Premiere Pro CC Split Audio

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Premiere Pro I feel is complex when its comes to how it handles audio.

This guide will explain how to set up a mono multi channel audio sequence having full control over how many channels of audio the final video contains and what channels the audio is mapped to.

When you open a new sequence, select the sequence that matches your original material from the presets and then click on tracks. Change the master audio from stereo to multichannel. Next change the track type from standard to mono. This will give you one mono track that you can pan left or right. Change this setting for each of the audio tracks you need for the edit. You can add more audio tracks later on the timeline.

Ref Pic 1 – Changing audio from stereo to multichannel / mono.

Here you can pan your channels to left and right, or it can be done later on in picture 6. Doing this will send track 1 to the left channel, track 2 to the right, etc. Change the number of channels you want your final exported video to have. If you don’t add more channels your final product will just have two channels, a left and a right. Any extra audio tracks will just be duplicated on channel 1 and 2.

Ref Pic 2 – Panning audio and choosing how many channels the sequence will use.

Once the project is set up, click on window and bring up the audio track mixer.

Ref Pic 3 – Viewing the audio mixer.

If you didn’t pan the audio channels earlier (ref 2), this can be done again here. It is important to pan the audio channels because that’s how you change the audio output from 1+2 / 3+4 Left and Right. When you pan the channels you will notice its going to the right or left side of A1, A2. This is assigning the audio on either 1+2 / left or right channel. Because you may want the final exported video to have 4 channels, change A3 and A4 to 3+4. If this wasn’t done when the final video is exported channel A3 and A4 would had appeared on channel A1 and A2. In some cases you may want channel A3 and A4 to be assigned to A1 and A2 so you many not necessarily need to assign channel A3 and A4 to 3+4. You can also decide to downmix A3 and A4 in the export setting to A1 and A2 as explained later in (ref 10).

Ref Pic 4 – Assigning stereo channels. Assigning Left or Right speaker.

You’ll notice now in the master audio level and in the audio monitor display near the timeline you now have 4 true audio level monitors and tracks.

Ref Pic 5 – Audio monitoring channels.

If the video files are appearing on the timeline as 2 tracks in the one channel (as seen in ref pic 7, right hand side) right click the video icon in the project window (as seen in ref pic 6), select modify, audio channels. Change it from userfile to mono. Next change the channel format to mono and you may have to change the number of audio channels from 2 channels to 4 channels and reassign where you want the audio channels to be mapped to. If the media has already been placed on the timeline, it will not update and you will have to replace the media on the timeline.

Ref Pic 6 – Updating audio properties on media.
Ref Pic 7 – Media on the right hand side of the timeline has been imported as 4 mono channels of audio. The media on the left has been imported as usefile and Premiere Pro has placed Ch1 Ch2 in A1 and Ch3 and Ch4 in A2.

Global Setting for Audio

An audio preference I would change in the global settings of Premiere Pro.

Premiere Pro is able to read the data of any video and decide how it should handle the audio. ie mono, stereo etc, however this can be a problem if you want to have full control over the audio.

I would suggest changing the preferences to handle stereo audio as a mono tracks. This will place the stereo audio on 2 mono tracks. If this wasn’t done Premiere Pro could end up combining the stereo tracks into a left and right channel on the one audio file and this cannot be split or panned further on in the timeline.

Ref Pic 8 – Audio preferences


If you want to maintain 2 or more mono tracks on the final compressed exported video, change the audio codec to uncompressed (left picture) Next change the channel menu to 4 channels and then under the audio track layout change it to 4 mono tracks. If you change it to 2 stereo pairs it will merge channel 1 and 2 into 1 stereo track and 3 and 4 into another stereo track. They will still hold the properties of a L and R channel, however they will not be able to be edited later as a mono L and R audio file.
The right picture is displaying the setting options for exporting in a .MXF. As mentioned earlier if you do select stereo and import the video back into Premiere Pro it may bring it is as 2 dual mono tracks with 2 audio channels both containing a left and a right audio channel. As I said as displayed in Ref Pic 8, you can change the way Premiere Pro handles imported files, and thats why I recommend changing this from userfile to mono. If you don’t change this preference you can change the setting on each individual clip as followed on the next page.

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