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Audio gets out of sync in Final Cut Pro 7

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Stan Ilchev
Audio gets out of sync in Final Cut Pro 7
on Feb 11, 2011 at 2:25:51 am

Hello Creative Cows,

My name is Stan and I have a problem that is just boggling my mind. I am working on a series of videos (99 of them) and the audio was recorded with the camera microphone and an external microphone. However my client is not very tech savvy and there wasn't any type of time code running between the two devices. He pretty much started rolling the camera and then turned on the audio recorder.

My problem is:
When I try to replace the camera audio with the "good" audio, they're synced for a period of time but then the two tracks start to drift away.

Both audios were recorded at 44.1 kHz, but my sequence settings are at 48 kHz and I just rendered out the audio on the timeline. When I right click and see the Format it still says 44.1 kHz.

I tried converting the "new, good" audio to 48 kHz but it still drifts away. I tried not converting it (keeping it at 44.1 kHz) and the same problem persists.

Does anybody have any idea what could be causing this problem. Any suggestions on how to fix this inside of Final Cut would AWESOME. I would think that this has something to do with the sample rate but I could be wrong.

Thanks in advance.

Stan


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Michael Gissing
Re: Audio gets out of sync in Final Cut Pro 7
on Feb 11, 2011 at 2:52:00 am

Stan, this is a common problem. Firstly all FCP timelines should eb 48khz and all audio should be converted from 44.1 to 48 khz before trying to sync.

Thats the first rule of housekeeping. The major pain is the way FCP stamps a frame rate on the audio. Have a look at this tutorial that Matt Lyon has done where the problem of frame rate stamping occurs. The first half talks about fixing the problem if you have already done a heap of work and the second half explains the way to import assets to avoid the problem. Read the second half first to see if you have created a problem with the audio import.

I recommend you redo the audio to 48khz and then import it with the correct settings from Matt's tutorial


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Stan Ilchev
Re: Audio gets out of sync in Final Cut Pro 7
on Feb 11, 2011 at 3:02:35 am

Hi Michael,

Thanks for the quick reply.

The thing is he just decided to replace the audio after all of the editing is done.

Is there anyway I can covert it within Final Cut? Is the audio that comes with the video 48 kHz or 44.1 kHz since I rendered it out? If they were both recorded at 44.1 I don't understand why they would be drifting away, if they're in the same sequence. I've lost a lot of hair over this ;)

Also, how would I find that tutorial?

Thanks a lot man, I really appreciate you putting in the time.

Stan


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Michael Gissing
Re: Audio gets out of sync in Final Cut Pro 7
on Feb 11, 2011 at 4:34:38 am

[Stan Ilchev] "Also, how would I find that tutorial?"

http://library.creativecow.net/lyon_matt/fixing-fcp-assets/1

Sorry, forgot to paste the link. Most cameras shoot audio at 48khz. What camera and format did you shoot? 44.1khz is uncommon in a camera.


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Stan Ilchev
Re: Audio gets out of sync in Final Cut Pro 7
on Feb 11, 2011 at 5:03:49 am

Hey Michael,

Thanx for the link, I'll definitely check it out.

I didn't do the shoot, I'm only doing the post production and I have no idea what camera they used. What I got from the client is a Hard Drive with MP4 files, which I converted to ProRes (I was thinking whenever I was doing that to change it to 48 kHz, but I figured on that much footage (20 Hours) it wasn't worth the rendering time. BIG MISTAKE it turns out. The audio on the MP4s was 44.1 kHz. I also got WAV files that were recorded at 44.1 kHz, but no clock was run between the two machines. First I thought that it was the actual machine that was drifting, but I know for sure it's Final Cut now. I did a little experiment with ProTools and everything DEAD SYNCs in there from beginning to end. It's going to be some extra steps but you gotta do what you gotta do, right.

Please if you have any thoughts or suggestions I'll be more then happy to hear them in order to avoid all of the transferring between ProTools and Final Cut.

Thanks for all you help so far.

Stan


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Dell Martinez
Re: Audio gets out of sync in Final Cut Pro 7
on Feb 11, 2011 at 4:06:24 am

Hey Stan,
I'm having the same damn problem! See my posting below:

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/8/1120638

I've tried various things as you can see. No luck so far. I'm converting the camera's audio to 48/16, the sequence is 48/16 and my external audio is 48/16. Syncing with Pluraleyes and still the audio drift. Pluraleyes admin has told me that the internal clock on the commercial voice recorder isn't very accurate and is causing the drift. Still trying to find a solution. Any help or comments from the CC community would be greatly appreciated!
Good luck Stan..


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Stan Ilchev
Re: Audio gets out of sync in Final Cut Pro 7
on Feb 11, 2011 at 5:11:27 am

Hey Dell,

I am in EXACTLY the same boat as you. I read your post and it's amazing how similar our situations are. I got the same footage (format, resolution, etc.) and the same exact external audio.

Anyway, I think I might have found work around with ProTools. It's some extra steps but if push comes to shove it has to be done. What I did was:

1. Export the video from Final Cut (can be as reference movie or not)
2. Import that video into ProTools including the audio track from it.
3. Import the new audio (the one that wasn't shot with the camera mic) - make sure you set your ProTools settings to 48kHz 16bit AIF (at least that's what I did)
4. Sync the two track in there (DEAD SYNCED from beginning to end, NO DRIFTING : ))
5. Export from ProTools as QuickTime movie. (It will export exactly with the same codec and settings that you imported with)

I know this sounds like a pain in the ass but that's the only thing I've been able to figure out so far. If you have an epiphany please share.

Thanks an good luck.

Stan


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Stan Ilchev
Re: Audio gets out of sync in Final Cut Pro 7
on Feb 11, 2011 at 5:14:42 am

Also, I forgot to mention, if you decide to go this way, make sure that the Frame Rate in Session Setup in ProTools matches the frame rate of you video.

Stan


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