please help me!!! syncing audio from multiple cameras

Anonymous (not verified)

hey im a wedding videographer but ive been asked to do something a little out of my league. i shoot with 3 cameras at weddings but the audio isnt important so i put music tracks through the entire video. well some friends ask me to shoot live footage of them singing with multiple cameras but i do not know how to get the best audio quality. i ran across this perfect example of the kind of video they want on youtube. ill post a link in this post. my question is can you tell me what they are using in this video to get the great live audio. i can do the same exact thing for my friend putting a recorded track he has over it and just sync his lip movements to the audio.

CraftersOfLight's picture
Last seen: 6 days 9 hours ago
Joined: 02/17/2009 - 5:42am
Plus Member

From what I have seen, if you are going to do many shots of the band members, you might want to think about doing the following. Most "studio" shoots play the song being recorded in the background and the group plays along or "airbands" it. this allows them to keep the same tempo/sync as the music they will be using in post. (I would not count on things going well enough that you could do it all in one take). They will do many takes with the cameras at different angles on different members of the group. Then in post they would cut the scenes to the same recording they were playing with as the sound track. This allows the lip sync and play sync to line up.

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EarlC's picture
Last seen: 4 years 5 days ago
Joined: 10/15/2008 - 1:15am

I have produced MANY lip synced music videos over the years, as well as LIVE productions, using multiple cameras.

When producing for independent artists in a controlled environment - their home, home studio, garage, or a rented storage facility stacked with their amps and equipment, where they can "practice" and play til their hearts content without the neighbors yelping about noise to the local PD. This is where you have a choice between and/or lip syncing to a recorded piece(s) they are happy with, or live - either way with repeated performances.

When my groups have been intimately familiar with and solidly attuned to their CDs, and have recorded "live" at reduced volume, but actually syncing to the CD playing at high volume, and have been willing to spend the time doing one, two or several takes for each selection, success is wonderful. There will always be times when the lips and CD music track are not SPOT ON, but close enough that if I have also captured some other stuff - cutaways, alternate shots that do not focus on the lips, hands on keyboards and guitars, etc. side shots, or distance shots, I have been able to hide the second here or there where I cannot get a match.

Also, I have had occasions where their live performances actually came out sounding better, and working better, than with their efforts to sync to the audio CD.

I will NEVER again trust the buy on the boards, the mixer, the house sound - too many times have had to have my systems and cameras audio circuitry repaired due to blown out circuits because this supposedly experienced audio person hits the wrong levels at the wrong time. So, I use on camera mics, with additional and occasional direct feed mics focused on the amp sweet spots and feeding into a board of my own and into an auxiliary wide-shot camera mostly used for direct feed from MY audio mixer. Also, I use a host of Zoom H2 digital recorders placed where I think they are needed.

I have stacked these audio tracks, used them independently, or only one or the other, depending on what I and the talent deems best quality. It takes a LOT of work, but the redundancy of audio acquisition and ways of acquisition is the secret to having enough choices to make SOMETHING work.

My suggestion is to first and foremost try to get several take of the group performing to their prefered CD or other digital sound source via lip sync. From there, I go with the other possibilities I have outlined.

nccgeorges's picture
Last seen: 8 years 7 months ago
Joined: 09/07/2009 - 4:31am

Hi EarlC,

When you do live recording and you get all those live inputs, individual lines to your board, camera inputs from your cameras and all those H2 recorders.

With all those recorded inputs, when you mix down the video and audio with something like FinalCut how do sync the audio from all those source that they all sync up in post production. I would guess you blend the inputs to what sounds best.

grinner's picture
Last seen: 8 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 12/29/2007 - 2:56am

Just use the audio from one source and cut the other cameras to it. To save time, let em free run. You can then sync each camera one time on different tracks and go through subtractivly, as if switching a live show. This keeps ya from finding sync without matching time code per shot.