4 Replies Latest reply on Jan 27, 2011 6:51 AM by www.devilsTONEfilms.com

    Can Premier Pro CS5 read time code from an audio track?

    www.devilsTONEfilms.com

      I am a location sound recordist so I am unfamiliar with Adobe Premier Pro.  Until now all my clients have used either AVID or Final Cut Pro.

       

      I have a client who wants to shoot on two Panasonic HPX170 cameras in HD.  For various technical and safety issues I want to record the sound separately however we are having problems in finding a way to sync the cameras and my recorder in a way that Premier Pro can get all the rushes sync'd on the time line.

       

      The cameras are not really suitable for the job as they are only 'handycams' and not broadcast cameras.  They do not have a TC or Genlock inputs so I can't simply put Time Code Lockit Boxes on the cameras that are jammed to my recorder.

       

      I then looked at Pluraleyes however it seems that Pluraleyes for Adobe Premier (PC) cannon work with .MXF files which is what the panasonic cameras natively record to the P2 cards.

       

      So my final alternative that I know works with FCP and Avid is to record LTC Time Of Day TC onto an audio track of each camera.  Can Adobe Premier Pro read LTC from an audio track and then convert it into an auxTC track as other NLE's can?

       

      Failing that does anybody have any other suggestions on how to efficiently sync 2 cameras and an audio multitrack in Adobe Premier Pro?  I was wondering if file converting the .MXF files into a format that Premier Pro and Pluraleyes would work however I don't know enough about HD file formats.  The main concern is that whatever the picture file format it must be the best possible 1080i HD picture for delivery to an international HD broadcaster.

       

      Many Thanks.

      Ollie

        • 1. Re: Can Premier Pro CS5 read time code from an audio track?
          shooternz Level 6

          I will post up  a solution and an application for you tomorrow morning..when back in the studio.

           

          I need to dig it up but be assured... it is resolveable and eficient enough.

           

          You can shoot double system sound. with free run TC.

           

          What scale is your project?

          • 2. Re: Can Premier Pro CS5 read time code from an audio track?
            www.devilsTONEfilms.com Level 1

            It's fairly small scale.

             

            It's a two camera shoot, a max of 4 radios and a stereo boom for some atmos.  If the cameras were larger and the budget could handle it I would wirelessly send the audio to the camera however I own a Sound Devices 788T/CL8 so I have dispensed with a traditional 4ch/5ch PSC mixer.

             

            Another solution would of course be a digislate however in a documentary situation with an undisciplined / unexperienced crew this will be a recipe for disaster.

             

            I could cable to the cameras however we will be messing around in boats and it can become a pain when there is not enough room in the boat for talent, camera and sound.  Having the option of being in a second boat and not getting tangled up in fishing gear would be preferable!

             

            I will probably record a poly bwf multitrack just because I can however if it causes a problem to the Premier workflow then a two track poly is fine.

             

            I look forward to hearing your solution.

             

            Thanks,

            Ollie

            • 3. Re: Can Premier Pro CS5 read time code from an audio track?
              Colin Brougham Level 6

              I then looked at Pluraleyes however it seems that Pluraleyes for Adobe Premier (PC) cannon work with .MXF files which is what the panasonic cameras natively record to the P2 cards.

               

              It will; give the demo a shot. PluralEyes will render temporary WAV files from the MXFs for syncing, through AME. With the PluralEyes workflow, you don't need timecode at all, as it works by analyzing the waveforms themselves.

               

              You can pseudo-sync the HPX170s with free-run TC by getting the cameras both setup to the TC reset screen, setting them in close proximity to one another, and then using the supplied remote to trigger the reset. It's line of sight with the remote, so you need to be in front of the cameras to do it. I've synced two, three, and even four HVX/HPX camcorders this way, and had perfect sync (at least between them) in post. So long as the cameras are juiced, you should be good; powering off/swapping batteries may cause a little drift, but the reset process is pretty simple if needed.

               

              For the external recorder, if you want to match it to the cameras, you'd have to employ a Calibrated Finger and use it at the same time as the TC reset on the cams. I'm assuming the recorder you're using allows for free-run TC and a manual reset like this. Personally, I wouldn't bother with trying to get TOD set between all the devices; I guess you could use the same procedure above for fake jam syncing to set the clocks on the cameras, but I've never tried that.

               

              Also, as of the 5.0.2 update, Premiere accepts BWF files and reads the timecode from the files. Syncing the MXFs and BWFs will be a semi-manually process in Premiere, but isn't too bad. This is where PluralEyes would take off most of the load; anything slightly off could be brought into sync pretty quickly in Premiere.

              • 4. Re: Can Premier Pro CS5 read time code from an audio track?
                www.devilsTONEfilms.com Level 1

                Hi Colin,

                 

                It was this on the Pluraleyes website that led me to think that it won't work with Adobe Premier Pro (PC) and .MXF files;

                 

                http://www.singularsoftware.com/known_problems.html

                 

                Agreed that all the internal clocks / TC generators can be set to Free Run and an offset created however this is not good enough for a whole days shooting.  Many lectures from the 'King' of sync, Chris Woolf will confirm this.  Every time you power up the camera the sync will drift so your offset will not remain constant.  This is the reason external SPG's were developed and the camera needs to take it's sync from a known constant as it boots up.  Lockit boxes do drift but you get less that half a frame in a days shooting and all correctly tuned spg's will drift at roughly the same rate in the same direction so an offset is not required.

                 

                As for starting the multiple cameras with a remote, that is fine in certain circumstances however not realistic when shooting a documentary.  ToD TC is the way forward if at all possible followed by the use of Pluraleyes assuming it can be made to work with .mxf files on Adobe Premiemier (PC).

                 

                Ollie