Premiere Pro CC: How to Make Audio Sound Better

In this Premiere Pro tutorial, I want to walk you through how I clean up and take raw audio from a microphone and make it sound much better. We’ll cover getting rid of background noise and background hum with the DeNoiser (and a touch of Lowpass or Highpass if needed,) we’ll level out our audio with Premiere Pro’s “Normalize Peaks” function, we’ll compress the audio with the Multiband compressor to start achieving that real “professional” sound, we’ll take a quick peek at mastering an audio track in Premiere Pro, and we’ll bundle it all up into a nice preset so you can apply your perfect audio preset to your audio tracks every time! If you like audio, I think you’ll like this video.

Normalize Peaks (reading the dB meter)

01-basic-audio-editing_gif When working with your audio in Premiere Pro, you’re going to want make sure your levels are high enough (or not too high!) by checking out the dB meter to the right of the timeline. You typically will want your audio to be staying a little below the zero mark. I usually target -3dB. Right click on your audio clip and choose “Audio Gain” and set “Normalize All Peaks” to “-3”.

Adjust the Gain to Add Volume

You can also bump the volume up by dragging up on the number next to the “Adjust Gain By.”

Get Rid of Background Hum, Buzz, Sounds with DeNoise

02-basic-audio-editing_gif Go Window>Effects to open the Effects panel and open the Audio Effects folder and choose “DeNoiser” and drag it out and drop it onto the audio track in the timeline and look to the Effect Controls panel and click the little arrow to the left of “DeNoiser” and then hit the arrow to the left “Individual Parameters” and reduce “Reduction” to anywhere between -10.0dB and -20.0dB.

Dynamics as an Audio Compressor

03-basic-audio-editing_gif The next audio effect we need to drag onto the audio track is called “Dynamics”. Look to the Effect Controls panel and hit the “Edit” button for the Dynamics effect. I set the threshold to -30.00dB, the ratio to 4.50, and the MakeUp is set at 12.00dB. Everything else is default. Check out the video to see more detail on this powerful tool!


04-basic-audio-editing_gif Next, drag the Mastering effect onto the audio track from the Audio Effects folder in the Effects panel. Hit the “Edit” button in the Effect Controls panel to open the Mastering dialog box. I like to begin with the “Subtle Clarity” preset and reduce the reverb to nothing and then tick on both Low and High Shelf Enable. I then play the audio behind the Mastering dialog box and play with the dots in the dialog until the audio sounds good.


05-basic-audio-editing_gif One of the last things I like to do with my audio (in most cases) is boost the treble by adding a Treble effect to this audio track. I boosted the treble by 7dB.

Create a Preset

06-basic-audio-editing_gif Once you have your audio all set up and sounding as you wish, make sure you have the audio track selected so you can see the effects listed in the Effect Control panel and then Cmd/Ctrl + click each of the effects and then right-click and choose “Save as Preset” and give the preset a name. Check out the “Presets” folder in the Effects panel to find your newest preset.

Apply to Multiple Clips

07-basic-audio-editing_gif One of the beautiful things about presets in Premiere Pro is that you can select multiple audio clips and drag a preset and drop it onto all selected clips which will apply your preset to all the clips instantaneously.