This video explores gain and volume adjustments. You begin by learning what "normal" sounds like and you check all audio to measure it against that standard). You then explore both source-based gain adjustments and timeline-based gain adjustments. You learn the recommended workflow of adjusting gain first, and then volume. You also learn how to share volume adjustments across multiple clips.
- [Instructor] Getting your audio levels right is one of the most important parts of the audio editing process. So, let's take a look at this. First, let's start by setting up the interface, so that we can see everything okay for audio editing. There is an audio editing workspace. But, rather than going over to this right now, I want to stay in my editing workspace, and just make a few adjustments. First, I just want to bring my timeline, to be a little taller. And I want to adjust my audio tracks, so that I can see my level lines. So, I'm just going to scroll up with my mouse scroll wheel.
And you can see this white line in the middle of the audio track. And I'll do that for A2 as well, and A3. And I'll make my audio meters larger. I'm just going to play a few sections of this sequence, so that you can see some of the issues that we have right out of the gate. Alright. So first, let's listen to Jack. - Craftsmanship, quality, and community spirit. That underlies everything that we do. - [Instructor] And then, I'm just going to come to Casey. - So, I always tell people that, if you want to become a brewer, you have to be obsessed with-- - [Instructor] And then, I'm going to come over to Kyle.
- [Kyle] Is definitely the team. We got very lucky and found an extremely talented, and extremely passionate people. - [Instructor] Alright. So, those interviews aren't very consistent. We've got Jack, who I think sounds pretty good. We've got Casey, who sounds okay, but he seems a little loud in places. And then, Kyle is way too quiet. So, there's a quite a bit to do. But, the first thing that we need to do, is make sure that our most important audio, our audio on the interviews, is set appropriately. Then, we can come back and mix the ambient audio, on all of our B-roll and our music.
Now, if I wanted to, I could stay working in a timeline that looks like this. But, there are some people who find it helpful to actually separate out each character's audio onto different tracks. And so, I want to show you that. I'm going to come to this sequence here, the 2 pre-gain levels separate tracks sequence. And I'll load this. And so, what I've done here, is I've placed my B-roll ambient audio on A1. I've placed Jack's audio on A2, Casey's on A3, and Kyle's on A4.
Alright, so it take a little bit of coordination. But, it's basically just a matter of dragging audio up and down tracks, like so, or using the keyboard shortcut. I'm going to just option-click on the audio alone, so that it don't select the video. That's alt-click on a PC, to isolate that. And then, the keyboard shortcut for moving those up and down, through tracks, is option, or alt-up and down arrow. And then, you may also want to color-code it. A lot of people do like to separate it out visually like that.
So, I'll go ahead and just select Casey, and then right click. And then, come to Label. And we'll give him a violet color. And then, I'll select Kyle here. And Label. And we'll go cerulean, which is this sort of teal color. Okay. So, now we have a good sense of whose audio is what. But, let's talk about what the audio should be. Now, if you look over here, in the audio meters, important sounds, like the human voice, should peak at a specific level.
And that level can vary, depending on the standards of who you're delivering the program for. But, a pretty standard level, that we're going to go by, is right around negative 12, maybe between negative 12 and negative six. Louder sounds can certainly be louder, but never above zero. And then, quieter sounds can be quieter. But, we want to get everyone's voice to peak right around this area here. So, let's just take a listen, to see where they're already naturally peaking. I'm going to solo Jack first. So, we know that Jack is on A2.
And I'm going to solo him. And I'm just going to spot check him throughout the sequence. Alright. And let's take a look at the audio meters as I do so. - Craftsmanship, quality, and community spirit. That underlies everything that we do. We're not afraid to pay a little bit more, for higher quality. Saying, hey, we believe what you guys believe. We're-- - [Instructor] Alright. So, Jack's in relatively good shape. He does peak a little bit loudly at times. But, we'll fix that. Alright. And now, let's spot check Casey. And I'm going to go to my A3 track, and just solo him.
- If you want to become a brewer, you have to be obsessed with beer, and love it. It takes a special individual to-- - [Instructor] So, that was actually pretty good. But, I'm pretty sure he starts out fairly loud, at the very beginning. I'm going to play just the very beginning part. And let's take a look at the audio meters. - [Casey] So, I always tell people that if you want to become a brewer, you have-- - [Instructor] Alright. So, he does begin speaking quite loudly. In fact, he does peak above zero. And Premiere Pro tells you this. Whenever you play over some audio, that goes above zero, it will leave these red indicators up, saying, hey, you just peaked on your audio.
You're going to need to fix that, okay? The next time you play, it'll go away. So, if I go play in this empty part of the timeline, you'll see that they go away. But, it's a nice, good, temporary check-in. And then, let's just check out Kyle. I'm going to solo him. And let's play. - [Kyle] My favorite thing about Topa Topa, is definitely the team. We got very lucky, and found extremely talented, extremely passionate people. - [Instructor] Alright. So, Kyle is too quiet. He's speaking right around negative 18. So, we'll definitely need to raise his levels.
Now first, I'm going to talk about two terms that are very important, in this whole process. Gain and volume. Now, your gain and your volume both refer to the loudness of the audio. However, gain is the input level of the clips, and volume is the output. So, in Premiere Pro, we ideally adjust the gain, before doing anything else to the clip. And then, we can individually come in, and adjust the volume on individual clips. And another thing to keep in mind, is that I haven't made any audio adjustments, on these clips, prior to editing them into the timeline.
But, because of the order of operations, it could certainly make sense, to do that ahead of time. Alright. So, before I actually come in, and adjust my audio for Jack, Casey, and Kyle, let me come over to these clips in the Bin, which are the ones that I've edited into the timeline, and talk about when you might want to adjust the gain on the clips, prior to editing them into the timeline. Now, just because we know that Kyle needs the most work, I'll go ahead and load him into the source monitor first, and then I'll play, and it should be very similar.
We should be peaking right around negative 18, with Kyle. - Everything about Topa Topa, is definitely the team. We got very lucky, and found extremely talented, extremely passionate people. - [Instructor] Alright. So, that's right. Now, if I wanted to check the gain, I can right click on this clip, and go to Audio Gain, or keyboard shortcut-G, G for gain. So, I'll just press G, and my Audio Gain window opens. And I'm going to come down here, to Peak Amplitude. And this is the loudest that he is, during this clip, alright? So, the very loudest that he ever gets, is negative 7.6 decibels, alright? And that is within the acceptable limits.
However, that's the loudest he gets. Generally, he's too quiet. He's hangin' out, right around down here. So, what I recommend, when you set your gain, is to make a baseline adjustment. And then, you can later adjust the volume in the timeline, okay? So again, if we were doing this before editing, into the timeline, this would be a great work flow. I could adjust the gain by probably about seven, or eight decibels. I'll start out with seven. And we'll say OK. And then, I can play, and we can look in the audio meters, to see how that's sounding.
- Thing about Topa Topa, is definitely the team. We got very lucky, and found-- - [Instructor] Alright. So, I think that was a nice adjustment. But again, it was for this source clip, not for clips edited into the timeline. If I check Kyle over here, in the timeline, you'll see that he's still quiet. - [Kyle] And beer. My favorite thing about Topa Topa, is definitely the team. We got very lucky, and found extremely talented-- - [Instructor] Alright. So, order of operations-wise, we are going to be adjusting our audio, here in the sequence. But, keep in mind, that adjusting source clips ahead of time can be a real time saver.
And you can actually adjust many clips, at the same time, with the same gain adjustment, alright? So, if I know that Jack needs to be adjusted, by a certain amount, I could select them all, and then open up the gain window, and change that appropriately. But, order of operations-wise, we've already edited the audio in. So, let's take a look at our sequence. And we'll start with Jack, who is on A2. So, we'll solo him, and zoom in here. And let's start, by just listening, again, to his first clips.
- Craftsmanship, quality, and community spirit. That underlies everything that we do. - [Instructor] Alright. So, just as with Casey, he starts off talking pretty loud. - Craftsmanship, quality, and community spirit. - [Instructor] He doesn't peak above zero, but he's definitely between negative six and zero. And so, on this one, I might actually lower the gain. But, on this one, I think it's pretty good. - [Jack] Underlies everything that we do. - [Instructor] And so, I could get nitpicky here, and lower the gain on this one, and keep this one the same. But, in general, my advice is to find a common baseline.
Like, what do you need to do, in order to raise, or lower all of Jack's clips, for example? And then, make that adjustment, and then go back, and adjust the volume for each individual clip. Let me show you how I would adjust the gain on this. But then, we might just end up doing volume adjustments. It's the same exact process, actually. I just select the clip, and then press G. And then, my Audio Gain window opens. And then, if I wanted to lower this, by maybe three decibels, I'll just come to Adjust Gain by, and then do minus three.
And I'll say OK. And let's take a listen to this. - Craftsmanship, quality, and community spirit. That underlies everything that we do. - [Instructor] Okay. So, for that specific clip, I think we're good with that adjustment. But after that, he does get quieter. And so, I don't think we'll need to make anymore initial gain adjustments. But, let's just make sure, and check the rest of Jack, before we move on to Casey. - [Jack] Craftsmanship. We have Casey, and his team, who care meticulously about the beer. He's here anytime the beer needs him. - [Instructor] In general, he was peaking right around negative 12. So, I actually am not going to make any basic gain adjustments.
And I'm going to make the assumption that, for the rest of Jack, we're in that situation. So, I'm going to leave gain alone for now. Again, we totally have the option of later coming back with volume adjustments. And let's move on to Casey. And I want to make sure that I can see his volume line. And we know that he starts off speaking pretty loud. But, I want to listen to him for just a little bit, to see if I can sense a general pattern. And I'm not solo'd, so I just want to make sure that I solo Casey. And that Jack, and try that again. - [Casey] I always tell people that if you want to become a brewer, you have to be obsessed with beer, and love it.
It takes a special individual to be in a brewery, where it's almost a hundred degrees, and you got steam in your face. It's-- - [Instructor] Alright. So again, Casey's pretty good, when he starts rolling here. We are definitely going to need to lower his audio, when he starts. I'm probably going to do that with key framing, in the next movie. Still though, I think I can make a baseline gain reduction here, of about two decibels, on Casey's audio. So, I'm just going to select those, and then press G. And I'm going to adjust the gain by negative two.
And OK. And let me just spot check this. I'm going to just keep looking at Casey's audio, to make sure that that was a good decision. - [Casey] It's sticky, it's hot. But, at the end of the day, you know you-- - [Instructor] Alright, that's good. - It's not really about the volume that we're making, but just the quality. - [Instructor] And that was a little bit quieter. But again, we can come in, and make that volume adjustment later. Now, we know that Kyle is the one that needs the most help. And over here, in the source, we raised him by about seven decibels.
So, let's cheat, and do the same thing over here. First, I will go ahead and check. We'll solo Kyle. - [Kyle] My favorite thing about Topa Topa, is definitely the team. We got very lucky, and-- - [Instructor] Alright. So, I'm going to select those, press G, adjust it by my seven decibels, and OK. And take a listen. - Found extremely talented, extremely passionate people. - [Instructor] That was still a little bit quiet. But, he does get very soft towards the end here. Let me check over here. - [Kyle] My favorite thing about Topa Topa, is definitely the team.
We got very lucky, and found extremely talented, extremely passionate people. - [Instructor] Alright. So, this might be a situation, where we would come in, and adjust my volume, a little bit. And I'm just raising this line. So, I'm raising it by another two and some decibels. If I want to use my keyboard shortcuts, to raise and lower my decibel line, that is the left bracket and right bracket key. So, the left bracket will lower it, by one decibel at a time, and the right bracket will raise it, by one decibel at a time. If I had shifted that, I raise and lower it, by three decibels at a time.
So, shift-left bracket goes down three decibels at a time. Shift-right bracket goes up three decibels at a time. And just so you know, when I either increase or decrease by three decibels, it becomes either twice or half as loud. Alright. So, I've actually done a lot to this. And I think probably too much. So, let me just test it. And then, we'll make a final adjustment. - Got very lucky and found extremely talented-- - [Instructor] So, much too loud. I'm going to go down with my volume, with my left bracket. Test it again. - Very lucky, and found extremely talented-- - [Instructor] Alright, very good.
Now again, I'm going to go through all of Jack, all of Casey, all of Kyle. Make sure that everything is peaking properly. We do not have the time to do that right now, in this movie. It is definitely a meticulous process. But, I do want to teach you one more thing, which can be very helpful. And that is copying and pasting attributes. Alright. So, once you identify your baseline gain adjustment, and then maybe you want to make a couple of volume adjustments, and you want to share that volume adjustment across many clips. So say, for example, you come in to Jack, and you decide that you want to raise this volume, by about two decibels, and then, everything within this general area needs to be raised by the same amount.
Again, this is a hypothetical, because we haven't checked it. I'm just going to select this, press command-C, or control-C, on a PC. And then, select the clips that I want to share that adjustment with. And then, come up to edit, and then Paste Attributes. And then, we want to paste our audio attributes. So, I'm going to turn off video. And we want to paste volume adjustments. And so, when I do this, take a look at the line on the clips that I'm pasting it to. It should pop up, like so, okay.
And now, I very easily shared those adjustments. Again, this was a hypothetical. I don't want to do something that is going to detract from the audio. So, I'm going to undo those. Command-Z, and we're back to unity. Alright. So, I'm going to keep going through my sequence here, making sure that the audio level adjustments, on my primary audio, is sounding good. I have my B-roll audio on A1. So, I can do the same thing there. I do have a finished sequence here, Topa Topa 3, where I've already gone through and performed all gain and volume adjustments. So, feel free to check that out.
This is the first part of a two-part series. The second installment explores more intermediate techniques.
- Touring the Premiere Pro interface
- Asset organization and project management
- Basic editing
- Trimming and refining
- Basic audio editing
- Working with stills and graphics
- Basic effects
- Manipulating clip speed
- Using automatic and basic color correction tools
- Working with titles
- Sharing and exporting