Basic Editing Questions

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    • #49246

      I am new to the world of editing, having just completed work on my first 20 minute short film. Although everything came together (more or less), I know there are faster and easier ways to get the finished product. My one major stumbling block was sound. We recorded everything on a Zoom H4N and then, after the rough cut of video was done, went back intoSonyvegas and matched the appropriate audio clip to the video. My question is; would it be better to sync the rough audio to the rough video prior to cutting the clip down to place in the timeline, or should I continue to make a rough video cut, then add sound?

    • #201665

      It makes more sense to do your rough cut, then sync the clean sound. It is most helpful to make sure the timecode of your clean audio matches the timecode of your video.

      Planning and organization during production will always make post production much easier.

    • #201666

      Old school always taught to cut to the audio.

    • #201667

      I always synch everything up right from the start. It makes more sense for longer segments of course (like a wedding ceremony, or a live television show), as synching it up all at once is much easier than synching up tons of smaller clips once it is all chopped up.

    • #201668

       I usually sync first and lately have been using Pluraleyes from Singular software to do it for me… having a plugin that does it automatically has reduced a lot of the headache of dual system sound!

    • #201669

      Earl sez, “Old school always taught to cut to the audio. “

      WHOA! Say what? Back in the good ole days of 35mm production, the editor rarely paid ANY attention to the sound . . .

      Rick Crampton

    • #201670

      As often happens on this forum, John manages to leave out the information most important to forming an answer: what kind of a production is this?

      I recently edited a two camera, three audio track musical, nearly two and a half hours in length. It has several hundred cuts. Personally, I’d hate to have to go back and sync the audio to each of these clips; laying down the audio tracks, fully synced, when you begin editing a dramatic piece makes perfect sense.

      On the other hand, I recently edited a 30 minute video of dragon boat races in Eugene Oregon. Sound was primarily from two on-camera mics and an old mini-disc recorder. Dealing with sound in this case amounted to creating a sound track from ambient sounds, augmented by a library of bird calls, water and crowd noises and voice over interviews.

      35mm film production didn’t pay much attention to sound, it’s true, but then they had a Walter Murch on hand to spend a year editing the sound for Apocalypse Now, etc.

      I guess the bottom line (for me at least) is that editing is a game of nods: you try different approaches until the material nods its approval to you and lets you create your piece.


    • #201671

      Thanks to all who responded.

      What I’m taking away from this is that there is really no exact method, and whatever works for the piece is what should be used. Our next project will be a multi camera, 30 minute long comedy. I will be syncing clean sound to the rough clips prior to editing as I have tried the alternative on our previous shoot….and it was a nightmare.

    • #201672


      Long as you did an audio slate with a clapper or ‘clap’ both on camera and with your recorder running, audio shouldn’t have been a problem. I’ve found it far safer to match audio during the assemble so that by the time we start banging out the rough cut, it’s one less thing that has to be done.

      Smart thing to do is shoot video with location sound already on it with simultaneous sync audio from a recorder. Slate it all, sync the timecode and then start cataloging it when you’re putting together your dailies. By the time it gets to your editor, everything should be all filed and cataloged to cut down on the hassle, time and money you and your editor will have to deal with.

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