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PluralEyes plug-in automatically syncs double system audio, video in Final Cut Pro  
Thursday, June 4, 2009 | by Rob Galbraith
A new helper application for Apple's Final Cut Pro video editing software is designed to automatically and accurately synchronize video with separately recorded audio without the need for clappers or timecodes, enabling users of video-capable digital SLRs like the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and several others to more-easily meld video footage from the camera with audio recorded by a mobile field recorder or other device. Called PluralEyes and developed by Vancouver, Canada-based Singular Software, it's available now for US$149.

PluralEyes can perform the synchronization of multiple video clips and multiple audio clips, multiple video clips and a single long audio clip (as will often be the case when capturing sound with a separate audio recorder), or other such combinations. As its name implies, PluralEyes will also synchronize video of the same event from multiple cameras. It synchronizes based on the audio in each source clip, says Singular CEO Bruce Sharpe, and is promised to be "very accurate, right to the frame, under a wide range of conditions."

Lined Up: A promotional video for PluralEyes (Video courtesy Singular Software)

As of v1.0.8, PluralEyes will synchronize the audio at a single point in a given video clip, it doesn't attempt to keep audio and video in sync over time. This means it also doesn't do away with the drift in synchronization of 5D Mark II video and separate audio, a problem that users are now working around in Final Cut Pro by adjusting the audio clip's speed to 99.9%, or even transcoding the video at an adjusted frame rate, to compensate. Singular's Sharpe says his company is "interested in providing solutions for people working in this way," and that a possible solution, one that presumably would appear in a future release of PluralEyes, is being explored.

Update, June 9, 2009: The Final Cut Pro fix for keeping 5D Mark II video and separately-recorded audio in sync over time turned out to be as simple as adjusting the application's sequence settings .

The company is also investigating possibilities for integrating PluralEyes with other video software, on both computing platforms, says Sharpe. For now it works on the Mac exclusively, with Final Cut Pro 5.1.4 or later.

A 30-day trial version of PluralEyes is available, which includes a sample project in need of synchronization. The software is US$149 to buy. A review of the software, that includes syncing video from six different cameras, is here.
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