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Old May 16th, 2020, 01:27 AM   #1
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Creating those multi-stream videos from phones

I've finally completed one of those multi-source videos for a choir. You know, those fund raisers for charities where everyone sings at home, and you edit it into a finished product. I never assumed it would be easy, but wow - what a time consuming thing to do.

Plenty of anticipated problems, but so many caused by technology.

Video via Adobe Premiere, and the audio via Cubase.

The plan was to make guide tracks for them to sing to, and put these on youtube. Sing to them with headphones in and record on the phone.

Initial proress fast - receive an email, log into online shared storage, find the right track - difficult when their labelling doesn't help, and download it. Discover weird file formats - like the Android ones, convert them to something sensible and stick it into Premiere.

Export the audio to Cubase, on a different computer - BIG time waster with files going back and forth.

Create the choir in Cubase usually while waiting for Premiere to render. Something that got more and more annoying as the track count rose.

The final edit looked OK until I noticed the sync had gone wrong - and some tracks were playing at random speeds, when they didn't originall. Eventually I found 20 versions previously a morph to cover a jump cut where everyone missed a tempo change in the audio track had gone wrong. At the time it didn't matter, but as track count went up, at first renders suddenly took twice the time, then because unstable, then crashed continually. Going back, and redoing everything from that point cured it, but I was tearing my hair out.

If anyone fancies doing one, I'm now full of tips - so just ask and I can maybe help you not waste so much time and effort.

I also now know how 40 sources with shrinking and screen placement, masks and crops really tax the system.

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Old May 18th, 2020, 08:23 AM   #2
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Re: Creating those multi-stream videos from phones

Thanks for sharing Paul. I am amazed that it sounds so good given the sources.
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Old May 18th, 2020, 09:27 AM   #3
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Re: Creating those multi-stream videos from phones

Cubase has some very useful features to assist and these work well on solo singers.

The bigest problem, which I discovered when our band switched to IEM monitors is that with both ears plugged up it is VERY easy to be consistently sharp or flat and with 38 tracks the way phrases are sun and the pitch accuracy need some assistance. They all sing to a track, so you might get these variations:
Lovin'-dat-man-of-mine
Lovin'dat -man-of-mine
Lovin'-dat-manof-mine
Lovin'-dat-man-ofmine

or other versions - which need sorting out so they align. Cubase actually does auto alignment, but it was ineffective her, and mean slicing each track up and moving it forwards or backwards. Individually, they were fine, but it was a mess together.
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Old May 19th, 2020, 10:48 AM   #4
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Re: Creating those multi-stream videos from phones

Very well done, Paul.

Regarding the clips themselves, did you import them on a single drive, or did you spread them across multiple hard drives for editing?

(I am doing something similar for a local community group. Each member sends me their video via Dropbox, and I convert them to a common resolution, framerate and MP4 format (yes, I can't stand those weird Android video formats either 😑).)
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Old May 19th, 2020, 11:24 AM   #5
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Re: Creating those multi-stream videos from phones

All on the same drive, and resizing done in Premiere. The odd Android strange one was the only one that needed conversion, other than that the files were straight from google drive and drop box - not everyone seemed able to cope with the file transfers.
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Old May 22nd, 2020, 03:14 AM   #6
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Re: Creating those multi-stream videos from phones

Well done, Paul. Great job.
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