How To Use The Auto Ducking Feature in Premiere Pro


Hi guys! Jordan with Motion Array and today we’re going to take a look at the Audio Ducking Feature in Premiere Pro!

How To Use Auto Ducking in Premiere Pro

The following text has been transcribed for optimal reading

So here we are in Premiere Pro, and we’re going to take a look at an easy way to adjust your audio in just a couple clicks.  So when we say audio ducking, what we mean is the idea that when there’s competing sounds, one of them ducks down to let the other take priority.  What that looks like is something like this.

We have our piece of dialogue that we want to hear, then when it finishes we want our music to get louder, and then when the dialogue comes back in we want to go back to a lower volume of music so we can hear me speaking clearly again.  Usually this is done by adding keyframes and manually adjusting each one. And for just this one moment, the process shouldn’t take too long. But if you have an entire 10 minute video with a bunch of these sorts of moments, it can take forever to do this for every iteration.  Especially if you’re doing an interview type video with background music.

But Premiere Pro has a quick solution that makes the process a lot easier.  And it’s all found in the essential sound panel. If you want to learn the basics of using the essential sound panel, we have a video all about that.

Okay so step one is to go to your essential sound panel.  You can find it by either entering the audio workspace, or by going to window, essential sound.  Once you’re here you can see that we have different types of audio that we can designate for our clips.  To make this work properly, you’ll want to designate what kind of clips are what kind of audio. So for example, all of my dialogue clips are up here, while my music is here, and then there’s a couple other pieces of audio scattered about.   

Whether or not you’re using the essential sound panel it’s always good to keep your clips organized and distinguished.  So now let’s assign our clips to the kind of audio they represent. Let’s take our dialogue clips and mark them as dialogue, and mark our music as music.

And with that let’s dive into our music file by selecting it.  Now let’s go down to the bottom here and you can see the label for audio ducking.  This is where the magic happens. Because we’re in the music section here, when we apply a ducking parameter, we’re going to be impacting how the music is lowered.   If we were to do this with the dialogue for example, then our dialogue would get quieter instead. Whatever you select for ducking is what will be lowered.

You can select what your music file will recognize as something to duck against.  Like dialogue, or sound effects for example. And you can select multiples to designate what combination you want your audio to duck against.  But for now I’ll stick with just dialogue.

From there you have 3 parameters that will impact specifically how our music is ducked.  

Reduce By,

Sensitivity will impact how premiere decides what is necessary to duck out against.

Reduce by will impact specifically how much your music will drop out. The lower the number, the less it will drop, the more you tell it to reduce by, the further down the music will drop out.

And fades simply controls how gradually your audio goes from being normal to being ducked.  
With these three parameters, you can decide what you want your ducking to sound like.  But you won’t be able to check what it actually sounds like until you hit this button here to generate keyframes.  The process is incredibly fast and you can now take a listen to what your new audio sounds like. So for us this is really good, but what if it’s not what we preferred?  How do you make changes? It’s easy, just make sure your music is highlighted, adjust the sliders towards what you prefer, so I can make it a little less sensitive, make the music drop out more, and increase the fading just a tad, and then hit generate keyframes again, and your music will be updated to represent your newly desired changes.

And once you find something that works to your liking, you can save it as a preset so that you can keep consistency or just save even more time with this awesome feature.  

I hope you found this video helpful. If you did, as always we’ve got lots of other tutorials ready to view for free here at  Please give us a thumbs up and if you’d like to see more tutorials, we’ve got lots of other Premiere Pro TutorialsAfter Effects tutorials, and filmmaking tutorials for you to check out!

Thanks for watching and see you in the next video.

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