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Old June 13th, 2008, 06:21 PM   #1
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Premiere audio capabilities ?

Audio solution needed please:

I recorded a presenter that alternately shouted when he got excited or to emphasize his points, talked softly or moderated his speech level now and then. The direct result was a audio track thatís uneven to say the least.

I need to be able to smooth the whole thing out as boosting the individual sections that require it would be tedious and very time consuming. Adding gain universally to the whole track would of course result in even more distortion and spikes!

Considering the above, what is my best course of corrective action to make the best of the situation and to have something that would be broadcastable on cable? I donít know all that much about audio. As tools I have Adobe Premiere 6.5, Pro 2 and Pro 3.
What applications, processes and procedures should be utilized? Free or low-cost downloads preferred.

It would be greatly appreciated if someone who has experienced a similar problem which must be fairly common I would think would explain to me in detail exactly how they addressed the problem to successfully resolve it.

Thanks for any practical advice or pointer offered.
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Old June 13th, 2008, 07:34 PM   #2
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You should be able to key frame the audio how you like and then right click the keyframe and select auto ease. At that point in the effects control you should be able to adjust the curve to give it a nice smooth transition.
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Old June 13th, 2008, 07:47 PM   #3
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You've already got everything you need in Premiere. Each audio track displays a line down the center in the timeline. If you drag the line up or down, it increases and decreases the volume. As loaded into the timeline, dragging up and down affects the entire audio clip. What you do is position the Current Time Indicator (CTI) where you want to make a change in volume, then insert a keyframe in the audio level line (usually by clicking the small diamond-shaped icon in the audio track header at the left of the timeline). A matching diamond icon appears on the audio line where the CTI is. Move a few frames further to the right and set another keyframe. Now, when you drag the audio line to the right of the second keyframe up or down, it only affects the line segment you're dragging. The section to the left of the first keyframe stays unchanged, the section between the two keyframes forms a transition so you don't get a sudden jump in the volume level.

The audio level changes work between keyframes. Take a random audio clip and set four keyframes in the timeline where you can see them. Call the keyframes A, B, C, and D, going from left to right. Now, drag the audio level line between keyframes B and C either up or down. Notice the entire section between B and C moves up or down, while the sections A-B and C-D make a transition. The section to the left of A and the right of D are unchanged.

All you need to do is go through the audio track, setting keyframes where the volume needs to be louder or softer, then drag that segment to an appropriate level. Note that you can drag the keypoints themselves to a different location along the timeline and to a different volume level.

It's really simple but tedious to do, but you'll end up doing it anyway to get the best audio. Play around to get a feel for it. It also helps if you make the audio track "taller" by dragging the divider between the audio track header down so you have more room to make changes. A brief read through the Help files should make things clearer.

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Old June 13th, 2008, 08:43 PM   #4
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Yikes! Martin and Mitchell's ideas do work but are way too time consuming. Look under Audio Effects and drag the one labeled "Dynamics" onto your audio. Set up "Limiter" for the shouting parts and play with the "Compressor to bring up the low parts. Read the topic in the help file to learn how the controls work then let 'er rip.

Dynamics processing can really help with spiky levels and can really fatten up thin sound. I always, always, always throw at least a little compression on any monologues.
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Old June 22nd, 2008, 03:20 PM   #5
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Thanks Gentlemen for your helpful suggestions

Tripp or anyone else if I may ask since audio editing on Prem Pro 2 is new to me and especially when it comes to applying an effect to a specified range on a timeline.

I would appreciate knowing how to do the following:

All the possible ways to select the in and out points/ i.e. a range on a timeline.

Would anyone be willing to explain in detail or list step by step how to:
1) Select a desired range on the timeline and to then
2) Select & apply the effect only towards that range rather than universally throughout the whole clip?

Thanks so much for your help.

Sorry for such a newbie question.

At least this way I can boost the too soft parts and hopefully compress or normalize the shouting sections!!
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Old June 27th, 2008, 04:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Pelley View Post
Tripp or anyone else if I may ask since audio editing on Prem Pro 2 is new to me and especially when it comes to applying an effect to a specified range on a timeline.

I would appreciate knowing how to do the following:

All the possible ways to select the in and out points/ i.e. a range on a timeline.

Would anyone be willing to explain in detail or list step by step how to:
1) Select a desired range on the timeline and to then
2) Select & apply the effect only towards that range rather than universally throughout the whole clip?

Thanks so much for your help.

Sorry for such a newbie question.

At least this way I can boost the too soft parts and hopefully compress or normalize the shouting sections!!
It is possible if you have a single clip on the timeline or clips on separate tracks.

Apply the effect to the clip and in the effect window keyframe the "Bypass" value. When bypass is on, no effect is applied, if off, the effect is applied.

Alternatively you can use audio track effects (apply them in Audio mixer) and just move clips that you want affected to the target track.

Hope this helps.
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Old June 27th, 2008, 05:03 AM   #7
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I don't use Premiere and I'm a relative newbie myself but I have used a compressor and a limiter.

As far as I know you don't need to apply these effects to sections, you can just apply them to the whole track. They won't kick in unless they are needed.

If I understand it correctly they work as follows:

Limiter
The limited says to the audio: I won't mess with you unless you try to go above a certain level, in which case I will squash you down and stop you from doing that.

Compressor
This says to the audio: If you are too low I will boost you up. If you are too high I will squash you down. If you are OK will won't touch you.

Therefore if the audio is OK the effects won't kick in ie you can apply the filter to the whole track and it won't affect the parts that are unproblematic.

You will need to adjust the settings for the limiter and the compressor to tell them when to kick in. I don't know which Help File Trip is referring to but you need to read the instructions for sure.

I use Liquid. Adding effects is a matter of dragging and dropping them onto the soundtrack. In Liquid it's a bit weird because you have to set the soundtrack to loop and then you can make the adjustments and hear what they do in real time. I imagine that it's something like this in Premiere too. You may have to read the manual :-)
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