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Can I add audio overdubs to a video?


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  • Can I add audio overdubs to a video?

    I have a good video of my band that has audio that came from the camera mic. The sound is not very good. We would like to somehow overdub our instruments, one track at a time, so that in the end we would have the video with the overdubed audio.

    Is this possible? Do any of you experienced folks know how we could do this? Some of the musicians use macs and some windows.

    Thank you for your help.
    Larrivee L-03R & Larrivee D-031974 Yairi YW-100 Dreadnought (Sada Yairi)SWR California Blonde

  • #2
    Most video editing software has the ability to mute the embedded audio track(s), and many of them also have audio import or even full multitrack audio recording / editing capabilities. I use Sony's excellent Vegas application for nearly all of my video related work. It has all of those features and then some - it's a full-blown audio DAW AND video editor in one incredibly powerful program. They do make a "lite" version called Vegas Movie Studio, which is considerably less expensive, and the Platinum version has enough features to pull off what you want to do, although you're limited to only four audio tracks in the "lite" versions, so you might have to share tracks or do the actual audio recording in another program and then fly it in...

    Which brings up another option. Most modern DAW software has the ability to import movie / video files such as Quicktime files, so if you already have a DAW program that does, and you can convert your video to that, you can import it into your DAW and then reference the video as you overdub your audio files so you can get your hits timed right, etc.

    If you've never attempted something like this, then that's going to probably be your biggest challenge - getting everything in sync - both in terms of the new performances as well as the A/V within the various programs. But if you can pull that off, then all you need to do is mix the audio down to stereo, import it into your video editing program - at that point, even bundled editors like iMovie or Windows Movie Maker would probably allow you to mute the audio from the video and add the audio from your DAW mixdown - and then render the final project to a video file and you're done.

    Of course, most "music videos" are produced the opposite way - they track the song first, and then shoot the video to that, and do a lot of clever multi-location and / or camera work, editing CGI, and / or lip syncing to make it all work. For "live concert" videos, they're grabbing both at once, but to separate cameras and multitrack audio machines so they can have fun with it and adjust the various elements later in post production.

    Either way is fine, and if you already have a energetic live video you want to use, that's cool... but you do face a challenge IMO in making a "new" (I'm assuming "studio") recording; overdubbed to the video, "work" with the visuals of a live gig, and making it believable. Not impossible, but pretty tough. An alternative would be to use it for some of the visual element of "the video", but break it up with new footage and visuals - as to what those would be, I leave that to your imagination.

    If you'd like more information about Sony's Vegas line of software, click here. It's really a cool program. hil:

    "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

    - George Carlin

    "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

    - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

    "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

    - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter


    • #3

      Thank you for the well informed and clearly written reply to my question. I feel like I got an expert consultation for the cost of my Harmony Central membership! After reading your reply I can see a way through this that should work for us.
      Larrivee L-03R & Larrivee D-031974 Yairi YW-100 Dreadnought (Sada Yairi)SWR California Blonde


      • #4
        Yup, get Sony Vegas Studio.

        In the $50 range and I've done everything from music videos to 2hour multi-camera productions in it.
        Tim O'Brien


        • #5
          Vegas may be a full-fledged DAW, but Premiere and especially Final Cut most definitely are NOT.

          If you're not using Vegas, pull the video into your video software, split the audio from the video, convert the video to H.264, and drag both into a new project in your DAW. Then proceed to construct you song & overdubs.

          Well, I've been to one world fair, a picnic, and a rodeo, and that's the stupidest thing I ever heard come over a set of earphones.


          • #6
            Dan & Tim,

            Thanks for your help on this.

            The 2 guys with Macs are going to do their musical overdubs using Logic and I'm going to record the other overdubs using Vegas (once I learn how). At that point we plan to assemble all of the audio tracks together then overlay video. We actually have video from a number of different gigs. Don't know if all of this is going to work of course...
            Larrivee L-03R & Larrivee D-031974 Yairi YW-100 Dreadnought (Sada Yairi)SWR California Blonde


            • #7
              does Vegas do Hi-Def yet?


              • #8
                Yes: http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/products/vegasfamily.asp

                music and social links | recent listening


                • #9
                  Unless you're using a click track on the original, I'm guessing you're going to have a tough time matching it up.

                  As Phil said, I would just make a recording of the song(s) first. Then just cut up all of the video footage into a montage of the song. I think doing it the way you are suggesting is going to be soo hard, and you'd still end up dissappointed in the end.

                  best of luck
                  ---- ..ovda .. /----

                  ..."she could do things with her one GOOD arm that would make you forget about that thing on her neck!" -chris farley