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Adobe Premiere Pro - Advanced Training

How to use the Track Mixer in Premiere Pro

Daniel Walter Scott

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"I'm Madame Donut." Hi everyone, in this video we're going to look at the Audio Track Mixer, it's this thing up here, a little bit scary. We're going to look at that, plus the Clip Mixer, just a brief overview of it all, plus we'll put these good looking little meters down the bottom, plus a few other little tips and tricks, just getting us understanding the Audio Track Mixer, let's jump in. 

First up open up a sequence we made earlier, called 'Interview Sync A Cam', if you don't have it, grab 'Audio Sync A Cam.mp4', along with these two audio tracks. This one here, there's no name there, how do you figure out what it's called? You just have it selected and type 'F' key, and will open it up in the 'Source Monitor'. You can see that it's called Cafe Noise, and then on another track, hit 'F' again, this one's called Music 01. So just put all three of those together, and then you need to open up, both our Clip Mixer and our Track Mixer. 

We're on the Audio Workspace, so up here I should see my Track Mixer and Clip Mixer, we're going to talk about the differences of those. If you can't find them, 'Window', 'Audio Clip Mixer', and then there's 'Audio Track Mixer'. Now the Audio Track Mixer is per sequence, because in this course we've been making different ones, this one here is just called, you know, that's the sequence that we're working on. So first up, before we go on, if you are in any way pretty good at audio, this one's going to be a little bit basic for you, but most of the people I teach are coming at it from maybe a different angle, and have no kind of real experience, and these scary-looking mixers and sliders, and meters and stuff. 

So the first thing is to look at the difference between a Track Mixer and a Clip Mixer. We know what clips are, right? They're just these little bits here, individual, like little selections of either audio or video, and there can be lots on a track. We've only got this little bit going on here. The Track Mixer's tracks are layers that's, this is a track, that's a track, that's track. So one track, let's say track, Track 01, we can have lots of different clips on it. So the track is the entire thing. 

So when we're dealing with the Track Mixer, when we adjust, say the volume, we're adjusting every single thing on that track, including all the clips, whereas the Clip Mixer which is that one there, actually only, watch this, if I, from here, you can see I've got one-- bits of audio, I've got one, two, three, I've got my dialogue, I've got my Cafe Noise and I've got music, you can see them all here. So I play it, I've got it on solo, make sure you're not on solo, or muted, and I can see, that's all three of these playing, watch this, when I get down to over here, where there's only one, two clips, so playhead, playhead, playhead, watch, can you see, this one's grayed out and this one's not working. 

So the Clip Mixer I never use, I end up using, say this, so look at this, watch this, if I drag this up, this is track or Audio Track 01, watch this, when I drag this up, can you see, that moved up, add your own sound effect. So that's up, that's up, watch this, as I drag it down, watch the rubber band in the bottom, you see, that changed, watch it again, ready? Drag it down, so it's-- we're doing the same thing, it's up to you whether you like this, this becomes, this Clip Mixer individual clips that you're working on is a lot handier when you've got, when you're trying to, like mix down, like a really, you know, you might be doing music, where you've got tender instruments, and you're trying to do it here in Premiere Pro. 

For me, that'd be kind of weird to do, I guess not, I think, you know, you do that sort of audio mixing, in something like Audition, but you can do it in here. So the Clip Mixer's individual clips, we're going to do it, I'm going to undo, everything's fine. We're going to use the Track Mixer mostly, because it is a nice broad sweep of controlling an entire track, especially when we've got tracks that are all audio, You might have special effects, we've got kind of cafe noise or music, and probably the best thing about it is, you'll be able to see all, see these meters here, these little bouncing colored lines, gradients. 

Over here you can only see them in one go, they're all mixed together. So it's hard to balance them, whereas over here, you can start to work out that the music is a little bit loud. So I'm going to start slowing it down. You can see this bouncing in the right part, like, does this need to be just a teeny bit louder? Okay, music. "Well, I have…" Because for me it's not background music, it's meant to be fake cafe music, because they're not, they're in an empty cafe, I think, Their Donut shop, they must do it, before hours or after hours, or something, but I want to add that vibe. So I'm going to keep working back through this, and seeing, make sure not going too loud - "Donut Dynamite with my husband." - and we're trying to get the music, and the cafe noise in there, "We opened our store about seven months ago, in the town…" There we go.

So that's essentially what it's used for, be able to see all the meters together, it's really handy. Over here you can name the tracks, see down here, it's got audio one, same, same thing, so this is going to be my dialog, you can see it changes over here, just makes it easier when you are mixing these things. It's going to be a background noise, and this one's going to be my music, The obvious thing is, you're watching out for red stuff, anything that goes up above 0, there's a 0 up here, this is how much decibels is, how much you're raising or lowering this, is the output, this is what's getting mixed out. So you don't want to get it too high, bad, blowing eardrums, clipping, clipping the audio, we lose part of the range, so keep an eye on the reds, of course. 

So you will do a lot of clip mixing, when you are deciding, like individually, this one is different from this one because they're different clips. I've just randomly picked something up, but they're being recorded in different settings, different equipment. so you'll end up doing this kind of clip mixing, which you might use, the Clip Mixer to do that, or you might be doing a lot, like we've done in this course, is working on the tracks kind of down here, with this kind of rubber band on the audio, adding keyframes, lowering it, that sort of stuff. You can see it changing up here. 

All right, what is-- let's go back to the Track Mixer. What is this one here? What is this mix at the end here, this big thing? Doesn't really have a lot of the rest of the parts, it's your Master track. So down the bottom here, can you see, if I drag this down a little bit, can you see, there's this one here, this is the Master Track. So basically all of these other tracks, let's actually make our list bigger. Actually, don't use the rubber band thing. Option - and +, so I can see both my Master and these three tracks I've got. 

Basically, this is, this one, this one, and this one, all run through this, so you can adjust the overall volume, of all of these different tracks by using this thing. So watch this, if I go back here, they all go through this one, "Donut Dynamite." So if you want the whole thing to come down a bit, this is lowering the volume for everything -"About seven months ago…" - it's a way of controlling everything, everything passes through here, and why do we only have three on this side and one Master? It's just because we have three tracks down here, can you see, we've got dialogue, if we add a fourth one, so I've right clicked it in this kind of no man's land, I say 'Add Track', you can see, I got another track, there it is there, it ended up in between background and music, but I could add my fourth track, and you can have as many as you need, by continually adding tracks. I'm going to delete that track, thank you very much, but then you have one Master. 

The other handy thing about this, well, handy thing, a different way of approaching sound, using this mixer is, see this little chevron down here, you can show and hide effects, close it, close it down? Open that up, and up here you can decide that, let's say that we want to, add that Dynamic Range, remember the Dynamic Range Processor we learnt before, you can hit this little drop down and say, so under 'Amplitude and Compression', there's 'Dynamics Processing', we can add it this way, double click it, we can start editing it, remember this from earlier? 

So it's just a different way of applying it per track, rather than dragging it from the Effects Panel, 'Effects', 'Audio Effects', and dragging it over, just a different way, not better or worse. You can close this back down, butting that little chevron again, actually, let's add-- to get rid of one, you go to 'None', there's no, like delete, you just go to 'None', let's go to 'Time and Pitch', just go to 'Pitch Shifter', that's like the, funnest one to add. Let's go for, let's go for one of the presets, let's go for 'Angry Geobul'. Very good, classy. Ah, it's the same with variance. Work your way through. 

All right, you can add multiple ones up here, and it's doing for the whole track, rather than just the effects that we're doing before, maybe we're doing it per clip, in Effects, and we're working on, say this one here, we're applying these things one at a time per clip, and you have to copy and paste them, whether it's the same dialogue on everything, you can apply it just to the track, rather than individual clips. 

Before we go, simple ones, Mute, Solo, and Record, we'll record in a sec, but muting is the same buttons down here. Mute, Solo, did we do this, you know how to mute tracks. Soloing means only this track apply, my background noise. So you can kind of finesse this a little bit, you know, do that, don't hit Record yet, it's, it works, it's just weird, if you haven't used it before. 

One little shortcut, if you are working with lots and lots of different tracks, you can, remember, you can hold 'Mute', you can click on all these, what you can do is, actually hold 'Shift', and click 'M' for mute, and it does them all, and then just turn off the one you want, depending on how you want to work. Obviously, you could solo it, you know, 'Shift' and 'Solo', and everything gets soloed, which is not very useful, because they're all on. So Shift clicking any of these will work, random shortcut, I know. 

Actually, the last one, and probably my most favorite, I should have showed you at the beginning, a little shortcut, is, all these, like this thing, this panel occupies a lot of space for me, in what I do, in the kind of, I don't know, the level that I'm at in terms of my audio gain, what I do enjoy though, is all the different waveforms, sorry, meters, and you can actually turn them on down here, which is real cool. You can right click in the kind of no man's land, go to 'Customize', and somewhere in here, that's it, no, it's 'Volume', we're looking for the meters, which one is it? There it is, 'Track Meter'. If I drag this down here and say, all right, you're going to be, remember, give it a spot, I'm going to make mine very important, put along the top here, squeeze it in there, let's click 'OK', check it out. 

Actually, I might need the names, reorganize this, but let's just do it, there's my Dark Lord, I forgot to turn that off, but you can see all the track, you know, bouncing up and down by itself. Now we're going to have to fix that, because under my Track Mixer, I had that weird Pitch Shifter on, let's turn it to 'None' - "Donut Dynamite with my husband," and again, reorganizing this, if you haven't done it before, you need to open up the customized thing again, and you need to start going, "Okay, what's important?" So maybe that one, that one, but not the A1. The A1 needs to be down there, and this, I don't know, think it can move, so it's on the top level still, how much do you need Mutant Solo, and then, you got a nice big meter along the bottom there. 

Is it nice and big? Might have to reorganize it again, so actually, let's put it down there, come on. You've got to drag it from the top here, I always forget, and then these guys, you've got to drag down the top. This is a weird thing, you can drag these, I know you can, but anyway, we'll drag it the long way, Dialogue, that's the name, track name can go, one up here. So now I've got some nice big meters there. Remember, if you want to save your Timeline layout, you can go in here and say, 'Save Preset '. 

All right, so that is it for a brief introduction to the mixers, let's do, let's do a Submix in the next video.