Audio Timecode Workflow
Audio Timecode Workflow for DSLRs and Cameras without Timecode
More often DSLRs such as the Canon 5D, Panasonic GH5, & Sony A7S are making their way into professional video productions as well as entry level professional video cameras that lack features like Timecode input (like Canon C200 & C100 or Sony FS5). Achieving sync on sets with these cameras or multicam sets has fortunately simplified in recent time with Audio Timecode or DSLR Timecode Workflow, making post-production much easier and more streamlined. You can always sync manually with a slate, but that is a tedious and time consuming process that increases post-production cost. Audio timecode is an easy to implement, reliable method of sync.
Audio Timecode On Set
Using a DSLR or Entry Level Professional Camera with audio timecode is very straightforward on set. Audio needs to be recorded to 1 of the camera’s audio inputs, either via a specialized timecode cable or through use of a BNC to XLR or ⅛” Adapter. I typically feed reference audio as a safety net to the second audio input on the camera.
Set your audio level on camera after connecting timecode to it and you are good to go!
Audio Timecode Post-Production Workflow
Fortunately thanks to a few clever pieces of software, audio timecode is easier than ever before, and allows you to batch process footage prior to editing. What these softwares do is replacing the Audio timecode with File Embedded Timecode to each clip. After the batch process is done, you can integrate the clips into your video editing workflow just as if you were working in any other multi camera timecode workflow.
While there are a few great choices for software, my favorite piece of software is by ca company called Tentacle Sync, called Tentacle Sync Studio. They offer a free 14 day trial, but its purchase price is $149 US. With this software you can import all your footage & external audio recording, recognizing the audio timecode embedded into the footage, and the File Timecode embedded into the audio files. A few additional options lets you replace the audio in your video clips with any of the channels of audio from externally recorded audio. Then with a click of a button you can export everything ready to bring into your editing software such as Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro, or Avid Media Composer.
Tentacle Sync Studio is mac only, but they offer a PC solution called Tentacle Timecode Tool. Allowing you to integrate this workflow into PC computer based Editing Systems. Alternatively there are two other software options with similar functionality available for both Windows and Mac OS X, Gallery’s Timecode Tools & Video Toolshed’s LTC Convert (AUX TC)