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Adobe Premiere Pro CC Video Editing: The Complete Guide

Lesson 20 of 65

Working with Audio: Levels


Adobe Premiere Pro CC Video Editing: The Complete Guide

Lesson 20 of 65

Working with Audio: Levels


Lesson Info

Working with Audio: Levels

Jump back here, we have the Habba Mix that I'm gonna use initially because I just want you to see some levels. I'm gonna make this a lot bigger so it's easier to see. We learned that Command Plus makes the video bigger. Then we learned that Option Plus makes the audio bigger. If you do ... Zooming in there. If you want them all to be made bigger, you can hold down the Shift key. Holding too many keys here. I'll do it this way. This is just the scroll bar. So, I want my audio to be pretty big. I can now see in here, listen to it. So, my goal here is to start getting my levels the same. What we do is, there's a couple ways, we can do global changes. And we can also do specific changes. So, if I want to raise the entire volume level of a clip, I have a couple ways to do that. You'll notice that there's a very thin bar here in my audio track. I'm going to deselect it. This little bar here is the volume. Okay, this is one way you get at controlling the volume of a specific clip. If I have a...

clip and it's too loud or too soft, I can go ahead and zoom in, so you can see this. As I move this up and down, it actually tells me how much softer or how much louder. DB stands for decible, it stands for, it's air pressure really. Think of it is as volume. The higher the number, the louder its going to be. Bring it down, the softer it's going to be. You can do that here, directly in your timeline. But, you can also access this in other places. If I wanted to, and I'm going to go ahead and reset this back to our original editing. Because a lot of times you'll tweak this in the original editing spot. Remember I played with this. Go ahead, Workspace, Reset to save layout. There we go, the audio that we're used to working with. Let's say, I'm going in and I want to make this all match again, shift minus, shift plus, there we go. I want to work with the volume level of this clip. I'm going to load this clip into the viewer. I can look at the volume there, but I'm not changing the volume there. If I want to change the volume I can go over here to effects control, this is a new panel that we haven't seen before, haven't looked at before. This is where i start controlling the parameters of a clip. Whether it's a clip that I bring in before I drop it in to my sequence or occasionally from a clip, in this case, a clip that's already in my sequence. When I select it, I have some default settings that I can control. We're going to look at audio. But, you can see here that I can control motion, which is the size or scale of a clip. How bright or transparent it is, how opaque or transparent. Time Remapping, but, I'm also getting down here into volume. This is where I can control the audio volume of my clip and also do some deeper control. If we look at this closely, and I move this line up and down, you'll see this number change and visa versa. If I go down here and grab that audio and let go this number is now changed to -05, I'm not going to zoom in. Okay, if I go up there and change it, and as soon as I let go, this moves. I can control the general volume in two places, whatever's easier. By the way, when working in this window and you'll see this throughout the application, whenever you see like, the blue number here, and if I put my cursor over it. Do you notice that it's a little hand with two arrows pointing? That's because this is in essence, a virtual slider. If I put my cursor over it and click, as I move left and right, I actually can increase or decrease the numbers. All I'm doing is moving my cursor left or right by clicking and holding, same thing with a mouse. It's kind of weird to get used to. If I actually click and select it, I can't do that. I can type in any number I want. I can say, I want an apps, I want a value number of -6 or +6. That's one thing to keep in mind. If you find that a little tricky, there's always these disclosure triangles. If I open that up, I can now have a nice slider that I can work with, okay? There's many ways to do it, whatever's easiest. If you noticed, when I was working down here, it was really hard for me to see and grab this. In that case, maybe I don't want to go there, I want to go here, but they're all related. If I've loaded it from here back to here, I'm modifying the clip that's in the time line. If I do it before I bring it in, I'm modifying the master clip, or the original clip. That's something to keep in mind because depending on ultimately, your work flow, you may want to fix the volume even before you start editing. If you know it's really soft, you may say, you know what, I'm going to pump it up so it hits -6 DB because it was recorded really soft. Now when I cut it in, I don't have to go back to each individual one and fix it, okay? On the flip side, you may cut it all in and at one point the guy just starts speaking softer, and you say, oh I need to pump that up. Or, gets real excited, I need to bring it down. You want to make changes, you'll be making changes in both locations. There's several ways to do it globally. That's what we just did, if you just want to pump up or bring the volume down. There we go, I hit play. You see it's at that level, I'm going to go ahead and grab this, make it softer. Now it's barely hitting. Then it goes to the next clip, and the next clip gets loaded in. That's some basic audio, how you make things louder. We're going to actual put this in to practice once we get our heads wrapped around it. I've also accidentally done some key framing. We're going to reset that for now. My edit has got ahead of where I wanted it to be. That's some basics with levels. Our goal is to go through, listen to it and look. It's a little hard to hear in the studio, the quality of the volume levels. We're not going to look at repairing anything at this point. That's done with an effect. But, I'll go through and I'm going to try to eyeball this. This was recorded, so, I'm watching. You'll notice that it changed and it got a little louder on this one. I may want to go in and bring that down a little bit. Bring my levels down, load it in, volume, pull it down a little bit and continue to go through it. That's good, I'm going to go to this little cut away here. It's a little bit soft, so, I can zoom in. I can go ahead and maybe bring that up a little bit. I would do that to kind of, even things out during the show. The next thing I might have a challenge with is, maybe it gets really soft here and I need that to be louder. What we want to do is, instead of moving it globally up and down, which makes everything louder or softer. We want to do what's called key framing. We can change it over time, so, at one point we want it to get louder. Or in the case of music we may want it to get softer because people are starting to speak. That's called key framing . You can do that directly in your sequence. Or you can do that in the source panel. Again, it updates because they mirror each other. Lets suppose, I want to work on this clip right here. I'm going to select it. I'm going to open up my volume. I want it to get louder right here. I need to go ahead and I need to put in some key frames. If I hold down the Command key on a Mac or the Control key, I can go in and click on these things that are called key frames, and I'm making them wherever I click. Think of them as break points. Because now I have a key frame, if I move this middle bar up I have a nice transition to louder and then softer again. Key frames actually came back from the, comes from the old animation studio days. Where the master artist would draw the key frames, and say where Snow White is here and where Snow White is there, then the other animators would come in and do all the betweening. How to get from A to B. These are the key frames and now you have the transition. The computer now are those artists that worked really really hard, they've become obsolete, like the rest of us. You can easily put key frames in and make things louder or softer right there. You'll notice that as I bring this clip in, I'm zooming in and zooming out. There we go. Double click to load that in. Look at our audio. Look at our effects control. I'm twirling down audio levels here. We're pretty zoomed in, but if you look very closely there is my audio key frame. How would I look at that in more detail? The Plus key, remember our good old Plus key. I can control this interface. I can do my animation here, if I go here we're reflecting down to the bottom. I can say, oh yeah, it needs to be softer, update it. Or, maybe I need to actually move a key frame. Okay, I want a slower transition as it gets softer. This is how you would go through looking at the wave form. Also, looking here to make your audio peak and valley. If we go ahead and we play that, I'm going to do this with the music underneath. You can see how you can really control and fix volume issues. Pretty short window of time. You can move these left and right. You can simply lasso them and drag them out. If you want it to be up longer, then do it down here. If you want to erase a key frame, maybe you put an extra one in by accident. Go ahead and do that. Well, my first reaction is, I don't know how to remove a key frame. But, Abba once told me if I right click on something I might get some choices. Again, that's what I run to. Here I can go ahead and I can hit cut. You can see there's other things, copy and clear. There is something very interesting here. If you've worked in any kind of motion graphics, or animation, where, you know, a bezier curve is this nice smooth curve. Sometimes you may not want you audio to be like Chh Chh. If you switch, to say, a bezier, you now can actually get smoother transitions. There's auto-bezier which will do the default for you. If you mess it up, you'll notice one thing, as you change this, this key frame icon changes depending on the type of curve that you have. So, you have that feedback. You can start manipulating and modulating things. If you mess up completely, you can always just select it and hit delete, or you can right click on it. You really have a lot of control. I recommend starting slow. What I have found with audio is people try to do too much and they end up making things sound worse. But, if you find a situation where you want something to gradually go down, that's a great option. You can even do that here in the timeline. Make this a little bit bigger. Right click. Auto-bezier, nice smooth little curve. I can control that curve. You can do it in either place. And remember you can always undo. If you really mess up everything, you put in all these key frames, you didn't know that you were key framing it. These little stop watches, which we'll be using in our filters and effects lesson also. These allow you to turn off and reset your key frames. I should get a warning if I click on that for level. It says, If you do this, and it gave me the warning I was looking for. It will delete all existing key frames, is that okay? And you can say yes, absolutely, that's okay. I completely messed up my audio and I just want it back to the default. That's a quick way to reset. While we're in here, I'll just point out a couple things. You can control panning left and right. I save that for the end, left and right channel. You can also, if you put an effect, or let's say, you did a bunch of key framing, if you click on bypass, it will ignore all the modifications and play it at it's original level. So you can temporary toggle that stuff on and off, without having to erase your key frames. That's just a little bit how you would have the control.

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers

Join one of the best editing instructors, Abba Shapiro, to learn how to work effectively in Premiere Pro®. In this series, you'll learn the tools that allow you to build a story with video.

Abba will cover essential topics such as creating time-lapse videos, building a rough cut, working with audio, and incorporating motion and titles in your videos. Abba will show basic color correction techniques, as well as incorporating filters to enhance the look of your final video.

Lesson Plan

  • Understanding Editing 
  • Tour the Interface 
  • Building a Rough Cut 
  • Refining Your Edit 
  • Working with Audio 
  • Transitions 
  • Filters & Effects 
  • Motion and Animation 
  • Titling and Graphics 
  • Speed Changes 
  • Color Correction 
  • Finishing: Prepping for Output 
  • Sharing and Exporting 
  • Ingesting Media  
  • Media Management & Archiving 
  • Multi-Camera Editing 
  • Creating Timelapses 
  • Advanced Editing Techniques 
  • Thinking Like an Editor 
  • Green Screen, Warp Stabilizer and other Special Tools 

By the end of this class, you will feel proficient in creating video with this complex program. If you've been paying for Adobe's Creative Cloud, this is your guide to understanding and using one of the best tools within your subscription. You’ll be able to bring your images to life, organize your media and begin to build stories to share with your family, friends, and clients. If you’ve been thinking about expanding your business to include video, this class will give you the tools to successfully start creating quality products that will impress!  

For more interaction with Abba during the bootcamp, you can join his Facebook group: 

Abba Shapiro CreativeLive Facebook Group 

"Great class -- wasn't ready to take the leap into Premiere Pro until I had a framework. Not only did Abba give me that framework, but he gave me the tools to manage and balance the story, the editing process, and the start to-finish workflow to create a finished product. And it was fun!" - Creative Live Student 

Software Used: Adobe Premiere CC 2017


  1. Understanding Editing: Bootcamp Overview
  2. Understanding Editing: Overview
  3. Understanding Editing: Video Examples
  4. Tour The Interface: Digital Video Workflow
  5. Tour The Interface: Project Panel
  6. Tour The Interface: Choosing Your Shot
  7. Tour The Interface: Music And Voice Over
  8. Tour The Interface: Video Tracks
  9. Tour The Interface: Edit Markers
  10. Building a Rough Cut: Cut Planning
  11. Building a Rough Cut: Selecting Media
  12. Building a Rough Cut: The Edit
  13. Building a Rough Cut: Edit Points
  14. Refining Your Edit: Preparation
  15. Refining Your Edit: Making Cuts
  16. Refining Your Edit: Using Markers
  17. Refining Your Edit: J and L Cuts
  18. Refining Your Edit: Replace Edit
  19. Working with Audio: Overview
  20. Working with Audio: Levels
  21. Working with Audio: Music
  22. Working with Audio: Mixing And Syncing
  23. Transitions: Overview
  24. Transitions: Effect Controls
  25. Filters & Effects: Overview
  26. Filters & Effects: Using Multiple Filters
  27. Motion & Animation: Motion And Animation Overview
  28. Motion & Animation: Movement With Still Images
  29. Motion & Animation: Picture In Picture
  30. Motion & Animation: Motion Effects
  31. Titling & Graphics: Overview
  32. Titling & Graphics: Advanced Tools
  33. Titling & Graphics: Roll And Crawl Effects
  34. Titling & Graphics: Working With Photoshop
  35. Speed Changes: Overview
  36. Speed Changes: Stills And Variable Speeds
  37. Color Correction: Overview
  38. Color Correction: Lumetri Scopes
  39. Color Correction: Contrast
  40. Color Correction: Advanced Tools
  41. Color Correction: Adjusting To A Master Clip
  42. Finishing: Prepping for Output
  43. Finishing: QC Edit Points
  44. Sharing & Exporting: Overview
  45. Sharing & Exporting: Size And Quality
  46. Ingesting Media:
  47. Ingesting Media: Transferring And Importing
  48. Media Management & Archiving
  49. Multi-Camera Editing: Overview
  50. Multi-Camera Editing: Creating A Sequence
  51. Multi-Camera Editing: Switching Multiple Cameras
  52. Multi-Camera Editing: Finalizing
  53. Creating Timelapses: Shooting Strategies
  54. Creating Timelapses: Editing Images
  55. Creating Timelapses: Importing Strategies
  56. Creating Timelapses: Animation
  57. Advanced Editing Techniques: Take Command Of Your Timeline
  58. Advanced Editing Techniques: Transitions
  59. Advanced Editing Techniques: Keyboard Shortcuts
  60. Advanced Editing Techniques: Preference Hacks
  61. Thinking Like an Editor: Editing Choices
  62. Thinking Like an Editor: Telling the Story
  63. Special Tools: Warp Stabilizer
  64. Special Tools: Morph Cut
  65. Special Tools: Green Screen


a Creativelive Student

I've never even tried video editing before this class. I opened the program once and panicked. After only 9 lessons I was able to throw a short video together (basic of course, but still pretty cool). I wish all of my teachers growing up were just like Abba. He goes over everything without dragging anything on for too long. He repeats things just enough for me to actually remember them, and he is funny. He keeps it fun and shows that even he makes mistakes. I can't even believe how much I have learned in less than a quarter of his class. I have a long way to go and am very excited to learn more. This class is worth every penny and more! I was hesitant on buying the class because I have CS6 and he works with CC, but I have already used what I've learned in his course to create a video. The first 9 lessons were already worth what I paid for the entire course. Thank you, Abba! You are an awesome teacher! You have me absolutely obsessed with creating right now! I highly recommend! You won't find this thorough of a course for this decent price!

Patricia Downey

Just bought this yesterday and cannot stop watching!!!! What a FANTASTIC teacher-- just love the way he explains everything. For someone like me (who has a zillion questions) it is perfect. As soon as he introduces a feature, he explains several aspects in such a way that's easy to grasp and remember. So, so happy I got this. Thank you Abba and CreativeLive!

a Creativelive Student

I am only on lesson 19 and I am so glad I bought this class, so worth it and Abba packs so much information into these lessons its crazy. I will for sure have to come back and watch again when I need to remember to do stuff or need a refresher. He is funny and quirky and a great teacher. I so recommend this to anyone wanting to become a better video editor!! I am coming from being self taught and using iMovie and he makes it so simple and understandable. Can't wait to learn more :)

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