Video Production

How to Sync Audio and Video

Audio and video out of sync? Learn the ins and outs of syncing video and audio with this guide

There’s nothing more frustrating than audio that's not synced up with a video. Even tiny variations in timing between the movement of a mouth and the sound coming out of it can be incredibly distracting. It can make videos totally unwatchable. Luckily, if you’re struggling to sync video and audio in your productions there are a few easy ways to fix it. In this article we’ll show you a couple of ways to add audio to video and get it synced up, every time

Why is audio and video out of sync?

Syncing audio and video’s easy right? Your camera records your audio and video simultaneously and gives you a perfectly synced audio and video file to work with.

Whilst that is true, if you want to make pro grade videos it’s likely you’ll be recording your audio with a separate microphone. If you’re doing this you’ll then have to load your audio and video into your editor project as two separate files. In this case they won’t be automatically synced. So, if you want to know how to sync audio and video recorded separately - read on!

How to sync audio and video 

Below we’re going to show you two ways you can sync audio and video. First we’ll show you how to sync audio recorded with an external microphone with audio recorded by your cameras in-built mic - in doing so the video will also be synced up. Secondly we’ll show you how to sync audio with video even if you haven’t recorded audio with your camera’s in built microphone. 

The first technique will only work in Adobe Premiere Pro, however the second technique will work in any video editor.

How to sync audio and video in Premiere Pro 

One easy way to sync externally recorded audio with video footage is to also record audio with your camera’s in built mic. Premiere Pro can then analyse your camera footage’s audio and externally recorded audio and perfectly synchronize them. You can then delete the camera’s in built audio and link the camera footage and microphone audio, giving you perfectly synchronized audio and video. Let’s look at how to do it, step by step.

New to Premiere Pro? Check out this comprehensive guide to working with audio in Adobe’s flagship video editor.

Step 1: Load your video and audio into you project timeline

The first step is to load your video and audio footage into your Premiere Pro project timeline. You can do this by dragging and dropping them in from your media library.

How to Sync Audio and Video

You’ll also have to put your external microphone audio on a different audio track to the audio of your camera’s in built mic. If you don’t do this Premiere won’t allow you to synchronize your audio and video.

Step 2: Use Premiere’s Synchronize function

Select all your audio and video media and right click. Select Synchronize from the right click menu.

How to Sync Audio and Video

A dialogue box will open. To synchronize the two audio sources simply select Audio as your Synchronize Point and click OK. 

How to Sync Audio and Video

Your two audio sources will now be perfectly aligned and, because your in-built camera audio is perfectly synchronised with your video, your external audio will now be synced with your footage as well.

Step 3: Link your footage and external audio

Now our microphone audio is synced with our footage we want to link the two files so any edits are done to them simultaneously.

First we have to unlink the footage from the camera audio. Select the video and the camera audio, right click on them and select Unlink front the menu.

How to Sync Audio and Video

We can now delete the camera audio. Now to link the external microphone footage with the camera footage. Select both clips in the timeline, right click and select Link.

How to Sync Audio and Video

Your video and external microphone audio are now perfectly synchronised and linked.

How to sync video with audio (in any editor)

If you only want to record audio on your external mic, you can still easily sync it with your footage. All it requires is an old school film trick.

Ever wondered what that black and white thing that gets held in front of the camera whilst the director shouts “action”? It’s called a clapperboard and, among other things, it’s used to sync the audio recording with the video recording. 

How to Sync Audio and Video

Editors can synchronise the moment the clapperboard closes on camera with the sound of the clapperboard closing in the audio recording. We can do a similar thing without a clapperboard at home. All we have to do is clap!

We’re going to be using Premiere Pro in this example, but this technique will work in any video editor such as Final Cut Pro X, Avid Media Composer, DaVinci Resolve, iMovie and more!

Step 1: Clap!

Record your video as normal. However, every time you start rolling, clap with your hands in front of the camera. Make sure you do this every time you start a new recording.

How to Sync Audio and Video

Step 2: Load your video and audio in your video editor

Load your video and audio in a sequence, as would any media in Premiere Pro.

How to Sync Audio and Video

Step 3: Line up the claps

Now all you have to do is line the audio clip up with the video clip. Thanks to the clap this is really easy. You’ll be able to see a transient in your audio where you clapped - line up the peak in the waveform with the moment in your footage where your hands meet.

How to Sync Audio and Video

Now the entirety of your video and footage will be synced up. You can now link the audio and video clip so that they stay in time, even after you make edits. To do this, select both the audio and video, right click, and select Link.

Ready to sync your video and audio?

Follow the steps and tips we covered above to begin enhancing your video today.

January 12, 2021
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