How can I sync two separate recordings of the same thing?

I’m recording a voice track, and I am using two mics one for me and the other for the guy I am talking to. I want to sync these tracks together… how do I do that. I know I can eyeball it by dragging the tracks… but is there some kind of plugin that will analyse two tracks and align them?

So say I record two mics with the same voice… and bring into audacity both wave files… but they are out of sync… how can sync them?

(Audacity 3.13)

That’s (in part) what a clapperboard is for.

You don’t need to use an actual clapperboard, you could just clap, provided that both recordings pick up the same clap sound.
Mark the start and the end of the recording.

When synchronising the recordings in Audacity, the clap at the start gives you a clear mark for lining up. If the claps at the ends don’t line up, then you will need to adjust the speed of one of the tracks so that you have exactly the same length between the start clap and the end clap in all tracks - use the “Change Speed” effect to do that if needed.

Yeah… I get that… I am using a homemade “clapboard” already… what I am asking is how do you line up the audio… is there an automatic way to do this… or are you just supposed to eyeball it?

Yes, eyeball it, but use “zoom” so that you can eyeball accurately.

ok… cool cool. Thanks. I thought there might be some kind of analysing tool to auto align it or something. Thanks for the help, mate.

You may have seen single performers do that clap thing. In that case, they are lining up the tiny portable microphone and recorder they’re wearing with the camera sound track. You can either line up the video picture of the hand clap, or the video sound track. If the camera is far enough away, use the video.

(ahem) We in Hollywood say the words “Camera Mark” before the clap to make it easier to find later. You can do what you want, but that’s not a terrible idea. You can also burn an ID into that announcement.

“Governor Hochul interview, Mark” [bang].

Production is a lot more bookkeeping than everyone thinks.

I am using two mics one for me and the other for the guy I am talking to.

You may have drilled yourself a nice hole with that technique. How far apart are you? It’s almost impossible to accurately split the two voices with a live interview. You are going to have some of your voice in the guest’s track and some of their voice in yours. If you don’t get the sync exactly right, the mix is going to have odd talking-into-a-wine-glass, or milk jug, or long hallway distortions.

Sliding tracks with a mouse will only take you so far. I think there’s a way to move a track with key clicks. I need to look that one up. Somebody else will post.

Editing Notes:

Export each track as a perfect quality WAV sound track and move it to a safe place before you edit anything. Edit a copy.

Do Not use MP3 anywhere in the process until you get to the posting step and then only if the client or destination wants it that way. MP3 gets it’s small, convenient files by causing tiny sound distortions. They get worse in editing—and they’re permanent.

Your personal show archive should be another WAV file. Do that before you create the MP3.