a quick walkthrough of editing a multi-camera sequence with clips synchronized by audio

One of the great features in Premiere Pro CC (7.0) is the ability to align clips in a multi-camera (multicam) sequence according to their audio waveforms. This makes synchronizing clips from various sources extremely easy, and it tends to be more accurate than the previous methods involving manual setting of In points, et cetera.

This post is not intended as a detailed exploration of all of the multicam improvements in Premiere Pro CC (and there are many), but as a quick end-to-end guide to show how easy it is to edit a multicam sequence.

Step 1. Start Premiere Pro and create a new project.

Start Premiere Pro. When the Welcome screen appears, click New Project.

In the New Project dialog box, enter a name for the project, and click OK to accept the defaults.

New Project

Step 2. Import footage.

Choose File > Import. In the Import dialog box that appears, navigate to the directory containing your video and audio files. Select the ones that you want to import, and click Open. You can select a range of files all at once in the Import dialog box by clicking the first one and Shift-clicking the last one, selecting everything in between.

Import

The footage items will appear in the Project panel, as shown here. Note that I have three video files with audio, plus one audio file from an external recorder. The audio-only file is my good audio track, whereas the audio from the video files will be used as reference audio for synchronization.

Project

Step 3. Make a multicam source sequence.

With all of the footage items selected in the Project panel, choose Clip > Create Multi-Camera Source Sequence. (You can also access this command by right-clicking on the selected items in the Project panel.) This makes the Create Multi-Camera Source Sequence dialog box appear.

Create Multi-Camera Source Sequence

Choose to synchronize according to audio by choosing Audio in the top part of this dialog box. Leave other settings at their defaults and click OK.

This creates a new multi-camera source sequence in the Project panel, and it moves the clips into a Processed Clips folder.

Multi-Camera Source Sequence

Premiere Pro knows to mute the audio for the video clips, since their audio is just used as reference. You can see this or change it by opening the multi-camera source sequence in the Timeline panel.

To see the multi-camera source sequence in the Timeline panel (which you don’t really need to do right now, but maybe you’re curious), right-click it in the Project panel and choose Open In Timeline from the menu that appears. Here you can see that the clips have been arranged in time so that their audio waveforms are aligned.

Multi-Camera Source Sequence

You’ll use the multi-camera source sequence much like any other clip.

Step 4. Make a multi-camera target sequence.

With the multi-camera source sequence selected in the Project panel, choose File > New > Sequence From Clip (or right-click on the multi-camera source sequence and choose New Sequence From Clip from the context menu).

This creates a new multi-camera target sequence, and opens it in the Program Monitor and Timeline panel.

Multi-Camera target sequence

Step 5. Enable multi-camera editing in the Program Monitor.

Click the Settings button (the button shaped like a wrench in the lower-right portion of the Program Monitor), and choose Multi-Camera from the menu that appears. This converts the Program Monitor to multi-camera mode.

Program Monitor

Step 6. Enable recording of multicamera edits.

Press 0 on the main keyboard to enable recording of multicamera edits.

Step 7. Begin editing.

In the Program Monitor or Timeline panel, press the spacebar or otherwise begin playback. While the sequence is playing, press the number key on the main keyboard to cut to the camera with that number. The active camera’s clip has a red border around it in the multi-camera view in the Program Monitor.

editing

You can go back and play through the sequence as many times as you like, making and refining edits. When you stop playback, you’ll see the cuts reflected in the Timeline panel.

Step 8. Export.

With the sequence active in the Program Monitor or Timeline panel, choose File > Export > Media.

exporting

Just choose your export settings and click Export (or Queue to send the export job to Adobe Media Encoder).

It’s that easy.

13 Responses to a quick walkthrough of editing a multi-camera sequence with clips synchronized by audio

  1. Derik Savage says:

    You mention switching the program monitor into “multicam mode”. Does this mean that there will no longer be a separate multicam monitor?

  2. Kenneth Lane says:

    I don’t see “Create Multi-Camera Source Sequence”. What version Premier Pro did this become available in?

    • Todd Kopriva says:

      That’s in CS6 and later. Most of the workflow in this article is for the next version.

  3. Ulf Laursen says:

    Hey Todd

    This looks great – can’t wait to try it out – will save me a lot of time :)

    Ulf

  4. Cressida Neves says:

    I use multi camera edit very often and spend lot of time in synchronizing audio with video clips. Is it necessary to have one audio file from an external recorder? This calls for additional recording equipment beside the video cameras. Can’t I use audio file from one of the video clip files as a main audio file? Trust you understand my question.

    • Todd Kopriva says:

      No, you don’t need audio from an external recorder. That was just an example.

  5. Marques Du Pree says:

    @ToddKopriva
    Thanks for this post, this is really convenient. I’m only having one issue. I followed each step, but so far I’m unable to select audio in the Create Multi-Cam Source Sequence window. My only options are In Points, Out points, TC & Clip Marker. How can I make the audio selection appear in the window?

  6. Kevin Long says:

    I have shot a theatre production of many shorts which need to be combined into a single video. Two cameras, each producing say 30 clips each, which start and stop in a cascading fashion so as to cut out the dead space between acts. They both have audio, one house, one ambient, but PPCC’s audio sync can’t find a thing in commin and bails completely on sync’ing. Wondering if I should have it try and sync them act by act, and then somehow combine the resulting clips into a single multi-cam editing session. Can you recommend a process to approach this?