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I turned off snap to grid but still can't sync two audio tracks
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FrancoisT [Avatar]
Member Private Message Joined: Apr 26, 2010 15:03 Messages: 111 Offline
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I am trying to manually sync two video tracks by using the audio. No matter what I do I can't get them to precisely align. In my audio program(Reaper) if I turn off snap to grid it can align two tracks however I want. Is there a way with PD17? Thanks
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This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at Sep 13. 2020 01:26

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tomasc [Avatar]
Senior Contributor Private Message Joined: Aug 25, 2011 12:33 Messages: 5448 Offline
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You can also expand the timeline ruler to get better accuracy. If you need accuracy of less than 1 frame then go to Preferences/Editing and put a checkmark on Enlarge timeline scale for audio track for 1/10 frame accuracy.
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FrancoisT [Avatar]
Member Private Message Joined: Apr 26, 2010 15:03 Messages: 111 Offline
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Quote You can also expand the timeline ruler to get better accuracy. If you need accuracy of less than 1 frame then go to Preferences/Editing and put a checkmark on Enlarge timeline scale for audio track for 1/10 frame accuracy.

Thanks. I'll be checking that out.
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FrancoisT [Avatar]
Member Private Message Joined: Apr 26, 2010 15:03 Messages: 111 Offline
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Quote You can also expand the timeline ruler to get better accuracy. If you need accuracy of less than 1 frame then go to Preferences/Editing and put a checkmark on Enlarge timeline scale for audio track for 1/10 frame accuracy.

Still no luck at all. I don't have a problem seeing the timeline. I have a problem on two levels. The main one is I can't move the audio wave form exactly as I want to. It always jumps. I enabled the enlarge timeline scale but it didn't give me any more control. Also, when I move the audio it disappears until I stop moving it. I spent half an hour trying to exactly sync yesterday. Then I went to Reaper and did it in a minute. All I had to do there was turn off snap to grid. Unfortunately it's not set up for video editing. But I could clearly see the two audio files and move them exactly where I wanted to. I can sync the audio there but still have to match it up with the video in Cyberlink if I want to do any video adjustments like crop etc. So I still won't be able to get an exact sync to movement.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at Sep 13. 2020 16:25

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optodata
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: California, USA Joined: Sep 16, 2011 16:04 Messages: 5918 Offline
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Have you selected both clips on the timeline then used the Sync by Audio tool?

That should do everything for you automatically, although it will move the synced clips to two new tracks at the bottom of the timeline. All you'd need to do is select both of them and drag them back up to the top tracks.

If you're going to do it manually wIth the audio timeline scale enlarged, you can freely move audio-only clips but video clips with audio will still only be able to be moved to the nearest frame. You may have better luck if you use a higher project frame rate (50 or 60fps instead of 25 or 30)

You could also right-click on one of the clips and choose Link/Unlink Video and Audio, which will let you slide the audio section forward and backward more finely. Note that you may need to zoom in all the way to see the movement increments. Hopefully you'll be able to exactly sync the audio without causing the video to be out of sync by enough to notice.
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FrancoisT [Avatar]
Member Private Message Joined: Apr 26, 2010 15:03 Messages: 111 Offline
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Quote Have you selected both clips on the timeline then used the Sync by Audio tool?

That should do everything for you automatically, although it will move the synced clips to two new tracks at the bottom of the timeline. All you'd need to do is select both of them and drag them back up to the top tracks.

If you're going to do it manually wIth the audio timeline scale enlarged, you can freely move audio-only clips but video clips with audio will still only be able to be moved to the nearest frame. You may have better luck if you use a higher project frame rate (50 or 60fps instead of 25 or 30)

You could also right-click on one of the clips and choose Link/Unlink Video and Audio, which will let you slide the audio section forward and backward more finely. Note that you may need to zoom in all the way to see the movement increments. Hopefully you'll be able to exactly sync the audio without causing the video to be out of sync by enough to notice.


Appreciate the reply. Unfortunately I tried Sync by Audio tool and it did what it's done a number of times before. It took one video/audio track and put the the other video/audio track behind it. No sync whatsoever. By the way these are 2 audio/video clips made from 2 cameras. The audio on one is the acoustic sounds of percussion while the audio on the other is the electronic sounds triggered by the same acoustic sounds. So the wave forms look similar but are very different. However all the stops, pauses are the same. Anyway, the inability to bypass the snap to nearest frame makes correct manual sync impossible. I just wondered if there was something I was missing but that's a basic concept. Like I said it was very easy to do in Reaper. I could turn off the snap to grid and also I could see exactly where I was moving the track (it didn't disappear while being moved like pd17) but it's not a video editing program. It can render the synced a/v tracks but no changes can be made to the video itself. Thanks for trying to help.
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optodata
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: California, USA Joined: Sep 16, 2011 16:04 Messages: 5918 Offline
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Thanks for the additional info. Unless the audio recorded by the 2 cameras are the same, there's no way PD will be able to sync them. It will work with different intensities and some missing/different sections as would be expected when cameras are in different locations, but it can't sync totally different sounds even if they have the same pattern.

I'm still puzzled as to why you can't manually sync the clips, though.

It's very easy to do with the timeline zoomed all the way in and Enlarge timescale for audio track is turned on. Did you zoom all the way in, and also try unlinking the audio and video sections as I suggested? You should be able to move the audio clip with 2ms accuracy with a 50/60fps project.

As far as I'm aware, the human ear is able to forgive slight audio misalignments but is much more tolerant of A/V sync issues, so unlinking the audio to get it perfectly aligned shouldn't cause any problems with being out of sync with the video as it will always be withing one frame of the true position.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at Sep 14. 2020 15:01

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optodata
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: California, USA Joined: Sep 16, 2011 16:04 Messages: 5918 Offline
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I also made this short video showing what the finer precision alignment looks like. Hopefully this will help:

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FrancoisT [Avatar]
Member Private Message Joined: Apr 26, 2010 15:03 Messages: 111 Offline
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Quote Thanks for the additional info. Unless the audio recorded by the 2 cameras are the same, there's no way PD will be able to sync them. It will tolerate different intensities and some missing/different sections as would be expected when cameras are in different locations, but it can't sync totally different sounds even if they have the same pattern.

I'm still puzzled as to why you can't manually sync the clips, though. It's very easy to do with the timeline zoomed all the way in and the Enlarge timescale for audio track is turned on. Did you zoom all the way in, and also try unlinking the audio and video sections as I suggested? You should be able to move the audio clip with 2ms accuracy with a 50/60fps project.

As far as I'm aware, the human ear is able to tolerant slight audio misalignments but is much more tolerant of A/V sync issues, so unlinking the audio to get it perfectly aligned shouldn't cuase any problems with being out of sync with the video as it will always be withing one frame of the true position.

Thanks for your comments and video. Both of my video tracks are 30 fps. One from a webcam that won't go higher than that. I did try unlinking the audio from the videos. I take your point on the video syncing not having to be so exact but with the picture I sent on the last post, did you notice the two wave forms side by side? One was too far to the left and one was too far to the right. Never possible to get exact. The difference between the sharp acoustic sound and the other is noticeable. In fact it was just irritating enough that I thought the playing was useless. With it correctly synced in Reaper I saw it was OK. Like I said I was just checking to see if I was missing something but surely with a small amount of work they could fix this and offer an option to turn off snap to nearest frame. It's been standard on audio DAWs for years.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at Sep 14. 2020 15:15

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optodata
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: California, USA Joined: Sep 16, 2011 16:04 Messages: 5918 Offline
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Quote Thanks for your comments and video. Both of my video tracks are 30 fps. One from a webcam that won't go higher than that. I did try unlinking the audio from the videos.

There's some misunderstanding here. I'm not talking about the frame rate of you source clips. I'm talking about the frame rate of the project.

If the project frame rate is set to match you cource clip, that's 30 fps which means each frame is 33.3ms long and that's the minimum timeline change you can make with video clips. If you enlarge the audio track, you're limited to 3.33ms steps which might not be close enough to sync the audio.

If you set the project frame rate to 60 (even with 30fps clips), however, the frame duration is cut in half, and when you enlarge the audio scale you can move the clip in 1.67mS (1/600 second) increments. That's precise enough that you should be able to get even the most staccato notes in sync.

If even 1/600th of a second is somehow not sufficent to achieve a pefect sync, I suggest you do the syncing in the other app and then produce the audio there and import it into PD. Mute the existing clips and keep them aligned for the video, then place the full synced audio on a lower track and you should be all set.
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FrancoisT [Avatar]
Member Private Message Joined: Apr 26, 2010 15:03 Messages: 111 Offline
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Aha. Thanks for clarifying. I didn't know anything about that. Is this attached photo showing the setting you're talking about?
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tomasc [Avatar]
Senior Contributor Private Message Joined: Aug 25, 2011 12:33 Messages: 5448 Offline
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Yes. That is the preference setting to change. I am still not sure of why you can’t sync the audio unless one has a different or variable frame rate than shown in your preference setting like maybe 24 or 25 fps
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FrancoisT [Avatar]
Member Private Message Joined: Apr 26, 2010 15:03 Messages: 111 Offline
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Quote Yes. That is the preference setting to change. I am still not sure of why you can’t sync the audio unless one has a different or variable frame rate than shown in your preference setting like maybe 24 or 25 fps

Good detective work. I checked and yes the frame rates are different. What you mentioned earlier is what I've done in the past. It adds another step but is the only way that works decently. I do the audio on Reaper and bring it over to PD17. Thanks
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tomasc [Avatar]
Senior Contributor Private Message Joined: Aug 25, 2011 12:33 Messages: 5448 Offline
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Thank you for the feedback. Yes you cannot always line things up exactly with each video of a different frame rate.
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FrancoisT [Avatar]
Member Private Message Joined: Apr 26, 2010 15:03 Messages: 111 Offline
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Back on this subject with a different project. In this case I am using the same cam to shoot two different videos. One video plays along with an earlier video. I sync them up exactly in Reaper. It allows true "no snap to grid". I then make a video with the same sound track for one camera and then do the same for the other camera. They both now have the same sound tracks so I can sync them in Cyberlink. In PD17 I first try sync by audio. It gets close, but for some reason, slightly off. I then try to manually adjust and in the attached picture it shows as close as I can get. Not sure why I can't exactly align them this time?
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