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Blog Home Filmmaking Hacks & DIY 10 Premiere Pro Video Editing Hacks You Probably Don’t Use
10 Video Editing Hacks You Probably Don't Use

10 Premiere Pro Video Editing Hacks You Probably Don’t Use

Let’s take a look at some Premiere Pro video features you may not be familiar with, and a few you might need a refresher on.

Regardless of your experience with Adobe Premiere Pro, there’s always more to learn and discover, especially due to the constant software updates.

One of the best parts about Premiere is the seemingly endless number of shortcuts, hacks, and work-arounds for solving problems and expediting your edit.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

1. The Power of the Alt Key

Our friends over at PremiumBeat offer this simple-but-effective tutorial on the power of the alt key—isolating the audio and video clip, rearranging clips in your timeline, duplicating your clip, etc.

The shortcut covers a wide range of different ways to speed up your edit and will save you a good deal of time once you’ve narrowed down all of the key’s different functions.

Plus, while our tutorial does happen to be a few years old, this new version was created by “Kevin – Basic Filmmaker,” and it’s a concise breakdown of how to use this nifty little tool.

2. Using Command + Drag

Command + Drag
Use keyboard shortcuts to rearrange clips on your timeline.

The Command+Drag (or Control+Drag on PC) shortcut is another simple timesaver. This keyboard shortcut allows users to move clips as a whole around your timeline.

This isn’t groundbreaking really, and has been around forever, but it allows you to apply multiple audio and video transitions to every clip you’ve selected. It’s all about saving precious time, right? If you’ve got reoccurring jobs for clients where the edit needs to be the same every time, this particular type of keyboard shortcut will help you immensely.

3. Using Audio Effects in Premiere

This tutorial from SonduckFilm breaks down the top five audio effects every editor—new or experienced with Premiere Pro—should know.

Knowing what each effect does, how to manipulate it, and which scenarios call for certain effects is essential for video editors. The effects covered in this tutorial are reverb, noise, balance, mastering, and lowpass.

4. The Item Button

The “Item” button hasn’t always been around in Premiere Pro. For proof of this fact, you’ll see that this tutorial PremiumBeat made a few years back is more of a coverage for how to use this “hip, cool, new feature.”

But, more than anything, if you’re new to Premiere, knowing the ins and outs of the program will benefit your editing in the long run. The more you know, am I right?

The button allows you to quickly access several different functions, including creating a new sequence, adjustment layer, title, caption, color matte, and universal counting leader—as well as adding bars and tone, black video, and transparent video.

These features aren’t new to Premiere Pro users, but the button next to the folder icon offers quicker access to these functions.

5. Master Premiere’s Keyboard Shorts

Zach Mayfield brings us this short-but-sweet video on how to navigate keyboard shortcuts in Premiere Pro. In it, he focuses on creating shortcuts for “Application and Panel Commands.”

Some of the features of this new tool include dragging the key (from the graphic keyboard) to the function of your choice, identifying the colors for application commands and panel commands, and an in-depth explanation of how to assign the same shortcut to different actions.

Mayfield breaks it down in a digestible way, while clearly explaining how to approach this new world of keyboard shortcuts.

6. Removing Noisy Audio

A problem I recently ran into, and by recently I mean back in 2018 (which is when I made this video), was getting back noisy audio from production. There are a few reasons why this might happen.

The location where the audio was recorded could’ve been loud. There might have been A/C running, picking up a low hum that now exists in the background of the whole clip. There’s a million different reasons for this.

To remove the unwanted noise, you’ll need to take the audio clip and move it over into Audition. Once you’ve done this, take the Time Selection Tool and find a piece of the clip that has no dialogue. Then, go to Effects > Noise Reduction/Restoration > Capture Noise Print, then click anywhere on the timeline.

Now, go back up to Effects > Noise Reduction/Restoration > Noise Reduction. I then set the reduction percentage to 65 and kept the decibel level at 15. Boom.

7. Automating Audio

Our good old buddies at PremiumBeat, yet again, offer another tutorial on Premiere’s automation modes in the audio track mixer panel.

Working with automation modes is somewhat complicated, so Jason Boone covers the basics before diving into the heavy work. The nine-minute tutorial dives into the following modes: off, read, write, touch, and latch. Boone also covers how each mode affects your audio, as well as clip and track keyframes.

While this tutorial was made about four years ago, there’s a newer version that’s just as good from Sam Holland. Check it out below.

8. Dynamic Trimming

Dynamic Trimming
Dynamic trimming allows you to trim each clip frame-by-frame without affecting your timeline.

Dynamic trimming works for frame-by-frame cuts. That’s to say, if you went through your first edit quickly for a rough cut, you can go back for a second edit and trim each clip frame-by-frame without affecting the rest of your timeline.

Once you’ve found the cut you’d like to move around, hit “T” then Alt/Option > Left or Right Arrow. This will move the cut to the left or right and change its duration without affecting other clips. This is an excellent way to avoid untimely and imprecise cuts.

If you’d like a thorough walkthrough of this process, look no further than chinfat’s tutorial.

9. Create Logo Animation

Cinecom brings us this simple explanation of how to create a stylish logo animation in Premiere. Although the video doesn’t cover how to create one yourself, you can check out our earlier article on everything you need to know about designing a logo. The workflow is pretty straightforward—it adds a basic 3D effect, swivel, and some lens flares. Pretty simple stuff, yeah?

When it’s all said and done, the logo looks decent. But, if this particular look isn’t what you’re going for, the video also teaches you how to keyframe and work with moving images in Premiere. So, you can take pre-existing logos and work with them instead.

If you want to know how to take these ideas one step further, check out our tutorial on animating individual parts of a logo in After Effects.

Side note: You don’t have to be an expert in After Effects to follow along with this tutorial.

10. End Audio Track with Reverb

Adding a little bit of drama to your video is never a bad thing. By adding a reverb effect, the sounds will trail off at whatever speed you’d like, making your work a little more ominous.

I know you’ve heard of this effect countless times in movies and other YouTube videos. The process is simple. Find the clip you want, nest the clip, add black video in a new sequence, then add the reverb effect. The tutorial covers the process more thoroughly and demonstrates the power reverb can lend to audio.

Just in case you want a second take on the effect, check out the tutorial below from Olufemii.

Want some more Premiere Pro tutorials? Check out our previous article covering the best Premiere Pro tutorials from 2021 here.

A few more articles to get those creative juices flowing:

Cover image by Master 1305.

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