Creating a guitar lesson video – Syncing Audio and Video

My first video lesson:

What I used.

1. Logitech c510 webcam

2. Layla 3G audio interface

3. Reaper

4. Windows Movie Maker

5. Adobe Premiere Elements 10

6. Freemake Video Convertor

7. Adobe photoshop CS3

8. iPad + stylus and an app called Noteshelf

9. Dropbox account – saves on usb drive/stick

10. Backing Track

For a while now I’ve been toying with the idea of making simple videos to help my students get further outside of lesson time.

It’s always difficult for people to retain the rhythm and pace of a phrase without having to write it down which further complicates the learning process.

My mission was to create an online lesson that complimented a 1 2 1 lesson and something that maybe others would get something from.

So here’s how I started.

Recording the video and recording the audio was the sticking point for me.

The webcam is not a great audio recorder and also how to record over a backing track and get the levels correct was an issue.

It creates more work and the end result is not good.

So I looked around the internet and found this article: Syncing Audio to Video in REAPER

The video is enough to get you going and is a very valuable tutorial.

The trick you’ll see is getting a marker – hand claps or 4 stokes on the guitar.

This allows you to sync the audio but better still you can mix the audio of your lead playing and get a good blend between backing and solo.

So process:

1. Setup webcam and windows movie maker to capture video. (VIDEO)

2. Setup Reaper with backing track. (AUDIO)

3. Press record on VIDEO

4. Press record on AUDIO

5. Lay marker – Hand Claps or Guitar Strums.

6. Finish recording on both save AUDIO and export VIDEO to somewhere you can find it later.

A bit about recording lead guitar:

I have a Layla 3G audio interface which has guitar input and mic on the front.

I could have mic’d up the amp but decided to go in direct.

Guitar signal path.

Fender Telecaster -> Vox Cooltron Bulldog distortion – > Layla 3G – > Reaper

I then added IK multimedia Amplitube as an FX on the Guitar Solo track but only so I could use the amp settings.

This seemed to work nicely. You can get a free copy from here Amplitube Free


The next bit was to import the saved video into reaper.

Syncing Audio to Video in REAPER

Couple of tips:

1. Create new track and Insert – Media File

Or press ‘Insert’ on your keyboard – make sure you’ve selected the new track for import and that you are at the beginning of the Reaper Project.

To make sure press ‘w’ on your keyboard.

2. Go to ‘Options’ – > Snap/grid -> Enable Snapping(remove) tick or press ALT + S

This will allow to to drag the video in line with the audio.

You can do this visually or by listening – I drop the audio on the video by dragging the volume down to off.

3. Export – I then select from after the sync marker in the time frame to where the video finishes – this way I only end up with what I want.

Less editing and a smaller file to play with.

4. Render – File – > Render

  • Under ‘Render Bounds’ – Time selection
  • Output – > Directory(choose) – > File name(choose)
  • Output format – Video (FFmpeg encoder)
  • Size – match the video that you already have.
  • Bitrate 6000kbps
  • Render 1 file.

This may take a bit of experimenting to get what you want but take your time and always make notes of what works.


Now here was the sticking point – the new version of windows movie maker doesn’t allow overlaying images – > I seem to remember the old version allowed this but I may be wrong.

So I decided to buy Adobe Premiere Elements 10 – $99 – it’s worth it – I couldn’t find anything else as good.

Problem though – The avi output from Reaper is not compatible with Adobe Premiere so I needed to convert the avi file I’d created.

Enter ‘Freemake Video Convertor‘ free and simple to use convert file and now you can import it into Adobe Premiere.

I’m not going to go into createing menus, titles or effects using Adobe Premiere, you can do that yourselves it’s pretty easy.

What I’m going to look at is overlaying an image – in my video this was TABULATURE of a guitar phrase I’d created.

I wanted to have this on screen while the student played along.

You’ll need to first import your images as you should have already done with your video.

Below is a galley of events

Adjusting the image position is just a case of grabbing a dragging/resizing etc.

The same goes for length of time image is on screen – to adjust this you have to grab the video(image) and drag to make clip longer or shorter.

And that’s about it.

Once you’re happy you can export to disk or direct to youtube!

Note: My video has a slowed down section which works really well – if you highlight your video and right click you can use time stretch to slow or speed up. Make sure you tick the box to preserve pitch – my video was dropped down to 75% of it’s normal speed.


Creating the TABULATURE.

You can do this in a variety of ways, I chose to use my iPad – the reason being it’s quicker with a stylus and an app called Noteshelf.

The beauty of Noteshelf is that you can export to Dropbox and then import straight into Premiere or Photoshop to edit further which is what I did.

Dropbox is a great way of sharing files between PCs and iPads.

You could of course use a program like Guitar Pro or Notion Progression – on iPad they have the same export function.

Or you could draw by hand and scan them into photoshop or similar program.

This is just the quickest way for me…


Now there my be flaws with this tutorial or the way I do things – I’m all for improvement and creating a quicker workflow but this was my first video that involved syncing audio and video.

Anyway I hope this helps someone.





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