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Out of Sync Audio (QT Export)

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Jon BennettOut of Sync Audio (QT Export)
by on Sep 8, 2010 at 12:36:54 am

Hi everyone,

I've had this problem for years now, and I've finally decided to start making accounts and asking people directly on how to fix it, it's been driving me slightly mental for ages.

Every time I export to Quicktime from AE or Premiere (no matter which sub-options, whether it's H264, Animation or anything) and open the resulting .mov/mp4 file in Quicktime, the audio sync is off by roughly half a second delay, constant. However, the video file itself plays perfectly in sync in VLC, or if I re-import it into AE or Premiere. I've taken it to other friends' computers (both Mac and PC) and used Quicktime and VLC to play it there as well, and the same problem arises: the audio delays in the Quicktime application.

When I send my video files to my lecturers, they play them using QT and tell me to fix the audio: there's then nothing I can do but painstakingly go through the entire composition, push the audio back a few frames and send them that copy to make them happy, while keeping the one I know works fine in other programs. Can someone please tell me if this is a common side-effect of rendering QT files using a PC? I've tested rendering the same projects on the Macs at Uni, and their audio syncs fine on the Quicktime app both there and at home, it's just something to do with rendering QT on a PC.

Here's a quick example, save it to disk and try playing it with Quicktime and VLC. The dot should appear precisely while the sound is playing, but fails in QT: the audio begins before the dot appears.
http://coffeepoweredrobot.com/misc/synctest.mov

Platform: PC
Software: After Effects CS3,4,5, Premiere Pro CS3,4,5, Quicktime 7 Pro


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Walter SoykaRe: Out of Sync Audio (QT Export)
by on Sep 8, 2010 at 1:09:03 pm

I've reviewed your sync test. All four dots and audio bursts begin in sync on my system. On the first, third, and fourth tests, the audio cuts out one frame before the video. On the second test, the audio extends 12 frames past the end of the video.

If you are using After Effects CS5 and AIFF audio, make sure you install the 10.0.1 update, which addresses some bizarre audio glitch problems. If you are using a version prior to CS5, avoid temporally-compressed audio like MP3 or M4A; transcode to AIFF or WAV before importing the footage into AE.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Dave LaRondeRe: Out of Sync Audio (QT Export)
by on Sep 8, 2010 at 1:18:19 pm

[Jon Bennett] "Every time I export to Quicktime from AE or Premiere (no matter which sub-options, whether it's H264, Animation or anything) and open the resulting .mov/mp4 file in Quicktime, the audio sync is off by roughly half a second delay, constant. However, the video file itself plays perfectly in sync in VLC, or if I re-import it into AE or Premiere. I've taken it to other friends' computers (both Mac and PC) and used Quicktime and VLC to play it there as well, and the same problem arises: the audio delays in the Quicktime application....

Platform: PC
Software: After Effects CS3,4,5, Premiere Pro CS3,4,5, Quicktime 7 Pro"



As I read the above, it appears you have three versions of AE running on your machine. Nothing wrong with that as long as you have a 64-bit system. If you don't have a 64-bit OS, I can't figure out how you got AE 10 (aka CS5) installed.

You'll want to run AE 10 exclusively if you import H.264 / mp4 files. The earlier versions did not deal well with long-gop codecs. Your other option: convert them to a lossless codec, and use any AE version you'd like.

And remember: AE doesn't like compressed audio of any kind, even if it's the audio track on a video file.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Jon BennettRe: Out of Sync Audio (QT Export)
by on Sep 8, 2010 at 2:57:46 pm

Ah, sorry about being unclear there: the 3,4,5 was to indicate that I've had the same problem with each version of After Effects and Premiere, I've never had them all installed simultaneously.

This isn't a problem with which audio I use: I've tested with multiple files, whether it's compressed audio being imported or raw, there's no issue with sync inside AE. The problem only arises when I've exported the Quicktime file, and then, the problem is only in the Quicktime application.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Out of Sync Audio (QT Export)
by on Sep 8, 2010 at 4:52:21 pm

Well, here's what I do: never render audio in AE. Just render the video. The audio probably already exists in your editing application. Match video to audio in the editor, which should be a snap. Export from your editor. Compress in Adobe Media Encoder or some other compression application.

And when I render video-only in AE, I'm talking about video with lip-sync audio. I've never had a problem. Not once. It always syncs up. Even when I render at home on my woefully RAM-barren Windows box for use on my Mac Pro at work.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Jon BennettRe: Out of Sync Audio (QT Export)
by on Sep 8, 2010 at 4:57:26 pm

Aye, I guess that could be a decent way to get around it. Thanks for the help: I've also found in the last couple of days that I can save the entire project uncompressed, and use Quicktime itself to convert to a decent file format.


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Brian CurtisRe: Out of Sync Audio (QT Export)
by on Oct 19, 2010 at 1:31:48 pm

Hi John,

I am having this QT soundtrack out of sync problem exporting as QT from Premiere CS3 too. I am making a wedding video for a couple, one disabled, and the cuts are a dance routine so the track HAS to be in sync. The track is an MP3 audio file and I wondered if you could tell me,what format do you save export from Premiere so you can then open in QT and re-export it from there as you seem to have fixed this issue?

I was also trying to follow Dave's tip here:

Well, here's what I do: never render audio in AE. Just render the video. The audio probably already exists in your editing application. Match video to audio in the editor, which should be a snap. Export from your editor. Compress in Adobe Media Encoder or some other compression application.

But wasn't quite sure what he meant? I have Production Premium so have Premiere, After Effects, Sound Booth etc.

Any help will be MOST welcome because the wedding is Nov 1st in London and the video is going to be played at the reception, gulp! This is my very first proper job doing this for a client - even tho it's still mates rate to get my work out there - so I am still learning (as we all are I guess!) as I go.

Thank you to anyone who can offer some assistance.

Cheers

Brian


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Dave LaRondeRe: Out of Sync Audio (QT Export)
by on Oct 19, 2010 at 3:02:37 pm

[Brian Curtis] "The track is an MP3 audio file and I wondered if you could tell me,what format do you save export from Premiere so you can then open in QT and re-export it from there as you seem to have fixed this issue?"

Do yourself a favor: DO NOT USE MP3 FILES! Convert them to the non-compressed audio file type of your choice.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Brian CurtisRe: Out of Sync Audio (QT Export)
by on Oct 26, 2010 at 11:32:41 pm

'Do yourself a favor: DO NOT USE MP3 FILES! Convert them to the non-compressed audio file type of your choice.'

Hi Dave and thank you for your response. I did (in the end) what lots of others suggested and had to drag the track 4 frames! If the file begins life as an MP3, what is best to convert it to? Is it best to do that from Soundbooth?

I have finished it now and I am really pleased with the end result so LOVING Premiere pro and After Effects (I have CS3) but I DID run into other issues with exporting 'some' of the timelines thru Media Encoder AND as Export Movie with no compression (to re-export from QT) with the dreaded 'Unknown Error exporting movie' etc. It took me 2 days to find the problem (and tryting to count the frames to see where it was!) which I 'think' I eventually tracked to some footage the customer sent but more on that in another thread so's not to complicate this one!

Looking forward to getting to know the community here. have been a member for quite a loong time now so it's about time I got involved! What a great place. :)

Thanks for the help, appreciated.

Brian


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Dave LaRondeRe: Out of Sync Audio (QT Export)
by on Oct 27, 2010 at 3:03:26 pm

[Brian Curtis] "If the file begins life as an MP3, what is best to convert it to? Is it best to do that from Soundbooth?"

Yes, you can. But I don't bother with it: I just open the audio file in QT Pro, then export a 48 kHz, 16-bit aiff file. I never have any problems.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Brian CurtisRe: Out of Sync Audio (QT Export)
by on Oct 27, 2010 at 11:01:29 pm

Thanks Dave, I'll give it a try and see if it marries up - cool, hehe, it is a wedding video after all! ;)

Brian


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