Dealing with multiple audio channels in one track
by Shane Holm on May 7, 2015 at 9:27:06 pm
My sound recordist for a short film recorded 4 channels on each track. What is the best way to manage this sort of thing?
When I drag the audio clip to the timeline, it takes up 4 tracks. My timeline gets real cluttered real fast. I know eventually I may only use one channel from the track, but I feel like there's got to be an easier way when I'm just trying to do a picture cut (before I get to dealing with the audio).
Also, if I delete the 3 channels I don't need in the timeline for each clip, does this limit my audio mixers workflow down the line?
Any insight on how to manage this sort of thing would be great. Thanks
Re: Dealing with multiple audio channels in one track by Declan Smith on May 7, 2015 at 10:51:30 pm
I would suggest that on your source clip, right click then select modify->audio channels.
This will bring up a configuration dialog box showing all the existing channels.
Set the number of channels to 1 (I assume you are working mono), and channel format to Mono. Then in the lower pane, you will see a drop down selection for the source channel. Set this to whatever channel you wish to use, this can be changed later. Click ok, and you're done here.
Now drag the clip to the timeline and it should only take up one channel. If you need to change the source, right click on the clip in the timeline and select "Audio Channels". This will bring up the selection dialog as before and you can now choose any of the four channels.
If you later decide that you want two of the channels for a particular clip that is already on the timeline, then make a copy of the audio clip and then change the source channel of the copy to the desired other channel, hence providing two independent tracks.
Re: Dealing with multiple audio channels in one track by Declan Smith on May 8, 2015 at 4:17:59 pm
Copy and pasting attributes between the clips does work. You can even select multiple clips and change the channels together. Changing channels later is trivial. In practice for example, one of the tracks could be boom and the rest LAVs so choosing which ones would be done at the audio mixing stage. This workflow would expect that the selection of the channels would be done within the premiere pro session however. Any clips that may require more than one of its audio channels should be copied and assigned (as I pointed out by right clicking in the timeline) so that they are available as independent channels.
In general though this method allows for a simpler timeline, particularly while assemble editing, and for a large part through fine cut. I tend to only duplicate the audio if I need more than one channel from a clip.
It's not clear from the question whether the audio mixing is intended to be done within Premiere or not. If external using OMF exporting, premiere renders out the selected channel that is assigned so in effect, you get what's needed in the OMF export (with the caveat that channel selection is done first in premiere).
Of coarse, another way of doing this is to change the channel type to adaptive. This still gives the simpler timeline whilst keeping all channels enabled and available for export to OMF. It would also mean you would hear them all in the edit unless you specially changed the active channels per track, or disabled them in the assignment (when that is done, they also would be silent in the export). The issue with a single adaptive track is that plugins / attributes will affect all the channels contained in the adaptive track which is why I tend to select mono track with the assigned channel and duplicate if necessary.
I have found with adaptive tracks that some of the behaviours can be inconsistent. For example exporting adaptive tracks to Audition, one of the integrated applications, results in just one channel being used but exporting to OMF and then opening with Audition is similar to using say Logic Pro and does work as expected!
Generally my preferred approach is to set the channel type to mono and select the source per clip as described during the edit, but the workflow does depend on the editing / audio post workflow that is utilised and to some extent, the source material. Multichannel working, at least in CS6, does require some management upfront.
Re: Dealing with multiple audio channels in one track by Joseph Tese on May 13, 2015 at 7:47:05 pm
Thank you so much for your help, for I had the same exact question as the original poster.
However, I am running into trouble at a certain point of your answer. (I'm not trying to commandeer the post).
I am able to Modify the Audio Channel of the clip (from the Project Bin) just fine, and limit the Audio Tracks to 1. Great! It jumps into my timeline and only uses up one track, aswell as the desired channel.
However, when I want to change the channel that is being played AFTER I drag it into the timeline, it will not let me.
I right click on the clip (in the timeline), Click Audio Channels, and for the Source Channel I only get Left and Right. Why is that?
Re: Dealing with multiple audio channels in one track by Declan Smith on May 14, 2015 at 12:50:09 am
I would need to see a screenshot of your channel assignments (the right click Audio Channels window). The only left & right I ever see is when I set the channel format to stereo, but this still allows me to change the source channel from say 1&2 to 3&4 on the left hand side.
Try setting one of your source audio files as below
drag it to the timeline then see if the right -click Audio channels function shows the same as above (it should do)