How To Easily Replace Camera Audio with External Microphone Audio Using Kdenlive

It’s common for those recording musical or other performances to record audio separately from the video. For instance, the video may be recorded using an Iphone which gives good video quality. The audio however may be recorded using an external mic for either duplication reasons (in case the hookup to the Iphone or other video camera goes bad, or because one doesn’t have the proper connectors to pipe the microphone audio to the camera).

If you find yourself in a position of wanting to replace the audio recorded with the Iphone or other video camera with the audio recorded by an external mic, here’s a dead simple way of achieving this.

KDENLive is a free and open source video editing software for Linux which offers an easy way to sync external audio with the audio recorded by a video camera.

  1. Install KDENLive. Go to the download page and install per the instructions.
  2. Copy the video file from your camera or mobile phone (in my case it was a .MOV file from the Iphone) and the audio file from your microphone recording (probably a .wav file) to the same folder on your computer.
  3. Open KDENLive, Select “Project” from the menu and then “Add Clip or Folder”

  4. Select the folder that contains the video file and microphone audio file.
  5. The files should appear in your “Project Bin” on the top left of the KDENLive screen. Drag the video file to the time line below. It will create two tracks, one for the audio only track recorded by the microphone, and one for the audio associated with the video file (in my case the audio that was recorded by the Iphone).
  6. Drag the Microphone .wav file to the time line right below the Iphone’s audio track. In my case, the Iphone’s Video track was assigned V1, the audio track assigned A1, and the Microphone audio track was assigned A2.
  7. Mute the video file’s audio track (A1) by clicking on the speaker on that track.
  8. Now select the audio track from the Iphone (A1). Right click and select “Set Audio Reference”. Below is a screenshot showing the tracks, the muted audio, and setting the audio reference:

  9. Now right click on the A2 track (the microphone’s wav file) and select “Align Audio”:

    KDENLive will automatically move the A2 track to match the audio in the A1 track. You are done. Play back the video using the preview and confirm that the audio is satisfactory then save your project and/or render your video.

    KDENLive does offer a Windows binary version for download but I have not tested as it is reportedly buggy. I would be interested if somebody would try and it and respond in the comments as to how well the audio sync feature works.

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