Recording and Synching Music with Video
January 2, 2013 6:59 AM   Subscribe

Need help choosing hardware and software and developing procedure to synchronize music tracks with live-action video.


I have a bunch of songs and want to make a sort of puppet show-live action video that incorporates them into a musical play. I have recordings made, and they're .mp3's, wave files, etc.

First Part of Question: Recording and Editing Video:

I can record video using a webcam at lousy resolution, or I can use my consumer video camera (Sanyo-Xacti -HD1000) which creates video in H.264.

Then I want to use some program to synchronize the music tracks with the live-action video. My goal is to have a video of about an hour's length to put on YouTube.

I have, in the past, tried to edit the video from that Sanyo camera with Vegas, but with no luck. I don't know if it's that I don't have a fast enough processor on my laptop, or that there is a problem editing the H.264 files. I've read that both are possible problems.

I have edited video with Windows MovieMaker which I know is "lame" and not without its own problems. (all the editing I want to do is simple cuts and a few titles).

I also own an iPad but no Apple computers and I don't want to buy another computer (heading off at the pass comments that I should be using FinalCutPro). However, should I consider using my iPad (latest version) - iMovie, I guess - or some other video editing app to do the video editing? and how would I get my H.264 video files onto the iPad? Is that even possible? or should I actually take the videos with the iPad's video camera?

So -- given the hardware choices I have, which of it should I use to make the videos, and what software can I acquire that will not be very expensive?

Second Part of Question: Synching Video and Audio Tracks:

Once I have recorded the videos, what is the procedure to sync the music with the videos? I assume that I play the music in real life and let the puppets lip-synch to the music, but when I put it all together in the software later, I mute out the audio that can be heard in the background that the puppets are lip-synching to... (actually, how do I do that? I guess it depends on the particular video-editing software I'm using?) and then slide my original, separate audio tracks alongside the now-muted video tracks in the software's timeline, but ---

how do I actually perfectly SYNC those two tracks? (video-minus-its-audio + separate-audio-track)

Thank you for any help.
posted by DMelanogaster to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Re Second Part:

You won't like this answer, but Final Cut X has exactly the feature you need for this project - it will automagically sync up two tracks (audio and/or video). This feature was worth the price of the app for me.

Before this, in the old Final Cut I had to zoom in to look at the waveforms, pan one L and the other R, and listen carefully while micro-nudging tracks into sync. And even when that had been done, the two would drift out of sync.
posted by omnidrew at 9:13 AM on January 2, 2013

Response by poster: I'm not sure what you're saying -- Upon searching, I see that Final Cut X seems to be for an Apple computer, not an iPad. As I said, I do not own an Apple computer and have no intention of purchasing one:

"I also own an iPad but no Apple computers and I don't want to buy another computer"

Perhaps I wasn't explicit enough in my original question: I have several Toshiba laptops and an iPad. You say that the "app" was worth its purchase price, but you don't mention that in order to use that "app" you needed an Apple computer, which I do not own.

Thank you.
posted by DMelanogaster at 9:47 AM on January 2, 2013

DM, I saw your original "no new Apple computer" requirement -- that's why I said you wouldn't like the answer ;-)

Given these strict requirements, I don't think there is a solution. Hope the hive mind can help you.

Re your #1, shoot with the best camera you have which is the Sanyo. The free program MPEG Streamclip (Win and Mac) can probably do the job of converting camera footage into whatever format is best supported by your editing software.

Thinking further, you might eliminate problem #2 by splitting the audio signal: one to speakers for the performance, and also connect the source audio to the audio input from the camera (assuming it has one). If your levels are reasonable, then you won't have to do any syncing.

Good luck!
posted by omnidrew at 11:16 AM on January 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

This isn't as difficult as it may be time consuming. If you can edit your video with Movie Maker then you can add, edit and synch your audio in Movie Maker too.

Here is a brief tutorial for simply adding and synching an audio track.

Here's another link to audio editing in Movie Maker.

The only other suggestion I would make would be to record a video for each song; edit and upload them that way. That will give you time to build some editing experience so you can watch your progress as you go. Just a thought.

Good luck and have fun!
posted by snsranch at 5:21 PM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

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