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Mix audio and adjust volume with Adobe Premiere Elements

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Information or mixing (English mixing, mixing) - the stage of creating the final recording from the individual recorded tracks, the next stage after creating the soundtrack, which consists in selecting and editing (sometimes restoring) the original recorded tracks, combining them into a single project and processing effects. Editing often stands out as an independent stage of work. The mixing stage historically arose in the 60s of the XX century with the advent of multi-track tape recorders, which made it possible to record 8 channels simultaneously. Initially, mixing was not a separate stage in the process of creating phonograms, but was an integral part of the sound recording, since there were no technical capabilities to save the entire project, and mixing was done as new material was recorded without the possibility of returning to earlier stages. With the increase in the number of channels, it became possible to work with the entire project, which highlighted the reduction into an independent stage of work. In the 90s of the XX century, digital information technologies became widespread. In 1994, with the release of the Pro Tools III hardware and software system source not specified 1481 days , it became possible to process real-time effects, allowing you to select processing parameters during listening. Cubase VST in 1996 marked the beginning of the mix in the form in which it is most common to date.

Mixing electronic music projects is the next step after its creation. The stage of sound recording when working on an electronic project is most often absent. The border between the creation and mixing of electronic music is blurred, the project falls into the mix already partially reduced, since many virtual synthesizers already have processing.

As a result of the information, the multichannel project is output in monophonic, stereo or multichannel phonogram, which usually gets its final form in the process called mastering.

Audio mixing

Audio mixing involves, among other things, adjusting the volume in individual clips and choosing a volume ratio for transitions between them. For example, first you can adjust the volume of the voice-over text so that a slight difference remains between its quietest and loudest fragments, and then increase the overall volume of the voice-over text so that it can be clearly heard against the background of sound or music in other clips.

In Premiere Elements, volume changes are measured in decibels (dB). The 0.0 dB level is the original volume (not silence). Negative numbers mean a decrease in volume, positive numbers mean an increase.

To adjust the volume of a clip, you can use the “Volume” chart - a horizontal yellow line passing through the audio track of each clip - or a sound mixer. The Track Indicators window displays the overall project volume.

The following are some guidelines for adjusting the volume.

When combining loud sound clips across multiple tracks, clipping (distortion characterized by jerky sound). To avoid this, turn down the volume.

If you need to adjust the volume of different fragments of a clip separately (for example, the voice of one person is recorded too quietly and the other too loudly), use keyframes.

If the original clip volume is too high or too low, you can change the input level. However, adjusting the input level does not remove the distortion caused by recording the clip at excessive volume. In this case, it is better to overwrite the clip.

Volume adjustment and audio mixing in the sound mixer

Using the sound mixer, you can adjust the balance and volume of individual tracks in the project. You can adjust the balance and volume of audio in video clips, as well as in soundtracks and voice-over text. Suppose you want to increase the volume of voice-over text and decrease the volume of the soundtrack in some fragments in order to emphasize individual words or to make quiet voices heard against the background of music.

You can adjust the settings directly when listening to audio tracks and watching video tracks. Each track in the sound mixer corresponds to an audio track on the timeline in the advanced viewing mode and has the same name. When adjusting for a track, key frames are added. In the audio settings, you can specify the minimum default interval between key frames.

Ideally, you need to process the sound of one track from beginning to end before moving on to the next. The same goes for balance.

(Optional) Choose Edit> Preferences> Audio / Adobe Premiere Elements 13> Preferences> Audio, and specify a reduction in the minimum interval from 1 to 2000 milliseconds so that the interval between keyframes is at least the specified value. If you do not want to hear sound during the fast forward, clear the “Play audio during fast forward” checkbox.

To hide or show tracks, select the Show / Hide Tracks item in the menu of the Sound Mixer panel and select which tracks should be displayed.

To adjust the track balance, turn (by dragging) the Balance knob left or right.

To increase the volume of a track, drag the Level slider up or down.

Note. The intervals between key frames can be set in the audio settings.

To mute the sound of a track while mixing, click Mute. This function does not mute the sound forever, but only for the duration of the mix.

Smart mixing

Sometimes background music sounds so loud that dialogue in the clip is not audible. In order for speech to be heard, it is necessary to reduce the volume of background music. Smart mixing automatically adjusts the volume of background music. It is recommended that you place clips with speech on the Audio 1 track of voice-over text (foreground tracks), and music on the soundtrack track (background tracks). Premiere Elements analyzes clips in all foreground tracks for dialogs. Keyframes are automatically created to reduce the volume to a level where dialogs in the foreground are clearly audible. Smart mixing corrections are applied to all audio clips on the timeline in the advanced viewing mode, not only to the selected clip. When using smart mixing, keyframes that you added to the soundtrack on this one on the audio track are deleted.

Samplitude

Samplitude 11 is a powerful tool for recording and mixing your music. Previously, MIDI support was the weakness of this program for mixing music, in later versions everything works just fine. The processing of audio tracks is also in full order, the program allows you to hang plug-ins not only on tracks, but also on individual fragments, which, as it turned out, is a very useful function. I myself am a big fan of this DAW, which is why it came first in the list.

Cubase is a very popular music mixing software. Cubase has very well developed MIDI support, which is its advantage over other DAWs. Well, and, of course, in terms of functionality, it deservedly takes an honorable place among programs for mixing music.

1. The main elements of the interface

After starting Virtual DJ, you will see the main program window.

Functionally, it consists of three parts. The topmost block is the panel for working with current tracks. This is where the bulk of the processing of your music files will be performed. The centerpiece of this panel is the mixer.

And the last block of the program interface is the navigation panel, which is also the panel of additional options. In it you will find many interesting plugins and unusual special effects. Let's look at it in more detail. So, the "Browser" tab is a built-in file manager from the team of developers of the Virtual DJ program with history support and navigation through network folders.

The "Sampler" tab is a small set of interesting samples with the possibility of increasing their number.

The "Effects" tab will give you the opportunity to add standard sounds as well as rather unusual sound effects to reducible tracks.

Well, and the "Record" tab. It will allow you not only to save the result to your computer’s hard drive or record it to various storage media, but also to organize a crazy party live.

After we have examined the main elements of the main window of the program, we proceed directly to the process of mixing two different tracks into a single music set.

2. Mixing music tracks

The first thing you need to do is select two tracks in the file manager. It is with them that we will work in the future.

After adding the first track to the left window (left deck), and the second track to the right window (right deck), you will see that the program analyzed the added files and generated sound wave graphs.

If your mood is high and you are mentally ready to become a star of show business, then start the first prek using the "Play" button. Analyze it visually, evaluate whether the sound peaks of both files match and, if they do not match, then adjust them by moving the slider on the right side of the “turntable”.

Having completely completed all the previous steps, you can proceed directly to mixing tracks. To do this, you need to reduce the volume of the musical fragment in the second deck to almost zero and, having launched its playback using the "Play" button, press "SYNC". This action automatically synchronizes the current positions of both audio files.

Do not forget to adjust the playback speed and frequency levels of the second fragment in the same way as for the first track. In parallel, increase the volume of the music file in the second deck and decrease the volume in the first.

If desired, you can add various sound effects and samples to the result.

The process of mixing two tracks into one set is over. Of course, this is the easiest way, but, as it seems to us, the most effective one. Good luck with your Virtual DJ program.

Mixing music - This is the process of creating a complete, high-quality audio recording from individual tracks. A good combination of tracks helps to display the best moments in the work, emphasizes some elements, and will also sound good on any equipment. This process can be considered creative, it is not as simple to execute as it seems at first glance.

Mixing music on a computer

All that is needed for this way of mixing is a microphone, sound card, programs.

A sound card is usually built into the computer, however, it is better to buy an additional (external) one, which will help to achieve a better effect.

It is not necessary to purchase a very expensive microphone for a studio; at home, you can also use a microphone from the middle price range. Well, the computer itself must be powerful enough to quickly work with large amounts of information.

Program for mixing music

Quite a lot of programs can allow you to mix music, but we need a program that brings together several tracks.

So, here are some programs for mixing tracks:

You can use any other, however, these most popular, convenient, as well as many professionals prefer them.

The principle of mixing music is the same as in the studio, only the program is used instead of the remote control.

1. Initial training

In order not to tune the parameters every time you want, you can write a “template” that will open every time you start working again.

Before you begin, you need to translate all the tracks into WAV 32 bit or 24 bit. Sampling frequency - 44100 kHz. Also, before you start converting, you need to turn off all effects in the mixer channels. The information programs described above will help you translate each track into a WAV file.

Also, in order to save yourself from difficulties, it is better to immediately get rid of various clicks, noises and other uncharacteristic overtones. It is advisable to do this using headphones. You should reduce the noise on individual tracks where it’s real. Separately, the noise can be negligible, but in the resulting work they can greatly interfere.

Now you should follow some steps for dynamic processing. An integral part is volume balancing. You should not add effects until the volume is adjusted. To adjust the volume, you need to enable the "mono" mode.

If the tracks are not compressed enough, then the work will sound dull, quiet or vice versa loud. For example, if a vocalist sings loudly, then the performance can be unpleasant and annoying. To avoid this, you need to compress each track. The compressor helps to equalize (average) the volume and the attack of the instruments. The sound is more balanced.

2. Equalization

We set up equalizers (spectral processing).

First you need to tune the bass, drums and vocals. You should start with the drums for the reason that they occupy most of the work, and by setting up the drums, working with the rest is easier. Raising the drums may have to lower the vocals. It can also happen with any other tools. Equalizer settings should be given special attention.

Each track must be heard separately. You need to listen using the “Solo” button, while you need to monitor the correctness of amplification. If necessary, install noise suppressors. Make the necessary edits with equalizers. The main thing is not to forget from time to time turn off and turn on the equalizer again, so as not to lose contact with reality and understand whether there is any benefit from the changes. By the way, accept as a rule that all tracks should be named as informatively as possible (in accordance with the tools), so that when you open a project after a while, you can immediately understand where and what is located.

Next, you need to include all the tracks, and then start creating a single composition. The playback order of the tracks can be chaotic, depending on your preference. It is necessary to decide which tracks to put in the foreground and which to “hide” by putting in the background. Next, you need to return to editing individual tracks. After listening to the song, you need to identify which sounds will interfere with each other and make changes.

In the process, you can notice the appearance of frequency conflicts. They occur due to the merger of the frequencies of some instruments. Frequency conflicts need to be addressed. The solution to the problem may be the use of an equalizer. It is necessary to find the merging frequencies, and then raise one of them and lower the other. For example, a bass guitar and a bass kick have some common frequency range. And for their high-quality joint sound, it is necessary to work on their frequency overlap.

Description

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Mixing is not a purely technical process of combining various tracks into a single whole, it is rather a creative activity, on which the sound of the result depends. The purpose of the information varies depending on the project concept.

The evaluation criterion in projects oriented towards a realistic representation of the music performance process is the OIRT protocol:

  • The spatial impression of the recording, which includes such components as: the transmission of the sensation of the volume of the room in which the sound sources are located, the naturalness of the transmitted space, the reverberation reflections, the plans of the sound sources, taking into account the traditions of the sound solution of the spatial image in music of various styles, the absence of defects caused overlay of several sound spaces (multidimensionality).
  • The transparency of the phonogram, which is determined by the text intelligibility, the distinguishability of the sound of individual instruments or groups of instruments, the clarity of the transmitted space.
  • The musical balance of the phonogram is created by logical ratios of loudness between parts of a work, ratios of loudness of voices, instrumental groups and individual instruments.
  • The timbre of a phonogram as an integral work, the convenience of perceiving the timbre sound, the naturalness of the reflection of the timbre color of the instruments and the profitability of the supply of timbres.
  • Stereophonic phonograms as a holistic sound panorama, characterized by the symmetry of the position of direct signals and reflections, the uniformity and naturalness of the locations of sound sources, taking into account the traditions of panning in music of various styles.
  • Technical remarks on the quality of the sound image, defects manifested in non-linear distortions, incorrect transmission of the frequency response, resonances, various types of interference and noise.
  • The performance characteristic, which consists not only in the absence of a performance marriage consisting of incorrect notes, rhythmic errors, intonational errors, insufficient ensemble teamwork, but also as the use of expressive means, such as tempo and its agogical deviations, proportionality of the dynamic shades of the dynamic plan of the work in whole and gradation dynamics at the level of intonation.
  • The arrangement of a work presented in the form of a phonogram is evaluated in the case of the performance of arrangements of musical works for other groups of performers.
  • The dynamic range of the phonogram in the protocol reflects not only the ratio of the useful signal and noise, the ratio of sound levels between the peaks and the quietest fragments, but also the correspondence of the dynamics to the conditions in which the phonogram will be listened to, traditional for specific styles of music ideas about the solution of the dynamic plan, naturalness and consistency in conveying dynamic shades, accents and climaxes.

This concept is used in mixing most of the academic genres, a significant part of folk and jazz music. In this case, often, the best results can be obtained if the recording conditions were close to ideal, and recording is performed on a stereo pair of microphones and does not require any information.

When compiling pop, rock, electronic and hip-hop projects, most often the phonogram is considered not as a documentary fixation of the creation of a work of art by musicians, but as an independent art form expressing its own artistic image. There is no single protocol for evaluating information under this concept.

For mixing use an analog, digital or virtual mixing console or just a mixer. Sequencers are also used to mix music in a virtual environment.

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