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Thread: audio and video

  1. #1
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    audio and video

    Hi,

    I'm newer to videography and I had a question about audio. I would like to record my audio separately when filming because I have a camera with a sub-par mic on it. I know this is done all the time but my question is--during post-production--how does one sync up the audio to the video? Is there some trick to it or maybe an option in some of the more popular video editors like Producer, Final Cut, Vegas, etc.? I'm also concerned about video speed vs. audio speed; what if the two are not exactly the same? How would that be handled?

  2. #2
    Hi Masada
    You camera probably has a better audio processor than most portable devices so the usual method is to use a decent external mike and probably the easiest too!! However if you have no facility for an external mike then yes, you can use anything from a minidisk recorder to a solid state recorder like an iRiver. Make SURE that your portable device has a manual mike setting rather than just relying on the auto gain control which can be really annoying by raising the level during silent passages!!

    Most NLE's will allow you to sync and adjust the audio and video. I use Vegas and it's simple to un group the tracks and either shorten or lengthen the audio track for perfect sync. Just remember that the speed of the audio device is not important (consistent speed IS!!) You are recording both in "realtime". In practice I have used a little Sony Minidisk unit and had no sync problems at all. You can pick them up on eBay for less than $50!!!

    Chris

  3. #3
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    Quote: masada
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    how does one sync up the audio to the video? Is there some trick to it
    Ever see 'behind the scenes' shows? Every single one that I have seen shows a clapboard. A clapboard is what it says it is, it is usually slate [although could be plastic or wood or anything else, heck, even two hands works], and when you start a new recording, you bring both your audio and video recording devices up to speed, then you show the clapboard on all of your video recordings (you can sync multiple cameras in this way as well), if you have some info written on it [such as shot # and take #], make sure it is in focus (and you might as well read it aloud too so that you can find it on the audio track easier later), then close the clap (don't just throw it down, it will bounce and it will be a pain to sync, you want to use two hands and close it so it stay closes so there is a very sharp snap on the audio recording and a single frame where it closes [and stays closed] on the video recording).

    When you get to the edit, you import both the video and audio, find out which audio clip matches which video clip [that's where the read and focused slates come in], and then sync up the closed frame with the snap on the audio (if your NLE shows audio waveforms, you will see a spike) and check for consistency.
    Eric Adler (tonsofpcs)
    http://www.videoproductionsupport.com/ Chat at: http://tinyurl.com/vpschat
    Follow me on twitter: @videosupport @eric_adler

  4. #4
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    Thanks for your info! You basically answered my real question. From what I gather, you're both saying that syncing is usually manual during editing. That is to say, it's most often done by simply dragging the audio track to match the video, and nothing more. This, I've done before.

    I was just wondering if there was some other 'trick' to it all. I don't have a great camera at the moment. There is no external jacks for mics like a simple XLR. However, I'm a stickler for good sound. That's why I'm using an external recording source like a digital recorder which works best (there's nothing like Redbook audio!)

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