Transcribing Multiple Audio Channels with Transcriptive for Premiere Pro

Setting Transcriptive to  “Clip Mode” to transcribe your video and audio files in Premiere Pro is the best option when the goal is to use transcripts to find sound bites and assemble rough cuts throughout the editing process. Transcribing in “Clip Mode” means everything in your clip is converted into searchable text, the transcribed text is attached to the original clip instead of the sequence, and you can pull sound bites from the text anytime – for any sequence – without having to transcribe bits and pieces for each sequence. However, using “Clip Mode” has some limitations when your video or audio clips have multiple audio channels.  

Transcriptive allows users to load videos and audio multichannel clips.

When you transcribe a clip, Transcriptive exports that clip’s audio through Media Encoder. For clips with stereo or a single mono audio channel, this is no problem. But if you have multiple audio channels, Premiere only allows Transcriptive to export the top channel (channel 1), and, unfortunately, right-clicking a clip and opening the “Modify > Audio Channels” to re-assign the channels doesn’t help. If some of your recorded audio is on a different channel, it won’t be transcribed. And if channel 1 is empty, Transcriptive will return a blank transcript.

Audio that is not placed on “channel 1” will not be transcribed. If channel 1 has no audio, Transcriptive will return an empty transcript.

Fortunately, there is a pretty easy workaround. Transcribing a sequence gives us a lot more control over what audio we’re exporting. When you submit a sequence to be transcribed, Transcriptive mixes down all of the unmuted audio channels. This means you can mute unwanted audio and transcribe everything else. If your sequence has channels you don’t want to be transcribed – scratch audio, music, etc – you can mute them before submitting the sequence to Transcriptive. You can also set in and out points in the sequence to control what area you’re transcribing (in and out points are another thing we aren’t able to read in Clip Mode, so only use them when transcribing a sequence).

To transcribe a clip with multiple audio channels:

  1. Create a new sequence with that clip
  2. Mute any unwanted audio channels in the sequence, and set your in and out point
  3. Turn off Clip Mode and transcribe the sequence.
Transcribe window will show the cost of the sequence transcription, show speech engine options, and more.

Once transcribing is done, switch “Clip Mode” back on and select your clip in the project panel. The transcript will load attached to the original clip, and now you can delete the sequence. This is what your transcript will look like with “Clip Mode” on:

Every word in the transcript has a time code. Edit the transcripts, search sound bites, create rough cuts by editing the text, and export captions.

In Transcriptive 3.0, you can Batch Transcribe sequences as well as clips. So while creating a sequence for each clip with multiple audio channels is an extra step, you can still transcribe those sequences all at once – select them in your Project panel in Premiere, click the top left menu in Transcriptive, and select Batch Project. Once transcribing is done, repeat step 4 above to attach each transcript to the clip. Here’s a Batch Transcription tutorial to watch for more info.

We’re hoping future versions of Premiere will give us more control over what we can do in Clip Mode, and allow us to handle in/out points and multiple audio channels better. For now, the sequence workaround is the best way to get around these limitations.

If you have any questions about Transcriptive Rough Cutter or want a two-week trial license, send us an email at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *