Today we’re trying out Red Giant’s newest version of their audio syncing plugin, PluralEyes 4.0, and testing how it stacks up against Premiere’s native sync tool. Red Giant recently released their Shooter Suite 13, a collection of utility plugins that can help you at several stages of post-production. Tim’s article from last month covered PluralEyes within this release extensively, so do have a read if this announcement managed to pass you by. The folks over at Red Giant were kind enough to provide us with a copy to try, and I decided to put the software to test. I was particularly interested in PluralEyes’ integration with Adobe Premiere Pro. With very little time to plan, I remembered that my good friends Maria Jose and Samuel just happened to be playing a gig near the Cinema5D office. They are a couple of very talented, Vienna-based musicians originally from Honduras, and they were happy to drop by to perform an acoustic version of their upcoming single. I had to keep the setup simple due to the space constraints in the office but I also wanted to give PluralEyes enough to chew on, so to speak. The setup consisted of 3 cameras—2 recording in 4K and the other in HD—and of course their respective audio. In addition to Maria’s dynamic microphone, I had a pair of small diaphragm condenser mics recording Samuel’s guitar and another pair of microphones recording room ambience. They were all being recorded separately to different devices. You can watch the end result here: PluralEyes 4 Hands-on Experience: Conclusion Shooting live music is one of the many applications for which a tool like this fits just perfectly, and all in all, I was very happy with PluralEyes 4.0. Previous versions of the software had performed well for me in the past as standalone apps: there was something very satisfying in seeing all those clips rearrange themselves in a matter of seconds. But having all that functionality now available within Premiere has made a fast and enjoyable process even more so. PluralEyes 4.0 is available for $299 standalone, and for $399 as part of Shooter Suite 13. If you like the music, don’t forget to follow Maria Jose and Samuel on Facebook!Read more
Red Giant has announced PluralEyes 4.0, a sleek new update to the audio sync software. PluralEyes 4.0 simplifies its interface, alleviating confusing controls and adding faster, more streamlined workflows with Premiere Pro CC and Final Cut Pro X. For those who don’t know, PluralEyes is a very useful tool for syncing audio and video. Whether it’s a single camera and audio recorder, or MultiCam setup with several audio sources. The process is simple: it analyses similarities within audio tracks (you need reference audio for every video track) and matches them up, saving you hours of manually syncing multiple files. PluralEyes 4.0: What’s New? So what does PluralEyes 4.0 bring us? I currently use 3.0 and was excited to learn a little more about the new features this update will bring. Below you’ll find some of the key points: More simplified layout Auto analyse alleviates un-necessary user selection Auto Audio Drift Correction Improved workflow for organising files Improved support for NLE software like FCP X and Premiere Pro CC Perceived improved speed on analysis The last point maybe a little ambiguous but I will explain later. It’s clear Red Giant took a step back and reviewed PluralEyes from a user point of view. They’ve stripped the interface right back, removed the unnecessary user input for ‘how hard’ the software works & added Audio Drift Correction as standard. I completely agree that the previous PluralEyes tries a little too hard in emulating an NLE interface; I simply want to sync my clips and get out of there. Previous link up with NLE programs was pretty quick and easy; one extension click in Premiere Pro and your timeline was importing into an auto-opened PluralEyes. After syncing had completed, a click of the export button would close the program and return you to Premiere Pro with some newly made timeline in your project bin. PluralEyes 4.0 is even quicker; the audio sync software now opens in a panel within Premiere Pro, meaning you don’t even have to enter a standalone piece of software: Also for FCP X and Sony Vegas Users: There are a couple of easy access features from the PluralEyes panel in Premiere Pro (or other NLEs), you can colour code un-synced clips and send them to the end of the timeline—a nice feature for quickly organising your timelines. Expanding on my last bullet point, it seems as if the analysing process is now faster in PluralEyes 4.0. If there was one aspect I’d like to have changed from version 3.0, it was the speed of analysis; 4 video sources around an hour in length would take a while to chug through. For this reason I was happy that PluralEyes would open in a standalone program, I could leave it run in the background and get on with other editing tasks. The above tutorial on its integration with Premiere Pro shows an hours worth of footage (from 3 sources) analysed in realtime. From previous experience, I was pretty impressed with how fast it does this, but there are so many variables that I couldn’t confirm whether the overall speed has been significantly improved; I’d be very keen to try it out and see how fast it operates within Premiere Pro. PluralEyes 4.0 is available now for a stand alone purchase price of $299, or $99 as an upgrade or $149 for academic use.Read more
Watch previous episodes of ON THE COUCH & ON THE GO by clicking here! Visit our Vimeo and YouTube playlists, and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes! In this second and final part of ON THE COUCH with post pro turned director whiz kid Hasraf “Haz” Dullul, we talked with him about his most recent production SYNC, a bleak vision of a future in which corporations have disconnected from the Internet due to the constant threat of cyber terrorism. Since we recorded this interview, the film has gone online in its entirety and was staff picked by Vimeo – see the film below. In the interview, we talked about the making of SYNC and how he achieved a Hollywood-level high-budget look on a production with a tiny budget. He explains how specific shots were created using many in-camera effects, minimizing the time needed in post production. He also says why he decided to go with Blackmagic cameras for this production and why he thinks they worked extremely well for his purposes. Watch all other episodes of ON THE COUCH so far by clicking here! Please visit our sponsors’ websites to keep new episodes of ON THE COUCH coming! Thanks to G-Technology, Røde Microphones, Movidiam, FilmConvert & F&V.Read more
Watch previous episodes of ON THE COUCH & ON THE GO by clicking here! Visit our Vimeo and YouTube playlists, and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes! In this latest episode of ON THE COUCH, visual effects whiz kid turned director Hasraf “Haz” Dullul talks about how he made his way into securing a feature film deal, after spending years working for visual effects companies in the post production department of various feature films. He successfully created a number of short films that garnered a lot of attention online, most notably “Project Kronos” and his latest short film “SYNC”, both available on Vimeo. He talks about how he manages to create incredibly high production value with small budgets, and how his background in post production helps him “making effects look expensive” when they actually often aren’t. Check back mid next week for the 2nd part of this episode, when we will see more behind the scenes on Haz’s short films and how he achieves his distinct look. Also check out his short films here: Watch all other episodes of ON THE COUCH so far by clicking here! Please visit our sponsors’ websites to keep new episodes of ON THE COUCH coming! Thanks to G-Technology, Røde Microphones, Movidiam, FilmConvert & F&V.Read more
We already reported about it in a recent news post (click here) – Tentacle Sync is a small black box (about the size and shape of a LP-E6 Canon battery which you might be familiar with from the 5D and 7D) which attaches to your camera and audio recorder and generates timecode. Now the guys behind the Indiegogo campaign and the product itself gave us a chance to use their prototypes and take them for a spin on a shoot. And I have to say, I’m thoroughly impressed. Syncing video and audio has been an important issue for mid-range to semi-pro shooters ever since DSLRs became commonplace, due to their lack to professional audio inputs. We started recording sound on external audio recorders, but that brought the problem of syncing audio in post with it. A brilliant software called Pluraleyes (now owned and developed by Red Giant, the makers of the legendary Magic Bullet Suite) made our lives much easier by analyzing and comparing waveforms, and thereby syncing the audio tracks easily and in a very straightforward way, ready to be edited in the NLE system of your choice. However, of course Pluraleyes has its limit. Sometimes the camera is so far away from the action that its internal microphone doesn’t pick up what the audio recorder is picking up (and actually isn’t supposed to), which means there is no corresponding audio track to sync. The same is true for multi-camera shoots at events. It happened to me before that Pluraleyes thought it had recognized similarities and synced tracks up, but in reality it’s completely off because it might have used the wrong refrain of a music track played in the background as a reference. You can’t blame it really, it’s still an amazing piece of software that makes our lives so much easier, but it clearly has its limits. If you work in traditional broadcast TV environments from time to time like I do, you might be familiar with Ambient Recording’s LockIt devices, which are made for larger broadcast cameras, feeding a timecode signal into the cameras which is in sync with the one generated for the external audio recorder. So it’s almost the same thing for a much higher price and with a considerably larger footprint similiar to a pack of cigarettes – so hardly feasible for everyday indie productions. Several times before I had issues attaching a LockIt to my C300, ending up with velcro-ing it onto the top grip, which is far from ideal and limits how I can use the camera. Test set-up The Tentacles are tiny – so tiny in fact that you can attach them even to small cameras like the A7s easily. And that’s exactly what I ended up doing. When testing, I gave it a quick go with an audio recorder, connecting one of the Tentacles with the supplied mini jack to XLR cable, while the other XLR track of my Tascam DR-100 recorded from an external Røde NTG-3 microphone. Before that, you have to do a quick and easy sync run between the Tenticles by connecting them to each other with the supplied cable, pressing the one button until the green lights flash in unison. Very easy and straightforward. Trying to mimic a typical production, I let the audio track run through for about 30 minutes, while I collected a lot of different shots with the Sony A7s, which had the other Tentacle attached to it simply via a mini jack cable into the microphone input port. This is a very realistic scenario and exactly where I had problems with Pluraleyes before: a multi-cam event shoot with an audio recorder at a central position, recording a wild track of the event on one channel, and possibly the audio from the stage on on two other channels – maybe one camera in a fixed wide position filming the stage, while I’m on the other, smaller camera, catching close-ups from the stage performance as well as quick reaction shots from the audience. When I mimicked this scenario, the Tentacles worked great – I used their supplied software to sync up audio with the image, and then getting an XML that can be imported into Final Cut Pro X. Alternatively you can also export the clips with attached audio tracks, which makes you entirely independent of what editing system you use – or, say, to hand off footage files to another person to edit, without giving them the hassle of syncing. Now it should be added that the SMPTE timecode signal embedded into the audio track which is generated by the Tentacles is industry standard – that means you don’t have to use their software – it’s totally optional. You can still sync timecodes in the editing application. For peace of mind, the Tentacles also have a reference mic build in. I guess that’s really just for extreme emergencies though, because I can’t really think of many occasions where you might need it when you have proper timecode – only if another Tentacle fails to work, I guess, you can still sync via Pluraleyes with the reference sound. Conclusion There’s not much more to say about the Tentacles than they just work. The guys behind these devices show a rare ability to think of easy solutions that work well both in hardware and their software – probably because they all come from video production as well. I’m looking forward for their software to support even more codecs and multicam exports better, but it’s already very well matured. It’s definitely very close to market, something you can’t say about most crowd funding campaigns for hardware … I can recommend Tentacle Sync to anyone who regularly records image and sound separately on set. It’s just a no-brainer with these boxes, without the need for clapperboards and a lot of hassle in post production. Last but not least, it’s predominantly sound people who know the matter best – of course, it’s their business. The guys behind soundrolling.com interviewed Max and Ulrich from Tentacle Sync extensively, asking all the right questions about the product – check out the recording of the YouTube Q&A by clicking here (unfortunately it can’t be embedded). You can preorder Tentacle Sync on Indiegogo now. Hands On Tentacle Sync – Hardware – Part 1/2 from Tentacle Sync on Vimeo. Hands On Tentacle Sync – Software – Part 2/2 from Tentacle Sync on Vimeo.Read more
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