadcast wav stems of music, dialog, FX etc and use those during the reversion, it is easier to retrace source on groups of tracks.

I have Pyramix and Fairlight which both read XMLs from FCP. I don't bother using it though as it is just the same as an OMF from a FCP project without having to share a network drive or copy clips via Media Manager. There is no magic way to have a project reconform lots of tracks and mix automation and even after using Editrace to generate a change EDL based on video, I still need to do a degree of manual manipulation. I find a list of changes and a guide track from the recut is all I need.

It is possible to track individual tracks by changing an audio EDL into video tracks. For that I use old software called Shotlister which lets me graphically manage an EDL and remap audio to video. I can then send that to Editrace to make new change EDLs based on audio tracks. I don't use Virtual Katy because it is designed for ProTools but feature sound editors that I know swear by it


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Anders Teigen
Re: Reconforming audio
on Sep 13, 2011 at 8:11:02 am

[Michael Gissing] "There is no magic way to have a project reconform lots of tracks and mix automation and even after using Editrace to generate a change EDL based on video, I still need to do a degree of manual manipulation."

I suspected as much. Thanks for the reality check.

Maybe Virtual Kathy is the Grale, then?

regards
Anders


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Ty Ford
Re: Reconforming audio
on Sep 13, 2011 at 5:39:28 pm

Hello Anders and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

Do you know about Titan?

http://www.synchroarts.com/products/home.php?ID=titan

Regards,

Ty Ford

Cow Audio Forum Leader
Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide


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Anders Teigen
Re: Reconforming audio
on Sep 13, 2011 at 6:51:52 pm

Thanks Ty!

I've never heard about Titan. It looks promising!

As I understand, based on some kind of change EDL you can choose wich tracks in the ProTools session will answer to the tracks in the EDL.

So, if the picture editor has her tracks sorted, one could possible imagine this workflow for FCP 7 and ProTools:

  • The audio categories Dialog, Voiceover, FX and Music is kept on dedicated tracks in FCP 7

  • Lock edit #1, export OMF and a reference film to Audio Post.

  • Export AIFFs of the said audio categories, and reimport them into the edit as dummy tracks. Ensure that TC and lengths on the dummies are identical to the ProTools session

  • Audio Post imports OMFs and ref, then organizes the tracks in their session according to the audio categories - and does their thing with Edit #1

  • Picture editor locks Edit #2

  • Picture editor exports separate EDLs for each dummy-track

  • Audio Post uses Titan Flash Cutter, cut&move, for each EDL as described in the Titan Manual:

  • In the Flash Cutter window, open the EDL, and the session to be cut.

  • In the Flash Cutter window, enter an output session name.

  • In the Flash Cutter window select Cut and Move Mode and other options as required. Click Next to advance to the second page of controls.

  • Select region auto-naming options for the output session as required, then click Next.

  • Review the loaded EDL, and confirm that it has loaded correctly by clicking Next.

  • Choose which EDL tracks will cut and move which Session tracks by clicking Allocate EDL Track.

  • Click Flash Cut to start the process. For each EDL event, Titan will cut the source session audio on the allocated tracks at the timecodes contained in the EDL, and move it to the output session at the destination timecodes contained in the EDL.

  • After processing has completed, review and save the Flash Cutter Report.


  • This is the theory. Will it work?


    regards
    Anders


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    Ty Ford
    Re: Reconforming audio
    on Sep 13, 2011 at 9:34:51 pm

    Anders,

    I have never had the need to use it, but folks I know have and they say it works. Contact Syncro Arts with you r questions and do let us know what you find.

    http://www.synchroarts.com/index.php?PAGEID=contact

    Virtual Katy is the other software solution. Again, I am at a loss for personal experience, but I have heard good things.

    http://virtualkaty.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=7&Itemid=1...

    Regards,

    Ty Ford

    Cow Audio Forum Leader
    Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide


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