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  • Zodesuy
    Posts: 5
    Joined: Sep 7th, 2008, 08:31
    Using timecode to sync audio and video from separate devices
    I am trying to find the best way to sync audio and video recorded on separate devices. I'm doing interviews with musicians, and would like to record the audio to a dedicated recorder and not rely on the camera mic preamps. The problem I have, is setting up an audio recorder separately, would not start/stop at the same time as the camera. Likely, the audio recorder would start at the beginning of the interview and run the entire time, without stopping. However, the camera will be stopped from time to time. I am hoping there is a simple, automatic way, to start a FCX project, drop the audio into the timeline, and then have the video clips align with the audio. Then I could cut the audio track into clips and keep them linked with the video. So I am thinking I would need to somehow record timecode onto the camera (Sony HDR ax2000) and an audio recorder (which I haven't purchased yet). Am I on track here, or is there a better way?
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  • BenB
    Posts: 501
    Joined: Feb 14th, 2011, 04:27
    Re: Re: Re: Re: Using timecode to sync audio and video from sepa
    There is an awesome way to do this in FCP X. First, if you HAVE to record audio to a secondary device (never the best practice), I'd stop audio recording when the camera is not running, but that's a personal preference. But be sure the camera is in fact recording audio, and picking up the interview decently, or you won't have any reference to work with. Unless you're using very high end hardware, you probably can't sync timecode between devices. The only way to do this is using a Timecode Generator, and running cables from it to all of your devices, who then read that timecode and write it to their files. But again, only high end hardware has this ability. It is a dedicated port/cable. All due respect but with your specific camera, since you have XLR inputs and nice mic preamps, you'd be insane to not record audio to the camera. Even a Canon 5D MkII records GREAT audio with a JuicedBox. A dedicated audio device won't improve your audio, only improving the mic will do that. Only if you can not physically have the mics connected to the camera should you use a dedicated audio device. There are affordable wireless systems to help with this. Recording audio to your camera, especially one that nice, saves you lots of time, drives space, and headaches. So if you must use a separate audio device, in FCP X, you'd select all relate clips in the Browser (Command-click). Oh, and be sure you Optimize your video on Import for faster more accurate workflows. Once they are all selected, right-click on any of the selected clips and chose "Synchronize Clips" (Option-Command-G). This will create a specialized Compound Clip called a Sync Clip. Double-click it, or right-click and chose "Open In Timeline" and tweak anything that isn't 100% synchronized. In the Browser, with the sync clip selected, go to the Inspector > Audio > Channel Configuration and configure all of the audio channels as you need. The FCP X course on media ingesting (FCP X 102) covers syncing in more detail. [url]https://www.macprovideo.com/tutorial/finalcutprox102-media-ingesting-and-organizing[/url]
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  • Zodesuy
    Posts: 5
    Joined: Sep 7th, 2008, 08:31
    Re: Using timecode to sync audio and video from separa...
    Thanks for your thoughts, Ben. The main reason for wanting to do this, is in addition to the interview, there is often a guitar amp/instrument being mic'd at the same time. With a two person crew (interviewer and camera) it's hard to keep watch of levels and audio, as well as the visual. The hope was to basically get more channels of audio, to be able to keep interview mic(s) separated and instrument mics on individual channels for better control in editing. It would be difficult to always start and stop the camera and audio device at similar times, just do to the rushed nature of trying to grab and interview quickly before sound check for example, so I wouldn't be able to count on that. Will probably end up getting a rolls field mixer or similar, to be able to use more than one voice mic at least, and just keep voice and instrument in separate channels going into the camera. Just with digital everything now days, you'd think there could be a simple, inexpensive way of doing this! Where's the light pipe port on the camera to record multichannel audio!?
    Reply
  • BenB
    Posts: 501
    Joined: Feb 14th, 2011, 04:27
    Re: Using timecode to sync audio and video from separa...
    AAAAhhh... You never mentioned that you were recording individual instruments, also! That's a different situation. Then yeah, you need something to get all of that on different channels. How many channels do you need total? So consider this. The Apogee Quartet (and Duet and One) will be released as iPad compatible versions very soon, if not already. I need to check on if that's been released yet. But using that with an iPad and Auria is how I'll be doing my field audio soon.
    Reply
  • Zodesuy
    Posts: 5
    Joined: Sep 7th, 2008, 08:31
    Re: Using timecode to sync audio and video from separa...
    Yeah, I should have mentioned the audio needs in the first post, whops! I was actually looking at the iOS compatible Apogee stuff, which obviously would be capable of good sound, but at the same time, the camera person can't carry around an iPad and camera at the same time. Especially since other than the one, they aren't battery powered. So it would pretty much mean setting the audio recording, and leaving it be, then moving with just the camera. Which is why I hoped if the audio could just record from start to finish, have time code in it, then all the video clips could just pop overtop the audio track in the timeline where they belong. But lets say, I use FCX's auto syncing, for 3 video clips, but I only have 1 audio clip that ran the whole time, would FCX be able to pull out the audio for each video clip from that one audio file? We've been getting by with just two miss, one for the guitar amp, one interview mic passed back and forth. Ideally, it would be nice to have lav's on the people, and instrument mic. Occasionally, there is a second person as well, so 3-4 miss would be pretty ideal.
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  • BenB
    Posts: 501
    Joined: Feb 14th, 2011, 04:27
    Re: Using timecode to sync audio and video from separa...
    The camera person wouldn't carry both at the same time. You'd set up the mics, wireless lavs on people for interviews is standard. Run them to the Apogee/iPad, just leave it be in the corner somewhere. If you use a portable, battery powered recorder, you're still probably going to be stuck with only two channels, thus need a mixer/preamp. That will take some thought and careful planning. Yes, the sync function in FCP X handles multiple audio/video clips at once. And in some cases, a Multiclip works even better.
    Reply
  • Zodesuy
    Posts: 5
    Joined: Sep 7th, 2008, 08:31
    Re: Using timecode to sync audio and video from separa...
    Wow! I did a test today, recorded voice through a mic, a guitar's output both directly through a Duet into Garageband on individual channels. Hit record, stood in front of the camera (with the camera built in mic on), started and stopped only the camera a few times and imported both the video clips and both audio tracks into FCX. Selected a clip, selected the audio files, hit sync clips and actually worked! The video clips get extended because the audio file was longer, but I just trim them down by viewing the sync'd clip in the timeline. I'm impressed! I'll have to try another test with a lot of background noise and see how much it takes to confuse FCX.
    Reply
  • BenB
    Posts: 501
    Joined: Feb 14th, 2011, 04:27
    Re: Using timecode to sync audio and video from separa...
    When you make the Sync Clip, before doing anything else, highlight it in the Browser, go to the Inspector, to the Audio section, go down to the Channel Configuration, turn off the channels you don't need. Like the one from the camera. This article deals specifically with audio channels in a Multiclip, but the mechanics of what's done in the Inspector and Timeline (ignore the Angle Editor section) are the same for what you need to do.
    Reply
  • Zodesuy
    Posts: 5
    Joined: Sep 7th, 2008, 08:31
    Re: Using timecode to sync audio and video from separa...
    Was there a link to go with that?
    Reply
  • BenB
    Posts: 501
    Joined: Feb 14th, 2011, 04:27
    Re: Using timecode to sync audio and video from separa...
    Oh yes, sorry, my bad. Here it is. [url]http://www.macprovideo.com/hub/final-cut/final-cut-pro-multiclip-audio-channel-editing-1006[/url]
    Reply
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