Creating audio for video with Audition
Video: Creating audio for video with AuditionIn my experience, people who are trained as Sound Engineers tend to be almost like scientists. Compared to people who are trained more like Video Editors initially. And I'm, I come from the latter background. I'm a filmmaker, and I came to working with professional audio later. People working video used to seeing how it looks an being satisfied with it, whereas if you're working with sound, you really have to be closer to an Engineer. You have to understand what's going on, what the physics is of sound. But actually, if you want to produce some audio to incorporate into a film, or any kind of video production, there's a very small number of rules you really need to attend to. Audition is a very powerful application, it's a very deep, feature-rich application.
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One of the great strengths of the Adobe Creative Suite Production Premium 6 is the seamless integration between the various applications. Even so, the best-practice approach to sharing media and creative work between applications remains mysterious to many users. In this course filmmaker and author Maxim Jago breaks everything down into simple, clear steps, offering guidance on project and file management and examples that demonstrate the best use of the technology. If you use Adobe Creative Suite CS6 for video post-production, this course can make your work faster, easier, and more efficient.
- Improving speech-to-text analysis with Story
- Organizing projects in Prelude
- Batch renaming with Bridge
- Preparing images for video in Illustrator
- Working with Photoshop files in Premiere Pro
- Round-tripping a soundtrack from Premiere Pro to Audition and back again
- Preparing content for After Effects in Premiere Pro
- Sending work from Premiere Pro to SpeedGrade
- Using Dynamic Link to share sequences between Premiere Pro and Encore
- Using the Media Encoder to output from After Effects
Creating audio for video with Audition
In my experience, people who are trained as Sound Engineers tend to be almost like scientists. Compared to people who are trained more like Video Editors initially. And I'm, I come from the latter background. I'm a filmmaker, and I came to working with professional audio later. People working video used to seeing how it looks an being satisfied with it, whereas if you're working with sound, you really have to be closer to an Engineer. You have to understand what's going on, what the physics is of sound. But actually, if you want to produce some audio to incorporate into a film, or any kind of video production, there's a very small number of rules you really need to attend to. Audition is a very powerful application, it's a very deep, feature-rich application.
But really, all you need to know is if you're going to make a file for video production, let's just go here to File > New > Audio File. If you're making a new file, you'll probably going to want a sample rate of 48 kHz, 48,000 Hz. Now, to cut a very, very long story short, you can accurately sample a frequency equal to half your sample rate. Which means 48,000 Hz will accurately sample in theory up to 24 kHz audio, and human hearing goes up to approximately 20 kHz.
So, 48 kHz audio is well above the range necessary for you to be able to record what can be heard by a human being. Actually, by the time you're about 18, you can't hear beyond about 18 or 19 kHz anyway. It varies a lot, these are just averages. But you'll notice this number 48,000 comes up a lot in professional video. Pretty much every professional video camera on the market records a maximum sample rate of 48,000 Hz. CD audio is 44.1 thousand Hertz. Now, there are all sorts of technical reasons for this. And if you're producing music for CD, you might as well start as you mean to go on and record all of your audio at a CD sample rate. We're talking about video, so we're going for 48,000 Hz. As you can see, Audition will go way, way higher.
Now, this isn't really just because we want to record audio that only bats can hear. The higher the sample rate also, well, it increases the signal to noise ratio. It increases the distance between the system noise or background noise, and the signal which is a good thing because it gives you cleaner sound. It gives you more head room and so on. But just keep things simple. Let's go for 48 kHz. You're going to probably to stereo audio again, you know what you're producing for production Mono Stereo 51.
Doesn't really matter as far as Audition is concerned. Doesn't matter too much in terms of Premiere Pro's requirements. And then we've got bit depth. Now, standard professional audio, well let's take a sort of starting point. CD audio is 44.1 kHz sample rate, so it's about 10% over the maximum frequency that human hearing can hear, and 16-bit. The bit depth for audio is very, very similar to the bit depth for video.
Remember, most standard definition video is 8-bit. It's a scale that goes from 0 to 255, or 1 to 256. So, given that, Premiere Pro can work in 32-bit floating point, with video, with the color measurements for pixels, it's exactly the same principal for audio. You can work 32-bit floating point for your audio. This is how small the steps are, not in terms of the brightness of a pixel, or how much red, green, or blue it has. But instead, to just simply the volume at a given sample. So, in this case 44,100 times a second when recording, Audition will measure the audio amplitude, if you like.
The pressure wave with a scale that's into the, I can never remember with 32-bit if it's billions or trillions or whatever the next one up is. It's a ridiculously large number of steps from silent to fully attenuated full volume. The, the maximum volume that can be recorded by your hardware or by your device. For a long while, people were recording audio at 96 kHz, and 24-bit. This was very, very popular for a long while. Personally, given that audio is so small relative to video, and we're used to such massive file sizes, and large hard drives.
Here, you can see I've got 362 GB free on the drive I'm using right now. I might as well go 32-bit, but I tend to stick with 48 kHz audio for my professional video. Perhaps, it's partly force of habit. But perhaps, also because I know for certain that any professional video editing system will support 48 kHz audio. You might find that some applications won't support higher sample rates. So again, people might argue differently. People might say it's better to go for a nice 6 kHz, I tend to stick with 48.
If I now, make this, let's call this First Audio, if I click OK, I'm now in a position to begin recording and creating a new audio file. Of course, you might not just be doing things like recording voice over or recording audio from an analog source into your computer. You might well also be working on a multi-track. Now, I've just clicked on the Multi-track button here. Because I don't have a multi-track session, Audition's automatically asking me to create one. I'm really just clicking to Switch mode.
And here we can call this what have we got first audio? Let's call this First Multi-track. I need to choose a folder location for this. Now, in fact, the audio clip I've just created, I'll also need to specify a file location for it. But because I haven't saved it yet, there's no need. With a multi-track session in Audition you do need to save before you begin. So I can browse here, and maybe I can go to my (UNKNOWN) drive, and let's go for Project files. And here we go. Let's have 07 Audition.
Let's put it in there and here, notice that I'm already set at 48 kHz, 32-bit float. This is going to master to stereo which is probably fine for my production. And notice I've got these templates, and the templates are just pre-built multi-track sessions that are already named. So, you'll have different tracks with names on them, but also in some cases that already have some effects applied. For example, if you choose radio voice over with music docking, it'll put in a dynamic adjustment to the audio level on your music track every time there's audio level on the voice over.
I suppose I might as well choose Film Sequence Stereo. Although to be honest, I imagine for any multi-track session I'm going to produce. I'm probably going to want to make some pretty finite adjustments to it, but I'll click OK here. And there we go, I have now got a multi-track session with Dialog 1, Dialog 2, Dialog 3. Let's just, I'm just using the mouse wheel here to reduce this. Here we go. We've got some automatic dialog replacement tracks. Those are going into some sends, and so on and so on. All this is really doing is saving you the time of creating the tracks, giving them names.
And I suppose here if I look in the mixer, you can see that our individual tracks are going to dialog, dialog, dialog. There are dialog submix and so on. And you can see here this dialog submix even has a little bit of parametric EQ applied to it, to just round off the base a little bit. Now if I go back to my multi-track mix, I'm just going to double-click in the Files panel here. And I'm going to import a little bit of music that I've got. Here we go. Just so I've got something in the mix.
Pull that down, wow, I suppose we should put it in the music track. And you see I've got this issue that the sample rate of the music doesn't match the sample rate of the session. That's okay. I can have Audition make a new copy, and you see this has now been adjusted to match the sample rate to the session. The old sample rates do have to match or Audition's just not going to let you put the file into your multi-track. Notice the new file doesn't have an asterisk next to it. This has been put into a conformed files folder that's in with your multi-track sessions, the same location as your multi-track session.
And now, let's imagine I've got my wonderful music Soundscape. This hasn't been cut to picture, this is just some music that I'm producing, some kind of mix that I'm producing for my film. I can go to the Multi-track menu and I can choose the dedicated export to Adobe Premiere Pro option. That's going to automatically throw this multi-track session over to Premiere Pro as mixed down stems. But also, I can go to the File menu and I can choose Export. And I can do a multi-track mix down and I can choose the entire session, or if I've made a selection I can choose the time selection.
If I just choose entire session, you can see here I've got very, very similar options to define the kind of file that I'm going to create. And obviously, I won't bother because this is a made up piece so audio. But you can see I can choose the format, and there's lots of options for the format. PCM is fully uncompressed. AIF is as well. Historically, AIF was your Mac format on Mac OS from Apple. And .WAV was your PC, your Windows format, your Microsoft format.
These days, it makes absoluately no significant difference at all. It just, choose whatever one you happen to feel like at the time, I suppose. We've got lots of other formats as well, with more or less levels of compression. If you're producing audio for film or television, any kind of video work, frankly just don't bother with compressed formats. There really is no benefit in doing so. The only benefit is that it's a smaller file if you need to email it to somebody. If it's an emergency, you just have to get it to them as fast as possible, maybe then choose something like, perhaps a high data rate MP3 or something like that.
Here, we can choose the sample type. We can choose any sample rate we like. We can change the bit depth. We can change, even if we're going to mix down to mono stereo or 5.1. You shouldn't really need these options. You should be able to just go with the mastering settings that you chose for your session. But you can see, this is a new thing in Audition CS6. You can now specify individual tracks and have the output from those tracks, or even the output from an individual bus in the mixer and produce that as a separate stem.
A stem is just a continuous piece of audio starting at zero and ending at the end. And it's quite common for professional Audio Engineers or musicians to create stems of the audio simply because it avoids any possibility of losing. Well, of course, anything's possible. But it almost removes any possibility of losing sync if you've got a separate stem for each track. As long as you line them all up one above the other in your non-linear editing system or in your audio editing system, you know that the synchronization is going to be perfect. Of course, most of them are going to have empty space. Instead of waveforms when the track doesn't have any audio on it. But again, it's a continuous clip segment.
Here, of course, I've got a very complex multi-track session. But it's quite possible you'll be working on something much, much simpler. Always go as simple as you can with multi-tracks. But that's just an overview of producing audio for video using Adobe Audition CS6.
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