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Premiere Pro & AI video editing on Macs – my 5 awesome top tips

Anything that can make the edit faster and easier is good news in my book – and Adobe has raised the bar with the latest round of Premiere Pro updates means it’s working better than ever on Apple silicon too

Adobe Premiere Pro AI editing tricks

AI everywhere

Premiere Pro, for whatever reason is not the flavour of the moment, and I honestly have no idea why.

All I seem to read or hear about are video editors talking about why they are switching to DaVinci Resolve from Premiere. And today the competition will get even hotter when Final Cut is released specifically designed for iPad.

Of course, to a lesser or greater degree, artificial intelligence now plays a role in all our creative days – and video editing is no exception. I guess in time I will get around to trying out both Final Cut & DaVinci, but the simple age-old adage applies here – if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

So today I’m going to stand up in defence of Adobe’s Premiere Pro and give you five reasons – five Adobe Sensei-powered AI reasons that is why I love Premiere Pro so much.

Early adopters

As the creative world catches on to how important artificial intelligence is in 2023, Adobe was early to the party first introducing their AI tool – Sensei at Adobe Max in 2016.

“Adobe Sensei is uniquely focused on solving today’s complex experience challenges in the design, document and marketing fields, where only Adobe has decades of expertise and market leadership. Leveraging our machine learning and AI capabilities, as well as trillions of content and data assets, Adobe Sensei will be one of our biggest strategic investments. – Shantanu Narayen, president and CEO, Adobe.

When it first became available to users, the idea was to automate mundane tasks, drive predictive and personalisation capabilities, and boost productivity – and my word have they over-delivered on that promise. Apple could certainly learn a thing or two from Adobe with their high-end integration of AI and must rue the day they lost Narayen in his development role there to become CEO at Adobe.

In the past seven years, Adobe Sensei has got smarter, quicker and way more intelligent. At first, Sensei shone in Photoshop where it made background removal, layer masks and spot removal much, much simpler than it used to be.

Then gradually app by app, Adobe AI made its presence felt throughout the Creative Cloud suite of apps – Lightroom, Illustrator, After Effects, Audition – and of course Premiere Pro.

The elephant in the room

Adobe Creative Cloud is only available on subscription.

For all the apps – all the apps Adobe have I pay £45 a month. Now I know that soon adds up after a few months but it also means you get regular and meaningful bug fixes and updates.

Just earlier this month there was a big update that gave us improved text-based editing which I’ll come back to later, better background auto-save, more language transcription support which now includes Danish – meaning there are over 15 supported languages now and a quicker UI experience too.

And of course, if you are using a number of the Adobe apps every day as I do that monthly sub starts to look better and better value. There are discounts available – students can save up to 65% with monthly subs starting from as little as £10 a month for the full-blown Lightroom and Photoshop apps.

When I chat with other creators that use Final Cut Pro they tell me there haven’t been any updates in Final Cut for ages – which is one of the downsides of the one-off fee model for software – buy and be forgotten about is too often the way unfortunately.

Today however the new Final Cut for iPad is being released on a subscription basis only – either $4.99 a month or $49 per year which could mean soon any new purchases of Final Cut for Mac could be sub-based as well. Will that mark the dawn of a new era for Apple and their creative apps I wonder? With so many of their other services such as Apple One already being subscription based, my guess is that this will be their way forward.

DaVinci is still free for the basic version with the full studio version costing $295 as a one-off purchase.

Hassle Free

Many of the complaints and reasons being cited for the move from Premiere Pro seem to centre around it being glitchy or buggy.

Adobe has been hard at work updating their apps to work properly with Apple silicon and as a result, I have not had a single crash in the past four or five months, pretty much this year – in that time Premiere Pro hasn’t crashed on me once. It’s fast, stable, smooth and reliable and it lets me get on with what I need to be doing – editing videos.

And if it was as bad as everyone is making out, do you think that this year’s Best Picture at the Oscars – Everything Everywhere All At Once could have been edited in it? The production team for the movie leaned heavily not only on Premiere Pro but also After Effects and Adobe Frame i.o. too.

All change

To coincide with this year’s trade show NAB which took place last month Adobe released another big update (23.4) for Premiere Pro which included;

  • Improved text-based editing
  • better background AutoSave
  • Transcription support for more languages
  • Dashboard improvements
  • Performance improvements
  • and extended format support for new cameras

And if I’ve tempted you to get going or refreshing your skills in Premiere Pro here are some of my favourite AI tools that you should try out.

1. Text-based editing

This Adobe Sensei-powered powerhouse tool can automatically analyse and transcribe clips in Premiere Pro meaning editors can copy and paste sentences in any order they want and see them appear that way on the timeline. Using this new tool videos are essentially turned into searchable transcripts with specific words and phrases being able to be matched for quicker video editing.

2. The essential sound panel

The Essential Sound panel is an all-in-one panel that gives you a wide range of audio tools to help make your audio perfect. It’s almost like having your own audio producer sitting there with you it’s that good. In it, you’ll find tools to help you carry out all your audio mixing & fixing tasks quickly and easily.

The panel provides simple controls to unify volume levels, repair sound, improve clarity, and add special effects that help your video projects sound like a professional audio engineer has mixed them. It even has an auto-ducking function that means you don’t have to go through and manually keyframe audio or know how to set up a side-chain compressor. A true game-changer.

3. Auto- Reframing

Video and the way we consume video is moving and evolving. Short-form video on YouTube and TikTok is huge business and Premiere has got you covered on that front too with Auto-Reframing.

Let’s say you have shot a long-form video in the normal landscape aspect ratio but you now want to take a clip from that video and use it as a YouTube short. In the past, that would have been a pain, but now Auto Reframe will do all the work for you using AI & Sensei.

Auto Reframe intelligently identifies the actions in your video and reframes the clips for different aspect ratios. You can even use Auto Reframe to reframe sequences for square, vertical, and cinematic 16:9.

4. Scene Edit Detection

Another huge time-saver I use on nearly every video.

Scene Edit Detection lets you automatically detect the cut points in your footage! Sensei goes through your footage (before you have made any edits) and will detect the points that cuts need to be made. You can apply a cut at each point, create a bin of the subclass and make markers at the cuts too.

I was sceptical at first and carried on manually cutting, but once I found this feature and got to grips with and fully trusted it, there was no turning back.

Remix tool

I love this function so much. To this day it still amazes me to see it in action.

Say you have found a great piece of music for one of your videos, but it’s either too short or too long, well the remix tool will come to your rescue. Before it would have taken hours of painful slow edits to try and make a decent attempt at remixing a track’s duration – trust me it was not easy or for the faint-hearted.

But now with AI you just pick out the remix tool – and literally, all you do is drag out or reduce the track – that’s it! It doesn’t merely stretch or cut the track, but in real-time it remixes it. You’ll see where the remixes have taken place by the wavy zig-zag lines but it has never let me down. The edits are so smooth.

Wrapping up

We all have our favourite editing tools – I get that.

Coming from an Adobe Creative Cloud background, meant that learning Premiere came reasonably easily and naturally to me.

Pretty much though at the end of the day whether you use Premiere, DaVinci or Final Cut – they all do much the same thing. They cut up your filming and then churn out a video for you at the end. It’s getting the job done efficiently that matters most.

Apart from wanting to stand in the Premieres corner in this article I also wanted to show you how powerful it is and point out just a few of the AI-powered tools behind it that makes it creative and fun it is to use.

The wheel will turn full circle and soon enough I’m sure and Premiere will be back in fashion – it works brilliantly on Mac with Apple silicon now and it’s just too good not to be used.

I’ve never been afraid to stand alone. Premiere Pro just works for me – so why look to change and follow the crowd right?

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