Shot a dance event with 2 different audio feeds. One was a shotgun mic to get crowd response and the other line-in from a mixer to get clean audio of the music. In my editing application each channel is separate from the other. My question is should I move my shotgun mic audio track a few frames forward or backward to eliminate the echo effect? The only real audience response is at the end of each performance. I don't want to add keyframes to lower and increase volume at appropriate times because it's too time consuming but I definitely want audience response. I've got 5 shows to edit and want to streamline my workflow.
I'm not trying to be rude but the editing you're talking about is about 15 minutes of work (maybe less - even for a 2-hr show) and you can do it without nodes if you're using a program that you can cut the audio separately from the video. What app are you using?
There's usually a definite pause between the end of the dance number and the applause; Line up the audio like you mentioned to eliminate the delay, then cut the audio clip at that silence and the beginning of the next song; select the music clips of shotgun mic during the show you don't want, delete them or group pull the volume to 0; then select the applause live audio and group adjust to the level you like. This is quick & dirty but fast and simple. You can even quickly paste a fade in/out on the live mic clips.
Personally I'm not a fan of "clean" music audio on a live event DVD. I like a touch of the live room, especially if you can hear tap shoes for instance or audience laughter. Using the technique above, all you need to do is raise the entire clips audio to a pleasing mix. Again, depending on your editing application, you may be able to grab all the music clips and bring them to say 50%. Do you have more than 2 tracks of audio? Put the live feed on track 1, (cut the audio as described above at the silence point) then put live mic music on track 2 and live mic applause on 3. I'll then be easier to select an entire track to adjust.
Why are you opposed to nodes? That shouldn't take that much time either. Are they not paying for the time for you to do it right?
Since you weren't mixing the show live, you have to do it in post. I've found that finding the right level for the room or camera mic can only be done in post. As with your time alignment, it's a one move correction. And yes, if you want room sound, you do have to time align the audio.
You don't say what sort of performance this is and how appropriate audience or indirect sound is, but Steve's comment about dry console audio is a good one.
I did that this Spring with footage of a concert where the shooter was 50 feet out in the audience and was taking a split track console and camera mic. Without sync and level adjustment, the audio sounded horrible. I slid the camera mic track earlier to match the console track and adjusted both tracks to get proper level and proper mix.