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Stewart

DSLR best practices from the perspective of a location sound recordist

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Gentlemen I will differ and from experience and also having contacted the mfg. pluraleyes look at a polyfile like a mono sum of all the tracks contained inside of it. It uses it to compare to the audio on the camera. As long as the content of both is very similar, it works.

BUT when you send a mono feed to a camera that contains only the track that are part of a mix and not all the tracks since certain inputs are faded down, then the content of the two files ( polyfile from the recorder and the camera ) can be substantially different and then pluraleyes rate of success drops drastically. I had a project that was going to be resync with pluraleyes. I had 7 wireless and a boom ( boom op ), and since I was constantly fading in and out the lavs, pluraleyes success rates was around 50%. Of course the producer did not want timecode on the camera and refused a slate. Result, A NIGHTMARE in post. Small difference will pass bit be very careful.

For me when I know that a project will use pluraleyes, I record only my mix not the Isos unless requested otherwise. Then it works like a charm.

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Of course the producer did not want timecode on the camera and refused a slate. Result, A NIGHTMARE in post. Small difference will pass bit be very careful. For me when I know that a project will use pluraleyes, I record only my mix not the Isos unless requested otherwise. Then it works like a charm.

 

Is there no way to tell PluralEyes, "only use channel 1 for comparison?" I know I've never had a complaint from people who have used it on some of my projects, and they've always had isos.

 

Anytime somebody tells me "no timecode camera and we don't want timecode slates," I always advise them proceed at your own peril. (As nicely as I can.)

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Last time I checked, no. Pluraleyes sees the polyfile as one big mono sum of its content. That is the problem. So the solutions is for a DSLR shoot:

Without TC, only record a mix no Isos and make sure that your are sending a mono sum version of that mix on the camera.

With TC, use Videotoolshed Aux FCP TC Reader suite ( including BWF QT merge ). Feed the camera with a TC generator into its audio input using a pad or leering the level if you can on the sync box.

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I'm pretty sure you can do isos by adding a second, (or however many isos) audio recorder bin in plural eyes... Maybe not? My brother usually does this side of our work, but we were working on a work flow yesterday and seemed to come to this conclusion. Our issue is with FCPX- after plural eyes locks the different tracks it won't take them into FCPX without slapping EVERYTHING into the timeline, which is frustrating for the editing stage of course. Maybe it's time for premier?

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Last time I checked, no. Pluraleyes sees the polyfile as one big mono sum of its content. That is the problem. So the solutions is for a DSLR shoot:

Without TC, only record a mix no Isos and make sure that your are sending a mono sum version of that mix on the camera.

With TC, use Videotoolshed Aux FCP TC Reader suite ( including BWF QT merge ). Feed the camera with a TC generator into its audio input using a pad or leering the level if you can on the sync box.

From this logic i could record my isos post fade and the i d get something syncable on plural eyes? (Because the sum of my tracks will be similar to my mix)

I feel that it s riskier if something goes wrong to only record a mix. Especially in unscripted documentary project that i m just about to do.

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Indeed Dominique it would work. Also you could record Isos prefade ( in order to keep a safe gain structure on the Isos ) but always make sure to mute or close inputs that are not used. What I mean and at the same time what screws up pluraleyes, it's the off camera talent with an wireless mic that is not open in the mix and as a conversation. That is what makes pluraleyes freak out.

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This is how I feel about it too. Assures you're slating sound as close as you can to the camera, but that's not even why I agree.

If the end plan is to use PluralEyes why not use the sound recorded from the onboard mic?

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Thank you for this thread. I am usually on the post-production editing side of things and was amazed at all of this PluralEyes nonsense.

"Why don't they just shoot dual system and send timecode as audio on one track, and a mono mix on the other track?" I thought.

Then I tried to actually set this up and it dawned on me that this isn't exactly plug and play.

L channel = mix from SD702T

R channel = timecode as analog audio (with pad)

So I need to do this:

1. TC out from SD702T -> 5-pin Lemo -> XLR -> pad? (-10db? -30db?) -> minijack (left)

2. Tape out or XLR out from SD702T -> -pad? (-10db? -30db?) -> somehow combine L+R signals -> minijack (right)

Oh boy. It's not like you can get a nice kit for that - and the cables wouldn't be cheap either. No wonder all of the DSLR folks (who are often a bit new and also lack money for fancy $100 lemo cables) don't do things properly.

At the end of the day, it might be a better investment just to get a Lockit box and / or a wireless setup?

Am I missing something really simple here? Thank you.

Bruce Allen

www.boacinema.com

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" Am I missing something really simple here? "

also requires a workflow that can deal with the TC on audio tracl...

simple = TC slate

 

That's a good point - I'm used to timecode tracks as audio thanks to Avid but most folks and many software packages don't seem to even know it exists.

 

And yes, this pretty much explains why anyone shooting something with a production below the "we can rent a TC slate" level just gives me PluralEyes stuff.

 

I wish that weren't the case but thanks for confirming.

 

Bruce Allen

www.boacinema.com

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just to throw another workflow into the mix:

 

multiple 5Dmkii and Sony FS700. Each camera has a Zaxcom ERXTCD feeding ltc timecode onto one of the audio channels.

plop all the audio from my recorder and the footage into Avid

sync from the ltc of the video footage, and voila!

 

theoretically it is even possible to also send a scratch audio track, but in practice the level mismatch doesn't work on the DSLR camera's so more gear would be involved or a special cable with one channel padded...

also in our situation with the FS700 it was better to have an onboard shotgun.

 

i know this is kind of a special workflow and not for everybody but i'll just put it out there because maybe it will be perfect for somebody else!

 

-emory

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My SOP is to hang a g3 on the dslr with a summed mono signal for reference.

Today was a perfect example..

3 camera shoot.. Varicam, fs700 and a 5dll. Cabled to varicam and fs700, g3 for 5d...slate..done! I recorded in my mixer but it was only 2 tracks of audio so it wasn't really necessary to hand off media.

When its just a dslr shoot, production gets my recorded audio for... For a fee of course! :-)

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A best practice might be to not be stage dependent on the camera's preamps, but rather supersede them if possible. I'm sure someone said this already with the proper terminology. 

Other ideas?

1) Check the version number or give your independent film maker a link to the firmware, so you know you're embarking on options that will actually be supported.

2) Maybe short of calibrating with a display at unity gain, calibrate your mixer to clipping.

3) Consider owning an array of attenuators as a staple of your inventory

 

It comes with the territory that some folks using these cameras are either doing some fashion music video, know that it is intended for the web and not even a festival, or just never cared. And many folks in that boat would only trust themselves with sound printed to tape and traveling with the image. So, no, plural eyes is just one of a few best practice approaches. Offering a pret-a-porter product line that has a culturally accepted level of compromise in terms of quality and expediency is another way to go.

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just to throw another workflow into the mix:

multiple 5Dmkii and Sony FS700. Each camera has a Zaxcom ERXTCD feeding ltc timecode onto one of the audio channels.

plop all the audio from my recorder and the footage into Avid

sync from the ltc of the video footage, and voila!

theoretically it is even possible to also send a scratch audio track, but in practice the level mismatch doesn't work on the DSLR camera's so more gear would be involved or a special cable with one channel padded...

also in our situation with the FS700 it was better to have an onboard shotgun.

i know this is kind of a special workflow and not for everybody but i'll just put it out there because maybe it will be perfect for somebody else!

-emory

Hi friend,

Nice to read about your setup! Note that turning tc output voltage all the way down on erx is usually fine level for dslr's. Also running magic lantern hack straight off the compact flash on a 5d mark2 will allow you to manually adjust gain seperately on each channels and get visual metering.

I wish that that more production companys had a clue about

The possibility of audio tc. They usually have no idea.

Cheers!

Dominique

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Stewart don't worry about Mike, he will often reply to threads but rarely with helpful answers.

I find the pluraleyes system works well with a tradition slate as a backup. You don't want to be manually slate-syncing every shot, that is definitely not the most productive use of time in post. What I usually do on DSLR shoots is record primary audio on my recorder but send a mono mix from my mixer to the camera mic input with a small light wireless system like a Sennheiser EW-112p G3. This way the director/cam op can watch back clips with sound rather than having to wait until its been synced up to hear the dialogue. Also it means that you'll have less trouble syncing with pluraleyes because the waveforms will be pretty much identical. You can often have trouble syncing the recorder audio with the camera if you have only used an onboard camera mic because the camera may not necessarily be close to the action, for example if you are on a wide shot, so the audio waveforms may not be a close match.

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Fascinating stuff!

 

I find myself working with many types of camera and always encourage guide tracks, jamming or/and a tc slate.

 

There are often contradicting opinions and as I do not have contact with the post house (it may not have been selected)

so it is difficult to understand what is really wanted, the post process in use and who therefore what is best.

 

Production do not know, the camera department don't and video split often have their own ideas!!!!

 

Hold on I should focus on catching sound and recording it!

 

mike

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