I recently came across Video Slave 2 from Non Lethal Applications in Germany. It seemed to me to be a viable alternative to Avid Video Satellite, with its ability to sync over IPMidi, output through dedicated video hardware such as a BlackMagic box, and killer price tag of £327 for the Pro version.
To run Avid Video Satellite you need to have a SyncHD box and a HD Native or HDX card, for each machine run in sync. You of course also need Pro Tools HD. This can get very costly.
Not only can Video Slave 2 playback video remotely, it can also overlay timecode, ADR cues, streamers and imported script prompts, and you can even choose different overlays for different video devices, meaning for instance that your ADR talent could watch the output with all the cues, while the ADR supervisor watches sync on an uncluttered screen.
This all sounded too good to be true, so I decided to put it to the test, including the dreaded Sync-One2 test.
The Dreaded Sync-One2 Test
I'm pleased to report that Video Slave 2 performed very well with the BlackMagic Ultrastudio Mini Monitor Thunderbolt I used with it. In fact it performed much better than the Avid Video Engine using exactly the same drivers and hardware.
- Sync 0.35 frames / 14ms
- Drift 0.35 frames
Video Slave 2 is in active development, with other nice features like movie exporting, more audio features like free routing (currently, Video Slave only offers stereo output pairs) and solo, AJA support and more advanced ADR features (actor, take name overlays, probably rhythmo band support), coming in the near future. I've had a great time using it.
I would find Video Slave 2 handy for comparing a re-cut. One thing Pro Tools has never implemented is the ability to play out more than one video timeline simultaneously. After using something like Conformalizer, I would find it very handy to be able to run both versions side by side.
There are also a whole load of alternative applications for Video Slave 2 outside of using it with Pro Tools.
Say you need to have four projectors displaying in sync for an installation. Get four Mac Mini's, install Video Slave 2 and a BlackMagic Mini Monitor on each, sync them all together over wifi using MMC and MTC, and you've got synchronised playback.
A Little Admission
Part way through the filming of the review, my personal mic cut out, which coincided with the fans on my MacBook Pro going into full Concorde take off mode, rendering my recording's audio unusable.
So, using my Clip Groups Tip from a few weeks ago, I marked up my own ADR, loaded it into Video Slave 2, and used the ADR streamer cueing to re-dub myself! The most time consuming part was typing up everything I said. Maybe I talk too much........