Join Chad Perkins for an in-depth discussion in this video Syncing audio and video, part of Creating a Short Film: 08 Editing.
- [Instructor] Another thing that you'll want to do before you start editing is to sync up your video with the highest quality audio that was recorded on set. Often times this is not the audio from the camera. Usually cameras record what we call a scratch audio track, it's kind of like a lower quality version of the audio. And then we actually want to use the audio that's recorded separately, that's called dual system audio. Sometimes you don't have that in which case you don't have to worry about this tutorial. But for those of you that do have dual system audio, which is most film work flows, because audio recorders usually like to record separately for the best possible audio then you'll want to follow along here.
Now I'm gonna show you the free way to do this in Premiere. I'm also gonna show you how I actually do this a little bit later on in this tutorial. The simple way is I have here this video clip and it has audio with it. So you could see as I move this clip it has audio from the camera. This is lower quality audio and then you also have the really high quality wave file from the audio recorder, but they don't match up. You see that they're even different lengths. This happens all the time because audio usually starts recording first and cameras might cut first.
This a very common site where we have a much longer audio file than we do video file. What I'm gonna do is select both of these like so. I'm going to right click in Premiere, and then about in the middle of this long list when you right click here you see synchronize. So you click synchronize and the synchronize clips pop up dialog box shows up here, and you can synchronize by the start of the clips or the end of the clips. Which again is typically not a good idea, because you can't get that to exactly sync up when you're on set.
You can also choose time code if you have jammed time code for your video and audio. I don't have that in this case 'cause I'm working on a proxy video file. I'm gonna choose audio and what that's gonna do is it's gonna tell Premiere to look at the actual content of the audio and sync that way. I click okay. And moments later these clips are synced up. And you can tell that they're synced because I'm going to mute the audio that's part of the camera, the camera audio, and as I go to the slate clap, which is kind vertical.
Let me see if I can resize that a little bit, there we go. This little spike right there that's what that is. Let play this back. - [Director] Take three. - [Instructor] Alright, looks good. Let's see if the dialog, the lips sing to sync. - And she's been keeping her secret from us for eight years. - [Instructor] Yup, looks good. Now I should point out though the limitations with this. Number one, we did have a slate that was really well recorded and we had really great scratch audio for our camera, so it worked great and it's only one clip.
But imagine trying to sync the audio and video of multiple files over multiple days, it can be really difficult to do. And Premiere also has a really difficult time sometimes with certain files and I don't know why. Sometimes it works and sometimes it just doesn't. When it doesn't you have to go through clip by clip, and manually align it yourself and that's frustrating. So I'd prefer to use a tool called PluralEyes. It can be purchased from a company called Red Giant at redgiant.com.
PluralEyes has one purpose and one purpose only and this is what interface looks like, it's just to synchronize audio and video. That's all it does. So I'm gonna go to my exercise files here and this is actually a very common thing that happens when I'm working. I know somewhere I have a good quality audio. It's one of these clips. It's one of these MP3s. I'm just gonna drag these into PluralEyes. And then I'm gonna go over to my video file and I know that one of those audio clips syncs with one of these video clips.
And I'm not really sure which one it is. It's one of 'em. I don't wanna have to take the time to figure it out. I'm just gonna drag and drop all of them into PluralEyes. With Premiere you have to be very specific. You have to say I want this video and this audio clip to be synchronized. In PluralEyes you don't have to do that. Now you'll notice that I got a red band here. Media preparation completed with errors. And you will get that in PluralEyes when you have video that doesn't have any scratch audio. So even before it tries to synchronize anything.
It actually won't let me synchronize 'cause it says hey I can't do anything with this stuff. So I actually need to go through. I need to remove the clip and remove the clip. And remove the clip. Once I do that then it says we have eight clips ready to synchronize. When I click the synchronize button it's gonna go through all of the video and all of the audio, and it's going to sync them up. Now I knew that only one of these audio tracks would sync with only one of those video tracks, but I wasn't sure which one it was.
And look at this. PluralEyes figured this all out for me just that quickly. So now you might be wondering, okay, how do you get this stuff from PluralEyes back into Premiere and it's super easy. I can just click the export timeline button, and I'm gonna choose the format Premiere Pro. It creates an XML video file which Premiere interprets as a sequence. So I click video and I'm just gonna call this synced video, I'm going to save this in the exercise files in the media other folder.
I'm gonna go ahead click okay. Save. And I don't really care about the un-synchronized clips. The red ones weren't able to be synced to anything, and I knew that going into it. So, I'm gonna have it color the un-synchronized clips. I'm gonna have it move the un-synchronized clips to the end. I'm also going to have it create another sequence that has the audio replaced, so it doesn't use the camera audio, it just uses this high quality audio. Now, again, this was just one clip. You can imagine if you had dozen of hours of clips, maybe hundreds of audio clips and hundreds of video clips, trying to link them altogether is a mess.
But in PluralEyes you literally just dump folders into PluralEyes, click a button, and it syncs them for you. I just can't live without PluralEyes. I'm gonna go ahead and export this. I'm gonna go back to Premiere, double click in project panel. Let's go ahead and import, then media folder, other, synced video, this XML file. Go ahead and import that. Give it a second and it will bring in the original folders of the content that we created.
So, like our assets and also we'll have our different sequences here that were created. So here's the synced sequence. So, here's the camera clip and the audio synced. Let's go ahead and test that, I'll need the camera audio. - Existence defies Goholtan. - [Instructor] 'Kay. Synced out perfectly. Then we have these other clips that PluralEyes went ahead and colored for us and automatically dumped at the end of our sequence, just like we asked it to.
It also created this other sequence called sync sequence replaced. Which gets rid of the camera audio and just links it to the audio that's the good quality audio. So, now I can just delete these other clips on these other tracks. I can right click somewhere in here, anywhere in here is fine, and click delete tracks. Have it delete all empty video and audio tracks. Click okay. Then we have this nice nifty timeline with our video synced to audio and.
- Her secret from us for eight years - [Instructor] It's just that easy. So sync your audio using PluralEyes if you can, or your NLE if you must, and then you're ready to finally start editing.
- Telling stories with edits
- Syncing audio and video
- Matching eyelines
- Knowing when not to cut
- Controlling the pacing
- Controlling emotion with shot size
- Working with audio
- Creating a rough cut
- Creating end credits
- Rendering and output