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Audio Timing Tracks
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CharlesDallas [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Oct 07, 2009 15:27 Messages: 40 Offline
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Anyone,

I do synchronized" lights to music" Christmas displays.

Back story:

I use xLights to program the lights and it has a feature whereby you can use a third party plug in called Queen Mary Vamps". When used with a song, this plug in returns a timeline with timing marks at the "bar" and/or at the "beat". I do this first, then load lighting effects into the timed areas and the lighting effects line up perfectly with the audio beats (or bars)

xLights will also playback a video (via HDMI to projector) in snyc to the lights.

I am using PD16 to create a video and will use the same music track from xlights to time the video cues.

My question is:

Can these (or some other) timing track be imported into PD16? If not, is there some other method someone has used for this purpose?

Thanks in advance,

Charles

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at Sep 22. 2020 17:01

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optodata
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: California, USA Joined: Sep 16, 2011 16:04 Messages: 5740 Offline
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There isn't that kind of import ability in PD. The easiest thing I can think of to do is to import the finished music track and use the timeline waveforms to sync your various scenes to.

I assume that it's all one repeating loop and the only thing you need to do is sync the content during editing. When your controller starts playing back the music, video and running the lights, they should all remain in sync. I'd recommend using a project frame rate of 60fps and set PD to not use a "drop frame timecode" to give you the highest timing precision and the most accurate playback duration.
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optodata
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: California, USA Joined: Sep 16, 2011 16:04 Messages: 5740 Offline
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Actually there is a way to import time-based events as it's what ScreenRecorder does to set markers above the timeline whenever the mouse was clicked during a recording. I've attached a sample that you can open in Notepad and see the details.

It's an XML file that ends in .mrk and the events need to be formatted like this: <Mouse time="3.76" mousetype="CLICK"/>. As long as you can set up or convert the output to match these tags, you'll be all set.

The next thing you'll need to do is to name it exactly the same as a source clip with a special ending. For example, if your clip is called Clip001.mp4 you'll need to name the markup file Clip001_mp4.mrk so that PD will automatically import the markers with the clip.

The other issue is that the markers will only extend for the duration of the source clip, so if you've got a 30 minute timeline but you only have a 2 minute clip, you'll only get the first 2 minutes of markers. You may need to create a full length MP4 clip (which can simply be recording with the lens cap on for 30 minutes). You won't ever use the content, and as long as that clip is longer than your light show timeline the markers will be imported and displayed as soon as you drag the clip to the timeline.
 Filename
20200920121432_mp4.mrk
[Disk]
 Description
sample .mrk file
 Filesize
1 Kbytes
 Downloaded:
8 time(s)
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CharlesDallas [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Oct 07, 2009 15:27 Messages: 40 Offline
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Quote Actually there is a way to import time-based events as it's what ScreenRecorder does to set markers above the timeline whenever the mouse was clicked during a recording. I've attached a sample that you can open in Notepad and see the details.

It's an XML file that ends in .mrk and the events need to be formatted like this: <Mouse time="3.76" mousetype="CLICK"/>. As long as you can set up or convert the output to match these tags, you'll be all set.

The next thing you'll need to do is to name it exactly the same as a source clip with a special ending. For example, if your clip is called Clip001.mp4 you'll need to name the markup file Clip001_mp4.mrk so that PD will automatically import the markers with the clip.

The other issue is that the markers will only extend for the duration of the source clip, so if you've got a 30 minute timeline but you only have a 2 minute clip, you'll only get the first 2 minutes of markers. You may need to create a full length MP4 clip (which can simply be recording with the lens cap on for 30 minutes). You won't ever use the content, and as long as that clip is longer than your light show timeline the markers will be imported and displayed as soon as you drag the clip to the timeline.


Optodata,

Thank you very much for digging so deep into this situation. I will attempt to follow your example tomorrow. Tonight; however, I did this wih success:

I took my 56 second Overture song in xlights and

1) went through it writing down in milliseconds where each beat or accent occured
2) wrote an excel file that converts milliseconds in .05 increments (which is how the song is programmed in xlights) to number of frames with a 30fps basis. RE: 1 sec = 30fps, .5 sec=15fps etc
3) Went into PD16 and put timeline markers at those time intervals
4) Opened both PD16 and xlights on side by side laptops and watched to make sure the timing marks were indeed at the correct locations

They were...so that worked and perhaps your method will also. I have 20 minutes total music time so I am looking for the quickest and most accurate solution

Charles

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at Sep 23. 2020 01:20

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