Can C8 do auto audio alignment of 2 or more trax?

If I have a board mix of audio and a video audio of the same music coming in from camera mic,
is there a feature in method in Cubase 8 to align the two or more tracks so they are in perfect phase with each other.

I can do it manually but never perfect, hit or miss.

I remember for tempo tracks you can use hit points or similar,
but what about for when there’s folks talking and live band tracks interspersed over a long time period.

I found that when I try to do it manually and it’s off it gets more off as time goes one, etc.

I remember years ago there was a post production vocal align type of plug in for vocals or drum replacement (again that’s a consistent tempo, not speech) for ProTools.

final cut 10 does it, but I want to master the audio first in cubase then send it to ProTools.
The audio sources are:

  1. a hand held zoom like unit made by Tascam: stereo track,
  2. a set of ProTools recorded multi tracks from front of house mixer (around 12, that are in sync with each other)
  3. a set of 4 mono tracks for one video camera that got a feed from the board (mono that it split into tracks 1&2 and the camera mics that were sent into 3&4. Which I can’t directly export from Final Cut directly. I have to mute a pair, export, the vice versa. Final cut doesn’t know how to export anything more than a stereo mix.

How can this be simply done in Cubase 8? other than hit and miss manually?

thanks in advance,

el profe

groove template / a slicing based on hit points > create marker track from them > then align the sliced parts with macro based solution has been published in this article : Aligning Kick & Bass Parts

dunno maybe gives some ideas :slight_smile: … from the “Audio Alignment” part

As long as those files are aligned to begin with, slap them all in a folder, and then click the Multitrack Edit button on the folder. All editing will happen with phase alignment preserved.

Thanks for the reply xbitz2

groove template / a slicing based on hit points > create marker track from them > then align the sliced parts with macro based solution has been published in this article : Aligning Kick & Bass Parts > > … h_1008.htm

That article seems to deal with quantizing instants in time by cutting up the audio of one and squeezing or stretching the timing of that track to meet the various transients over the course of the part to the other ‘model’ track.

I’m not trying to match any transient. I’m trying to match someone speaking, say from one source like a direct out of a mixer (e.g. saying “Hello”) with another track - that also has that ‘Hello’ from a different source (e.g. a camera mic)

I don’t wish to stretch or shrink the timing of either.
I just want them to line up so they are phase accurate.
I can manually move them to the same place, but since their waveforms are slightly different due to the way they were each recorded (mic in audience on camera vs mic on stage direct to mixer and out to protools recording on a laptop wired into the mixer).
I don’t believe it can be 100% perfect, but I do know that final cut x has found a way to do that to sync video clips from various cameras and wondered if Cubase has found a way to do that without cutting things up for rhythm section type sync of steady or metronomic beats.

Enjineer, can you walk me thru your concept?

As long as those files are aligned to begin with, slap them all in a folder, and then click the Multitrack Edit button on the folder. All editing will happen with phase alignment preserved.

I have the board mix in it’s own folder and I have the video audio in it’s folder.

I have been manually grabbing the folder track (with the folder part on the edit page) and moving it (which moves all the parts in tandem) with no problem. But how do you suggest making them line up with a separate video cam audio track. The video cam audio track is the one that is in perfect sync with the video on it’s own track above it.

I also found out by closely listening that the video camera operator contrary to any instructions I gave him,
for a short moment stopped recording in the middle, so there’s actually a part a, a small missing area of nothing (not a file) and part 2 starting moments after part 1 ended. It’s only a few seconds and luckily it was video taping a projected video that I created on a wall via drop down screen, so I was going to replace that with the original anyway.
So I can basically chop the board mix audio into 3 parts, cut and replace the middle video project part and have 3 sections that I can return the audio to Final Cut with mastered.
But I still wanted to phase sync the end 2 sections.

If not, I’ll just do the old lip sync until it looks good and forget about the camera audio except when I need more appluase since that camera was in the rear and picked up the applause better than the board mix. (same for laughter, etc. from audience).

I might in the end send this all out as a 32 bit float (which it all is now anyhow) and edit in C7.2 to avoid any plug in C8 incompatibilities others have warned about. So far, things seem ok with C8.


el Profe

Hey Profe,

There’s nothing within Cubase that will somehow auto-align the phase of two or more tracks. I’m not a video guy, so no idea how FCPX is doing it. Probably their own version of the plugins out there that claim to be able to do this.

So you could try to grab some plugins to align things for you…

There’s a plugin called (unsurprisingly) Auto-Align from Soundradix that I demoed and found quite effective. Waves has just dropped InPhase, which looks horribly complicated to use (and undoubtedly ludicrously expensive).

But, without the original recordings being done to timecode (especially with that pesky cameraman stopping recording), you’ll have to do some manual alignment anyway.

What I was talking about was Cubase’s Group Edit feature. You’d have to align the different audio files yourself, but, once aligned, you’d add them all to a Folder. Then hit the Group Edit button (looks like three horizontal bars) on the folder. It’ll probably give you a warning about the clips not being aligned and that it “might fail.” Just ignore. It’ll still edit as Group.

After that, you can slice and dice and move all over on the clips themselves, and the edits will be the same across all the audio tracks. I find it a bit tighter than slicing on the folder’s clip, the way you’re doing it (which I do often too). Sometimes that gets weird when clips overlap.

Got cha.

For the slice and dice I’ll check out the Group Edit feature.

I never used it but it might be good to get in the practice of using it, if it’s a better result.
And I’ll look into the plug-in mentioned.

I did go to the auto align website (soundradix) but something made me feel a bit wary, forget what it was. Maybe my prejudice about wanting to do internet biz with a Russian biz with all that’s been going on with the US - Russia tensions. But I think I can get past that since it’s a music thing. I’m not really a political animal too much that it interferes with my music. I love Russian music. My family roots come from Ukraine and Germany back in the late 1800’s.

thanks guys, it was good to learn a bit about this.

el profe

Ha ha. Didn’t know they were Russian! Oh well, what country has clean hands, anyway… :wink:

The material from the differing devices are going to play back at differing speeds as they were all run off different clocks. You probably wouldn’t notice the drift against the video in the length of a song but you probably would over the length of a concert.

Your best bet is to cut n slide…you could use the group edit to keep each sources files locked together while doing this as enjneer says.

I don’t see an alingment plug helping you much with this, they are designed to work on multi mic setups that are already recorded at the same length and just to achieve best phase & timing alignment between those mics…they won’t really transfer to out of time tracks and mics mixed with off board audio.

Agreed. A plugin would just be $ spent on something that you’d get same or better results by doing manually in this case.

Also if the distance from one microphone to the source changes and the other doesn’t, you would have phase issues.

This would be a great feature for many video folks including myself.

I have 4 cameras and multiple recording devices, which include Roland R-09, couple of TASCAM DR40s, each cam can have multiple video clips.

I’ve been using a plug-in called Plural Eyes with my video software (Vegas Pro 12), to sync the audio, mix and export only the audio track.

I’d be much more efficient just import the audio directly from the video clips, sync them and start editing the audio in Cubase.

Also, I don’t like to mixdown the audio from Vegas before getting it to cubase and mixdown out again to import into Vegas then mixdown again for the final render.

If we could import straight into Cubase and align the audio then that would be such a great feature.

Checkout Voxengo’s PHA-979

I have not used this plug-in but I have some other plug-ins from Voxengo (usually fairly reasonable price and good quality).

This can’t align two tracks not recorded to the same master clock. They are actually different lengths.
You either have to timestretch one to match the other or cut n slide every few minutes if the drift in that space of time isn’t too obvious.

In both cases phase coherence isn’t really going to happen with or without a plug like this.

It does not align the tracks automatically but I think it might simplify the process of aligning different tracks manually. Maybe the track which had a break could be split onto two separate tracks and at first just alighn them by sight and do the fine adjustment of tracks by a tool lke this.

Well, I have not worked with material like this. So, maybe I overlook some intricacies involved.

The fact of not wanting to stretch or shrink the timing is probably what is making this so difficult (though I understand the desire to not interfere with the sound of the audio). But I’d suggest that to line the tracks up you’re going to have to interfere with the audio one way or another. As pointed out above, if you record without using a master clock to sync the devices then they are going to drift - so the mistake has already been made… so what you are really doing is correcting this. Which usually means time stretching.

Hopefully the tracks are drifting out of phase only a little so the side effects of time stretching should be unaudible. However, you have to be working with whole audio events. The basic process is:

  • in the master event track (the one that is synced to the video and you want to use as the master timing event for all other audio tracks) choose a start point, perhaps a percussive noise or a clap and insert a marker at this point.
  • locate the same point in the slave track (the one you are going to time stretch) and line it up manually to the marker.
  • next slice the beginning of the slave track and master track so both events start at the same time (this may be necessary depending on where your audio is meant to start). Whatever, both events MUST start at the same time.
  • manually find a suitable point near the end of the master track (a percussive noise or something clearly audible). Insert a marker at this point.
  • drag the slave event to line up the same percussive noise to the marker you just created and then slice both events at a suitable point just after the marker.
  • drag the slave event forwards so the master and slave events both start at the same point again.
  • select the master event and press P to set the locators to its start and end points.
  • go to process / time stretch. Click on ‘use locators’. Click on ‘process’ button. (try using elastique - time algorithm)

Done. The slave event is stretched to the same length as the master event. If done accurately the audio will be phase aligned (or very close).

This is one way of doing it. There may be a better way.

I know this is a very old post but for what it’s worth checking out “Auto Align Post” for this problem.

Also Audio>Open Audio Alignment Panel that was added in 10 might help. Similar to VocAlign Pro by Syncro Arts. Not helpful for Cubase directly though you could AAF from another application but Pluraleyes is for this issue as well.