I’ve been using Pluraleyes since it first came out, to sync separately recorded audio from my Zoom H4n or Tascam DR-100 audio recorders with video from Canon DSLRs. This was because the Automatic Gain Control (AGC) on the camera’s mic input led to noisy and somewhat lo-fi unpredictable results – instead I used a ‘dual sound’ system. Simply I recorded audio on both the camera and the recorder and then use Pluraleyes to automatically align the video with the ‘bad’ camera audio track with the one from the recorder in the Final Cut Pro timeline, this is done automatically without the need for a clapperboard or timecode. You then delete the bad audio and use the recorder track instead.
Although you can now get a pretty good audio recording directly into a 5DmkII, after Canon finally gave us manual audio control with firmware version 2.04, they failed to give us the same manual audio controls with the 550D, 7D and more annoyingly the flagship 1DmkIV. There are several useful audio devices from Juicedlink and Beachtek that use tones or noise to try and defeat the AGC – but the end result is in my experience not quite as good as the dual sound method, so with my 1DmkIV and 550D I still regularly use Pluraleyes. Even using a 5DmkII there are still audio quality advantages using a separate recorder although perhaps not in a breaking news environment.
The latest Beta version of Pluraleyes 1.2 aims to make the syncing process for DSLR video even easier thanks to a ‘replace audio’ option which actually creates an output sequence in Final Cut Pro that automatically replaces the ‘bad’ audio with the recorder audio without the need to go in afterwards and delete the ‘bad’ track like the previous version.
From the Pluraleyes press release the details of the changes are:
1. Option for a single output sequence, to better organize long series of clips
2. Replace audio option—great for DSLR video with external audio
3. Support for locked tracks, to keep specific clips in place through the sync
4. Improved multiclip handling for subclips and in/out points
5. Several bug fixes
More detailed explanations of the new features can be found on this page.