Join Abba Shapiro for an in-depth discussion in this video Working with audio, part of Premiere Pro CS6 Essential Training.
In this chapter we're going to explore working with audio, not only how you can interpret it, but how you can also work with the levels and mix it together. But before we get deep into working with audio, I just want to show you a couple of things you may want to be able to check out. One is if you right-click on any clip in your Project panel, you can actually find out details about that file. So I'm going to click on Properties, and we can see that the audio here is a compressed stereo format. And Premiere Pro is very flexible, it can use a variety of audio formats, whether they're encoded with video, like these files are as MP4 files or if they are AIFF or WAV or MP3 files, Now all the files we're working with are stereo, and I want to show you what happens when we actually bring clips into our timeline, and if it interprets them wrong how you can quickly fix that.
So the first thing I want to do is I want to double-click to load the music file in so you can see that you can look at a waveform of your audio. Now this is a stereo file, so we have the left channel on the top part and the right channel on bottom part, and I can easily scrub through that and listen to it. (audio playing) Now by default, we generally work with our audio in the same frame rate as our video which is 24 frames a second or 30 frames a second. So as I step through my audio, it moves it 1/30th of a second at a time.
Some people want a lot more control over their audio editing, and I can go to this flyout menu, and instead of viewing my audio as time code or as frames, I can do it as Audio Time Units. If you notice, this changed right here, and now I am actually looking at the sample rate, and I can do sub-frame editing of my audio. I can go to incredible detail. For most of what you're doing, you will probably want to keep it on frames. So let's go ahead and un-check Show Audio Time Units.
But that is important to know if you really want to do fine-tune editing. I'm going to go ahead and load a video clip into our source monitor, and you're used to seeing this if you've been watching all the other movies. But there's another way I can look at this audio. As a matter of fact, let's specifically go look at an interview clip. Let's go ahead and double-click on the interview with Brian on camera and load that into our source monitor. Now we've seen this before, and I scrub through and listen to him talk and see him speak, but one of the other options I have is to go to that same flyout menu that we just looked at, and instead of looking at our composite video, we can actually look at the audio waveform.
Sometimes when I'm cutting narration, it's a lot easier to mark my in and out points against the waveform than it is to try to watch his lips move, and then I can simply switch back to my composite video, and I still have the same in and out points. The other thing I want you to notice-- I'm going to go ahead and switch back to the waveform--is his audio is truly stereo. So when it was brought in it came in as a stereo track, and everything is going to work just fine. What would happen if I bring that track down into my timeline? Let's go ahead and switch back to our traditional view, and I'm simply going to grab and drag and drop.
Now we know it's a stereo track, and I'm going to go ahead and hit the Plus key to zoom in a little bit, hit the Backslash key to fit to window, and it appears as if I only have a single track. But let's go ahead and click that disclosure triangle, and you can see that both audio tracks are actually brought in and put as a stereo track onto the first audio track. So Premiere is pretty flexible. It knows it's a stereo track, but it doesn't want to use up and waste a lot of my space. But what if the track wasn't stereo, what if it was dual mono, what if I had one microphone pinned to him and the other one was the camera mic, and I wanted to be able to work with them separately.
Well, I'm going to go ahead and cheat a little bit. I'm going to go back to the second interview, B, and I'm going to right-click, and before we looked at the Properties, but there's also the opportunity to modify the audio differently than Premiere interpreted it. So I'm going to simply go to Audio Channels, and it says use the file and instead of saying Use File, I'm going to say you switch to Mono. Now, when I select that, I want you to take a look at what happens down here. It actually assigns the left channel to Audio 1, and now the right channel to Audio 2.
I'm going to go ahead and hit OK and drag this same clip--I'll load it in the viewer, so you can see what it looks like. This is a wide shot, so it looks a little different. But if we look at the audio waveform, we still see these two tracks, but it's not stereo. Let's go ahead and grab that and drag that and drop it into the timeline. Take a look at what happened here. I'm going to go ahead and zoom out. It assumed that it was two tracks. I have my lavalier track or the microphone that I have pinned on him and then I have the second track which was the camera mic, and I can now work with these independently.
So that's the flexibility that Premiere Pro offers you. You can actually work with stereo, mono, even 5.1 tracks, and you can export out any type of video that you want-- Mono if you're going to the web, and you want to make sure that it's a small file, stereo, or even a 5.1 mix. We'll look more at mixing our audio in upcoming movies.
- Customizing the window layout and the interface
- Importing card-based media
- Capturing media from tape
- Marking and selecting the best takes from clips
- Editing clips into the Timeline
- Performing insert and overwrite edits
- Performing more advanced editing tasks, such as 3-point editing, replace edits, and trimming using ripple and roll edits
- Mixing audio
- Editing more efficiently using markers
- Working with stills and graphics
- Creating speed changes on clips
- Adding transitions and effects
- Creating titles, credit rolls, and lower thirds
- Demonstrating multicamera editing techniques
- Stabilizing shaky footage
- Exporting your final project to the web, mobile devices, and tape