My Nuendo Field recorder workflow workaround

Hi forum,

I have recently had to conform quite a bit of audio for a tv series.
Most of you will be aware that Nuendo does not (yet) offer a dedicated function for relinking audio tracks from field recorders to the session. It is however perfectly possible to achieve this with the Nuendo reconform window.
I thought I’d share my way of working with you, maybe this helps.

  1. Import the video and the AAF into a 24hrs timeline.
  2. Copy all the production audio of a scene you want to conform into the session. Use the scene number and just drag all the files form the finder to a black track. When Nuendo asks if it should use different tracks answer ONE TRACK. In the next dialog ask Nuendo to SPLIT multi-channel files and select a numbered naming scheme. Nuendo will now copy all the media into the pool.
  3. When copying is finished (and all imported files are still selected) execute the move to origin command. Nuendo will put all the files to their TC of birth
  4. Bring up the reconform window. Load the audio EDL that the cutter has provided to the change edl (lower part of the) window. Make sure that the EDL is CMX 3600 and has NO ADDITIONAL information (like fades). This is important, since Nuendo will otherwise hiccup and not work correctly. If you have a copy of Media Composer at hand you can clean up your EDL with the list tool.
  5. In the Reconform settings restrict reconform to the selected track.
  6. Hit start reconform and watch Nuendo do it’s magic.
  7. Voila! Your scene audio is now conformed. You will have all tracks of audio on top of each other. By right clicking the regions you will be able to select different takes by number and bring them to front.

Drawbacks:

All the audio from different tracks will be on one Nuendo track. Would be nice to be able filter a track from the edl to conform in Nuendo.
Nuendo does not support naming by field recorder metadata, so you will not be able to show character of microphone names from the field recorder.
Nuendo will most certainly find matching timecode from other scenes/days of production that might end up in the wrong place. You will need to delete that from the session and work through the program scene by scene.

Apart from that I actually prefer this to the field recorder workflow from ProTools that is so seriously screwed up in version 11 that you will need to delete your volume database everytime you want to conform a scene to get a half decent result.

We all know this is unfortunately still far from perfect, but I guess you will always need some sort of manual work with this kind of workflow. I guess that we will see some improvement in the future but until then I hope it helps.

Does anybody know of a cheaper tool to clean up EDLs from fades and other info? I have used MediaComposer’s List Tool for that, but that’s a big weapon for a small task…

Yup, that’s how we do it too.

Fredo

IG is great With native nuendo solutions. But doing this scene by scene is just to much work imho. We still use audio EDLs and Titan to conform. Works well.
There is also another way to do this natively. But I haven’t tried it yet as I already have Titan.

Interesting, would you mind sharing?

As soon as I have tried it for real myself. It’s still just theory for me. It’s not my original idea so no credit to me.
I may have some spare time tomorrow. Perhaps.

Basically it’s a filename based workflow using only the AAF and some scripted text editing I’ll be back here when I have actually tried it. But I think it can only work with linked full length source files. So there’s a few limitations. And I’m not 100% sure how it all is supposed to be done yet.

So here we go:
The Alternate Nuendo And Texteditor Workflow Using AAFs And No EDLs Or Expensive Third Party Programs.
TANATWUAANEOETPP for short :slight_smile:

First of all, this requires some additional knowledge/learning/setup/automation to get really useful and it has a number of caveats… Note this is NOT a very simple and slick process unless your workflow is adapted to it’s limitations!
This is NOT for the faint at heart, but for geeks it’s kind of cool :slight_smile:.

Lets start with some basic limitations.
It WILL NOT WORK if the source audio file names “vital info” contains more then ten (10) characters.
Examples of some that will work:
BA1234_3.wav [Cantar field recorder standardized naming for split mono file ch no 3]
BA1234.wav [Cantar field recorder standardized naming for polyphonic file]
71-2T04.wav [Scene-angle-take using some recorders with polyphonic file]
71-2T04_3.wav [Scene-angle-take using some recorders with split mono file ch no 3]

Green text is the length of the file name remaining after a Avid MC export in general (some workflows excluded).

Examples of source file names where it will not work:
842-1633T04.wav [Scene-Slate-Take with polyphonic file]
842-1633T04_3.wav [Scene-Slate-Take with split mono file ch no 3]

So as long as you do NOT use scene-slate indents that results in ten+ characters for the “vital info” (here in Sweden we almost always do go over especially when working on series) it is quite likely that your workflow may work!

Ok, lets get to it:
Import the AAF into Nuendo, Export all Dialog tracks (hopefully with just dialog and nothing else to avoid additional issues to deal with) as AES31. AES31 is a human (and machine) readable project format.

Open this AES31 in a advanced RegEx text editor, I use Textwrangler. Now you have to define your GREP search pattern. Because as you can see Avid MC adds a lot of extra unwanted data to the filenames. We want to find and truncate the data and reformat it so that it can be relinked to the original source files.

We want this:
71-2T04.waA01.D1D3F55AE31C6.wav
To end up like this:
71-2T04.wav

The way to do this would be to use a GREP search pattern like this:

Find:.{21}wav



Replace:.wav

This may or may NOT work depending on a bunch of things, GREP searches is not my speciality, but when you figure out how to reformat all your files using various GREP searches (you may have to do it more than once to cover all possible files in the AAF) you can save the file (under a new name.adl) and import this into Nuendo. Relink the files using search in Nuendo and you will now have new tracks, just like your AAF dialog tracks but linked to your source files instead. You can then access/split the files in Nuendo, but you have to place them on on tracks that have the same number of channels as the source audio files to do so. Not perfect but workable depending on workflow (if you always record ten tracks all the time then it is easy, if the number of recorded tracks change all the time then it is hard work.

IF you record using split mono than you will have to perform this first and then duplicate the file for the max number of channels used during the shoot and find and replace all “.wav” with “_n.wav” where n is a incremental number one for each channel you need to access.
then you import all the created ADLs one for each source channel.


Finally you want to automate the process of doing the GREP searches and the track modifications when possible so that you can re-use all this hard work as easily as possible. Keyboard Maestro or even Automator would probably work (on a mac), I don’t know the equivalents for windows but I do know they exist.


HEY PRESTO, a auto conform process using only AAF’s and some free/cheap programs to do it. :mrgreen: :laughing:

After you have done all this you will say “Isn’t it cheaper to not spend the time doing this and just buy Synchro arts Titan or something similar instead?” And the answer may be yes or no depending on your current workload and financial situation.


A real programmer might be able to advance this into a better solution grabbing additional data from the metadata within the AES31 file, But I have no idea how that could be done or if it is even possible.
I decided to not spend the time to do this fully as the limitations are just to severe for us and we already own Titan.

One cool thing with this, is that this way all the fades/clip levels/automation is inherited from the AAF. They won’t be if you do this using EDLs and Titan. And if you have access to PTHD you can do it there, but to get the data across with proper fades you have to use another program like aatranslator, if you use AAF export from PT you get rendered fades and that just sucks.

ALL of this may be a LOT simpler IF you can run a wav only workflow. This will depend on the chosen NLE and it’s settings and requires som extra knowledge and prep with editing before the editing or syncing process starts (way ahead of the audio post schedule)

Hi ErikG,

thanks for the great post!

I’m definitely to wimpy for that kind of workflow and did not even try it. Actually the standard names from sound devices recorders that people use a lot here are usually all longer than 10 characters, so there’s not much I could do anyways.

The fact that these things pop up very regularly now here and people post their workarounds show that we really need Steinberg to address this topic, I think.

Absolutely.

thanks guys this post is absolutely complementary with the one i posted month ago:
https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=240&t=86195

I’m just getting my head around Audio post so please forgive my rather laboured post ( I’m thinking aloud )
It seems like there are three important aspects of moving a film project from Picture Edit to Sound.

  1. Assembling the multichannel production iso recordings in the DAW timeline when picture editing has only used and sent a production mix.

  2. Realigning those multichannel tracks to the reference mix where there have been slight sync misplacements.

  3. Reconfirming the audio project when the picture has been re-edited after picture lock.

So, from Olivers helpful post that started this thread, the first function can be performed in Nuendo if an audio EDL has been provided from editorial and the third can be performed within Nuendo, if you have an updated EDL and the new reconform function. Presumably, the ProTools Field Recorder Workflow assesses the time code of the regions in the edited mix track and then goes looking to find matching timecode in the BWFs that you point it to.

A couple of questions:

  1. What do people do to fix minor sync issues; do it manually? use some third party application? According to SynchroArts, Titans Sync Fix doesn’t work in Nuendo nor in later versions of ProTools. Can one use Vocalign etc?

  2. What can you do if editorial don’t/can’t provide an audio EDL (for example DaVincis Resolve can’t export audio EDLs)?

My way is that I deliver editors only with the multi channel files. I don´t remember the last time they refused to use them and wanted 2 track instead. It really does not matter that much to editors here in Finland anyway…

Bye / Tumppi

Hi guys,

seems like we´re working on the same hazards in Nuendo…
What about displaying the field recorders track name in Nuendo - Did you find a way to do so?
I started a separate topic for this:
https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=240&t=99899
Thank you for participating.
Bye, Andreas

Hello together,

I tried the conforming as Oliver and Fredo proposed. Unfortunately after hitting “Start Reconform” all Nuendo does is add Marker Tracks und delete the sourcefiles from their origin.

I added 2 pictures pre and post conforming.
What am I doing wrong?
preConform.PNG
postConform.PNG
cheers,
H

I think the problem occurs because you don’t move the files to their origin (original timestamp)
In your preconform,png screenshit the files are already at their destination timecode. You can move them all with one command (move to->origin)

Nope, the original is at about 12 hours. What you see in A1 is the AAF

Oliver, do you have a sample EDL which you know is working? So I can compair it to my test EDL and see if maybe some flags are missing or too many. I tried different versions with no luck, still I think the EDL itself could be the issue here.
I am generating the EDL with Avids List Tool.

The original Clips just disappear.

Has anyone tried EdiLoad from Sounds in Sync? On a quick perusal of their website, it appears to do audio conforming into ProTools. It is both Mac and Windows software and is less than a third the price of Titan. They have a 3 day trial, requires iLok 2.

Product Page:
http://www.soundsinsync.com/products/ediload

Home Page:
http://www.soundsinsync.com/

I have both EdiLoad and Titan.
Yes EdiLoad can do nice things. But it can’t do quite what Titan does. Titan has a multitude of matching possibilities via its script language. EdiLoad can do some of what Titan does but it still relies on the metadata read inside PT.
I’m not saying it’s a bad choice. To the contrary. It’s maker is also a really nice and good developer. I use EdiLoad to problem solve EDLs and also to reconform PT projects when we have to work in PT.
But to conform location sound with it, you also need PTHD. Regular PT does not have the field recorder workflow it uses for matching metadata. PTHD+EdiLoad is definetly more expensive than Titan. But if you own PTHD already it could be a option.