Insert an audio clip to a video/audio file with FFMPEG

The goal

For a hobby project of mine, I wanted to be able to merge an audio clip into the existing audio track of a video file.

The command

After struggling for an hour or two, I finally came up with the correct incantation of the command ffmpeg to overlay an audio clip to a video file:

ffmpeg \  
  -i movie.mkv \
  -i new-audio-clip.mp3 \
  -filter_complex "[1:0] adelay=2728000|2728000 [delayed];[0:1][delayed] amix=inputs=2" \
  -map 0:0 \
  -c:a aac -strict -2 \
  -c:v copy \

The explanation

Line by line:

  • -i movie.mkv: set the video/audio file as an input
  • -i new-audio-clip.mp3: set the audio clip as an input
  • -filter_complex "...": specify the two following filters:
    • "[1:0] adelay=2728000|2728000 [delayed]: the adelay filter, specifically:
      • [1:0]: using the second input file's first stream
      • adelay=2728000|2728000: add a delay of 2,728,000 milliseconds to both channels of the audio (the left and right channels, because the audio is stereo)
      • [delayed]: assign the name "delayed" to the new stream
    • [0:1][delayed] amix=inputs=2: the amix filter, specifically:
      • [0:1][delayed]: using the first input's second stream and the "delayed" stream
      • amix=inputs=2: mix the two audio streams (NOTE: I'm not 100% on the meaning of inputs=2 here)
  • -map 0:0: add the first input's first stream to the output (which is the video)
  • -c:a aac -strict -2: use AAC for audio encoding
  • -c:v copy: don't re-encode the video (in other words, copy the original encoding)
  • output.mp4: specify the output file

JS version

And for any of you interested in doing this in JavaScript, here's the same command translated to node-fluent-ffmpeg:

    '[1:0] adelay=2728000|2728000 [delayed]',
    '[0:1][delayed] amix=inputs=2',
  .outputOption('-map 0:0')


After writing all of this, I now realize that I actually need to silence the video's audio track for the duration of the new audio clip. Not merge them.

Back to work.

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