Premiere Pro CS5 Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Fixing audio problems


Premiere Pro CS5 Essential Training

with Chad Perkins

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Video: Fixing audio problems

In this movie, we're going to look at a few ways to fix some common audio problems. We're going to start by doing this using effects. If you go to the Effects panel down here, open up Audio Effects. You'll see that we have three categories, 5.1, Stereo and Mono. If we look at our track here in the High Pass sequence, we'll see two little speakers here. If this were a Mono track, there would be one speaker. If it was a 5.1 Surround Soundtrack, there would be a 5.1 here. Since we know this is a stereo track, this is a stereo clip, let's go ahead and open up the Stereo area of Effects.
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  1. 4m 1s
    1. Welcome
    2. What is Premiere Pro CS5?
      1m 41s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 25s
  2. 16m 44s
    1. The Premiere Pro workflow
      2m 21s
    2. Adding footage to the Timeline
      2m 19s
    3. Understanding timecode
      3m 3s
    4. Making basic edits
      5m 15s
    5. Getting familiar with the interface
      3m 46s
  3. 21m 59s
    1. Setting up a new project
      3m 48s
    2. Creating a new sequence
      5m 30s
    3. Capturing and ingesting footage
      2m 51s
    4. Importing files
      5m 23s
    5. Sorting and organizing clips
      4m 27s
  4. 33m 19s
    1. Making a rough cut
      4m 0s
    2. Making preliminary edits
      4m 55s
    3. Creating overlay and insert edits
      4m 16s
    4. Using video layers to add B-roll
      3m 47s
    5. Using ripple edits and ripple delete
      3m 1s
    6. Performing slip edits
      2m 54s
    7. Using the Razor tool
      3m 51s
    8. Moving edit points
      3m 47s
    9. Navigating efficiently in the Timeline
      2m 48s
  5. 28m 45s
    1. The job of an editor
      2m 59s
    2. When to cut
      5m 54s
    3. Avoiding bad edits
      6m 31s
    4. The pacing of edits
      3m 47s
    5. Using establishing shots
      2m 44s
    6. Using emotional cutaways
      2m 1s
    7. Fixing problems with cutaways
      2m 48s
    8. Matching action
      2m 1s
  6. 21m 38s
    1. Using markers
      3m 31s
    2. Replacing clips
      2m 36s
    3. Exporting a still frame
      1m 51s
    4. Creating alternate cuts
      1m 25s
    5. Rearranging clips in the Timeline
      2m 15s
    6. Targeting tracks
      2m 32s
    7. Disconnecting audio and video
      5m 0s
    8. Reconnecting offline media
      2m 28s
  7. 9m 46s
    1. Adjusting the rubber band
      3m 13s
    2. Adjusting clip position
      1m 21s
    3. Moving the anchor point
      2m 50s
    4. Adjusting clip size and rotation
      2m 22s
  8. 8m 15s
    1. Changing the speed of a clip
      1m 58s
    2. Using the Rate Stretch tool
      1m 57s
    3. Playing a clip backward
      4m 20s
  9. 10m 26s
    1. Understanding pixel aspect ratio
      5m 15s
    2. Understanding frame rates
      2m 15s
    3. About HD standards
      2m 56s
  10. 10m 32s
    1. Using layered Photoshop files
      2m 31s
    2. Animating clip position
      3m 33s
    3. Fading layers in and out
      4m 28s
  11. 12m 40s
    1. Applying transitions
      6m 2s
    2. Using transitions effectively
      4m 41s
    3. Setting up the default transition
      1m 57s
  12. 38m 31s
    1. The importance of ambient audio
      6m 35s
    2. Cutting video to music
      7m 38s
    3. Changing audio volume over time
      9m 55s
    4. Fixing audio problems
      9m 57s
    5. Censoring audio
      4m 26s
  13. 16m 25s
    1. Creating censored video
      5m 22s
    2. Creating a lens flare
      2m 20s
    3. Creating a logo bug
      3m 27s
    4. Creating background textures
      5m 16s
  14. 13m 23s
    1. Intro to compositing
      1m 11s
    2. Removing a green screen background
      9m 14s
    3. Compositing with blend modes
      2m 58s
  15. 22m 37s
    1. Adjusting white balance
      2m 24s
    2. Increasing contrast
      3m 5s
    3. Adjusting luminance
      4m 30s
    4. Creating cinematic color
      5m 21s
    5. Creating a vignette
      3m 12s
    6. Creating a day-for-night shot
      4m 5s
  16. 16m 5s
    1. Creating titles
      4m 55s
    2. Creating a lower third
      9m 12s
    3. Animating rolling credits
      1m 58s
  17. 14m 13s
    1. Exporting sequences from Premiere
      3m 57s
    2. Exporting with the Adobe Media Encoder
      2m 13s
    3. The most common formats and codecs
      4m 42s
    4. Exporting portions of a sequence
      1m 54s
    5. Rendering letterboxed footage
      1m 27s
  18. 6m 46s
    1. Examining the other apps that come with Premiere
      4m 25s
    2. Working with Final Cut Pro
      2m 21s
  19. 20s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Premiere Pro CS5 Essential Training
5h 6m Beginner Apr 30, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Premiere Pro CS5 Essential Training, author Chad Perkins shows not only how to edit video with Premiere Pro, but he also explains how to use video to tell compelling stories. This course covers the Premiere Pro workflow from a high level, providing a background on how projects go from start to finish before diving into basic clip adjustments, such as color correcting scenes for more dramatic impact, applying transitions effectively, and slowing down and speeding up clip playback. The course includes creative techniques, such as making titles and removing a green screen background from a shot. Exercise files are included with the course.

Topics include:
  • Adding footage to the Timeline
  • Creating dynamically linked content
  • Making overlay and insert edits
  • Moving edit points
  • Playing a clip backwards
  • Understanding pixel aspect ratio and frame rate
  • Applying motion effects
  • Cutting video to music
  • Compositing with green screen and blend modes
  • Correcting color
  • Creating titles and lower thirds
  • Exporting sequences
Premiere Pro
Chad Perkins

Fixing audio problems

In this movie, we're going to look at a few ways to fix some common audio problems. We're going to start by doing this using effects. If you go to the Effects panel down here, open up Audio Effects. You'll see that we have three categories, 5.1, Stereo and Mono. If we look at our track here in the High Pass sequence, we'll see two little speakers here. If this were a Mono track, there would be one speaker. If it was a 5.1 Surround Soundtrack, there would be a 5.1 here. Since we know this is a stereo track, this is a stereo clip, let's go ahead and open up the Stereo area of Effects.

As you could see here, there are loads of audio effects that we could use to sweeten and adjust our audio. Premiere definitely understands the significance of audio to a quality video. The effects here are really top-notch. I should also point out that if you have third-party VST Filters or audio plug-ins installed, you could also use them here from Premiere. Now, there is a wide range of effects here. There is stuff like Reverb, which adds kind of like a mild echo. So, if you have some voiceover work, you need to give it more space if it sounds too flat and dead.

You could apply some Reverb to that. Everything else from Reverb to crazy effects like Chorus, and even like a Flanger to make you sound like you're under water, but there is also some really great effects here for cleaning up audio such as the De effects, the DeClicker, DeCrackler, DeHummer, DeNoiser. These definitely help clean up if you have clicks, pops, hums, that type of thing. What I'm going to use to fix our current audio situation, unless what we've looked at before is we have this low roll of ocean here, if we play that. (Waves crashing) (Male speaker: Beautiful scenery.) Now, his voice is higher in pitch than the ocean.

So, what I'm going to do is I'm going to use an effect called Highpass. Highpass allows high pitches to pass through. That's why it's called Highpass. So, what it's going to do is it's going to eliminate low frequencies. So, I'm going to drag-and-drop that on to my audio clip here. Open up Highpass in the Effect Controls panel. If we play this, the results by default are not all that great. (Male speaker: Beautiful scenery.) It removes too much of the low frequencies.

So, his voice sounds like it's on an AM Radio. Now, that could be what we're looking for. This is a great effect for that. But of course, that's not we're not looking for, in this case. So, what I'm going to do is I'm going to take the cutoff down. I'm going to try to do this while I am playing it back to give you a sense of what this value does. (Male speaker: Beautiful scenery.) (Male speaker: Plenty of places to ride.) So, could you get a sense of what that was doing when we adjusted the Cutoff parameter? Basically, everything below the Cutoff gets removed. Because it's Highpass, so everything above that Cutoff point passes through, everything below it's cut off.

So, we have a lot of human-speaking tones underneath this current value. What we want to do is I am going to actually click in here and type in 110. So, everything below 110, which is a really deep set of pitches, is going to be cut out and everything above is going to be allowed to pass through. So, if we play this back -- (Male speaker: Beautiful scenery.) It sounds pretty much the same. But if we click this Bypass switch, we can see the before and the after. So, Bypass basically turns the effect off and then on, as we have it unchecked.

So, I'm going to play this back now and listen to the difference when the effect is played back without Bypass, meaning the effect is on and working, and when I select Bypass and turn the effect off. (Male speaker: Beautiful scenery.) (Male speaker: Plenty of places to ride.) (Male speaker: Beautiful weather.) (Male speaker: It just doesn't get any better than this.) Now, because you're probably watching this over the Internet, you might not have heard that difference, but there is a very deep low rumble that is removed by this effect. So, if you have situations where you're filming like outside or maybe in a warehouse or something like that, there is a like a deep low rumble.

This is a good way to get rid of that by using the Highpass effect. Conversely, we could also use the Lowpass effect for high-pitched whines. Just like the Highpass effect creates a threshold and then throws away everything beneath a certain threshold, Lowpass throws out everything above a certain threshold and allows low frequencies to pass through. As we'll see, this is great for whines and things like that. I'm going to play this clip that we've looked at previously from the House on Haunted Hill cutaway's clip. This clip, for whatever reason, the way that this was encoded this has a very high-pitched whine in it.

(Male speaker: We're all locked in now.) Really just grating, though hopefully you can hear that, so you could tell how incredibly annoying that is. So, I'm going to apply the Lowpass effect to and just drag-and-drop it to the audio clip there and we open up Lowpass. Let's just give it a preview here. (Male speaker: We're all locked in now.) Okay, that's good, but it's cutting off a little bit too much. Because it's removing everything above this frequency, there are a lot of overtones in the human voice that are just kind of getting lost.

So, I'm actually going to click on this value, take this up to 2800. Then now if I preview this, it's going to sound pretty good. (Male speaker: We're all locked in now.) (Female speaker: But I don't want to stay.) Now, I'm going to do the same thing before where I'm going to click Bypass to turn the effect off and on again. Notice the difference. (Male speaker: We're all locked in now.) (Female speaker: But I don't want to stay.) (Male speaker: I'm sorry, my dear, but it's too late now.) So, again, really irritating without the Lowpass effect. So if you want to get rid of low hums or high whines, you can use these filters to get the job done.

Now, for extra super hard jobs, if you have like some kind of really big audio pop or somebody says a word and they should know when you really just can't edit around it, you can go to Adobe Soundbooth. I'm going to right-click on this audio clip in the High Pass sequence. I'm going to choose Edit in Adobe Soundbooth > Render and Replace. Now, what that does is opens this clip up in Adobe Soundbooth, which is a separate audio application that comes with Adobe Production Premium or the Adobe Master Collection which is -- Adobe Production Premium is Adobe's kind of video suite.

Now, Adobe Soundbooth is a very simple audio editing program. But it really is built for video editors to be able to fix little audio problems, just like the ones we've been having. Let me show you this. This is our sample here. Again, just like Premiere, we hit the Spacebar to start up and start the playback of audio -- (Waves crashing) (Male speaker: Beautiful scenery.) So, same clip that we're looking at. We're just looking at the waveform here. I know that this first little section here, as you see this flat waveform, almost flat waveform, this is the ocean.

So, what I'm going to do is I'm going to click-and-drag over the ocean noise. Then I'm going to go to Clean Up Audio in the Tasks panel, click Clean Up Audio. One of the brilliant things that Soundbooth does and has a few really magical tricks here-- I'm going to capture the noise print. So, what it's going to do is going to look at this noise, and basically, by selecting only the noise, I have told Soundbooth that this is bad stuff that I don't want. Then what I could do is click on the Noise button. It will go through and it will take this noise out of the entire clip.

Now, sometimes, this works beautifully, as a matter of fact, most of the time it works really, really well. But a lot of times, and I chose this example specifically for this, it's not as great as it might seem, because the frequencies that we want to keep overlap the frequencies of what we want to throw away. But even still, it's going to sound like he is in a cave here. But if I click Preview, and actually, I just realize that by having this audio selection still in play when I did the noise cleanup here, it only cleaned up that little section. So, I'm going to go ahead and hit Cancel here and then click here.

Then let's go ahead and make sure you don't have a selection in which you can get by just clicking anywhere in here. Then click Noise and then we can preview this. (Male speaker: Beautiful scenery.) (Male speaker: Plenty of places to ride.) So again, we're seeing some of the frequencies that we want taken out, which is not what we want, of course. But even still, it's pretty amazing that the sound of the ocean has just gone. (Male speaker: Beautiful scenery.) So, what we could do is take this Reduction from Aggressive to the right and take it to the left to be Light.

We could actually do this while we're previewing it too. (Waves crashing) (Male speaker: Beautiful scenery.) (Male speaker: Plenty of places to ride.) (Male speaker: Beautiful weather.) (Male speaker: It just doesn't get any better than this.) We could also choose the Reduce By amount. So, basically at the top we are choosing what we are getting rid of and then at the bottom, we are talking about how loud the noise reduction is. In this case, it's a pretty tough job. So, I'm not sure if there is anything that's going to be perfect. I might want to take this down to Light and take this down to Light a little bit more and preview this.

(Waves crashing) (Male speaker: Beautiful scenery.) So, it still sounds a little warbly in the background, but it is reduced quite a bit. So, I guess, I'm going to be happy with this. That's the best we're going to get, so I'm going to go ahead and click OK. Now, if I go back to Premiere through the magic of magicness, and the way that Premiere and Soundbooth work together, Soundbooth created an additional audio file out of the audio file from the video, brought it into the Project panel and swapped it out with our original audio here. So, this is linked to what we are having in Soundbooth.

So, now if we play this back -- (Waves crashing) (Male speaker: Beautiful scenery.) We'll see the same audio clip from Soundbooth. So, any changes that we make in Soundbooth and then save will show up then in Premiere. I should also point out here that if you do have some really hard audio problems, if there is like a pop that you can't get rid of in Premiere or something like that, I recommend checking out the Soundbooth training on, really top-notch. A lot of these things that you'll learn about in Soundbooth can just bail you out of so many problems as far as audio goes in Premiere.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Premiere Pro CS5 Essential Training .

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Q: When attempting to open the project exercise files into Premiere Pro CS5, an error message appears: 
This project contained a sequence that could not be opened. No sequence preview preset file codec could be associated with this sequence type. 
What could be causing the error, and how can the files be opened?
A: There are a few possible explanations. 

First, if the projects are not importing correctly, the error could be with the codecs being used on a particular machine. Check to make sure the Video Previews codec setting matches the file type being used.

Another possible issue could stem from using the trial version of Premiere CS5. Some codecs for encoding MPEG formats are available only with the full version of Premiere CS5. 

Additionally, the "Video Previews" codec setting for the Custom Sequence Presets could cause the issue if it is defaulting to “I-Frame Only MPEG”. Changing the setting to Microsoft AVI might fix the problem.

Lastly, if the projects are not importing into Premiere, try importing the video footage by itself, rather than the entire project file.
Q: How does one perform internal edits within a piece of video in Adobe Premiere? For example, if I have a single clip of video, comprised of multiple segments strung together, how would I go about removing gaps and/or cleaning up each segment and then assembling the clips in a desired order? Most tutorials emphasize laying down multiple clips on the Sceneline or Timeline, but not editing one clip of video.
A: To remove footage from a single video clip:
  • Drag the Current Time Indicator (CTI) to the first frame of the segment to be deleted, click the Split Clip button in the Monitor panel, drag the CTI to the last frame of the segment to be deleted, and then click the Split Clip button again.
  • Delete the segment by clicking on the clip and either choosing Edit > Delete And Close Gap, or pressing the Delete or Backspace key. That will remove the segment and the rest of the projectwill slide over to the left to fill the gap.
Q: I can't view the exercise files.
A: Most of the video clips in the training were encoded using H.264. If you are on a PC, you may need to download the latest version of the free
QuickTime player from Be sure to install QuickTime with your Adobe applications closed. QuickTime installs a series of codecs on your
machine, and many Adobe apps require QuickTime components to function properly.
Q: Why are many of the video files H.264 if some users must download additional components to view them?
A: This is one of the most common video formats in the world right now, certainly for distribution. This is because it is currently the most optimal
way to provide high quality video at the low files sizes that we need to be able to distribute these assets online. Even though it may require an extra
download for some users, this is the best way to be able to get you the highest quality exercise files. There isn't another video standard that is
cross platform that is free and that works as well as H.264.
Q: What is the most effective way to import a JPEG into Premiere Pro (i.e. best quality resolution, best playback speed)? When I import a photo as a JPEG and add it to a sequence, only a very small part of my photo is shown, because of the high resolution of these photos. Should they be resized in Photoshop first? Will changing it using effects provide the quality I am looking for?
A: Images can be scaled down using the Scale Transform in the Effect Controls panel as explained in the training. You can also scale down the images in Photoshop to match the size of your sequence in Premiere. But I prefer to use the Scale Transform as it gives me more flexibility and allows me to "zoom in" (aka scale up) photos without loss in quality. You'll probably want to make sure that the proportions of the image match the sequence though.
Q: Does Premiere Pro offer Z-axis editing like After Effects?
A: Premiere Pro does not offer 3D as After Effects does, but you can use the Basic 3D effect in Premiere to simulate that environment.
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