Video Editing

Short and Straightforward Way to Remove Audio from Video in Premiere

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Getting the right balance between the visual and audio elements of a video is easier said than done. This is not to suggest it can’t be done. 

You can now fix audio issues with the right video editing tools. During post-production, you can mute video clips, remove them from the footage, or even realign video and audio tracks.

This blog will teach you how to remove audio from video with the help of one particular tool - Adobe Premiere Pro. It will also cover how to remove background music using Adobe Audition.

How to Remove Audio from Video in Premiere

From commercial films, online content, television shows to ads, Premiere Pro is the preferred choice of many video creators. 

Its wide-ranging features include removing audio from video and turning it into a silent clip. You can then add audio elements, such as voice-over, sound effects, or background music. Furthermore, the program’s compatibility with Windows and Mac devices makes it easy for anyone to create a muted video with relative ease.

 Here is the step-by-step guide on how to do just that.

STEP 1 - Import the Video Clip

If you already have the Premiere Pro CC application on your device, launch it and create a new project. If you don’t, you can download and install the software from here.

Once the app is up, click the File tab in the menu bar and scroll down to Import to insert the video you want to remove the audio file from.

Alternatively, you can use Ctrl+I on Windows PC or Cmd+I (⌘I) on Mac.

Also, remember that it is much easier to remove audio files from a video in Assembly or Editing mode.

STEP 2 - Unlink the Clip(s)

After importing your clip(s) into the editor, drag it into the Project Timeline panel. Next, highlight the entire clip by clicking it in the timeline. 

If you have multiple clips, click inside the timeline and drag your mouse over the video files to select all of them.

At this junction, there is something you should understand about editing in Adobe Premiere Pro. When you load a clip into the editor, it reads the visual and audio elements in two separate tracks. However, they are linked by default.

It means any edit you make to the video file, like splitting, cutting, or trimming, automatically happens in the audio file. To make edits independently, you have to unlink them.

So, when you highlight the relevant clip you want to remove audio from, right-click on it and select Unlink.

This will separate the audio and video from the clip and other selected clips.

Once you have done that, you can now remove audio from the video, as shown in the final step.

STEP 3 - Delete the Audio Track

Now that you no longer have to worry about deleting your video inadvertently, delete all the audio elements in the clips you want to silence.

You can do this by clicking the audio layer (the track with the waveform) and hitting the delete key on your keyboard. Alternatively, you can right-click on the layer and select Clear in the list of options.

After doing that, you have successfully removed the audio from a video in Premiere Pro. 

As you can see in the screenshot below, the timeline no longer contains the waveform representing the audio track.

You can leave the project as is if it suits your purpose or add audio files to the project by importing and dragging them into the timeline.

How to Remove Background Music from Video

Background music helps set the tone of a scene for the audience. It is one of the tools video editors use to elicit emotional and behavioral responses from viewers. However, their choice is not always appreciated by the viewer.

Whether you wish to improve a scene or simply repurposing a clip for personal or commercial purposes, removing background music from a video is sometimes necessary.

With Adobe Premiere Pro, you can achieve this by simply following the steps outlined in the How to Remove Audio from Video section above. 

The downside, of course, is background music and dialogue vocals are usually intertwined in one audio layer. It means removing the audio track deletes the entire audio content of the clip.

However, there is one way around this with Adobe Audition. If you subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud, the software is part of the list of apps. You can access it for free for 30 days. 

Once you have the app, follow these steps to remove background music from videos.

STEP 1 - Launch Audition

Without leaving Premiere Pro, right-click on the audio track whose background music you want to remove and select Edit in Adobe Audition.

This option should only be available if you have the Adobe Audition program installed on your device. When Audition launches, your audio will show up in Spectral Display. 

However, you will be working with the Waveform Display. Therefore you need to drag down the divider to reveal the Waveform display, as shown below.

STEP 2 - Open Center Channel Extractor

When the primary display is in the waveform, go to Effects in the menu tab and scroll down to Stereo Imagery. Then select Center Channel Extractor. 

This Adobe Audition effect allows you to pull out and diminish different kinds of audio information in a file. 

When you select it, a small pop-up window should appear on your screen like this -

STEP 3 - Set the Frequency Range

Without any additional settings, the Center Channel Extractor presets will extract the vocals from a track.

However, depending on your preference, you can make additional adjustments using the Extraction and Discrimination tabs. You can also set the Frequency Range to select the vocals you want to extract.

The range options are -

  • Male Voice
  • Female Voice
  • Bass
  • Full Spectrum
  • Custom

Select the option that most aligns with the speaker in the clip or use the Custom setting for a more nuanced arrangement.

After setting the Frequency Range, click Apply.

STEP 4 - Save and Return to Premiere Pro

Once you hit apply, you should notice a change in the waveform, reflecting the removal of audio information outside the specified frequency range.

Play the track to confirm the change. Reapply and reset the Center Channel Extractor settings if you are not satisfied with the result.

Close the window and select Save to complete the edit and return to Premiere Pro. Premiere Pro will automatically apply the edited audio clip to the Project Timeline.

Using this method, you can remove background music and other audio content from a file, leaving only the audio information you need.

If you wish to learn more about using Adobe Audition, check out the official tutorial here.

How to Mute a Clip in Premiere

We have discussed how to remove audio from a clip in Premiere Pro. But what if you don’t want to remove the audio but simply mute it? Muting a clip can help you work on the video without the audio distraction and this is how you do it.

Once the video clips are in the Project Timeline, and the audio and video layers are unlinked, click the M button in the track header.

If you have multiple audio tracks to mute, clicking the button on each one can be tedious. 

An efficient workaround is holding down the Shift key on an audio track and clicking any of the M buttons. It will automatically mute all the audio tracks. 

Repeat the same process to unmute all the audio tracks.

How to Solo a Track

Also, you can solo a track, i.e., make the editor play only the content in the track, ignoring the rest. It is another useful feature that improves workflow while editing in Adobe Premiere Pro.

To use it, simply follow the same process of muting a clip, only this time, you click the S button.

By selecting the S button on a track, the editor will only play the elements on the track during playback.

This is also another way to mute a clip. For example, if you solo an audio track, the editor will mute the other tracks, playing only the selected one.

How to Remove Audio Track from MKV file

MKV is a container file format that can hold multiple audio, video, and subtitle tracks. For example, a video could contain subtitles in different languages that a viewer can choose from during playback using software like VLC.

The advantage of this file format is it is easy to remove audio tracks from without using a video editor.

To do this, download the MKV editing tool MKVToolNix from here

There are multiple versions for different platforms. Make sure you download the relevant one for your device.

For this guide, we are using MKVToolNix v58. The creator updates the program regularly. Thus, one or two UI elements might have changed when you see this. However, the steps below outline how the process generally works.

STEP 1 - Add the Video

After opening the program, look for the Add Source File option. In this version, it is at the foot of the editor.

Select it and add the MKV file(s) whose audio you want to remove. When you add each file, you should see it in the Source Files panel and its content in the Tracks, Chapters, and Tags panel under it like this -

You will see every audio file, subtitle, and other content inside the file in this panel.

STEP 2 - Uncheck and Start Multiplexing

Go to the content panel and uncheck the audio file you want to remove. 

If there are multiple audio files, you can remove all of them if that’s what you want. Otherwise, uncheck only the unnecessary tracks and leave the rest.

In the Destination File section, select where you want the new MKV file saved. 

TIP - For easy access, select the folder containing the original MKV file.

Afterward, click Start Multiplexing at the bottom of the program.

Once the process is complete (watch the progress bar), go to the folder to view the MKV file without its audio track(s).

That’s it. You have successfully removed the audio from an MKV file.

Can I Change the Audio Language of a Movie?

Yes, you can. This is another advantage of container file formats like MKV, MP4, and AVI.

As long as you have the right software, you can remove or add audio language to a movie or any multimedia file in these formats.

To do this, you will need three things, namely -

  1. The execution software (in this case, MKVToolNix)
  2. The file whose audio language requires changing (destination)
  3. The file with the preferred audio language (source)

Once you have all three, follow these quick steps to change the audio language.

STEP 1 - Insert the Source and Destination Files

Drag and drop the source and destination files in the Source File(s) panel. Make sure to drop the Destination File first and the Source file second.

When you drop the source file, you will see this pop-up window.

Select the top option ‘Add as new source files to the current multiplex settings’ and click ok.

STEP 2 - Uncheck unwanted files

With both files now inside the program, uncheck the content you do not wish to keep in the Tracks, Chapters, and Tags panel.

In this case, it will be the original audio file of the movie. If you don’t know which one of the listed audio files is the original, remember that the list is based on the order of files imported into the program.

So, content from the Destination file will appear first. Uncheck its audio file.

When you finish, click Start Multiplexing.

Once you do, the progress bar will start filling up. When it hits 100%, the process is complete. 

Next, check the destination file folder to access the movie with the new audio language with your media player.

If you use VLC, go to Audio > Audio Tracks in the menu bar to select the new audio track.

Before you Go…

Hopefully, now the process of removing audio from video in Adobe Premiere Pro will be a lot easier for you. You may not get it right at first, but as long as you keep following the steps, you will get the hang of it.

For more video editing tips, feel free to check out our pool of resources.

Hammad Akbar
Hammad Akbar
September 12, 2021