Problem-Solving in Adobe Premiere: Audio Glitches and Sync

(I’ve just made the leap to Adobe Premiere from Final Cut, because I HATE the new FCPX and no, I’m NOT afraid of a new paradigm.  Adobe’s keyboard shortcuts alone are reason enough to be glad I switched.  I mean – tilde (~) expands the panel you’re hovering over to fill the whole screen?!  And then tilde again puts everything right back!  Sign me up.)

SO I had this problem which I solved in Premiere Pro CS 5.5 and i thought I’d mention it here.

I imported a few camera cards full of AVCAM / AVCHD footage from my HMC-150 and edited for a few days.

Then I clicked on one imported clip and found that the audio was wrong.  Glitches, skips, out of sync, weird things happening – all nice sounding, but not in the right places.

I checked the original MTS files on my HD using VLC player.  Sound was fine, everything was in sync.

I tried dragging the files into the Premiere project window, to see if it was a media import problem.  Same thing happened when I did that – the identical glitches, which were the same every time I played the file.

So I started guessing that Premiere had imported it wrong, and had recorded some wrong metadata.  That turned out to be the case.

I went to the “PRIVATE” folder where I’d copied my SD card to HDD.  Premiere distressingly fills this folder up with metadata files associated with each clip, which violates the law of “DO NOT MESS WITH YOUR SD CARD DIRECTORIES.”  But it seems to cause no harm because it only ADDS files, it doesn’t alter or delete any.

For each imported clip in .mts format, Premiere adds a file with the same name with .xmp as the extension in the same folder.  Feeling bold, I quit Premiere then deleted all these the .xmp files for that card – though i didn’t empty my trash yet.  I re-opened Premiere and double-clicked that file.  It was dead silent, as clips often are when first imported to Premiere.  It does some meta-data-ing… and then the sound was all back in proper order, problem solved.

The XMP files had been re-produced in that folder, although this time, apparently, without glitches.

-Flick

40 Comments

  1. No, not the .mts files! That’s your video.

    Only the ones that get created by adobe. Sort by date modified if that helps you figure it out. Only the .xmp files should be deleted. But just check everything is okay before emptying the trash… or better yet, store the files ina folder temporarily until you’re sure things work without them.

  2. This post was a live saver! I have a very time sensitive project that is usually just routine, but when I was importing my videos form the SD card in my Sony Handycam, I was getting audio from not only the completely wrong tracks, but from videos that I had already deleted over a month ago from the SD card using the camera’s delete event options.

    But it was exactly how you described. I closed Premiere, trashed the XMP files and when re-importing it was fine. Thanks a ton!

  3. Thank you so much for sharing this! I had a project that was doing this and I deleted the .xmp files, reopened the project, the system did its meta-data-ing and voila, the project is perfect now! Can’t thank you enough!

  4. Hi, I can’t seem to find the PRIVATE folder that you mentioned, can you explain to me where it actually is? Thank you!

    • Hey there Julian,

      On your SD card, the PRIVATE folder should be at the top level, i.e. first thing you see when you open it up in the finder / explorer. You should be creating a directory on your hard drive for each camera card, maybe named according show, date and time… you should drag the whole PRIVATE folder into that folder as a first step before you do any editing. Then you can re-use the card… AS LONG AS YOU ARE SURE IT HAS BEEN COPIED PROPERLY!!

      I usually copy the PRIVATE folder somewhere else safe as well, and if it’s a major shoot I burn an exact copy of the SD card onto a BluRay disk for permanent backup. This gets handed to the client at show’s end, so I’m not responsible for it.

  5. One Day I went back into my project in Premiere and Found out one of my scenes audio is out of sync from my video after I had just edited last time. Now the audio says Audio Extracted how do I fix it and send it back to how it was the last time I edited it?

  6. Hi, what if you receive the video files that need editing in a hard drive/thumb drive and they still have the sync issue in Pr? there is no PRIVATE folder.

    Thanks.

    • However you received them, Adobe will have created .xmp files when they import. That is adobe-generated metadata that can be recreated if you delete it. And doing that is a first step to solving any problems with the footage.

      I’ve since realized that with long AVCHD clips, ones that span two .mts files, there is a separate sync issue which requires ClipWrap to solve. Closing in on being a deal-breaker in Premiere for me… just a silly omission that has lasted through several updates.

      • “I’ve since realized that with long AVCHD clips, ones that span two .mts files, there is a separate sync issue which requires ClipWrap to solve.”
        Hi Flick, Can you expand on this? For some reason, I don’t see any .xmp files in the folders where my footage or projects are, but I am working with a lot of AVCHD .mts files. Any help appreciated. Thanks!

        • AVCHD clips that span multi files go out of sync. Re-wrapping them into .mov containers is the only solution.

          I haven’t done it in several months and stopped looking for a fix when I found a workaround; by now they may have fixed it, but I never got it working.

          Under Premiere Preferences -> Media there’s an option for “write .xmp files on import.”

          I’ve never unchecked it but maybe you have. You could also do a spotlight search for .xmp files and see if they turn up somewhere else…

  7. Where do you suspect Pr would save those files it creates? in the same project folder or somewhere on the C drive/program files….

    Thanks for your prompt response.

    • It would save them wherever you put those files. You aren’t working off the usb stick are you? You must have copied them somewhere.

      In PP Preferences -> Media there’s two options for “write xmp files on import” and “enable xmp and clip metadata linking.” If those are checked it should be writing .xmp files into the same folder where you media is.

      In the project window in PP, right-click (you HAVE set up right-click on your mac, eh?) or ctrl-click and choose “reveal in finder” to see where your files are.

  8. I am working from a folder on desktop. I found xmp files in the preview folder, I deleted them. However, I don’t have sync issues with those video files, they came from an HD camera (1920×1080). the issue is mostly with the vids that came from a flip camera (1280×720), and for those files PP does not seem to create xmp files. on the preferences, both boxes are checked. image/sound quality is good, especialy when played with anything different from PP but out of sync! strange.

    thanks.

    • I would say flip might use a variable frame rate which is bad for sync. iPhone does it sometimes too. Try converting it with media encoder to some stable format – on Mac it would be AIC or ProRes. ClipWrap would work too.

  9. Yes, it could be the frame rate. I’ll see if I can convert them to a constant rate before bringing them into PP.

    Thank you for your help, much appreciated.

  10. May not be the exact use case here but…I ripped several DVDs using MakeMKV then encoded them to an MP4 with Hand Break. Had syncing issues so I took a look at some of the check boxes and what not. Within Hand Break there is an option for Constant Framerate – which I did not have checked – this solved the problem for me.

  11. Thank you Jeremy!! i got some footage someone shot with their phone that had this variable bit rate problem. Running it through Handbrake and checking the “constant bit rate” box fixed it for me as well. it came out upside-down for some reason, but this is a minor issue, easily fixed now that the audio is in sync.

  12. I never edit with MTS files outright. I always decompress the streams first. I’ve had audio sync issues as well, but mostly when my sequence doesn’t match my input for khz. If the initial XMP is the issue, great. That means that the MTS file is being processed as MTS1 first, and the XMP tries to conform to that. If you have the MTS2 or M2S or M2TS file (essentially the second revision of MTS), dumping an MTS1 XMP file will allow premiere to scan the file settings from the file header instead of just using the extension.

    • I have another solution that has worked so far for me.
      All import methods in Adobe Premier Pro (I deduce) are not the same. What works is importing from the (apparently smarter) media browser.
      Open the filp/folder with mts or other nested files in the Adobe Premier Media Browser. Then right click on the file you want and click import. Import one file at a time.

  13. Hi…. this post is pretty old, but my issue is damn up to date….

    I cannot find where are located those xml files….

    My original video files are in a specific folder from my computer and I don’t see anything else created.

    Could you help?

    This is a really important project and I never had issues like that until last week actually.

    Cannot solve the sound out of sync

  14. SOLUTION

    The AVCHD file is effectively made by putting the data of the MTS files inside a number of envelopes to create the illusion of one big video file. You need to crack them open.

    In Macs using the Finder window find the AVCHD double click to crack into clips “#Clip1” etc Now double click on the clips to break it into the MTS video files and the XML files; Ignore the XML files.

    Drag the MTS files into your project window – bottom left corner, project tab – and drop them there. Then put them in a Bin or what ever, finally right-click on the MTS files and import to the project.

    Now everything should be in sync!

    G

  15. My audio starts fine but then restarts again somewhere in the middle of the imported clip. I am dragging my clips rather than using the media browser. It hasn’t always done this though.
    My files are saved in a folder on my desktop and no other files are created there. The only additional things that get created are project auto-saves and “Adobe Premiere Pro Preview Files” with the preview files only being created if you choose to render. So I do not have these XMP files. I am using Adobe Premiere CS6. This is so annoying and slows my work speed down. I have on occassion managed to get it to work again by either closing CS6 down and reopening or clicking on different clips and then going back to it but there does not seem to be a definitive way to resolve this problem.

    • Also see if Premiere has generated some .wav files for the clips – these can be glitchy too. Delete them (don’t empty the trash until you’re sure it’s working) and see if that solves it…

      • Dear Expert, 


        Adobe Premiere Pro is failing to read my audio files properly…


        I’ve “synced” my sequence using the Plural Eyes 4 Extension Plugin within Premiere, and after that failing, I simply did all the syncing manually. 


        Everything was all rainbows and roses until…


        Premiere decided to CRASH!


        I know you know the feeling

        To make it worst it was when I was almost done with my 45-minute sequence…


        When I re-opened my premiere project file all the audio and video was out of sync…


        Yes, I made project file and sequence backups and they are all out of sync. 


        Everything in my sequence after 7 minutes and 49 seconds is out of sync…


        I believe the problem is…


        Apparently, my sequences are still reading the .xml file that was originated from the Plural Eyes sync failure. 


        All my sequences are experiencing the same failure because they were duplicates so they are all referring to the same .xml file.


        Solutions I’ve tried…


        1. Adobe Premiere Pro is updated to latest version

        2. Plural Eyes 4 is updated to latest version

        3. Recovered old project files and sequences 

        4. Deleted all Plural Eyes/Red Giant folders and files 

        5. Cleared Adobe Premiere Pro Media Cache

        6. Reset Adobe Premiere Pro default settings 

        7. Restarted Computer

        8. Imported Premiere project from Adobe After Affects and exported sequence

        9. Opened Premiere project in Adobe After Effects and exported it as Premiere Project 

        10. Called support only to get referred to Plural Eyes support 

        11. Got frustrated

        11. Cried

        12. Slept 6 hours


        Missed the deadline…

        Pissed off the boss…


        Can someone help me, please?


        The Plural Eyes 4 extension still appears in Premiere Pro


        But, the plugin is not recognized in Adobe Extension Manager…


        What is the solution?


        Please help

        P.S. I’m running macOs Sierra Version 10.12.1

        • Maybe try creating a new PP project and import the sequence you need into there?

          I don’t know how Plural Eyes organizes things. If you know the time you did the pluralize sync, you could search for anything on your HDD that was created around that time and see if it provides clues?

          But maybe get rid of all the xml files you can find on your hard drive that relate? Don’t empty the trash before testing… if something breaks, put anything back where you found it before trying something new. Keep organized and maybe take notes of your attempts and actions…

          • Thanks for the quick response Flick!

            I’ve tried the possible solutions you suggested with no success.

            Plural Eyes generates a new folder containing the new tracks off the synced sequence inside the original files location. In my case it was there were .wav files.

            I’ve tried deleting every single file related to Plural Eyes, like you’ve suggested, with no success.

            I am however keeping all the files like you recommended, just in case.

            Thanks again for the help!

  16. Hi – I realize this is a fairly old post, but this issue is still happening. I JUST updated to Premiere CC 2018, and opened my documentary project (been working on it for 3 years or so). Premiere CC18 did a ton of disk writing, which I assume meant it was re-working preview / render files. Anyway, now many of my AVCHD files are mismatched. Meaning, they are jumping around, totally unlinked (one file is playing a different file’s audio). A total mess. Just like the situation described in your original post. I tried to follow the instructions for the original post, but there are no visible metadata files in the “private” folder. No additional files at all that I can see and no trace of any .xmp files. Any thoughts? I think the problem is that I have many cards’ worth of AVCHD files, and although they are in different folders at the finder level, the file names are all still MTS0001, MTS0002, etc. and this new Premiere seems to have gotten them all confused since they are the same file names. The previous CC17 file never had this problem. Any help is greatly appreciated!

    • Are you on Mac?

      What might be happening is that PP is putting those xmp files elsewhere. Maybe search your hardrive (including system files) for them. Don’t have PP in front of me at the moment, but look through the preferences for where data / metadata / render files etc are stored, and see if you can track down a folder with a bunch of xmp data.

      Also PP creates aiff files of your audio sometimes, so a careful test of whether those are the source of the problem might be in order.

  17. I believe I fixed my problem. I got rid of all the peak files. First I quit Premiere and did not save the project. Went to users/[user name]/library/application support/adobe/common/peak files. I got rid of everything in that folder (Premiere said it will simply re-create them if they disappear). Then I opened the project again, and Premiere generated new peak files that were correct this time. Problem solved. Apparently the new version of Premiere inherited the older version’s peak files and got them confused. Forcing it to create its own solved my problem. Good luck!

  18. Hi,
    this post is old, but I try my luck:
    I’m working with PremierePro 2018 using an external hdd for the material.
    Synchronized all .AVI files with PluralEyes. Imported them in Premiere. Premiere did some conforming. Everything went well. Opened the project the next day and realized that many of the .AVI files are mismatched – one file is playing a different file’s audio. Just like the situation you described.
    Unfortunately I couldn’t find any visible metadata files on the external hdd or on my mac.
    No trace of any .xmp files, no additional files. Don’t know what to do. Any ideas?
    Would appreciate your help greatly!

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