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Adobe Premiere Pro - Advanced Training

Clarity in the Essential Sound Panel in Premiere Pro

Daniel Walter Scott

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All right, in this video we're going to look at clarity, which is this option here, in the Essential Sounds panel, and in my opinion the, I don't know, the easiest way to make average audio a lot better, rather than just raising the volume of it, or lowering it down. We can adjust different parts of the volume, which is really interesting, and I want to show you that clarity, actually, is this effect called Dynamics Processing, and we'll dig into this a tiny bit. All right, let's jump in and make ourselves, more clarity or more dynamic, bad jokes. 

All right, let's get into it, first thing is, let's grab 'Sound 01 - Mono', let's make a sequence from that, and what we'll do is, we're going to build something, is it weird, Premiere Pro is kind of strange, the way it organizes, it's by Frame Rate now, I didn't choose Frame Rate, let's go Name, so it's at least 1, 2, 3, 4, let's rename the sequence, and let's call this one "Dialogue", this is me talking, so I need 01 in there, let's grab this 02 as well, and put it in, and we're going to work on this wav file. 

Just a little heads up, I kind of mentioned it before, a wav file here is the better file, to be using, it's a lot bigger than an mp3, but it's not as stripped back and compressed, and you'll find, you know, if you have the option, recording wav files or at least, if you're downloading them from say stock places, often, there's an mp3 and a wave version. The wave versions are bigger, but have more information in there that we can use, to kind of fix or, in our case, we're going to clarify. 

We're going to work on this track first, let's have a little listen. "All right, so this is where we end up at the end of this video today." So this is what I do mostly to make audio sound better, especially dialogue, that's what I do a lot of. With it selected we'll make a dialogue, first things first, make the 'Loudness', 'Automatch', just make sure it's in the right decibel range for dialogue, then we turn on 'Clarity'. So there's all these ones, have toggled them all, closed. So let's go to 'Clarity', let's turn on 'Dynamics', and you can see here, it's added the Dynamics Processing. This is where a lot of the work, at least I do, gets done, and you can drag it up and down. I'm going to set an in point and an out point, just so that it looks--

If yours is not looping, just make sure you've got your-- it's a little hard to see all these buttons, right? It's a bit crammed in here, in my one, so you've got to make sure you're on 'Loop Playback' - so that's where-- - "This is where we get to the end." So let's have a little look, I just want to show you, yeah, this is the one I'm going to dig into mostly, just for a couple of reasons. First one, let's have a little look, so this slider here, you see, is actually connected to this graph, so Premiere Pro has actually said, let's, just, this is really important, let's make a nice little slider, and in the background we'll adjust this for them. 

The reason I show you in here, is that there's a whole bunch of other presets, look at that. So you can apply the Dynamics Processing effect straight from the Effects panel, and drag it on, and then go through, and pick one of these ones. They've got some amazing names, there is Maximum Pumping, there's Rap Resonance, Smooth Vocal. We're going to leave ours on the default, because somebody has gone through, and decided that this is what works for voice, and I know it does, because it's the graph that I like to draw. 

So I'm going to hit 'Reset', just kind of show you, I guess, just a little recap of this one, because I do like it so much, and use it so much. Basically, down the bottom here, is how loud something is in your clip, up here, at 0, it's maximum loud, as loud as you can get before it clips, and all the way in here, are all the different volume levels, -10, -20, and my voice that you're hearing right now, occupy mainly this middle part, and what sounds good is, if you grab some of these noises that I'm making, that are coming out of my face, that are lower in volume, and if you raise them up a little bit, so some, some of this stuff here, in the kind of -40, 30, 20, if you raise it up a little bit it makes it feel fuller. 

If you grab some of this, let's do it, so let's grab this, this little dot here, and move it down to kind of around the -30. So all the things that are about -30, if you raise them up, to now be about -20, you've raised them up, you've expanded them up a little bit, not touching the really loud stuff, that can stay there. Basically, it's being compressed, but you want the middle stuff to be lifted up, and the stuff in the background, the noise that's, really low in my voice, and mainly, it's kind of background junk that the microphone's picked up. 

So all of this really quiet stuff, I want to be even quieter, -70. If you're at -70 you're going to be even lower, you're going to be now down at -85, and you'll find something, you know, do you recognize this curve, happens a lot, right, and from our curves, from, when we're doing our Hue & Saturation, or our Color Grading part, this ends up being a really nice kind of graph, that suits voice, makes bits fuller, it's basically--

"We end up at the end of this video today." "All right, so this is where we…" What you can do is turn on and off while you're playing, see this little Bypass, they call it Bypass, it's on and off. "End up at the end of this video today." "So this is where we end up at the end of this video today." "So this is where we end up at the end of this video today." 

The difference here, from what we've done before, in like the Essentials course, is we just raised everything up, right? We said, make everything a bit louder, so the bad stuff got louder, as well as the good stuff, and in this bit here, if we make parts of the dialogue louder, keep some of it the same, make other parts lower, it's kind of changing the volume of different parts within the clip, rather than just everything up, everything down, and I wanted to show you all the different presets, that you can kind of jump into, not just this slider here, and it's also really interesting when you kind of see that these sliders are doing something on the back end. It's a little bit more complex than my slider, but hey, I think it sounds good, how I had it today. "So this is where we end up…" Let's look at making terrible audio good, you can never make it great, but you can make it good.