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Power Tip: Horizontal Audio Meters in Premiere Pro

Aaron Williams
By Aaron Williams
By Aaron Williams

Using horizontal audio meters in Premiere Pro can let you watch your video and monitor audio levels at the same time, without having to look all over the screen!

Adobe Premiere Pro Audio Meters

A few years back I was interviewing for a video position and noticed something pretty cool on one of the editor’s screens: they had their audio meters in Premiere laid out horizontally across the middle of the layout, instead of the typical vertical alignment on the bottom right go the screen. I didn’t even know you could to that (I was new to Premiere at the time). Mind = blown.

Horizontal Audio Bars

I tried it out in my daily workflow and was surprised to find a number of big advantages to this layout:

First, since the meters had more room to stretch out, I could see more of the dB level markers for a finer gradation.

Second, and this was the big one: I would keep my eyes on my program monitor and still have a good idea where my audio levels where at since the meters ran right under the window. Even better: –12 dB, which is the average volume I would mix my levels to, was almost in the middle of my program window. I didn’t even have to hunt for it on the meters like I did with my vertical ones.

To change your meters to a horizontal position, right-click the top handle (as marked by the arrow) and select “undock”.

Audio Meters Premiere Pro

Then grab the left or right edge of the meters and drag it out horizontally. When it is more wide than tall the meters will also change orientation. Now fit these horizontal meters into your layout. Simple as that.

Watch the two video below. Make them fullscreen. Then as they play, keep your eyes only on the program window and see how hard or easy it is to keep an eye on your levels (the yellow arrows indicate where –12 dB is located). I bet you’ll find the horizontal ones much easier to watch without splitting your attention!

Default Vertical Audio Meters in Premiere Pro:

Horizontal Audio Meters:

Now that you’ve know what advantages horizontal meters in Premiere can bring to the table, try them out in your layouts!