Review: Singular Software Dual Eyes

EventDV by Tim Siglin

Macintosh-based video editing tools are some of the best on the market, from Apple's Final Cut Pro to Adobe's Premiere Pro. Yet, for those whose event production workflows follow the digital cinema model of two-system productions, where the audio is captured separately from the video, there’s always been the problem of synchronization. And virtually all of us who shoot with DSLRs find ourselves in this boat.

The issue is that synchronizing high-quality audio against the scratch track from the primary or secondary camera takes time. Lots of time, especially if there are a number of short video or audio clips—again, in the case of DSLR production, with the 12-minute continuous recording limit on Canon DSLR models, all but inevitable.

For live productions, there’s often a single master recording used for archival or post-event editing, which has both the video mix from multiple cameras and the house soundboard audio mix. We may also be working with wireless microphone systems and portable audio recorders. In either case, a standalone multitrack audio recorder’s output can be synchronized using a single sync point at the beginning of the video track, which will stay in sync all the way through to the end of the clip.

What happens, though, if the audio is significantly longer than the video? In the days before digital, a standalone audio recorder was always less expensive to run than a video recorder or film stock, so the audio recorder was started up a few minutes or seconds before the camera. In the editing room, the act of trimming the audio to the length of the shot was standard operating procedure, but was still labor intensive.

Enter Singular Software, makers of the Final Cut Pro and Premiere Pro plug-in called PluralEyes (also available for Premiere Pro, Vegas Pro and, most recently, EDIUS 6.0 on the Windows side). Toss all your video and audio clips on a timeline—it doesn't matter if they're in any particular order—and PluralEyes will attack the task of sorting them out and laying them in the proper location on an existing or new timeline, creating a second timeline for “unknown” audio or video clips. read more...

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