As video editors, we are always challenged to find the most efficient and creative way to put together a certain story. Whether you are working with a client or on your own project, there are many tips and tricks that can be beneficial and make your life in the editing suite a lot easier and enjoyable. One of the common issues that every editor should deal with even before starting the edit is syncing video and audio files, which have been recorder separately most of the time.
Manual syncing in these situations can be a really overwhelming and time-consuming process, especially when you are working on bigger projects where hundreds (often even thousands) of files need to be organised and synced together. The challenge gets even tougher when the production crew forgets to slate some of the shots or bring you poor quality in-camera audio.
Surprisingly enough, there are many Premiere Pro CC and Final Cut-X users who are still not familiar that both platforms provide the option that lets you automatically sync audio and video clips without the need for a third-party plugin such as the famous Red Giant’s PluralEyes.
In Premiere Pro CC select both clips you want to sync together. Right-click and navigate to Merge Clips. In the dialog box that pops up, you can assign a different name to the new file that you are about to create. Make sure that the Synchronize Point is set to Audio. You can also remove the original audio track that comes with the video clip by ticking the Remove Audio from AV Clip, then hit OK and you are ready to go.
The workflow within Final Cut-X seems to be even simpler. Here is how you can automatically merge your audio and video clips utilising the Apple’s editor sync capabilites.
In FCP-X, you need to hold the Command Key and select both audio and video files you want to sync together. Then go the Clip Menu and select Synchronize Clips. The platform will automatically generate a new merged clip for you where both tracks should be perfectly synced.
It’s important to note that you will also need to organise and label appropriately both audio and video clips in advance before you start. It’s also a good practice to use a clapperboard to get the best possible results. However, the algorithms of both Premiere Pro CC and FCP-X are optimised in a way that you should get perfectly synchronised files even when the audio quality of the original video data is not that great.
Either way, this simple workflow will save you a ton of time and energy in post, so you can concentrate your efforts on the creative, not the technical side of the process.