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Working with Audio: Overview

Lesson 19 from: Adobe Premiere Pro CC Video Editing: The Complete Guide

Abba Shapiro

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Lesson Info

19. Working with Audio: Overview

Summary (Generated from Transcript)

The topic of the lesson is working with audio in Adobe Premiere Pro CC. The instructor covers various skills such as adjusting audio levels, key framing audio, syncing audio and video, modifying audio channels, merging video and separately recorded audio, adding music and sound effects, and mixing audio at clip and track levels.


  1. Why can working with audio in Premiere be confusing?

    Working with audio in Premiere can be confusing because it is a powerful tool with many complex features.

  2. What are some of the skills covered in the lesson?

    The skills covered in the lesson include adjusting audio levels, key framing audio, syncing audio and video, modifying audio channels, merging video and separately recorded audio, adding music and sound effects, and mixing audio at clip and track levels.

  3. How can you change the volume or loudness of audio over time?

    You can key frame the audio to change the volume or loudness over time.

  4. How can you fix audio that goes out of sync with video?

    You can fix audio that goes out of sync with video by adjusting the timing of the audio or video clips.

  5. How can you add music or sound effects to your video?

    You can add music or sound effects to your video by importing audio files and placing them on separate audio tracks.

  6. What is the recommended audio level for voice recordings?

    The recommended audio level for voice recordings is around -12 dB.

  7. Can you customize the layout of the editing interface in Premiere?

    Yes, you can customize the layout of the editing interface in Premiere by resizing and rearranging the panels and saving your own custom workspaces.

  8. Can you save your workspaces to the cloud and access them on another computer?

    Yes, you can save your workspaces to your cloud account and access them on another computer.


Class Trailer

Understanding Editing: Bootcamp Overview


Understanding Editing: Overview


Understanding Editing: Video Examples


Tour The Interface: Digital Video Workflow


Tour The Interface: Project Panel


Tour The Interface: Choosing Your Shot


Tour The Interface: Music And Voice Over


Tour The Interface: Video Tracks


Tour The Interface: Edit Markers


Building a Rough Cut: Cut Planning


Building a Rough Cut: Selecting Media


Building a Rough Cut: The Edit


Building a Rough Cut: Edit Points


Refining Your Edit: Preparation


Refining Your Edit: Making Cuts


Refining Your Edit: Using Markers


Refining Your Edit: J and L Cuts


Refining Your Edit: Replace Edit


Working with Audio: Overview


Working with Audio: Levels


Working with Audio: Music


Working with Audio: Mixing And Syncing


Transitions: Overview


Transitions: Effect Controls


Filters & Effects: Overview


Filters & Effects: Using Multiple Filters


Motion & Animation: Motion And Animation Overview


Motion & Animation: Movement With Still Images


Motion & Animation: Picture In Picture


Motion & Animation: Motion Effects


Titling & Graphics: Overview


Titling & Graphics: Advanced Tools


Titling & Graphics: Roll And Crawl Effects


Titling & Graphics: Working With Photoshop


Speed Changes: Overview


Speed Changes: Stills And Variable Speeds


Color Correction: Overview


Color Correction: Lumetri Scopes


Color Correction: Contrast


Color Correction: Advanced Tools


Color Correction: Adjusting To A Master Clip


Finishing: Prepping for Output


Finishing: QC Edit Points


Sharing & Exporting: Overview


Sharing & Exporting: Size And Quality


Ingesting Media:


Ingesting Media: Transferring And Importing


Media Management & Archiving


Multi-Camera Editing: Overview


Multi-Camera Editing: Creating A Sequence


Multi-Camera Editing: Switching Multiple Cameras


Multi-Camera Editing: Finalizing


Creating Timelapses: Shooting Strategies


Creating Timelapses: Editing Images


Creating Timelapses: Importing Strategies


Creating Timelapses: Animation


Advanced Editing Techniques: Take Command Of Your Timeline


Advanced Editing Techniques: Transitions


Advanced Editing Techniques: Keyboard Shortcuts


Advanced Editing Techniques: Preference Hacks


Thinking Like an Editor: Editing Choices


Thinking Like an Editor: Telling the Story


Special Tools: Warp Stabilizer


Special Tools: Morph Cut


Special Tools: Green Screen


Lesson Info

Working with Audio: Overview

Clapping. Sound. That's what were going to be working with today. We're going to be working with sound in this lesson. And sound is one of those things that can be actually, very confusing in Premiere. And I apologize for that. The reason it can be confusing is because it's very powerful. Hopefully, we'll kind of simplify things. Just, have you learn the things that you need to. And realize that there's a lot of complex things that you can literally mix an entire theatrical film. Five.One Surround. 24 channel mixes. Most of us do not need that. We use a handful of channels, we put out to stereo. We want to keep it simple. This is some of the skills that we're gonna be working with. We're gonna understand working with audio levels and meters. Key framing audio, which is being able to change the volume or the loudness and softness of audio over time. Specifically, maybe somebody speaking too loudly and you need to bring down their audio levels. Or visa versa. If you need to record a scra...

tch track directly in to your computer, just to use as a reference. You don't have to go out and get your camera, recording with the camera and ingest it. So, it's a nice little feature there. If things go out of sync, we talked in a previous lesson about, sometimes you might move your video and your audio separately and suddenly, now people sound like they're in a poorly dubbed film. We'll show you how to fix that. Modifying audio channels, the big things is sometimes you'll record things, it'll be stereo, sometimes it'll be mono. Sometimes, you think its ... not you think, but the computer thinks it's stereo because you have two mics going in to the camera. And really what you have is you have one person on the left side and another person on the right side. You want to be able to control that, so, you may need to modify your audio channels. Or maybe you have a situation where you have no audio on a channel. And you just want to get rid of it. We'll look at merging video and separately recorded audio. One example, which we'll be using in this interview footage, is we had a separate clean mic that just recorded the audio. In some cases, just had the camera and the camera mic that's built into the DSLR. It's kind of echoey and so, what I want to do is, I want to merge those. So, I don't have to sit there and go, ugh, now I have to go back and clean the audio up and all that. So, we'll look at doing that. Adding some music, basically, bringing music and then fading it up and bringing it under when people are talking. Same with sound effects, we'll do a little bit with that. Then, a little bit of how you can mix, either, add a clip level or actually add a track level for the volume of an entire track of audio. So, with that, let's get started and look and listen to our audio. So, the first thing we want to do is we wanna just look at audio levels. If I go ahead and I hit play on here. You'll notice on the far right side I have these meters. You'll notice on the far right side I have these meters. That tells me the volume or how loud something is. So, as I play it in this case, this is a clip that was recorded that was stereo, or what had thought was stereo and Mike's mic and my mic are in separate channels. which is one of the challenges. If I look at some of these other clips. As a matter of fact, here they're even. I wanna bring in the original interview clip, so I'm gonna step into this. I'm gonna open up each one. I'm gonna open up the audio side. So, here we have equal audio on both channels. So, that looks like a two channel, mono mix. If I open up, the over the shoulder shot, that should also be a two camera mono mix. But, if we look at the individual ones, Mike's close up, you see that there is only one set of wave forms, right? So that's mono, and if I hit play the levels still go up. But, you'll notice when I switch between them, one had two bars and one, it's a single bar. These are the different variations of what you may come across with the media that you're given. As a matter of fact, if we go ahead and we look at a piece of music, music is almost always gonna be in stereo. The thing about working with sound is it never wants to shut up. There we go. Get our music. These are just audio only files, so if I double click to load them in, I think what we're gonna actually use, is we're gonna use this, cut here. (presentation music) That's obviously stereo. So, Premier is smart enough that when you bring a clip in from your source monitor or from the bins, in to your sequence, whether it's stereo or mono, it puts it on a single track. Don't think that, you know, if you come from another non-linear program, some people have used other programs, each track was left or right channel, okay? Some of the legacy programs that you might have used would have like, left and then this would be on right. What the folks at Adobe did was they said, you know something, I don't care whether it's mono or stereo. It just goes into audio track and then you can work with it as you please. If it's music, it's still stereo. And it comes out stereo. If it's mono, they just put it out on both channels, so, it's coming out of the center. That's really the big thing you just need to get your head wrapped around, are the stereo and mono situations. When you ultimately export and finish, if you wanna take it to the next level where your panning things to the left and right, that actually comes at the final finishing step, where you're really tweaking. If you're creating, kind of, a sound stage. Where you have stuff from the left channel to the right channel. I recommend for most purposes, put out, what I define as dual-mono or mono. Which means everything is coming out of both speakers the same. Because a lot of times people will be listening to things through one ear phone, so, if you have stuff coming out of here, they may not hear it. Or, they may not have their speakers on their computer set up right. So, my recommend is export everything mono which actually solves a lot of problems. So, let's look at our interface. This is the standard editing interface. We can modify this. If I wanted to see a window bigger or smaller, I can hover my mouse between any two of these panes and stretch them. So if I really wanted to see my audio bigger, I can do that. I can go ahead and say, you know what, I want the audio to be on it's own section, so I can grab it and I can move it to another section or just move it all the way to the right here. That's really big. But, now I see a lot more detail into my volume levels. The way it works is, you have a level here called zero DV. That is the loudest you ever want anything. You really never want anything that loud. Generally, this is your volume levels, you want things to hover at about minus 12. That should be average for voice. It's kind of an industry standard. Occasionaly, you can peak up above it, but as soon as you go above zero, because it's digital, all you have is noise. If you came from an analog audio backgroud, we're going back to the days of like tape. People have cassettes and what not. You could go above zero because there was something called head room on tapes. It just allowed you to have a greater signal to noise ration. Which was, the acutal sounds you wanted versus the sound of the electronics or the tape. So, you'll hear term called noise floor. Well, in digital, which is what we all have now, the noise floor is so low that you can actually bring your levels down to here. You're gonna target things visually to a certain level. But, it's not just visual, it's also, you need to use your ear. Because we perceive sounds differently depending on if they're very high or low frequency. For instance, if something's high frequency, it's gonna cut through even if it's quieter. Like a siren, you know, you hear an ambulance come. The reason it's high frequency is because you can hear that through the den of the noise. Bass on the other hand needs to be louder to be heard. So, you can't just trust looking at your volume levels of your meters, but, you're using that as a guide to make sure things aren't over modulated. Still, a good set of speakers or a good set of headphones. What I highly recommend is, when you finally listen to your sound, is to listen in an environment that your viewer is gonna listen to it in. If you listen to it on $3000 speakers and everybody is listening to it as a podcast on their phones, it's not gonna sound the way you expect it to sound. Listen to it on your phone. Get a cheap speaker. A little blue tooth speaker and send it to that. Try to emulate the environment that you're going to have your viewer be hearing and watching your show in. We'll get to that. I do like to make a change here. This is nice if things get really loud and this was recorded properly. I'm gonna temporarily make this really loud. I'll show you how we adjust it. I want you to look at this meter here. It's peaking in to yellow. It'd be hard to make this really. That's the challenge of working with good audio. I'm gonna get something that is over-modulated. The music actually tends to come in and then, we're gonna bring in a cut of music here. If I go ahead and I play that you can see over here it gets a lot hotter. It never goes, music that you generally purchase are licensed won't ever over-modulate but it always will hit right below zero. Because they want it that when you play this music, you put the CD in, remember those things? That's pretty bad that that's considered old technology. When you put your Ipod, that's old technology. When you listen to your Iphone, kind of okay technology. They want it to be as loud as possible, okay? So, they definitely bring this in and you see it, this will peak a lot higher. I find this is very pretty, seeing these gradients. But, it doesn't tell me my warning stuff. If you notice, when I'm playing this, there are points where it gets into the red, and points where it gets into the yellow, and the green. If I go ahead and I right click, just in that audio area I can change a few things. First of all, I can add something that says Show Valleys. I usually turn this on. I'm gonna explain to that what it is in a moment. I turn off Show Color Gradient. That's that pretty gradient. The other thing, this is not an issue for you to worry about. You can even say what's the range of the quietest to the loudest? The defaults fine, you're not doing theatrical movies with huge dynamic range. So, you can leave everything the same. Once again, all I did was Show Valleys, turn that off. And I'm gonna turn on Show Static Peaks, that will help also. I want you to see how this looks a little bit different and is a lot more useful for when you're dealing with working with sound. Now I can see what's getting too hot. I can see what's marginal and this is a good target area. Also, this is turning the gradient off. The other thing you can see here, is you have static peaks, which, as it's playing, instead of me having to see, oh what was the hottest point? They actually freeze in that position. They'll reset as soon as I play this again. They should reset. This is my valleys, that's my peak. I just find this more useful for when I need to make sure that my levels are okay. That's just kind of like, oh, how do i work with these audio meters? You saw that was two channels. I'm gonna go back to the voice overs. Matter of fact, let me grab this, and I'm going to, uh, it's in my shelf, we'll be good with that. Now, I'm gonna go ahead and I'm gonna listen and look at my audio. I have a variety of different sources. You can see even the wave forms have a different feel to them. As I said, you can rearrange this. So, if I'm really caring about my wave forms, maybe I'm gonna shrink this up a little bit and I'm not bringing anything in. So, I want as much real estate as possible. I can reset this. This can be a new workspace. We haven't talked a lot about workspaces. But, there are some pretty defined ones. You'll see them along the top, here. You'll also get to them from this drop down window. I'm going to zoom in and show you the variety of workspaces that are available. Also, resetting and customizing them. You get to them either from that drop down, and you see the same ones here. But, there's like editing, which is what we're in. They make one that's a layout that's better when you start doing effects. There's one when you're just looking at your libraries, maybe working with titles. Specifically, the ones that I usually use are audio, color, editing, and effects. But, these go to presets. If I'm gonna go back, this is gonna change everything. If I go over here and I say, oh, I'm working with color correction, which we'll do, it's a different layout than I'm working with. I can also get to that from these little buttons here. So, I'll say, oh, I'm working with effects. Slightly different layout. I'm gonna go back to the editing one. What's interesting is, remember I modified this? So, when I go back, it remembers my layout. The important thing is I can save this layout as something custom that I may want and I can also reset it. I'm gonna go ahead, let's say I like this for my audio work. I go to Workspace and under Workspace, I say, save as a new Workspace. I'm gonna call this Habba Mix. So now, there's a new little window there Habba Mix. I can come back to all my different layouts. The interesting thing is, you notice my editing layout is still messed up, it looks like my audio layout. On any of these layouts, if I wanna go back to the default. I simply go to my Window, Workspace, and I say, reset to save layout. What that will do, is it will go back to the default that you created. So now, this is the default editing workspace. I think I just reset Effects to the default, as a matter of fact. So I'll go back here under Editing. There we go. There's my editing. But, remember I had actually saved my custom one of Habba Mix. So, I can still get to that. You can custom design any layout you want. This is, kind of, an important thing. I'm bringing this up in the audio section. Of course you can start with this at the very beginning when you're starting to create the way you want things to be arranged. I want to go a little bit deeper into this since we've opened this Pandora's Box of resetting things. How versitile this is. You saw that I could easily grab between areas and make them larger and smaller. If i wanted to, I can also relocate any of these little tabs, we saw I can move them left and right. But, if for instance, I said, you know something, I really want my media browser to be up here, along side my source window. You'll notice that when I drag it up I have two options. If I leave it in the center, the center is highlighted or I could go to one of the flaps. The difference is, if I let go of it in the center, it's going to place it inside that panel. Now, it is a tab within that panel. Now, undo, by the way, if you say, oh I didn't like that, you hit undo. Guess what? It doesn't undo. This is an important thing about undo and redo with a non-linear program. It doesn't care about your interface. Your interface is visually how you're looking at something. The only thing it wants to undo or redo are edits. You can sit there and go, oh I messed up my interface and your hitting undo hoping that you're getting back to your window layout that you want. All you're doing is erasing the work that you did, without knowing it. It's an important thing to realize. Undo and redo, not anything in the way you view things. If I wanted to change that back, I would literally have to grab it and drag it and move it back. You noticed, I dropped it in the center, if I wanted this to be it's own pane, that's when I would drop it on any of these flaps. At that point it actually creates a separate pane, exclusively to this. You can rearrange these any way you want. If you have two screens, you can set it up for two screens. Then, you simply save your workspaces. These are one of those things that I briefly mentioned on Days one and two about the creative cloud, is you can actually save this to your cloud account. So, if you go to another computer, you can download all the workspaces that you're used to, if you're on a completely different computer. That's one of the beautiful things about the workspaces.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Abba Shapiro's Work File Information
Building a Rough Cut - Project Files
Refining Your Edit - Project File
Working with Audio Project File
Motion Effects - Project Files
Titling and Graphics - Project Files
Speed Changes - Project Files
Color Correction - Project Files
Finishing - Project Files
Multi-Camera Editing - Project Files (Large Download - 3.25GB)
Creating Timelapses - Project Files (Large Download - 1.25GB)
Thinking Like An Editor - Project Files
Special Tools - Project Files

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

I've never even tried video editing before this class. I opened the program once and panicked. After only 9 lessons I was able to throw a short video together (basic of course, but still pretty cool). I wish all of my teachers growing up were just like Abba. He goes over everything without dragging anything on for too long. He repeats things just enough for me to actually remember them, and he is funny. He keeps it fun and shows that even he makes mistakes. I can't even believe how much I have learned in less than a quarter of his class. I have a long way to go and am very excited to learn more. This class is worth every penny and more! I was hesitant on buying the class because I have CS6 and he works with CC, but I have already used what I've learned in his course to create a video. The first 9 lessons were already worth what I paid for the entire course. Thank you, Abba! You are an awesome teacher! You have me absolutely obsessed with creating right now! I highly recommend! You won't find this thorough of a course for this decent price!

Patricia Downey

Just bought this yesterday and cannot stop watching!!!! What a FANTASTIC teacher-- just love the way he explains everything. For someone like me (who has a zillion questions) it is perfect. As soon as he introduces a feature, he explains several aspects in such a way that's easy to grasp and remember. So, so happy I got this. Thank you Abba and CreativeLive!

a Creativelive Student

I am only on lesson 19 and I am so glad I bought this class, so worth it and Abba packs so much information into these lessons its crazy. I will for sure have to come back and watch again when I need to remember to do stuff or need a refresher. He is funny and quirky and a great teacher. I so recommend this to anyone wanting to become a better video editor!! I am coming from being self taught and using iMovie and he makes it so simple and understandable. Can't wait to learn more :)

Student Work