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I have recorded a few video clips of a childrens' choir concert, using an OK external microphone to my Canon 5DII. Because the position of the camera wasn't really ideal for audio recording, I additionally used a digital audio recorder to record the entire concert from a better point of "view".

As expected, the "external" audio is much better than the internal audio, so my plan was to extract the audio portions from the hour-long concert file that roughly correspond to my video recordings and then synchronize them with the original sound (and finally either mix the two or mute the internal track).

My problem now is that the cheapo video suite I've got (which was a bonus add-on from my DVD burning software) doesn't allow me to easily and exactly synchronize the tracks.

Can you suggest a reasonable, not too expensive alternative here? I've looked at the sales blurbs for Adobe Premiere Elements 10, Corel Video Studio Pro X5 and Cyberlink PowerDirector 10; I've also read a few reviews, but I couldn't find this information anywhere: Can I synchronize external audio tracks exactly to the existing soundtrack of a video?

I was expecting that all these programs should be able to do this, but then I read a customer review on Amazon about PowerDirector where the author said that he was having terrible troubles with this (15 seconds misalignment in a 4-minute video that only became apparent when the final output was produced).

Or do you have other suggestions? My work-around idea looks like this: Edit the video until it's done, then export the audio track; import that into Audacity, synchronize it with the external tracks; export that new track and import it back into the video. But that doesn't sound like much fun...

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Are you determined to restrain yourself to Windows? The big open-source NLE projects only run on Linux, or possibly OSX. –  leftaroundabout Mar 26 '12 at 14:00
    
@leftaroundabout: I only have Windows boxes. I don't think I want to learn how to handle Linux just for this :) –  Tim Pietzcker Mar 26 '12 at 20:04
    
Of course not, but it's a good thing to do anyway. In fact, this was the very thing that made me switch and I'm so glad I'm not stuck with Windows anymore. Though, ironically, video and audio processing are the only things for which I still use it occasionally, because certain hardware drivers lack support for Linux. –  leftaroundabout Mar 26 '12 at 20:39

2 Answers 2

Another thing you could do with the tools you have: Export the raw footage as a sound file, sync in audacity, then edit. You'll have less cuts to contend with, and everything will be in sync BEFORE you start editing.

Failing that, PC editing options are slim, but I have found the Sony Vegas family to be reasonably priced (look at vegas studio vs vegas pro) and feature-rich. Check the website to see if the version you want can support separating audio and video files.

Good luck! d

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Try the trial version of DualEyes and see if you can note the sync offset between the DSLR audio and the external audio, then create a new version of the external audio with the correct padding added or removed. Import the new external audio into the editor and replace or mute the DSLR audio.

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Excellent, I've looked at their tutorial - sounds just like what I need, but it's a bit expensive...I'll definitely try the 30-day evaluation version. –  Tim Pietzcker Mar 26 '12 at 13:29
    
Actually, DualEyes is a lot better than what you're hinting at in your answer. It will either automatically replace the in-camera audio with the HQ audio without disturbing the video track, or generate additional WAV files from the HQ audio that sync up exactly with the video clips, so I can mix them in manually. Splendid! –  Tim Pietzcker Apr 1 '12 at 21:38
    
I knew about that. But since you didn't want to spend that much, I wasn't sure of whether the trial would do the work. –  Mulvya Apr 2 '12 at 4:08
    
The trial is fully functional. Working with my files has been a breeze. Two button clicks, and I was done. I'm going to buy the full version. –  Tim Pietzcker Apr 2 '12 at 6:59

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