Learn how to use one of the most clever transitions in filmmaking history — all in Premiere Pro.

Top image via Working Title Films.

One of the most important aspects of using and editing audio effects is how and when to use them appropriately. If they’re off even by a frame, the transition could be jarring and take your audience completely out of the story. Let’s take a look at how to use some of the most engaging sound (or scene) transitions, using Edgar Wright as an example.

Basically, the audio swell is an increase in sound that ends abruptly, signaling a change in scene or audio. It’s a brilliant way to transition quickly and build rapid anticipation for whatever comes next.

Select the Effect

Video Editing Quick Tip: Using Audio Swells in Premiere Pro — Select Effect

In this tutorial, Zach Ramelan uses a standard boom effect to demonstrate how to use this effect. After the boom effect, he finds a “swoosh” that serves as a secondary sound to carry the swell into the next clip or scene. You don’t necessarily need the secondary effect, but it can’t hurt to see what sounds good for your trick.

Reverse the Effect

Video Editing Quick Tip: Using Audio Swells in Premiere Pro — Reverse Effect

When you reverse the boom effect, the sound should vary based on what fits the scene or what kind of sound you’re going for. The takeaway here is that if a sound isn’t working for you, play around with it. Reverse it, slow it down, speed it up, let the creative juices flow and figure out how to create the most interesting transition.

Swell Diegetic Sounds

Video Editing Quick Tip: Using Audio Swells in Premiere Pro — Swell Diegetic Sounds

In addition to playing with your added effects, Zach also suggests swelling the sounds of your scene before the cut. The more noise you add, the better the burst. As you can see, he uses the pen tool to swell the audio track.

This might seem like an obvious quick tip, and it is, but the reason behind using it is more important. Given the insanely fast pacing of Edgar Wright’s films, the consistent use of these effects excites us as we move from scene to scene.

For a fully stocked library of cheap, diverse sound effects, check out PremiumBeat’s selection here.


Do you have other advice for using swells? Let us know in the comments.