OK, I've read the help docs, gone through the tutorials, watched the videos. Still I am not finding an efficient workflow for dealing with audio in PP. Let's face it, audio in 5.5 was completely baffling to us newbies jumping ship from FCP 7, and I thought the CS 6 update was going to simplify things. No dice. As I am a somewhat recent transplant, I am willing to admit that…. wait, nay, I'm HOPING that I am probably missing something here and that it's just stupid operator error. Fingers crossed.
Here's my situation. I am editing a documentary that has hundreds of hours of footage and thousands upon thousands of clips. We are working with three different kinds of audio: stereo, mono 1 & 2 (interviews with a lav mic on channel 1 and boom on channel 2) and mono (interview on channel 1 with lav microphone only). Here's my problems:
If I set the audio so that they're all stereo clips
Then I'm running into problems with the mono 1 & 2 tracks. Say the boom audio is better on the right channel, and I want to silence the left. I turn the left channel off. Then I want the boom audio to be on both channel's equally… well, I can't figure out a way to do that. In FCP, I would just put the pan to center, and the audio would play the right channel's audio on both channels equally. With PP, panning does nothing but adjust how much of the boom is heard, as opposed to how much the lav (now silent) is heard. I can't find a way to pan the boom to the center, so that it is heard equally on both channels.
If I set the audio so that they're all mono 1 & 2 clips
Doing this solves the boom/lav problem as listed above, as the mono tracks seem to center pan and play on both channels equally, so simply deleting the lav works well. However, now if I have a stereo song that I want to keyframe some fades in (say a music bed playing in the background that I want to fade lower when a person starts talking)… now I have to pen tool in keyframes for the left track AND the right track separately, try to get the fades to match on each track, then separately fade the audio back in for each track. So essentially I've DOUBLED my work for each of the tracks I've marked this way.
As a note, I love having found this out the hard way, after editing a 20 minutes interview into bits and pieces scattered across my timeline, and then finding out I should have set the audio to Mono 1 & 2. Easy enough, I thought, as I went back to the Project window, found the original clip, then went to modify the audio so it would work in my project. I got the extremely helpful message that "Any changes you have made to the number of clips or the type of those clips will not be reflected in the existing timelines. Do you want to continue?" YEAH! That's super. You might as well have put "Making this change now will do nothing to help you. You'll have to go back and edit everything again. Do you want to continue?" Great, Adobe, thanks. Bang up job there.
I was really happy about not having to transcode in PP like I used to have to do in FCP 7. That was until I realized how the audio worked, and for the latest scene of this documentary had to go through every clip/camera download to figure out how the audio had to be set-up before I could start editing. Transcoding a big job used to take me a day. Configuring the audio in PP for this one scene took two.
I would be the happiest person on the planet to find out that I've been wasting my time and that there is a simple solution for all of this. Hope someone can point me in the right direction and thanks for any help!