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Plural Eyes 3 Review

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For those not familiar with Plural Eyes,  it is a small standalone program and plug-in by Red Giant, for editing suites that will sync audio from different sources.

To put it into perspective, imagine that your recordings from your main camera, separate  audio on a recorder, like a Zoom H4n, perhaps a second or third camera or even a few DSLRs.  You bring all that media into your editing suite and now you need to match the audio and other the camera clips back in sync again this can be quite tedious and time consuming.  So enter Plural Eyes, a program will now allow you to match/sync all those little clips back up again. In days gone by you would have to use free running time code on each (expensive) camcorder on the job or if you were on a budget, clapping or firing of a flash would help in the edit suite. That would be fine for cameras running continuously but not those turning on and off randomly during the day.

The last time I used this program was when it first came to Sony Vegas a good few years ago after a NAB event,  and have to admit found it a bit slow (probably those old single core machines) and found with my work flow I was quicker at the time.

But times have changed and I now have a couple of audio recorders and at least two cameras and syncing them all up takes quite a bit of time, so lets see how it handles things today.

So to try it out I placed a Pantomime I had filmed on the time line un trimmed, this was 2:22 minutes long (they seem to get longer every year).
The main camera was added in chronological order (top track). The audio clips I have swapped over, so the green highlighted clip should be at the beginning on the left. The two small video clips are just bits filmed before the show to test the camera settings and so not part of the final show.

!! do not add any music, voiceovers, sound effects or any other un related audio at this time.
clips added randomly main camera correct

To run Plural Eyes, go to Tools >  Extensions > PluralEyes 3, this brings up a window, showing the layout of your clips. You may also notice that the headers on the tracks also light up while PluralEyes loads, in my case blue.

If you highlight the clips using the CTRL+ clicking  you want syncing, PluralEyes will only deal with these clips

PlurelEyes 3 Window 1

To get things going, press the “Synchronise” button and little yellow arrows will flash across the clips and finally sync the items up for you.  In this project it took 12 seconds, yeah I know I could not believe it either, wow that was quick.

PlurelEyes 3 Window corrected

The unrelated clips have been moved to the end, they are songs in the main production and was hoping to fool PluralEyes to sync them up, but it worked out they do not belong anywhere in the main production.

You can move the cursor about on the time line and preview the audio and then press the play Icon beneath the preview window to see if it has done the job correctly.  You also have the option to save the project , from File > Save project in its own right.  this means you can send the saved file to a third party working on the same  project and they can use your sync.

To get back to your main project , click on the “Export Timeline” and your clips will be re-arranged to be in sync.  A quick play and all sounds well, but how good has it done it.  I had placed markers on the main video and audio clips when I originally edited the project last year, you can just see them in orange, with SYNC next to them.  As you can see it has lined them up perfectly .

Sony Vegas markers 1

Ok that may have been to easy for it, lets make it a bit harder, lets chop the audio clips up and randomly move them about and see how it deals work with them.

clips added randomly 4 small main camera

This Failed and took 4 seconds to get there.  I am assuming it failed because I randomly moved the clips  about in time, but that is what happens sometimes, you have no idea where the clips should be on the timeline, but fear not, it has been anticipated. A quick look around the Sync menu and 3rd from the bottom, is the option to “Allow Sync To Change Clip Order”, so I ticked this and tried again and it worked flawlessly and only took 17 seconds.  The next time I tried this it did not work again, and upon further investigation, it appears trimming is not supported yet, but is touted for a future update.  The reason for doing this was that I will during the course of editing split clips and then at sometime use the Auto Ripple (you either love this feature or loath it) and have not had the right settings, things you did not anticipate will move, with our knowledge and suddenly while checking audio clips are out of sync.

PlurelEyes 3 Window failed

clips added randomly 5 mp3 main camera

Not to be outdone, I rendered out some mp3 clips form the original master WAVE clips to try this again.
This took 54 seconds and was a bit like watch in the old windows defragger in operation, first it had to build the audio clips and then went to work on syncing the audio. So I reset the clips and tried again to sync and this time it only took 24 seconds as no audio had to be built. It also moved a random video clip that I shot during the interval to the end of the project, which was a surprise as I thought it would leave it in its correct position and work around it, so need to remember them.

PlurelEyes 5 mp3 Window corrected

As you can see in the image, Plural Eyes also adds markers to indicate the sections it has done.

If you want to add the Plural Eyes Icon to the Toolbar.  Click on Options > Customise Toolbar. Find the Plural Eyes icon on the left and click on the “ADD” , this will place on the toolbar.

Plural Eyes seems to make a folder each time you use it in your root folder where the project is stored not sure why but deleting them did not hinder the performance of the program

There are still some things that could make it easier for me, having the “Allow Sync To Change Clip Order”, on the main ribbon, rather then be hidden away or even better to have it on as default.  It does not support Trimmed clips, sub-clips or if you separate the left and right of an audio clip to adjust audio separately in this version, but speaking to Support (via the normal channels, no special treatment), which was very quick  within the day, even day allowing for the time difference and accurate and they took on the requests and the issues I raised above.

All in all very impressed with the ease of use and speed of the Plural Eyes and seems it is now time to start using it as it does it much quicker then I can, which is starting to take longer and longer with me as I start to use more media from various sources on productions.

To get a 15% discount on Plural Eyes 3 use this code SVMPE15
From Monday the 17th of June 2013  till the 23rd of the same month

Review on Plural Eyes 3.2  (using pluraleyes3.10642a.RC)
Review done on Sony Vegas 12 (build 563) 64 Bit,  Windows 7 service pack 1 -64 Bit OS, Intel i7-3930k CPU @ 3.2GHz Processor, 32Gb memory

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10 comments to Plural Eyes 3 Review

  • Zulqar Cheeema

    Sunny Dhinsey informs me that if try uninstalling PE and then re-installing PE, restart the machine and might work as it did for him.

  • Greeting to all, I was interested if anyone has found an answer to the “PE 3 Not showing up in SVP 13 Ext.” issue. I have been seaching for a ‘How 2″ or vid on this for the last couple days. Any advise on how to set this up would be greatly appreciated.

    Sys Info:
    Win 7 Pro 64
    SVP 13
    Plural Eyes 3

  • Zulqar Cheeema

    I have just up-graded to PE 3.5 and it is in the Tools >> Extensions >> Plural Eyes 3.5, section.

    See here for more info
    http://www.redgiant.com/docs/doc-on/pluraleyes/export_Vegas.php

  • leng sovannara

    Hi,
    There was no option for Sony Vegas, so I left it as it was. But when I run Vegas, Pluraleyes3 did not show up as an extension. How can I fix this?

    Thanks.

  • Don

    Hi Al, it has been a while since you have posted, just wondering did you get a fix for this issue having same problem, ‘can’t install extension’.in Vegas 12 though

  • Jared

    Hi,

    I am having the same problem as Al. I used Pluraleyes for about a year now on Sony Vegas 12 and it has worked great. When I updated to Sony Vegas 13, Pluraleyes no longer shows up in my extensions. I tried re-installing pluraleyes, and still no luck. Do you have any suggestions?

    Thanks

  • Al

    Hi,
    I know you’re probably not a Red Giant expert, but I was wondering if you could help out with the general downloading/install stage.
    I downloaded and ran Pluraleyes 3. There was no option for Sony Vegas, so I left it as it was. But when I ran Vegas, Pluraleyes 3 did not show up as an extension. I’ve tried it a few times now, and it’s still not working. How can I fix this?

    Any help would be appreciated.
    Thanks.

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