Organizing Your Audio Clips for Multitrack Export

As you edit audio into your sequences, it’s important to keep your tracks organized. Not only does this make it easier for you to keep your tracks straight when you edit new clips in, it makes your job much easier when it’s time to mix your tracks and export them.

The Audio Mixer is easiest to use when you organize the audio clips in your edited sequences based on their type. For example, put all sync-sound dialogue clips into one group of tracks, background ambiences in another group of tracks, sound effects in another group of tracks, and music in a different group of tracks.

You might put one actor’s voice in track A1, and another actor’s voice in track A2. Narration recorded with the Voice Over tool might go in track A3. Background ambience clips such as wind and rain might go in tracks A4 and A5. Sound effects could go in tracks A6, A7, and A8. Finally, four tracks for overlapping stereo music clips would be dedicated to tracks A9, A10, A11, and A12.

If you’re working on a project that may be distributed to an international audience, you should also keep your final mix separated into D, M, and E (dialogue, music, and effects) and stems. This allows foreign distributors to dub over the voices of your actors without losing the music, ambience, and effects that you’ve edited into your program.

Categories of audio tracks
Description
Dialogue
This includes most of the audio that was captured with your video. Whether or not you place each character’s lines in a separate dialogue track is between you and your audio editor.
Voiceover
Narration should be put in a separate track from dialogue, as it probably has different EQ settings.
Music
Stereo music from any source could use up to four tracks, if you’re doing complicated music edits or cross fades.
Ambience
Ambient tracks include background tones, atmospheric sound effects, and possibly room tone.
Sound effects
Effects include material from effects libraries as well as effects clips you record yourself. If you’ve edited in Foley effects, they should occupy a separate set of audio tracks.