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Multicam audio tracks

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Oscar Santamaría
Multicam audio tracks
on Dec 29, 2016 at 7:01:19 pm

Hello there! Sorry if I'm being dumb for asking this but can't really find a solution after several hours of trying.

I'll be editing a documentary mostly based on interviews recorded with 2 cameras. Audio is mostly recorded from 3 sources (2 lavs, 1 boom) in a single wav file with 3 channels. Right now I'm testing stuff so everything runs smoothly on the edit.

My intention is to have a multicam clip than I can flatten later on and keep this 3 mono audios tagged and separated so no mess comes up in post.

I'm coming from fcpx and this is something quite easy to do on it but I'm having a bit of trouble getting it done in premiere.

I can't even find to many posts about how to deal with several mono audio on a long form project. I guess most of the people just keeps everything on different tracks, but it seems to me that there must be cleaner and nicer options rather than having lots of tracks on the timeline.

I have mapped the three mono channels into one track on which looks quite nice to edit, i just have to check if working like this turns out ok on pro tools later on. But, when it comes to the multicam it gets way more complicated. I have managed to arrange channel 1 and two on different tracks and keep them when I flatten the multicam afterwards, but can't find a way to do it with three channels/tracks and keep everything where it should be.

I hope I made myself clear. It seems to me that having a couple of cameras and 3 or more audio is a pretty common configuration so, how do you guys usually set up your project when you have something like this?

Thanks very much!


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Brian Seegmiller
Re: Multicam audio tracks
on Dec 29, 2016 at 8:32:05 pm

Why aren't you doing this in FCP X?


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Oscar Santamaría
Re: Multicam audio tracks
on Dec 29, 2016 at 8:40:10 pm

Because I'm under a network of people who work on premiere (they aren't good on fcpx) and we decided to do it on premiere


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andy patterson
Re: Multicam audio tracks
on Dec 30, 2016 at 3:04:45 am

I am not sure what you are trying to do. A screen shot might help or is there a video on the internet showing how you do it with FCPX? If so I am sure someone will be able to mimic it in Premiere. Having said that are you trying to nest three tracks in one and then export as an OMF our Quicktime file?


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Oscar Santamaría
Re: Multicam audio tracks
on Dec 30, 2016 at 3:13:14 pm

Hi Andy! Thanks for your interest. I don't have any screenshots to help you understand but I can try to make myself more clear.

On fcpx, as you might know, there are no audio tracks, instead of that each source is categorized as an audio component and no matter how many of those you have, they can be represented as a single item in the timeline. You can edit dealing with just one item and access any time the components it has. Kind of like a compound clip.

What I'm looking after is something like this but in Premiere to be delivered as omf or aaf for pro tools. A way of having all the audio sources represented as a single item in my timeline so I don't have to deal with 3 or 4 audio tracks (each source) when cutting. I don't know if the usual procedure when having multiple audio sources is to have each one of them on one track, but seems to me quite messy to cut having so many tracks to keep an eye on.

My concerns are because I won't be finishing the audio in Premiere, but instead it will go to pro tools to be mixed by somebody else so I have to provide every audio sources synced to him.

I want to achieve this in two different clip configurations:

1) 1 video source + 3 audio sources (1 file with three channels)

2) 2 video sources + 3 audio sources (1 file with three channels)

In the second situation I would like to do multicams, so another factor comes to scene since I haven't found a way yet to recover the 3 audio sources from the original timeline when flattening the multicam.

I guess for the first (simple) configuration there are different possible scenarios:

A) Keep each audio channel on a different track and link all of them to the video file. Edit with that (which is what I would like to avoid) and handle everything to post via omf or aaf. This seems like the safest, more traditional, option. I would have to deal with having more tracks that I would like to but I can keep an eye all the time on what is going on.

B) Make the audio tracks in the timeline multichannel and have the three audio channels in just one track. Sounds good at first because I will be dealing with just one item and keep all channels but I don't know how this is gonna map out when in protools, specially if a have to cut also clips that only have one mono audio, music in stereo, etc...

C) Sync only the boom (let's say channel one) to the video and cut with that. Relink in pro tools the boom to the missing channels. I don't even know if this is possible, I'm not a sound guy and don't know much about how pro tools can handle this type of situation.

I haven't put any option involving nesting since as far as I know nesting in premiere can't be undone and I need to keep each audio source isolated for final delivery.

This is for the simple scenerio. Once I figure out how to set this I will try to reach a similar procedure with the multicam set up, although it seems to me that while flattening multicams works pretty well with imagery it does some crazy stuff to audio when it's more than one channel.


I hope I made myself more clear with this. If not, I'll be around if there is something else I can clarify.

Any help will be very much appreciated and I guess that not only by me since I've seen a couple of unresponsed threads of people trying to achieve similar things.

Thanks very much!


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andy patterson
Re: Multicam audio tracks
on Dec 30, 2016 at 5:22:44 pm

You can nest them and then double click to see all three tracks again. Just try it. Highlight them, right click and then nest them. If you double click you should have access to each track again. If you flatten to Quicktime you should be able to keep the audio tracks separate.


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Oscar Santamaría
Re: Multicam audio tracks
on Dec 31, 2016 at 2:24:20 pm

Thanks for your answer Andy. I gave a thought to nesting them but, since I need to output to omf or aaf how will this show up? Will it read from the nested audio all of the channels and translate them as separate channels or will it just export one submixed track?

I hope there was a way of "unnesting" them once the edit is locked. If that was possible it would be my way to go. The other option I see is to match frame later and substitute the nested audio with the original files, but this a 90 min (at least) documentary and I don't wanna put myself into such a nightmare.


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andy patterson
Re: Multicam audio tracks
on Dec 31, 2016 at 8:55:53 pm

I would just try it. Having said that I am not sure how things will work because I am not 100% sure of the end result. As of now I don't know why you cannot just send all the audio tracks over in OMF in separate tracks but I am sure you have your reasons.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Multicam audio tracks
on Jan 3, 2017 at 11:26:17 pm

[Oscar Santamaría] "I hope there was a way of "unnesting" them once the edit is locked. If that was possible it would be my way to go. "

Hey Oscar.

I don't think there is a way to 'un-nest' since the nest only resides on Track 1, but un-nesting it would require two additional (one for each lav and one for the boom). Maybe you can though and PPro will just create the extra tracks it needs and 'shove' everything down accordingly. Never tried it myself.


"The other option I see is to match frame later and substitute the nested audio with the original files, but this a 90 min (at least) documentary and I don't wanna put myself into such a nightmare."

This is what I usually do. I'll edit using multicam and only cut with audio from the lav and the boom (assuming both are there) and then after I lock the edit I'll cut just use Matchframe and Overwrite to cut in all audio tracks from the cameras so that the mixer will have everything possible to shape the sound and fix problems. It's pretty simple because it's only two key strokes over and over again; Match frame and Overwrite (or replace if there are audio FX you want to keep intact, though in my experience mixers want to start with a totally clean slate).

A few years ago I was an AE on a feature doc cut with FCP 7 and used this method as well, though it was a bit more complicated on that project because of the sheer number of tracks that came from production. The multicam clips (two cameras plus an external audio recorder) would have up to 20 audio channels at times so when it came time to turn it over to audio I had to work out a solid track map for the mixer. Once I did that though it was still pretty simple (Match frame, Overwrite, Match frame, Overwrite, Match frame, Overwrite, etc.,).

Certainly not as elegant as the options you get to visually represent audio in X, but it's doable especially since you are only working with three audio tracks from production.


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