I’ve filmed over 50 music videos and playback and sync are always something that I’m looking to make easier for myself. I’ve tried many slate apps but they are all unnecessarily complicated. Using the audio player on you mobile is less then ideal since the scroll buttons are often very small and it’s pretty hard to find the correct position on the song.
I realised that what I need is just a simple video file that shows timecode, the waveform and parts of the song. It turned out really easy to make. I’ve used this visual music playback system on my two previous shoots and it’s worked great. It’s easy to scroll through the song and communicate with others which part of the song you want to film next.
I made a video explaining how you can do it yourself with Premiere Pro and the Quicktime screen recording feature. After you finish creating the playback video just put it on your mobile phone or tablet. VLC app for iPhone and iPad also let’s you play video files at double speed so you can do slow motion pretty accurately without having to create two versions of the song.
If you record a scratch track on your camera to sync with Pluraleyes or your NLE’s audio sync feature you can still use the timecode to fix possible sync errors or just to double check that the sync is correct. I’ve found that although the iPhone nor iPad doesn’t play the 25fps timecode accurately it’s still accurate enough to use to synchronise the footage in post.