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In Premiere Elements 9 Essential Training, author Jeff Sengstack breaks down the editing workflow into bite–sized pieces, covering topics from setting up a project to exporting the final video to any format. The course also covers the basics of editing and advanced features like picture-in-picture overlays and audio and visual effects. Exercise files accompany the course.
I want to talk to you about adding music to your project. Creating music from scratch can be daunting. Few of us have the time, talent, or money to create music from scratch. Using commercially available music, might violate a copyright law or two, purchasing so-called royalty free music can be a hassle and expensive. Well, all is not lost. There is a feature in the Windows version of Premiere Elements that allows you to create customized music, more or less from scratch, that matches the length of your piece and the emotional content. That feature is called SmartSound.
Let me show you how it works. I created this little video for this demonstration, it's about a minute long and it involves going grocery shopping at our local grocery store. Let me just check the exact length of it, here inside the timeline I press the End key on my keyboard and it will take me to the end of the project and you can look over here and it says it's one minute, six seconds and seven frames. So what I need to do, my challenge here is to find music that matches that length and matches the emotional content of our little video.
Not sure exactly how we can match emotional content of grocery shopping, but we are going to do our best here and we're going to have SmartSound help us out. So to find SmartSound there is a little audio icon here, and a drop-down menu, and in that drop-down menu is SmartSound. Now if you've got the Mac version you won't see this, as I mentioned before, but we'll play with it here on the Windows version. Click SmartSound. That opens up this little dialog box, and your first order of business is to select the music that you want to use. Now there are 26 different music tracks that come for free with Premiere Elements, from this company SmartSound, and if I click on all, you're going to see a bunch of additional stuff that you can buy.
So that's kind of the gimmick here. You get 26 for free but if you listen to these guys, you might go - whoa, that's much better, and then you go over here and you go, oops. I got to purchase that one. Well, that's okay. That's not a bad thing necessarily, but let's stick to the ones that are free. And here are the 26. Now you could listen to all 26, so you can kind of narrow it down with these Styles over here. I'm going to narrow it down to let's say, oh, New Age/Easy, I am hoping that New Age/Easy will have something to do with shopping, and I am going to try Innocence here. Let's see how that sounds. I can select that and once I select that I get this preview view.
I will click over here and see what it sounds like - (Music playing) Well, okay, that's shopping, isn't it? Right? Let's just all agree that that's shopping music and I'll click Select. Once you click Select then you're back here and you get more options. First of all you have the Length. I'm going to change the Length so that it's a minute six or a minute seven, I'll try that with one minute so I'll go 01, automatically jumps to the next spot, go 06, and there we are, a minute six. Then what are called Variations. You can do a Loop where it plays a clip that you can play one after the other, after the other, but I'd much rather have it have a beginning and an end, so I am going to turn of Loop.
So we've got a minute six and twelve frames. It's going to make something here pretty darn close to the length of our piece, right there. You don't really get it nailed to the frame necessarily but we're going to end up with something very close to the length of our piece here. That's called Easy. If I play Easy you get a sense of what that sounds like. (Music playing) If I drag to the end you get a sense of what it sounds like at the end - (Music playing) Oops! I was so close to the end, all I hear is the last - (Music playing) What's cool about this is that it has a beginning and a middle and an end, it doesn't sort of end abruptly.
It actually ends appropriately. But there is more than just the Easy option. There are multiple options here. The way that SmartSound works is that that there are a bunch of little mini clips that are kind of rearranged and adjusted to suit these various different names here, these customized names. So I am going to pick a different one besides Crystallize. I'm going to go to Tenderness, hopefully that will start a little quieter, let's see - (Music playing) A little less emphatic. Let's see how it ends here, I'll go to 59 seconds and see - (Music playing) All right, well I'm happy with that.
So that's one minute and 6 seconds so that should fit our project virtually perfectly. So I am going to click OK, and what happens is, that says Okay, you want to name this file. Okay, that's fine. You want to put it some place? I am going to put it some place so it doesn't get mixed up with your Exercise Files. I am going to stick it over in a little temporary holding place that I've got for it. You can put it anywhere you want. And here is the whole name that's given, but you can change the name to whatever you want. So I am just going to go Shopping, call it Shopping music, Shopping music and it's a WAV file, Windows Audio Video, but in this case just audio, click Save.
And that creates that file on your hard drive. If you go over to the Project view, Organize > Project view, lo and behold, there it is. And now you can add it to your Project. So I am going to scroll down a little bit here so you can see the soundtrack line. It's added it to the project, right where the current time indicator was located. I am going to drag this guy to the left. Because I really want it be at the beginning, so I'll go over there. And now we've got music with our shopping, let's see how that works. (Music playing) Pretty well, huh? And you can adjust the volume of that clip if you want to, you can always click on this.
Go to Edit > Effects > Edit Effects and here is the Volume level for that clip. If you want it to be a little bit quieter you can knock it down, you can use keyframes to make the audio start quiet and come up, come down, whatever you want, but this is basically how it works. Let's see how it finishes off at the end here where Richard checks out. (Music Playing) All right, so that's how you use SmartSound to create a soundtrack for your video.
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