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May 2011

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review By JONATHAN MOSER Freelance Editor/Producer New York thought it appropriate to combine both products in one review as both are based on the powerful Nexidia phonetic search engine and are tools that will essentially change the way we edit. Nexidia, by the way, is well-known in the IT industry for its work in developing phonetic search technologies. Being on two different editing platforms, the software offerings are not exactly com- petitors as much as siblings... in rivalry. To me, dialogue speech recognition is A look at dialogue recognition tools for two popular editing systems. among the most exciting new product cate- gories in recent years.These programs will save larger production companies thousands in transcribing costs (at least in transcribing with timecode), and editors will now be able to search in seconds and “frankenbite” with ease. Independent documentarians and film- makers will quickly wonder how they ever got along without this technology. Briefly, the concept for both is simple yet almost magical: type a word or phrase into a search window and voila! You are taken to all incidents of that word (if spoken) in your clips and bins — more or less. Obviously, mitigating factors such as sound quality, background noise, intelligibility and ac- cents can throw off both programs’ accuracy, but on one (GET) you can dial-in the per- centage of accuracy you are willing to accept. But dial it high and you will get less hits, dial it low and there will be a lot of imposters. While there are many more similarities in how GET and Phrasefind operate, there are Avid’s Phrasefind and AV3’s GET I tegrated into the editor, while GET is a standalone program that integrates with Final Cut, but can also work outside Final Cut — a boon for story producers, writers, reporters and assistants. Those familiar with Avid’s ScriptSync will notice one huge operational difference be- tween Avid’s two speech recognition pro- grams: there is no need to enter a script with Phrasefind. HOW THEY WORK Both GET and Phrasefind will pre-scan the audio waveforms of clips in bins and build databases. Additionally, both programs allow new language packs to be added, Currently GET offers Dutch, North American, UK and Aus- tralian English, French, German and Latin American Spanish at $169 each, while Phrasefind offers these in addition to Russ- ian at $149 a pop, with more in the offing. Words typed do not necessarily have to be spelled correctly, just phonetically accu- rate — as long as it sounds like the word it will search for that word. GETTING GET While both Final Cut and GET operate independently, they are interdependent. Final Cut should be open so that GET’s clip selec- tions can be exported straight into the edit- ing program. Once installed, GET will index QuickTime- PRODUCT: AV3 Software’s GET for Final Cut Pro WEBSITE: PRICE: $249 (standalone) · For Apple Final Cut Pro 6 and 7, with expected support for FCP X. VITAL STATS PRODUCT: Avid’s Phrasefind for Media Composer 5.5 WEBSITE: PRICE: $495 (add-on) · For Avid Media Composer 5.5.1 (Mac or PC), Symphony 5.5.1 (Mac or PC) or Newscutter 9.5.1 (PC). Earlier ver- sions are not supported. AV3’s GET (above) and Avid’s Phrasefind (right). Both tap the Nexidia phonetic search engine. as many differences in implementation.The first is, of course, price: Avid’s Phrasefind, downloadable from its Website, is $495, while GET (also downloadable) is currently $249. Both offer a free-trial. Phrasefind for Media Composer 5.5 is in- wrapped media files.You point to what pro- ject or file you want indexed.You have a vari- ety of choices — files, projects or entire dri- ves, and make these your “watched” folders and projects. Any new material will be up- dated automatically and dynamically.You can add as many folders as you want. It is an extremely fast process... roughly a minute per hour of material. A small clock icon indicates the progress of indexing. (This May 2011 • Post 45 continued on page 47

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