How to synchronize audio and video in Adobe Premiere Pro

Syncing audio with video while editing in Adobe Premiere Pro can be frustrating. If you are trying to match words with someone speaking or the audio of someone singing, it can become especially difficult to do it accurately. And, if you don’t sync them well, you could end up with awkward footage. If you need to record audio and video separately and you have two different files that you want to edit together, there are a few ways to do it in Adobe Premiere Pro.

You can perform more automatic sync or you can sync files manually. Manually syncing audio with video is what you may want to do if Premiere is having trouble matching audio. Otherwise, automatic syncing is easy and works most of the time. 

How to automatically sync audio to video

To automatically sync audio to video in Adobe Premiere Pro, you first need to have both the audio file and the video file you want to sync on the timeline in Premiere. The video file will need to have its original audio, as this is what Premiere will use to sync the separate audio file.

When both files are on the timeline, select both clips.

Then right-click on the video file and select Sync.

In the next window that appears, we recommend that you select the audio file to sync it. Then select OK. The audio should now be in sync with your video.

There is also a second method to automatically sync audio and video if you want to try another route instead. 

To do this, you will merge both files and Premiere will sync the audio. First, find the audio and video files you want to sync and hold down Ctrl (PC) or Command (Mac) and select them. Then choose Merge Clips.

In the Merge Clips window, select Audio. Then select OK. You will get a new audio and video file merged together in your imported media. You can drag it to your timeline to use it. 

How to manually sync audio to video

If Premiere did not sync audio and video with the desired accuracy or if you are having trouble with the automatic methods, you can also sync the audio manually. 

For manual sync, first, insert both the original video and the audio you want to sync with the video on the timeline. In audio channels, drag the slider handlebars to the right side of the timeline to widen the video file’s internal audio and external audio. 

This way, you will be able to see the audio peaks. Look for the similarities between the internal and external audio and line them up to match. Then, you can play the video to see if the audio matches the way you want. Once you are satisfied, you can delete the internal audio so that the new external audio will be the only track playing. 

Tips for synchronizing audio with video in Adobe Premiere

If you want to easily sync audio with a video in Adobe Premiere Pro, you can follow some tips which will make the process much smoother. 

1. Create an audio sync point

To make syncing easier for both the automatic and manual methods, you can create a dot near the beginning of the audio when you are actually filming which will make it easier to match the internal and external audio.

The term for this is “applause” and a clapboard is used in many productions. However, any sudden loud sound that creates a high spike in the audio waveforms will work. This makes it easy to match audio from different sources, as you can simply spot that first big peak. It also makes it easier for Premiere to synchronize audio.

2. Use audio time units

Another way to make it easier to sync audio when doing it manually is to change the time units at the top of the timeline. To do this, right-click on the timecode above the timeline and select Show Audio Time Units.

This will give you the ability to move your audio files in much smaller increments, allowing for more precise synchronization.