Adobe Premiere Pro CC: Separate Audio Channels

Adobe Premier LogoRecently, I wrote an article discussing the new audio types in Premiere Pro CC (you can read it here). The problem with the new Standard audio type is that it works too well.

If you edit a stereo or mono clip into the track, the track automatically conforms to the number of channels in the clip. But… what if you don’t want it to conform the channels? For example, almost every interview I shoot is recorded “dual-channel mono,” where the host is on channel 1 and the guest is on channel 2 and both channels are supposed to be panned center.

From the point of view of Premiere, this looks like a 2-channel stereo clip which would get placed into one track. But it isn’t. I need separate control over each channel But, how?

NOTE: In this example, I have audio on channel 1, with no audio on channel 2. This type of clip is treated the same as a two-person interview clip where I need separate control over each channel.


Piece of cake. But you need to make these changes before you edit a clip into the Timeline. Once it’s in the Timeline, it’s too late.

In the Project panel, select the clip, or clips, you want to modify. (Yes, you can apply this setting to multiple clips at once!)

Then, choose Clip > Modify > Audio Channels (shortcut Shift+G).

This opens the Modify Clip dialog. Note that both audio channels (Left and Right) are assigned to the same audio track (Track 1).

To convert this stereo clip to a dual-channel mono clip, change the Number of Audio Tracks to match the number of audio channels in the clip. In my case, this is 2.

Next, set the Channel Format to Mono. What this does is tell Premiere that there are two channels of mono audio in the clip, rather than a single stereo pair.

Notice that the track assignments at the bottom have now altered from indicating a stereo pair to assigning each channel to its own track in the Timeline.

When you click OK, Premiere warns you that this setting will not affect any clips already edited into the Timeline. Click Yes.

Now, when you edit the clip into the Timeline, even though it may appear as a stereo clip, Premiere is smart enough to assign each channel to its own track so you can edit and adjust each speaker independently. Here, the Left channel is assigned to A1 and the Right channel (which is silent) is assigned to A2.


While, normally, an interview would have audio on both A1 and A1, in the case of this example, I have audio only on one channel and silence on the other. I would like to get rid of that second channel to avoid cluttering up the Timeline. (In point of fact, having a silent channel isn’t hurting anything, but it does take up space.) Because both channels are linked, clicking either audio channel in the clip selects both tracks of that clip in the Timeline.

To solve this, Option-click the channel you want to delete. This selects just the one channel, then press the Delete key.


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55 Responses to Adobe Premiere Pro CC: Separate Audio Channels

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  1. john says:

    Thank you for this excellent tip. As you pointed out, it’s easy. But without the knowledge, it can be very difficult working through all the options to find the solution.

  2. Ken Kobre says:

    Can you set up the program so it automatically divides the two audio tracks when you add new files?

    • Larry says:


      Current versions now do that.


      • KATE C WALKER says:

        Would you mind explaining how the current version of Premiere can now do this, automatically? Thank you.

        • Larry says:


          This article is still pretty much correct. Without the images, the steps for Premiere Pro CC 2019 are:

          * BEFORE editing a clip into the Timeline, right-click the clip, then, from the pop-up menu select: Modify > Audio Channels.
          * In the Modify Clip window that appears, change Clip Channel Format to: Mono
          * In the same window, change Number of Audio Clips from 1 to match the number of audio tracks in your clip. (A stereo clip would be set to 2.)
          * Click OK.

          Now, when you edit the clip into the timeline, each audio channel in the clip will edit into its own track in the Timeline.


  3. Mike Maslow says:

    Hi Larry. I’ve been separating my stereo tracks into 2 mono tracks automatically but now Premier Pro CC 2019 doesn’t want to link my Proxy files, and when I go to relink them it gives me an error message to the effect that since the audio tracks are different, it cannot link the media.

    Have you hear of this happening before?



  4. pedro says:

    Hi Larry, is there a way that you can separate your tracks in the timeline? Can you use Adobe Audition for that? Thanks

    • Larry says:


      You can use Audition or Premiere – both allow separating audio channels – depending upon both clip and sequence settings.


  5. anthony ruiz says:

    In Premiere Pro 2019, the settings to automatically bring in audio channels so that they will go into their own timeline channel is in the Timeline preferences. Once there, you will see settings for “Default Audio Tracks.” Set Mono Media to “Mono” and Stereo Media to “Mono.” You can leave 5.1 Media to “Use File” and Multichannel Mono Media to “Use File.” I work with 4-channel P2, and Multichannel Edius files and this setting will bring in the audio on separate channels.

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