12 Replies Latest reply on Jan 24, 2018 9:12 AM by jay-pee

    locking audio to timeline in Premiere Elements

    d koh Level 1

      I'm creating a slideshow with pan-and-zoom as well as imported video clips.  I've created a "soundtrack" with imported music in Audio Tracks 2 and 3 and manually "mixed" the music so that the audio clips appear "staggered" on the timeline (i.e., one partial song in Track 2, next partial song in Track 3, next partial song in Track 2, etc.).  I manually entered beat markers for all of my anticipated video edits (as I have done for all my NLE software projects on other platforms).  However, whenever I shorten a video clip, the entire contents of audio tracks 2 and 3 shifts to the left correspondingly.  And, of course then my beat markers for the rest of the project don't line up.  This is completely maddening.  I can not find a way to "pin" or "lock" the audio tracks to the timeline. There isn't even any accompanying video for these tracks -- just music.  Every time I shorten a clip to match the beat, Elements "outsmarts" me and moves all future audio out of sync. And I have to shorten each clip because, for stills, the clip duration is set when the stills are "imported" to the project.  There must be a way to toggle off this free-floating audio.  Any thoughts...?  I'd be grateful...!

        • 1. Re: locking audio to timeline in Premiere Elements
          the_wine_snob Level 9

          Welcome to the forum.


          Unfortunately, PrE does not allow Locking Tracks, like PrPro does. I have requested this feature for several years, and for each new PrE release, as I feel it is very important and useful.


          I usually am adding my soundtrack as the last thing I do, just before I Export/Share, so it does not bother me that much, but doing what you are, or if one is doing a music video, then being able to Lock those Audio Tracks (I Lock Video Tracks in PrPro often too), would be such a useful feature.


          Let's look for a way to get what I think you want, as a few additional steps might make your life a bit easier. You have your "mixed" Audio Clips on two separate Audio Tracks. You have them edited, as you want. I would think about Exporting/Sharing JUST the Audio to a PCM/WAV file @ 48KHz 16-bit. That will effectively mix your two Tracks of Audio into one stereo file. Then, you can Import that output file into your Project, replacing the two Tracks of Audio Clips. Being one file, it will not move, when you edit your Video. Two things to consider: in that output file, you will most likely loose your Beat Markers, but can add those back, and when you go to edit any Clips, that are "covered" by other Clips, some of the edit functions do not work, quite as they did when they were not covered, such as Delete and Close Gap - the gap will not close. It would be the same, if you had a Video Clip above the one that you were editing. Still, for most editing functions, that should not be an issue, but it will depend on how you have edited your Clips to that point. For Stills, you can Ripple Edit, and change the Duration up/down, as needed. If you are working with Video Clips, and have enough extra Frames (referred to as Handles, when dealing with Transitions), you can do the same with them. If they do not have adequate Frames, then you might have to shuffle things around a bit.


          By Exporting/Sharing the Audio to a single file, you have, in essence, Locked that Audio Track.


          As a side-note, some users have encountered issues with both of the Fixed Audio Tracks, Soundtrack and Narration. The usual "fix" is to just use one of the free "regular" Audio Tracks - just exactly as you have done already. I refrain from using Soundtrack, or Narration (though I have never had those problems), because so many others have reported them.


          Good luck, and maybe we will all get lucky, and Adobe WILL honor some feature requests for Track Locking.



          • 2. Re: locking audio to timeline in Premiere Elements
            d koh Level 1

            Thanks very much, Bill. You fully understand the problem, and that's sad news about being unable to lock the audio.  It's also completely baffling.  Your workaround (using Premiere Elements as essentially the audio mixer and exporting to one audio file) was going to be my last-ditch approach.  I sometimes still micro-adjust the length/level of the audio clips and audio transitions as I go to fit a given piece of video, etc. -- but now I won't be able to do that.  Since the shift doesn't seem to affect the "current" audio (that is, the track under which I'm adding stils/clips), I'm also seeing if I can re-adjust each audio clip as I get to it. But, yes, this is essentially a music video; it's the best way to get the still/video transitions to align with the beat. But I still can't believe that after ~ 8 years (?) of trying, I can't find a product to replace iMovie 3, of all things.  Apple dropped the ball completely after that one, and none of the look-alikes that have come along are usable for much of anything. 

            • 3. Re: locking audio to timeline in Premiere Elements
              the_wine_snob Level 9

              Since I spend much more time in PrPro, I just Lock the Tracks, that I did not want to have affected.


              Now, it seems that Steve Grisetti, our tireless MOD and world-known author, did offer some "music video" tips, IIRC. I do not know if they would be helpful here, and if they would negate the Export Video workflow, that I describe, but I cannot recall exactly what he recommended. My guess would be that it was over a year ago.


              Good luck,



              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: locking audio to timeline in Premiere Elements
                d koh Level 1

                Thanks very much, Bill.  I'll look for that post.  And I'll probably force myself to upgrade to Pro (if I can afford it).  I spent ~ a week on and off with Elements so far and was finally getting comfortable with the workflow/interface; things were going OK until I hit this audio timeline snag. Thanks again!

                • 5. Re: locking audio to timeline in Premiere Elements
                  d koh Level 1

                  I will add, for anyone who has been looking at this thread -- or anyone who will look at it -- that the audio clips seem to stop floating once there is video associated with it.  Also, it was more problematic in Audio Track 4 than in Audio Tracks 2 and 3 (!?).  Once I began adding pan/zoom still and/or video clips "under" an audio clip, the audio would lock; the issue has only been with the "downstream" audio clips (i.e., those to the right).  So one option would be to NOT insert the beat markers until you got to each audio clip -- then you could (re)position the audio correctly and add the beat markers at that point.  A downside for me is that I spend a lot of time inserting beat markers (~ 200) and having to re-do them is a pain. Also, I like to be able to put them all in in advance because then I know how many stills/clips I will need for the "slow" song and for the "upbeat" song and the "sad" song, etc., and it's easier to sort available stills/clips into the most appropriate bin.

                  • 6. Re: locking audio to timeline in Premiere Elements

                    Wow, I'm so frustrated and disappointed with this inability to lock audio with PreE.

                    Grateful for this thread as I was driving myself nuts thinking I was doing something wrong.

                    • 7. Re: locking audio to timeline in Premiere Elements

                      Ditto! This was very helpful and I'm shocked that there isn't a way to do this in the Premiere Elements version. I'm considering returning my purchase of this software based on this. It's a basic feature that would provide a lot more flexiblity.

                      • 8. Re: locking audio to timeline in Premiere Elements
                        A.T. Romano Level 7



                        What version of Premiere Elements are you using and on what computer operating system is it running?


                        What are you doing now to avoid disturbing the existing Timeline content when you make additions to it?


                        Assuming Premiere Elements 12/12.1 on Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 64 bit.......


                        Holding down the Alt key of the computer main keyboard as you drag the addition in place in the existing Timeline or other?


                        If the no locked track feature in Premiere Elements 12/12.1 is a deal breaker for you and you purchased from Adobe, make sure that

                        you request your money back within 30 days of purchase. It is very strict on that timing. If purchased elsewhere, then you will

                        have to deal with the return policy of the authorized reseller from whom you made the purchase.



                        • 9. Re: locking audio to timeline in Premiere Elements
                          kembles38553316 Level 1

                          I bought this in 2015 ...using it for the first time ...I CAN'T LOCK MY AUDIO!! I'm going back to iMovie LoL ....LOCKING AUDIO IS BASIC ...so I can' play around with the vids ...I don't want to have to manually time everything and then put it together ...I'm a professional concert musician ...I can edit my music in different programs but when it's on the timeline I don't want it split!! If I need to send a letter to someone at Adobe please direct me to the appropriate contact. I was thrilled with Premier Elements 14 right up to this point.

                          xoxo Thanks,


                          Vancouver BC


                          • 10. Re: locking audio to timeline in Premiere Elements

                            I just bought Adobe Premiere Elements update. I am angry and frustrated to find that clips cannot be locked in place. It amazes me how programming genius fail to think in a common sense way. Locking clips would seem to be a natural obvious option. It appears from other comments on this board that this request has been ignored by Adobe...probably to compel those to require this option to buy Premiere Pro through the cloud.


                            I plan to ask for my money back. There are other video editing apps that will do what I need and have a lock capability.


                            • 11. Re: locking audio to timeline in Premiere Elements

                              I never even considered this would be a possible problem... until I realize my damn audio track has no way to remain locked to the video. Cut a split second of video, or insert a split second video, the whole project is ruined. This is an extremely basic function of a video editor.... Too bad you can't get refunds for software.

                              • 12. Re: locking audio to timeline in Premiere Elements

                                If I understood correctly and as I was having the same problem,



                                will pressing Alt while dragging clips around help? That way it doesn't split the sound clip for me nor doesn't place the clip on top of another clip?