Join Maxim Jago for an in-depth discussion in this video Adjust clip audio level, part of Media Composer 8.7 Essential Training: 101.
- [Instructor] As you go through the process of reviewing your media, it's quite possible you're going to discover that some of the clips are too loud or too quiet right from the start. You could make some pretty subtle adjustments inside your sequences, but we'll come to that later on. But it's also possible you'll just want to make some major flat level adjustments to your clips, particularly for things like music clips that are traditionally a bit too loud for incorporation into a mix. I'm going to show you a way here to adjust audio level in the bin that carries the adjustment into your sequences.
I'm going to open up our Selects bin where we've got a series of clips. I'm just going to open the first one R04_152 Matt Climbing, and let's just have a listen to this clip. (wind humming) - [Climber] Whoop. - [Instructor] Now that sounds fine to me, but let's say I want it to be a little bit louder, I really want to hear the hum of the wind in the microphone. I want to hear the chains and the clips that the climber is using to climb this wall.
I'm going to bring up the Audio Mixer. I'm going into the Tools menu, and I'm going to the Audio Mixer, and while I've got the source player, the source monitor selected, the Audio Mixer is going to give me controls for the item that I am currently viewing. This is mono audio and I can check that by switching the Timeline window to displaying not the contents of a sequence that I'm working on, but instead the contents of the source monitor. I'm going to go down here to the bottom left and click this Source Record toggle button at bottom of the Timeline.
Now what I'm seeing is the contents of the source monitor, and I can see the waveform. Now if you're not seeing the waveform for this clip, you can turn it on by clicking the Waveform button right here in the Track Header, and if you can't see the Track Header, you can enable or disable the display of it by clicking right here, Track Control Panel. When you first install Media Composer, this is almost certainly not going to be displayed. So turn on the waveform and now you can see it.
I also have an additional bit of information here that I'm just going to turn off for a moment so you can see the difference. If I go to the Fast Menu from Timeline, and go to Audio Data, I can turn off and turn on several options here. I'm going to turn off the Clip Gain, and before I do, notice down here we've got the option to have Per Track Settings. That means if this is on, you can make adjustments to what's visible and what's not for individual tracks. If this is off, change one track and they'll all update. Anyway, I'm going to turn off Clip Gain.
You notice when I do that I get all those extra markings away and now I can see a nice, clean waveform. So back to the source player and over in my Audio Mixer, I'm going to click and drag this slider just up to about plus six DB I think. This fader control is a classic control based on DB. So I'm actually boosting the audio level. Notice that, yes, indeed this is mono audio. And if I wanted to, I could change the pan in this panel as well, so that when I use the clip in a sequence, which again just for the record I haven't yet done, it'll come through one speaker or the other.
So let's have another listen. (wind humming) - [Climber] Whoop. - [Instructor] That's great, so you can really hear the wind in the trees. You get a sense of the atmosphere of the clip. So let's just move the Audio Mixer over for a second. I'm going to right click inside this Selects bin and I'm going to make a New Sequence, and I'll just call this Audio Test so we know what we're looking at. Okay, if I double click to open the sequence, now I'm getting the Audio Mixer for the sequence, but I'm not seeing the sequence in the Timeline because I still have this option switched over to show me the source monitor.
So I'm going to click this and now I've got an empty sequence. Okay, now I'm going to take this clip, and I'm pretty lazily just going to drag the whole thing down into my Timeline. And there it is with the video and the audio. I'm going to turn on the audio waveform. I'm going to go back to this Fast Menu, go to Audio Data, and I'm going to turn on Clip Gain. Right away you can see that plus six DB adjustment that I made. If I want to, I can click on this control, right on the Timeline, and make an adjustment again.
And you can see that's updated as I moved the slider over in the Audio Mixer. If I want to, I can also make adjustments to the clip in the bin by right clicking and going into the Gain Control. If I right click here and go to Audio and choose Apply Gain, I can now specify something like minus 10 DB, if I want, OK. Now when I did that, you'll notice nothing happened in the sequence, and I'm just going to double click to open this up in the source monitor.
So I'm now looking at the bin instance of the clip, in the source monitor, but in my sequence I'm looking at the sequence instance of the clip. I hope you're following along okay here. And this is an important distinction in the way that Media Composer functions. When you bring a clip into a sequence, the sequence now has in many ways an independent copy of the original master clip. This is a powerful feature in Media Composer because it means that some of the other features to do with media management are possible further down the chain, further through the edit.
But it does mean that the kinds of adjustments we're making here in the bin won't necessarily update when you already have the clip in a sequence. And that's good because it means you've got control of your media, and I suppose it's bad because it's slightly less efficient. Of course, there's nothing to stop me in the Timeline going in here and making a minus 10 DB adjustment, and we're pretty close, and carrying on with my edit. One of the benefits of using that Gain menu in the bin is you can select a whole list of clips, right click, Audio, Apply Gain, and set all of these to minus five DB.
I'm just typing in a hyphen actually on the keyboard and the number five, OK. Now if I double click to open any of these, you can see with them open in the source monitor, they're all going to be added to sequences with an existing minus five DB adjustment. If you are working with music clips, it's pretty likely you'll want to begin with a minus 18 DB adjustment. That's usually a good starting point. And remember, of course, this is non-destructive. It's not going to do anything at all to your original media and you can easily change it in the sequence as you continue to work on your edit.
- Setting up the editing environment
- Creating a new project
- Importing media
- Finding, organizing, and linking clips
- Building a sequence
- Editing and trimming
- Adding transitions
- Applying segment effects
- Combining effects
- Applying freeze frame and motion effects
- Creating titles
- Exporting video projects