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Can you do a multichannel output for broadcast from a sequence that was not already set up for this from the start?

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Jimmy See
Can you do a multichannel output for broadcast from a sequence that was not already set up for this from the start?
on Nov 22, 2017 at 4:45:57 am

I know there are a lot of videos out there explaining how to do this and in fact when I was face with this problem a few weeks ago I used several of them to figure out how to eventually make the output I wanted but those are problematic for a couple of reasons:

  • Most of them are out of date and recent changes to how Premiere handles this and the menu placement and the terminology they use are different.

  • None of them actually helped me with my specific situation which was that I was presented with a completed timeline, from which I now had to make deliverables in a specific track arrangement set by the broadcaster.


  • In the end, I made the deliverable I needed by making a new sequence and setting up the tracks as they should be which in this case needed to be 4 mono tracks in 1L,2R,3L,4R arrangement on to which I could put full stereo mix with narration on tracks 1 and 2 left and right and full stereo mix minus narration on track 3 and 4 left and right. So I made a new sequence and set up the tracks correctly and set the panning and then copied my existing sequences and pasted it in to the new one. This immediately led to a problem though, which though solvable, seems strange to me. Originally, the stereo clips that had been sent to me for mix with and mix without narration were put on to an 'ordinary' Premiere preset timeline with the tracks set to 'standard' not mono. Therefore in that timeline, the two mixes each represented only one 'standard' track with two channels. When I copied this timeline's contents to the clipboard and pasted it to my new custom sequence with 4 mono tracks, it inherited the same arrangement as the old timeline, that is that there were still only 2 tracks when there should be 4 and the different mixes had both their stereo channels on one track each.

    The only way I could figure out how to fix it was to go back to the source audio clip and change the interpretation settings so that the channels were considered dual mono, and then re-insert them in to the timeline at the appropriate timecodes. Admittedly this wasn't too big a problem, since it was only two source clips and simple requirements. But I felt pretty sure this mustn't be how it has to be done or at least not the 'right' way and that I must be missing something. I already had both mixes exactly where they needed them to be in my first timeline with 'standard' tracks so, being artificially forced to re-lay them seems absurd especially as I would have thought it was logically impossible for there to be a stereo mix on a mono timeline track given it's you know, mono and I assumed that if you tried to copy a stereo mix in to a mono track that it would automatically split across two mono tracks.

    So I wonder, did I have to make a new sequence at all? Is there some way I could have tweaked the export settings so that the audio channels are mapped to the audio tracks in the manner that I want in the deliverable file? I looked but I couldn't figure it out. I was sure I could remember there being some kind of audio track mapping options in media encoder several versions ago where in my situation I could have specified that I wanted the stereo track 1 in my sequence to become two mono tracks with the left and right channel of each mapped to mono tracks 1 and 2 of the output, and the same for stereo track 2 and mono output tracks 3 and 4. If I really do have to make a new sequence for this, is there at least a way I can copy and paste in to it such that it respects the intended track configuration of the sequence being pasted in to? The 'standard' tracks thing makes sense while editing, it's helpful most of the time to avoid clutter and too many tracks but it must surely be pretty common to need to control how stereo channels are treated in output for broadcast and other scenarios.

    Also, finally, if I was correct and that is how it's supposed to be done, what's best practice when cutting for broadcast knowing that this is going to be something that happens at the end? Should you always create a new blank sequence with the correct track configuration when you start the online and then copy and paste the lock picture cut in to that and then lay the mix in? If you have a lot of audio clips that need to be laid in, for a more complex audio arrangement can you set premiere to interpret everything to be have as many mono tracks as it has channels so that it automatically goes in to the timeline correctly without need to manually interpret each clip? Apologies if this is something basic or obvious, but most of my broadcast work has been on Avid, not Premiere and Premiere, though my system of choice personally, has usually been for work where a stereo output for the web is the intended output anyway, or a situation where I complete my edit, and deliver an OMF to sound and the online is done elsewhere.


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    Trevor Asquerthian
    Re: Can you do a multichannel output for broadcast from a sequence that was not already set up for this from the start?
    on Nov 22, 2017 at 6:18:34 am

    Yes you must set up the sequence as multichannel from the outset, it cannot be modified later. But you can work on a 2-track multichannel sequence and expand it to 4/8/whatever later. Set your template sequences as multichannel and you won’t run into the problem again.

    Perfectly normal for two stereo clips to remain stereo through the copy/paste process, and much like Avid, it is much easier to keep clips as stereo as much as possible.

    I do lots of broadcast work in both apps & they both have strengths & weaknesses. Avid has no busses, which is painful, and PP is less flexible in audio track configuration (no mixing track types in one clip).



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    Jimmy See
    Re: Can you do a multichannel output for broadcast from a sequence that was not already set up for this from the start?
    on Nov 22, 2017 at 6:37:38 am

    [Trevor Asquerthian] "But you can work on a 2-track multichannel sequence and expand it to 4/8/whatever later."

    How do I do that? In the specific scenario I was in where there was a sequence that was ready to roll and correct in every respect except that there were two stereo tracks instead of the 4 mono ones I needed, is there a better way to fix the situation than what I did? Because I had to lay the source clip back in again and it seemed a bit silly to do that, again in the particular instance, it wasn't a big deal, but if the sequence were more complicated or the number of tracks and clips higher it would have been a big waste of time. Would it have been possible to change that existing sequence somehow so that the audio was configured as I needed it?

    I probably wouldn't mind always using mono track presets because it's more like how I'm used to working anyway, but the keeping stereo things stereo idea does make sense and I should get used to it, however if it means having to re-lay all the audio before export then it's not really worth it. Or am I misunderstanding you?


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    John Pale
    Re: Can you do a multichannel output for broadcast from a sequence that was not already set up for this from the start?
    on Nov 22, 2017 at 4:36:36 pm

    Jimmy,

    You cant change a stereo sequence into a multi channel sequence. You can create a new empty sequence that is multichannel, then copy and paste the entire old sequence into the new one.

    In the future, make a preset that is multichannel (Sequence Settings/Audio/Channel Format/Multichannel) , and only edit using that, even when working in stereo. Just set the output to 2 in the lower left corner of the timeline or in the track mixer, when working in stereo. Don’t use stereo sequence presets anymore. Just multichannel.


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