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How to sync timeline and clip preview to edit audio volume line on clip preview?


St Bosse
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I am busy with videos where there are three or more audio tracks. No1 is the master audio track (also the track being used to sync everything), but should be muted or go slightly softer at certain points when other audio tracks should be louder. When I have the red line in position on the timeline and click on the audio, the audio wave pops up in the clip preview where one can manipulate the volume line but . . .  The red line in the clip window is NOT at the same position, causing a lot of shuffling to find the same position where I want to change the volume. How do I get these two windows to sync?

St B

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HI

The Clip preview window cursor does not follow the Timeline cursor as it is related to a single clip and times on that clip (e.g. 10 seconds in) do not relate to the timeline position which may be 20 seconds in.

If your project consists of a single clip with its audio then all you would need to do to match the Sequence preview  position to the Audio  Clip Preview  position would be to copy the value shown under the Sequence Preview window and paste it to the box shown under the Clip Preview window. Both cursors would be in the same place

Multiple clips starting at different points cannot be done in this way

Try this instead.....

  • Set up dual previews in Properties/Display....it's easier to see what is happening.
  • Your main video and audio is on Track 1
  • Your additional audio is on Track 2 (or 3 or 4...) in the position you have set them.
  • Right click the audio on the additional track. This will display the audio clip in the Clip Preview  window (left pane) with the preview cursor on the far left
  • Move the Clip Preview cursor along the preview window to the required point where you want to make your audio changes.  Note that the Timeline cursor will now also move to that same point. i.e. the Clip Preview cursor controls the timeline cursor...but not the other way around.

Once satisfied you should now have the position values for both the sequence and the individual audio clip,under each preview window. You should now be able to work the audio volume line from this accurate point using the Clip Preview audio display.

Nat

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  • borate changed the title to How to sync timeline and clip preview to edit audio volume line on clip preview?

"Note that the Timeline cursor will now also move to that same point. i.e. the Clip Preview cursor controls the timeline cursor...but not the other way around."

I did notice this, but it happened randomly. I probably got into this situation accidently.  Then, being frustrated with the next change that I can't get it to respond the same again.

Thank you Nat. I will try your instructions.

St B

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If the sequence cursor doesn't move, first click the video track of that clip - or click the clip in the bin.

Then left-click to bring up the audio waveform in the Clip Preview window.  A right-click will also work, but will invoke a drop-down menu.

Check out the audio ducker.  Click the OPTIONS menu | AUDIO tab to adjust it for best effect.

To enable it, right-click on the audio track to be ducked - likely the music track - and tic image.png

Takes some experimentation, but works well.  Here's an example...

 

 

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The ducker process doesn’t work that well (I think), because every change is different and has to be judge and adjusted by ear to get proper balance/mix of audio channels in question.

 As per Nat’s instructions:

Move the Clip Preview (I let it “play” (in clip preview) until the position then hit “pause”) cursor along the preview window to the required point where you want to make your audio changes.  Note that the Timeline cursor follows . . . .

 This works well accept that I wish the red line would stop jumping towards the click points as I insert them on the audio line where I am busy juggling the volume, and in the process losing the time line position.
Do you have advice on preventing this?

Somehow, while doing this, I now and again loose the connection between the two red lines. Only way I could get them linked again, is to first click on some other video channel on the time line, and then come back and start Nat’s instructions again before I can continue.

Do you recognize some obvious mistake I am making?

 I really appreciate you guys’ assistance so far. Adjusting/doing these volume mixes is a big part of my editing process.

Thank you

St B

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Hi St B

Yes, I agree it's a bit annoying when you grab the blue volume line in the clip preview window and it makes the cursor line itself  (as well as the timeline cursor) move to that point also, but don't click the blue line without first fixing the line position with a marker.  Try it this way..

 

  • As outlined above, the additional audio (Audio Track 2) is in the Clip Preview window and the preview cursor line is moved to the start of the audio change.
  • Now the cursor lines are in position at for the exact start of the volume change.
  • Click at the intersection of the blue line and the red cursor line in the Clip Preview window.. This will place a marker on the blue line without disturbing the position of the cursor lines. Don't drag or move it. The marker will fix the initial audio level.
  • Move (or play) the Clip Preview cursor to the right where you want the maximum (or minimum)  sound to be.
  • Grab the blue line on the intersection once more and drag the blue line vertically up (or down) but keeping the mouse exactly on the cursor line. The volume line will now slope up from the previous marker to the new marker.
  • Move (or play) the cursor along to the end of the "duck"
  • Click the intersection again to create another fixed point of maximum (or minimum) audio.
  • Move or play the the Clip Preview cursor to the right to the end of the volume change.
  • Click the blue line again at the original audio level.
  • Proceed in this way to produce periodic increases/decreases in the audio levels along the clip... The timeline cursor will move as you work along the clip but that is to be expected. 

zzz.jpg

The timeline audio clip (Track 2) should show the same volume changes...

zz.jpg

At any later time you can alter the position/height of the markers by previewing the specific audio clip and dragging the markers to a new position.

Nat

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Thanks Nat for this explanation, 

It is more or less the way I do it but I was hoping for an easier more elegant way. It sure isn't very user friendly. I sure hope NCH is working towards a solution on this.

Thanks again

St B

 

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Hi St B

Probably the auto ducking is the best you will get. Borate's demo was actually pretty good, but so much depends on the two audio levels. I suppose it's a bit like the auto exposure system on a camera where one goes from dark to light suddenly and for an instant it's over exposed; or  auto microphone  level systems that cut out background noise when one speaks. It can get annoying if there are a lot of sudden decreases in background sound interspersed with the commentary. If things are fairly level in both parts it might be simpler if the the background (e.g. music) is kept continuously at a lower level but fixed level than the voice. e.g.

 

Nat

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Hi Nat,

Yes I agree but my situation is a bit abnormal. Let me sketch you the scenario. Maybe some other persons may find our conversations useful someday.

The scene is filming Spanish foot stomping dancing:-
I typically have 3+ tracks, footage with audio.
Track 1 (original) is the main take (full length) with audio music, but full of background noise, aircon, echoes, some other foreign noises, but with the main noise, Spanish foot stomping (quite load).
Track 2 is the new main audio music (overlaid) from the original music file, and must be synchronised with track one. Typically, track 1 will now be muted and one will be left with track 2's clean music with clean sound, but . . .
Track 1 comes back in with lower volume. However, the foot stomping is quite overwhelming and after balancing, track 2's clean music with track  1's foot stomping, track 1's music and other noises, sort of disappears. That was the easy part.

That said, the discussions above comes in now with track 3,4 etc., where short portions of video such as Spanish, Highland etc, (maybe close-ups of feet work, facial expressions, etc) ,each with its own particular sound, gets overlaid on the main video track (1) which may also consist of quiet ballet and other silent dance styles (speaking feet noise), with the noisy sound track 1 muted as far as possible. This is where one would turn the track 1 (original video) volume back on for the duration of the overlay (portion) to get the feet noise back. 

Hope I explained properly. I got everything working fine now.

Thank you

St B

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