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Old August 15th, 2005, 06:19 PM   #1
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Sync for Music Videos

How do I create a sync for music videos, shooting on a XL-1 and XL-2?
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Old August 15th, 2005, 11:27 PM   #2
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Playback from a CD on set. Have the band play or lipsync to that. It also makes for a great scratch track...
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Old August 16th, 2005, 01:23 AM   #3
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Believe it or not, there will be a time delay over a certain period of time. Even though both the CD and the video are digital, for some reason the MiniDV tape doesn't go the exact speed it should all the time, and you'll lose a millisecond or two here and there. It doesn't sound like a lot, but I've been mixing music for years and I can tell you a millisecond difference is instantly noticable by the ear. Ever heard a song where the guitar "fills" both speakers instead of sounding like it's coming from dead center? It's because one of the stereo channels on the guitar track is delayed a few milliseconds. Unfortunately I really don't have a fix for this except periodically show the timecode for the cd track on-screen every once in a while.
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Old August 16th, 2005, 03:14 AM   #4
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Hi Steve
Are we to assume that you are shooting a wide shot on one camera and a close up on the other while the band plays? If so all you need is some sort of audio noise before the band begins, ie the drummer hitting his drum sticks together.
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Old August 16th, 2005, 07:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane Ross
Have the band play or lipsync to that.
Eh... you should never have 'em wordlessly lip sync. They need to play for real, out loud, at least as far as vocals go. An electric guitar doesn't need to be plugged in in order to look like it's being played, but singing, now that's something else. You can always spot a silent "wordless lipsync" and it looks as fake as it is. Have the musician belt it out for real in sync with the on-set music source.
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Old August 16th, 2005, 08:21 AM   #6
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The thing is, the band won't always play perfectly in sync with the recorded track if they can't hear it well.

It definitely helps to do full takes, so it means you have to sync things once many little takes.
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Old August 16th, 2005, 08:25 AM   #7
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Sync for Music Videos

Thank you everyone. What I am looking for is a way to use TC or someother reliable repeatable way to sync the video tracks to the studio audio track.


More information; The Muscians are playing to a Studio track, we shoot them on XL1 and XL2s, the cameras pick up the playback and the ambient noise/singing drums... ...how is the studio audio synced back in during post?



Also as a side question is it possible to nudge the audio tack in FCP by a partial frame? As noted above the track can be off by just a tiny bit and the sound will reverb, or the picture and sound will be off by less than a frame.
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Old August 16th, 2005, 08:29 AM   #8
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Hi Steve, probably best to post your FCP question as a new thread in our Mac Editing forum.
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Old August 16th, 2005, 08:46 AM   #9
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I'm not sure what editing system you are using, and it does not really matter, but the Total Training, training tapes or DVDs, show a way to do it that looks pretty simple.

Record your music and such the way you want it, with the quality you want. When filming the band or whatever, play the music back for them to sync with, like on a tape player. Dump their sound from the filming, and make your cuts based on mouth or lip movements, and other things that occur during each performance. TT showed how to do it with many many different locations, costumes, and even added special effects and it was great.

Just as an example, it the song has the word "but" in it, all the clips can be synced up using the lip movement for that word. Of course you should use miltiple words, not just one. I know this sounds difficult, but I think you'll find it fairly easy.


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Old August 16th, 2005, 10:55 AM   #10
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The process to sync things in editing programs is mostly the same. You lay down markers or trim your shots to specific 'sync points' (my made-up phrase). In FCP, you can select a clip a hit m to lay a marker in it. You get snapping for those markers, you have to click+drag in the area above the marker.

Sync points:
You can take the studio track and add 1frame increments of a sound to sync to. 1frame of 400hz/1khz tone would work, as would a transient (a quick spike) you generate yourself.
Even if you do that, the band may not necessarily be in sync to the playback track they are listening to (the track you play at the shoot). As in, the drummer might just go to his/her own tempo because his/her drums are so much louder than the playback track.

Other go sync points is when the lips open on plosives (b or p sounds like in the word but).

Drums is another good one, because they tend to make transients (which appear as sharp spikes on a waveform).

2- Manually syncing is not that hard and doesn't take that long. You may have to manual sync clips anyways, if the band does not play in sync with the playback track (during your shoot). Or, some professional music videos don't even sync clips manually (presumably because it's not that noticeable). If you watch MTV, not everything is in sync down to the frame.
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