11 Improving Audio – Adobe Premiere Pro Classroom in a Book (2020 release)

11 Improving Audio

Lesson overview

In this lesson, you’ll learn how to do the following:

  • Work with the Essential Sound panel.

  • Improve the sound of speech.

  • Clean up noisy audio.

This lesson will take about 75 minutes to complete. To get the lesson files used in this chapter, download them from the web page for this book at www.adobepress.com/PremiereCIB2020. For more information, see “Accessing the lesson files and Web Edition” in the Getting Started section at the beginning of this book.

Audio effects in Premiere Pro can dramatically change the feel of your project—and clean up audio. To take your sound mix to the next level, leverage the power of integration with Adobe Audition. In this lesson, you’ll learn some quick, easy ways to improve the quality of your sound mix.

Starting the lesson

You’ll find many audio effects in Adobe Premiere Pro. These effects can be used to change pitch, create an echo, add reverb, and remove tape hiss. You can set keyframes for effects and adjust their settings over time.

  1. Open the project Lesson 11.prproj.

  2. Save the project as Lesson 11 Working.prproj.

  3. In the Workspaces panel, click Audio. Then open the menu adjacent to the Audio option and choose Reset To Saved Layout, or double-click the Workspace panel name and click Yes in the Confirm Workspace Reset dialog box to reset the layout.

Improving audio with the Essential Sound panel

Video production rarely produces perfect audio. You’ll need to use audio effects in post-production to fix a few problems and improve the quality of the sound, particularly for vocals, because audiences are acutely sensitive to issues with the sound of a human voice.

Not all audio hardware plays all audio frequencies evenly. For example, listening to deep bass notes on a laptop is never the same as listening on larger speakers.

It’s important to listen to your audio using high-quality headphones or studio monitor speakers to avoid compensating for a flaw in your playback hardware as you adjust the sound. Professional audio-monitoring hardware is carefully calibrated to ensure that all frequencies play evenly—a “flat” response, giving you confidence that you’ll produce a consistent sound for your listeners.

It can be helpful to listen to your audio on low-quality speakers too. This allows you to confirm that enough of the audio is clear and that low-frequency sound doesn’t cause distortion.

Premiere Pro offers a variety of helpful effects, including the following, all of which are available in the Effects panel:

  • Parametric Equalizer: This allows you to make subtle and precise adjustments to the audio level at particular frequencies.

  • Studio Reverb: This can increase the “presence” in the recording using reverb. For example, it can simulate the sound of a larger room.

  • Delay: This effect can add a slight (or pronounced) echo to your audio.

  • Bass: This effect can adjust the low-end frequencies of a clip. It works well on narration clips, particularly for male voices.

  • Treble: This effect adjusts the higher-range frequencies in an audio clip.

Note

Expand your knowledge of audio effects in Premiere Pro by experimenting. These effects are nondestructive, which means they do not change your original audio files. You can add any number of effects to a clip, change settings, and then delete them and start again.

Apply effects by dragging them from the Effects panel onto clips, just as you dragged transition effects onto edits earlier. Select a clip to find its effect controls in the Effect Controls panel. There are many presets to help you get a feel for the ways you can use effects.

You can remove an effect in the Effect Controls panel by selecting it and pressing Delete.

Use the 01 Effects sequence to experiment with audio effects. The clips in this sequence have a range of audio to make it easy to hear the results of your adjustments.

This lesson focuses on the Essential Sound panel, which offers a range of easy-to-apply professional adjustments and effects that are based on common workflows for standard media types like dialogue and music.

The Essential Sound panel should be your go-to set of options for audio cleanup and improvement.

Adjusting dialogue audio

The Essential Sound panel has a comprehensive list of features to help you work with dialogue audio.

To use the Essential Sound panel, select one or more clips in a sequence, and select a tag that corresponds to the type of audio in the clip.

Selecting each tag displays different tools that are suitable for that type of media. There are more options for dialogue audio than any other—and for good reason! Your dialogue sound is probably the most important, and music, prepared special effects (SFX), and ambient sound files are often already mixed and ready to use.

Every adjustment you apply with the Essential Sound panel actually adds one or more audio effects to your selected clips and modifies the settings for those effects. This is an excellent shortcut to achieving great results with simplified controls. You can always select a clip and adjust the detailed effect settings in the Effect Controls panel.

In the following exercises, you’ll try several of the adjustments available in the Essential Sound panel. All of the options you set can be stored as a preset, accessible at the top of the Essential Sound panel.

If you expect to use some settings often, for a lot of the clips in your project, consider creating a preset. You can apply a preset without first assigning the audio type. To create a preset, select an audio type, apply some settings, and click the Save Settings As A Preset button at the top of the Essential Sound panel.

Presets are not fixed—you can apply one and make changes to the settings and even create a new preset based on the adjustments you have made.

Setting loudness

The Essential Sound panel makes it easy to set the audio level for multiple clips to an appropriate volume for broadcast television.

Let’s try this.

  1. Open the sequence 02 Loudness.

    This is the sequence you worked with previously when learning about normalization.

  2. Increase the height of the Audio 1 track, and zoom in a little so you can see the voice-over clips clearly.

  3. Play the sequence to hear the different levels for the voice-over clips.

  4. Select all the voice-over clips. The easiest way is to lasso across them, being careful not to select any of the other clips in the sequence.

  5. In the Essential Sound panel, click the Dialogue button. This assigns the Dialogue audio type to these clips.

  6. If necessary, click the title of the Loudness category to display the Loudness options. Clicking a category in this way is a little like clicking a disclosure triangle in the Effect Controls panel—options are displayed or hidden when you click.

  7. Click Auto-Match.

    Each clip is analyzed, and Audio Gain is automatically adjusted to achieve the –23 LUFS standard level for broadcast television dialogue. LUFS stands for Loudness Units Relative To Full Scale.

    If you are producing content for distribution via the Internet, there’s a good chance you will choose another audio level. You can adjust the level for multiple selected clips, after using Auto-Match, using the Volume control at the bottom of the Essential Sound panel.

    As with normalization, which also adjusts clip gain, this adjustment updates the waveforms for the clips.

  8. Play the sequence to hear the adjustment.

Repairing audio

However hard you try to capture clean audio on location, it’s likely some of your footage will have unwanted background noise.

The Essential Sound panel has a number of ways to clean up dialogue clips. Take a look at the Repair category to reveal the options for repairing dialogue.

  • Reduce Noise: Reduce the level of unwanted noises in the background, like the sound of an air-conditioning unit, rustling clothes, or background hiss.

  • Reduce Rumble: Reduce low-frequency sounds, such as engine noise or some types of wind noise.

  • DeHum: Reduce electrical interference hum. In North and South America, this is in the 60 Hz range, while in Europe, Asia, and Africa, it’s in the 50 Hz range. If your microphone cable was lying next to a power cable, you may have this intrusive but easy-to-remove unwanted sound.

  • DeEss: Reduce harsh, high-frequency “ess”-like sounds common in the sibilance part of voice recordings.

  • Reduce Reverb: When recording in an environment with a lot of reflective surfaces, some of the sound may be reflected back to the microphone as reverb. This can be reduced to make vocals clearer.

Different clips are likely to benefit from one or more of these cleanup features, and often you will use a combination.

The default settings have high enough intensity to make it clear when a repair is enabled or disabled. In most cases, you will obtain the best results by starting with a setting of 0, playing the audio, and increasing the effect intensity until you are happy with the result, minimizing potential distortion.

Let’s try cleaning up some power hum.

Tip

You can turn the display of audio and video clip names on and off by choosing the appropriate options from the Timeline Display Settings menu.

  1. Open the sequence 03 Noise Reduction.

  2. Play the sequence to listen to the voice-over.

    This is a simple sequence, with voice-over accompanying some visuals. There’s a loud electrical interference power hum in the audio. If you can’t hear the hum, your speakers may not be able to reproduce audio at sufficiently low frequencies—try listening with headphones.

  3. Select the voice-over clip in the sequence.

    The clip has already been designated as dialogue, so the dialogue audio options are displayed in the Essential Sound panel.

  4. If it’s not already open, click the Repair heading in the Essential Sound panel to display the options. Enable DeHum by selecting the check box.

  5. Play the sequence to hear the difference.

The impact is significant! The electrical interference hum was loud but at a specific frequency, which makes removing it relatively straightforward.

This example clip has 60 Hz hum, so the default option of 60 Hz is suitable. If the default option doesn’t work, try switching to 50 Hz.

After adjusting the DeHum control, check the start of the clip. You may discover a tiny amount of hum remains before the repair is applied. To remove this, add a short crossfade at the beginning of the clip.

Tip

For more challenging audio cleanup, where the repair options in Premiere Pro don’t give you a result that is clean enough, try Adobe Audition, which has advanced noise reduction features. Learn more in Adobe Audition Classroom in a Book, 2nd edition.

Reducing noise and reverb

In addition to specific types of background noise like hum and rumble, Premiere Pro offers advanced noise and reverb reduction tools. These audio cleanup effects have simple controls in the Essential Sound panel and more advanced options when accessed via the Effect Controls panel.

Reducing noise

Let’s try reducing noise first.

  1. Open the sequence 04 Auto Noise and Reverb. This sequence has clips suffering from background noise and reverberation. Play the sequence to familiarize yourself with this challenging audio—lots of unwanted background noise and reverb because it was recorded at a noisy location.

    The clips in this sequence have already been assigned the Dialogue audio type in the Essential Sound panel, and the Auto-Match option in the Loudness category has been applied.

  2. Select the first clip in the sequence. In the Repair section of the Essential Sound panel, select the box to enable the Reduce Noise option. The default setting for the effect intensity is 5.0.

  3. Play the clip in the sequence to hear the difference. The loud rumble that begins at about 00:00:10:00 is immediately much quieter.

  4. As with many effects, trial and error will usually yield the best results. Try adjusting the effect intensity during playback—if the effect is too strong, speech might begin to sound distorted. If the effect is not strong enough, too much of the unwanted background sound might remain. When you have finished experimenting, leave the setting on 5.0.

    Tip

    You can reset any setting in the Essential Sound panel by double-clicking the control.

    Part of the challenge in working with this audio is that some of the low-frequency background sound is close to speech, making it harder to automatically remove. Let’s use the more advanced settings.

    As soon as you enable the Reduce Noise option in the Essential Sound panel, a DeNoise effect is applied to the selected clip, visible in the Effect Controls panel. If you can’t see the Effect Controls panel now, you can access it via the Window menu.

  5. Open the Effect Controls panel, and make sure the first clip is still selected in the Timeline panel. In the Effect Controls panel, click the Edit button to access the advanced controls for the DeNoise effect. The Clip Fx Editor – DeNoise window opens.

    During playback and scrubbing, the DeNoise effect graph shows the originally detected noise (in blue at the bottom) and the cleanup adjustment applied (in red at the top). While the effect controls are open, you can still interact with the Timeline panel, placing the playhead and playing the sequence.

    The left end of the graph shows low frequencies, and the right end shows high frequencies.

  6. Play the clip again and pay particular attention to the activity in the graph when there is no speech, only rumble.

    It’s clear that the rumble is in the low frequencies.

    Take a look at the controls:

    • Presets: You can choose Heavy or Light Noise Reduction—these two options just adjust the Amount setting.

    • Amount: This is a more precise version of the slider in the Essential Sound panel. Use this to adjust the intensity of the effect.

    • Output Noise Only: Enable this option to hear only the noise that is being removed—helpful when assessing whether you’re removing too much of the desired audio.

    • Gain: When reducing noise, you’ll naturally be reducing the overall level of the audio. You can adjust the overall gain here to compensate. By looking at the level meter before and after applying the effect, you can see how much gain to apply to keep the overall audio at the original level.

    The Processing Focus control is a little less self-explanatory.

    By default, the DeNoise effect is applied to the full frequency range of a clip—that means it applies equally to low, medium, and high tone sounds. Using the Processing Focus control, you can selectively apply the effect to particular frequencies. If you hover your pointer over an option, a tool tip describes it, but you’ll probably be able to guess which is which from the shape of the button icons.

  7. Click to enable the Focus On Lower Frequencies option, and play the clip again. This sounds good, but let’s push the effect a little harder.

  8. Drag the Amount slider up to around 80%, and play the clip again. Next, try setting the slider to 100%, and play the clip.

    With the focus on the lower frequencies, even setting the effect to full allows the speech to be audible, and the rumble is almost gone. Even with this more advanced control, you will need to experiment to get the ideal result.

  9. For now, set the amount to 80%, and close the Clip Fx Editor – DeNoise window.

    Note

    When you modify effect settings, related options in the Essential Sound panel are marked to remind you that the settings have been customized.

Reducing reverb

The Reduce Reverb option works in a similar way to the Reduce Noise option. Let’s try it.

  1. Listen to the second clip in the sequence. The audio has strong reverb caused by the hard surfaces at the recording location bouncing audio back to the microphone.

    The background noise is less of a challenge in this clip, but the reverb is quite intense.

  2. Select the clip, and enable the Reduce Reverb option in the Essential Sound panel.

    The difference is dramatic! Just as you finessed the Reduce Noise setting, you should experiment with the Reduce Reverb setting to get the optimum balance between the effect being applied with enough intensity and the speech sounding natural.

    When you enabled the Reduce Reverb option, a DeReverb effect was applied to the clip, accessible in the Effect Controls panel.

  3. The DeReverb effect has similar options to the DeNoise effect, with one significant difference. Click the Edit button for the effect in the Effect Controls panel now.

    The colors are a little different, but the DeReverb settings are otherwise almost identical to the DeNoise settings. However, you’ll notice there’s an Auto Gain option in the upper-right corner.

    When reducing reverb, reduced overall level is inevitable. The Auto Gain option automatically compensates, making this effect even easier to set up.

  4. Make sure the Auto Gain option is enabled, and play the clip to compare the result. Next, close the DeReverb settings window.

  5. There are two more clips in this sequence for you to experiment with. Try combining the Reduce Noise and Reduce Reverb options with lower values for subtler results.

Improving clarity

The Clarity category in the Essential Sound panel gives you three quick and easy ways to improve the quality of spoken audio.

  • Dynamics: Increases or decreases the dynamic range of the audio—that is, the range of volume between the quietest and loudest parts of the recording.

  • EQ: Applies amplitude (volume) adjustments at specific frequencies. A list of presets makes selecting useful settings easy.

  • Enhance Speech: Improves clarity at specific frequencies, depending on your selection of a male or female voice.

It’s worth experimenting with all three controls, as you’ll find dialogue recordings will benefit from different combinations of settings.

Let’s try these settings.

  1. Open the sequence 05 Clarity.

    This sequence has the same content as the 03 Noise Reduction sequence, but there are two versions of the voice-over. The first version is cleaner than the second.

  2. Listen to the first voice-over clip.

  3. Select the first voice-over clip, and in the Essential Sound panel, scroll down to the Clarity options. You may need to click the Clarity heading to expand the options.

  4. Enable Dynamics, and experiment with different levels of adjustment. You can play the sequence while making adjustments in the Essential Sound panel, and the effect will be applied “live.” Disable Dynamics when you have tried a few settings.

  5. Enable the EQ option, and experiment with the Preset options.

    Podcast Voice EQ prese

    When you apply an EQ preset, a diagram illustrating the adjustment appears. This diagram is based on a Parametric Equalizer effect (see the “Using the Parametric Equalizer effect” section for more on this effect). You can adjust the Amount slider to add more or less of the effect.

  6. Play the second voice-over clip.

  7. Select the second voice-over clip, and in the Clarity section of the Essential Sound panel, select the Enhance Speech option and make sure Female is selected.

  8. Play the second voice-over clip. Try enabling and disabling the Enhance Speech option during playback.

The difference is subtle. In fact, you may need headphones or good-quality studio monitors to clearly detect the improvement. This option clarifies speech to make it more apprehensible, and in some cases this means reducing the power in the lower frequencies.

Making creative adjustments

Below the Clarity section of the Essential Sound panel is the Creative section.

This has just one adjustment, Reverb. The effect can be similar to recording in a large room with lots of reflective surfaces, or it can be subtler.

Experiment with this effect on the first voice-over clip in the 05 Clarity sequence.

Just a small amount of reverb can “thicken” a voice to give it more presence.

Adjusting volume

In addition to adjusting the gain for clips in the Project panel, setting the volume level for clips in a sequence, and applying an automated Loudness adjustment, there’s an option to set the clip level at the bottom of the Essential Sound panel.

It’s curious that this additional option exists—especially considering the number of ways you can already adjust the volume of your clips.

But there’s something special about this volume control: No matter how much you change the volume of your clips with this control, the level will not distort. That is, the clips won’t become too loud.

Try this now.

  1. Open the sequence 06 Level.

    This sequence contains a reasonably loud version of the voice-over clip you have heard already.

  2. Select the clip, and play the sequence. While the sequence plays, use the Clip Volume Level adjustment to increase and decrease the playback level.

    Note

    It’s a good idea to reset controls in the Essential Sound panel to their default values before making adjustments. You can do this quickly by double-clicking a control.

  3. Try increasing the level to the maximum, +15 dB.

    No matter how much you adjust the audio level, it won’t override (become so loud that the loudest parts of the audio cannot be played). Even if you combine a clip gain increase with a clip volume increase (using the rubber band) and then apply this adjustment, the clip will not override.

  4. Reset the Clip Volume Level adjustment by double-clicking the slider.

Using additional audio effects

As mentioned at the beginning of this lesson, there are many audio effects available in the Effects panel.

The adjustments you have made until now with the Essential Sound panel have resulted in regular audio effects being added to clips automatically as you worked.

Setting up effects in this way is quicker because all of the Essential Sound panel adjustments work like presets—as soon as you have set things the way you want them in the Essential Sound panel, the effects are set up appropriately in the Effect Controls panel.

Take a look now at the Effect Controls panel, with the clip you worked on in the 06 Level sequence selected.

When you made a Clip Volume Level adjustment in the Essential Sound panel, a Hard Limiter effect was applied to the clip, with settings to match the change you set.

Click the Edit button for the Hard Limiter effect in the Effect Controls panel, and you’ll discover all of the settings for this advanced effect are available in case you’d like to change them. If you make changes in the Essential Sound panel, you can watch the controls update for effects in the Effect Controls panel.

In most cases, the settings applied by the Essential Sound panel will be suitable, but the option to make further subtle changes will always be available.

Close the settings for now, and let’s look at some of the other useful audio effects.

Using the Parametric Equalizer effect

The Parametric Equalizer effect is a popular effect. It offers a nuanced and intuitive interface for precise audio level adjustment at specific frequencies.

It includes a graphic interface you can use to drag level adjustment controls that are linked together to achieve nuanced, natural-sounding audio.

Let’s try this effect.

  1. Open the sequence 07 Full Parametric EQ. This sequence has one musical clip.

  2. Locate the Parametric Equalizer effect in the Effects panel (try using the Search box at the top of the window), and drag the effect onto the clip.

  3. Make sure the clip is selected, and in the Effect Controls panel, click the Edit button to access the Custom Setup controls for the Parametric Equalizer effect.

    The horizontal axis of the graphic control area indicates frequency, while the vertical axis (labeled on the right) shows amplitude. The blue line across the middle of the graph represents any adjustments you have made, and you can reshape the line directly. Wherever the blue line is higher or lower in the display, adjustments are made to the audio level at those frequencies.

    You can drag any of the five main control points directly, as well as the Low Pass and High Pass controls at the ends.

    On the left is an overall Master Gain level adjustment, which offers a quick fix if the changes you make result in audio that is too loud or too quiet overall.

  4. Play the clip to get familiar with its sound. At the bottom of the controls, there’s a Range option. By default, the Parametric Equalizer effect graph allows adjustments up to +/– 15 dB. Change the Range option to 96 dB, and now adjustments can be made up to +/– 48 dB.

  5. Drag Control Point 1 quite a long way down in the graph to reduce the audio level at low frequencies. Listen to the music again.

    Tip

    Another way to use the Parametric Equalizer effect is to target a specific frequency and either boost it or cut it. You can use this effect to cut a particular frequency, like a high-frequency noise or a low hum.

    What’s special about this interface is that changes you make to one area of the blue line impact surrounding frequencies, resulting in a more natural sound.

    The control points you drag have a range of influence that is defined by their Q setting.

    In the previous example, Control Point 1 has been set to 65 Hz (which is very low frequency), with a gain adjustment of –30.8 dB (which is a big gain reduction) and a Q of 2 (which is quite wide).

  6. Change the Q factor for Control Point 1 from 2 to 7. You can click the 2 and type in a new setting directly.

    The line has a much sharper curve, so the adjustment you are making now applies to fewer frequencies.

  7. Play the sequence to hear the changes.

    Let’s refine the vocals.

  8. Drag Control Point 3 down to about –20 dB, and set the Q factor to 1 for a very broad adjustment.

  9. Play the sequence to hear the changes—the vocals are much quieter.

  10. Drag Control Point 4 to around 1500 Hz, with a gain of +6.0 dB. Adjust the Q factor to 3 for more precise adjustment on the EQ adjustment.

    Note

    Avoid setting the volume too high (the Peak meter line will turn red, and the peak monitors will light up). This can lead to distortion.

  11. Play the sequence to hear the changes.

    Tip

    If your audio meters are not displayed, you can access them by choosing Window > Audio Meters.

  12. Drag the High frequency filter (the H control) down, and set its gain around −8.0 dB to make the highest frequencies quieter.

  13. Use the Master Gain control to adjust the overall level. You may need to see your audio meters to find out whether your mix is right.

  14. Close the Parametric Equalizer settings.

    Note

    Exploring all the attributes of all the audio effects in Premiere Pro is beyond the scope of this book. To learn more about audio effects, search Premiere Pro Help.

  15. Play the sequence to hear the changes.

These are dramatic changes intended to illustrate a technique. Of course, you’ll usually make subtler adjustments.

Audio adjustments and effects can be modified during playback. You might want to enable looping playback in the Program Monitor rather than clicking repeatedly to play a clip or sequence.

You can enable looping playback by choosing Loop from the Program Monitor Settings menu.

There are also useful additional buttons available in the Program Monitor Button Editor .

  • Loop : This toggles looped playback on and off. If you have set In and Out points, playback will loop between them.

  • Play Video In To Out : If you have set In and Out points, the sequence will play between them and stop.

Using the Notch effect

The Notch effect removes frequencies near a specified value. The effect targets a frequency range and eliminates those sounds. The effect works well for removing radio interference hum and other electrical interference.

  1. Open the sequence 08 Notch Filter.

  2. Play the sequence and listen for the electrical hum. You can hear fluorescent light bulbs buzzing.

  3. In the Effects panel, locate the Notch Filter effect (not the Simple Notch Filter effect) and apply it to the clip in the sequence. When you do, the clip is automatically selected, so the effect controls will appear in the Effect Controls panel.

  4. In the Effect Controls panel, click the Edit button for the Notch Filter effect.

    The Notch Filter effect looks a lot like the Parametric Equalizer effect and functions in a similar way. However, you will notice there’s no Q control, which sets the sharpness of the curves. By default each adjustment is extremely acute, and a Notch Width menu allows you to adjust the curves.

  5. While playing the sequence, experiment with presets and listen to the results.

    The presets usually apply multiple adjustments. This is because signal interference is often found in multiple harmonic frequencies.

  6. Choose 60Hz And Octaves from the Presets menu and then listen to the sequence again to find out whether it’s improved.

  7. Often, when working with the Notch Filter effect, you’ll listen, adjust, and listen again until you get the settings you need.

    This audio has hum at 60 Hz, 120 Hz, and 240 Hz. These and more have been targeted by the preset you chose. Click the Enable buttons for control points 4, 5, and 6 to turn them off.

    Now play the sequence again to review the effect. Even though the interference was at precise frequencies, it made it difficult to take in the vocals. Now it’s removed, and everything sounds much clearer.

  8. Close the effect settings.

When you used the Essential Sound panel to apply the DeHum option, a similar effect was applied to the clip—the DeHummer.

The Notch Filter effect has slightly more advanced controls, so if you don’t get the result you need using the Essential Sound panel, try this next.

Using the Loudness Radar effect

If you are producing content for broadcast television, it’s likely you will be supplying media files according to strict delivery requirements.

One of those requirements will relate to the maximum volume for the audio—and there is more than one approach to this.

As described earlier, a popular modern way of measuring the audio level for broadcast is called the Loudness scale, and there’s a way to measure your sequence audio using this scale.

You can measure the loudness for clips, for tracks, or for whole sequences. The precise settings you’ll require for your audio should be given to you as part of your delivery specifications.

To measure the loudness for a whole sequence, follow these steps—you can try this with the 09 Send to Audition sequence:

  1. Switch to the Audio Track Mixer panel (rather than the Audio Clip Mixer). You may need to resize the frame to see all the controls in the Audio Track Mixer.

    The Audio Track Mixer allows you to add effects to tracks, rather than to clips, and the Master output track is no exception. Unlike the Audio Clip Mixer, the Audio Track Mixer includes the Master track, and this is the part of the interface you want.

  2. The controls in the Audio Track Mixer are arranged in columns, one column per audio track plus the Master track at the right. If necessary, at the top left of the panel, click the tiny triangle to display the Effects And Sends section of the panel. Each track now has five (currently empty) menus in which you can select effects.

  3. At the top of the Master track controls, open the first Effect Selection menu and choose Special > Loudness Radar. The effect appears at the top of the stack, with controls at the bottom.

  4. Right-click the Loudness Radar effect name in the Audio Track Mixer and choose Post-Fader.

    The Fader controls on the Audio Track Mixer adjust the audio level for the track. It’s important that the Loudness Radar analyzes the audio level after any Fader adjustments because otherwise adjustments made with the fader are ignored.

  5. Double-click the name of the Loudness Radar effect to display the full controls.

  6. Set the Timeline playhead at the beginning of the sequence and press the spacebar to play, or click Play on the Program Monitor. During playback, the Loudness Radar monitors loudness and displays it as a range of values illustrated in blue, green, and yellow (there’s also a peak indicator).

    The goal is to keep loudness generally within the green band on the Loudness Radar, though what that level will be depends on the standard you are working to, and this will be defined by your broadcast specifications.

  7. When the analysis is complete, close the Loudness Radar settings.

The Loudness Radar won’t change the audio level. It gives you a precise measure of Loudness that you can use to guide changes you’ll make to the mix. Make adjustments to your audio levels; then use the Loudness Radar again to check them.

You can change the measurement levels indicated by the various bands in the Loudness Radar by clicking Settings. You can also use a preset, based on widely used standards, by choosing the Presets menu.

If you set levels automatically using the Essential Sound panel, you are likely to produce a mix that is within appropriate limits for broadcast. Still, nothing compares to a professionally produced audio mix where levels for each clip are checked.

When using the Loudness Radar, you can use the J, K, and L keys to play back up to 4x normal speed and still see results.

Close this project by choosing File > Close Project. If you are asked if you would like to save, do so.

Review questions

1. How would you use the Essential Sound panel to set an industry-standard audio level for broadcast television dialogue clips?

2. What’s a quick, easy way to remove electrical interference hum from clips?

3. Where can you find the more detailed controls for the options you set using the Essential Sound panel?

4. How can you send a clip to Adobe Audition directly from the Premiere Pro timeline?

Review answers

1. Select the clips you want to adjust. In the Essential Sound panel, choose Dialogue as the audio type. Then, in the Loudness section, click Auto-Match.

2. Use the DeHum option in the Essential Sound panel to remove electrical interference hum. Try the 60 Hz or 50 Hz option, depending on the origin of your source footage.

3. Most adjustments you make using the Essential Sound panel are applied as effects to clips. You can find the detailed controls by selecting a clip and looking in the Effect Controls panel.

4. It’s easy to send a clip to Audition. Right-click the clip and choose Edit Clip In Adobe Audition.