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Adobe Premiere Pro: Working With Clip and Track Audio

Clay Asbury

Adobe Premiere Pro gives you the ability to modify audio at either the clip or track level.  In this tutorial, we’ll take a look at how and when to use each audio tool.

The robust audio tools within Adobe Premiere Pro allow you to tweak audio parameters of an individual clip or track.  Which audio setting you use will largely depend on what you are trying to accomplish.  Let’s take a closer look at each of these Adobe Premiere Pro audio tools.

In this Adobe Premiere Pro tutorial we will cover:

  • When and how to modify Adobe Premiere clip audio
  • When and how to modify Adobe Premiere track audio
  • Effects/Sends in the Audio Mixer

Premiere Pro: Clip Based Audio

You will want to modify clip based audio in Adobe Premiere Pro if you are attempting to fade a clip up or down, or reduce an audio spike.  This process is often referred to as rubber-banding or keyframing.  Here’s how it works:

Locate the Premiere Pro audio track that has the clip you’d like to modify.  If you don’t see a yellow line running through the track, click the triangle to uncollapse it.

Set a keyframe holding down Command (for Mac) or Control (PC) and click on the yellow line.  Let go Command/Control and drag the point up or down to increase/decrease the audio level.  In this example two audio keyframes were added to gradually bring up the audio levels of this clip:

You can also remove audio pops using this technique.  Click on the Premiere Pro Timeline Panel Menu.  Select “Show Audio Time Units”.  This allows you to edit audio in increments smaller than a frame – usually necessary for removing audio pops.  Using the above keyframe shortcut, I placed four keyframes around the pop to remove it (two to bring the audio level down and two to bring it back up – see below).

Premiere Pro: Track Based Audio

Control the audio levels of an entire Premiere Pro audio track.  Any changes you make to the volume of the track will affect every clip on it.  This is a quick way to lower levels for music when someone is speaking on camera, and then quickly raise it back up again.

If you click the keyframe button on any audio track you will see the clip audio keyframe settings as the default.  To change the audio levels for all of the clips on a track at once, click on “Show Track Volume”.  Then, drag the yellow line up or down.  This will affect every clip on the track.  In this mode, if you use the shortcut above you can also add keyframes for the entire track, not just the clip.  This is can be a huge timesaver during editing.

Premiere Pro tip:
Keep your audio tracks well organized.  Dedicate certain tracks for music, others for dialogue and additional tracks for sound effects (as necessary).  By having your tracks well organized you can effect all relevant clips when modifying audio on a track level (ie, raise/lower all music, dialogue or SFX tracks at once).

Apply Effects to Entire Audio Tracks

Just as you can control the audio levels of Premiere Pro tracks, you can also add effects to an entire track (for instance if you wanted to EQ all the voiceover on one track).  Use the Premiere Pro Audio Mixer to apply effects to tracks or sub-mixes.

To access the Audio Mixer click Window on the menu bar and select Audio Mixer.

In the Audio Mixer, click the triangle in the top left corner. This reveals a hidden panel containing 5 effects and 5 sends.  To apply, choose an effect from the Audio Effects window. Double click on the name of the effect to bring up the effect interface and adjust your settings.  All changes will be applied track-wide.

Take advantage of the ability to work with either track or clip audio in Premiere Pro.  You’ll  save you time and speed up your edits!

Have any Adobe Premiere Pro tips or tricks to share?
Let us know in the comments!