7 Replies Latest reply on May 19, 2011 7:33 AM by Steve Grisetti

    Video/Media audio balance


      I created a screen shot to help explain my dilema. I have little experience in elements so far but I'm loving the program so far. Here is what my timeline looks like:


      I have an MP3 music file playing through the slide show but I transition into a video and I need the music to continue playing, like it already is, but reducing the volume by ~80%. So you would still be able to hear the voices in the video but slightly hear the music in the background. Hopefully that makes sense. I know about the reduce audio effects but it seems like more of a tool for completely fading out the audio rather than fine adjustment. Can this be done? Thanks in advance.

        • 1. Re: Video/Media audio balance
          the_wine_snob Level 9

          Welcome to the fourm.


          I think that I understand perfectly. This ARTICLE will give you tips on attenuating the Volume of the Audio Clip.


          If all is working properly with your MP3, ignore this link, but if it is not, then see this ARTICLE.


          Good luck,



          • 2. Re: Video/Media audio balance
            Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

            Yep. Audio keyframing is exactly what you need.

            • 3. Re: Video/Media audio balance
              Ted Smith Level 3

              By BALANCE I presume you mean Audio level. Balance is the term used to describe the proportion of volume between left to right stereo audio channnels.


              Using the Audio mixer as described in the article can be daunting to beginners.


              Far easier to simply add extra markers and adjust the height of the audio volume line to suit.


              Insert a keyframe marker to the audio track where you want to start reducing the level and another where you want the level to continue at the reduced level. The marker is the same type as the little yello blip where a fade starts to reduce. It is inserted by first clicking on the audio track at the point where you want the marker then clicking on the little diamond below the name of the audio track (Audio 2 in your case).


              Simply drag the part you want reduced down to 80% or whatever you like.


              Like this example with a marker wherever the volume line changes direction. Do the same in reverse when you want the level to resume

              _____                    ______ music


              -----------sssssssss------------- speech


              You can move the markers about to reduce the level neatly when the voice speaks. You can get a short fade or long fade with the mouse by clicking on markers and dragging horizontally. Drag the lower part vertically to adjust the background volume.


              Better if you can convert the music to a .wav file first.

              • 4. Re: Video/Media audio balance
                the_wine_snob Level 9



                I agree that the Audio Mixer can be confusing to a user, who has not used it quite a bit, and, as it creates Track Keyframes, can end up not producing what one wants, if there is any additional Audio editing. That is why it was listed as the last option. Though it is very powerful, and can not only adjust Volume, but Balance (in PrPro, with a DD 5.1 SS Sequence, it can also adjust the placement of the Audio on the Surround Stage).


                I often use it, but instead use the method outline above, and by you - Volume Keyframes on the Clip, and not on the Audio Track.


                For any user, please not that adding Track Keyframes with the Audio Mixer will make adjustments for the Track, and not for the Clip(s) on that Track, so if one later changes Clips, or alters them, the changes reamain, as before, regardless of changes made at the Clip-level. This can be very useful, or it can be frustrating, if one does not realize how/where the Keyframes are applied. The power comes from not having to do things Clip by Clip, as one is working at the Track-level, and can adjust the entire Track at once, without having to maneuver Clip by Clip, editing each one. Power and ease, but with a caveat - if one changes a Clip, or Clips, those Keyframes are not affected, and may no longer do what the user wants. Use Audio Mixer, when all other Audio editing is complete.


                Hope that helps,



                • 5. Re: Video/Media audio balance
                  DrBrown55061 Level 1

                  Thanks Ted, all of that is dually noted! I knew there was a way to add the keyframes to the audio SOMEHOW, it just wasn't blatantly obvious

                  when looking at the tools. I won't be able to jump into this project again until tonight but I plan to put all of your hints into my arsenal.


                  I go to bed frustrated and wake up delightfully surprised with multiple helpful answers. Thanks to all who replied, this forum rocks!

                  • 6. Re: Video/Media audio balance
                    Ted Smith Level 3

                    True but with a music background track it is often longish and you shouldnt have clip markers on it or have it linked to any video.

                    If you want to vary the volume of a certain number of clips in a track at once just select them all first by using the ctrl key & shift keys like you would with multiple cells in an Excel spreadsheet.


                    One advantage of using keyframes my way is that if you have to adjust the overall track volume later, the level of the normal and the reduced bits are adjusted proportionally.

                    You can see how much you have reduced it by the small db value box that appears as you are varying the yellow lines. 10 to 15 db is often enough.


                    To have perfectly balanced and consistent audio levels, I always have the simple audio meters showing because the graphical level in the timeline is the level of the original material, not the end result and when you combine two tracks you can easily end up with too little or too much sound making it necessary to adjust the main track by a few db as well.


                    You alternatively don't have to inset keyframe markers. If you have clip cut markers on your audio track and insert a fade as per your screenshot, you can drag the yellow reduced volume level between cuts up to the lower level you want.

                    Then raise the level the fade drops to by zooming in and magnifying the timline and moving up the little yellow marker right on the edge of the cut. Do the same in reverse fade in at the cut where the music resumes full level  (This just takes longer and the track clips become independent). Make sure you are exactly on the yellow blip otherwise you change the whole track volume instead.

                    • 7. Re: Video/Media audio balance
                      Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

                      Meantime, if you're interesting in having all of these questions answered with step-by-step instructions with illustrations, my books can be a good investment.