How to Sync Audio in DaVinci Resolve - Top 3 Tricks

Syncing audio in DaVinci Resolve is a streamlined process that can be done either manually or automatically. For automatic syncing, begin by importing your audio and video clips into the Media Pool, then select the clips you want to sync. Right-click and choose one of the four Auto Sync Audio options, based on Timecode or Waveform, with or without Append Tracks. The choice depends on your specific needs and equipment.

October 17, 2023
How to Sync Audio in DaVinci Resolve - Top 3 Tricks
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The Challenge of Manual Synchronization

In the past, manually dragging and matching audio files frame by frame was the norm. To be honest, this method works, but it takes a lot of your precious time. For instance, you'd have to align waveforms visually, a process that can be error-prone and frustrating. On the other hand, DaVinci Resolve does a pretty good job syncing audio clips automatically, saving you time and effort.

What if I told you that syncing audio in DaVinci Resolve doesn't have to be a tedious task? In my experience, many newcomers to video editing find this part of the process intimidating. However, with just three months of experience using DaVinci Resolve, you might as well be ready to dive into this essential skill. Let's explore how DaVinci Resolve offers both manual and automatic methods to sync audio, making your editing workflow smoother and more efficient.

How do I auto sync audio in DaVinci? - Step By Step

First and foremost, you should be familiar with the 'Media Pool'. Think of it as your primary workspace where all your video and audio clips reside. To access it, head to the “Edit” page. On this page, you'll find the “Media Pool” icon on the top left corner.

Importing Your Clips

  1. In the Media Pool, you’ll see an option to “Import Media.” Click on that. For our example, let's say you're importing three video clips and two audio clips.
  2. Navigate to the location of your clips on your computer. Once located, select them and click “Open.” You should now see these clips listed in your Media Pool.

The Power of Auto Sync Audio

Now that your clips are in place, DaVinci Resolve offers a fantastic feature called “Auto Sync Audio.” With this, the software analyzes your clips and matches the audio with the video based on certain parameters. There are two main methods it uses:

  • Timecode: This is commonly used with high-end broadcast cameras that have the capability to ingest a reference timecode signal. If your clips have this timecode embedded, DaVinci Resolve will use it to synchronize your audio and video perfectly.
  • Waveform: For those using DSLRs, smartphones, or other such devices, this method is your go-to. The software will analyze the waveform (the visual representation of your audio) from the video's inbuilt mic and match it with the waveform of your separately recorded audio.

Syncing Your Clips

  1. In the Media Pool, select all the video and audio clips you want to sync. For our exercise, select the three video clips and two audio clips we imported earlier.
  2. Once selected, right-click on any of the highlighted clips. A dropdown menu will appear.
  3. Navigate to the option titled “Auto Sync Audio.” Hovering over it will present you with four choices. For our purpose, we'll focus on "Based on Timecode" and "Based on Waveform."

Append Tracks: A Note on Choice

Each synchronization method comes with an additional choice: with or without "Append Tracks". Choosing to append means DaVinci Resolve won't replace the video's original audio. Instead, it will add the synchronized audio as an additional track. This gives you flexibility in post-production, allowing you to choose between the original and the synced audio.

Finalizing the Synchronization

  1. For our example, let's use "Based on Waveform." Click on it.
  2. The software will now work its magic. After a few moments, you'll notice the synced video appearing in the Media Pool, indicating that the audio and video are now perfectly aligned.

Davinci Resolve Auto Sync Audio Not Working

It seems that sometimes, even with the best tools at hand, things might not go as planned. The Auto Sync Audio feature in DaVinci Resolve might not work, leaving you puzzled and frustrated. However, this is not the end of the world. In my experience, understanding the root cause of the problem and applying the right solutions can quickly get you back on track.

Common Causes and Solutions

1. Incorrect Timecode or Waveform Matching

One common issue might be the incorrect matching of Timecode or Waveform. If the Timecode in your audio and video files doesn't match, the auto sync will fail. On the other hand, if the Waveform is not clear or distorted, it might also lead to a failure in syncing.

Solution: Check the Timecode in both your audio and video files to ensure they match. For Waveform, make sure the audio quality is good and the waveforms are clear.

2. File Format Issues

Sometimes, the problem might be with the file formats. DaVinci Resolve supports various formats, but not all. If your audio or video files are in an unsupported format, the auto sync might not work.

Solution: Convert your files to a supported format. DaVinci Resolve works well with common formats like MP4, MOV, WAV, etc.

3. Software Bugs or Glitches

Software bugs or glitches might also cause the auto sync to fail. This is rare but can happen.

Solution: Restart DaVinci Resolve or update it to the latest version. Aloso, understanding how to update DaVinci Resolve can be handy in such situations.

How To Sync Multiple Clips In Davinci Resolve

In a complex project, you might have multiple clips that need to be synced. How about syncing them all at once? It's not only possible but also efficient. Let's dive into the process.

Selecting Multiple Clips

First, you need to select all the clips you want to sync. In the Media Pool, you can use the Ctrl (or Cmd on Mac) key to select multiple clips. Just to be clear, make sure you're selecting both the audio and video clips that need to be synced.

Using the Auto Sync Feature

Once you've selected the clips, right-click and choose the "Auto Sync Audio" option, just like you would with a single clip. You can then choose the method (Timecode or Waveform) and whether to append tracks or not.

Verifying the Sync

After the sync is complete, it's wise to verify that everything is in order. Play the clips and ensure that the audio matches the video perfectly. If something seems off, you might as well manually adjust it.

Handling Complex Scenarios

For more complex scenarios with multiple cameras and microphones, the process might be a bit more intricate. In such cases, I'd suggest using the "Based on Timecode" option if possible, as it's more precise. However, manual adjustments might still be necessary.

Understanding the Options: Timecode vs. Waveform

In my opinion, understanding the difference between Timecode and Waveform synchronization is crucial. Here's why:

  • Timecode synchronization is precise and used in professional settings. It relies on a specific timecode embedded in both audio and video files. However, it requires compatible equipment.
  • Waveform synchronization (Based on Waveform) is more versatile and can be used with various types of cameras. It matches the audio waveforms of the clips, making it suitable for less professional setups. For those who have problems with waveforms not showing up, you can read Kyle's guide on how to fix this issue here.

All things considered, the choice between these options depends on your specific needs and the equipment you're using.

Additional Tips and Tricks

Just to add some extra value, here are a few more insights:

  • Manual synchronization is still an option if you prefer more control. It's more time-consuming but can be more precise in some cases.
  • Understanding how to use DaVinci Resolve in general will make the syncing process even more accessible.
  • Experimenting with different syncing methods might lead to discovering what works best for your particular project.