Feature Request- audio tracks
I know it's better to go directly to Adobe on this, but having to spend the last several weeks cleaning up timelines from a bunch of other editors, I'm finding that it would be helpful if you could tell what types of audio tracks are contained in existing sequences. Like different colors, an icon, or at least be listed in sequence settings (even if it's still unchangeable). If you are going to allow stereo clips to be mistakenly put in mono tracks or have mono clips having different levels when placed in standard tracks instead of mono tracks, you need to make the whole thing clearer and easier to fix. Right now timeline audio is an abomination, even if it does have many powerful features. There are too many variables to mess things up and too few visual cues to the editor to know what's going on....especially editors coming from other systems which don't work this way (Avid, FCP7, etc,).
Yeah, Avid doesn't allow Mono to go into Stereo, nor Stereo into Mono tracks. That actually is VERY helpful. Resolve, unfortunately, works like Adobe....your tracks can be mono, or stereo, or 5.1...and ANYTHING can go in them.
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They could do with an option that restricted timeline tracks to only accepting matching clip types but personally I prefer the Adobe approach.
My Avid sequence template (stereo deliverable) is 2xmono & 2xstereo tracks for dialogue AND effects (and 2xstereo for music) = 10 tracks, and goes up from that.
In PPro I start (and usually stay within) 2xstandard for each = 6 tracks. Much more manageable PLUS I get sub-mix tracks!
The timeline indication (e.g. speaker icon for mono tracks) is pretty clear and there IS track labelling per clip in the timeline so I don't see it's too hard to unlock. Problem is more at the editor level, too many editors have no clue what they are doing with audio in either program. I see it in avid with weird panning and audio tracks with no discipline and in Premiere with the track mixer set to bizarre levels. There's just more you can screw up in Premiere, but please don't encourage the dumbing down of the tools.
With the caveat that I've not had to export an AAF from Premiere yet - the AAF implementation of exporting mixed source clips makes a lot of sense. Given 1 standard timeline track with mixed stereo & mono sources it will create 3 tracks in the AAF sequence 2 for stereo clips, left & right, and 1 for mono clips.
What would be useful would be a couple of things Avid offers. Firstly a '.exported' sequence showing the sequence as contained in the AAF. Second would be a 'split to mono' option to help those wanting to work with mono tracks.
But most of all Adobe need to copy 'head/tail fade' and 'add transition in to out' from avid.
The speaker icon is way too small when you have a lot of tracks, in my opinion. I think the indicator needs to be more obvious. There are many workflows where one editor might take over from another, or an assistant might be in charge of AAF exports...so there should be a way to see what type of tracks are in use to avoid errors. I can think of a number of ways this can be accomplished. One might be having the track headers be color coded (with an option to turn this on and off, of course)
The current AAF export already optionally splits stereo tracks to mono. No problem with that. What I am seeing, is that occasionally editors put stereo tracks into a mono track and then it becomes a mono track on AAF export (both tracks are summed into one). You need to scrutinize the timeline to make sure that has not occurred by mistake before export. This turns a job that should take a few seconds to one that takes quite awhile, especially if you are unfamiliar with the content. Remember, in many facilities, the person doing the export will not be the editor and may be less experienced.
Not really looking to dumb things down...just recognizing the reality that there are a lot of editors out there making the switch and Premiere is a different enough beast that some clarity in the differences is needed. I like the flexibility. I love the sub mix tracks..especially for stuff thats not being sent out to be mixed in Pro Tools. There just needs to be more obvious indicators about what is happening and what the consequences are.
The default track type is "standard". This track type is accepts both mono and stereo sources. It would seem to be a good choice for many scenarios, but interestingly...a mono source panned to the left (or right) will have different levels than if the same source is placed in a mono track (also panned the same way). That's something an editor needs to be aware of and its not well documented. Often, I see that editors have used a standard track with a field recording of an interview...and all the mics get mixed together and sound terrible. I'm pretty sure the individual tracks get split off on AAF export, but on stuff being mixed in Premiere, it needs to be fixed. In a perfect world, every editor would be a Premiere expert and not make these mistakes, but this is not a perfect world. I want to make it easier to avoid these mistakes, and if they happen anyway, make them easier to spot. Not looking to dumb things down and take away functionality.
Frankly, I would recommend that most new Premiere editors work with mono tracks only until they are comfortable and understand all the options, since thats similar to the way its commonly done in FCP 7 or Avid...but since Premiere Pro cannot keyframe more than one audio track at a time, doing this kinda sucks for stereo material.
It's a freaking minefield when you are trying to send stuff an AAF to be mixed , as the track type (which is unchangable after the fact), determines a lot about the media being exported.
I have to basically set up a new empty timeline correctly, paste the editors sequence into it, then scrutinize every clip to make sure it's in the proper track type...and move it if it's not. Something that should take seconds now takes quite awhile. I don't understand why the program lets you mix everything up by default. If they want to be less rigid than Avid, it should at least throw up an message like. "You are placing a stereo clip in a mono track. Are you sure this is your intent?" . And what craziness is the fact that a mono clip panned left or right in a standard track (the default track type) produces different levels than a one placed in a mono track with the same panning?
What's more, there is no visual difference between any of the track types, and Premiere will let you throw a clip anywhere.
Okay. Rant over.