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In this course, author Ashley Kennedy demonstrates basic and intermediate video editing techniques in Avid Media Composer. The course explains how to build sequences, mix audio, apply effects, and color-correct footage. The course also shows how to create titles, manage and output media, capture and import footage, and troubleshoot common post-production issues.
As we said before, the human ear is extremely sensitive to sound, especially sound that's at the improper level or balance. Therefore, in this movie, we'll take a look at the Audio Mixer, which is a tool that will allow us to change a clip's, or a sequence's, audio level and pan. We'll use it to make sure that our audio falls within acceptable levels and that it's evenly balanced from left to right. In the last movie, we analyzed the audio problems in our source and our sequence, and so now we're going to bring up the Audio Mixer to help correct those problems.
You can bring up the Audio Mixer by coming up to Tools and choosing Audio Mixer, but I recommend that you actually go into the Audio Editing workspace, because as you see, we have quite a drastic resizing of windows, because these tools are rather large. Okay, so, we have our Audio tool and our Audio Mixer open. I'm also going to change over to the Audio view in our Timeline that we set up before. And now let's go ahead and talk about the Audio Mixer.
The Audio Mixer is a place where you can adjust the level and pan of your source audio as well as your Timeline. Now, if I select my source by simply clicking on it then I'm set up to Edit my source audio. If however, I click in my Timeline, I'm set up to record my Timeline audio. So I'm going to go back to my source, and I want to show you the relationship between the tools here in the Audio Mixer and the tools here in my Source and in my Source Track Selectors.
So the Track Selectors here in my Timeline correspond to these Selectors right here. So, if I click on A1, A1 is deselected, and same thing with A2. If you look at my Solo and Mute buttons here in the Timeline, they correspond with the Solo and Mute buttons here in my Audio Mixer. If I click in my Timeline, same thing applies. I can solo and mute, and all of my corresponding Solo and Mute buttons show up in my Timeline.
Okay, so let's go back to our source here, and I want to talk about my level sliders and my pan dials. The level sliders are a way for you to raise the level of your sound or lower it by decibels. So, right here we're at 0 and if I'd like to raise the level of my audio, I would simply drag this up and if I want to lower it, I drag it down. Notice that these are moving in tandem. That's because I have my tracks grouped.
If I un-group them, I'm able to move them one at a time. To return these back to 0, I just Alt+Click or Option+Click on a Mac and they return back to unity. As you may remember from the last movie, my odd tracks are panned to the left and my even tracks are panned to the right. To adjust this, I simply grab onto my dial and I can make this be any value between 100% left and 100% right.
Above the level slider is a pan dial where you can pan your audio all the way to the left or all the way to the right, or in the middle you'll notice that we have a mid setting, so it's coming out equally from the left and right speakers. Normally, I would just have to Alt+Click on my dial or Option+Click on a Mac to automatically send that to the mid setting. However, it's not quite working today so I'll be dragging on my dials. I'm going to go ahead and return this to 100% left, and let's go ahead and repair our audio.
Now, I'm going to go ahead and play through our clip, and we'll go ahead and look in the Audio tool to analyze what's wrong, and we'll fix it in the Audio Mixer. So, I'll go ahead and Play. (Female speaker:--where the roles are defined. One person followed.) All right, what I'm actually going to do is first solo A1 and play, and now I'm going to solo A2 and play. Okay.
So, what probably happened here is that her mic, although it is low, was on A1, and probably the onboard camera mic, which is even lower, is on A2. Now, when an audio channel was not set up to be recorded, you often want to eliminate that and then focus on the audio channel that was set up to be recorded. So what I'm going to do is just drag this level slider all the way down to infinity, and then we're going to focus on A1, bringing the levels up, and then evening the pan from left to right.
So, let's go ahead and play through. I will mention that ideally what I would do is mark an in and an out and then press this button here, Audio Loop Play. It would play through this loop, I would make an adjustment, and it would update each time it played through the loop. I'm having a conflict with this particular function with the recording software that I'm using, so I'm not going to be able to loop play, so I'm just going to be able to play through it, then we'll make an adjustment, then we'll play through again.
It's a little bit more manual, but we'll get the job done. So, I'm going to remove my in and out points by pressing G, and let's go ahead and play through, and I'm just going to bring up my levels quite a bit here, and I'm going to play again. So it's peaking in the normal region now. Right here between -20 and -14 on the digital scale is where we want the human voice to peak, and maybe just a little bit more, and let's go ahead and play this.
Now, there is a hum on this, and if we were going into fixing the audio EQ, we would remove that. That's beyond the scope of this course. We're just looking to get her level and pan right. So ignore that for now, and we'll go on and adjust her pan now. So because we eliminated the bad on camera audio, what we want to do is actually bring this to the middle. So I can just drag my pan dial to the middle position, and now watch the left and right channels as I play through this clip.
(Female speaker:--follows, one person leads, and there's only three things that matter, and that's the music, the dance floor, and your partner.) This is looking pretty good. Now, I'm going to maybe just raise this just a tiny bit more. If I want to put this at 8.5, I can just click on this levels slider and just type in 8.5 on my numeric keypad. And let's go ahead and play through this. I think this should be pretty good. (Female speaker: And there's only three things that matter, and that's the music, the dance floor, and your partner. (Female speaker: And you just forget everything else.) So, I like this for an adjustment for my source audio.
Now, every time I edit this clip into the Timeline, the adjustment will be made and I don't have to make it again in the Timeline. However, let's go ahead a play this part of the Timeline so that you can see what's actually gone on. Now remember, this was edited in the Timeline before we made this adjustment. I'm going to go ahead a press play. (music playing) And I'm actually going to solo that so that we can hear it by itself, and I'll press play with the spacebar. (Female speaker:--brings you together. Brings you to a simpler time.) So again, we will have to do it again in this instance, because this was edited before.
So this is a great case for you to fix all of your audio before you edit and then you wouldn't have to do this, but we already know the adjustment so we could probably do it pretty quickly here. I'm going to go ahead and drop this down, and let's go ahead and type in 8.5 here. We want to center this pan here, and let's go ahead and play through this right here. (Female speaker: Brings you together. It brings--) We've now eliminated the low audio. We have raised our good audio, except when we come over to this clip-- (Female speaker: One person--) it's back to its raw state.
So as you can see, this is clip-based editing in my Timeline. If I'd like to apply this same adjustment to all of the clips on this track, all I have to do is come up to my Audio Mixer Fast menu and choose Set Level On Track-Global. I'll go ahead and click this. Now when I come over here, go ahead and watch this. So our level is good. So, we just need to do the same thing for our pan.
Again, I come into my Fast menu and I'm going to choose Set pan On Track-Global, and let's go ahead and take a look here. (Female speaker: One person follows, one person leads.) All right, great, and the same thing here. If I had actually placed in and out points, so, for example, on each side of this-- let's say that somebody else was downstream and I didn't want them to receive the same adjustment-- I could define the area in the Timeline that I would like to apply these adjustments and now that I have in and out points, if I come to my Fast menu, this now says Set level On Track-In/ out and Set pan On Track-In/out.
So bottom line, it's a clip-based adjustment unless you wanted to apply it globally on the track or between in and out points.
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