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I'm on a documentary where we're shooting on double system. For practical reasons we're mostly not clapping, and I'm worried for the poor editor...

We're shooting on a few 5Ds and I'm wondering how good of a job Plural Eyes software will do in syncing it all up. Especially that the mics on the 5D aren't good, so I wonder how it will perform with using the 5D's mics as reference for sync.

Anyone got experience with this?

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Pluraleyes works great! The 5D internal mics are good enough to sync. Never had a problem with the program :-)

What you have to be careful of is drift. For some reason the audio likes to drift on the 7D and 5D (7D I've found more often than 5D) after your shot gets too long (3 - 4 minutes usually) when using a double system. Normally this wouldn't be a problem, but it might be on a doc. Doesn't drift bad - if you're making cuts it'll be very easy to fix - just something to be aware of.

Also, it doesn't always drift - seems to me it happens 10% - 20% of the time (estimate based on my experience).

  • @Colin If the drift is happening in Final Cut Pro, the reason for it and the solution are discussed in this blog post: brucesharpe.blogspot.com/2010/02/… – user600 Oct 4 '10 at 5:42
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I´ve recently mixed a 90min doc that was recorded following this method. Cameras were a Panasonic-P2 and some Canon 5D and sound was recorded to a Zoom H4n. Video Editor told me that sometimes it became a pain to do this sync due to the steps it requires -new sequences are made in Final Cut for every sync request. He told too me that a few times it could´t sync some clips even when camera sound was quite good, and other times it did sync windy passages that seemed difficult a priori. Despite of this the OMf they gave to me was in good sync.

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I've read some articles where picture editors were complaining about drift being the sound recordists fault. This makes me laugh and makes me angry at the same time. If either device is likely to have a less than accurate word clock, it'll be the 5D or 7D (depending on the audio recorder of course).

I typically use a Sennheiser G2 to send a guide track to the cameras. This should - in my mind - yield better results. The audio on the camera will be better sounding coming from my system vs the on camera mic - and will be less prone to issues like wind noise - or issues with distance to the actors (say you have a really long lens, and the actors are barely audible from camera position).

I haven't seen the plural eyes program in action myself. Most of the editors I work with love it. I have posted a few projects where the app was used (I did both the location recording and post edit/mix) and I have to say that there were numerous sync issues. I had to spend time evaluating and correcting multiple scenes.

That said - I'll still take that chore over having to use audio recorded straight to camera (maybe from an EX3 or something). The audio recorders out there tend to sound much better in general, and a lot better if you're using something like a sound devices recorder.

  • In a few weeks I will have a chance to do some recording with a 5D with some friends.I have a H4n and a Wendt mixer with a tape send. Indeed my intention is to try feedind camera and sound recorder both from my mixer in order to have better guide signal in the camera. This means a link between cameraman and me but I guess I will convince him. After all he will deal with Pluraleyes. – inigo Oct 3 '10 at 19:43
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I've done a ton of field recording with the 5D and 7D (me being the sound mixer and the camera ops using those cameras). It definitely helps to use a spare wireless unit to send a guide track so Plural Eyes has something better to work with, especially if it is an outdoor shoot. I have also heard about the drift issue and the lengthy work flow. I use a Sound Devices 744t which has a far more stable clock than any DSLR on the market. I am still a firm believer in a solid timecode lock between camera and audio, and using a timecode slate or at least a basic clapper. Relying on Plural Eyes is very risky because it is still a rather new tool in the tool box.

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Well, I've used Plural Eyes a lot during my work as editor, but Woowave WooSync is much faster

it's way faster... in its fast mode it goes through hundreds of files for few minutes on an I7 machine.

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I'm currently running Plural Eyes to sync up three camera's for a wedding. It's been going for about 13 hours and is only at 60%. Is this normal? i have version 1.2

  • @Jason Are you using plural eyes with "try hard" on? Also if they are long clips it will take more time. – knumbers Dec 9 '10 at 0:00
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Plural Eyes is a great tool, I've used it to sync multiple 7d's and a h4n with out any problems so far, but they are mostly very short clips, 4 minutes and under.

I would like to see the ability for plural eyes to export out all my clips in the same sequence. It's a chore when each clips gets put into it's own individual sequence in FCP.

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Today I have tested plurales. The set up was Sony Nex vg 10 and Edirol R09hd for recording audio. The clip was 10 minutes long. I have used clapping at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of the clip to test the accurcy of plurales. Unfortunately plurales cannot synchronize "perfectly" for more than 3 minutes". There was a small (although hard to hear) and progressive drift from the beginning to the end (could observe it visually on the time line of sony vegas pro 10 in zoom mode). Therefore, I will prefer using the clap method and uses short clip.

Richard

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    Thanks for sharing your tests. I don't think that's to do with PE, but rather a bad clock on the camera. Long files tend to drift. – Andrew Spitz Oct 17 '11 at 8:15

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