Skip navigation

iMovie '11 audio sync issues since 9.01 patch

25009 Views 76 Replies Latest reply: Feb 27, 2013 12:57 PM by drewbsn RSS
  • Steve Mullen Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 20, 2011 1:30 AM (in response to Tom Wolsky)
    Anyone who had a Canon DV camcorder knows this problem. Audio and video are clocked using two clocks that are running at APPROXIMATELY the same correct rate. Over time A and V drift further and further out of sync. If you import the clip and use clips far down a long tape, they will not be in sync. Some NLEs eventually included a software fix that worked during import. So if you shot video with a Canon, you have a far more serious problem. (My bet, lots of folks with problems shot with Canon DV camcorders. That;s why I never bought one as it was a well know bug.) In theory you can detach audio and resync.

    Anyone who is old enough to remember Premiere 4.2 knows this problem well. Here it makes no difference if the audio on tape is perfect. Long clips inherently go out of sync as they are exported. It wasn't until 4.6 that this was fixed.

    The cause of all this is DV uses UNLOCKED audio. Nothing forces the sync between A and V.

    Bottom-line, I suspect that this problem caused by DV's unlocked audio, Canon DV camcorders, iM09, iM11, and 9.0.1. If it's just the latter, Apple may find what they broke. But, they will never go back and fix any code related to DV.

    If you shot a Canon camcorder, removing 9.0.1 will may help, but you have an inherent problem unless you re-apture in 10-min segments. For others, going back to 9.0.0 should help. But, you'll lose all the other fixes that were in 9.0.1. And, you may never be able to apply the fixes in 9.0.2, etc.

    We know average viewer interst fails after about 7 minutes, so why on earth are people making 2 hour movies. Real movies are only slightly longer than 90 minutes.
    Cheers, author; The Ins and Outs of iMovie 09: Maximum Quality HD and DV
  • AlexTs Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 20, 2011 3:49 AM (in response to Steve Mullen)
    My footage wasn't captured using a camcorder at all (Canon or otherwise). Also, my end "movie" ended up being 45 mins. But my source footage (imported VHS) was much longer than 2hrs. To preempt any "Well then whoever was doing the VHS shot for way to long..." business, the actual clips were already pretty short. Only the tapes were imported as single files.

    I agree that unlocked audio could be a big part of the problem: The misalignment is squirrelly as I'll-get-out. Some spots are 10 seconds off (and not at the end of the clip), and other places are only 20ms off (that section had a little kid banging something; thank god for transients). I'm starting to understand why the B&H catalog has $1000 units that do nothing but clocking/sync.
    13" MBP 2.24GHz 4GB 500GB / 17" MBP 2.4 GHz 4GB 160GB, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • breeaz Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 20, 2011 3:52 AM (in response to Paul Bullen)
    Thanks Paul, I will check the Audio sync after importing analogue video footage via the Sony DV camcorder. But first I have to finalize my actual projects.
    iMac 10,1, Mac OS X (10.6.6), 2010
  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (104,605 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 20, 2011 4:22 AM (in response to AlexTs)
    If I'm reading this correctly, you're saying that the sync is moving around, starts out OK, drifts out, drifts back, gets close, goes back out. Is that right? That would be really strange. I've never heard of that happening.
    15" 2.4G MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • inkyblast Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 20, 2011 2:30 PM (in response to MacUser184)
    My EXACT problems, if I wasn't clear:

    1. On import, long (>3 min.) clips get the out-of-sync problem. At the beginning of a clip, audio is fine, then progressively gets more out of sync as the clip goes on. The next clip from the same camera (ie, recording stopped, then started again) starts as in sync, then does the same thing. In other words, the problem hurts each clip individually based on that clip's length.

    2. When a completed project is exported, it exhibits the exact same problem: audio starts in sync, and gradually worsens, til a 6-8 minute project is effectively ruined by the end. If I go into the project and detach the audio from EVERY SINGLE clip (missing just one clip ushers in a whole new set of problems), it somewhat mitigates the problem. However, doing so will cut off audio at transitions, rather than blending it as it would normally. This means I have to go through to each chunk of audio and lengthen it ever so slightly over the transition, otherwise people's voices just cut off mid-word at the end of clips. Needless to say, this process takes a very, very long time.

    Calls to tech support produce zero results. I was hung up on more than once when I brought up this problem.
    Macbook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.6), using external hard drive through USB
  • imoviebill Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 20, 2011 2:37 PM (in response to inkyblast)
    Hey there,

    9.0.2 was just released and it fixes my sync problems, give it a try.
  • inkyblast Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 20, 2011 3:10 PM (in response to imoviebill)
    Wow, two months later, they fix it.

    The only issue with this: If, in certain projects, you mitigated the original import problem by detaching audio and dragging it sideways to sync it up, those projects are now out of sync and will have to have their audio dragged back into normal position.
    Macbook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • imoviebill Level 1 Level 1 (120 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 20, 2011 3:12 PM (in response to inkyblast)
    Hey Inky,

    You can get back to normal easily. Just delete all of the detached audio files. Then select all of the video clips and raise their volume in the inspector.
  • AlexTs Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 20, 2011 3:15 PM (in response to inkyblast)
    This is what I get for not waiting one more day... I'll probably go "back" to '11; I love the "new" timeline. @Tom, yes the sync problems did fluctuate; I initially thought it was an audio buffer problem because the more I jumped around in the clip, the worse the sync problems seemed to be.
    13" MBP 2.24GHz 4GB 500GB / 17" MBP 2.4 GHz 4GB 160GB, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • cjphoto1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 22, 2011 9:50 PM (in response to iNewbie4Now)
    Can someone tell me how to align an audio file recorded on garageband while filming using camera with no ext mic. I have the external audio and the clip together in the project window, I used a clapper so syncing is no issue, but the clips are off by a few seconds. It seems like I should be able to click on the audio (or video) and drag them until they line up.
    mbp, Mac OS X (10.6.4), go pro camera
  • cjphoto1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 23, 2011 10:38 AM (in response to cjphoto1)
    DUH, I just figured it out--you can drag the audio to precise position by clicking the area of the track that is ABOVE the video track.
    mbp, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • aeneas07 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 14, 2011 6:32 PM (in response to inglett)
    Did the 9.0.2 update fix this issue for everyone? I have the update and just imported about 6 hours of old vhs footage and am still having the same audio sync issues as others were having on 9.0.1.

    Anyone else out there still having problems?
    macbook pro, Mac OS X (10.6.7)
  • citizenkong Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 19, 2011 5:20 PM (in response to aeneas07)

    Yes and it's ******* me off.

  • Urban Shocker Level 2 Level 2 (455 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 4, 2011 11:58 AM (in response to aeneas07)

    Yes, I am having this issue too, running iMovie 9.0.4. A 55-minute movie imported from an old Sony DCR-TRV27 starts out fine but is way out of sync by the end of the clip.

  • timothymckean Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 24, 2012 12:11 AM (in response to Urban Shocker)

    Hi All,


    I've been dealing with this sync problem tonight as well and here's what I found that worked. 


    I noticed that the audio sync was fine when I viewed in Quicktime 7, but not in iMovie.  I also noticed there was a small indicator on the clips in iMovie notating that the source clips were in 17 fps, not 30 fps.   This is odd because I recorded the clips using the FaceTime HD camera right into iMovie and it never gave me the option for framerate on the recording.  Viewing the source video in Finder I also realized that the codec for the source was Photo Jpeg... yuck.  Who's choice was that. 



    Using MPEG Streamclip (free video converter) I converted the source video clip to a Quicktime .mov at 30 fps and using the Apple Intermediate Codec and all the audio sync issues were fixed.  Didn't have to optimize, detach, or - most importantly - re-edit anything.    Apple's editing systems love Apple Intermediate Codec (AIC), I don't know why they don't import in this codec by default.


    ** Download MPEG Streamclip from


More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)


  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.