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Syncing tracks for mixing

posted on #1
Member
Posts: 20
Joined: 15.04.15
Hello Guys!

Have some questions. While I am at work I decided to do some mixing with the tracks especially those with HD's separate track. BUt while doing so, the biggest problem is that most of the separate tracks are not sync! :(

Syncing is really a pain in the butt for me. Not only does it take time, sometimes I give up because I couldn't just do it.

How do you sync those stuffs?

Cheers!
kennyadry
posted on #2
Supporter
Posts: 500
Joined: 27.09.14
Hey Kenny,

I always download the MP3 and the single HD track, and I align them against each other. In any track there are places where the single track instrument can be heard on it's own, and these are great spots to enlarge the waveform in your program, and get the alignment spot on. Once I find a good spot, be it the first note or whatever, I widen both track and enlarge them a great deal, and then you can sync them very very accurately.

I am not experienced and don't consider myself a good mixer, but I have never had a case where I could not find the sync yet.

Once this is done I moved both tracks together and align them against previous tracks (if there are any). Trying to get a single track synched without the MP3 is indeed very difficult. TG
posted on #3
Member
Posts: 335
Joined: 25.03.12
I use audacity for all recording work.
The trick to syncing is to work with different zoom levels. If find transients the easiest spots to sync.
First time shift the track so that they look to be aligned as a complete track. Select a easy to identify (in both tracks) transient ans select some area around that one. Zoom to selection and time shift to align the tracks. If necessary select an other portion, maybe containing identifiable zero crossings and repeat the process
Pure fingerstyle
posted on #4
Supporter
Posts: 333
Joined: 27.02.15
This is an age old problem which I know I've added to in the past. I often find HD tracks don't align and the most common cause, in my experience, is whether you use your DAW's metronome or not. I use the metronome whenever possible when I record as some tracks, especially bass templates, get very muddy at the volumes I need it at in my headphones to be heard over my drums (I use noise-isolating headphones so it doesn't have to be stupidly loud but it's still loud!).

More often than not, templates are recorded to a metronome/guide drum track in my experience. But often the generated MP3/HD track doesn't line up with 'bar 1' in my DAW when I import it. Making it worse is that people have been known to post the wrong BPM so be prepared for that too! Anyway I find I have to move the wav/mp3 about to get it to 'line up' in my DAW and be in sync with the metronome. Do not adjust the start of the MP3 to make it line up - move it to the right to line up with the next available bar! It is vital - for everyone else - that you do not adjust the start point of the original track or you just make things worse. If people have used a count-in, then that's the perfect way to check you're aligned as it's obvious on the waveform.

Add the other HD tracks. If they do not align with the original track, look for obvious peaks in the waveform and see if you can work it out that way. Sometimes I have to go back to the Loops and just listen to the mixed track to work out where a part should sit relative to the template. When using HD tracks, always work relative to the original template track otherwise you change the fundamental position of your add and have just made the problem worse! As TG above suggests, use the MP3 mix download as a guide if necessary.

Once all that's done, do your recording, mixing and any editing.

Of course, if you've moved the original template away from bar one in your DAW, you need to realign it otherwise you're adding blank space at the start and making the problem worse. The last thing I then do before rendering my mix is a Select All on the wavs and drag the lot left so that the template lines back up at bar one. Then I do the mixdown. And there's been a few occasions where I've forgotten to do this and my HD tracks have been out of alignment.

The ease with which you can do this depends greatly on the software you use. I can imagine this being difficult in something like Audactiy but it's pretty straightforward in Reaper which is what I use.

Hope all this helps!
Edited by mpointon on 25-02-2016 13:11
posted on #5
Member
Posts: 245
Joined: 19.08.13
Synchronization means to adjust the micro-timing of two independent tracks. I import them into Reaper. Set the timebase to "time" not "project". Turn grid on and set resolution of grid, e.g. beat or bar. Place mouse over projecttempo and use wheel. Then adjust the tracks. Of course you can ruin or improve the microtiming of two tracks by only a few milliseconds.
The real beat can be between two instruments, e.g. bass is 5ms before the beat and drum-snare is often 5ms behind the beat.
Sometimes it needs the second verse to adjust the sound to the best feel.
But of course the feature of perfect digital recordings can get boring too. We are human. For me those jams are great when people have matching micro-timings on the right spots. This means synchronization per click-and-drag is a very important process.
Was born in an analog world.
posted on #6
Member
Posts: 20
Joined: 15.04.15
THanks a lot everyone! Everyone's reply here are much appreciated! :)
kennyadry
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