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Lesson 11. Mixing Audio Tracks > Adjusting and Editing Audio in the Timeline

Adjusting and Editing Audio in the Timeline

After you've prepared your tracks and added additional sound sources, you can set the audio level for each clip according to its purpose in the sequence. You begin by setting the level for the highest priority tracks—those tracks that must be heard above all others. Often, those are the sync or dialogue tracks. But when narration is present, in addition to dialogue, as in the Amanda sequences, the dialogue may become secondary at times.

In digital audio, no part of the overall audio signal of the combined tracks can go above 0 dB, or the sound will be clipped off and distorted. This differs from analog audio, which uses a different dB scale and often averages sounds at around 0 dB. In order not to exceed the 0 dB level for all tracks, you set the primary audio tracks, such as dialogue and narration, well below that, perhaps between –12 dB and –6 dB. You can set the music volume to -15 or -18. As you add additional sound tracks to the mix, you have some room to raise the volume without peaking. If, however, adding the additional audio tracks causes the volume to peak, you have to adjust your mix accordingly.


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