PluralEyes for Avid

CUT.N.COLOR @ PVC by Steve Hullfish

Marrying Avid, a 5D Mark II and a ZOOM H4N
PluralEyes has really made a name for itself with editors as the DSLR workflows have been explored more and more. PluralEyes is a software solution that allows you to automatically sync up the separate audio and video files from, say, a 5D Mark II DSLR with an audio file from a handheld digital recorder, like the ZOOM.

Since the 5D’s audio capabilities are horrendous, most people record audio using a second device. When most shooting was happening on camcorders where the audio and video was being recorded at the same time by the same device, you didn’t really need PluralEyes, however, you can also use PluralEyes to automatically sync multiple cameras together without needing timecode or markers or clappers or anything other than similar audio on all cameras. Notice that I didn’t say “identical” audio. Just something fairly close. PluralEyes works its magic by matching the audio waveforms. So if you have a multicam shoot, PluralEyes can definitely simplify that process if you don’t have matching timecode. PVC has run a few stories on how to use PluralEyes with FCP or PremierePro, but it can also be used with Avid Media Composer, so I decided to explore that. This may seem like a lot of exposure for PluralEyes, but the workflows are different and PluralEyes is not a sponsor of PVC and hasn’t paid for these reviews. It’s just that I think this is going to be an important piece of software for this “new” workflow.

I had a project that I shot as a one-man-band with my Canon 5D Mark II and a ZOOM H4N audio recorder. These kinds of shoots are bad enough if you have a simple camcorder and you’ve got to be the D.P., audio recording engineer and the interviewer, but to make the whole thing go together on a windy day while trying to do dual system sound seemed like a recipe for disaster… luckily, the shots are in focus and the audio on the ZOOM, recorded directly from an audio-technica lav, sounded great. The real issue for this test of PluralEyes was that the 5D audio was recorded with nothing but the built-in camera mic and the wind noise was really rough in a number of places. I wasn’t sure this was going to be a very fair test for PluralEyes, but I didn’t want to go out and shoot more test footage just for the point of doing this review, so PluralEyes was going to have to prove its mettle. read more...

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