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Hey guys, so this is my first question on here ever. I was curious what some people's workflows are for dealing with an changing cut on a movie when you have already nearly completed the sound track. Is there a well-known best method? Thanks

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3 Answers 3

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Ah, the dreaded re-conform. There'a a variety ways to do this, on a variety of budget levels and time turn around situations. Software packages out there like Virtual Katy and Conformalizer work by comparing EDLs or working with Change Notes. While they can work very well as I've heard, I wouldn't be too surprised if you still have to massage all the final conform edits back into a natural state since I believe they make the edits a brute-force way. Despite them apparently (again, haven't used them myself) being quite robust, they aren't cheap and you have to likely cross your fingers that the EDLs are prepared correctly and are of the correct 'start' and 'destination' pix versions or else you'll end up with nasty surprises.

I have normally just done what could be called a 'blind conform', wherein I request new pix, OMF, and guide - and I play down the reel, watching for changes and also referencing the guide's visual differential between the old and new versions to make global edit shifts as I go along, eventually massaging the reel to match new picture. I prefer this method because it allows me to evaluate everything I come across rather than potentially having a software conformer blow out something that I may in fact need or want to re-evaluate and re-edit. Also as I go along, I carry the conform editing I'm doing to the original pix video track as well (not just the audio tracks), that way I can spot check as I go through the reel as a quick A/B test against new pix to make sure I'm seeing identical frames (e.g. the conform is syncing up). Once you get the hang of this method it goes pretty quick, albeit not necessarily as quick as software conformers - but than again, the time saved with the software might possibly be added back in again for the time needed to check all these brute-forced conform point and massaging those edits back into a natural state.

I can't say for sure which is the best method, there probably isn't a 'best' method - to each their own, as long as it gets you from point A to point B in a reasonably short amount of time. Personally the blind method has worked for me for years, and I'm willing to save that a little cash and time dealing with EDLs for the small additional time sacrifice of doing it manually.

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+1. pretty much how i do it too. –  Shaun Farley May 23 '12 at 12:12
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I would also highly recommend checking out the new extended interview with Mike Wabro on the Pro Tools Expert blog. Download the podcast. Some great insight into conforming and re-conforming in it. Speaks highly of new Ediload software too. Definitely worth taking the time out to listen!

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@Andy Lewis Thanks for the plug on my interview with Mike Wabro. It would be fair to say that we largely cover the art of conforming - ie the proces of taking a guide edit and imposing it on the raw multi-track audio. @Stavrosound What you are asking about is about re-conforming (the process of making changes to a existing Pro Tools session because there has been a change in the picture edit) and I have just written a post on Pro Tools Expert about the software that you can use for conforming and re-conforming.

I hope that helps,

Mike.

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