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Adding Audio Effects with Premiere 6.5

This installment marks the beginning of a series of lessons on Premiere's special effects. Author Jeff Sengstack eases readers into this powerful aspect of Premiere by focusing this lesson on audio effects. In particular, this latest version of Premiere offers some powerful audio "sweetening" tools. If you have not upgraded to Premiere 6.5, this chapter will give you an feel for this exciting new feature.

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This chapter is from the book

Until now you've concentrated on editing techniques—piecing your project together. In this hour I'll introduce you to several ways you can change the characteristics of individual clips by adding special effects.

Premiere's audio effects "sweeten" your sound. Premiere lets you change the shape and size of a video clip and put it in motion. And its video effects can do dozens of tasks—from simply adding some contrast to a clip to animating clips with swirls, waves, and streaks.

Because there are so many possibilities over such a wide range of effects styles, I'll focus only on audio effects in this hour and use three additional hours to take you through video motion and effects.

The highlights of this hour include the following:

  • Getting a grip on the Effect Controls palette

  • Adjusting sound—an overview of Premiere's standard audio effects

  • Sweetening sound with some higher-end—and fun—audio effects

  • Trying out Premiere 6.5's brand-new and exciting TC|Essentials audio production tools

Managing Effects

Every time you add a clip to the timeline, Premiere prepares a little, heretofore hidden, interface called the Effect Controls palette. If each clip had its own palette, things could get mighty cluttered on your workspace, so there is only one palette that changes what it displays, depending on the clip you've selected.

To see how this works, open Premiere to your workspace and drag a few clips—at least one audio-only, one video-only, and a linked audio/video clip—to your timeline.

Open the Effect Controls palette by selecting Window, Show Effect Controls. Up pops a little interface, illustrated in Figure 10.1, with a scale and style much like the Navigator/Info/History palette. Drag the top of the Effect Controls palette so there's enough room to display a few effects.

Figure 10.1 The Effect Controls palette tracks video and audio effects plus clip motion and shape.


This would be a good time to add the Effect Controls Palette to your personalized workspace. I discussed saving your workspace back in Hour 3, "Video Capture and Scene Selection." I like minimizing the Effect Controls palette (along with Navigator and Transitions) and placing it below my timeline. Once you've added Effect Controls to your workspace, you can save or resave your workspace by selecting Window, Workspace, Save Workspace. Then type in a name and press Enter (Windows) or Return (Mac). To open your custom workspace, click Window, Workspace and then select your named workspace.

With the Effect Controls palette open, select a video clip. Note what happens in the Effect Controls palette. As illustrated back in Figure 10.1, that clip's name appears with the words Motion and Setup. This shows you that for every video clip, Premiere assumes you may want to give it some motion (and size and shape) characteristics. The check box next to Motion is unchecked to show that you have not chosen to add motion yet.


When you select a clip, its name shows up in the Effect Controls palette along with one of two messages, depending on the location of the edit line. If it's within your selected clip, the Effect Controls palette will note its time on the project timeline. Otherwise, it'll state "Edit line is outside of clip."

Just to get a taste of what's to come, click the Motion check box. Up pops the Motion Settings dialog box, as highlighted in Figure 10.2. Now this looks cool. I'll cover it in detail in the following hour, but feel free to experiment.

Figure 10.2 The Motion Settings dialog box: a taste of things to come in Hour 11, "Creating Video Effects."

Task: Add a Command to the Effect Controls Palette

Take a look at the other tab in the Effect Controls palette: Commands. This lists all the preset function key shortcuts. For instance, you can switch from the single-track editing workspace to A/B editing by pressing Shift+F10. These are all customizable. (What element in Premiere isn't?) To add a command, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Commands tab.

  2. Open the fly-out menu.

  3. Turn off Button Mode by selecting it.

  4. Choose Add Command in the fly-out menu, opening the Command Options dialog box shown in Figure 10.3.

  5. Type in your new command name.

  6. Select the function from the main menu.

  7. Select a function key (or combination) from those still available in the drop-down list.

  8. Click OK.

Figure 10.3 The Command Options dialog box, where you can add your own hotkey function commands.

Close out of the Motion Settings dialog box and select an audio clip. Note that the display in the Effect Controls palette changes to show the audio clip name only. You can't apply motion to audio, so that option does not appear in the palette. If you select a linked video/audio clip, the Effect Controls palette displays the palette for whichever part of the clip you've selected—audio or video. Even though that clip is linked, Premiere knows you can apply only audio effects to the audio portion and video and motion effects to the video portion.

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