Join Maxim Jago for an in-depth discussion in this video Mix clip gain and pan, part of Media Composer 8.7 Essential Training: 110.
- [Narrator] The audio mixer makes it easy to adjust gain and pan for your clips, and I'd like to use this sequence, I've renamed it "Mix Gain and Pan" there's a complete version here as an example for us to look at the way Media Composer deals with dual mono audio and stereo audio for this purpose. We also have the option to apply adjustments to a range of clips, and we're going to use our sync audio for these dialogue clips to test that out. First of all, let's look at this stereo music down at the bottom right hand corner.
In our audio mixer, this is our Audio Five, and it's pretty obvious this is stereo. You can't put a stereo audio clip onto mono tracks and vice-versa, so if it's on a track it's going to be stereo and the mixer's going to give you the correct controls for that. And that just means two pan pots instead of one. There's a mono clip on Audio One, that's this dialogue. So we have two pan pots and we have one fader control for both channels. That makes pretty good sense. The audio mixer has a meter for each track, so we don't really need the audio tool up while we're working in this tool.
If I turn off the A5 track, and make an adjustment, it just turns back on again. So for this aspect of the tool it's not too important. We're going to undo to put this back, there we go, to minus 18 dB. I have got a solo button and a mute button and as you can see there from the timeline those controls just update the mirrored controls in the timeline window and so, if I want to adjust the gain for this clip, I can just drag the fader up and down and as I do you can see this line adjusting in the timeline window.
I'll just make this track a little taller, I'm holding the alt key here and resizing a little. The pan controls are pretty interesting. I'm going to get to these group controls in a moment, but you'll see here that by default, Media Composer sets Channel One to 100% left and Channel Two to 100% right for audio that is supposed to be stereo. And that's ideal, that's exactly what we would want to happen. And I can, if I want to, click and drag. It's a funny control, you kind of need to just drag left and right when you're using these controls.
Don't try to drag up and down or drag in a circle, it's just not going to work. What's really happening is, once you click on the control, just move the cursor right or left when you drag to set it. Alt + clicking on these controls will reset them to 100% left and right, but if I just set this to zero, or mid, let's just get that there, and do the same for my right channel, there we go. Now I can begin to make use of these stereo linking and mirroring controls at the top.
If I turn on the stereo link option, when I click and drag one of these the other moves with it. Makes a lot of sense. If I turn on the mirror option, clicking and dragging produces the opposite effect. So this is a pretty useful tool if you've got a lot of stereo clips that you've accidentally set to be mid you can quickly get in and change them. Let's take a look now at these dual mono clips. I'm going to just push my mixer over a little so you can see it on the timeline. And I'm going to hold the alt key down here to click and enable clip gain that's going to enable the clip gain display for all of the tracks in one step.
Back in my audio mixer, I can see we're looking at audio three and four and I have a problem, because this music is stereo but I originally added the clip to the sequence as dual mono. And it's very common to get audio from cameras as dual mono, but not so much for music. Because it's dual mono, the default setting for the pan controls at the top of the audio mixer are set to mid, which means mono, and I'm not getting any of the stereo imaging from the sound. Also, if I want to make an adjustment to the audio level, you'll notice that I'm only adjusting the level for one clip.
Let me undo that a couple of times. So if I turn on the group control, at the top of these two tracks, and again, I just want to emphasize, each one of these vertical stacks of controls applies to a specific track named at the bottom, but the adjustments we're making are not adjustments to the track itself. They're adjustments to whichever clip the playhead happens to be over at the moment. And later, when we're working with key frames, the key frames will be added wherever the playhead is. In any case, I've ganged these two tracks together, and now, if I make an adjustment, you can see that I'm getting both tracks changing the pan at the same time.
I can't turn on the stereo link because this is not stereo audio. So, the only thing I can do, is turn off the group for these two tracks and then I can switch over to left and right and get proper stereo imaging. And this configuration really will work. This is absolutely fine. When this music plays, Channel One will come out of the left speaker, and Channel Two will come out of the right speaker. So we're all good. As you can tell, though, you need to be pretty organized about this stuff and it's, broadly speaking, a good idea to think of your tracks on the timeline as odd numbers being left and even numbers being right.
And you can see I've done that without thinking here, I've set my music on Audio Three and Four just to make sure that I can keep that pattern in place. And now let's look at the audio level for these dialogue clips. I'm going to turn on the waveform to get a sense of the overall level, and let's say I decide that they should all be a bit louder. So here for my Audio One track I'm going to boost the volume by six dB. That adjustment's applied to this individual clip but now I'm going to press shift + command + a or shift + control + a on Windows to deselect all of the tracks and just turn on Audio One.
And then on the timeline here, I'm going to add an in mark near the beginning and an out mark near the end, and then in my audio mixer, having made an adjustment, you see my play has moved now so I'm on a different clip at the end. Let's shift this up to, let's go for five dB, instead of six, there we go. Now, in the fast menu, at the top of the audio mixer, I can choose to apply the level on the track from my in mark to my out mark, or the pan, or both, or remove the gain or the pan, or both the pan and the volume, in to out.
It's quite interesting, you'll notice the language that's used changes throughout this menu, and it has done for many years in Media Composer. Then here we're looking at removing clip gain and pan but here we're looking at removing clip pan and volume. It doesn't really matter what these items are called, they're referring to the same things. The top half is adding stuff, the bottom half is taking stuff away. Just to illustrate this, actually, I'm going to move my in mark to about halfway through the sequence and then let's apply, let me move my playhead back to this plus five dB clip, let's apply that level on the track in to out.
And immediately you can see all of those clips update. If I go back to my timeline window and remove my marks altogether, so I've just turned on Audio Four by clicking into the timeline, I'm going to turn that off again. Now if I go back to the audio mixer I can click the fast menu and instead of saying in to out it says global. So let's do that, and now all of the clips on the selected track have been updated. I'm just working with one track at the moment, but if I did have other tracks enabled with adjustments made to them, those adjustments would also be applied to those tracks.
So this is a quick way to make a simple adjustment to the audio clips in your sequence. It's not going to compare to a full mix in Pro Tools or Audition or another dedicated audio post production system, but it's a good start.
- Importing and transcoding media
- Creating a group clip
- Syncing picture and sound clips
- Making quick edits such as stringouts
- Recutting a scene
- Creating subsequences
- Pacing a scene with Media Composer's trim tools
- Mixing sequence audio
- Working with high-res media
- Retiming video
- Nesting effects
- Keying video
- Animating titles and graphics
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 10/13/2017. What changed?
A: New videos were added that cover what’s new in Media Composer 8.7, 8.8, and 8.9.