Streaming Media

Streaming Media on Facebook Streaming Media on Twitter Streaming Media on LinkedIn

Tutorial: Auto Audio Ducking in Adobe Premiere Pro

Clear Online Video's Stjepan Alaupovic explains how to use Adobe Premiere Pro's Auto-Ducking feature to streamline the process of balancing background music with dialogue in your edited videos.

Auto-Ducking in Adobe Premiere Pro is the process of having Premiere Pro create automatic keyframes on your audio tracks, which reduces the volume of one or more selected tracks. This comes in handy for when you're using background music in a video. This feature allows you to have the music levels come up and down for emphasis during parts of the video that don't feature dialogue.

Of course, you can manually do this with audio keyframes, and that is my go-to process when finalizing a video. But I find this tool very useful for getting out the first couple of versions of a video. When I know that content may be cut, it takes Premiere Pro only seconds to do. And the process is simple to follow.

For this feature to work correctly, you will have to identify your audio tracks. You can do this by working within the Essential Sound panel in Premiere Pro. With your project and timeline open, navigate to the Window option in the toolbar and select Workspace > Audio with your interview and dialogue tracks selected. Choose the Dialogue option. On the right side, under Loudness, choose the Auto-Match option. This will raise your voice audio to the correct decibel level for dialogue. Next, select your music track in the timeline and choose the Music option on the right. You can also set the Auto-Match option to lower your music to the appropriate level. This will now bring your music to a good level to complement and not overpower your dialogue.

Next, navigate over to the Ducking tab to enable it. In the Duck Against row, choose the first option, which is the Dialogue icon below this row. There are further sliders that you can adjust to your liking once you're ready.

The final step is to select the Generate Keyframes button. This will add keyframes to your music track where the audio dialogue is not present. Users can manually adjust the keyframes, just like traditional keyframes. I really like this option for getting some rough cuts in an initial draft of a video out of the way. It gives the client enough of a feel for how the music will complement the video, and it has saved me a lot of time in the editing process. Give it a try in your next video edit.

Related Articles
The three audio problem areas I'll tackle in this entry-level tutorial are as follows: removing transient noises like pops and clicks, cleaning up pervasive background noises, punching up weak-sounding audio.