Beats (BPM) on Timeline

  • 33
  • Idea
  • Updated 2 years ago
  • Not Planned
(This idea comes what we’ve heard here in this community as well as from other customer feedback methods we utilize. The feedback we gather here will help us gauge how well it fits our users’ needs. Please let us know what you think)

The Problem
Syncing visuals to the beat of an audio track is difficult. Having the ability to visualize timeline as the beats per minute (BPM) or measures would make this much easier.
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David D, Technical Product Manager - Camtasia

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Posted 2 years ago

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Petter Dessne

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Beats per minute (BPM) in timeline.

Hi,

This is my very first post on this forum, after a suggestion from Aaron at tech support, so
please be kind. :) 

In Camtasia, I would
like to have snap markers (or just snapping in general) synced to beats per
minute, or more specifically, to the beginning of bars (measures).



If you who
read this have ever used a DAW (like Cubase or Sonar) you know what I mean:
instead of displaying seconds in the timeline, I'd like to show bars, and make
the audio and video clips "snappable" to the beginning of these bars (or perhaps to each beat). That would make it easy to
just drag in a finished song from my DAW and create a video that is really in
sync with the music. So: if my song is in 128 BPM, I would like to be able to
set 128 as the BPM for the timeline in Camtasia. I think this must be doable as
it's just a matter of converting numbers from seconds to bars. (All DAWs on the
market have the ability to change from seconds to bars.)



For us who
are relying on music in our works and not just want to add some background
music at random, this would be superb. I have previously worked with Adobe
Premiere Pro, but was surprised to learn that this is not possible there, so if
would be something that would set Camtasia apart from at least Premiere Pro.


Petter, Sweden

 

 
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dkrier

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Scrubable sound in the timeline would also be great.
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ron

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YES, YES, YES
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drummath

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YESSSS PLZZZZZ For Christ Sake...
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nbetzold

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It would be best if we could set markers w/o stopping the play--in other words set markers to whatever cue in the music using my ears, not my eyes, having to stop and look at the audio track.
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kayakman, Champion

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I believe you can do so when capturing with Recorder; there is a hotkey for that, and the capture does not stop
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kayakman, Champion

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I've never used a DAW, but I was wondering if this technique is a possible workaround for what you're looking for ...

How To Add Beat Markers To Audio Clip Using Recorder Hotkey
http://www.screencast.com/t/CE5GnmWVXiMi
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Petter Dessne

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Thanks for the link. Yes, that would be a workaround (manually "recording" markers as the music plays).

Here's an example of a DAW at work,  displaying this particular feature: https://youtu.be/JMpAgzNTkV0?t=752 at about 12:30.

Note that the audio parts snap to the beginning of a bar (measure) when dragged or copied. That's the functionality I am after (but for video clips), and as stated above it should just be a matter of  dividing a minute into (say) 128  beats instead of into 60 seconds. I can't imagine it should take long to implement. UI-wise, there  could be either a button for changing between showing/snapping to seconds and showing/snapping to bars, or it could be done using a menu option. 

This feature would be useful not only for music video production, but also for commercials which need to be in sync with the background music, fashion catwalk shows (usually heavy club music in the background), and so on.... and remember that you can't do it in Adobe software! :)

Petter
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kayakman, Champion

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thank you for the DAW example

I've come up with another possible workaround[?] ...

How To Make And Use Variable Beat Rate Template
http://www.screencast.com/t/sDH6FF9nzX
(Edited)
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Petter Dessne

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@David: Thanks for putting this idea in the Idea section. Your description is valid, but note that it's not just a matter of _visualizing_ the timeline; more important is the ability to _snap_ the beginning and ends of the clips to the bars, so that they sync to the music. (I understand you know this, just wanted to make it clear to readers of this thread.)
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David D, Technical Product Manager - Camtasia

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Hi Peter,

Thanks for clarifying. Would your expectation be that it would autodetect BPM of the audio track or would the user provide that information? Also, perhaps, user defining beats per bar?
(Edited)
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owen_palmer

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IMO no BPM detection, just a simple BPM ruler (yes, with time signature definition).
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Petter Dessne

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Exactly. Let us type "128" in a textbox somewhere, and then the user could let an EDM track (or so) accompany a fashion walk (or so) in perfect time. As Owen said, no BPM detection is necessary (and in my mind if would be a bit gimmicky).

In a later version, perhaps there could be an option to have certain parts of the video set to FPS and other parts to BPM (and the possibility to change BPM, like we do in a DAW if we want a change in speed) but it's not that necessary at all I think, and probably better left to future editions.

So here's a real-world scenario, which I hope you find appetizing:

At my university we have 12,000 students, and I am advocating a site-wide license of Camtasia (I will give a presentation in two weeks on this and related matters). Among other things, we host Sweden's textile fashion education. The students have catwalks (with music) with their exam outfits. The event is filmed but I don't think there is any editing for the students to showcase or keep in portfolios. Imagine how cool it would be for those students to easily edit their catwalk sessions! That could be done today of course with Camtasia or (a bit more complicated) with Premiere Pro. Now imagine having the ability to cut up the video footage and sync the edits to a soundtrack. It would be a killer feature. :)

I think the same would apply to high schools and creative education for young people, focusing on cool young stuff activities (snowboard and skateboard videos come to mind). That kind of videos are often very much music-driven, so the feature would be a good sales-argument to those as well.

And then there are music videos of course, with the same target group in mind (young people, and their high schools/activity centers, ...).  The number one DAW in this age group is FL Studio (https://www.image-line.com/flstudio/), which does not have video editing included.

When it comes to beats per bar,  I think you should do what's easiest. 99 percent of these kinds of videos will be in 4/4, so a definable beat/bar would not be that important. Of course, if you can do it easily, then by all means... :)
(Edited)
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Joe Morgan

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As stated below, none of the video editors I'm aware of offer what you seek.

That includes the best Video Editing Programs currently available.

If I needed this functionality on a daily basis. I wouldn't hesitate, I  would go with Premiere Pro and a plug-in called BeatEdit https://aescripts.com/beatedit-for-premiere-pro/

It's the only option I'm aware of for automatic marker creation.I've been looking around for several days now and this is the only option I can find. A "Plug-IN"

Editing Programs don't offer this functionality natively. I believe its coming at some point.

 aescripts.com 
Is a company that allowed me to animate my dogs mouth. Moving and talking using After Effects, when the technology was in it's infancy.
 BeatEdit has been available for just over 2 years. So it's day is coming as a plug in for others.IMO

Camtasia doesn't Accept or use Plug-ins at all. So that leaves Camtasia completely out of the loop.

I'm all for having positive expectations.
But realistically, is TechSmith going to be the first to develop this audio technology?That is, natively in a video editor?

When the big wigs like Adobe, Sony Vegas, Boris FX, Hit Film, DaVinci Resolve,etc, and so on.  With all their resources, customer base, have not?

Regards,Joe

(Edited)
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Petter Dessne

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Hi again, yes I am aware of the plugin. :)

See my comment on your post below. :)
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Joe Morgan

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So first off.
 BPM and FPS have two entirely different ways of timing things.
 
Audio has "Zero" constraints. You can strike a cord anytime you want to a 10,000th of a second. {To infinity and beyond} lol

Video is restricted by frame rate. Broken down, one frame of a video. Has duration, a starting and ending point. Somewhere in between is where the an audio beat  will fall.
Because of this, video editors cannot create precise timeline markers based on BPM. It's impossible.

I create Intros all the time. I time animations to the music. So before I animate anything,  I generate markers manually by tapping the "M" key on my keyboard.
 Based on these markers, I animate my text, characters, etc.

There is no video editor that I'm aware of that has a BPM ruler. It's all done the old fashioned way because of the timing issue. A quick example in the video below.

 
Camtasia doesn't let you add markers as shown in the video above. When you add a marker the audio/video quits playing.

That's the tried and true technique for editing to a beat.Like it or not.

If we could add markers on the fly as shown. That would go a long way towards making Camtasia worth of creating more professionally timed animations with regards to audio.

It should also help those looking for BPM marker integration.


Regards,Joe
 
(Edited)
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drummath

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Joe, thanks for the feedback. Indeed, audio and video have "time cells" of different sizes. Anyways, those differences are time-wise like milliseconds, its not really about being able to perfectly match "quantize parameters", it's all about the comfort for the user, to detect and place markers automatically, considering backbeats and stronger hits of the soundtrack. Doing that manually (the old fashioned way, as you say) is pretty tiring and time consuming. Well, just my 5 cents! Regards!
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Joe Morgan

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What I do know is this.

Audio placed on the timeline becomes frame based media. You cut, trim and edit it all based on frame rates.

Between Adobe, Sony Vegas, Boris FX, Hit Film, DaVinci Resolve,etc and so forth.

None of the heavy hitters offer that functionality.

What does that tell you?

Look I'm all for it and would use it if I could. So,not to sound less than positive here.

However, whats the odds that TechSmith will be the first company to develop this technology?  

Regards,Joe
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Petter Dessne

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Hi Joe,

There are a few DAWs that can sync video to music, so kind of the other way around. In other words, it is possible to do what I'm proposing and it's been done for many years, just not in dedicated video editors. Why that is, is beyond my comprehension, as the feature is not complicated to understand and probably not hard to implement.

As another user pointed out, timing is a non-issue really. If you have about 30 FPS, that means that the rounding error will never be more than 1.5 hundreds of a second. It is A LOT more accurate than what you could ever get with manually adding markers, not only because of human fluctuations in timing, but also because of the (rather arbitrary) lag in timing that will occur in the computer.

English is not my native language, but I hope that made sense. :)

Since you would apparently be helped by such a feature, let's hope it will be implemented soon. :)
(Edited)
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Petter Dessne

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Yes, thanks. However, there is no dedicated video editor that can do this. I refined my idea so it should now be a breeze to implement, and it's also more versatile:

https://feedback.techsmith.com/techsmith/topics/add-markers-fr

Petter
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David D, Technical Product Manager - Camtasia

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Official Response
We've updated the status of this idea to Not Planned.

We have done some research into displaying the timeline in beats. We currently don't expect to pick this idea up for development in the near term but we will keep this idea in mind as capacity frees up in the longer term.