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How to remove unwanted audio tracks from XAVC clips

DougJensen
Key Contributor

When first-time users of Sony cameras get into post, they are often surprised to discover that some of their clips have 4 channels of audio, and some will have 8 channels, depending on the recording format they have chosen.  XAVC-L clips are always recorded with 4 tracks of audio, even if some (or all) of those tracks are silent.  And XAVC-I clips are always recorded with 8 tracks of audio, even though channels 5 through 8 are only available if you’re using a studio deck, such as Sony's XDS1000 Professional Media Station. 

As every editor knows, working with clips in post that have a bunch of unwanted audio tracks can make for a messy timeline.  So, one of the most common questions I get when I’m out doing training is if there is a way to reduce the number of channels the camera records.  Unfortunately, the answer is no, there is nothing you can do onboard your camera to record fewer tracks.  But the good news is that it is very easy to strip off any/all of the unwanted audio channels in post before you drag the clips onto your timeline.

Here’s how to do it with Adobe Premiere:

1) Import your clips into a new bin.

2) Select all the clips in the bin that you want to change . . . then right-click on any clip . . . and choose “Modify > Audio Channels.”

3) A dialog box will appear that allows you to configure the audio channels however you want. You can even strip off all the audio tracks if you don't want them. I usually choose “2” for the number of tracks and “Mono” for the channel format.

4) Click “OK,” and all of the clips in the bin that were selected will be instantly changed with no re-rendering or other hassles. And since it’s non-destructive, you can always restore the missing audio channels if you change your mind later.

5) Drag the clip(s) to the timeline and commence editing.

Premiere-ModifyAudio.jpg

 

1 REPLY 1

alisterchapman
Top Contributor

Great bit of information, thanks for sharing.

Alister Chapman
Cinematographer/Producer/Trainer