Syncing Audio and Source Settings

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Color management on source clips has been a long time request, and Media Composer v7 introduced a lot of new functionality in that area that allows for LUTs or ASC CDL color metadata to be applied to sources. I hope this area continues to be developed moving forward removing some of the missing workflow pieces mentioned in this blog. The ability to keep color metadata active throughout the editorial process can streamline a lot of different workflows, but adding FrameFlex and color management on source clips affects several workflows when it comes to double system production and syncing in Media Composer for clips that do not have common timecode.

Many users like to create sync map relationships in the timeline by aligning picture will all related sound elements in tracks, then slipping and sliding to establish sync. But rather than having to edit from sequences as a source, the next step is to “subclip” each event as its own sequence, highlighting one or several sequences and selecting AutoSync from the “Bin” menu. This results in a true subclip that can be used like any other subclip showing sync breaks in the timeline while editing. But when any of these source settings are active on a master clip, it’s considered an “Effect”, losing the ability to sync as subclips using the timeline method. And more importantly for many productions, this means that tools like PluralEyes will no longer work as it depends on AAF sequence roundtripping as part of its process.

There are two workarounds to this problem, each involving a tradeoff that may or not be suitable depending on workflow needs:

  1. Transcode all your clips with source settings “baked in” which is done by checking “compatibility mode” in the transcode settings dialog box. This of course eliminates any of the “live” metadata workflow enhancements offered through LUT updating and FrameFlex (ASC CDL will still work).
  2. Sync clips from the bin by Marking an IN or OUT on each picture and sound clip, select both clips, select AytoSync. Resulting clips will retain the live source setting metadata but this can be more tedious in some situations, and as mentioned, not as fast as PluralEyes for difficult sync situations when no clapboard was used.
  3. Use sequences as source - loading into source is a drag and drop only and there will be no out of sync indicators in timeline if sync slips.

I hope this will be addressed in a future release so that productions can continue benefiting from all the features and solutions available with each new release.

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