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Varicam HD and 744t. Jammed 744t to receiving TC, How to automatically sync in FCP?


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Intro

Hi guys, tuning into this awesome forum for some of the usual life-saving help.

So I just finished production mixing for my second feature length movie. :D

Landed doing the audio post which will be a first(except mix). A daunting task at the least, but living in the Dominican Republic, people dont really have a miriad of options, eventhough I am fairly inexperienced in the film world, I have been doing commercials and documentary work for over 7 years.

Anyways I digress.

While i was doing the production audio for this movie, I made it a point to have my recorder jammed from the Panasonic HD Varicam any chance I would get. (since i was running a hardwired mix to camera 85% of the time, it was pretty easy to just have a second TC cable). It was easier to jam my 744t from the camera bc this way I dont have to fidget with the camera.

The camera was set to free run and we used time of day.

I did this with the belief that I would be saving the production the trouble of manually syncing my audio with the dailies. Is this correct? I did not use a TC slate or lockits, but was constantly jamming my 744t from the Varicam.

Isn't there a way for FCP to read the timecode of audio files and video files and automatically line them up? I would think there is, is there something im missing here? The video editor hasn't a clue to what im talking about.

Step by step would be awesome ???

I'd appreciate some input on this...

Thanks in advance guys!!! ;)

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Tutorial for FCP7 from the LA Final Cut Pro User Group at this link:

http://www.lafcpug.org/Tutorials/basic_instant_dailies.html

Me personally, I don't trust the camera department to maintain good timecode, and I usually ask for them to take timecode from me, not vice-versa. It can work either way, though, provided everybody stays on top of it. And the Panasonic is actually a pretty reliable camcorder.

--Marc W.

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Last time I worked with Varicam I transmitted code wirelessly to my 744. All worked at treat, when post finally sorted out how to deal with it.

I'm in PAL part of the world and the Varicam sticks to NTSC. When I did camera tests the 744 would only lock when I matched the code to 30fps. I sent the test tape and sound rushes to post and the edit assist said all was good. He later called 6 weeks after the shoot was over complaining about cued errors, but that's another story. I later worked out I should have been getting the 744 to pull down the 30fps to PAL 25fps.

What I did find out that is relevant to you is that Avid, and I'm sure FCP will, if the option is selected, pull down (match) different code rates. In my case 30 (29. )fps to 25fps.

The recorded audio is in sync with the pictures. You just need to tell the edit software what frame rate conversion needs to happen.

I'm sure someone on the forum will be able to give specific details as to where the options are; I haven't moused around in post for a long time.

Good luck with it

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Sound Devices machines always start their files on the 00 frame.

This makes it simple for the edit system to simply re-divide the seconds into the proper number of frames for the edit--PROVIDED that you are not trying to mix Integer and Non-Integer frame rates.

i.e- 30ND in this example could easily be used in a 25 or 24 frame edit session. Similarly, 29.97ND can be changed to 23.976 simply by specifying the files as 23.976 on import.

If Drop Frame is used, all bets are off.

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hmmm, we did the merge, strange thing happened, FCP would show 4 channels of audio when we put the clip in the sequence, but was the camera audio and two empty tracks. Found work around, deleted cam audio from clip in timeline, threw that in the bin and then merged. got the audio lined up, but was always 3 frames off, corrected frames for each take, still faster than using the clapper. Anyone know why this happened? we were shooting 23.98ND and so was audio.

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A consistent 3 frames off is not unheard of; this could well be due to processing delays in the camera. As long as it's consistent, then the editor basically has to deal with it. The alternative would be use an audio recorder that has a facility for offsetting the timecode during record; I wouldn't do this unless there were extensive workflow tests beforehand.

--Marc W.

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I know sound tc should be master, but in a country where tc jamming is done only by myself and one other sound guy, the cam assistants dont know how to jam from my 744t. Also this way i can re-jam before almost every scene, and not have to fiddle with camera which really makes the cam people nervous..( i have a shortcut for tc jam on my keyboard via cl1)

I think this is easier and provides more consistent sync due to the constant jamming. Oherwise i would be limited to jamming only after power down some of the time.

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I know sound tc should be master, but in a country where tc jamming is done only by myself and one other sound guy, the cam assistants dont know how to jam from my 744t.

I've run into quite a few who either don't know, or get a "deer in the headlights" look when I hand them a jam box. I try to carry PDF manuals for all the major cameras (Panasonic Varicam, Arri Alexa, Red One, Epic, & Scarlet, Sony F35, Sony EX1/3, Panavision Genesis, etc.) on a laptop, and I'll pull up the TC pages for the assistant so he can figure out where the timecode jam settings are. At worst, it's taken five minutes to scroll through the various options and do a test. I agree, it is a pain in the ass, but I'd rather have the timecode right than to just have it free-wheel, and create more work for the post crew.

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