On what computer operating system is your Premiere Elements 12 running? Have you installed the 12.1 Update? If not, please do so using an opened project's Help Menu/Update.
For all intents and purposes, once the project preset is set by you (manually) or the project (automatically), it cannot be reset without starting a new project. You cannot always depend on the project to set the correct project preset automatically. So, you set the project preset manually before you import your source media into the project.
What are the properties of your source media that are all from this same source? What is the project preset that is set for this project? If you do not know, then please tell us the readings for Editing Mode, Timebase, Frame Size, and Pixel Aspect Ratio (even if grayed out) found under Edit Menu/Project Settings/General.
Also, important - are you working with .mod widescreen files?
Answers to the above will help us customize a reply and solution.
Upon your prompting, i did notice that the laptop that is working properly has an operating system of Windows 7 and the other is Windows Vista. I shoot in DV. The link was helpful, but I had already figured that out and my project is still scrunched unless I go in and do the interpret footage function. It automatically sets up at full hd 1080i 30 and i have to adjust it to dv widescreen. Now, that i've figured out all that... on this particular project i have 2 videos that I have got ready to go and 2 that have no sound... but they have sound on the Windows 7 computer. LOL. They are not .mod widescreen files.
it automatically gives me frame size 1920 - 1080 but needs to be 720 - 480. pixel aspect ration is square pixels 1.0 editing mode hd 1080i but needs to be dv widescreen. I've figured out how to make all these adjustments. It is sort of inconvenient to have to do this every time I edit something, but now I have sound not showing up on some of my videos as well. Thanks for your time.
Thanks for the follow up. It sounds like you are OK, but let me review a few things to make sure.
Assuming NTSC setup...Windows
1. If you are capturing DV data with a firewire connection into Premiere Elements 12/12.1, your source media can be DV Standard 4:3 or DV Widescreen 16:9 depending on your camera recording settings.
Premiere Elements 11, 12, and 13 are set up to take over setting the project preset automatically based on the properties of the first video dragged to the Timeline. When it cannot do the job for whatever reason, it does not give you the closest fit to what you require for your particular source. It gives you its default 1080i30 (1920 x 1080 @ 29.97 interlaced frames per second).
If your camera has DV data 4:3, then you set the project preset manually beforehand to NTSC DV Standard. If your camera has DV data 16:9, then you set the project preset manually beforehand to NTSC DV Widescreen. Both Standard and Widescreen have the same frame size, that is, 720 x 480. In the case of the Widescreen, there is a 16:9 flag which stretches the video for display after encoding (to 856 x 480).
You should not have to be using Interpret Footage to get the appropriate aspect ratio when you have done DV data 4:3 or 16:9 capture firewire into Premiere Elements Capture Windows. That concerns me if you do.
Also important is that you are putting DV AVI type 2, not type 1, on your Timeline in the DV data capture firewire process. If Premiere Elements is part of this capture process, DV AVI type 2 is what you should have.
Please consider the above and then let us know, when your schedule permits, if you are OK with the information
Yeah, i'm still having to do interpret footage even after preset the project, although these particular videos were downloaded with windows movie player and then carried over because my previous version of elements (4) didn't work with my cameras. I will have to try capturing with PE12 again the next time I do it.
Why am I not getting sound with some of my videos when I added the same media into the editor on my windows 7 computer and it worked just fine?
Any chance you are working with a combo of DV AVI type 1 and type 2? My recollection is that Movie Maker capture produces DVD AVI type 1.
To rule this thought in or out, you might want to download and install the free codec utility named GSpot. On the left side of its dialog is a section on "Container".
If you have DV AVI type 1, you should find that information there.
DV AVI type 1 is known to be problematic for Premiere Elements which uses DV AVI type 2.