Automixer Using Audition CC 2014?
For those not familiar with a hardware automixer - it takes multiple microphone inputs and then mutes whatever microphones are not being spoken into. Very useful for panel discussions where everyone is wearing a lav and there isn't a live audio engineer to do a live mix. A decent automixer can differentiate easily between audio from a mic being worn by the person speaking, and spill coming from the mic worn by someone seated next to him/her. If multiple people speak simultaneously, an automixer can be preset to give certain mics precedence and mute the others or allow it to be a free-for-all (but reducing the overall mix to avoid overmodulating the final output).
I shoot panel discussions that are posted in Premiere, with anywhere from two to six participants, all mic'd and recorded ISO. The mix is done in post. So my question is: what (if any) tools are available either within Audition or as a plugin to approximate the same result as an automixer? We don't need any mics to have priority; just want to mute the mics whose wearers aren't talking and then bring them up when they say something without having to individually sculpt each track by hand (a two-hour panel discussion with six people takes quite a long time to do manually and I'm thinking there must be automation we can take advantage of).
Thanks in advance!
The function you are looking for in Audition is a Noise Gate. You set a threshold level. Any sound below that threshold and the gate stays closed, in other words the track is muted. Any sound above the threshold and the gate opens, allowing the sound to come through. You can also adjust how smoothly the gate opens and closes. It takes some tweaking to get it right without a "chattering" sound if the sound level is right at the threshold causing the gate to open and close rapidly back and forth. Like most things with audio, though, it's hard to just pick a "set and forget" level and expect to not have to tweak it in post.
R&R Media Productions
An auto mixer is much more sophisticated than a noise gate in three important respects:
1) If no one is talking a noise gate would shut off all tracks, cutting out room tone. An auto mixer is smart enough to leave one channel on so there is continuous room tone and you don't hear the ambience cut in and out. Most common is "last mic on," i.e. the most recent active mic remains active until another one triggers.So: an auto mixer plugin would reference multiple tracks simultaneously, since its intelligence depends on the interactivity between those tracks, while a noise gate operates independently on each channel without regard to what is going on in the other channels. Hopefully that makes sense.