I am just beginning to put together some YouTube videos on Algebra tutorials (so I'm in front of a whiteboard, recording audio separately onto a portable recorder, and using a pretty low budget video recorder).

I use a PC for editing (Windows 7, Intel Core i5 with 4 GB of RAM).

My question is regarding video editing software. Movie Maker is definitely not cutting it. The main problem is that I can't join a separate audio track with the video clip. So while editing, whatever small pieces I cut out (while I'm mumbling or drift off topic), I have to constantly re-sync the audio with the video - extremely tedious and error prone.

So what editing software do you recommend for a tight budget? I would like to have two features:

  1. Ability to join audio and video (once you have it lined up, no lag between my lips moving and the audio track). Once joined, you can cut at will and not have to re-sync.

  2. Ability to do a corner picture in picture to keep presenter visible while moving to diagrams or illustrations.

I'm sure this question has been asked many times, but since I'm limiting it to two specific features I thought it could stand on its own. I've heard Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 is a good starter-level program, but I haven't been able to tell if it has these two features.

  • As a note, 4GB of RAM is NOT high spec when dealing with video, even SD, but particularly HD. If your needs are very basic, you may get by with 4GB, but there will be some possible slowness as stuff has to cache. 8GB I would consider moderate spec for an HD editing system, 12GB would start on the side of high spec.
    – AJ Henderson
    Commented Aug 6, 2014 at 13:24

2 Answers 2


Possible duplicate of: What Beginner Video Editing Software Should I Use?

Though still valid on its own for requesting a specific feature set. Even though pretty much any video editor will have your requested features.

I often recommend Lightworks (also available for Linux and Mac) as its free and soon to be open sourced. Here a video tutorial on how to do a so called PIP (picture in picture) effect in Lightworks, he make a split-screen buts its essentially the same workflow, you just allign the videos differently.

Photoshop Elements has very limited video editing capabilities. Nice to have if you own it but if all you need is a video editor I recommend go with Lightworks.

A professional software that is affordable if you work on a project to project basis and not all year long is Adobe Premiere, Adobe has a subscription model where you can rent software for 20$ per month or 30-40$ for a whole suite. If you don't plan to work on a semi-professional level at some point I recommend you go with the free Lightworks, it has more than enough features to make professional videos, it's just not at convinient and fast as Premiere.

  • + For lightworks and the PiP keyword. Commented Aug 6, 2014 at 13:24

Another possibility if you don't want to learn a new work flow is to use a muxer/demuxer to split the video off of your camera stream and the audio out of your recorder, figure out the offset and then join them together in a lossless clip.

It is a bit more difficult to do this particular step than it would be in a good editor, but it also has the advantage of being lossless and allowing you to use the tool you are familiar with for the actual editing since your editing needs are relatively basic.

We have coverage of how to use a muxer in several different answers, but I'd recommend starting with this one.

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