Adobe Premiere Elements: Laugh Track Mashup Tutorial

For my tutorial this week, I’m choosing to create one for this mashup assignment, where you’re tasked to add an inappropriate laugh track to a movie scene to transform its tone. I did this assignment already today, which can be seen here.

Firstly, you need to think of which movie you’d like to use! I chose a horror movie and perhaps you wan’t to chose one like that, horror, drama, some other serious movie, as long as it isn’t a comedy movie itself. That way you can transform the media, be creative! Then you need to search for a scene of your movie on YouTube. Make sure you’ve downloaded the 4K video downloader. Then simply copy the url of the YouTube clip you’ve selected.

Then open the 4K video downloader app and click the ‘Paste Link’ button with the little green plus scene. Simply wait for the video to parse then select the quality, click ‘Download’ and your video will download as seen below!

Next you’ll need your laugh track audio! Here you need to visit freesound.org and search for a laugh track or laughing sound that you like. Here you need to make an account on the site or sign into your account and then click the yellow ‘Download’ button, the wait for your download to complete!

For the editing portion of this assignment, I used Adobe Premiere Elements 15. You can obtain easily a free trial version of this program (which will have a watermark on in when you upload a video, I believe, though I’m sure your professor would be understanding of that). Otherwise you can get a student discount and buy the program if you’re interested in video editing! I have a purchased copy of the program and its a powerful video editing tool, so this will be a short tutorial on the basics for it to get this assignment completed. Open your Premiere program and start a new project. Before you start, make sure you’re in ‘Expert’ mode to allow you full control of editing, by clicking the ‘Expert’ tab in the upper middle of the screen. Then you’ll want to import your video clip and your laugh track audio. To do this go to ‘Add Media’ and then ‘File and Folders’. Then you can select the file from your computer to add to the project. You can do this twice to add both of your media.

After adding the media, you should see both the audio and the video clip in the ‘Project Assets’ Section. Now you have both of those ready!

First, you’ll want to add an intro title to your project. Text and titles can be found in the right side of the menu with the little ‘T’ icon on the sidebar, under text that reads ‘ADD’. Clicking on the ‘T’ icon should bring you to a selection of titles you can chose from. Personally I like to chose a simple one as I find the complex ones somewhat cheesy.

Then, simply click the title you want to add and drag it into the timeline, in the ‘Video 1’ section. A menu should popup on the right that allows you to edit the text of the title in the ‘Text’ attribute, as shown here.

Next, you’ll want to add your movie clip. To add it simply click and drag it from the ‘Project Assets’ Section into the timeline below right after your title.

Now, you’ll want to figure out where you want your first laugh track to be located in the clip. Once you’ve chosen the location, simply drag your laugh track audio into the ‘Voice’ section (or really any audio section you’d like) in that location.

In my case, my laugh track was a bit too long for what I wanted to I trimmed it down. Here’s how you can trim something in Premiere Elements. Drag the little cursor bar to the portion of the video you want to cut. Then, make sure you’ve clicked on only the section of media you want to remove (audio, video, etc) so you don’t also cut the video along with the audio. Then click the little scissors icon on the red cursor bar. This will cut the clip, separating it at the cursors location.

Then you can right click the section of it you want to remove and click ‘Delete’ from the menu there. I used this to trim my laugh track audio to be as short as I wanted it to be.

Next you’ll want to duplicate this laugh track in other locations. To do this you’ll want to copy the part of it you’ve already placed in the timeline. This will copy the cuts and edits you’ve made to that audio portion as well. To copy the laugh track right click it and select ‘Copy’.

Then, find the next location in your movie clip you want to add the laugh track to and move your red cursor bar to that location. Press ctrl+v (or command+v on Mac) to paste the clip in the location of the cursor.

You’ll want to copy and paste your laugh track in every location you want a laugh effect, so repeat that step as many times as you need until you have all your laughs added. You can see all of mine are added below.

If you want to lower the volume on some of your laugh track you can do the following steps. First make sure the whole audio track is showing by clicking the little white down arrow next to ‘Voice’ or whatever audio channel you’re working on.

Now, do you see that little yellow bar in the middle of the audio clip? That represents your decibel level, now at the default for the clip. To lower the volume simply click that little yellow bar and gently drag it downwards a few decibels. You can drag it upwards to increase the volume, similarly.

Next, you’ll want to add closing credits to your video. These can be found in the same text/titles section as the intro title was found, by clicking on the ‘T’ icon on the right of the screen. I recommend the ‘Classic Titles’ > ‘General’ tab for this, to fine the ‘Default Roll’ title, because that one gives you simple scrolling credits.

Simply drag your selected credits text into the timeline after your movie clip.

In the Default Roll for example you can type your text directly into the main video screen in the center.

To move the text if it gets off center you need to look at the option under the Adjustments panel to see the ‘Mode’ selection. Here you can select the pointer tool that looks like a mouse, which allows you to move the text anywhere on the screen you want to move it to.

You can select the Mode ‘T’ for text to start editing text again. Note that on this Default Roll there’s a lot of ‘Add text here’s that are off screen so you’ll have to use arrow keys to move your cursor down there and backspace all of the ‘Add text here’s you don’t need. Now you can play your rolling credits!

Note: Be sure to credit the freesound.org user and the movie you used!

Personally, my rolling credits moved to fast to be read so I made them longer. You can do this by clicking on the edge of the credits in the timeline and dragging it further to the right, very simply.

Now you’re finished editing and ready to export your video! Simply go to ‘File’ then ‘Export and share’.

You can most likely use the settings from ‘Quick Export’, they should be fine! Just name your video and chose a download destination (it will default to saving your video as a .mp4 I believe). Click ‘Save’ to save the video to your computer.

Now all that’s left is uploading the video to YouTube, which I assume you know how to do at this point in the course! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and I hope it could help you in some way!

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