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Thread: Match photos to a song's beat

  1. #1
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    Default Match photos to a song's beat

    I want to match the photos to a songs beat. The only software I have for video editing right now is Windows Movie Maker. And, while it's obviously possible to do this, when a song has an irregular beat, I have to set the duration for each image individually to match the beat. This is very hard to get it to look good.

    Is there any software package that allows for this to be done easily? It seems like something that would be quite common, so I'm thinking that there is, but I've been searching and havn't found anything.

    Thank you,

  2. #2

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    I agree, it would be helpful if video editing sw identifed beats, and set markers to automatically aligns video clips. But no, I don't know any software which does. I suspect there are several practical reasons why not.

    1. Which beats?
    A song in 4/4 time has 4 beats in each bar. And the beats be sub-divided even further. What sub-division might be wanted?

    2. How to determine a beat?
    Software might easily find where the places where the audio volume peaks; or where a specified frequency range is found (e.g. a bass drum), but it would start failing if another instrument marks the time. And some music (e.g. Stravinsky) may be extremely difficult to identify the beats.

    3. Whether the video clip should change *exactly* where the beat occurs.
    I don't know alot about this, but there may be some editing technique when the video clip should precede or occur after the beat.


    Despite what I have written, it can be done using the scripting language in Adobe After Effects. But it would not be fully automatic; and by the time the technique is learnt; it may have been easier to do the whole thing manually.

    Hoping that helps, but suspect it won't :(

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimAndrews View Post
    I agree, it would be helpful if video editing sw identifed beats, and set markers to automatically aligns video clips. But no, I don't know any software which does. I suspect there are several practical reasons why not.
    If the music is typical computer generated music or production soundtrack music, where the beats are regular (ie there's no slowing down or speeding up) this is fairly trivial in some programs. In sony Vegas you can even set the timeline ruler in measures and beats rather than minutes/seconds/frames.
    You can drop markers every "n" beats using scripts (requires Vegas Pro)
    This ties in nicely with stuff created in Acid, the now defunct Cinescore and Smartsound.
    Having said that, I prefer the more organic method of tapping the "M" key to create a marker on each beat whilst I have the music on the timeline, possibly with the music being played back at half speed. This allows some "leeway" or deliberate innaccuaracy which equates to what TimA was said in his point 3 above. Even then I fiddle around with the markers a bit until the cut and music coincide "just right".
    Tim

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