In following tutorials I’m going to be talking about tools in Premiere Pro and Audition that allow us to compress the audio range of a clip or a track. So, what is audio compression and why do we need it?
To best explain this, I have recorded some audio that could represent any audio you may record. In short, people often have a very wide range of audio levels when speaking. It could be, for example, that your audio is of 2 people – the first one quiet and the second one quite loud. Or, a person could suddenly laugh or call-out for some reason, speaking at a different level than they were using before.
Audio Before Compression in Adobe Audition
The end result is that some parts of the speech are quiet and some parts loud. Now, if you leave it like that, your audience is going to be tempted to turn the volume up during the quiet parts, and then suddenly lunge for the volume control as the loud parts threaten to blow their speakers. Or, they set the volume for the loudest parts, but can’t hear the quiet parts. Both of these are unacceptable.
After Compression and Normalization in Adobe Audition
The answer is to reduce the difference between the quietest part and loudest part of the audio – this is called ‘compression,’ as you are compressing the dynamic range of the audio.
Then your audience has no need to constantly play with the volume level as they can hear everything. So as you can see, audio compression is important! We’ll plunge deeper into these tools in Premiere Pro and Audition in the next tutorial!
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