Working with Dual System Video and Audio

Many movies are made by recording picture and sound separately and then syncing them together during post-production. While this adds a level of complexity to post-production and editing, it also gives you more independent control of picture and sound throughout. Cinematographers can focus on capturing the images, while the production sound recordist and microphone operator can work independently to capture the best sound. The visible and audible clicking of the slate, along with timecode and edge code numbers, are used to sync picture and sound together in post-production.

Dual system recording is used in productions such as:

In Final Cut Pro, you can create merged clips so you can work with video and audio from a dual system production together, in sync. Most clips refer to a single media file on disk, and each clip item refers to a track within that single media file. In a merged clip, each clip item can refer to a different media file on disk. For example, a merged clip simultaneously refers to a video track in a QuickTime media file and audio tracks in one or more separate audio files. You can merge one video clip and up to 24 audio clip items.

When you create a merged clip from two or more clips, it becomes a new master clip, with no affiliation to the clips from which it was created. For more information on master-affiliate clip relationships, see Working with Master and Affiliate Clips.

Use Accurately Captured Media to Create Merged Clips

It’s always important to make sure that the timecode captured with your video and audio media is accurate before creating merged clips.

When capturing audio for use in a merged clip, make sure that your audio deck is synchronized to the same video timing signal used when capturing video. A blackburst generator (also referred to as house sync) can be used to supply both video and audio interfaces with a common timing signal. For more information, see Connecting Professional Video and Audio Equipment.