Adjusting Volume of the Music Bed
Often you need to vary the volume level of your music track. For example, it's common to have the music playing at normal volume and then reduce the volume when someone is speaking. When the speaking finishes, the volume is returned to normal level.
Let's begin with an audio timeline containing two tracks—a voiceover and a music track. Initially they are both at a constant volume as shown by the yellow lines:
The next step is to create some keyframes so you can vary the volume over time. Ctrl-click on the yellow volume line to create keyframes. You'll need four keyframes, the first two will be where you want the volume to decrease (as the talking starts), the second two will be where the volume increases back to normal (as the talking ends). You don't need to get the keyframe positions exactly right yet but they should look similar to this:
Finally, click and drag the middle section of the yellow line down. This creates an area with a lower volume level like so:
So what we have is a music track at normal volume until it reaches the first keyframe. The volume drops until it reaches the second keyframe. The volume stays at the lower level until it reaches the third keyframe, where it increases until it reaches the last keyframe and the original audio level. Drag the middle section of the yellow line up and down until you have the desired volume.
From here you will probably want to tweak the exact positions of the keyframes so that the music fades down and up nicely, just as the talking comes in and out. You can click and drag each keyframe marker left, right, up and down to do this.
- These instructions are for Adobe Premiere Pro but the same principle applies to many other applications that deal support multi-track audio.
- The voiceover clips above have fade transitions at the beginning and end, to help smooth out any unwanted audio jumps.