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Alternative Workflow for Audio in Redcine-X

February 23rd, 2014 / By Angelo Lorenzo / No Comments

As much as we DITs try to avoid it, on smaller productions we are sometimes tasked with duties traditionally done by an assistant editor. One of those jobs includes syncing audio. Imagine this scenario: you have 4 channels of production audio with timecode that does not match the camera footage. You pop open Redcine-X and get to work manually syncing audio for dailies, a process that is time consuming but relatively painless.

There are a few downsides to using Redcine-X. The metadata that links your audio file to your r3d file is fragile and prone to breaking if footage is moved to another system or folder. The other issue is that Quicktime exports reduce multichannel production audio to simple stereo, a result that doesn’t save time as the assistant editor will have to resync production audio in their NLE.

After syncing audio manually, I like batch exporting all the clips I’ve worked on as BFW (Broadcast Wave File) in Redcine-X. This creates a WAV file for each video clip named the same as my video clip, striped with matching timecode, and with all my selected audio channels. At this point you may choose to export or not the camera’s scratch audio tracks, this choice can be set when you create your export preset.

Now that you’ve created these files, you have a few more options with your audio workflow:

  1. If you move your files around or alter the file structure, Redcine-X will lose the link to your audio files. With this new set of audio files, we can quickly relink audio using Redcine’s Auto Match and create dailies any way your heart desires.
  2. If you decide to export standard stereo MOV files then you can go about your normal workflow and use PluralEyes in your NLE to sync production audio.
  3. You can decide to use this new set of audio files as your production audio. Since they have timecode you can use your NLE’s timecode matching function to do your syncing. A good alternative if you or your studio doesn’t use PluralEyes.
  4. If you’re working on a lower end project that would benefit from having the multichannel audio as part of the offline file, say perhaps a commercial or industrial video where your deadline is tight and there is no chance for an online finish, then you can batch add the audio to your MOV files using something like FFMPEG or FFMBC. This tends to be a bit more time consuming as these command line programs copy the MOV file when it makes changes, rather than editing in place.

Hopefully you can see the value in exporting a set of audio files with the same name and timecode as your footage. It’s a small investment in hard drive space that can save time and headache in a number of workflow scenarios.

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