Best (or Fastest) Way to Sync Sound in FCP

Posted by ElysianChris 
Best (or Fastest) Way to Sync Sound in FCP
March 30, 2011 01:51PM
I just inherited the editing job on a indie feature film. The previous editor (before leaving) cut the whole film using the scratch audio from the camera and didn't bother to sync it to the production audio which was recorded separately.

What you you guys suggest as the fastest way for me to get the production audio synced up to the clips in the timeline?
I would love any and all suggestions.

Thanks in advance
Re: Best (or Fastest) Way to Sync Sound in FCP
March 30, 2011 02:58PM
A program called Plural Eyes is a popular choice around here. I just used it to sync the dailies from a short film shot with 2 cameras. It will auto-sync production audio to the reference audio on your dailies, and generally works very well. The limitation is that it works on a shot-by-shot basis, and you can't point it at your finished cut and expect magic to happen.

If the film has already been cut, you're in a small world of hurt, because you're probably going to have to sync the dailies, then over-cut the film with your proper audio. I'll hold back my opinion of the editor who left you with this task...
Re: Best (or Fastest) Way to Sync Sound in FCP
March 30, 2011 03:04PM
Since you're already mid-stream in editing, you might want to consider leaving the syncing until you have picture lock, so that you're syncing one out of 12 takes instead of all the dailies.

That said, sometimes audio files are so poorly managed that it could cost you a lot of time looking for one particular take. For example, I know some audio guys who don't do a verbal slate, don't keep sound reports, and mesh multiple shots and takes together into one file, making it impossible to locate just one take. In those cases, syncing all the dailies actually helps ground you -- so that you're not skipping anything, and have a complete record of what's been recorded, in order and documented in your project.

The important thing is, always sync in a separate sequence, and keep that sequence no matter what. That is a verified, ironclad sync sequence. As you edit, separate audio often gets nudged out of sync, and that's when you go back to the sync sequence. Sync sequences blow up your project-file size, so you might want to consider putting them into a separate project file that you open only when looking for sync components.
Re: Best (or Fastest) Way to Sync Sound in FCP
March 31, 2011 08:27AM
Pluraleyes is the way to go
Re: Best (or Fastest) Way to Sync Sound in FCP
March 31, 2011 12:14PM
Not sure if PluralEyes will help with footage AFTER you edited it. But I know and app that will. Designed for people in your situation... situations where editors are lazy and do things wrong.


(And I think it will just keep them being lazy...and do things wrong...but, at least it's there.)

Listen to THE EDIT BAY Podcast on iTunes
Re: Best (or Fastest) Way to Sync Sound in FCP
March 31, 2011 04:30PM
Sync n Link will only work if your Audio and Picture TCs match.
check it out.

i agree with Derek, it could be simpler to keep going down the path you are on until lock off.
unless the sound you are using is unbearable, i guess.

Re: Best (or Fastest) Way to Sync Sound in FCP
March 31, 2011 06:26PM
One thing that you can do is to grab all the qt files used in the edit and lay them out in one sequence, grab all the audio and throw them into plural eyes (or dual eyes), remove all edit points on those clips and wait for the analysis to be done before subclipping and batch exporting the files, then reconnect to the synced set of files. An issue may be that the number of audio tracks may not tally, and you may not be able to reconnect because of that. If that happens, you could subclip slugs or use a pair of blank audio tracks.

Manual syncing for an hour long show is crazy.

Btw, what's the difference between plural eyes and dual eyes?
Re: Best (or Fastest) Way to Sync Sound in FCP
March 31, 2011 06:30PM
I synced yards and yards of stuff which was already cut using Pluraleyes. It goes through the "camera" sound and the "separate" sound files glaring at the waveforms and finds the matching bits and pieces in your "separate" sound.

It certainly isn't infallible and it takes a very very l-o-n-g time. I left it overnight and it took about 12 hours or so to sync up a "B" camera to the "A" camera which is more or less what you are doing. But I had about 20 hours of dailies.

They also have very good tech support but it is by email only. However, they do reply pretty quickly.

Well worth the $150.


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