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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.
In the world of low-budget video, it's actually not video that's the biggest problem. It is audio. Audio is the dead giveaway that something is just a really poor production. Try that next time. Next time you look at an independent film, see if you can stand it if the audio is bad. Chances are you will not be able to. You might be able to find a lot of independent movies that you can tolerate if the video is bad, even if the quality of the video is poor. But if the quality of the audio is poor, there's no tolerance for that. So, in this chapter, we're going to look at the powerful world of audio.
In this movie, we're going to talk about something called ambient audio. Now, in our main project here, early on in this training series when we were talking about the Razor tool, we split this main clip of this interview here, this guy's interview, we split this up into several little segments, where he says something and then there is a break and then he says something, there is a break. But there is an audio problem there with that gap. Let's listen and basically what I want you to listen for is the sound of the ocean waves while he is talking. (Music Playing) (Male speaker: Beautiful scenery.) (Male speaker: Plenty of places to ride.) (Male speaker: Beautiful weather.) (Male speaker: It just doesn't get any better.) So, we have the ocean waves in the background.
You could see as it goes over these gaps that there is no ocean waves sounding off. So, there is definitely a weird jarring silence that happens as we're waiting for these ocean waves. Because these ocean waves are part of the main talent's clips, we can't get rid of those ocean waves, not very easily anyways. Then we need to fill in these gaps with additional ocean waves. So, this is referred to as ambient audio. When we are in a scene, we're doing a shoot, let's say we're here, we'd want to capture like a few minutes of just the sound of the ocean waves for this very purpose, so we could plug that sound into these holes and make things sound more complete.
If this was an interior shot, we refer to that extra audio as room tone. Now, how to fix this? In the Audio folder in the Project panel, I have some ambient ocean audio. I got this from another clip, but the pitch of the ocean is about the same. (Waves crashing) I think it's going to work. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to resize my Timeline panel here. I have a few ways that I can do this. I can drag-and-drop this to a separate audio track. Then I can just chop this at these different cut points here.
Let's say with this audio track selected here, I could hit Page Down. Then with this audio track selected as well, I could hit Command+K. And I continue to press Page Down, hit Command+K, Page Down, Command+K, Page Down, Command+K, and this is also Ctrl+K on the PC. So, I'm basically splitting the audio wherever there are cut points on the main audio. Then I could select the duplicate audio where the ambient ocean track I just added and the original source audio line up. I could just delete those.
The reason why we wouldn't want this audio track to be continuous is that because when the speaker would come on, we'd have two layers of ocean noise. And that would bury his voice and we don't want that. So, that's one way to do it. But because this audio track is pretty much the same thing the whole time, we could double-click it to open it up in the Source Monitor. Then this is just another technique. So whichever one you prefer is fine. I'm going to go out in time just a little bit, just like a few frames here, a small amount. And then I'm going to set the out point here. Click this to set the out point.
Then I'm going to grab the Speaker icon and drag this down to my timeline. I'm going to drag that to the beginning of that gap. Then I'm going to just trim it there. We could continue doing that. We could drag this to the beginning and then extend it with the Trim feature in Premiere. There we have it. We missed one gap here, because I think that our initial trim was a little bit too big to fit there. So actually, I might want to go and just get a few frames and make that the new out point, drag the speaker icon to that gap, make it all the way left flush with the end of the previous clip.
Then I could extend this again by clicking on the right side of the clip. I might need to press the plus key to zoom in on the timeline here a little bit. Press Home and then extend that. So, either way, we wouldn't want to do both of these ways. We wouldn't want to have the double layer of the ambient ocean audio. But these are two ways that you can do this. If you do choose to go this route and put it all on the same track, then you do have the benefit of using the audio transition, which is actually what I did in the original project.
I went to Crossfade and then you could see that Constant Power is the default audio transition. Basically, what that does is kind of like a Cross Dissolve but for audio. So I can hit Page Down here. Actually let me select my Timeline panel. Hit Page Down to go to the next spot between clips. Now that I'm at the cut p oint between these two audio clips, I can drag-and-drop Constant Power to the cut point between these. I want to do that between all of these clips here. Actually, let me undo that and I probably want to zoom in a little bit closer. Again, I'm hitting the Plus key on my keyboard to do that.
So we could put this transition here so that as one ocean sound goes to the next, it kind of like fades out and then the other clip fades in. So it's less of a harsh transition between these two ocean noises. I'm actually going to hit Backslash here and I'm going to click-and-drag a marquee to select all of the audio on audio track 3 and hit Delete. I'm not going to bother with adding the transitions to the remaining clips. I think this is going to work just fine as is. But let's hear the difference now with the ambient audio, where we don't have those big audio gaps in between the subject speaking. (Music playing) (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, you might notice that the pitch, the tone of the ambient audio, the ocean waves, is a little bit different than that of the ocean waves as this guy is speaking.
(Music Playing) (Male speaker: Beautiful weather.) It's a little bit higher in pitch. So we could actually use audio effects, which we'll talk about later in this chapter, to lower that. Or again, we can add this transition, which makes it a smoother transition so as that crossfades it would slowly appear to go up and down and tone and be less noticeable for the viewer. But I can't stress enough how important it is to have ambient audio. If you have any kind of control over the shooting of the video that you'll be editing, make sure they get plenty of room tone or ambient audio, whatever you want to call it, but just get that, because it really does save your skin in a lot of cases like this.
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