One clip longer than others despite recording at the same time

So me and my friends tried recording a podcast. We aren’t really that experienced with recording gear and audacity.

Here’s what we were thinking:

  1. Everyone plugs in their USB microphone into their own laptop and test to see if it’s working.
  2. We count down and hit record on each laptop
  3. One of us claps three times so we can later sync the audio clips
  4. Finish recording and save as mp3 and project file
  5. We transfer all the mp3s to one computer and sync them in audacity using the waveform from the claps
  6. Edit the sounds so they sound good and then save as (What’s the best format and quality for podcasts?) and upload

But we have two problems:

First one is not that bad. Since we sat in the same room the microphones picked the audio from the others talking. This is not a big problem since only the loudest will be heard when the clips are synced. But that’s our second problem.

We have two clips that are around 27 minutes long and one that is 31 minutes long. This doesn’t make sense at all since we almost started around the same time and ended around the same time and we sat for there for the same amount of time. But here’s the second problem of the second problem. Immediately after the first clap the 31 minute clip starts getting out of sync. Like I can’t even sync the claps let alone the whole track.

Here’s what I have:
3 mp’s
3 .aup’s
and no idea why this happened

So if someone cares to explain why this happened and how to fix it then I would appreciate that.

I’ll attach screenshots of how the tracks look
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A for concept.
B for execution.

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That is one of Josh Turner’s multi-city extravaganzas. Everybody 's wearing headphones. You can do the sync thing by holding one headphone up to the microphone. It even works with earbuds.

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The timing problem is much more serious.

Recording accuracy is determined by the quality and accuracy of the microphone and recording services. They don’t have to be spot-on. Even if you all record at 44100, 16-bit, it’s 44100 sampling rate according to what? USB microphones use a little timing chip inside to set sampling rate. Analog microphones have to go through the soundcard and that has a similar problem. Who’s going to know if they are a little off? Only if you compare it to something else would you ever know.

Even if your microphone system is working perfectly, it’s not at all unusual for an overloaded computer to skip a beat here and there and just not record tiny fractions of a second. Your hour show comes in at 59: something For Some Reason.

Audacity is supposed to know how to deal with sample rate differences, but the longer one could have been recorded at 48000 video sampling rate rather than 44100 Audio CD rate. You might get this if that performer was also video recording their performance and sent you their split video track. Those tracks might run long when played on a 44100 system. Is the longer track 1.088 times longer?

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Effect > Change Speed.

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For the first few shows, you can get everybody to do an end clap. Even the movie people occasionally do that. Hold the clapboard upside down and yell “End Mark!” [bang] That gives them a sync mark at the beginning and the end.


You got everybody together before the show for a test run, right?

The computer recording and voice performance thing is sometimes so bad it is recommended to stop using the computers to record.

That’s a Zoom stand-alone sound recorder.


Everybody thinks Josh Turner is doing a Skype recording or something like that. No. He said they all produce their own tracks and he syncs them up in North Carolina. Pretty much exactly what you’re doing.

He did a massive thank-you show where he smashed all the cities and performers into one screen. Technically it wasn’t very good, but it was an emotional masterstroke.