Join Robbie Carman for an in-depth discussion in this video Stereo vs. 5.1 vs. multichannel output master tracks, part of Premiere Pro Guru: Audio Finishing Techniques.
So now that we've explored both mixers inside of Premiere Pro, I want to talk about one more thing pertaining to the track mixer. I also want to share one more thing about the timeline when it comes to audio clips, and that really is the difference between master output track types on the track mixer and then the different types of individual audio clips that we can have on the timeline. So, as I said, in this movie, I want to show you a couple additional things, and you can kind of consider this a continuation of the tour of the track mixer with some little extra tidbits about tracks on the timeline added in.
Now, what I've gone ahead and done is I've opened up a number of timelines, and here in the project panel, all those timelines are labeled 0303, you have a through f, and I've opened them all up so I can quickly switch between them in the audio track mixer, so here in the audio track mixer, let me make that window bigger by pressing the (indecipherable) key, and right now, I'm on the timeline 0303a stereo master. Now, for many projects, a stereo master track, this track right here, is probably all you'll need.
If you're outputting to Vimeo, or YouTube, or even Blu-Ray, a lot of the time, a stereo deliverable is just fine. Now, when I'm in stereo mode like this, and right now, I have standard tracks for all these tracks, we'll get back to that in just a little bit, the audio mixer looks pretty normal. We have different volume faders here for each track. I have traditional panning controls to go left or right, or a fraction thereof. Down here, underneath the panning controls, I have my automation modes, as we saw before in the general tour of the mixer.
Then of course, I'm hiding right now. I have my syns and insert area up here at the top of the mixer, so this is normally how the mixer would look with a stereo master. Well, let me switch over to a different type of master track, and the way I'm going to do that is by simply clicking here in this little panel menu icon right here, and I'm going to switch over to 0303b, 5.1 master. What I've gone ahead and done is I've set up a timeline with a 5.1 master track.
Now, all my tracks look exactly the same, but whoa, what just happened up here with the panners? You'll now notice that my panners, even though these are the same tracks, VO, dialogue, camera, and so on, then deed if I come back to the timeline, you can see all the same content is there. Everything looks different up here with these panners. Well, these are surround panners, and yes, because I have a 5.1 master track, I can now position my mono or my stereo tracks in the surround field, so this is a surround panner.
If I take this VO track, I can position it right here in the center channel, or over here to the left channel, right channel. I can position it anywhere in the surround field, placing it however best suits my project. Now, for something like VO, that's probably best left in the center channel. Now, besides being able to pan each individual track, we also have these controls right here. Center percentage, and then LFE volume. Center percentage allows you to adjust how much of that channel is being sent to the center channel in a surround setup.
So, even if I place my VO, say right here, if I adjust the center channel percentage up like this, it'll be played kind of out of the left and center speakers, but depending on my percentage here, 62%, it will be weighted towards that center channel. Likewise, I have the LFE control right here. This is how much of this particular channel will be sent to the LFE, or subwoofer channel, and this allows you to have a little bit more of sort of bass management to your mixes, but this is really cool.
The fact that I can actually mix in surround sounds. Just keep in mind that you have to have the appropriate hardware to be able to hear all of those channels, and you can setup that audio hardware of course in preferences. Now, switching over to the next timeline, 0303c, multi-channel master. Again, the exact same timeline, but a couple other things have changed here. Over here in my master track, I now have an eight channel output. Inside of Premiere Pro, we can output up to 32 channels, and you can change that by simply clicking here in this little pull down from the number of channels in your master track, and you can see that you can do up to 32.
Now, for tape deliverables, it's common that you're going to have four or six, eight, even 12 individual tracks to go on tape, and for digital deliverables, you might have a lot more than that. I know of some broadcasters that do actually require 32 tracks of audio deliverables. Different splits and different stems and every combination that you could possibly think of. Now, what's changed besides the master track here? The volume fader and my panners look exactly the same as they did in the stereo master track, but what's changed is this item underneath of the panners, and this is called my direct output assignment.
Because I have a multi-channel sequence, I'm outputting eight different channels, I can now route each channel to a pair of outputs. If I click on that little button right there where it says one and two, I can now assign this channel to go to pair one and two, three and four, up to 32 channels audio. Later on in this title, I'll show you how we can sort of route our audio to different audio outputs for the purposes of creating stems or creating multi-channel output.
Let's change over to the next sequence, 0303d, track type stereo master. Now here, I actually don't have any content on my timeline because I want to show you something that's really important. On the timeline itself, you'll notice some different icons up here next to some of these tracks. This track right here in a1 doesn't have any icons on it. That's because it is a standard track. Of course, a standard track, you can put mono audio on it as well as stereo audio. This track right here is a 5.1 track.
You can actually put a self contained, what is called interleaved, 5.1 track onto this track, and you'll have six separate channels playing at the same time. This track right here, with a single little speaker icon, well that is a mono track, and then finally, this track with this sort of weird little graph icon, is an adaptive track. An adaptive track allows you to route multiple channels of audio from a source clip to various outputs, and if I take a look at the track mixer on the stereo master with these different track types, you can see that everything looks, well, pretty normal.
I have my standard 5.1 mono adaptive tracks. Notice here on the 5.1 track, I actually have six different individual meters right here, and then on the adaptive track, I have this little button right here where I can open and configure my adaptive track mapping. Let's switch over to track types 5.1 master. Yup, everything looks as expected, but now because I have a 5.1 master, I get those 5.1 pair controls back, except for of course, with the 5.1 track, because it's already 5.1, and then with the adaptive track, it's up to me how I want to route my input channels to the six output channels that I have.
And finally here in the multi-channel master, things look even different still. Of course I have my direct output assignments for my standard track, my mono track, but for the 5.1 track, I have individual channel assignments so I can route my left channel to whatever channel I want for the multi-channel, and then for my adaptive track, once again, I can route my input channels to whatever output channels that I have. So, I bet you didn't realize that simply changing the master track type for your sequence really changes how individual tracks are handled, from things like direct output assignments and panners.
Furthermore, having a better understanding of the different audio track types that are available in Premiere Pro will only make you a faster and better editor.
Watch the companion course, Premiere Pro Guru: Video Finishing Techniques, for more information about finishing the visual elements of your projects.
- Working with others
- Exporting audio tracks and video references
- Keyframing clip and track properties
- Using Premiere Pro's mixers
- Adding effects with compression, gain, normalization, and EQ
- Fixing audio issues with Audition
- Making your audio broadcast-legal
- Outputting stems