How To Sync Audio and Video

Shure is pleased to offer video professionals educational resources that provide practical advice and helpful tips—all with the express purpose of ensuring the highest quality audio possible.

To address some of the common situations videographers face when creating corporate or online videos, we have launched a three-part video series. The topics include: How to Mic Someone at a Computer; How To Sync Audio and Video; and How to Mic a Walk -and- Talk.

How To Sync Audio and Video

One way to improve the sound quality of your videos is to use an external audio recorder.  But how do you synchronize the recorded audio track with the video from the camera when editing?  In this video we demonstrate an easy method whose roots go back to the early days of talking pictures.

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Davida Rochman

Davida Rochman

A Shure associate since 1979, Davida Rochman graduated with a degree in Speech Communications and never imagined that her first post-college job would result in a lifelong career that had her marketing microphones rather than speaking into them. Today, Davida is a Corporate Public Relations Manager, responsible for public relations activities, sponsorships, and donation programs that intersect with Shure at the corporate and industry level.

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  • Rob Patterson says:

    While this scheme is usable for achieving initial sync, it is not perfect. Aside from the resolution provided by your software to line up the audio tracks, it doesn’t account for drift. Tracks may start out “in sync” but over time may drift out of sync. Why does this happen? I have found that if you are not using a master clock source of some sort during the shoot, and each device is using it’s own clock source, ultimately they may be recording at slightly different speeds. Yes, even fully digital equipment running at the same sample rate can vary even the slightest amount. This may be imperceptible during a short video of say four minutes. A one hour video is another story. I have experienced drift of 200+ milliseconds requiring me to become adept at stretching or shrinking audio to compensate. Truth be told, I have experienced this with two of the exact same make and model of audio recorders running independently. Wherever possible, it is advisable to have all of your equipment sync’d together if it is capable of it.

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