If you have Production Premium or Master Collection you may need to look at some tutorials on Adobe Audition. There are plenty of these tutorials on Adobe TV or youtube.
Thanks I will have a look
Fixing background noise in Audio can be tough, depending on the source of that noise, and the frequencies where it resides, plus the frequencies of your desired Audio signal.
I agree with Srukweza, that Audition is probably a better tool for that. This ARTICLE might also have some useful tips.
For a Track-level Volume adjustment, you might want to explore the Audio Mixer. If you have not used it before, I would read a bit in the Help file, as it will explain Track Keyframes vs Clip Keyframes and also Sends, which will be important. This ARTICLE touchs on some aspects, but again, if you have not used Audio Mixer, read up on it - easy, but there ARE some things to think about.
I suggest using the Match Clip Volume feature in Audition if you can round-trip your sequence to Audition's Multitrack.
You can also batch process audio (and audio from video) files in Audition, and have each of those spit out to a consistent leveled wave (or other format) file via the Batch Process panel.
Removing background noise all depends on what type of background noise you are actually referring too. If it's cars passing like trucks or cars or air conditoner running constantly in the background. Then I would use a highpass filter and set it anywhere from 120 to 170 and see if that takes some background noise out. If it's more of a hissing sound then I'd use the denioser effect, and set the reduction to around -6 to -8 to start with and then just adjust from there depending on how it helps or doesn't help.
Now when it comes to audio clips I personally look at the clips waveforms and then generally right click the clip and use the "audio gain" option. Then just raise or lower the clip by raising the audio gain however much you want. Then what I do is go to my audio mixer and then on the track my studio/field footage is on I add the "dynamics" filter effect and setup the compressor to my liking. A compressor can truly be your best friend. If you tweak it correctly it MOSTLY elimnates the need for keyframming audio for things like "interviews" or just footage of people talking etc. Because it will keep the audio from getting to high but then at the same time not reduce it if it's not high enough to begin with. You just set the threshold and your ratio the way you want them and you're good to go. Generally speaking you don't usually need to tweak the attack or realease much. But this really just depends on what exactly you're trying to accomplish.
The other thing you'll want to consider is possibly putting another dynamics filter on your "master track". Then you simply just use this as a limiter only. I do this because the TV station I work at doesn't allow peaks over a certain amount so using a limiter on your master track makes this very easy. Although your compressor's will keep your audio great 95 percent of the time I always go ahead and put the limiter there as extra caution. But like I said once you get good at using a compressor the limiter won't be hit very often anyways but still I'd recommend using it. Also technically you can also just turn the audio up by using the dynamics filter "makeup" if you want too.
For your exact scenario though my personal opinion is that a dynamics filter is going to be your best option. Although using audition is fine too, but honestly if you just learn to use the compressor properly you won't need to use audition very often. Unless you're doing some serious mixing that Premiere just can't handle etc... But from the way it sounds, it truly sounds like it'd be really easy to just go with the compressor option.
Here is the basics to know when using a compressor/dynamic effect. Your threshold is the point at which it will begin to reduce the volume of your audio. So if you set it at -20db it will start reducing the audio when it hits -20. Then you have your ratio this basically just makes it reduce your audio faster when it hits the threshold. Then you have your attack which literally is just how fast it turns the audio down after hitting the threshold. Then you have your realease which is simply how fast or how slow it lets go of the audio after it's done hitting your threshold. Then you have the makeup which allows you turn the audio up a ton.
Usually I start off with my ratio a 2 and then tweak from there. Usually though you don't need to really go to far past 3 or 4 though. But once again this all depends on what you're trying to accomplish.
Thanks both for the responses.
I've had a bit of a play with the compressor but I'm not 100% sure what i'm trying to achieve and therefore which settings to use. I understand that it limits the peaks and reduces the dynamic range but what benefit does this give? Should I be using similar compression settings for all clips?
So, I have to set the threshold of where I want to start reducing the audio? Should I still use use compression on the quieter clips? Is -20 a good place to start for compression?
When using the makeup what should I use a guide to get the audio levels correct?
I basically have three different sets of clips:
- The first set seem to have average peaks between -10 and -4db with a maxium of almost 0db
- The second set have average peaks between -12 and -6 with a maximum of about -3
- The final set are much quieter and have average peaks between -22 and -12 with a maximum of about -8
There's also a few clips where the level hits the 0db peak (goes red). Are these usable?
I've been told to aim for the -12 to -6 range for the interview clips to allow me to add other sounds.
The tone of the voice sounds a bit different in each, I guess because the microphone was closer or the recording levels differed. Some also have more background noise than others - I did have a play with the noise reduction effect in Audition which seems good but there seems a fine line between removing the noise and making the voice sound alien like. I will have to have a further play with this and try to find a tutorial. The interviews were recorded outside so it is just general outdoor noises.
I also tried batch processing in Audition with the match volume effect. This seemed to work well in terms of making them all similar although the voice tone and background noise vary a fair bit and it lowered all of the levels too much.
I know I'm going to have to use a combination of these different techniques but its just knowing the best setting to use and the best approach.
If the mic was a different distance etc then you'll never be able to make them all sound exactly the same tone. But For the background noise I'd really recommend the effects inside premiere I've already mentioned I have found that 90 percent of the time I don't ever need to use audition for interview type edits. I'm able to get by using a denioser and highpass to remove "most background" noises. However I don't film outside very often most of my background noise problems are usaully from too much gain or AC noise. So your scenario might be different than mine for this reason.
The benifit of the compressor is that it can make your audio stay exactly within whatever range you want without having to keyframe stuff. With the clips you have desribed you'll want to use a different dynamics filter for each group. So put each group on it's own audio track. So group one that you have desribed would go on track 1 since all those clips have similar range etc. Basically with group 1 I wouldn't compress it at all. I'd leave it alone except for lowering it's audio by -2 on the audio track 1. That way all the clips in the first group will be lowered by 2db if you put them all on track 1. You won't have to worry about it's slightly too high peaks as long as you set a dynamics effect with nothing enabled on it besides the limiter on the master track and have the limiter set to -6 since you said that's what you need your max peak to be. If you do this then everything in group one will be handled as far as levels go. (as far as db goes anyways) However if you want to have other things in the project to be higher than -6 then just simply put the -6 limiter turned on track 1 then instead of the master track.
Then for the second group I wouldn't touch them at all I'd put them on track 2 and just let the limter on the master track keep it's peaks from going to high since it's basically already where you want it. Then if the clips have a hissing noise or something you can add a denoiser and set the reduction to -10 and adjust from there.
Then for your final set you are desribing -22 to -12 for these I'd put them on track 3 and use a dynamics filter and keep everything disabled except for the compressor itself. For this I'd start with my ratio at 2 and put my threshold at -20 and set my makeup gain at 9 or so. Then from there if it looks like it's way to loud then try lowering the gain and if it looks like its lows are too quite then add the gain back but if it appears to be to loud then simply raise your ratio or lower the threeshold a bit. But I think the settings I have listed will get your to your desired range.
For the clips that are hitting -0 a lot if they are distorting then you really can't fix distortion but if they are hitting 0 and aren't distorting then you can just simply lower the volume for these you don't need to add any gain since they are already too loud anyways so if you just lower them by like -6 it should get them right within the range you mentioned.
As far as background noise such as hissing you'll really want to just use Premiere's denoiser effect. Start off by setting the reduction to like -10 and adjust from there. Then for cars passing etc try out a highpass filter and set it to 120 to start and move up there if needed. It will take the bass out of the peoples voices but it won't sound bad unless you start going over 160-170 range it also depends on if the person has a deep voice to begin with or not too though.
I'm only really talking a matter of inches for the mic distance, but I guess it still effects the tone.
Thanks for the advice - I will have a go at using the effects that you mention and will try the compression etc as you suggest.
One question - how do I add an effect to a whole audio track as opposed to individual clips?
In the Audio Mixer.
Harm Millaard wrote:
In the Audio Mixer.
But how? I have just tried that but can't figure out how to add an effect in the audio mixer.
On the side of Audio Mixer, you have a "reveal arrow," that will get you the Effects Panel. There, you can add Audio Effects, that will affect the entire Track. The Help File will show you exactly where that is, should it not be readily apparent.
Bill Hunt wrote:
On the side of Audio Mixer, you have a "reveal arrow," that will get you the Effects Panel. There, you can add Audio Effects, that will affect the entire Track.
Glad Bill was able to help you find where to apply effects to tracks. Just wanted to tell you that the differences in the sound of voice's can occur with simply 1 inch of distance difference. I know it sounds crazy but when I film interviews if a guest turns their head one way and starts looking and talking in the opposite direction of their lapel it makes a huge difference not only in volume but overall tone. Obviously though the amount that this occurs also depends on what type of mic you're using as well. The other thing you have to think about is that on a lot of camera's there is a feature called "low cut" which will take all the lows out of the persons voice. So if you where doing a multicam shoot, and one of the camera's had this turned on and the other camera didn't. Then you would also have some fairly big tone differences as well. Although this you could probably fix somewhat by putting a highpass on the clips that had more lows to them therefore bringing them up to match as far as tone. (As much as you can anyways)