Overview of audio in Premiere Pro

Edit audio, add effects to it, and mix as many tracks of audio in a sequence using Premiere Pro.

Working with audio

In Adobe Premiere Pro, you can edit audio, add effects to it, and mix as many tracks of audio in a sequence as your computer system can handle. Tracks can contain mono or 5.1 surround channels. In addition, there are standard tracks and adaptive tracks.  

The Standard audio track can cope with both mono and stereo in the same track. That is, if you set your audio track to Standard, you can use footage with different types of audio tracks on the same audio track.

You can choose different kinds of tracks for different kinds of media. For example, you could choose for mono clips to be edited only onto mono tracks. You can choose for multichannel mono audio be directed to an Adaptive track by default.

To work with audio, first import it into a project or record it directly to a track. You can import audio clips or video clips that contain audio.

After the audio clips are in a project, you can add them to a sequence and edit them just like video clips. You can also view the waveforms of audio clips and trim them in the Source Monitor before adding the audio to a sequence.

You can adjust volume and pan/balance settings of audio tracks directly in the Timeline or Effect Controls panels. You can use the Audio Track Mixer to make mixing changes in real time. You can also add effects to audio clips in a sequence. If you are preparing a complex mix with many tracks, consider organizing them into submixes and nested sequences.

Audio tracks in a sequence

A sequence can contain any combination of the following audio tracks:

  • Standard - The standard track replaces the previous stereo track type. It can accommodate both mono and stereo audio clips. 

  • Mono - A mono track contains one audio channel. A mono track will either reproduce the channel so that the left and right channels are playing the same, homogenized recording, or will play through only one of the left or right channels. If a stereo clip is added to a mono track, the stereo clip channels are summed to mono by the mono track.

  • Stereo track - A stereo track is dual channel audio. A stereo track is audio that is recorded in two channels, one left, one right. 

  • Adaptive track - The adaptive track can contain mono, stereo, and adaptive clips. With adaptive tracks, you can map source audio to output audio channels in the way that works best for your workflow. This track type is useful for working with audio from cameras that record multiple audio tracks. Adaptive tracks can also be used when working with merged clips, or multicam sequences.

  • 5.1 - Contains the following:

    • Three front audio channels (left, center, and right)
    • Two rear or surround audio channels (left and right)
    • A low-frequency effects (LFE) audio channel routed to a subwoofer speaker.

    5.1 tracks can only contain 5.1 clips.


For advanced editing using Adobe Audition, select Edit > Edit in Audition.

Channels in audio clips

Clips can contain one audio channel (mono), two audio channels—left and right (stereo), or five audio surround channels with a low-frequency effects audio channel (5.1 surround). A sequence can accommodate any combination of clips. However, all the audio is mixed to the track format (mono, stereo, or 5.1 surround) of the Mix track (previously known as master track).

You can determine whether a stereo clip is placed on one or two tracks. Right-click a clip in the Project panel, and select Modify > Audio Channels. If you choose to place a stereo clip across two tracks, the Clip Panners use their default behavior (left to left, right to right). For more information on Audio Channels, see Audio channel mapping in Premiere Pro.

Premiere Pro lets you change the track format (the grouping of audio channels) in an audio clip. For example, you can apply audio effects differently to the individual channels in a stereo or 5.1 surround clip. You can change the track format in stereo or 5.1 surround clips. In such cases, the audio is placed on separate mono tracks when the clips are added to a sequence.

Premiere Pro also lets you remap the output channels or tracks for a clip’s audio channels. For example, you can remap the left channel audio in a stereo clip so that it is output to the right channel.

Preserve matrix of 5.1 audio clip

To preserve the matrix of an imported 5.1 audio clip, use the clip in a 5.1 audio track in a sequence. To use the component channels as discrete multi-mono tracks in a sequence, import or remap the clip into mono channels.

Mixing audio tracks and clips

Mixing is blending and adjusting the audio tracks in a sequence. Sequence audio tracks can contain many audio clips, and the audio tracks of video clips. Actions you perform when mixing audio can be applied at various levels within a sequence. For example, you can apply one audio level value to a clip and another value to the track that contains the clip. A track containing the audio for a nested sequence can contain volume changes and effects previously applied to the tracks in the source sequence. Values applied at all of these levels are combined for the final mix.

You can modify an audio clip by applying an effect to the clip or to the track that contains the clip. Consider applying effects in a planned, systematic way to avoid redundant or conflicting settings on the same clip.

Processing order for audio

As you edit sequences, Premiere Pro processes audio in the following order, from first to last:

  • Gain adjustments applied to clips by using the Clip > Audio Options > Audio Gain command.

  • Effects applied to clips.

  • Track settings, which are processed in the following order: Pre-fader effects, pre-fader sends, mute, fader, meter, post-fader effects, post-fader sends, and then pan/balance position.

  • Track output volume from left to right in the Audio Track Mixer, from audio tracks to submix tracks, ending at the Mix track.


You can modify the default signal path with sends or by changing a track’s output setting.

Making quick audio adjustments

Although Premiere Pro includes a full-featured Audio Track Mixer, there are times when many of these options are not required. For example, when creating a rough cut from video and audio captured together from DV footage, output to stereo tracks, follow these guidelines:

  • Start with the Audio meters and volume fader in the Audio Track Mixer. If the audio is too far below 0 dB or too high (the red clipping indicator appears), adjust the level of clips or tracks as needed.

  • To temporarily silence a track, use the Mute Track button in the Audio Track Mixer or the Toggle Track Output icon in the Timeline panel. To temporarily silence all other tracks, use the Solo button in the Audio Track Mixer.

  • When making audio adjustments of any kind, determine whether the change is applied to the entire track or to individual clips. Audio tracks and clips are edited in different ways.

  • Use the Show/Hide Tracks command in the Audio Track Mixer menu to display only the information you want to see and save screen space. If you aren’t using Effects and Sends, you can hide them by clicking the triangle at the left edge of the Audio Track Mixer.

View audio data

To help you view and edit the audio settings of any clip or track, Premiere Pro provides multiple views of the same audio data. You can view and edit volume or effect values for either tracks or clips in the Audio Track Mixer or in a Timeline panel. Make sure that the track display is set to Show Track Keyframes or Show Track Volume.

In addition, audio tracks in a Timeline panel contain waveforms, which are visual representations of a clip’s audio over time. The height of the waveform shows the amplitude (loudness or quietness) of the audio—the larger the waveform, the louder the audio. Viewing the waveforms in an audio track is helpful for locating specific audio in a clip.

To view a waveform, use the mouse wheel or double-click on the empty area of the track header.

View audio clips

You can view an audio clip’s Volume, Mute, or Pan time graphs and its waveform in a Timeline panel. You can also view an audio clip in the Source Monitor, which is useful for setting precise In and Out points. You can also view sequence time in audio units instead of frames. This setting is useful for editing audio at smaller increments than frames.

Do any of the following:
  • To view the audio waveform of a clip in a Timeline panel, click the audio track and click Settings > Show Waveform.
  • To view an audio clip in the Source Monitor when the clip is in a Timeline panel, double-click the clip.
  • To view an audio clip in the Source Monitor when the clip is in the Project panel, double-click the clip, or drag the clip to the Source Monitor. If a clip contains video and audio, you can view its audio in the Source Monitor by clicking the Settings button and selecting Audio Waveform or by clicking on the Drag Audio Only icon near the time bar in the source monitor.

View time in audio time units

In the Audio Track Mixer, Program Monitor, Source Monitor, or Timeline panel, choose Show Audio Time Units from the panel menu.


To see more volume detail when viewing an audio waveform in a Timeline panel, increase the track height. To see more time detail, view time in audio units.

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