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Synchronization

From Chace Audio

Synchronization, also known as conforming, is the act of placing audio in a matching time reference with picture so that sound coincides with image. Picture and sound are usually recorded separately, and even if they are recorded to the same tape at the same time, they will need to be separated in order to take full advantage of the editorial process.

Synchronizing picture and audio can be a relatively simple or an extremely tedious task depending on the amount of editorial changes that have occurred during the posting or distribution of a motion picture. Proper documentation can go a long way toward preventing sync issues throughout the years and various iterations of an asset.

Synchronization can be done in real time with synchronizers and linear elements, (such as tape or film), or can be done editorially in a digital workstation, (such as Pro Tools®), which involves placing audio files in a timeline, (or Edit Decision List - EDL), to match picture.

The average person usually starts to notice sync issues when picture and audio become more than two frames apart from each other.

There's nothing more confounding than an out of sync duck. However, properly synchronized audio makes every duck a joy to work with.

Video clip courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive and The Rick Chace Foundation from A Century of Sound ©2007. All rights reserved.