I am creating "virtual choir" videos, so I receive videos from 15 to 20 choir members. These videos are all shot on whatever consumer equipment the choir members have, from cellphones to laptop cameras to digital cameras. And they are large, typically around 200-400 MB each.
For these videos, the video quality isn't super important - it's just their smiling face singing the song. But the quality of the sound (such as it is) is really important since it's a musical production. So, I've been running them through Adobe Media Encoder to "shrink" them, presumably while maintaining the audio quality and not degrading the video quality noticably.
My question is: Are the settings I'm using reasonably optimal for this scenario? I start with this preset:
Preset: Match Source - Medium bitrate
then I tweak the Audio settings:
Sample rate: 48 KHz
Audio quality: High
And a related question: I haven't yet found something that tells me how Media Encoder deals with mapping a stereo original to a mono output. Does it average the original channels, or just choose one channel?
Are you running into problems with bogging down your machine while editing? Or having a hard time exporting your file? What's the reason to get them smaller?
You might want to look at a proxy workflow. Or even using a good intermediate editing codec that won't be so hard on your machine. I'm on a Mac and would try ProRes LT. The file size will be bigger, but the strain on your computer processing will be lower.
I'm not sure how Media Encoder handles that conversion to Mono. Personally I would handle that in Premiere Pro for the best control over it.
I guess I wasn't totally clear in my original post. My problem is just the size of the files. For each "virtual choir" video project, I receive around 10-20 GB of source footage from the choir members. When I'm done producing the video, I hang onto all of the files so I can come back later and remix or otherwise tweak the video. By reencoding the source files, I kill two birds with one stone: I reduce their size significantly, and I convert their audio to mono.
The "mono" thing makes the editing process a lot easier. When I'm editing the audio tracks, I really just want to see a single waveform, not 2 (for a stereo file). Besides which, each singer really is a point source in the sound field. In a professional setup, each singer would perform into a mono microphone. So, before I realized the benefits of preprocessing the source video files, the first thing I used to do was to tell Premiere to reinterpret the stereo files as mono. With my new workflow (preprocessing the source videos to turn them into mono) I no longer need to deal with non-mono videos.