What Is Synchronization? How Is It Done?


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What is Synchronization?

Sync sound (synchronized sound recording) refers to sound recorded at the time of the filming of movies. It has been widely used in movies since the birth of sound movies.

  • Film synchronization of image and sound in a sound filmSynchronization is important in fields such as digital telephony, video and digital audio where streams of sampled data are manipulated. … In electric power systems, alternator synchronization is required when multiple generators are connected to an electrical grid.
  • Indian films shot using sync sound include the first Indian talkie Alam Ara released in 1931 and art house films such as Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali. The then-popular Mitchell camera, which could be operated silently made it possible to shoot in sync sound.
  • Audio-to-video synchronization refers to the relative timing of audio (sound) and video (image) parts during creation, post-production (mixing), transmission, reception, and play-back processing. AV synchronization can be an issue on television, videoconferencing, or film.
  • Audio-to-video synchronization (also known as lip sync, or by the lack of it: lip-sync errorlip flap) refers to the relative timing of audio (sound) and video (image) parts during creation,  post-production (mixing),  transmission, reception, and play-back processing. AV synchronization can be an issue on television, videoconferencing, or film.
  • In industry terminology, the lip-sync error is expressed as an amount of time the audio departs from perfect synchronization with the video where a positive time number indicates the audio leads the video and a negative number indicates the audio lags the video. This terminology and standardization of the numeric lip-sync error is utilized in the professional broadcast industry as evidenced by the various professional papers, standards such as ITU-R BT.1359-1
  • Digital or analog audio-video streams or video files usually contain some sort of synchronization mechanism, either in the form of interleaved video and audio data or by explicit relative time stamping of data. The processing of data must respect the relative data timing by e.g. stretching between or interpolation of received data. If the processing does not respect the AV-sync error, it will increase whenever data gets lost because of transmission errors or because of missing or mistimed processing
  • Synchronization is the precise coordination of multiple events or mechanical devices. In computing, it refers to the coordination of hardware devices, such that the data they contain or provide is made to be identical. The synchronization is usually done within an acceptably brief period of time.
  • Synchronization is important because it checks for the differences between two data containers in order to avoid the unneeded transfer of data that already resides in both data sources. Therefore, synchronization schemes typically update both data sources by transferring only additions, changes, and deletions.
  • Remember the last time you saw a movie and got excited at a scene with an appropriate soundtrack? Ever wondered if your music could be part of the soundtrack in that blockbuster summer film or that new Netflix series? Yes? Right, let’s talk sync.

What is Sync?

Sync (or synchronization) is a process where songs are combined with moving images – film, TV series, adverts, video games, trailers, etc. Sync deals are usually arranged between a music publisher and a prospective client, which is normally a music supervisor or a film producer.

  • Music supervisors are the people responsible for sourcing music that can be used in a project. So, a music publisher’s job is to pitch your music to the relevant music supervisors and grant them a sync license if they do decide to use your music.
  • The sync license gives someone permission to use your composition in a moving picture, subject to contract regulations.
  • To begin the sync process, music has to be pitched to music supervisors. Bear in mind that music supervisors may not be hired by every single entertainment company; some companies opt to use one of their own employees to head the music team for a project. This is especially true of video game companies, as many employ their own sound designers or composers.
  • It is crucial that only relevant and appropriate music is being pitched to supervisors, as it will give you a higher chance of success. It also contributes to a good working relationship with the music supervisor.
  • There are many types of visual platforms that benefit from sync deals; here’s a shortlist to give you an idea:
    1. Movies
    2. TV series
    3. Documentaries
    4. Video Games
    5. Trailers
    6. Advertisements

Why is Sync Important?

  • One of the most important reasons why sync is crucial to a composer is income. The digital age has made it relatively difficult for musicians to generate revenue.
  • Remember when Taylor Swift pulled all her songs from Spotify?? Her reason behind her actions was that she believed “valuable things should be paid for”. But realistically speaking her decision would ultimately help boost album sales. It’s no secret that physical CD sales have been declining steadily in the market.
  • That being said, sync deals can often pay more than physical music sales, especially if the song is re-used on multiple platforms. So, every time a song is reproduced in any visual media, the original owner of the music is paid a fee, known as a royalty. For example, every time your song is used as an advertisement jingle, you would be paid each time that advert is reproduced with your music.
  • Getting your music into movies or TV series is one way to help create a greater awareness of new material, especially if you’re a newcomer to the music scene. Think of it as a stepping stone towards gaining widespread recognition and expanding your fan base, locally and internationally. You might not be rewarded instantly, but sync deals aid your prospects just by making your music accessible.

In summary, working with a music publisher will greatly increase your chances of getting your music synced.

How do you sync audio and video sources?

  • Nothing turns off viewers faster than a video with bad audio. If you are recording with a mobile device or lower-end camera, they will most likely have very poor built-in mics that are designed to pick up a wide pattern of sound.
  • Unless you have a higher-end camera that has a built-in shotgun mic, you are going to want to consider recording audio separately from your video. This means that you’ll need to learn how to sync audio files and video clips in your video editing process.
  • You may think you need complex programs like Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro, but it doesn’t need to be that complicated. You need to follow these simple guidelines to succeed in your synchronization.

Step 1: Record Your Audio

Getting quality audio is crucial for your video to be successful. In addition to a good microphone, you’ll need an audio recorder to capture your sound. Your microphone will plug into the audio recorder, and capture at a higher quality than an on-camera microphone. More expensive audio recorders use XLR cables while more affordable brands will use ⅛” jacks (the same as a standard headphone jack), so make sure you have the right cords for your device.

Step 2: Import Audio

Now that you’ve got your audio recorded, you’ll need to import your audio file and your video file into your video editing software and start syncing clips. You can import your audio and video tracks independently. Then, simply drag each clip onto your timeline.

Step 3: Sync audio with video

The most difficult part of syncing audio with video is actually lining up your audio and video tracks in the timeline. We will show you how to do this in Camtasia, which has a zoom function to help you line up your audio and video tracks. You’ll want to make sure that you can scrub through the timeline at frame by frame basis. To do this, zoom all the way in!

This is where your clap comes in. This is an old trick that will create a spike in your audio .wav file so that when you later import your audio file into your video editing software, you will be able to see where you started recording. You may have even seen this method used in big Hollywood productions when they use clapboard. The clapboard is used to give editors the visual marker, while the sound produced by the clap (the spike) provides the audio marker.

Step 4: Celebrate!

You did it! You recorded, imported, and synced your audio and video clips on the timeline. Sometimes it’s just a matter of trimming the ends and exporting, other times you have a lot more editing still to do.

Now you’re ready for what’s next, which could be transitioned, adding captions adding b-roll, merging clips, the editing options are endless for you to make your video as polished as you’d like! Now you will listen to your final copy and enjoy the sync process. If you do it correctly, you won’t regret for your finished product. All you need is keenness and attention.

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