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Old September 27th, 2010, 08:58 PM   #1
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Placing clips on timeline to correspond with media start/end times

I will be shooting a reception this weekend - supposed to last 5 hours. My plan is to take a direct audio feed from the DJ and record to an external audio recorder. The timecode on my EX-3 I will set to free-run so that when I start/stop, which will be frequent, the timecode on my clips will have some correlation to the timecode of the audio. I have found that there is very little drift between the two devices, so that is not a significant concern.

My question is, can I easily place all of my clips on the timeline so that they space out according to the media time code? I hope it is clear what I'm asking here. I'll probably have well over 100 clips, and if I have to manually set them all on the timeline according to their media start/end times, it's going to take me forever.

Let me know if this questions needs more clarification.

Best Regards,

Nathan
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Old September 27th, 2010, 09:00 PM   #2
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Oh - I'm running FCP 6.x, in case that makes a difference.
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Old September 27th, 2010, 10:26 PM   #3
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To clarify for us; why do you need to do this? What's the use of areas with sound from the DJ but no video? If you had a second camera running at least I would understand.
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Old September 27th, 2010, 10:50 PM   #4
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I'll be starting and stopping the video frequently, but not the audio. I'll have over 100 clips, I'm sure. If I have to align the audio & video for each of those clips by simply matching the audio from the camera to the audio from the DJ. But if the camera is on a free-run mode, then the tme will increment on both devices the same amount. For instance, if my first video clip starts when the audio device is at 00:01:00:00 and runs for 30 seconds - then I stop the camera, but the audio will keep recording. Then I might start the camera again when the audio recorder is at 4:23 (these are all arbitrary time values) and run it for 20 seconds. A third clip might start when the audio is at 5:15, and so on. In the end, I'll have one big long audio file and a LOT of video clips. I don't actually want to keep any of the audio from when the video is not running, but it will serve as placeholder material between my video clips until I get everything aligned. Since my camera is running with free-run timecode, the clips start/end times will correspond to the proper position of the audio file. Yes, there will be an off-set -- I'm not even going to try to synchronize the starting of the clocks of both devices - but the off-set will be constant. I COULD take every clip, look at it's start time, do the math and add/subtract the offset from the audio timecode and then manually place it on the timeline at the proper location, but that seems extremely tedious. Isn't there a way I can have the video clips dropped to a spot on the timeline that corresponds to the media start/end time?

Is that more clear?

Thanks.
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Old September 28th, 2010, 12:00 AM   #5
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The technique you describe I understand but the reason you want to do it, I don't. But here is a method but unfortunately it will be a chore. I do this when while shooting a multiple-camera event, one of the cameras has to stop and start again. By doing what I'm about to describe I can create a file that syncs up with the other cameras for a multi-cam edit.

First create a sequence but alter the timecode of the sequence so that it starts at the same time code as the audio file (or the video file, whichever is the base timecode). Put the audio file in the sequence and then drop the video files in at the corresponding sequence timecode. If you type the start timecode of each clip into the sequence timecode location box, you will be able to use a keyboard command (F10) to drop in the clips easily. It will take some time to do but you'll have exactly what you want.
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Old September 29th, 2010, 12:32 AM   #6
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Unless I'm missing something it sounds to me like you need to purchase Pluraleyes. Drop your video clips onto the FCP timeline along with the audio recorded to those clips and then drop your one long audio clip on the timeline beneath it. Let pluraleyes sync all the clips up.
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Old September 29th, 2010, 04:27 AM   #7
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Several ways to do this. Manually is one of them, but who wants to do that?

For automated solutions, select ALL the (video) clips you want in the browser, right click and tell FCP to create a MULTICLIP SEQUENCE (not multiclip). It will drop all the footage in place according to the time code. Then add your audio capture and manually sync the start and you should be good to go.

Alternatively, drop all the footage on to the time line, drop the audio on to the time line and run PluralEyes on the sequence (free 30 day trial available). Provided you have reasonable audio from both devices (it does not have to be perfect) PluralEyes will sync all the video clips to the audio. It's not perfect, and can take a while for lots of clips, but it does work most of the time.

If it were me (and I sync up to 7 cameras with 2 separate audio streams from time to time) I would use the MULTICLIP SEQUENCE option first and see how it goes. It fast, easy and free.
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Old September 29th, 2010, 06:26 AM   #8
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Dave-

Great!-- I think this will do exactly what I need. Multiclip sequence... Thanks for the tip.

Pluraleyes might be useful in certain parts of this project, and I may look into that as well, but it sounds like multiclip sequence is going to do the trick quite nicely.

Thanks again.

--Nathan
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