Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Mixing several tracks of audio using keyframes

From: Up and Running with Premiere Elements 11

Video: Mixing several tracks of audio using keyframes

Keyframing is a very powerful feature in Premiere Elements. It can be used to create a number of special-effects in animations, but it can also be used to mix your audio levels and to control your volume at specific points in your movie. Now, we have a movie here in which we have a video clip on Audio 1 and Video 1. We have narration on the narration track, and we have music on the soundtrack. The music sounds great, but when the narration comes in, the narration and music are just as loud. Now, the music is at 100% and the narration is at 100%, and when the narration comes in, they're both equally loud and they kind of compete with each other.

Mixing several tracks of audio using keyframes

Keyframing is a very powerful feature in Premiere Elements. It can be used to create a number of special-effects in animations, but it can also be used to mix your audio levels and to control your volume at specific points in your movie. Now, we have a movie here in which we have a video clip on Audio 1 and Video 1. We have narration on the narration track, and we have music on the soundtrack. The music sounds great, but when the narration comes in, the narration and music are just as loud. Now, the music is at 100% and the narration is at 100%, and when the narration comes in, they're both equally loud and they kind of compete with each other.

I'll just play the timeline by clicking on the spacebar here and you can hear it. (video playing) Okay, what we want to do is when the narration comes in, we want to fade back the music, make the music softer. And then when the narration is over, music comes back up again. There are actually three ways to do that in the program. One is a manual way, which is actually the way I prefer to do it. There's also semi-automatic way and a fully automatic way. Let's take a look at how to do each.

Now, when you have your clips on your timeline in Expert mode--and I do prefer to work in Expert mode when I'm mixing my audio-- we have a yellow line that runs through all the audio clips. This represents the audio level, and by raising and lowering that line, you can make your clip louder or softer. When you're mixing audio, I highly recommend that you open up some audio meters and have those onscreen as you work. Don't trust what you're hearing out your computer speakers, because they may be too loud or too soft; always work with your meters.

You can open up the basic overall meters by going under the Window menu and selecting Audio Meters and they'll show you the overall output of your audio for your video. But I prefer, under the Tools menu, selecting the Audio Mixer. Now the Audio Mixer has a number of purposes in the program, but what I like is that I can see the levels of each audio track individually. I'm going to position this off to the side. We're more concerned here with Audio 1 narration and the soundtrack. And when I play my movie by pressing on the spacebar-- (video playing) --you can see that the audio levels are registered in there.

Now, our audio on our video clip, we can just silence that completely. We don't need that right now. And so I'm just going to drag that yellow line all the way to the bottom. But when it comes to our music, we want to be able to control at a precise point. I'll show you how to do to that. Move the CTI to just before the narration comes in and when we have the CTI positioned over a clip and we have the clip--in this case the music clip-- selected on our timeline, this little button here becomes activated. That's the Add Keyframe button.

When I click on it, it creates a little diamond on our timeline. If I move the CTI a little bit to the right, I can create another one; move it to the other side of the narration, create another one; and move it a little bit further to the right and create another one. We've just built a bridge here between these keyframe points, and I can lower the volume of the music simply by dragging this center part between the two center keyframes down.

And you can see you can drag it all the way down to 0. I recommend putting it at about 8. Now when we play our timeline, the music is going to fade back when the narration comes in. Move the CTI playhead back and press the spacebar. (video playing) Now, that's a much better mix. The music fades back naturally when the narration comes in, but that's not the only way to do this.

Here's another way to do it. I'm just going to click Ctrl+Z and Command+Z to undo it. A couple of steps we'll get rid of those keyframes completely. Here's another way to do it. At the top of the Audio Mixer there's something called the Smart Mixer. And when I open that up--this Smart Mixer by the way can also be launched from the Tools button on the Action bar, selecting Smart Mix. There it is. When it's opened up, we can set how these audio levels perform automatically.

Now Audio 1 is the audio with the video. We want to disable that completely. We don't want to hear that at all. Our narration we'd like to make in the foreground, and our soundtrack in the background. Now, watch what the program does, completely automatically, when I click Apply. That's it! Look at our timeline. It has automatically set keyframes, lowering the volume on our music whenever there narration comes in. Let' play it quickly. Move the playhead back and press the spacebar.

(video playing) That's very nice! Fully automatic. Now there is another semi- automatic tool you can use. I'm just going to just Ctrl+Z or Command+Z to remove those keyframes again. Let's try one more tool, move the CTI playhead to before the narration. We'll go back to the audio meters, and I can open those either from the Tools dropdown menu at the top of the screen or by clicking on the Tools button in the Expert workspace.

It's not available in the Quick view workspace, by the way. And scrolling up to the top and selecting Audio Mixer, there they are. Now, the audio mixers have these little sliders on them, and I can move those while the video is playing and on-the-fly make adjustments to the levels. So I'm going to ride the gain for soundtrack as the video was playing. So we'll move the playhead back just a little more, get a running start, and I'm going to press the spacebar and as the video is playing, once the narration comes in, I'm going to lower the volume on soundtrack.

(video playing) And you see what it does. The program automatically creates keyframes here on the timeline as I raised and lowered that slider. My challenge with this is look how many keyframes it created, probably about 20 of them. And I didn't make a lot of adjustments on that. I just move the slider down at the beginning and moved it back up after the narration was over.

If I want to make adjustments to this and fine-tune this, I'm messing with a whole bunch of keyframes. It's not my favorite way to work, but it's another way to work. I actually like the Smart Mixer a lot more, and there is a manual way to do it too. In any event, whether you are using Smart Mixing or whether you are using the Audio Mixer or whether you're manually putting keyframes on the timeline, you're working with keyframes. And keyframing has many applications in Premiere Elements, not only for creating animations and visual effects, but also for precisely controlling your volume levels of your various audio clips as you mix your movie's audio.

In fact, when it comes to mixing audio, there's really no easier and more effective way to do it than with keyframes.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Up and Running with Premiere Elements 11
Up and Running with Premiere Elements 11

35 video lessons · 4934 viewers

Steve Grisetti
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 8m 30s
    1. Welcome
      57s
    2. Understanding the basics of editing
      2m 45s
    3. Getting to know the interface
      3m 47s
    4. Using the exercise files
      1m 1s
  2. 22m 46s
    1. Capturing video from a tape-based camcorder
      4m 8s
    2. Downloading video from a hard drive or a storage-based camcorder
      4m 26s
    3. Importing media already on your computer
      2m 22s
    4. Managing media files with the Organizer
      6m 7s
    5. Organizing media in the Project Assets panel
      5m 43s
  3. 19m 45s
    1. Editing with Quick view vs. editing with Expert view
      5m 42s
    2. Adding, slicing, and trimming clips, and performing ripple edits
      7m 53s
    3. Pretrimming media in the clip monitor
      6m 10s
  4. 23m 2s
    1. Looking at the Action Bar toolkit
      4m 26s
    2. Recording narration
      3m 19s
    3. Creating a motion path with the Pan & Zoom tool
      9m 10s
    4. Speeding up or slowing down video segments with Time Remapping
      6m 7s
  5. 19m 3s
    1. Adjusting color, lighting, and audio
      5m 45s
    2. Adding and customizing a video effect
      7m 25s
    3. Using the Chroma Key and Videomerge effects
      5m 53s
  6. 14m 19s
    1. Adding and customizing an audio effect
      6m 14s
    2. Creating custom music tracks with Quicktracks
      8m 5s
  7. 12m 55s
    1. Creating fade-ins and fade-outs
      5m 36s
    2. Adding and customizing a transition
      7m 19s
  8. 9m 22s
    1. Adding and customizing a title
      4m 58s
    2. Adding a text animation
      4m 24s
  9. 18m 34s
    1. Creating a custom motion path using keyframes
      4m 35s
    2. Keyframing video effects
      6m 43s
    3. Mixing several tracks of audio using keyframes
      7m 16s
  10. 14m 10s
    1. Adding menu markers
      5m 21s
    2. Applying a menu template
      5m 33s
    3. Adding a "special features" video to your DVD or Blu-ray
      3m 16s
  11. 10m 34s
    1. Burning a DVD or a Blu-ray disc
      3m 46s
    2. Uploading video to Facebook or YouTube
      4m 6s
    3. Outputting a movie for viewing on a portable device
      2m 42s
  12. 1m 13s
    1. Next steps
      1m 13s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Up and Running with Premiere Elements 11.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.