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Monitoring Audio Tracks

When you start working with multiple layers of audio clips, you will find it very important to start isolating tracks so that you can accurately hear what is going on. It becomes very difficult to hear how something sounds or check a clip's timing if it is being disguised by a number of other audio clips layered on top of one another. You might want to leave them exactly where you have edited them into your timeline, so deleting them is not the answer. You also don't want to lower the volume, because that will change any level setting you have already set. The best solution is to mute tracks that you do not want to hear. This is very simple, but it's a technique that many beginning editors overlook as a means to make their life simple.

As I mentioned earlier, a good technique is to edit various audio clips onto different tracks. This means that you might want to categorize and spread out all your different audio elements. Edit your narration onto tracks 1 and 2 (or as many tracks as necessary). I even recommend keeping different narrators on their own track(s) for easy identification and making changes. Then put your music on other available tracks. Sound effects might take up several tracks by themselves. Keep them separate and spaced out so that you have room to work with them, as shown in Figure 8.6. Now that you've set up your timeline this way, you have complete control over monitoring your tracks. You can select which tracks you want to hear and which tracks you want to mute without changing any characteristics.


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