Join Chad Perkins for an in-depth discussion in this video Cutting video to music, part of Premiere Pro CS5 Essential Training.
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In this tutorial, I am going to give you a few quick tips for how to edit to audio. Now this works great for music videos, such as the example that we will be looking at here. But it also works really well for other avenues. If you're going to be making commercial and there is a little jingle you need to edit to, or a podcast, or maybe there is like a show opener or whatever, knowing how to edit to music, letting the music be the standard, the guide that you follow, is a very common thing in editing. And these tips will really help you I think. Now I have a musical background and that tends to help, but even if you don't, the audio waveform here is really critical to getting a good edit with your audio.
So you want to make sure that the track is expanded. You want to make sure that you are horizontally zoomed in. So I'm going to hit the Plus key to zoom in a little bit better. Actually not that much, hit the Minus key one more time. And then I'm going to go to the target area here. And if I hold my cursor down right here in between audio tracks 1 and 2, I get a Resizing tool. So I can click and drag upwards to see a better representation, a bigger representation, of my audio track. Now I am kind of forced to resize my Timeline panel because I'm not seeing all of the waveform and the audio.
But it's mainly because I have these two empty video tracks. So I can right-click on one of these tracks and just click Delete Tracks, or I could click and drag this divider in between the video and audio tracks to resize what I'm seeing here. And then I could squish this down a little bit better. Now initially this audio waveform here that we are looking at might look like a bunch of gibberish to you. But really this represents the volume of the track. And so we could look and see spikes in the audio, even if we were looking at dialogue. We can look at this and see where the key points are.
So let's listen to this and as you are listening to the rhythm of the music, it's hip-hop so it's pretty easy to discern were those beats are. But as this Current Time Indicator moves look at where these beats are, and see if you can see where they land. (Rapper: Time is money. Before owning it, time is blowing in the wind. Never know when it begins.) So we could see the four counts here. We basically have the spikes are where the beats are. So we have 1, 2, 3, 4. Now there is an "and" or a halfway beat in between 2 and 3.
So we have boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. So 1, 2, 3, 4. And again it's good to know where those beats are because those make good cut points a lot of times. They really emphasize the music because the cut points are right there on the beat. Now another thing that we can do is while we play this back we can create sequence markers by pressing the Asterisk key on the numeric keyboard as we are playing. So if you can't see where the beats are, then you can feel them or hear them and then hit the Asterisk key, almost as if it were like a drum pad, and you want to hit that on when you want to make the marker.
So I am going to preview this. And as I am playing this back, I am going to be hitting the Asterisk key and it's going to be creating sequence markers for me. (Rapper: Time is money. Before owning it, time is blowing in the wind. Never know when it begins.) So you could see that as I was hitting the Asterisk key, these sequence markers up here at the top were being created for me. So now I can use these as cut points if I wanted to, and just trim to these little markers here. Now we find that we don't really have enough footage, but still we have somewhere to start.
Now another thing I find, especially when you are looking at independent music videos, is that the music and the words don't always match up. Because what happens on a music video shoot, like when you're shooting the video, is say for example I've directed this and we're on the middle of nowhere. There's no power or anything. So I had my iPhone in my pocket playing their song and they are lip-syncing to my iPhone playing in my pocket as we are going. And so, and that's pretty much the case of every single music video. Everyone is lip-syncing. And so what you need to do when you come in here and postproduction is you need to sync up the video with the audio.
Now if you are really intelligent, which I was not, you will set up some kind of click or some kind of system, so that you will allow yourself to sync up that audio when you come here to edit. I did not do that and so what I needed to do is match up the words to the music. Now again, because this process has been to be done in post, a lot of independent music videos, if you watch them closely, the lips don't exactly match. They get in the ballpark, but they are not quite there. And that's the case that we have here. I am actually just going to move this clip back for the time being and re-extend this clip, so we can see a little bit more of it.
But watch his lips. It's close but it's not quite there. (Rapper: Time is money. Before owning it, time is blowing?) Okay so it's close but again not quite exactly on target. Here is a good way to tell if it's on target. I am going to go to my Preferences and on the PC that would be under the Edit menu. But I am going to go to Premiere Pro > Preferences, and then I'm going to go to my General Settings right now. You see we have different categories of Preferences that we can adjust. I am going to click on Audio to go to the Audio category of Preferences.
And this is one that really helps. While I am doing tutorials I like to leave this off because it gets annoying. But when I am actually working I like to have this selected, Play audio while scrubbing. I am going to go ahead and click OK here. Now when I drag the Current Time Indicator I am actually going to hear the audio. (Inaudible ) And before you really get into editing, like when you're learning about editing this just sounds like a bunch of gibberish. It just sounds like blah, blah, blah, blah. But actually when you get into editing and you get familiar with that scrubbing sound, it really tells you a lot.
And so what I can do is click on this and I could slowly scrub and see if the words match up a little bit more accurately. (Rapper: Time is money. Before owning it, time is blowing in the?) So I could see that the video comes first, that the video is a little bit too early because I scrubbed it. It's almost like playing in slow motion in a sense. So what I can do here, I'm actually just going to move this clip out of the way, is take this clip and drag and move this clip until we could scrub it and see this match up.
Okay, so even there it's still a little bit early. (Music Playing) (Rapper: Time is money. Before?) So now you could see that if we go back to the first frame here, it's about on right now. And we were eight frames off initially. So what didn't seem like that big of a deal at first, once you get in there and you start scrubbing you realize, wow, that was really, really off. To the tune of eight frames off, that's a lot. So now as we scrub this we could see that it actually works. (Rapper: Time is money. Before owning it...) So now if we play this back real speed it's going to look amazing.
(Rapper: Time is money. Before owning it, time is blowing in the wind.) Very cool! Now the last tool to be aware of is one that we've already covered. That tool is the Slip Edit tool. Oftentimes when I am editing to music-- Let's say for example I trim this here and I'll trim this here. So I know I want it to go between these beats. I know I wanted to exist, this clip here, between these two beats. So I might have, for example, some like B -roll footage or just kind of a clip of them like hanging out or something like that. And so I know I want it to happen between these beats, so that those cut points happen.
But I might not have it synced up exactly. So what I can do then is go and select the Slip tool and click and drag on it and that allows me to change the footage but still keep those cut points where they are. So those are a few of my favorite tools and techniques when editing to music or audio of any type actually.
- Adding footage to the Timeline
- Creating dynamically linked content
- Making overlay and insert edits
- Moving edit points
- Playing a clip backwards
- Understanding pixel aspect ratio and frame rate
- Applying motion effects
- Cutting video to music
- Compositing with green screen and blend modes
- Correcting color
- Creating titles and lower thirds
- Exporting sequences