Editing audio in the timeline

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      1. Overview of audio in Premiere Pro
      2. Audio Track Mixer
      3. Adjusting volume levels
      4. Editing, repairing and improving audio using Essential Sound panel
      5. Monitor clip volume and pan using Audio Clip Mixer
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      7. Advanced Audio - Submixes, downmixing, and routing
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Edit audio, link and unlink video and audio clips, and apply audio effects using the Timeline panel.

The Audio Timeline provides a view of audio elements over time. The audio tracks appear as green bars with an audio waveform. You can edit the audio just like you edit other objects in the timeline. 

Set sample-based audio In and Out points

In and Out points are set at time-base divisions between video frames. Although frame-based edits are adequate for audio as well, some audio edits require greater precision. For example, you want to place an In point between two words in a sentence, but the tiny division between words doesn’t conveniently fall between frames. Digital audio, however, isn’t divided into frames, but into audio samples, which occur far more frequently. By switching the sequence’s time ruler to audio samples, you can set more precise audio In and Out points.

Switch a time ruler to audio units in the Source or Program Monitor

In the timeline panel, click the three stacked lines  next to the sequence name and choose Show Audio Time Units from the drop-down list.

Show Audio Time Units
Show Audio Time Units

  1. Switch the time ruler in the Timeline panel to audio units.

  2. To navigate, do one of the following:

    • To navigate smoothly through the clip, drag the current-time indicator  in the time ruler.
    • To move the current-time indicator  one audio sample at a time, click the Step Forward or Step Back buttons.

Trim audio in sample view in a Timeline panel

  1. In the Timeline panel menu, choose Show Audio Time Units. The time rulers in the Timeline panel and Program Monitor switch to a sample-based scale.

  2. To customize the style of the audio track, click Timeline Display Settings, the wrench tool on the timeline panel. To display audio as waveforms in the timeline, select Show Audio Waveform.

    Display audio as waveform
    Display audio as waveform

  3. View the audio In point or Out point of the clip you want to edit in detail by dragging the zoom slider to the left.

  4. Trim the clip by doing one of the following:
    • To adjust the In point, position the pointer over the left edge of the clip’s audio so that the trim head toolappears, and drag left or right.
    • To adjust the Out point, position the pointer over the right edge of the clip’s audio so that the trim tail iconappears, and drag left or right.
  5. Use the waveform display or play the audio to make sure that you adjusted the In and Out points properly.

Link and unlink video and audio clips

In the Project panel, clips that contain both video and audio appear as a single item, represented by . When you add the clip to the sequence, however, the video and audio appear as two objects, each in its appropriate track (provided you specified both the video and audio sources when adding the clip).

The video and audio portions of the clip are linked so that when you drag the video portion in a Timeline panel, the linked audio moves with it, and conversely. For this reason, the audio/video pair is called a linked clip. 

Ordinarily, all editing functions act on both parts of a linked clip. When you want to work with the audio and video individually, you can unlink them. When you do, you can use the video and audio as though they were not linked. Even so, Premiere Pro tracks the link. If you relink the clips, they indicate whether they have been moved out of sync, and by how much. You can have Premiere Pro automatically resynchronize the clips.

You can also create a link between previously unlinked clips. It is useful if you synchronize video and audio that were recorded separately.

  1. Do the following in a Timeline:
    • To link clips, Shift-click the series of clips to select them, right-click and select Link from the pop-up list.
    • To unlink clips, right click and select Unlink from the pop-up list.

    After unlinking a clip, video remains selected while audio becomes deselected.

  2. (Optional) To use a set of linked clips multiple times, create a nested sequence from the set of synchronized clips, and place the nested sequence in other sequences as desired.

Edit tracks of linked clips individually

In a Timeline, Alt-click (Windows) or Option-click (macOS) either part of a linked clip, and then use any editing tool. You can also move the clip. When you have finished editing the clip, you can reselect the clip to edit it as a linked clip again. 

Automatically synchronize clips that were moved out of sync

  1. Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (macOS) the number that appears at the In point in a Timeline panel of the out-of-sync video or audio clip. The number indicates the amount of time the clip is out of sync with its accompanying video or audio clip.

    Automatically synchronize
    Automatically synchronize

  2. Choose one of the following options:

    Move Into Sync

    Shifts the selected video or audio part of the clip in time to restore sync. Move Into Sync moves the clip without regard to adjacent clips and overwrites any clips to regain sync.

    Slip Into Sync

    Performs a slip edit to restore sync without moving the clip’s position in time.

Create split edits

Ordinarily, you set one In point and one Out point for a source clip. If it’s a linked clip, In and Out points apply to both tracks of the clip. Set in a sequence, the audio, and video of the standard clip appear at the same time. Sometimes you want to set the video and audio In or Out points independently, however, to create split edits (also known as L-cuts and J-cuts). When placed in a sequence, a clip trimmed for a split edit has its audio appear before its video, or its video before its audio.

Clip trimmed for J-cut
Clip trimmed for J-cut

Clip trimmed for L-cut
Clip trimmed for L-cut

Create a split edit

  1. Expand the track by double clicking on it.

  2. Select one of the clips involved in the split edit, right click, and select Unlink from the pop-up menu. 

  3. Select the Rolling Edit tool  from the Tools panel.

  4. Starting at the audio edit point between the two clips, drag left or right.

    If nothing happens, make sure that before you start dragging, you position the pointer over the visible audio edit point, not over an applied audio transition.

    A common editing technique is to Alt-drag (Windows) or Option-drag (macOS) a clip’s audio or video to quickly adjust a split edit. It’s a lot faster than unlinking a clip.

Set source In and Out points for a split edit

Although it’s common to create split edits after clips are assembled into a rough cut, it’s possible to trim clips for split edits in the Source Monitor before adding them to the sequence.

  1. Open a clip in the Source Monitor, and move the playhead to the frame you want to set as a video or audio In or Out point.

  2. In the Source Monitor, choose Marker In and Mark Out to select a portion of the clip. Once the clip is selected, right clip choose Mark Split from the pop-up list. Select Video In, Video Out, Audio In, or Audio Out as per your preference.

  3. Set the remaining video and audio In and Out points. (When you add the clip to a sequence, the video portion starts and ends at different times than the audio.)
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