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How to approach a large project that isn't synced (100+ clips)

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Rob Hampton
How to approach a large project that isn't synced (100+ clips)
on Nov 29, 2017 at 1:59:55 am

I'm a FCPX hack, just trying to edit my music students' concert footage, and could use some expert guidance r.e. syncing about 100 short clips (closeups on a handheld camera) to two wide shots and the soundboard audio.

(About the screenshot above: The top row of short clips are the ones out of sync. The two rows of clips are of the two wide shot cameras, and those are in sync. Below the primary storyline will be three long clips of audio from the soundboard, which I still have to mix.)

The project was delivered to me by my camera guy, who'd exported it from Adobe Premier. It appears to have loaded in FCPX fine, but all the short clips are a little out of sync, usually by less than 1 second. I don't think he synced the timecode of his 3 cameras.

I've had poor results using FCPX's "synchronize clips using audio" in the past, on projects 30% this size. And when I did those projects, I synced the clips before bringing them to the timeline.

My questions:

1) Can I sync these clips automatically now that they're on the timeline, or do I have to rebuild the project?
2) If syncing based on audio doesn't work, is it possible/worth editing the timecode of the wide camera clips to make it match the timecode of the handheld clips?
3) Any other creative solutions?

I really, really don't want to have to manually sync all these clips. Ugh!

Thank you,


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Joe Marler
Re: How to approach a large project that isn't synced (100+ clips)
on Nov 29, 2017 at 9:55:35 am

FCPX might sync them if they are properly labeled. Each batch of clips from each camera must be labeled as a camera angle or camera name. Procedure:

1. In Event Browser at top left select List View (it's the button above the red X at left)
2. In Event Browser, click on clip name column header to sort by name. All the clips from each camera or device should be grouped together. This assumes the clips from each camera have unique naming formats. If they don't, you'll need to tag them with a keyword in to enable batch selection. If the original clips still exist in separate folders on a hard disk, you can name the folders, then re-import the material with the import option "Assign keywords from folders", which will automatically tag the clips from each camera.
3. In FCPX select a group of clips from one camera/recorder (Click on 1st, go to last and Shift-click).
4. In Inspector at upper right, click on Info button. If Inspector pane is not on, turn it on with Window>Show Inspector
5. At bottom of Inspector Pane, click the drop-down box and select "General". This shows more details.
6. 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.
7. Repeat steps 3 and 6 for each camera/recorder.
8. In Event Browser, select all clips from all the cameras you added camera name info to.
9. Right-click on the selected group and select "New Multicam Clip", then set checkbox "use audio for synchronization"

After doing this open the multicam clip, disable audio from each lane except your main audio, turn on the angle viewer and check synchronization. If any clips did not sync properly you can re-try the sync within the multicam clip:

(1) Select the camera and audio icons besides the main audio lane. This makes it the monitoring angle
(2) Select the non-synced A/V clip
(3) At the drop-down menu to the left of that lane, select "sync selection to monitoring angle". It will re-sync just the selected clip to the monitoring audio angle. You can also do with with multiple clips.

If this doesn't work you are probably best off using Plural Eyes; it can sync almost anything:

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