MEP 2015 Plus - Is there a way to move track contents less than one frame?

Recycler wrote on 11/4/2014, 2:58 AM

In the competitor product I'm used to (Serif MoviePlus X6), there is a straightforward way to temporarily "detach" any track, video or audio, from its frame-based granularity and shift said track left or right by any tiny sub-frame amount you need to get sync perfect. Then, with everything in the exact right place, you re-apply the frame-sync constraints and proceed as normal.

This is an extremely useful capability. From what I read and understand, MVP Plus 2015 does not and  cannot ever (due to its internal design) work this way. I appreciate that some workarounds are possible (mangling audio in a separate editor for example), but they seem inelegant - and cannot be used for video!

Please could an experienced user of MVP 2015 confirm that it does not have this facility?  Thank you.

Comments

gandjcarr wrote on 11/4/2014, 10:45 AM

Hi,

I am not sure how Serif is doing this, you can't move video by less than a frame because a frame is the smallest particle of the video stream. Maybe they get you to change the frame rate of the video clip which would create a smaller frame in terms of the time it is on the screen, but pretty much all NLEs are frame based.  In the old tape days, you could just cut out a partial frame, but then you would need to use TBC to not loose video sync.  Audio is a different story because audio is based on a sample which is the smallest increment that you can edit audio.

George

cpc000cpc wrote on 11/4/2014, 5:54 PM

"I am not sure how Serif is doing this..."

Maybe I'm cynical (or know nothing) but I wonder if they are really shifting video at less than a frame. It would presumably easy enough to have the timeline display a fractional shift, but is the exported material really done that way? And, more to the point, could you hear the difference? Have you examined a Serif export to check the fractional frame shift of the audio track?

I just did a quick test and, though I can follow the beat, I couldn't tell the difference between an audio gap in sync with a single frame overlay and a a gap a full frame later:

Regards,

Carl

 

Recycler wrote on 11/5/2014, 3:24 AM

Don't get me wrong, this is not a life and death issue for me! The Magix solution has a lot of things going for it - but there have been occasions when the Serif ability to switch off a track's alignment with the timeline has saved my bacon.

The European Broadcasting Union Tech specification 3307 specifies that audio/video sync should be within +5ms and -15ms (early and late respectively) to decoded video. If you are trying to juggle multiple free-running cameras (each deciding its own time reference for the start of frames), and maybe sync up to a separate audio master, I found it makes the job easier in post if you can  'slide tracks' around a little. My main work involves long continuous takes of live classical music concerts, and my experience is that getting soloists (and strangely particularly choirs) to look as if they are properly lip-synced can be tricky. If the only adjustment you have is at frame granularity (in my case with PAL +- 20 ms) the job is harder!

Serif clearly have a different internal mechanism for rendering to Magix. I believe they re-render everything at output regardless, (and they do indeed take ages comparatively speaking to create output), but perhaps it gives them more freedom in actually how they work. 

I'm enjoying getting used to MVP 2015 Plus, and it does produce excellent, satisfying results.  Thanks for your comments.

BTW... I tried switching off "Object Grid" thinking that this might be the equivalent of Serif's "Align to Frames" option, but no joy.  It didn't seem to have any effect whatsoever.

cpc000cpc wrote on 11/5/2014, 4:42 AM

Thanks Recycler for the extended very informative reply!

Perhaps if I had chosen the Bach B minor Mass rather than some handy pop clip I'd have been more in tune (time) with your problem.

Have you tried 'Align other audio objects with this track'? maybe if you have one take that is in perfect (good enough) sync you could auto shift the others to match. I've not got any multiple camera clips to test. A piece of a copy certainly lines up with the original but there is no way of checking if the alignment is still limited to video frame boundaries.

Curious... do you have any additional problems with time lag when recording at different distances from the performers?

Regards,

Carl

 

browj2 wrote on 11/5/2014, 11:44 AM

I think that we have established that you cannot move a video clip by less than a frame; if you could the resulting video would be terrible. With multiple cameras, you will never get exactly the same image at the same time unless they are synchronized electronically together. I highly doubt that Serif, being a run-of-the-mill commercial video program, would be sophisticated enough to allow you to move one video image a half frame to the right vs another video clip and get it right. The frame is the smallest that you can have.

That leaves moving the audio. I checked in VPX6 and I have no problem whatsoever of moving an audio object to anywhere within a frame of the video. See below. Track 1 is the video, 2 is the audio that I did not ungroup, 3 is an imported wav file. What you see on the timeline for the video is at the frame level - the first image and blue part is 1 frame. Note where I placed the audio on track 3 - part way along the frame.

BTW, if you want to move the audio that came with the video, you have to have it a on separate track and ungroup it from the video, otherwise audio and video move together.

See below where I ungrouped the audio from the video and nudged the audio slightly to the right, a portion of a frame.

Thus, question answered, yes you can move the audio anywhere along the timeline, even to less than a frame.

When you align 2 audio tracks, you can do it using the built-in tool, or align them visually using the waveform. It helps if there is an event like a clapper sound.

Carl mentioned the distance. Sound travels at 1100feet/s, if I recall correctly. With video at say 29.97fps, and a mic at about 37 feet from the target, you would be 1 frame off with the sound.

Last changed by browj2 on 11/5/2014, 11:44 AM, changed a total of 1 times.

John C.B.

Desktop System - Windows 10 Home 1903; 16Gb RAM; i7 CPU 860@2.80Gz; ATI Radeon HD5770 w1GB; SSD 500GB, HD 2TB; others 1.5TB, 3TB, 500GB, 4TB, 5TB, 6TB; dual monitors - 27" main, 25" secondary; Casio WK-225 piano keyboard; M-Audio M-Track USB mixer; Notebook - Microsoft Surface Pro 4, i5, 8 GB RAM, 256 SSD, W10 Pro 1903

Recycler wrote on 11/5/2014, 12:55 PM

@Carl:

I now try to work always with a clapperboard - it makes things so much easier. I align the claps from the master audio track with the visual smacking of the clapperboard, ignoring the sound tracks from the cameras. This eliminates differential delays due to the cameras being at varying distances from the action. With modern consumer camcorders the lenses are so good you can zoom in really tight to singers even if the camera is a fair way away - so getting really tight lip sync throughout is vital.

Depending on the brand of audio recorder used, the sound track may need stretching of squashing by a few frames with respect to the visual claps recorded by the cameras. I use mainly Panasonic cameras which are pretty good at staying together; so if I align the visual claps at the start of a concert, the claps at the interval (say an hour later) will be at the same frame - as far as it is possible to judge the "point of clap" by eye.

I had some success using the Magix "Align other objects with this track" in my pre-purchase testing, but as soon as I'd bought the software it never worked usefully after that. If all the cameras were set up the same, and experienced the same mix of direct and reverb sound, then may be it would be useful - but I'm much happier simply working to clapperboard. However in a real live concert, even a classical music one, there are practical difficulties about climbing into the middle of a choir (to the one place you are sure all the cameras can see) to clap. And if you get it wrong as I did on Saturday, and happen to stand where one camera can't see you, the language back at the computer can get a bit blue, and in this situation the camera's own audio comes into its own as a substitute. Also for the sound of the clap to be detectable amongst general audience hubbub, more gain may be temporarily needed on the nearest mic channel than you will use for the actual recording.

Apart from that it's easy......

@John - thanks for your comments

cpc000cpc wrote on 11/5/2014, 3:48 PM

Hi All,

Last night, well after I went to bed, I woke with a great thought -- use a .wav file export rather than the original sound from the clip.

Great idea but the audio tracks (.wav or original) still snap to video frame boundaries in MEP 2015 Premium. Perhaps Recycler will have to move up to VPX6!

ADDED: Fired up my old machine which has nearly as old VPX2.5 installed and find that it too allows free, not frame fixed, movement of audio.

Regards,

Carl

browj2 wrote on 11/5/2014, 9:56 PM

Hi,

We had a discussion recently on the Pro area under Forum about multi-cam, lining up tracks,etc. See also the video of the orchestra done by Greg in the same discussion.

Last changed by browj2 on 11/5/2014, 9:56 PM, changed a total of 1 times.

John C.B.

Desktop System - Windows 10 Home 1903; 16Gb RAM; i7 CPU 860@2.80Gz; ATI Radeon HD5770 w1GB; SSD 500GB, HD 2TB; others 1.5TB, 3TB, 500GB, 4TB, 5TB, 6TB; dual monitors - 27" main, 25" secondary; Casio WK-225 piano keyboard; M-Audio M-Track USB mixer; Notebook - Microsoft Surface Pro 4, i5, 8 GB RAM, 256 SSD, W10 Pro 1903

Recycler wrote on 11/6/2014, 4:14 AM

@John C.B.

Thanks for that link to the Pro Forum - an interesting and useful discussion. Reassuring in a way  to see from Greg's Jazz video that it's not only my soloists who despite everything choose, or have, to perform in the only unlit area of the stage........!

browj2 wrote on 11/9/2014, 9:17 PM

Hi,

I just got around to trying MEP2015 Premium, and you are all right, the audio jumps to the nearest frame. I guess that this is one of the differences between VPX6 and MEP. I had never noticed this before, but then, I had never had to get the sound that tight.

Last changed by browj2 on 11/9/2014, 9:17 PM, changed a total of 1 times.

John C.B.

Desktop System - Windows 10 Home 1903; 16Gb RAM; i7 CPU 860@2.80Gz; ATI Radeon HD5770 w1GB; SSD 500GB, HD 2TB; others 1.5TB, 3TB, 500GB, 4TB, 5TB, 6TB; dual monitors - 27" main, 25" secondary; Casio WK-225 piano keyboard; M-Audio M-Track USB mixer; Notebook - Microsoft Surface Pro 4, i5, 8 GB RAM, 256 SSD, W10 Pro 1903