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Having successfully completed many years of video production work on a hobby/part time basis, and having completed over 200 wedding video projects ,I would offer the following :
My use of a single frame is very simular to Mr.Ginsburg”s of VideoEditSystems in an earlier post.
For ease of solving multitrack video/sound sync problems, consider this:
Have your assistants to watch for a predetermined cue from you on WHEN to start their assigned camera. I have found that wedding directors will readily give you a cue as to when the service will be getting underway. At that time , be sure all cam operators direct their shot towards a predetermined operator equipped with a “strobe flash unit ” from a 35mm camera.The assigned operator then produces a flash from the unit being visible to all cameras. when the raw footage is uploaded, use this single frame containing the flash for the video sync.The sound will be pretty much in sync as well.It is also very important, in my opinion, to use the same camera the tape was shot with for uploading, as the playback speed can vary in a one hour service enough to cause sync problems.That is to say, dont upload a tape with CAM 1 that was shot with CAM 2 .If it was shot with CAM 1 ,, upload it with CAM 1.
For a long time,using Hi-8 CAMS, I mixed the service live with an on location video mixer equipped with color correction, and sound sources etc. I always ran a tape in a couple of the 4-7 cams in case of a problem with one of the master recording decks.The logistics was nightmarish and setup time from running cable etc was enormous when using a live mixing method however. Thus upon some trial and error experiences, I began using a tape in each cam when doing the shoot and the final mix, I run sound from each CAM to an audio mixer, with an unrecorded sound monitor with it’s output being fed to the line-in jack on the PC. The video output from each CAM is fed into the stand alone video mixer with the output from the mixer being fed to the video in on the capture card of the pc. In using this setup, the flip open monitor on each cam is also used in addition to a large video monitor for preview and recorded video signals.
When the digital video cameras were introduced, I continued using this method of capture and doing a second or third capture of any digital cam footage. With all of the aforementioned methods, the flash from the strobe flash unit was used to assist in any needed sync.
I should also state that when using the ” mix after the fact” method, all of my cameras are Sony, thus allowing to pause on the ‘strobe flash frame” and then with the push of one button on one remote, all are sent into play mode with the mix being output to the video capture card. Sure there will be restarts when doing this , but I have found that the pros far outweigh the cons, and making a very nice finished product for customers. I have also used variations of the above for productions of dancers, outdoor events , pageants and even dirt track racing.
The final point I would make is one of the most important ones. If using a multi cam after the fact mix method, ONCE A CAM IS ROLLING , DO NOT STOP THE RECORDING , EVEN IF REPOSITIONING A CAMERA, eliminating the requirement of having to re-sync. The bad shots are simply avoided when doing the final mix.
I have used the Pinnacle products for several years and currently use Pinnacle 11 using CoreI7 processor based pc’s without incident or issues. I used the strobe flash method even during the days of editing using S-VHS decks for several years, never once having to refund a customer’s money for failing to capture the event .
Even living in a very rural area, I’m still in the part time business of making memories. If I could make my living doing video production in this area, that friends , is what Id be doing.
I hope this will help someone in the learning stages of this business.