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Old September 11th, 2010, 08:48 AM   #1
New Boot
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Location: Memphis, TN
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New guy here, question about how to...

Hey guys,

Newbie here on the forums. Been reading/learing for a long long while, and now need to ask a question. Oh and I know the title of this thread gives you NO idea what I am going to ask, but I couldn't figure out a good way to put enough info in the title.

So anyway, here goes...

Doing a multi cam record of an it say a dance recital/competition. During each performance, the judges (several different ones) make verbal comments into a voice recorder. A copy of the commentary is provided on CD to each team for feedback. A dvd of each performance is also given to each team for review. For any of you who shoot academic events and competitions, you know exactly what I am talking about. Is there any way to combine the two? I guess the best way to say it would be overlay the verbal commentary with the video? Keeping in mind we are talking about several different versions of commentary (from different individual judges).

To me, the most awesome set-up would be to have a dvd that had menus which allowed you to select each person's commentary and have it played while viewing the performance. That seems to me would be something fancy done during DVD authoring. Am I way off here?

The second issue would be sync. I have no idea how you could record an event (with its own audio), three or four judge commentaries, then allow each individual separate commentary to be played in sync with the video.

Anyone have any ideas? Oh and since I am "asking for the moon" here I will throw this would be nice if it could be done fairly quickly so as to provide fairly rapid feedback.


Greg Robison is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 11th, 2010, 09:21 AM   #2
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I'd say the first issue is sync! Granted, sync doesn't have to be perfect lip-sync to be of value in this situation, but, the way judges use their recorders, achieving even rough sync could be a significant post chore. What I'm saying is, if the judges only turn on their recorders when they want to make a comment, you can't just drop the Judge 2 track on top of your video in an NLE and have any kind of sync. You might have difficulty knowing which competitor was to receive the comments?

This could be solved in one of three ways:
1) Have the judges run their recorders continuously. (maybe they do already)
2) If the judges are not roaming, provide a mic for each judge, leading to some multitrack recorder that you run continuously. (I've covered marching band competitions, the judges roam...)
3) Just apply the hours of labor in post - the brute force method eventually works.

The DVD-Video standard includes commentary tracks, multiple language tracks, etc. It's not trivial to do it, but with good authoring software it can be done.

Seems like a great approach that would be of real value to competitors.
30 years of pro media production. Vegas user since 1.0. Webcaster since 1997. Freelancer since 2000. College instructor since 2001.
Seth Bloombaum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 11th, 2010, 04:07 PM   #3
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Thanks for the thoughts. You brought to my mind two issues I had not really even contemplated...roaming judges and the start/stop recording they do. This clearly will not be easy.


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Old September 11th, 2010, 06:23 PM   #4
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I've done similar projects where judges are giving commentary during the performance. I use Sony Vegas Pro to edit the video, pull in the sound from the camera and/or soundboard, as well as each judges running commentary on separate tracks. I then render the video with the primary sound (music or vocal performance) and each of the commentary tracks as separate sound files.

I pull each one into Sony DVD Architect using the language selections so that the viewer can chose to hear just the music, or music plus one of the commentaries. So, one file will have just the music or performance, another file will have the music plus judge one's comments, and so forth.

Ask each judge to make sure to let the recorder run for the duration of each performance. In other words, don't start and stop for each of their comments. That way, once you sync the beginning of each performance you can just let it run for that performance. You will have to sync each of the performances separately.

You will have to lower the music for the files that will have the judges comments.

In the judges comments you should be able to hear the performance so you can use that to sync with the camera sound.

I usually don't have a separate menu selection for each judge. Just a note in the main menu letting the viewer know that audio track 1 is just the performance, track 2 had "judge's name" comments, etc.

People have generally been very happy with this setup. Also, if you can get the judges to use digital recorders it makes life a lot easier. I had one where all of the judges were using the mini tape recorders and it was a pain. First the quality was not very good and second I had to capture all of the comments in real time. Hours of audio capture is no fun.

Hope that helps,
Garrett Low is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 11th, 2010, 08:08 PM   #5
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I would put a mic on each judge (a desktop mic on their table?) and run all the mics back to a simple multi-track recorder. You could use something like a Zoom R16 which is an 8 track recorder that writes directly to SDHC flash cards. You can suck the WAV files off the SDHC cards directly into a video NLE timeline. If there is any music leakage into the judges' mics (there always is) that should be sufficient to sync the tracks. Or you could just sneeze just before the performance starts to establish a sync point(!)

It would be even nicer if you could get all the judges to do a combined running dialog (like the commentary track on a movie DVD). Then you could simply put the music on one track and the combined commentary on the other and "produce" it in real-time. And hand a finished DVD to the performers as they leave the stage. I do something like that for a choral conducting workshop. Including split-screen video of the student conductors and the professor's instructions, along with the sound of the choir, etc.
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Old September 12th, 2010, 03:35 PM   #6
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Note that the Zoom R16 only has two channels of mic inputs with phantom power. The R24 has six channels with phantom power. They are both 8 track recorders.
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