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Tom Polkamp

Tentacle Sync Workflow

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Hi all! 

 

I'm considering buying a single tentacle sync device for my sound kit. Now I know the magic with this device comes when using the provided software. It will interpret the timecode sound from the footage to timecode data and then sync that up with my audio. But how do you use this in a situation where I work for a client who does not have the software and is not really into buying the software for this project. Anyone has some experience in this? Is there another way for them to sync the tentacle sound data without the software? I know when using a higher end camera there is 'timecode in'. So this is only for cases when using a camera without this feature. 

 

I hope my question is clear and thanks in advance! 

 

Greetings from a dutch sound enthousiast! 

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Yes, resolve works fine with Audio LTC.

 

But for Audio LTC, you should check with your post production coordinator or the editorial team that they are up for it. And I generally try to run a test first to iron out all the possible glitches.

chris 

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Yes, do check with everyone involved. Avid has this built-in, but others do not. They need something for sync, though, so it’s either audio TC or PluralEyes. They may have one or the other already, so...

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There are a few third party tools they can purchase which are cheaper (but not as nice to use or simple, generally) than Tentacle Sync Studio - google AuxTC. As others have said, Resolve and Avid can perform this function, but be aware that Premiere and FCP cannot, at least not without additional plugins. 

 

On small jobs where I know they’ll be dumping on set or I’m well involved with the folks running the shoot, or where I’m doing post, I’ll bring my laptop to the shoot and spit them out an XML syncmap myself, it’s usually pretty quick and painless.

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Paul's solution seems like a good one. I recently did a job in which we synced in Tentacle, exported synced sequences to Premiere, and delivered a Premiere project file along with the footage. Worked fine because we checked with the editor ahead of time.

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On 9/28/2018 at 11:48 PM, Paul Katzman said:

There are a few third party tools they can purchase which are cheaper (but not as nice to use or simple, generally) than Tentacle Sync Studio - google AuxTC.

 

No need to google, it's in this link:

Get the demo for LTC convert here

 

 Now, funny you describe it as 'not simple to use', as all functionality inside is based on feedback of actual users.

Thus, it can do a gazillion more tricks than othes, but all were actually used at least by some one.

 

And it is easy. it will auto detect the LTC rate (although you can override that for special math if the LTC and other framerates do not match.)

The best thing, if you have LTC on a sound channel of your cam, you can stamp the 'should' be timestamp in the BWF files so the sound files match with the video timecode, while retaining the original BWF timestamp in a backup chunk.

And this is accurate up to a few samples!

This is lightning fast, and no need to add a project or something. Any editor who expects matching TC can work with these altered BWF's

For the OP:

We spreken prima nederlands, speel gerust met de demo en neem contact op als je vragen hebt.

Groet
Bouke

 

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On 10/5/2018 at 3:53 AM, Bouke said:

 

No need to google, it's in this link:

Get the demo for LTC convert here

 

 Now, funny you describe it as 'not simple to use', as all functionality inside is based on feedback of actual users.

Thus, it can do a gazillion more tricks than othes, but all were actually used at least by some one.

 

And it is easy. it will auto detect the LTC rate (although you can override that for special math if the LTC and other framerates do not match.)

The best thing, if you have LTC on a sound channel of your cam, you can stamp the 'should' be timestamp in the BWF files so the sound files match with the video timecode, while retaining the original BWF timestamp in a backup chunk.

And this is accurate up to a few samples!

This is lightning fast, and no need to add a project or something. Any editor who expects matching TC can work with these altered BWF's

For the OP:

We spreken prima nederlands, speel gerust met de demo en neem contact op als je vragen hebt.

Groet
Bouke

 

Hey Bouke,

 

Sorry, I didn’t mean to sound as though I was speaking ill of your product - it certainly is very flexible and powerful. I only mean to say the Tentacle software is much more “automatic” for lack of a better term. This is a double edged sword of course, as one may have the need for more sophisticated controls and options in certain workflows, so there is of course a use for every tool. 

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Most of the time, this can be resolved by giving a client the 3 very clear choices at the outset: use a camera that properly accepts timecode; pay for the software to decode if the camera doesn't have timecode; or don't use timecode.  Once you've presented those choices, frankly your work is done, and it is their editor's job to figure it out and do some research. 

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23 hours ago, thenannymoh said:

Most of the time, this can be resolved by giving a client the 3 very clear choices at the outset: use a camera that properly accepts timecode; pay for the software to decode if the camera doesn't have timecode; or don't use timecode.  Once you've presented those choices, frankly your work is done, and it is their editor's job to figure it out and do some research. 

TC

 

This sounds a bit strange to me, and frankly, kinda arrogant.

 

1) Very often the choice of a camera is not made by the one paying you, or making the descision. Or, it is a need to use a non-tc capable cam. (gopro or dslr)
2) If a plumber asks me to pay extra cause he brings a cheap tool that is quite common, I will hire the next one. Even if the next one is more expensive, as the suggestion is that with the first one there suddenly will be more surprises that cost 'extra'.

3) You only don't use timecode if there is no time and no track left. Manual syncing / clapper board is outdated by 20 years.

Otherwise, if you don's sacrifice a spare channel you are deliberately making things difficult for the next guy. 
An exception not to include audio timecode as a last resort to syncing is if you are specifically asked to leave it out.

 

And no, it is not your job to do the editors research. But pointing your client to Avid, Resolve or my software to save quite some time is not that hard, is it?
Bouke

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26 minutes ago, Bouke said:

2) If a plumber asks me to pay extra cause he brings a cheap tool that is quite common, I will hire the next one. Even if the next one is more expensive, as the suggestion is that with the first one there suddenly will be more surprises that cost 'extra'.

 

I would generally agree but in this case I feel that this is a tool of the editorial department, and it's really not the sound production mixers job to provide software tools to synch up audio LTC (or take the time at the end of the day to provide a synched XML).

That's not to say that if I help out a friend with his no-budget indie film that wouldn't do it as a favour, but otherwise explaining the producers the three options in a friendly way sounds like a very reasonable way to solve this.

that is if you get involved ahead of the shoot - unfortunately sometimes these things don't come up until the morning of the shoot.

chris 

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47 minutes ago, Bouke said:

TC

 

This sounds a bit strange to me, and frankly, kinda arrogant.

 

Maybe you have alot of extra time to hand-hold a rookie editor through the basics of their job?   And if the editor doesn't understand how to work with timecode, I'm doing the client a big, big favour by insisting on your "old fashioned" solution of a slate, or at least a camera hop for a nice audio line for pluraleyes That's not arrogance, just experience. 

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1 hour ago, chrismedr said:

I feel that this is a tool of the editorial department

 

I totally agree, but that is beside the point I was trying to make.

 

59 minutes ago, thenannymoh said:

or at least a camera hop for a nice audio line for pluraleyes

Sure. Let me tell you as a very seasoned editor, pluraleyes is a PITA and not something to rely on.
Of course it works sometimes. But sometimes it does not work. And I totally understand that you do not want to educate each and every client.

But, telling a client not to use the cam he brought or forget about his action cams is something else.
Let's agree to disagree.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Bouke said:

TC

 

This sounds a bit strange to me, and frankly, kinda arrogant.

 

1) Very often the choice of a camera is not made by the one paying you, or making the descision. Or, it is a need to use a non-tc capable cam. (gopro or dslr)
2) If a plumber asks me to pay extra cause he brings a cheap tool that is quite common, I will hire the next one. Even if the next one is more expensive, as the suggestion is that with the first one there suddenly will be more surprises that cost 'extra'.

3) You only don't use timecode if there is no time and no track left. Manual syncing / clapper board is outdated by 20 years.

Otherwise, if you don's sacrifice a spare channel you are deliberately making things difficult for the next guy. 
An exception not to include audio timecode as a last resort to syncing is if you are specifically asked to leave it out.

 

And no, it is not your job to do the editors research. But pointing your client to Avid, Resolve or my software to save quite some time is not that hard, is it?
Bouke

 

In my opinion it is quite useless to try and educate clients on TC wrkflow. Editors are used to their workflows, and if PluralEyes have worked for them so far, they tend to not want to try something new. My job is to find out what kind of workflow the job's post team has, and adapt to that. Sometimes they don't even mind manually syncing up stuff, as long as there's no slates on set. I could of course recommend software that works great and would improve their workflow, but again, in my experience, this is useless, so I'd rather save everyone's precious time.

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1 hour ago, Christian Spaeth said:

quite useless to try and educate clients

 

Oh, I got some T-shirts.
'Can we do it a bit cheaper this time?'

'Sure, how about you proof read the end credits prior to viewing the third version of the final deliverables?'

 

Does it help? No. Do I keep telling it to clients? Yes.
And it is frustrating as hell, but I refuse to play as stupid as others in the game.

But this is drifting from my first set of remarks.

 

 

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57 minutes ago, Bouke said:

 

Oh, I got some T-shirts.
'Can we do it a bit cheaper this time?'

'Sure, how about you proof read the end credits prior to viewing the third version of the final deliverables?'

 

Does it help? No. Do I keep telling it to clients? Yes.
And it is frustrating as hell, but I refuse to play as stupid as others in the game.

But this is drifting from my first set of remarks.

 

 

I'm sure there are editors who leave an obvious mistake or 2 in the first or second edit just so the client can feel important and clever when they notice it. I know, it's a cynical perspective :-)

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5 minutes ago, Dalton Patterson said:

Maybe it is just me,  it’s seems like there’s an awful lot of subliminal advertising going on around here these days....

Ah, but how can you tell?

 

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7 hours ago, Bouke said:

...

Manual syncing / clapper board is outdated by 20 years.

...

 

I disagree big time!  It's been around so long because it's still the single most foolproof method of syncing there is.

 

No, of course it's not my prime choice, time code to camera is, but also, slating takes has big advantages in workflow and can prevent some issues further down the chain, especially useful if one doesn't know how post will be handled.

 

The above comment is the kind of thing I'd expect from a manufacturer trying too hard to promote their product.

 

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3 hours ago, daniel said:

who leave an obvious mistake

 

Over here we call it 'red herring', and it is a golden oldie.
Btw, it is ment as a red flag so that could be taken out while the rest remains intact for cost / quality.
(It was an issue in film / lineair editing, not so much nowadays.)

1 hour ago, John Blankenship said:

a manufacturer trying too hard to promote their product

May I remind you that I also mentioned two other products, one of them being free?

And, that I've developed two applications tailormade to the wishes of users of this board, that costed me more than it gained me?
And, that I'm an editor who knows what he is talking about?
No worries, I'm not offended whatsoever, but I don't think it was a fair remark.
I'm more than happy to give you some reasons clapperboards should die.

 

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for me clapper boards and time code can happily co-exist.

Keep the clapper board for organisation and backup purposes (and not least for concentration on set) and add time code anyway to make the job easier for the assistant editor.

 

if the camera department wants to use a camera without TC, then audio LTC, plural eyes, or clapper board it is (or any combination of that) and I agree that production/editorial should make the decision what best fits their workflow. I'm happy to advice but usually get ignored anyway (and who knows, maybe rightly so ; )

chris

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Top Ten Reasons to Use a Time Code Slate:

#10) It is still the single most foolproof method of syncing

#9) Great backup to avoid worry that camera may have accidentally disconnected the time code feed

#8) Is a way to diminish phone calls from semi-competent post people

#7) Aids production in the notation and organization of footage

#6) Can offer the sound mixer a visual confirmation of scene and take number

#5) Formalizes the (increasingly chaotic) production process which helps everyone be on the same page

#4) Informs the (increasingly chaotic) crew that a take has started and to quiet down

#3) Discourages the "Oh, just let it roll" mentality that is permeating much of the industry 

#2) Looks darn cool

...and the number one reason to use a time code slate...

#1) It gets us rental fees!

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying a slate is the "be all -- end all" for production.  I am, however, railing strongly against the posture that a slate "is outdated by 20 years." Perhaps celluloid is too, but it still looks better than digital. 

 

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19 hours ago, Bouke said:

 

Over here we call it 'red herring', and it is a golden oldie.
Btw, it is ment as a red flag so that could be taken out while the rest remains intact for cost / quality.
(It was an issue in film / lineair editing, not so much nowadays.)

May I remind you that I also mentioned two other products, one of them being free?

And, that I've developed two applications tailormade to the wishes of users of this board, that costed me more than it gained me?
And, that I'm an editor who knows what he is talking about?
No worries, I'm not offended whatsoever, but I don't think it was a fair remark.
I'm more than happy to give you some reasons clapperboards should die.

 

Given the spectrum of manufacturer promotion on this forum it seems ridiculous to hold you to some higher standard.

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23 hours ago, daniel said:

Given the spectrum of manufacturer promotion on this forum it seems ridiculous to hold you to some higher standard.

 

It appears you misunderstood my comment.  I have no issue with this or other manufacturers discussing their products.  I embrace those discussions as beneficial to our community. I do, however, strongly disagree with his posture that a “clapper board is outdated by 20 years.”

 

I own, use, and thoroughly appreciate a wide variety of the latest technology and a slate is also a standard, frequently-used part of the kit. Likewise for other pro mixers I know. It’s misleading to any newcomers to characterize a slate as “outdated.”

 

 

 

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