Welcome, Guest
Username Password: Remember me

TOPIC: ultra low cost timecode workflow: a modest proposal

ultra low cost timecode workflow: a modest proposal 1 month, 2 weeks ago #220670

  • motosega
  • Pro User
  • OFFLINE
  • Expert Boarder
  • Posts: 140
  • 1 month, 2 weeks ago
so, we're starting to do more multicamera work and i'm getting bored of manually syncing multicamera edits, getting frustrated with my audio going out of sync. i'm sure you know the story...

it's theatre so we have radio mics, and music (played from a minidisc player, Oldschool style).

whilst i'm used to using smpte ltc timecode to sync a midi sequencer to a 4track tape recorder i've never used timecode for video, but i can see the advantages and i'm getting interested to try something.

What follows is an idea for a timecode workflow using stuff i already have.
i don't have a budget for a turnkey solution like Tentaclesync. we only have DSLR cameras, maybe a gopro or two, a few multichannel audio interfaces, radio microphones, cables, and a bit of enthusiasm. Oh, and i do have an opcode studio64x midi interface that can work as a standalone ltc timecode generator/reader outputing MTC timecode.


the master timecode source will be either the studio 64x or a daylong recording of it. there are iphone and android apps that generate ltc timecode too.

audio will be recorded via a multichannel soundcard to a pc running a DAW synced to
MTC timecode from the master timecode generator. OR LTC timecode on an audio track.

tripod mounted DSLRs will record LTC timecode via the mic input,

a handheld DSLR will receive LTC via a radio mic receiver attached to the mic input.


at the end of the shoot i will have:

1.video from the DSLRs with ltc timecode recorded in the left audio track. the DSLR recorded via the radio mic will have dropouts.

2. a daw session with a multitrack recording of the mics and music.

Since Lightworks doesn't (yet?) support ltc from audio tracks i will use the Tentaclesync timecode tool to export to a format that Lightworks can read timecode from. apparently it'll work with any ltc timecode.
tentaclesync.com/timecode-tool

i'm hoping that at the end of the day i can just import it all into lightworks and use the kemroll/multicamera workflow.

is this a good idea?
should i just stick to using a clapperboard?
how tolerant is LTC timecode to dropouts?
what am i completely underestimating?

Re: ultra low cost timecode workflow: a modest proposal 1 month, 2 weeks ago #220671

  • motosega
  • Pro User
  • OFFLINE
  • Expert Boarder
  • Posts: 140
  • 1 month, 2 weeks ago
oops, i posted this in the wrong forum section, i'd be much obliged if one of the mods would move it somewhere more relevant!

Re: ultra low cost timecode workflow: a modest proposal 1 month, 2 weeks ago #220682

  • jwrl
  • Moderator
    Pro User
  • OFFLINE
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 12755
  • 1 month, 2 weeks ago
motosega wrote:
how tolerant is LTC timecode to dropouts?

It depends on the system. NLEs that support timecode capture do it in various ways: for example it's not uncommon for them to sample timecode at the start of the capture and just interpolate it from then on. There may also be checking from time to time of the continuing existence and match of the timecode but it's generally a pretty low priority task. I believe that Lightworks used to continuously monitor T/C back when I was dealing with T/C and LW dedicated hardware, but I don't know what they do now.

motosega wrote:
Since Lightworks doesn't (yet?) support ltc from audio tracks i will use the Tentaclesync timecode tool to export to a format that Lightworks can read timecode from.

Back when Lightworks used dedicated hardware you could fudge it by patching the audio track with the timecode into the T/C input.

motosega wrote:
oops, i posted this in the wrong forum section, i'd be much obliged if one of the mods would move it somewhere more relevant!

Where do you want it put?
Last Edit: 1 month, 2 weeks ago by jwrl.

Re: ultra low cost timecode workflow: a modest proposal 1 month, 2 weeks ago #220685

  • hugly
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 25311
  • 1 month, 2 weeks ago
I requested the feature not so long ago, but soon enough for 2020.1:
www.lwks.com/index.php?option=com_kunena&func=view&catid=12&id=196703&Itemid=81#196703

I believe, the Lightworks designers have decided to go a different way, syncing by waveform. Have a look into the sync options of the multicam bin of 2020.1.

Some quick tests here have shown, that it cannot replace software like PluralEyes, yet, but as a first step, for free, why not trying how it works?
It's better to travel well than to arrive...
Last Edit: 1 month, 2 weeks ago by hugly.

Re: ultra low cost timecode workflow: a modest proposal 1 month, 2 weeks ago #220686

  • David Rasberry
  • Pro User
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 2688
  • 1 month, 2 weeks ago
If the DAW can record audio in BWF format, Lightworks can read timecode from that.
It's more of an issue with the DSLR video. Don't know if your cameras can record files with readable real time clock based timecode. If so you can sync via real time clock references.
Intertake transcoding utility can read and reformat real time clock references from consumer cameras to SMPTE time code with transcodes to a DI format
Razz

Digital Bolex 2k Cinema DNG raw camera
Canon GL2 DV camcorder
iPAD Mini 3 Iographer rig

Workstation: Intel i7-4770k, Asrock Z87 Thunderbolt 2 MB, 16GB 1866 DDR3 ram,
2TB Seagate Hybrid system drive, 2TB Seagate NAS media drive, E-sata III hot swap drive bay, Nvidia GTX760 2GB GPU
Lightworks kybrd. Shuttlepro v2
Win10 Pro 64bit, Lightworks 14.0 64bit

Mobile Workstation: MSI GTX72 Dominator
Intel i7-6700HQ 2.7GHz Win10 64bit
16GB DDR4 ram, 500GB M.2 SSD
Nvidia GTX970 3GB GPU
USB3, USB3.1-C, Thunderbolt 3 ports
Shuttlepro2 Win10 64bit LW 14.0 64 bit
Last Edit: 1 month, 2 weeks ago by David Rasberry.

Re: ultra low cost timecode workflow: a modest proposal 1 month, 2 weeks ago #220687

  • hugly
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 25311
  • 1 month, 2 weeks ago
Since I've purchased PluralEyes, I see the benefits. I think the path Lightworks has chosen is a good one, syncing by waveform. It has two major benefits:

1. Any camera, which can record sound, can be used.
2. No additional hardware is needed.

Unfortunately, the current implementation appears experimental, but this might change with some future release.

A feature to assign SMPTE TC from audio LTC in Lightworks as a one click operation, would be a valuable add-on, nevertheless. For those who use Tentacle Sync or similar devices.
It's better to travel well than to arrive...

Re: ultra low cost timecode workflow: a modest proposal 1 month, 2 weeks ago #220689

  • hugly
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 25311
  • 1 month, 2 weeks ago
By the way, the skills of the editor play a major role too.

The guy who has created this video, with the free version of Lightworks, synced everything manually, no synced timecode, bad in-camera sound recordings, random capture devices, no slates and, it works perfectly, doesn't it.


I'm pretty sure that he has done something like this before, though.
It's better to travel well than to arrive...

Re: ultra low cost timecode workflow: a modest proposal 1 month, 2 weeks ago #220702

  • hugly
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 25311
  • 1 month, 2 weeks ago
Just to answer your questions in a systematic way, one by one. Here is my view:

motosega wrote:
is this a good idea?
I'm not sure. Your tests will show. Honestly, to me it sounds too complicated.

should i just stick to using a clapperboard?
As long as you have't made sure that your system works rock solid, yes.

how tolerant is LTC timecode to dropouts?
No idea, same thing: Tests will show.

what am i completely underestimating?
I have the impression that you overestimate the benefits of timecode for multicam recordings with contemporary equipment, in particular if drifting sound is what you encounter.

My suggestion: Prior to starting experiments with LTC, check out the new feature 'Sync by.Audio waveform':

This image is hidden for guests. Please log in or register to see it.
It's better to travel well than to arrive...
Last Edit: 1 month, 2 weeks ago by hugly.

Re: ultra low cost timecode workflow: a modest proposal 1 month, 2 weeks ago #220708

  • motosega
  • Pro User
  • OFFLINE
  • Expert Boarder
  • Posts: 140
  • 1 month, 2 weeks ago
i'll try the sync to waveform tool. looks like it will definitely be useful for the stuff i'm editing now.

does it just sync to the clapper?, the first few peaks?, or does it do a clever statistical comparison of the waveforms? i suppose i'll find out.

Re: ultra low cost timecode workflow: a modest proposal 1 month, 2 weeks ago #220715

  • motosega
  • Pro User
  • OFFLINE
  • Expert Boarder
  • Posts: 140
  • 1 month, 2 weeks ago
i just did a quick test with a video clip of a scene from a theatre show and the original audio backing track that was playing.

i tried just selecting the two clips and dragging them onto the timeline
but it always puts the audioclip after the video clip

is "sync to waveform" supposed work with audio only clips?

Re: ultra low cost timecode workflow: a modest proposal 1 month, 2 weeks ago #220716

  • hugly
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 25311
  • 1 month, 2 weeks ago
The function is brand new. It isn't documented. It appears to sync by waveform, a slate might help, but isn't mandatory. I tested it with three sets of shots from different sources with up to 4 cameras, two sets worked fine, the third didn't, don't know why. A developer told that the difference of the preroll time between the shots shouldn't be too long, from memory 30 seconds.

Let us know how it works for you.
It's better to travel well than to arrive...

Re: ultra low cost timecode workflow: a modest proposal 1 month, 2 weeks ago #220719

  • hugly
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 25311
  • 1 month, 2 weeks ago
On additional point: As usual, in 24 and 30 fps projects, to avoid drifting sound, pre-ingest sync setting for audio-only media must be set correctly to match video speed. The new function "sync by waveform" will not compensate wrong settings.

The way of setting pre-ingest sync has been changed fundamentally, which isn't documented either.

If you work with 24 or 30 fps projects, are you aware of those changes?
It's better to travel well than to arrive...

Re: ultra low cost timecode workflow: a modest proposal 1 month, 2 weeks ago #220738

  • RWAV
  • Moderator
    Pro User
  • OFFLINE
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 6716
  • 1 month, 2 weeks ago
motosega wrote:

is this a good idea?
should i just stick to using a clapperboard?
how tolerant is LTC timecode to dropouts?
what am i completely underestimating?


1. Yes, planing ia a very good idea
2. Absoultely yes, always slate and clapper everything. It is the fail-safe low-tech procedure which will more likely than not - save one's bacon - on occasions.
3. Not very to not at all
4. SMPTE timecode
www.philrees.co.uk/articles/timecode.htm

(Phil Rees is a long retired expert in the subject; our LW VIP systems were all fitted with the little box shown at the top left, it was the sync connection between the Yamaha Mixer's midi control and LW VIP SMPTE T/C control. This reality from Phil Rees , SMPTE timecode is a pulse or rectangular wave signal, where signal levels do matter, has made many a well experienced broadcast based technician weep and abandon attempts to rough-record timecode or to wireless transmit it to remote units. Of course does not mean it is impossible)

The things necessary to to make T/C work flow smoothly.
Use only 'time of day' code.
Separate media into Date/Device lists
So that would be
20Jun20/Cam1
20Jun20/Cam2
20Jun20/Recorder
Properly sorted the content of each of the above will not have any duplicate TimeCode/TimeStamp

In LW all that remains is to ensure that each clip has a timecode reflecting the time of day it was recorded. In some cases it will require the user to modify clip T/C to match a clip TimeStamp value.

After the prep work is done separate Kemrolls with black space made up of day/Device combinations can be pulled into sync for the first event meaning each subsequent event will need just a tweak to get it right. For each synced section - make a 'Sync' that becomes the edit source material.
BETA System
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64BIT
HP Z800 Workstation

Re: ultra low cost timecode workflow: a modest proposal 1 month, 2 weeks ago #220739

  • jwrl
  • Moderator
    Pro User
  • OFFLINE
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 12755
  • 1 month, 2 weeks ago
The above applies to analogue T/C. With media file formats that support it, "timecode" is usually an offset from a timestamp at the head of the file and calculated as required.
Last Edit: 1 month, 2 weeks ago by jwrl.

Re: ultra low cost timecode workflow: a modest proposal 1 month, 2 weeks ago #220740

  • RWAV
  • Moderator
    Pro User
  • OFFLINE
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 6716
  • 1 month, 2 weeks ago
Indeed it does - the current user seems to be exploring adding an analogue T/C track as an audio track to existing digital assets on-the-fly - to the extend even of pre-recording recording 24 hours of LTC - and expect LW to track to that LTC

Seems possible, for formats that do not support SMPTE T/C, within LW itself useful T/C can be added to any clip file by simply modifying the LW clip timnecode to correspond to the one of those non-timecode based time-stamps often found in metadata of clips recorded by all manner of devices.

So if a user manages acquisition by day-of-year and device they can end up with, inside LW, usable timecode information - which can then be correlated to the time-code from other devices

In the attached the T/C of the LW clip is changed - moving away from the need for an analogue LTC recording llinked to the clip to a digital T/C assigned to the clip.


This attachment is hidden for guests. Please log in or register to see it.



No doubt there will be limitations - like not all devices will record a time stamp.
BETA System
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64BIT
HP Z800 Workstation
Time to create page: 0.60 seconds
Scroll To Top