"The Phantom of the Opera"
(click Lon Chaney for video)
This was a blast to work on! I had imported video into Sonar before, but had never tried to score new music to a video clip. It became an all-consuming project that took me several days.
In Sonar, video is imported as easily as audio - simply choose that option. I tabbed the video view in the lower right quadrant of the screen, so I could smoothly move back and forth from viewing the clip to viewing the Piano Roll View, Tempo View etc.
As per Sonar's Help files, I right clicked on the video image to get to the Video Properties and then changed the clip's Start Time. My score starts with a pick up measure, and I needed the visuals to start at measure #2. I typed in the Start Time as 2:01:00 instead of 1:01:00 which would have been the very beginning of the Sonar tracks.
I had to juggle with the Trim-in Time, also typed in with a right click, to adjust the time inside the video clip itself when I wanted video playback to start.
I still don't quite understand how these two different parameters are displayed. Start Time is in the format of X:XX:XXX, as mentioned above. But the Trim-in Time is in the format of XX:XX:XX:XX. To have the vid line up with where I needed it, I needed to adjust the Trim-in Time to 00:00:00:04.
What I just described probably sounds confusing if you haven't opened up your app and started working with these parameters. That's the only way the above will make more sense.
As I usually do, I composed the whole piece first using only Piano. Once I was satisfied with what I'd written, I started fleshing out the arrangement, using a fairly full orchestral instrumentation, with a Pipe Organ coming in at the half way point. I used only Garritan Libraries, by the way – GPO, JABB, CMB, The Strad and The Gofriller. During most of my orchestration work I didn't keep watching the video, being on the Piano Roll View instead.
The main challenge to me was that I was composing music which made notated sense – I was using proper measures. That started the audio and video off just fine, but then I would come to places where I wanted specific things to be happening in conjunction with the video. While still working in the MIDI realm, I could have started dragging clips, snap off, to where I needed, but that would have destroyed the notation mapping. I wanted to work in terms of measures as long as possible, so I could keep using Sonar's metronome for recording more instruments.
What I did was change the tempo throughout to keep my roughed-in score and the video in sync. This called for a massive amount of trial and error, drawing and re-drawing tempi until I was matching things up the way I wanted.
After bouncing the tracks to audio (26 tracks) and developing the mix, adding Reverb and EQ, I still needed to sync up one cue I hadn't been able to rectify by tempo changes.
With the scissors tool, I sliced all of the tracks, and then by right clicking on the tracks, I adjusted their Start Time to match the exact frame number I'd made note of in the video. This is the shot of the Phantom running which comes right after the two lovers reunite. So if you have any element that you absolutely must have in sync with the video, this is how you get that particular Audio or MIDI clip to line up with the video.
Slicing all the tracks and adjusting their start times moved them a fraction of a second to the right. To fill the gap, I dragged out the Harp and Cymbals tracks, using the auto-cross fade function, and that covered the gap sufficiently well. If I wouldn't have had any tracks to smooth over the gap, I would have needed to record something on a new track to bridge the space.
I didn't export a 2-track mix-down to Sound Forge the way I usually do. I simply used the Export Video function to create a new file which had both the original clip and my sound track. I used the highest quality settings possible so the video wouldn't get even more degraded, and to keep the music sounding as good as possible. This short 1 ½ minute clip only ended up 5 megs in size, pretty small.
I felt clumsy with a lot of the technical parts of the project – getting things to sync up being the general problem area, as to be expected.
SO – that's an over view of my experience with this. Hope some other people did some “Phantom” work and can pass on what their experience was like!