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Workshop

Review the questions and answers in this section to try to sharpen your Premiere audio production effects skills. Also, take a few moments to tackle my short quiz and the exercises.

Q&A

  1. I applied three audio effects to a clip. When I play it back on the timeline, it sounds horrible—full of clicks and static.

  1. You've exceeded your computer's processing capabilities. You need to first render this segment of your project and then change the Audio Project Setting to reduce the number of tracks and effects Premiere will try to play back without rendering.

  1. Besides giving "oomph" to a thin vocal, what else can I use the TC EQ for?

  1. If you have isolated recordings of instruments in a band, you can add presence to each one by boosting portions of their frequency range. Giving them a little more treble increases their "attack." If you have trouble with audio hum or "popped P's," then reducing the low frequencies may help. You can use TC EQ to "carve out" a vocalist's range within an instrumental, giving that singer more "visibility."

Quiz

  1. You need to boost treble and bass. What's the easiest way to do that?

  2. There are at least two ways to make audio move from the right channel to the left and back. What are they?

  3. You recorded a speech but the presenter is too quiet and the waiter's clattering trays are too jarring. How can you fix this?

Quiz Answers

  1. You can use Premiere's standard Bass & Treble effect in the EQ folder. But for a warmer sound use TC EQ and select High Shelf and Low Shelf. The easiest way to do this is to use the default TC EQ settings, turn off the middle band (it's set to Parametric), change the High Shelf frequency (the right band) to about 10,000, and increase the gain on both the left (Low Shelf) and right bands to suit your tastes.

  2. First, you can use the blue audio pan rubberband. Expand the audio track by clicking the triangle next to Audio 1. Click the blue icon and then drag the blue line all the way down (right channel), click it midway through the clip to make a handle, and drag it all the way up (left). Then click the end handle to drag it back down (right). Second, use Auto Pan. Set Depth to Wide (full right to left pan) and set Rate to suit your clip. This takes some experimentation, but a rate of 0.1 Hz moves the audio from right to left and back in about 10 seconds.

  3. You want to minimize the clattering trays by reducing the high end of the volume when that clattering happens. Also, you want to increase the low-volume portions to better hear the speaker. Use TC Dynamics (or Compressor/Expander) to do both. Turn on Preview to watch the VU meter volume levels. Set the threshold a few dBs below the peak value (set the VU meter to Activate Peak Hold to mark that peak value) and adjust the ratio to suit the situation. The ratio is how far you cut the loudest sound.

Exercises

  1. Experiment with the Multitap Delay audio effect (in the Reverb & Delay folder). Use it on a solo instrument, a solo voice (record you own, perhaps), and music with a hard beat. Try out its Musical Time Calculator to synchronize the delay effects with the music. This is a slick and exciting toy.

  2. Create a "chorus" using your voice. Use your camcorder to record yourself (or a "volunteer") singing a song. Capture it and drag it to your timeline. Then use the Chorus or Flanger audio effect on it several times, altering the settings for each instance.

  3. Create a full-featured graphics equalizer by layering three TC EQ plug-ins on the same clip (any more and you'll probably need to render the clip). Once you've set a full-bandwidth of "faders" and applied them to your audio, open the Effect Controls palette and turn one or more of them off (click the f check box). Then listen to the difference.

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