Audio Track Mixer

Use the Audio Track Mixer in Premiere Pro to edit audio and create a professional project.

The Audio Track Mixer is one of the most overlooked pieces of video production. Understanding how it works can save hours of editing and enable more professional sounding project.

You can edit audio tracks using the Audio Track Mixer or the Audio Clip Mixer. The difference is:

  • The Audio Track Mixer controls tracks.  
  • The Audio Clip Mixer controls individual audio clips in each track. For more information, see Audio Clip Mixer

Audio Track Mixer

Each Audio Track Mixer track corresponds to a track in the timeline of the active sequence and displays the Timeline audio tracks in an audio console layout.

The Audio Track Mixer contains a certain number of audio track sliders that directly correspond to the number of audio tracks available in the Timeline. When you add a new audio track to the Timeline, a new track is created in the Audio Track Mixer. You can rename a track by clicking its name. You can also use the Audio Track Mixer to record audio directly into a sequence’s tracks.

The Audio Track Mixer represents the tracks in the active sequence only, not all project-wide tracks. If you want to create a master project mix from multiple sequences, set up a master sequence and nest other sequences within it. 

The Audio Track Mixer is hidden by default in most Premiere Pro workspaces. To open the Audio workspace, click Windows > Audio Track Mixer.

Parts of the Audio Track Mixer
Parts of the Audio Track Mixer

A. Pan/balance control B. Automation mode C. Mute Track/Solo Track/Enable Track For Recording buttons D. Clipping indicator E. VU meters and faders F. Track name  G. Audio meter and fader 

Channel Functions

Each Audio Track Mixer track corresponds to a track in the timeline of the active sequence and displays the Timeline audio tracks in an audio console layout. Each vertical column in the Audio Track Mixer, as seen in the image below, is labeled Audio1, Audio2, Audio3, and so on. These are the same exact audio tracks that exist in the normal editing timeline.

The Audio Track Mixer allows you to adjust entire tracks at the same time. For example, you have music on Audio1 track and a voiceover on Audio track2. If the music is too loud, you can adjust the slider to decrease the volume of the music. 

To stay organized, you can rename audio tracks at the bottom of the mixer.

Panning

Panning audio means to direct a sound signal to a different part of the stereo field. This basically means panning controls how each track is balanced between right (R) and left (L) sides of where the audio is being heard from. So, if you move it all the way to the right, you can hear the audio for that track only on the right side of your headphones or speakers. 

For example, if a child is laughing on the right side of a scene, panning the sound to the right creates a realistic experience for the viewer.

Mute, Solo, Record

These buttons are abbreviated as M, S, and R. They allow you to focus on different audio elements and disable audio tracks. They are the same as the icons available in the timeline. 

– Mutes the selected track and plays audio from the other tracks. 

– Audio is played only from the selected track. All the other tracks are muted. 

– Records audio from a microphone directly to Premiere Pro.

Automation

Automation refers to having parameters that adjust themselves over a determined length of time. The Audio Track Mixer has its own automation mode that is set to Read by default.

There are five different automation modes available in the Audio Track Mixer:

  • Off – It ignores track settings and existing keyframes during playback. Changes are not recorded in this mode.
  • Read – It is the default automation mode.. Track keyframes are used to control playback. If a track does not have keyframes, changes affect the entire track.
  • Write – It records adjustments and created keyframes during playback. Changes are made when playback begins. It does not wait for the settings to be changed. For example, if you play your clip, and move your slider in real time, it will record your movements and lock them in place. 
  • Touch – It is similar to Write. Automation does not occur until you adjust a property. When you stop adjusting the property, it returns to the previous state. You have to touch the audio slider to record the changes
  • Latch – It is also similar to Touch. Automation does not start until you adjust a property. The property settings are available from the previous adjustment. It doesn’t return to the original position until you’ve stopped your playback and then restarted again.
Note:

If it is set to write, it will rewrite whatever you play over. Set it back to read once you are done. You can view audio clip keyframes by double clicking the audio track in the timeline. Click the diamond icon on the left hand side and select track keyframe volume. For more information, see Adjust track volume with keyframes.

Track Effects

If the Track Effects are not visible in the Audio Track Mixer, click the tiny arrow in the upper left corner of the Audio Track Mixer. You can apply and combine audio effects like EQ, reverb, and compression to entire tracks. 

In the Track Effects panel, you can see a set of slots where you can place different effects or send assignments to. Click on the available slot to see the list of effects that you can apply to the track. Once you apply an effect, you see a box at the bottom where you can control the parameter for this effect. You can add multiple effects to occur at the same time. 

The Fx button keep the audio effect but mutes it. To get rid of an effect, click on the effect and select None from the dropdown menu.

Submix

A submix is a track that combines audio signals routed to it from specific audio tracks. You can make adjustments to the submix that can be applied to multiple tracks. A submix is an intermediate step between audio tracks and the master track. It’s almost like the audio version of an adjustment layer.

For more information, see Advanced Audio - Submixes, downmixing, and routing.

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