Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Technique › Sound › sync external soundtrack › All the advice about start
All the advice about starting with a clap would be useful if your camera didn’t have a built-in mic. But when put your video on a timeline that splits it into an audio and a video track. Set the audio track to display audio as a waveform. Import whatever flavor of digitally recorded audio you like and when placed on the time line, it displays itself as a waveform. You don’t even have to look very closely to see that the waveforms will practically match. Then it is a fairly simple matter to fine tune the synch. You don’t need to start your recording with some loud sound just to synch the sound, cause then you also have to never stop either device and make that “synch point” part of the timeline.
This is no difficult thing. I used to teach senior citizens to synch audio on linear editors and that takes a bit of skill. Since the mics and the camcorder are not in exactly the same spot, there will be noticeable differences where the camcorder records extraneous noise. But you can do your synching anywhere both tracks were running at the same time. Even if you stop one machine or the other, re-synching takes just a few seconds.
So far as recording devices go, you get what you pay for. And that is even more so with mics. I don’t know why you are having problems with using your computer to capture audio. The processing required for this task doesn’t begin to tax a computer’s resources. But as you suggested, you may have a defective sound card. So what you really want to look into first is the mics you plan on recording with. Not knowing what you are recording, I have no advice. But select your first recorder by getting the cheapest name brand digital recorder capable of utilizing your mics. If you’re recording uncompressed or even WAV or WMA files, the device isn’t really doing anything much.
In closing, I strongly recommend against anything you’ve heard is something good to have. If you don’t know exactly why you need the item and exactly what you plan on using it for, you’re wasting money. Why would you want to buy into some specialized audio format you’re not already using? Don’t repeat advertising jargon, how does it make the sound you record better or easier to work with? I know a lot of folks that will tell me a bulldozer is better than a sedan, but that’s cause I asked which moved dirt easier. If you don’t already know you need something, forget about it! Hopefully you already know how to record good audio. But pretty much no matter what you do, I’m sure you’ll be getting less bad audio by not using the built-in mic.
Good luck & have fun.