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In this movie we're going to look at adjusting our audio levels directly in the timeline. Now if you take a look at this, this is a rough cut. I have my B-roll in here as well as the narrator sound bites, and my interview sound bites. I haven't added any music, and as a matter of fact, I've even removed all the ambient sound off of my B-roll because most of that was the director talking to the director of photography and it was all useless anyway. So by removing that it's better to have no ambient sound versus ambient sound popping in and out throughout my show.
Now we are going to add music in a moment, but I want to make sure that all of my audio levels are equal. So I'm going to go ahead and play the narrator's sound bite. (video playing) And notice on the right side we have our audio level meter, and if you want, you can actually drag and make that bigger. (video playing) But I'm going to go ahead and leave it back pretty much at its default size. (female speaker: Every day people are harnessing the power of the sun, and it's literally lighting up their lives.) Now she is averaging her maximum peak at about -6 dB, and that's good for this program that I'm going to deliver.
It's going to go the web and my client wanted it to be pretty loud. For some broadcast situations, peaking at -12 or -18 is going to be what they want. So before you start editing, you should find out from your client where it's going to be shown so you can choose what level to mix all your music and audio to, but -6 is perfect for what we're doing. So I like the way she sounds. Let's go ahead and listen to our next sound bite which is the interview of the installer.
(male speaker: I've installed over 100 photo-voltaic systems in my career, and I'm proud--) Well, I can see immediately that his audio was too loud. As a matter of fact, if you ever see it peak into the red, that's a warning that your levels are way too high and that it is actually going to get distorted. So I need to reduce the volume here. Now I'm going to do two things, I'm going to go ahead and zoom in a little bit with the Plus key so you can actually see closer what I'm working on. And I do want to point out that you should be able to see your audio waveforms and this yellow line.
Now if you don't, go over here to the left side of your timeline and make sure that under Set Display Style, you'll click on that that it says Show Waveform. If that's unchecked or it actually will be checked with Show Name Only, go ahead and switch back to Show Waveform. Next to that is another dropdown, and you want to click on that, and you want to make sure it says Show Clip Keyframes. If it says Show Track Keyframes or Hide Keyframes, you want to change that because if it says Hide Keyframes, you don't even see that yellow line here, so you can't adjust your audio.
So let's go back here, switch it to Show Clip Keyframes, and we'll look at Track Keyframes in the next movie. So now that we are all on the same page, I just want to lower my audio levels and I can simply grab this yellow line and drag it down. Now if you want to see a little more detail, you can actually change the height of this by clicking in-between Audio 1 and Audio 2 and just dragging it down, and now I can really see more detail, and I can have more fine control. Let me go ahead and bring this down, I don't know I'm going to take it, an arbitrary guess of about 3 or 4 dB, and let's listen and look at our audio meters.
(male speaker: I've installed over 100 photo-voltaic systems in my career, and I'm proud to get up--) Well, sometimes when you're editing, serendipity happens and that was actually the perfect amount to bring it down. If you noticed, it doesn't peak into the red, and it actually cuts perfectly with the next sound bite of the close-up of Brian's interview. So this is perfect, and I'm going to move ahead to the next clip which is the farmer clip. Now if I press the H key, which switches my cursor to a hand, I can simply grab my timeline and scroll down and find exactly where the farmer starts talking.
And now I'll go ahead and hit the V key, our selection tool, so we can go ahead and listen and adjust the farmer's levels. (video playing) He has the same challenge that I did with Brian's interview, so I'm going to-- again--go ahead and bring this down and listen. (video playing) Now one thing you can do in Adobe Premiere Pro 6 is I can actually play and move this line at the same time, so I don't have to keep going back and forth. So let's go ahead and hit the spacebar to play, and I'll adjust my audio level on the fly.
(male speaker: --here at my well, about a mile from my house. What I feel right now, coming through this pipe is 35 gallons of mineral water) And that sounds and looks pretty good, and I can continue to go ahead and adjust all my audio, and feel free to do this if you have the exercise files. So I would go through and adjust to make sure everything peaks at about the same level, which in this case is hovering a little bit above and a little bit below -6 dB. I'm going to press the Backslash key so we can see our whole timeline, and I can go through, and I can adjust the audio level in each of these cases to be exactly what I need it to be.
So once you get all these audio levels neutral, we're going to go ahead and we're going to bring in our music, and we're going to make that neutral also. So let's go ahead and grab the edge here, and I'm going to bring that up so we have a little space on Audio 2. And I can bring the audio in and of our music, go ahead to the Media Browser and import the music from the Media folder. So we'll go back to the Media Browser, we will find the folder where the media is stored in, we'll go to our home directory. I put it on my desktop, in the Exercise folder, down under Media.
If you watched the movie on how to use the exercise files, you'll know that everything is stored in the Media folder, which may have placed on your desktop or on your media drive. So I'm going to go into the Media folder, I'm going to find that audio file of the music, which is right here, double-click on it. Now when you double-click on a file in the Media Browser, it loads it into the source monitor so you can preview it, and this is the piece that I want. So as soon as I drag this from the source monitor into my timeline, it's going to create a copy of this clip in my project file.
So there we go. There it is, Hope Environment, and I now have the audio file in my timeline. Now I don't see the waveform, and I don't see the yellow line. And primarily, this is because I do not have this track expanded. So I'm going to go ahead, click on Expand Track, and I'm going to move my slider up a little bit so we can see the waveform of both the video with attached audio and our music only clip. We're going to go ahead and hit the Spacebar to hear how the music sounds against the voices.
(video playing) Well, obviously, it's competing with the audio of them speaking, so I want to bring the level down, and I can do that exactly like we did earlier by simply clicking and dragging and bringing the audio down 'til it's underneath their voices. (video playing) And once again, we can do that on the fly. (male speaker: --here at my well, about a mile from my house.
What I feel right now, coming through this pipe is 35 gallons of mineral water--) Well, that actually sounds pretty good. It's not competing with them, it's kind of supporting them, it moves the piece along, but there is one problem. It's perfect when people are talking, but when I'm just looking at the B-roll, that's pretty soft. I want the volume to come up, and that's where keyframing comes in and keyframing actually allows me to ramp the audio up and down so that when nobody is speaking, I can make it louder and when people are speaking I can bring it down.
Well, to create a keyframe you can switch to the Pen tool or on the Macintosh hold down the Command key, or in Windows hold down the Ctrl key, and then when you click on the line, you actually see a small diamond. So I'm going to go ahead and click and create actually several small diamonds. I'm going to create four, because I want to have break points, and once I create four of these little dots, I can actually put my cursor in the middle and bring up the volume of just that area underneath of the B-roll, so I can make this much louder when no one is speaking.
Now let's go ahead and listen to our audio. (video playing) Now that I got the volume up where I want it to be, I could actually control how I ease in and ease out of that by simply grabbing any of these keyframes and I'm going to have ramp up as she is finishing speaking so that it's up to full volume.
So you see you can not only move the volume levels up and down, but once you've created keyframes, you can move them left and right to control the ramping of volume up and down. Let's go ahead and listen to that ramp one more time. (video playing) Much better, the music comes in just as she is finishing, and that really smoothes out the edit. So as you can see, it's very easy to add keyframes and reposition keyframes, and this is something that you may also use in an interview section. For instance, I'm going to zoom in just a little bit here, so if I was interviewing the farmer and at one point it got really soft, and I didn't quite hear what he said, or maybe he coughed, I could go ahead and again, hold down the Command key, put in a couple of keyframes, and bring down the audio of this little background noise, and I can make the audio sound exactly how I want it to be.
So keyframing audio in your timeline is the best way to manipulate the levels between, say, your narrator, your ambience, and your music.
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