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Good, clean audio plays at least as bigger role in your movies as your video, and Premiere Elements includes a number of tools for cleaning up and sweetening your audio, as well as tools for adjusting and adding special effects like echoes or making someone's voice sound like it's coming out of a small speaker or a telephone. Let's take a look at some of the effects here in the Premiere Elements toolkit. Now, if you're in Quick view, you're going to have to go over to Expert view. You can't get to the audio effects in Quick view. In Expert view, if you go to the Effects button on your Action bar and click on it, it opens up your Effects panel. And if you select from the categories Audio Effects, I'm going to extend the panel here just by dragging on the top, and you can see we have about 19 audio effects.
If you have the Mac version of Premiere Elements, not all of these effects are there; however, all of the principal and basic effects are included, even with the Mac version of the program. There are channel tools, either for adjusting or affecting the individual right and left channel of your stereo audio, and I'll show you those in just a moment. There are filter tools, and filter tools can be used to remove specific frequencies of your audio. There are dynamics, and dynamics are used to kind of reduce or control the difference between your quietest and your loudest audio. And then there are special effects, and these special effects could be just for fun or they can be as part of your storytelling.
Let's take a look at how some of these work. Let's try Channel Volume, and when I drag that on to my clip, you see that when I open my Applied Effects, by clicking on the Applied Effects button on the right side of the interface, and then click on Channel Volume, you can see that I can control the volume on the right and left channels individually. Two real valuable channel tools are Fill from Left and Fill from Right. I'm going to show you how those work here on this second clip on the timeline. You can see, it is a monaural clip. The second clip has audio on the left channel but not on the right channel.
This will happen when you're using an external microphone on your camcorder or when you're recording into your computer: sometimes you get a left channel and not a right channel. Let's open up the Audio Meters. I'm going to the Windows menu and open up Audio Meters. Just expand the panel a little bit and you notice when I play this clip, by pressing the Spacebar or by clicking on the Play button on the playback control panel-- (Male speaker:--best of times. It was the worst of times.) --notice that I only have audio in the left channel.
If I go to the Effects panel and select Fill from Left and drag it onto the clip, notice the waveform doesn't change. It still stays a monaural clip, but the effect is going to spread the audio over both channels, and now when I play back the clip-- (Male speaker:--times. It was the age of wisdom. It was the age of foolishness.) --we have audio now on both channels. Exactly what we wanted. There are a number of great special effects in Premiere Elements for your audio. One is technically not a special effect; it's a filter, but it can be used to create a special effect, and that is the Highpass filter.
Highpass will block out the lower frequency of sounds, for instance the bass, and it can make your audio sound like it's coming from a very small speaker, say for instance out of a telephone or maybe out of a small hand-held tape recorder. Let me apply it to my clip and listen to how this clip sounds. (Male speaker: It was the epoch of incredulity. It was the season of light. It was the season of darkness.) So that sounds like it's coming from a very small speaker. When I go over here to the Applied Effects panel and open up the adjustments for the effects, I can set the cutoff, or just how much bass is removed from it.
The higher I turn it, the smaller the speaker sounds. This would be good for getting an effect like some voice coming over a telephone for instance. (audio playing) If I lower it a bit, it'll sound more like it's coming from a small speaker, say in a handheld tape recorder. (Male speaker: It was the season of light. It was the season of darkness.) So that can be a great special effect to use in your movies. Another is of course the Reverb effect.
This will give you an echo chamber sound, and I drag it onto the clip. Now, when I open it in Applied Effects, notice that there are a couple of ways to adjust the effect. When I open up Custom Setup, I have this room and I can make adjustments to lots of levels, like absorption, the size of the room. That, to me, is a little bit complicated. Fortunately, the program includes presets, right here at the top of panel. When I click on those, I can choose whether the sound sounds like it's coming from a small room, for a medium room, a large room, or a large hall.
Let's drag the playback head back a bit, and let's hear how it sounds when the preset is set to small room. (Male speaker: It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.) So that sounds like maybe a banquet hall at a hotel or something. We can go all the way up to a very large hall or a church and it sounds like this. (Male speaker: It was the age of wisdom. It was the age of foolishness.) So that's a really fun effect.
There is one more effect that is pretty much for comical effect, but it's worth getting to know, and that is the PitchShifter. Let's drag that on here. And you can tell that it is used for comical effect if you just go to the Preset menu and look at some of these options here: Female becomes secret agent, Cartoon Mouse, Booo!, Sore throat, Breathless. Let's try one of those. We'll try Cartoon Mouse and see how it affects our clip. (audio playing) Obviously, you wouldn't use that in a serious movie, although the Booo! is kind of spooky and creepy.
(audio playing) Anyway, rich interesting audio is as much a part of a good movie production as rich and interesting visuals, and by applying and tuning the audio effects in Premiere Elements, you have the ability to give your movies good, clean, professional-sounding audio, and some pretty cool effects too.
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