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Multiple audio tracks making for an inefficient timeline....

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Dale Holman WallaceMultiple audio tracks making for an inefficient timeline....
by on Dec 16, 2015 at 11:14:20 am

Hi all,

I'm looking for some advice on audio tracks in Premiere Pro CC.

I'm working on a long-form drama project. The excellent sound recordist used a number of mics - lav, boom etc - for each take, with the result that each audio take has between 5 and even sometimes 8 audio tracks.

While this will be great news to the sound designer who will have far more options, it's creating a bit of trouble for me in the timeline! When I'm crossing audio between scenes / shots, I have a situation in which occassionally, I'm getting up to 25 audio tracks. Not only is this creating lag, but it's also really inefficient in terms of my ability to move quickly around / up and down the timeline, which is something I value very highly.

My question is - is there any way I could consolidate the multiple audio tracks into one single audio nest, or something, that could subsequently be unpacked when I need to be more specific about audio / when the sound designer needs to get started.

The recordist used timecode, so one thought I had was to delete all but one of the audio tracks and then simply go through and add in the others at the end of the process, using timecode for each individual shot (time-consuming, I know, but probably worth it in the long-run!).

Does anyone have any bright ideas?

Best,

Mr. Dale


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Declan SmithRe: Multiple audio tracks making for an inefficient timeline....
by on Dec 16, 2015 at 12:18:19 pm

I have had a similar experience with a project whereby there are up to 8 channels of audio that have been supplied. You didn't say whether these are all synched and grouped already with the video or whether they are separate ?

This all depends on workflow. For me, the entire process stayed within PP (i.e. picture edit, sound design, kind of).

I've loaded a short tutorial here



as pictures say a thousand words, but in essence:

I had separate audio files which I wrote a command line script using sox (and later ffmpeg) to create a single multichannel audio file containing each of the 8 tracks per take. I ended up using the replaced audio in the MOV with the multitrack audio just to keep things easy.

The general approach is:

When imported into PP, from the project bin, I then changed the channel content to be MONO, 1 channel for each of the takes. Now when dragged to the timeline, you get just one audio track always. After the picture edit, you can go to each of the audio clips in the timeline, right click and change the source audio track. For instance, if your default was boom on channel1, then lava on channel2 and lavb on channel3, and you wanted the lav a track, just right click, audio channels, then select channel 2.

If during the sound design you wanted a mix, at that point duplicate the said section on the timeline and choose a different source channel, so you may have boom on audio track1 and lava on audio track2.

Hope this helps.

Declan Smith
http://www.madpanic.tv
After Effects CS6/ FCS3 / Canon XLH1 / Canon 7D / Reason / Cubase

"it's either binary or it's not"


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Alex UdellRe: Multiple audio tracks making for an inefficient timeline....
by on Dec 16, 2015 at 2:38:51 pm

This is great!!

thank you!

Alex Udell
Editing, Motion Graphics, and Visual FX
Let's Connect on Linkedin
Examples: Retail Automotive Motion Graphics Spots
Example: Customer Facing Explainer Video
Example: Infotainment & Package editorial


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Eric SantiagoRe: Multiple audio tracks making for an inefficient timeline....
by on Dec 16, 2015 at 4:33:08 pm

Sorry if to hijack this post but has anyone run into audio issues using multi-mono channels?
I posted my issues here and so far no one has replied.
Surely Premiere Pro can handle QuickTime clips with multi-mono channels.


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Tero AhlforsRe: Multiple audio tracks making for an inefficient timeline....
by on Dec 17, 2015 at 12:33:06 pm

[Eric Santiago] "Sorry if to hijack this post but has anyone run into audio issues using multi-mono channels?"

What kind of issues?


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Dale Holman WallaceRe: Multiple audio tracks making for an inefficient timeline....
by on Dec 17, 2015 at 11:18:54 am

You rock Declan! Thanks so much!


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Dale Holman WallaceRe: Multiple audio tracks making for an inefficient timeline....
by on Dec 17, 2015 at 11:35:26 am

So one thing that's come up for me - I've basically already started editing massive swathes of this project.

Declan, do you know of any solution whereby I can apply these changes to edits already in the timeline? Or is that beyond the reaches of what CC can do?

As far as I can tell, your solution is one that has to be enacted at the start of the project?


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Declan SmithRe: Multiple audio tracks making for an inefficient timeline....
by on Dec 17, 2015 at 5:54:09 pm

The procedure I outlined is ideally started at the beginning of the project, however, if your 8 audio tracks are indeed a group of 8 mono tracks, then alt click one of them, then shift alt click another 6 (7 selected in total) and press delete, thus leaving just one of the mono audio tracks. Now you should be able to right click and change it's audio channel assignment to pick the source.

Declan Smith
http://www.madpanic.tv
After Effects CS6/ FCS3 / Canon XLH1 / Canon 7D / Reason / Cubase

"it's either binary or it's not"


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