PluralEyes 3/3.5: Why didn't it sync?

If some clips fail to sync, here are some things to try:

  • Sync options Consult the documentation for your product and try the sync options (Clips Are Chronological, Level Audio, etc.)
  • Clip layout If you are using PluralEyes, be sure that clips from different devices are on different tracks. All clips from Camera 1 go on one track, all clips from Camera 2 go on a second track, etc. If the clips aren't separated this way, they will be overlapping after the sync, which is generally not allowed and so some clips will have to be treated as unsynced.
  • Discontinuity Is there a break or discontinuity in the clip? Common causes of discontinuity are
  1. A still picture is snapped with a DSLR while it was recording the video
  2. The pause button was pressed on the audio recorder
  3. Dropouts when capturing from tape

    Any of these will cause a disruption in the audio of one clip that is not there in the other, and they can't be synced no matter how you do it. With PluralEyes, this can be worked around by using the razor tool to split the clip near the discontinuity.
  • Multiple recordings Are there multiple recordings in one clip? Each clip needs to correspond to one continuous stretch of recording. If several clips are combined into one media file, the sync (probably) won't work. Similarly, if clips are captured from tape, be sure to use an option in the capture software to create a new media file whenever the camera was stopped and started. If a clip does have several recordings in it, with PluralEyes you can use the razor tool to split them up.
  • Insufficient audio A clip may be too short. There is no absolute minimum length for a clip, but sometimes in very short clips there just isn't enough audio information for the sync algorithm to work with. A length of 5-10 seconds is generally enough, but it depends on the audio content.
  • Audio extraction Perhaps PluralEyes/DualEyes had a problem when extracting the audio. Look for files with the name *_synctemp.aiff or *_synctemp.wav that are next to the original media files. Play them in an audio player. Do they sound OK?
  • Shouldn't sync Are you sure they should sync? Sometimes clips don't sync because they are in fact not recordings of the same event, or they are different takes, or there is some other reason why they can't be synced no matter what technique is used. Are you able to sync the clips by hand, even approximately?
  • Help! If none of the above apply, we would be very interested in investigating the cause and helping you get your project synced. Please send us the project and log files as described here and we'll work with you to solve the problem.


Audio tracks are missing in the synced sequence
Make sure that all video and audio tracks for each clipped are linked. If they become unlinked (usually accidentally), the synced output will not be right.
After the sync, clips or multiclips have a red slash, indicating they are offline
This can occur if the video clips have audio tracks that were deleted before the sync. This causes structural problems in the project data that is received by PluralEyes. If there are tracks you don't want to use in the final production (typically because they are silent), keep them until after the sync is done and delete them from the synced sequence.
When I edit a multiclip, only one angle is displayed
Some settings need to be set in FCP for multiangle display to work. They are described in this help topic: Editing in Multiclip Playback Mode.
Even with the right settings, FCP will sometimes not play multiple angles. The following tips might help:
  1. Make sure the sequence settings (esp. frame rate) are the same as the clip settings.
  2. If any portion of the multiclip has been rendered, it won't work.
  3. Multiangle playback is resource intensive, with bandwidth of data from the disk being one of the most important factors. If your media is on an external USB 2.0 drive, try moving it to a local disk.
  4. The codec makes a difference. DV and OfflineRT work well. H.264 probably won't work.
"FCPOM Exception"
The full error message says: "FCPOM exception: Unable to read Final Cut Pro formal XML stream. XML parser reports: instance document parsing failed."
Our intention is to display a more understandable message but apparently some low-level error messages are still sneaking through. The message is saying that there is something about the sequence setup that is incompatible with PluralEyes. It might be the presence of transitions, generated media, nested sequences, video unlinked from the audio, etc.
The general solution is to not do any editing (other than trimming clips) before doing the sync. There are just too many things that can happen during an edit, and even apparently simple changes can have far-reaching effects on the underneath-the-hood data that PluralEyes has to work with.
If that general advice doesn't help, send us the project and log files as described here and we should be able to provide more specific suggestions.
"Got NULL for XML document root"
  1. Make sure you have the latest updates for the version of Final Cut Pro that you using (currently 6.0.6 and 7.0.3).
  2. There may be a communication problem between PluralEyes and Final Cut Pro.
  3. This can also happen in FCP 6 if you have FCP 6 and FCP 7 installed on the same computer. This is not a configuration that is supported by Apple and PluralEyes doesn't support it either.


"No media file found for"
This happens when there is an item in the pluraleyes sequence that has no associated media file. Examples are:
  • slug
  • text from a video generator
  • nested sequence
Remove any such item from the pluraleyes sequence (it doesn't make sense to sync them anyway) and run PluralEyes again.
"Do you have write access to the folder with the media files?"
  1. Note: This error was being reported in v1.1 in situations where write access was not the problem. This has been addressed in version 1.2.
  2. PluralEyes needs to write some temporary files to the same location as the media files. If those media files are in a readonly location, this message will be displayed. Update for v1.2 : If write access is not available in that location, PluralEyes will ask for an alternative location where the temp files can be placed.
"No projects are open in Final Cut Pro"
We've had a couple of reports from people who get the error message "No projects are open in Final Cut Pro" even though there is a project open. In all cases, they were using Final Cut 6.0.x and the problem went away by updating to the latest version, which at the time of this writing is currently 6.0.6.
PluralEyes is in "Analyzing..." for a long time and then it crashes.
There is a problem in version 1.1.8 where there is a conflict with Final Cut if auto render is on and FCP is rendering when PluralEyes is trying to communicate with it. This is fixed in version 1.2. Or you can just ensure that auto render is not turned on in FCP.
PluralEyes creates a multiclip, but there is a problem with it.
Multiclips are complicated for programs to create but we are determined to get it right, so every problem report helps us. In the meantime, here is a workaround. In the synced sequence that PluralEyes creates, trim the clips so they have a common in point (or out point). Drag them to a bin in the browser, right-click on that bin and choose Make Multiclip....
It can happen that there is no single point that can be used as a common in or out point. In that case, you can use the synced sequence information to add auxiliary time code to the clips and create a multiclip in Final Cut based on that. To add auxiliary timecode, use the Modify > Timecode... menu item and add timecode at the beginning of each clip based on their location in the synced sequence.
"There was an error getting the project information"
The error message in the subject line is pretty rare but it has shown up in situations where there is a large number of clips, sometimes over a thousand, in the project. When PluralEyes requests the project information, Final Cut fails. We have not determined exactly how many clips is the maximum. A couple of hundred clips is OK; 1200 clips is not. The workaround is straightforward: it is unlikely that you are trying to sync a thousand clips, so create a copy of the project that has just the clips you want to sync.
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