Adobe Premiere Pro CC - Essentials Training

Manually Balancing & Levelling Audio your audio in Premiere Pro

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hey everyone, this video we are going to look at adjusting the video's volume, or leveling or balancing. Basically what it means is, we need the volume to be at a certain level. At the moment it's too quiet, and you have no idea, you're like, "What? Sounds fine," but we need to kind of reach a consistency with the rest of the world. So we need to be able to send this video off, and it not to be too quiet and not to be too loud, compared to everything else that's either on YouTube, or on the television or at the cinema. 

So this needs to be balanced to make sure it's right. So let's go and do that, so what do we do? First of all we need to see the volume. So I've got my Playhead amongst my video clips, I'm going to hit 'Spacebar'. You probably notice this thing jumping up and down, that is our volume, but it depends on your laptop. If you can't see that, go to 'Window' and find 'Volume', where is it? Under 'Audio Meters'. So turn that on, turn that off. 

So what we need to do though is we need to see the actual measurements on it, and it's too small. Like we did between here and here, we can adjust the gap between this, watch. See, no numbers, numbers; yours might already have numbers. So drag it out minimally to where you can see the numbers. It could be really big, it doesn't matter as long as you can see the numbers. Now if I hit 'Spacebar', so you can kind of see in here that it is bouncing in between, kind of gets up to 6, but mostly it's bouncing between this -24 and -18. Weirdly, 0 is the highest, and it uses negatives, don't ask me why, but it is bouncing about here. 

So it's fine but it's just not loud enough; what is loud enough? So dialogue, people talking in videos, should be bouncing somewhere between -6 and -12, somewhere kind of in here, not past -12 really, just somewhere in this zone. So how do we adjust it? First of all we're going to use the first video, so we're going to click in here, have this one selected, give it a click. It is-- kind of creeps up there when I'm yelling, but most of the time it's a bit low. So to raise it, the easiest way to raise it is down here, in your audio track, if you haven't already, remember, you can click the bottom of it and kind of drag it bigger. 

I'm going to zoom in a little bit. So this line, that's kind of hovering in the middle here. That is your volume, that's the easiest way to do the volume. So at the moment it's set to 0, if I click it, hold it, and drag it all the way up, can you see, so it's raising it by 3 decibels, 7 decibels. Way too high, I'm up at 13, see what it's going to do. Hold your phone, ready? Ah, very loud. Getting into the reds, so what you need to do, is you need to come back here and figure out where it is. So that looks about fine. Bouncing, roughly in there, doesn't have to be perfect. 

You'll notice that I start off real excited in all my videos, "Hi, everyone." It's getting a bit of consistency. Later on what we might do is, lower that down a tiny bit, once we get a few more skills, but at the moment, consistently I've raised it up by about, 7 decibels, to make it bounce in this right area. So do the same over here. About there, about 7 decibels, it doesn't have to be super perfect. I'll show you more perfect ways of doing it later on, but for the moment, and not just for the moment but most of the time, just grab it, drag it along. 

The other cool thing you can do when you're manually doing it, is you can hit 'Spacebar' and let it play, and drag it while it's actually moving, watch. So you can kind of let it roll, just, move it up and down just to kind of get it where you want it. If you do have a lot of stuff to do manually, like that, you could go through, because I've only got six videos, easy, done. If they're all different, then you're going to be raising and lowering them all differently. So there's no point doing like a bulk, raise it by 7 decibels because, you might have-- you might be shooting outdoors, or in different rooms, so that audio is going to be at different levels, but this is all the same.

So what we can do is, we can grab this, we can right click it anywhere on the clip, go to 'Audio Gain', they call it. So we want to add to it, we want to adjust the gain by 7 decibels, and the line doesn't move, but watch the, like graph in the background. Can you see, it gets bigger by 7 decibels. You've done the same thing, it just looks different down here. So this one, the line's raised, but the bar graph, sorry, the waveform, the little hills and valleys stayed the same, but doing it that way, using Audio Gain, you've essentially done the same thing, it's going to sound the same on the other side, but you've done it, just kind of looks different down here. 

When do I use both? I'm going to show you the automatic one in the next video, you're like, "What, there's an automatic view?" Automatic way of fixing it, there is, that's the way I do, but we need to know about these things, what the line does, trust me, we need it for the course later on, but for the moment I'm going to leave, the fifth and sixth one, I want to use that for auto in a second. All right, let's get on to the next video.