Archive for November, 2017

Using DaVinci Resolve’s Waveform Sync with Avid’s Media Composer AutoSync

Saturday, November 11th, 2017

 

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Media Composer introduced Waveform Syncing for grouping only in version 8.5 (January 2016). Using group by waveform for double system audio workflows is possible, but not a fun experience as described in this blog. In the almost two years since that release, syncing non-timecoded sources, or partially timecoded sources via waveform for double system audio workflows is still only available in other systems like Adobe Premiere Pro or DaVinci Resolve. Here is how to take advantage of Resolve’s waveform syncing, combined with some ALE text editing, and ALE merging, you can leverage Resolve’s waveform syncing for Avid AutoSync. By syncing double system in Media Composer, you retain the ability to 1/4 frame sync, and keep all BWF metadata as needed for a smoother post process with Avid Pro Tools. The process steps below are all about creating the sync metadata in Resolve to be used in Media Composer.

In Resolve, add your video and audio sources into the MediaPool. Make sure all your settings are properly set for REEL NAME so the ALE will merge. Using “clip filename” in settings is the one to use for AMA linking workflows.

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In this case, all the original video clips have two tracks of audio and the double system audio clips have eight. Something to keep track of later when editing the ALE.  Select all the clips and choose Audio Sync Based on Waveform and Append Tracks (right-click):

Appending tracks just makes it easier to see total Audio Tracks have changed. In this example, it will end up being 10 audio tracks.

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Select all the sync clips (10 audio tracks) and create a new timeline (right click):

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From the timeline, choose to export an ALE:

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Next, the ALE needs to be edited to reflect the original number of audio tracks associated with the video clips. Notice the Tracks metadata shows V and audio tracks 1-5. Why it doesn’t show 1-10 appears to be a bug or limitation with Resolve, but since we need to edit it back to 2 audio tracks, it does not really matter in this process:

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In Media Composer, the edited ALE needs to be merged with video. Media can be AMA linked or through a dailies process, it does not matter. Because Resolve inserts the sync relationship of the audio timecode into the Auxiliary TC1 column, this is the information needed for AutoSync. Of course, any other logging that may have been done in Resolve will come across as well.  Make sure import settings for Shot Log is set before importing ALE. 

Before:

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Settings:

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Result:

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Now the audio can be imported or linked. I still prefer importing audio files into a 35mm film project so I can easily slip by 1/4 frames. Recent versions of Media Composer do allow sample based slipping via Source Settings, but that is treated as an effect, is not as efficient for syncing dailies, and most importantly, does not yet translate to Pro Tools.  

Import Audio:

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Duplicate START column into Auxiliary TC1 colum via cmd/ctrl D:

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Resulting in:

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Now the usual AutoSync process with its options are now available as a batch sync process. Put the audio clips into the same bin as the video clips (why can’t sync be done across bins with results into a separate bin seeing as stereo 3D grouping has been allowing that since v6?) then choose AutoSync and selecting Auxiliary TC1 as the method to sync by:

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In this example, track 1 only was chosen since it was the mix track, but the remaning 9 ISO tracks are available via the double match frame workflow. Now, based on the timecode from Resolve’s waveform sync, the clips are in sync and can be further slip synced if needed:

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It may seem like a lot of steps, but the process is pretty quick once you do it a few times and can be faster than creating sync by and ear in Media Composer.