Just as you would increase or decrease brightness or any other parameter for that matter, adjusting the volume levels in Premiere Pro involves a similar process. It's not just about setting a fixed volume level for your entire video; you have the power to adjust different sections as per your needs. So, what if I told you there's a way to make your audio editing in Premiere Pro a whole lot easier?
Before you dive in, let’s take a brief moment to familiarize ourselves with the audio workspace in Premiere Pro. Like many other features of this robust video editing software, the audio settings are customizable, which means you can arrange your workspace in a way that suits you best. At the top of the screen, you’ll find different workspace options, one of them being "Audio." Clicking on this will arrange your panels for optimal audio editing.
Now that we are familiar with the workspace, how about we get into the heart of the matter - adjusting the volume levels? This is where the fun begins.
The Audio Clip Mixer panel is where all the magic happens. It's where you’ll see your audio tracks represented with faders. These faders are what you'll use to adjust the volume of your clips.
You'll find a list of your audio tracks on the Audio Clip Mixer panel. Select the track whose volume you wish to adjust.
With the track selected, you can now adjust the volume by moving the fader up or down. Moving it up will increase the volume and moving it down will decrease the volume. Simple, right?
Now, what if you need different volume levels in different sections of the same clip? I’d suggest using keyframes. By placing a keyframe at the points where you want the volume to change, you can smoothly transition between different volume levels within the same track.
We often focus so much on the visual aspects of storytelling that we forget how crucial sound is. It sets the mood, provides context, and can even act as a narrative device on its own. So, I'm leaning towards saying that mastering the art of audio editing in Premiere Pro might as well be just as important as mastering video editing. After all, our ears are just as important in the storytelling process as our eyes.
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The first thing you need to do is select the clips you want to adjust. This is easily done by clicking and dragging a box around the clips you want to adjust in the timeline. Alternatively, you can hold down the "Ctrl" key (or "Cmd" on Mac) and click each clip individually. You'll know they're selected when they're highlighted.
Next, you're going to want to adjust the gain. Right-click on one of the selected clips and choose "Audio Gain..." from the menu that appears.
In general, the average level for your audio should hover around -6 to -12 dB, peaking no higher than -3 dB. This should ensure your audio is loud enough to be clearly heard but not so loud that it risks distortion.
For dialogue, you'd want your levels to be around -12 dB to -6 dB. For music or background audio, aim for around -18 dB to -22 dB. These are just guidelines and might need to be adjusted depending on the specific needs of your video.
Balancing your audio levels between clips is just as important. That's why I'd suggest normalizing your audio levels when you have multiple clips. You can do this by selecting all the clips you want to normalize, right-clicking, and choosing "Audio Gain." Then select "Normalize All Peaks to:" and enter "-3 dB."