For those of you who are Final Cut Pro 7 switchers or just new to Premiere Pro altogether, here are 2 methods for dealing with audio in Premiere Pro. The first method is for Final Cut Pro 7 switchers who want to have their audio on track 1 & 2 in their timeline. The second method is dealing with one track of audio in the timeline but changing it so that strongest or desired channel is heard as if it were recorded as stereo audio. Let’s get to it.
Method #1: Final Cut Pro 7 Style (both channels of audio on two audio tracks in the timeline)
First, select a clip in the project panel. My clip is an interview, which was recorded by the onboard microphone and a handheld microphone from an XLR cable. Right click on the clip and go to Modify>Audio Channels.
Change the Preset from Use File to Mono. This will give you the left audio channel on Track 1 and the right audio channel on Track 2. After you review the settings, hit OK.
Now, if you drag your video clip onto the new item button, it will create a new sequence based on the settings of footage. In the new sequence, the video clip is on Video Track 1 and the audio is on A1 and A2 respectively. You can now select footage and it will highlight both audio tracks or select the audio tracks individually by holding the option/alt key.
If I wanted to remove the natural sound audio, here are the steps I would take. First, I would delete the clip from the sequence. Then, go back to the project panel and right click on my clip to select Modify>Audio Channels. In my example the natural sound is coming from the right channel or Track 2. With my audio channels still set the way they are, I will set Track 2’s source channel to left and hit OK. If I listen to it now, the handheld microphone audio is now being heard through both channels. If I need a visual verification, drag the clip into a sequence and the audiometers will show this change.
This method is great to use if you desire the Final Cut Pro 7 style of seeing the audio tracks.
Method #2: Using Fill Left or Right to get Stereo Sound
This method has become my preferred method of dealing in Premiere Pro. The FCP 7 style is fine but the lesser audio tracks I have to deal with the better. As you can see below, I have audio loaded from the same interview clip in the viewer.
Since I didn’t convert the audio like I did for the FCP 7 method, I hear both the natural sound captured by the camera’s onboard microphone as well as the handheld microphone’s audio. My goal is to neutralize the onboard microphone’s audio and force the audio from the handheld microphone to appear on both the left and right channels. In order to do this, I will use the Fill Right or Fill Left filter, which can be found in the Audio Effects folder here. (Media College explanation on Fill Left/Right filter)
With my audio highlighted in the timeline, I can either drag the Fill Right or Left filter onto my audio track or if I’m in CS6, I can double click to apply it. A quick listen and visual verification from audio meters will let me know if the Fill Right or Left filter took my handheld mic audio and filled it in the right or left channel. Below are examples of what the audio sounds like untreated and treated with the Fill Right or Left filter.
Thanks to the Fill Left filter, I now the have the handheld microphone audio playing in the left and right channels as if it were recorded in stereo. Now, if I need to boost or reduce the levels, I can make the audio adjustments accordingly knowing that it will only effect the handheld microphone’s audio.
These two methods for dealing with audio in Premiere Pro can be used based on your preference. It all depends on which method offers you the most flexibility. Try these methods out for yourself and see which one works best for you. I’m the NLE Ninja with AudioMicro asking you to stay creative.