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Using the Audio tool to read audio levels

From: Avid Media Composer 5 Essential Training

Video: Using the Audio tool to read audio levels

Now that you've got a good handle on editing video, it's time to launch into some basic audio editing. Believe it or not many editors consider audio even more important than video. Because audio has the ability to reach into the subconscious and affect parts of the brain that viewing images can't. In short good audio is crucial and in this movie we will explore audio levels and pan and how to read them via the Audio tool. Let's take a moment to open up a very important tool, the Audio tool. It's also accessible via Ctrl+1 or Command+1 on the Mac.

Using the Audio tool to read audio levels

Now that you've got a good handle on editing video, it's time to launch into some basic audio editing. Believe it or not many editors consider audio even more important than video. Because audio has the ability to reach into the subconscious and affect parts of the brain that viewing images can't. In short good audio is crucial and in this movie we will explore audio levels and pan and how to read them via the Audio tool. Let's take a moment to open up a very important tool, the Audio tool. It's also accessible via Ctrl+1 or Command+1 on the Mac.

The Audio tool is a device where you can measure the levels of the audio in your sequence and clips. Levels unlike volume are a constant value of the power or intensity of sound. Now this measurement, which is measured in decibels, is actually relative to a reference audio level, which is typically set at the threshold of perception of human hearing. Therefore, to a human, normal sounds like the human voice should peak right in here. Loud sounds will peak higher and quieter sounds will peak lower.

But in the clips and sequences that we are looking at today, most of the clips and sound should peak right here in the normal range. Let's play some audio to see where our audio is peaking. I've got Dr. Shannon loaded up and I'll go ahead and press Play. And let's look and see where he is peaking. (Male speaker: So it's almost like a thread that keeps all of the pieces together and keeps the magic throughout it.) Dr. Shannon is mostly peaking in the right area.

He has a couple of quieter moments, but for the most part he is pretty good. Another thing we noticed is that his audio is panneded correctly from left to right. That means that both the left channel and the right channel are at the same level. Let's look one more time to verify that. (Male speaker: So mysterious person, capable of doing magic, master of space and time.) So we have even pan from left to right.

He did get higher there in a couple of places, so we'll just have to keep our ear open as we are adjusting Dr. Shannon's audio. Let's go ahead and load Tony and let's see where his levels and pan are falling. (Male speaker 2: You have the mentor and the apprentice, Drosselmeyer and Mini-Meyer.) (Male speaker 2: And that's one of the themes.) Both the left and the right channel of Tony's audio is too low. Nothing is peaking at the level it should.

And another thing is that they are mispanned. We've got the left channel, which is much lower than the right. And that probably indicates that the right channel is represented by a Lavalier mic clipped to his shirt. And the left channel is probably the onboard camera mic. If I want to listen to one or the other of these channels independently, I certainly can. I can take the Solo button here and press it. And now only my audio 1 is going to play, which means only my left channel is going to play.

Let's go ahead and Play. (Male speaker 2: In the story is like you know the apprentice is trying to learn how to become a magician.) Again much too low, and let's go ahead and Solo the right channel. (Male speaker 2: He makes mistakes all the time and?) And again now audio is going to be just fine. We just need to raise the level a little bit. Let's load a sequence and check that out.

Now we have a couple of things to know about the audio in a sequence. The first is that left panned audio is represented by the odd tracks. So A1 and A3 represent left panned audio. Right panned audio is represented by even tracks. So A2 and A4 represent right panned audio. Let's go ahead and play through the sequence and see what level and pan issues we encounter.

(Music Playing.) Just stopping there we have some mispanned music and we'll probably have to adjust the level a little bit. Let's keep going. (Music Playing.) (Male speaker 2: You have the mentor and the apprentice, Drosselmeyer and Mini-Meyer.) Besides needing some mixing there we have some other issues. When Tony starts talking again we have some pan issues as well as some level issues.

But it gets a little bit cluttered. I think again we should Solo A1 and A2, and let's play that out. (Male speaker: ?the apprentice, Drosselmeyer and Mini-Meyer.) It looks like we have again mispanned audio and we have much higher audio levels here that we will need to fix. When we have overlapping audio between the first part of when Tony talks and the last part of the music the levels get really high.

So what we'll probably end up doing is fading the music out underneath Tony as he begins to speak. We'll look at that in a later movie, but it's just good to know that we definitely have some level and pan issues at this point in the Timeline. Let's go ahead and Solo the music at this point and play out. (Music Playing.) Again we are going to need to look at that pan and adjust the level as needed.

So as you can see we have a few things to consider when setting the audio levels and pan within a sequence and within clips. We will need to use the Audio tool to make sure the audio levels fall within acceptable limits. And we will also need to make sure that the audio is panned evenly from left to right. We will take a look at how the Audio Mixer can help us achieve both of those goals in the next movie.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Avid Media Composer 5 Essential Training
Avid Media Composer 5 Essential Training

74 video lessons · 8211 viewers

Ashley Kennedy
Author

 
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  1. 3m 43s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. Using the exercise files
      2m 27s
  2. 22m 59s
    1. Understanding clips and media files
      2m 34s
    2. Understanding the Select Project window
      5m 40s
    3. Working in the Project window
      5m 35s
    4. Setting up and organizing a project
      5m 13s
    5. Saving and backing up
      3m 57s
  3. 50m 15s
    1. Using the Composer Monitor and the timeline
      6m 32s
    2. Adding shots using Splice
      5m 57s
    3. Adding shots using Overwrite
      7m 2s
    4. Removing shots using Extract and Lift
      4m 31s
    5. Using Extract/Splice Segment Mode to switch shots in the timeline
      5m 1s
    6. Using Lift/Overwrite Segment Mode to move shots in the timeline
      5m 59s
    7. Using direct timeline manipulation
      4m 6s
    8. Using subclips and subsequences
      3m 48s
    9. Adding and patching video tracks
      7m 19s
  4. 26m 39s
    1. Understanding trimming
      3m 42s
    2. Using A-side Single-Roller Trim to improve audio timing
      7m 59s
    3. Using B-side Single-Roller Trim to improve audio timing
      5m 41s
    4. Using Dual-Roller Trim to refine video
      6m 5s
    5. Using Ripple Trim and Overwrite Trim
      3m 12s
  5. 24m 8s
    1. Using the J-K-L keys for navigation
      4m 15s
    2. Using navigation shortcuts
      6m 26s
    3. Using the Command palette
      6m 4s
    4. Sorting and sifting clips
      7m 23s
  6. 20m 38s
    1. J-K-L trimming
      4m 11s
    2. On-the-fly trimming
      7m 18s
    3. Advanced trim methods: Slip mode
      5m 18s
    4. Advanced trim methods: Slide mode
      3m 51s
  7. 21m 33s
    1. Using the Audio tool to read audio levels
      6m 18s
    2. Using the Audio Mixer to adjust audio level and pan
      8m 27s
    3. Keyframing audio for intra-segment audio adjustments
      6m 48s
  8. 55m 23s
    1. Using Quick Transition effects
      5m 19s
    2. Using the Effects palette and the Effects Editor
      5m 21s
    3. Keyframing segment effects
      6m 0s
    4. Using nesting and auto-nesting
      5m 49s
    5. Saving effects templates
      5m 34s
    6. Building basic composites using vertical effects
      4m 53s
    7. Using the Picture-in-Picture effect
      6m 41s
    8. Creating basic motion effects
      5m 55s
    9. Using Timewarp
      5m 56s
    10. Using the Color effect
      3m 55s
  9. 9m 48s
    1. Understanding system performance
      5m 58s
    2. Rendering tracks
      3m 50s
  10. 20m 30s
    1. Analyzing footage for problems
      3m 8s
    2. Using the Y-Waveform monitor to set whites and blacks
      5m 34s
    3. Using the RGB Parade to correct color casts
      4m 42s
    4. Using the Vectorscope to improve skin tones
      3m 27s
    5. Correcting color automatically
      3m 39s
  11. 29m 16s
    1. Formatting and enhancing text using Avid Marquee
      6m 52s
    2. Using Marquee to apply shapes and gradients
      4m 23s
    3. Using title templates
      2m 40s
    4. Bringing a title into Media Composer
      3m 42s
    5. Revising the title
      2m 49s
    6. Creating rolling and crawling titles
      4m 40s
    7. Using Auto-Titler
      4m 10s
  12. 22m 3s
    1. Using the Capture tool
      5m 7s
    2. Capturing footage
      4m 26s
    3. Batch-capturing
      4m 46s
    4. Adjusting settings for import
      5m 7s
    5. Using AMA (Avid Media Access) for QuickTime imports
      2m 37s
  13. 16m 54s
    1. Understanding deletion types and cases
      3m 51s
    2. Performing bin deletion
      3m 17s
    3. Understanding the Media tool
      6m 17s
    4. Identifying and deleting media relatives and non-relatives
      3m 29s
  14. 15m 31s
    1. Understanding media delivery types
      2m 28s
    2. Preparing a sequence for digital cut to print to tape
      2m 48s
    3. Performing a digital cut
      5m 8s
    4. Exporting a QuickTime movie or QuickTime reference
      5m 7s
  15. 14m 39s
    1. Solving the offline media problem
      3m 58s
    2. Re-linking media
      2m 19s
    3. Solving Avid settings corruption
      4m 35s
    4. Using the Avid Attic to find and retrieve bins
      3m 47s
  16. 19s
    1. Goodbye
      19s

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