audio sync multiple cameras

Audio Sync Multiple Cameras in Premiere Like a Pro

Zulfiqar Azman

Zulfiqar Azman

Assistant Editor

Editing a video with multiple camera angles can be a tricky affair.

Manually syncing the audio to your footage can be very time consuming process. However, Premiere Pro CC has a few tricks up its sleeve to help you out with that. Here are some steps to audio sync multiple cameras.

Get Organised - Label Your Clips

The very first thing you should do is to label your Main Camera clips and your B Camera clips. This is so you don’t get confused when going through the process, especially if all your clips from both cameras have the same naming convention, i.e. C001.MP4, C002.MP4, etc..

Some suggestions on how this can be done:

  • Labelling the clips from the source before importing them into Premiere 
    • eg. A_[clip#] for your Main Cam and B_[clip#] for your B Cam, etc
  • Putting colour labels to your clips in Premiere
    • eg. Yellow for your Main Cam and Green for your B Cam, etc

Find a labelling convention that works for you. Once you’re organised, you can get started on the syncing of clips. 

In this post, we’ll cover 2 basic methods to audio sync multiple cameras – Syncing Clips Using Audio and Syncing Clips Using Markers.

Audio Sync Multiple Cameras - Audio Method

Move all the clips you want to sync into the same bin. After that, highlight all of the clips in the bin that you want to sync. Ensure that you select your Main Cam first before selecting the other cameras so that your Main Cam will be on the first video track in the resulting multi-camera clip.

Once you have highlighted the clips, right click and select “Create Multi-Camera Source Sequence”. 

This pop-up menu will appear:

Sync Multiple Cameras on Premiere Pro

Under “Synchronize Point”, select “Audio”

The drop down menu allows you to select which audio channel of the clips you want to use for synchronization or Mix Down, which analyzes all the tracks in the selected clips.

Next, you will have to select the Audio Sequence Settings. Select from one of these three provided options that suits your edit best:

Camera 1:
All clips will be synchronized with audio from Camera 1 – your Main Cam in this instance. All other audio tracks from other cameras will be muted within the multi-camera clip. This option is best if one of the cameras is the main audio source or has the clearest audio.

All Cameras:
This option retains all the audio from all the cameras in the multi-camera clip. All the audio from your clips will play out simultaneously from your multi-camera clip.

Switch Audio:
This option allows each camera angle to retain their own source audio when you are editing the multi-camera clip. If you select the Main Cam while editing, audio from the Main Cam will be heard. If you select B Cam, audio from B Cam will be heard, and so on.

Once your options are selected, click on the OK button. Premiere Pro will work its magic and your multi-camera clips will be generated.

Audio Sync Multiple clips - Marker Method

There are instances where syncing with audio may not work, for example if the audio quality of the clip is bad or if the clip is recorded without audio. If that is the case, the clips can be synchronised using markers instead. For this to work, a sync point must be found in the clips. The sync point has to be an action, such as a clapperboard or a clap, that is visible from all camera angles, ideally a slate or even just someone clapping.

Open each clip on the source monitor and scrub through until you identify the sync point. Once you have identified the sync point, place a marker on it (Shortcut “M” key).

Each clip that needs to be synced needs to have a marker at the sync point. Only clips with the same sync point (from the same take) can be made into a multi-camera clip. After markers have been placed in all of the clips, highlight the clips that you need to sync. Ensure that only the relevant clips of the same take are highlighted. 

Right click and select “Create Multi-Camera Source Sequence”. This time on the pop-up menu, under the “Synchronize Point” tab, select “Clip Marker” instead.

Once that is done, you can go ahead and click on the OK button. Premiere will generate a multi-camera clip.

Unlike syncing with audio, syncing with markers only allows you to create one multi-camera clip at a time.

Editing the Multi-Camera Clip

Once you’ve created all your multi-camera clips, they need to be placed in a sequence before you can start editing with them. You can grab the multi-camera clips and drag them into a new sequence.

Click on the “Toggle Multi-Camera View” icon on the Program Monitor to enable multi-camera editing mode. This icon might be hidden from your toolbar but you can find it by clicking on the “+” icon at the bottom of the Program Monitor.

This splits the Program Monitor into two windows. The window on the left allows you to view all the different angles within the multi-camera clip simultaneously.

If you hit the play button, you can choose the camera angle you want to view simply by clicking on the desired camera angle in the Program Monitor. You can switch between angles until you have the sequence that you are satisfied with. Once you pause the sequence, you’ll notice that Premiere Pro will automatically make the cuts for you on the sequence.

Editing Tip: You can use your keyboard’s number keys to switch between angles: 1 for Camera Angle 1, 2 for Camera Angle 2, etc.

If you are not satisfied with the cuts made, you could use the “Rolling Edit Tool” to shift and fine tune the cut points.

You could also change the selected angle by clicking on the edited point and then clicking on the angle you’d like to change it to.

These simple techniques may take some getting used to but once you get the hang of it, you’ll wonder how you ever got by without them. The gains in productivity and ease with your edits are undeniable.

Large scale projects such as Asia’s Next Top Model that we do, depend heavily on Multi-Camera editing. The basic principles remain but there are additional advanced techniques that come in handy for such projects. If you want to learn more about these techniques, stay tuned for our next post on How to Audio Sync Multiple Cameras on Premiere Pro Using Timecode.

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