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Old May 28th, 2006, 08:46 PM   #1
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camera syncronization question

I am shooting a concert next week with three cameras. It is scheduled for 90 minutes so we will need to change the tapes on all the cameras. I was wondering if anyone had any tips on keeping the tapes syncronized after we change them?

I will be easy to syncronize the first set of tapes but I am trying to minimize the amount of problems I might encounter during the tape change.

This is important because I want to do muticam editing with Premiere Pro 2 and having the cameras synced is a must.
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Old May 29th, 2006, 10:07 AM   #2
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A still camera flash could help you sync the camcorders visually. Otherwise, it's easy to synchronise the tracks by looking at the audio waveforms (look at the first drum hit of a song for instance).
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Old May 29th, 2006, 10:13 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monte Comeau
I am shooting a concert next week with three cameras. It is scheduled for 90 minutes so we will need to change the tapes on all the cameras. I was wondering if anyone had any tips on keeping the tapes syncronized after we change them?

I will be easy to syncronize the first set of tapes but I am trying to minimize the amount of problems I might encounter during the tape change.

This is important because I want to do muticam editing with Premiere Pro 2 and having the cameras synced is a must.
Well, the cameras will be synced by definition. But if you are asking how to synchronize the three cameras later on on the Premiere, I would like to listen to experts on the right way to do it.

Using a time-code slate would be an idea, but there might be others.

What I would is this:

1) Stop one camera first, say after 45 minutes, then another at 50 minutes, then another at 55 minutes into the show. Then you would always have two cameras rolling, which would be good for your editing.

2) Use a separate audio recording setup, sending wireless signals to the cameras audio tracks to help you on your editing.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 12:15 AM   #4
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Without something like a slate the still camera flash would definitely be the easiest way to do it. I've done it without a flash (almost any event two or more video cameras see at the same time can be used), but it can be a little tricky getting the sources synced just right, even using an audio track.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 08:03 AM   #5
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for an audible and visual element, i found a neat little trick which costs nothing and works on any NLE which can display a wave file

In addition to using an external audio recording device (highly recomended for stage shows.. jsut get a direct feed from their mixing console ;) )

have all cameras mobile and each facing each pther, abou the same distance apart.

Now snap your fingers 3 times..

in edit, align each of the 3 peaks created by the fingersnap. U will SEE the peaks and dips and syncing wont be difficult

I also agree with the comment made by stopping the recording at interval times as opposed to stopping them all at the same time.
To sync this, one would need to scrub through the footage and find a clear definable audio value and resync.

teh best option though, INMO, is dependant on your cameras ability to preduce timecode. If u can connect all 3 cams and sync their timecodes (free run, NOT rec run) through firewire, then your laughing..
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Old May 30th, 2006, 10:01 AM   #6
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Monte, when you sync the video/audio, use Ppro's Rate Stretch tool.

Rate Stretch tool is a very helpful tool when it comes to syncronize material from different cameras and and/or different audio sources.

/Roger
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Old May 30th, 2006, 02:02 PM   #7
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Can I just add the possibility of changing your tape speed. This holds some danger when the tape is played back in a different system, but as a one time, one-off, one use project, you should be fine with changing the tape speed, which would give you 90 minutes.

Mike Figgis did it for his single take in Timecode.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 04:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Kinney
Can I just add the possibility of changing your tape speed. This holds some danger when the tape is played back in a different system, but as a one time, one-off, one use project, you should be fine with changing the tape speed, which would give you 90 minutes.

Mike Figgis did it for his single take in Timecode.
I am going to go with this method. Thanks to all for the suggestions. They will come in handy for future projects.

I had thought that recording in LP would give lower quality for some reason and never considered it. Are there any drawbacks besides the playback issue?
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Old May 30th, 2006, 06:57 PM   #9
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The quality is the same, as long as the tape is being read back correctly.

LP tapes are especially sensitive to that... so another camera may not play back that tape well.

The risk of dropouts should go up too. (Some people get dropouts, some people don't.)
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Old May 30th, 2006, 11:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monte Comeau
I had thought that recording in LP would give lower quality for some reason and never considered it. Are there any drawbacks besides the playback issue?

What media will you be using? If it's miniDV don't use LP speed: the tape is too thin and you may lose a lot of info.

Even if it's another media, why risk having more problems? That film was fiction and it could be repeated, even if faking it. You can't do that with a concert.

Change the tapes and correct that in editing.
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