If you do a lot of work with broadcasters, then you know that they have a lot of criteria that you need to hit. One of these things is how loud your audio mix can be. Can you check for loudness in Adobe Premiere Pro? In this movie, authors Richard Harrington and Cheryl Ottenritter demonstrate how to check the loudness meter in Premiere Pro.
- I get a chance to work with a lot of broadcasters and as Premier Pro has continued to evolve, it's added additional tools. So besides the built-in VU meter, we actually have a loudness meter. Cheryl, why would you use a loudness meter? - Well, loudness is perceived volume. It's, so it's different than dBFS, which is a digital scale. It's actually trying to go into more of how it's perceived in the real world, how it's perceived in almost analog. - What it sounds like in the actual living room, right? There are some legislations out there that-- - Right.
- Broadcasters can't just technically push the levels up to the point of annoying consumers. They have a rule of how it sounds. - Right, and so, over the scope of the last few years when we're getting a handle on those, on those exact specifications, there has been different types of meters that have come out and loudness is perceived and it's translated into what they call -24 LKFS. - [Male Instructor] Alright, so let's open it up and we can look at that interface. We add this to the master track, right? - [Cheryl] Right.
- [Male Instructor] So Cheryl, loudness is added like an effect. It's under the special category but it's not actually an effect, right? It doesn't change things, it just monitors. - [Cheryl] Right, it does just monitor and just as a default it comes up as pre-fader. So, the first thing you need to do is change it to post-fader so that it's actually reading the output of your master correctly. - [Male Instructor] So where do we change that? - [Cheryl] We right click on it. - [Male Instructor] So we'll come over here and right click and we'll say post-fader 'cause we want it to actually be whatever this fader adjusted.
So if we pulled the master slider down 2 decibels, we need to see that post-fader, right? - [Cheryl] Exactly, and you won't be able to see any global changes that way. And it's also safer to check your mix that way. - Alright, so as I look at this, it kind of looks like a clock. So let's play back the audio for a second and just see what happens here. We'll take it towards the top. What are we seeing here? - [Cheryl] This is the history of what you're hearing and it gives you the low volume to the high volume.
The outer ring is the actual LKFS reading. Like, so if I'm mixing and I'm trying to do this live, I would be watching the ring and know that if I've got too much up here in -12, -18, that I'm not going to hit my -24 LKFS. And usually for, to broadcast it's -24 plus or minus two. - [Male Instructor] So this one's quite loud for broadcast. - [Cheryl] Exactly. Well we did do this mix for web, right? - 6? - [Male Instructor] We did, but let's say all of a sudden they called up and wanted to change.
Could we just pull down the master slider and maybe get there? - [Cheryl] We could, we could give that a try. How I would affect it is by changing, actually, the master compression and the limiter before the fader. - [Male Instructor] Okay. - [Cheryl] Because it's a little safer to do it that way. - [Male Instructor] Well let's make a change here. What we're seeing is, is that, that as it went around, these colors translated and so when it was getting into the -18 and the -12, that was drawing yellow. And I guess if it hit -6, this would push all the way to the top of that spike. - [Cheryl] They wouldn't like that at all, no. - [Male Instructor] So, we're going to come in here and we're just going to lower that.
So, what should the new threshold be? - [Cheryl] Let's do -11. - [Male Instructor] Okay. There we go. And how about for the dynamics? - [Cheryl] Let's change the threshold to -10. - [Male Instructor] Okay. Alright, and now we can go back to the loudness radar and we'll just refresh this. Now, do we need to do anything to tell it to redraw from the beginning? - [Cheryl] Yes, you should always refresh 'cause it's remembering the whole history from when you started playing. - [Male Instructor] So I'll just click the reset button there. We're at the first frame and we'll press play.
So we see that in the beginning, the music's a little lower and then the narration's about to kick in. - [Cheryl] It'll get a lot louder. And we're right in range. - [Male Instructor] Yeah. - [Cheryl] And you don't have any peaks. - [Male Instructor] Okay. - [Cheryl] But before we really get into that we should double-check our settings to make sure that they're absolutely right for what we're trying to do. - [Male Instructor] Alright, so let's check the settings area. And this is where we can set our target. So what is our correct target here? - [Cheryl] -24 LKFS is our correct target. - [Male Instructor] Okay, so we'll adjust that there.
And this is going to vary by one broadcaster to another. This is really for broadcast, right? - [Cheryl] Right. I rarely get asked to check LKFS for anything else. Typically, 99% of the time, it will be - 24 plus or minus two for your outcome. So a target of 24 is good. - [Male Instructor] And this area here is really the circle around. So, if you wanted it to show four minutes, the radar speed, four minutes would be a complete pass around the circle. - [Cheryl] A complete cycle. - [Male Instructor] So if you were doing an hour-long program, you might switch that to an hour.
- [Cheryl] Right, so you could basically trace your history if you, if you notice where you go out of range too much and want to go back in and massage it gives you a history. However, that's only as good as you stopping and starting and you can pause. Like, if you're working on an area and you want to just pause your radar, you just pause it and then when you start going again, you want to start the readings again, you hit play. - [Male Instructor] Four minutes is probably okay 'cause we're working on a short piece here. - [Cheryl] Correct. - [Male Instructor] So if we look back over here, we can also see these chunks and how it's broken it up. So this is going to affect some of the sensitivity.
So, the radar resolution, the range and these EBUs are different standards here, right? So this relates to the European broadcast standard. - [Cheryl] EBU is for momentary range. EBU +18 is the European standard but for momentary range, it's fine to be in the European standard because you're usually not required to deliver momentary. - [Male Instructor] And then we have the ability here to see if there's anything that falls too low or what we're looking at, and LKFS is the standard unit, but we do have other units of measurement if you have to use this for different broadcast standards.
- [Cheryl] Right, I would make the lower level -26. - [Male Instructor] Okay, so we'll just drag that over. There we go. - [Cheryl] 'Cause remember, you can be - 24 plus or minus two. - [Male Instructor] Sure. And that works well and so that's going to indicate if stuff is too low. And then beyond this, we have our standard here and what's the difference here between the two? - [Cheryl] It's a different type of weighting, how it's actually measured, the loudness. BS.1770-3 is the ITU standard that is standard in the United States and in Europe.
Oh, make sure that you're always up to date on that, so if-- - [Male Instructor] So we probably need to switch to this one if we're doing for broadcast. - [Cheryl] Right, exactly. - [Male Instructor] And then how about our peak indicator? That's plus or minus 2 there? - [Cheryl] It varies. And this is one, actually, that varies the most in your standard. True peak is almost always -2 for surround mixes yet there are still some networks who insist on a - 10 true peak even though we're in digital transmission. - [Male Instructor] And you will notice up at the top here we do have some different presets arranged for some of these. So these may help you get more closely to your targets.
You can experiment with these and these are actual presets stored inside your system folder. You can modify or remove these but it's a bit of a manual process. Alright, well let's check that back now. We've got our settings correct. We'll go back to the radar and choose reset and take a listen. So there is the music to begin and then the dialogue comes in. - [Cheryl] We're within range.
We're not, we probably are a little warm 'cause you're hitting that -18 an awful lot when you're watching it. I often keep the radar or a meter up when I mix just so that I don't lose track of where I am LKFS-wise. - Now, this tool is a little hard to access. It's under the track mixer. You have to apply it as an effect and you have to pop it up so that seems a bit hard. Ideally, in the future, it would become a simple window but it's still pretty uncommon that this is built in. Now, once you have this, it's easy spot problems but you need to know what the targets are and up next we're going to talk about some specific targets for different types of output.
- Setting up your tracks in Premiere Pro
- Organizing tracks on the Timeline
- Adjusting audio levels on the Timeline
- Switching between track and clip control
- Using the Clip Mixer and Track Mixer
- Using submixes for routing and stem mixing
- Adding clip-level effects to audio clips
- EQ for male and female voices
- Removing background noise
- Compressing the master track