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Premiere Pro CS4 Beyond the Basics
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Normalizing audio across multiple clips


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Premiere Pro CS4 Beyond the Basics

with Chad Perkins

Video: Normalizing audio across multiple clips

To me, one of the most amateur signs of a video production is a complete lack of consistency in audio volume. Let's listen to this. I've assembled just some random clips here and you could really tell what I'm talking about. (various audio samples playing) You hear how just the volume for these different clips is just completely inconsistent. Now, one of the processes that can help us to gain at least some degree of consistency is something called Normalizing. Before we understand that, we have to understand a little bit about the way audio works.
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  1. 4m 11s
    1. Welcome
      56s
    2. What's new in the dot release
      57s
    3. Using the exercise files
      2m 18s
  2. 18m 54s
    1. Capturing ambient audio
      3m 12s
    2. Getting plenty of coverage
      1m 48s
    3. Telling a story with camera angles
      3m 18s
    4. The 180 degree rule
      2m 13s
    5. Framing shots
      3m 25s
    6. Allowing "emotional space"
      1m 40s
    7. Overcranking and time lapse
      3m 18s
  3. 11m 38s
    1. Why is metadata important?
      1m 40s
    2. Browsing and adding metadata
      6m 4s
    3. Creating metadata with Speech Search
      3m 54s
  4. 33m 12s
    1. When to cut
      7m 38s
    2. Avoiding bad edits
      9m 17s
    3. Using emotional cutaways
      1m 53s
    4. Fixing problems with cutaways
      3m 53s
    5. Pacing edits
      3m 49s
    6. Matching action
      4m 14s
    7. The power of suggestive editing
      2m 28s
  5. 26m 31s
    1. Contrasting targeting and selecting
      3m 17s
    2. Copying and pasting clips
      2m 36s
    3. Replacing clips
      4m 8s
    4. Editing to music
      5m 0s
    5. Using sample rate for precise editing
      5m 34s
    6. Creating J and L cuts
      3m 33s
    7. Working with subclips
      2m 23s
  6. 11m 17s
    1. Ingesting media
      1m 39s
    2. Examining P2 file structure
      1m 31s
    3. Importing P2 files with the Media Browser
      5m 15s
    4. Converting DVCPRO HD to standard 720p
      2m 52s
  7. 38m 11s
    1. Using the Reference Monitor
      3m 0s
    2. Using scopes
      8m 33s
    3. Primary color correction
      10m 11s
    4. Secondary color correction
      8m 28s
    5. Creating a vignette
      2m 28s
    6. Creating a day-for-night shot
      5m 31s
  8. 37m 19s
    1. Censoring video
      5m 30s
    2. Creating a waving flag
      6m 5s
    3. Creating a lens flare
      3m 36s
    4. Creating background textures
      6m 19s
    5. Playing with time
      6m 4s
    6. Using transition effects
      6m 13s
    7. Working with presets
      3m 32s
  9. 15m 30s
    1. Creating a garbage matte
      3m 56s
    2. Removing green screen
      5m 6s
    3. Compositing with blend modes
      3m 32s
    4. Nesting sequences
      2m 56s
  10. 15m 27s
    1. Creating 3D reflections
      5m 0s
    2. Creating growing vines
      5m 52s
    3. Creating a track matte
      2m 39s
    4. Using the History panel
      1m 56s
  11. 42m 25s
    1. Censoring audio using bleeps
      5m 16s
    2. Understanding sample rate
      3m 0s
    3. Normalizing audio across multiple clips
      5m 7s
    4. Recording audio
      2m 24s
    5. Removing audio problems with Soundbooth
      5m 43s
    6. Working with VST plug-in effects
      2m 3s
    7. Mixing audio
      8m 20s
    8. Changing volume over time
      5m 22s
    9. Working with surround sound
      5m 10s
  12. 23m 52s
    1. About this project
      2m 26s
    2. Performing preliminary edits
      2m 35s
    3. Working with multi-camera footage
      7m 27s
    4. Creating a visual "stutter"
      3m 12s
    5. Adjusting color
      8m 12s
  13. 6m 28s
    1. Transferring projects to another machine
      3m 24s
    2. Removing unused footage
      3m 4s
  14. 25m 46s
    1. Choosing a format
      5m 35s
    2. Understanding spatial compression
      2m 5s
    3. Understanding temporal compression
      4m 19s
    4. About HD standards
      5m 46s
    5. Changing footage interpretation
      2m 17s
    6. Getting the film look
      5m 44s
  15. 27m 10s
    1. Working with After Effects
      5m 56s
    2. Creating titles in After Effects
      5m 39s
    3. Working with Photoshop files
      2m 29s
    4. Working with Final Cut Pro
      2m 2s
    5. Working with OnLocation
      3m 12s
    6. Working with Encore
      4m 27s
    7. Introducing Adobe Story for pre-production
      3m 25s
  16. 15s
    1. Goodbye
      15s

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Premiere Pro CS4 Beyond the Basics
5h 38m Intermediate Dec 03, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Premiere Pro CS4 Beyond the Basics, Adobe Certified Instructor Chad Perkins explains how to take video editing from simple nuts and bolts to an art form. He shares tips for shooting video in the field to get the most from a subject and get the best footage for a project. He demonstrates how to build a project through the careful use of cutaways, pacing, and suggestive edits. He covers special effects, color correction, and keying and compositing, integrating all these concepts as he builds a music video project from scratch. Exercise files are included with this course.

Topics include:
  • Working with P2 media
  • Keying compositions using garbage mattes and green screen
  • Using transition effects, lens flares, and 3D reflections
  • Compositing with blend modes
  • Understanding spatial versus temporal compression
  • Recording, mixing, normalizing, and fixing audio
Subject:
Video
Software:
Premiere Pro
Author:
Chad Perkins

Normalizing audio across multiple clips

To me, one of the most amateur signs of a video production is a complete lack of consistency in audio volume. Let's listen to this. I've assembled just some random clips here and you could really tell what I'm talking about. (various audio samples playing) You hear how just the volume for these different clips is just completely inconsistent. Now, one of the processes that can help us to gain at least some degree of consistency is something called Normalizing. Before we understand that, we have to understand a little bit about the way audio works.

One of your best friends in working with audio is this Audio Master Meters panel. This gives us a readout of the loudness of a particular track. The higher a tone goes on this chart, the louder it is. Well, the loudest point that a clip ever gets to is referred to as its peak, in other words, it's loudest point. And Normalizing is the process of making a consistent audio peak across different clips. Now normalizing isn't always going to be a perfect fix. It's going to be a help, but it might not be a total fix.

So if you have two clips and one of them has a higher peak, that doesn't necessarily mean, in every instance, that it sounds louder than the clip that has a lower peak. So you definitely have to use your ears, but Normalizing can help, and Premiere actually has some really sweet Normalizing tools. Let's look at this clip here from Dream Job, this get ambient audio DJ clip. Listen to the audio here. It's very quiet background noise. So what I'm going to do is with this selected in the Project panel, I go to Clip>Audio Options>Audio Gain.

It tells us here that the Peak audio Amplitude, in other words, the loudest that it ever gets, is -33 dB. That's actually pretty low. It's a very quiet clip. Now, in this case, that's kind of what we want is just background audio. But we could bump that up a little bit. Here in this dialog box, you could bump up the Gain. We can set the amount to Adjust the Gain by. We can also normalize the Max Peak to whatever we want. So let's say we said -6 here, which is actually much louder than -33 and we said Ok, then Premiere will actually change the audio of this clip.

We don't need to change it here in the timeline, if we use it. It automatically changes the audio of the clip. Now, if we listen to it, it'll sound much louder. So now that buzz is almost deafening. Now, what I'm going to do is go back to Clip, and show you one more thing here. Audio Options>Audio Gain and what you can do is choose to Normalize All Peaks to something. So I could select all of my clips in this Project panel and select Normalize All Peaks, and then I can change the Peak Amplitude for all my clips at the same time, normalize them.

Now, one of the reason this is so important, folks, is back in the day of the 60s when Rock n Roll was coming to you and we're just learning how awesome distortion was you couldn't crank the things over much. That's where overdrive comes from, that cool distortion sound of the guitar. It's from taking things past the top level and that sounded great, because that was analog. But in the day of digital stuff, taking things to 0 or little bit over 0 is terrible. It causes all kinds of crackling and horrible noises. That's something you definitely don't want to do.

So as a safeguard, often times with audio, people will do in the video world or even in the audio world, is they will set their maximum threshold to something like -3, just to give themselves a little bit of headroom, just to make sure they never cross that line because, again, in digital, you never ever want to get to 0, and some would say that you don't even want to get close to 0. Now, another thing that you can do to normalize audio peaks across multiple clips is new in CS4 and you actually select your timeline, go to the Sequence menu and select Normalize Master Track.

What this can do is specify a level because most of the time when you're normalizing, you're actually bringing up the audio levels of a clip to match other clips. So the trick is with this Normalize Master Track, it we try to Normalize Master Track now and say OK, we'll say -3, we'll get a warning dialog box saying that that can't happen. Basically, what that means is that, I think the wording here is a little weird, but what it's saying here is that you can't normalize audio that is louder than your loudest clip.

So whatever your loudest clip's gain is, then you can't have peak amplitude above that. So we could go ahead and click OK. I go back here again and take this to, let's say, -30, which is really quiet, and that will work. And now we could play it back and there won't be too big of a difference, but we can tell that there were some changes made. So the audio is fairly similar but slightly changed and now a -30 is kind of like the new peak for all of these clips. So as you can see, Premiere does have several features for normalizing audio but more than the features, it's important that you understand the concept, the idea of making your audio have consistent volume across clips.

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