Sync footage in seconds
While we were shooting an upcoming DVcreators course, we ended up shooting dual-system sound because the XLR adapter we were using started adding noise to the track on set. We couldn’t record directly into the camera, so we fired up our Tascam DR 60D to record audio externally and went about our business. That itself wasn’t a big deal. But when I sat down to edit the next day, I found myself staring at hours of video footage and audio files… without the same time code. From multiple cameras. And behind-the-scenes footage without slates. So I screamed, had some coffee, synced for an hour, and screamed again.
Then I decided to use a tool I’d heard of many times but never tried myself: PluralEyes. If you haven’t used PluralEyes yet, please do yourself a favor and download a trial here. If you’ve ever recorded dual system sound and had to sync manually, you know how laborious that process can be. PluralEyes automates that process by analyzing the audio from your camera and the audio from your external recorder. Then it syncs them up in seconds! No clapboards or timecode needed. Just make sure to record in-camera sound as a guide track.
The two main features in the new version of PluralEyes are Sync Drift Correction and an improved syncing algorithm. PluralEyes has always been accurate to me, so the improved syncing algorithm isn’t as big of a deal as the Sync Drift Correction. In long clips, sound and video can stop matching up perfectly. This new feature accounts for that and claims to eliminate that problem. This is huge for anyone with long takes!
Shooter Suite: 6 Awesome Tools
Red Giant’s Shooter Suite is made of six awesome tools. Keep in mind these come with a price tag of $399, but I can tell you from first-hand experience that it pays for itself the first time you use one to save a project that’s in a tight spot.
A standalone app for on-set offload, backup and review of footage.
Audio/Video Sync in Seconds. No clapboards or timecode needed.
Easy Video Noise Reduction.
Upconvert video to 4K resolution and other high-resolution formats.
Deinterlace your older footage and convert it to 24P.
Import, create and export Lookup Tables.
Ok, ok good point. If you’re using Final Cut Pro X, you know it has fantastic syncing abilities. But… you can’t sync multiple clips at once! I’m unaware of other NLEs that can sync clips well, so if you’re not using FCP X, then you’re probably banging your head against your desk at hour 3 of syncing your project manually.
PluralEyes is a time saver. Period. The best way to save time on syncing sound is to record quality audio directly into the camera. But if for some reason your can’t or weren’t able to, it’s a life saver.
As far as the rest of the Shooter Suite, this depends on how often you run into the problems those products address. But my bet is anyone who works with video professionally will run into every one of them at some point. Maybe you’re dealing with legacy footage that needs to be edited in a 24p timeline (Frames). Maybe your footage low res footage has some artifacting or isn’t high res enough to reframe (Instant 4K). The list goes on. But if you’ve got a client waiting for awesome results, the $399 more than pays for itself.
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