Join Ashley Kennedy for an in-depth discussion in this video Adding music and mixing audio, part of Avid Media Composer 8 Essential Training.
In this movie, we'll add music to help set the mood of the piece, and we'll begin mixing our audio. If you're following along with the exercise files and you're just jumping in, please join me in the Hot Glass Chapter 2 project, and you'll just need to perform the AMA reeling step that I show you at the beginning of the fourth movie in this chapter, Basic Editing. All right so, our sequence is coming along pretty well, our shots are laid down. We've used the smart tool to make some refinements, and we've laid in our B roll. Now I'm going to lay in the music. Again, this music is mostly meant as background music to set the mood of the piece, but we could very well mean to make some slight adjustment in our editing, because there are some tempo changes in the music, that we may want to match.
So, I'm going to open up my music bin, and just load this clip, and I'll just play this for you so you can hear it. All right, so sort of mysterious there. Because I've screened this, I know that there's a change in tempo a little bit downstream here. And so if I want to see the waveform of my source clip, I just come down to this button right here, toggle source recording timeline and click it. And I'm going to display my audio waveform by just opening up my track control panel and putting this on here, and then if I would like to see more definition in my waveform, I can.
I just have to press Cmd+Option+K, or Ctrl+Alt+K on a PC, and it will kind of bring my waveforms down a little bit. Cmd+Option+l will make them larger, or Ctrl+Alt+L, but I want to go smaller, so I'll do Cmd+Option+K, and so down here we have a little bit of a change and you can see the changes in tempo throughout the song. So, I'm going to just come down here and let's listen to what it's going to start doing. All right, you probably want to match this change in tempo to our sequence. We just want to keep that in mind.
I'm going to press Toggle Source Record in Timeline once again, and let's go ahead and edit this in. You'll notice that my waveforms got kind of small because I performed that on the A1 and A2 tracks. So once again I'm just going to press Cmd+Option+L and make those a little bit larger. All right, so I need to add two audio tracks, which I will do b pressing Cmd+U, or Ctrl+U on a PC, twice, okay. So music will go on A3 and A4, and A1 and A2 need to be patched down there, so I'm just going to patch A1 to A3 and A2 to A4.
Try to patch odd to odd and even to even. And I'm going to disable my video tracks because, what I'm going to do is to mark this entire section in my time line which you can do by marking an in here and an out at the end, but I want to show you a really quick way to do that. Let me press G to get rid of my in and out points. Just perk any where in the sequence and then press t and it will automatically mark my in and out for me. All right, so, we're going to go ahead and edit this in. I want to make sure to get my play head to the very beginning, and I will overwrite this, so I'll press B.
And let's go ahead and make sure that we can see our audio waveforms here. Like so. And let's just give it a play and see what we think. >> Glass blowing has been around since the height of the Roman Empire. It was around that time when people discovered that molten glass could be inflated by blowing into. >> All right, and then I'm just going to pop down here a little bit and then I'll play here as well, just so we can get a sense. >> I, for one, don't like to carry out a big conversation while I'm working because I have to count. >> And then here.
More or less we have to cover ready to go. We have to have things planned out >> All right, so we're obviously going to need to fix the audio levels here. And to do this appropriately, I am first going to just mute my music, by clicking in these two little m buttons here. Because we first want to make sure that our principle audio, our narration and our interview audio is at the proper levels. Then we can come back and tackle the music. So, to do this, we're going to open two tools. I'm going to go up to tools, and open up the Audio Tool, and the Audio Mixer, okay.
If I had another monitor, I would obviously put these tools over there, but we're going to have a little bit of scrunch space on our user interface right now. If you want, you can also switch over to the audio editing workspace, which might be helpful, Windows > Workspaces > Audio Editing, and then it kind of rearranges your windows a little bit. So, I'll keep it here, but I'll also need to open up that audio tool and I'll put that over here. Okay. So, let's talk about audio levels. We want normal sounds, like the human voice, to peak right around here, around negative 14.
Louder sounds can peak louder, but never above 0, and quieter sounds can peak down here. So, let's just give this a play and see where we are hitting as far as our audio levels. Let's go ahead and first play Caroline. >> Been around since the height of the Roman Empire. It was around that time when people discovered that molten glass could be inflated by. >> So, she might be just a tad high. So, we might need to bring her down just a little bit, and you'll see that Suzy has a variation if you take a look at the wave form. Here, she's speaking a little bit louder.
Here she's speaking a little bit more quietly, so lemme just show you those two variations. Let's play this one. >> For one, don't like to carry on a big conversation while I'm working because I have to count. I have to know what's going on. >> All right, so she's a little more boisterous there, but later on, let's play this. >> On the metal table that we have our design on. We've just been waiting for that piece in the middle of the process, that design. >> So we've got a sense of how our principal audio is sounding. Everything is in pretty good shape. There was nothing that was, you know, drastically low or much too high, but we do want to try to get everything peaking right around negative 14 here.
So, the way we do that is just, I'm going to come to my first clip here. And, let's take a look at our audio mixer. As you can see, the audio mixer has a direct correlation to the timeline here. So, if I select A1 in the audio mixer, A1 in the timeline is likewise selected. I'm first going to select A 1 and A2, and turn off A3 and A4, and what we want to do is just play through this again and again, and we're going to take a look at the audio tool as we do that.
And then make the adjustments on the fly. All right, so to make this a little bit easier for me, I'm going to mark an in and an out in the timeline over a good representative part of Caroline's narration. And then I'm going to come up to this button here, which is audio loop play, and then as this is looping, I'm going to make the adjustments right here on these sliders. In order to make the adjustments in tandem, I'm going to group A1 and A2 together. And the group buttons are right here. So we've marked an in and an out to define the loop that our audio loop play is going to go through, I've grouped these tracks together and let's go ahead and do this.
>> It was around that time when people discovered that molten glass could be. It was around that time when people discovered that molten glass. >> All right, I think that's good. Now, we only brought that down by two decibels and that's fine. So, let's move on to Susie here. Again, I'm just going to mark and an in and out here, and we'll do the same thing. Make sure the A1 and A2 are selected. They're grouped. And let's go ahead and audio loop play. >> Harnessing that energy. Harnessing that energy. Harnessing that energy.
>> All right, I also brought that down by two decibels. And let's say that Susie was uniform throughout the entire thing, which she isn't, we've already discussed that. But let's say that the adjustments that I made here, I wanted to apply to all of the rest of her audio. I just quickly want to show you how to do that, I'm going to just mark an in and an out around all of Suzy's audio here, and I'm going to park. On the segment that I just adjusted, and then I'm just going to come up to this fast menu in the audio mixer. And choose set level on track between in and out, okay? If I did that, then every single one of these clips on this track between my in and my out point, would be reduced by two decibels.
All right, again, I'm not going to do that because I think she's going to require a little bit more care and not just a blanket adjustment. We'll just do one more for now because I do want to get to one other thing in this movie. So I'll mark and in and an out here. We will audio loop play. >> Respond to our will with our bare hands wet newspaper. Respond to our will with our bare hands, wet newspaper. >> I just barely brought that down by one decibel, because she was mostly just fine there. So, I will just keep going on, clip by clip, knowing that my set level on track between in and out is available to me if I want it.
But next I want to talk about how we're going to handle this music, all right? So, once you've gone through and you've made sure that all of your principle audio is peaking properly, then I'm going to go to A3 and A4, and I'm going to unmute it, and let's get rid of that in and out point, I'll press G. So, we know that we're going to need to lower the audio levels in the music, and we're going to need to lower them some right here but a lot more right here. So, let's go ahead and lower them at the beginning of the song and basically what we're doing is a little bit more subjective, we're not here to hit a specific number on the music.
But we're going to listen to this and now that we know that the principle audio is good, we just want to make sure that we can hear the principle audio by bringing the music down appropriately. So, I'm going to mark an in and an out again, and then I'm going to turn off grouping for a one and a two, and turn it on for a three and a four. And let's again choose audio loop play. >> It was around that time when people discovered that molten glass could be inflated by blowing. It was around that time when people discovered that molten glass could be inflated by. >> All right.
So, I think that's okay. I brought it down by more than 12 decibels. And I'm just going to continue playing here making sure that this is going to be okay, and I know that it's not going to be okay down here. But I'm just going to play over this area and make sure that everything still sounds good. >> With our bare hands. Wet newspaper, on the 2,000 degree surface. I for one don't like to carry on a big conversation while I'm working because I have to count. I have to know what's going on. >> All right. Think about right there. We start to get a couple more instruments in there and it gets a little bit louder.
So what I'm going to do, is put a key frame here so that I can lower the audio a little bit here and we're most certainly going to need to do it right here as well. So, I'm going to press G to get rid of my in and out points. And there's a couple of ways that I can add key frames, but the very first thing that you need to do is tell Media Composer what you're key framing. So, I'm going to come to my track control panel on A3 and A4. And click on this menu and choose volume, because we're key framing our volume. Like so. And I'll zoom in just a little bit here.
And I'm going to add key frames with my apostrophe key. So I will click apostrophe here, and here. And if I click on one of these, it highlights pink. So, I'm going to Shift+Click, so that I highlight both of those, and just bring it down just a tiny bit I think. And let's play this. >> I for one don't like to carry on a big conversation while I'm working, because I have to count. I have to know what's going on. >> All right I think that's working okay. And then, when we get to this section, probably going to need to do it again quite a bit, so let's listen.
More or less we have to have our design ready to go, we have to have things planned out, we now >> And before when I was talking about needing to match to the tempo I think this is definitely a place where I want to do that, so, just really quickly I am going to enable my audio and my video here, and I will grab my red arrow, and I will just shift-click. On all of this and move it over to exactly where this tempo change is happening, about right there, okay. And I'll turn off my red arrow and let's go ahead and add some more key frames here, so I'll just do my apostrophe key, again, on a three and a four, like so, and here.
And click, and then Shift+Click and bring this down. And I just want to see if that's enough. >> More or less, we have to have our design ready to go. We have to have things. >> Okay, not bad. And I would just keep going, key framing my music to make sure everything was mixed appropriately. And just understand. This was just the basic of the basic regarding audio editing In Media Composer. But by showing you how to adjust levels by the audio mixer, and do simple key framing in the timeline, you'll be able to solve most simple audio level issues in your show.
Note: This Avid Media Composer v. 8 Essential Training only addresses software updates up to v. 8.5. if you are using Media Composer v. 8.6 or later, please access the following courses instead:
Media Composer 8.7 Essential Training: 101
Media Composer 8.7 Essential Training: 110
- Setting up the editing environment
- Importing media
- Building a rough cut with basic editing and trimming techniques
- Navigation and customization techniques
- Editing audio
- Adding effects
- Multicam editing
- Performing color correction
- Creating titles with Avid Marquee and NewBlue Titler Pro
- Managing media
- Exporting your project
- Troubleshooting in Avid Media Composer
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 12/12/2014. What changed?
A: We added and revised tutorials to cover the changes to Avid Media Composer in v8.2 and v8.3. Watch the "What's new" movies for an overview of the updates.
Q: This course was updated on 8/24/2015. What changed?
A: Avid released the 8.4 version of Media Composer in June 2015. We added two new movies to this course to describe the update and covering working with high-resolution files in the newest version of the software.
Q: This course was updated on 02/25/2016. What changed?
A: We added five tutorials covering the Avid Media Composer 8.5 update, released in January 2016.