Summer’s here and you know what that means? Time to brush up your audio editing workflow – obviously. Audio editing is one of the most important fundamentals to master as an editor and, as with most things in editorial, there’s multiple ways to accomplish the same task. The end result may be the same, but some was are better than others. Utilizing Adobe Premiere’s Audio Track Mixer is a prime example of this. Need to add the same effects to multiple audio clips? The Audio Track Mixer has you covered. Volume too low on a bunch of clips? The Audio Track Mixer can fix that too. Let’s see what else this tool can do for your editing workflow.
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Audio Track Mixer Window
At first glance, the mixer can be a little intimidating. There’s a lot going on – more than we’ll cover in this post – but we’re going to focus on the basics. The first thing to note is that each column in the mixer corresponds to its own audio track in the sequence. At the bottom of the mixer you can double click the column/track name and rename the audio track to something more useful (ex. “Audio 4” becomes “Music”).
1. Effects Tabs – At the top of the mixer are white tabs with a drop down for selecting audio effects. These effects apply to all audio clips on a given track. Track-wide effects are very useful, especially for applying effects like noise reduction and equalizers.
2. Pan Dials – Pan controls the direction from which audio plays. Turned to the left, and audio plays out of the left speaker. Similarly, audio plays from the right speaker when turned to the right.
3. Volume Sliders – These sliders control how loud audio sounds on individual tracks, as well as a master track for the overall loudness of the sequence.
4. Track Names – Like I mentioned above, this is where you can easily rename audio tracks in Premier Pro. Whatever is typed here is also reflected in the sequence.
One Effect to Rule Them All
You may be wondering why you would apply a track-wide audio effect instead of copying and pasting the same effect(s) across multiple audio clips. There are two solid reasons for this. Foremost is it’s easier and faster to apply the effect only once, as well as being much easier to edit down the road. Secondly, calling one audio effect instead of many iterations of the same effect are easier on your computer, making it think less, and making Adobe Premiere a much happier program.
Copying and Pasting Audio Track Effects
There comes a time in every editor’s life where they need to copy and paste an effect. It’s not readily apparent how to copy and paste effects in the Audio Track Mixer, but you can easily do it by clicking an effect and dragging it to another open effect slot in the mixer. Not only is the effect copied, but also the effect’s current settings.
Managing and balancing audio levels across an edit is an overlooked art. I personally tend to lean into music more as I edit, making dialogue hard to hear. Using the mixer’s volume sliders, I can easily adjust a track of music or dialogue up or down by typing an exact decibel number or moving a slider. If the sliders need to be reset, just double click the slider to make it snap back to zero.
That was a quick trip around the Audio Track Mixer’s basics. Coming up next, we’ll take a deeper dive into the mixer and using submixes!