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Audition CS6 Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Using Automatic Speech Alignment


From:

Audition CS6 Essential Training

with Garrick Chow

Video: Using Automatic Speech Alignment

In my exercise files folder I have a folder called Speech Alignment, and in there is a movie called iphone_intro.mp4. This is a clip from my iPhone Essential Training course, which incidentally you can find on the lynda.com Online Training Library. Let's listen. (male speaker: Hello and welcome to iPhone and iPod Touch Essential Training. I'm Garrick Chow. The iPhone is one of the most popular, powerful, and easy to use smartphones on the market today. And the iPod Touch is basically an iPhone without the phone, running the same operating system and apps. In this course, we're gonna take a detailed look at all the most important features of both of these devices.) Okay, so the audio here is pretty bad and pretty much unusable.
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  1. 1m 7s
    1. What is Audition?
      1m 7s
  2. 1m 55s
    1. Welcome
      54s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 1s
  3. 21m 6s
    1. Understanding the Audition interface
      8m 49s
    2. Setting up input and output
      4m 7s
    3. Setting essential preferences
      8m 10s
  4. 25m 3s
    1. Importing audio files
      6m 39s
    2. Extracting audio from a CD
      4m 6s
    3. Importing video files
      2m 21s
    4. Recording audio
      4m 50s
    5. Creating a multitrack session
      7m 7s
  5. 8m 8s
    1. Understanding frequency
      1m 50s
    2. Understanding amplitude
      1m 40s
    3. Understanding sample rate
      2m 34s
    4. Understanding bit depth
      2m 4s
  6. 37m 59s
    1. Understanding the Waveform Editor interface
      6m 2s
    2. Making selections
      6m 5s
    3. Adjusting the clip amplitude
      2m 49s
    4. Fading clips
      4m 5s
    5. Normalizing
      5m 17s
    6. Copying, cutting, and pasting
      7m 40s
    7. Undoing, redoing, and using the History panel
      4m 5s
    8. Generating silence
      1m 56s
  7. 24m 1s
    1. Using the Spectral Frequency Display
      2m 53s
    2. Using the selection tools
      7m 18s
    3. Using the Spot Healing Brush
      6m 34s
    4. Removing background noises
      7m 16s
  8. 46m 31s
    1. Understanding destructive vs. nondestructive effects
      12m 35s
    2. Applying compression
      9m 20s
    3. Understanding reverb vs. delay
      4m 44s
    4. Working with filters and EQ effects
      6m 46s
    5. Using special effects
      4m 26s
    6. Isolating vocals in a stereo track
      4m 27s
    7. Working with time and pitch effects
      4m 13s
  9. 1h 18m
    1. Creating a multitrack session
      6m 1s
    2. Recording and importing audio
      9m 42s
    3. Understanding the multitrack interface
      5m 20s
    4. Understanding the Mixer panel
      6m 13s
    5. Editing clips in Multitrack View
      9m 49s
    6. Grouping clips together
      2m 43s
    7. Creating bus groups
      7m 42s
    8. Routing and working with sends
      4m 7s
    9. Using automation
      12m 25s
    10. Pre-rendering tracks
      2m 19s
    11. Exporting the mix
      4m 13s
    12. Exporting the session
      3m 22s
    13. Burning the mix to a CD
      4m 45s
  10. 25m 17s
    1. Working with audio from video
      6m 23s
    2. Importing a sequence from Premiere Pro
      3m 59s
    3. Adding a soundtrack to a video
      3m 45s
    4. Exporting a session back to Premiere Pro
      3m 32s
    5. Using Automatic Speech Alignment
      7m 38s
  11. 9m 46s
    1. Understanding the interface
      6m 17s
    2. Using pan envelopes
      2m 44s
    3. Exporting a multichannel mix
      45s
  12. 52s
    1. Next steps
      52s

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Audition CS6 Essential Training
4h 40m Beginner May 06, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Audition CS6 Essential Training demonstrates all of the major features of Adobe Audition and prepares sound editors to start enhancing and correcting audio—whether it's music, dialogue, or other sound effects. Author and musician Garrick Chow begins by covering how to import, record, and manage media files, from extracting audio and importing video, to creating a new multitrack session from scratch. The course then dives deep into editing, repairing, and cleaning up audio files, using the Waveform and Multitrack Editors, and the Spectral Frequency Display. It also covers how to use built-in effects, how to mix both stereo and surround audio tracks, and how to work with video projects from Premiere Pro.

Topics include:
  • Setting up the interface
  • Setting up inputs and outputs
  • Importing audio and video
  • Understanding audio terminology, such as frequency and amplitude
  • Adjusting clips in the Waveform Editor
  • Cleaning and repairing audio
  • Applying effects
  • Working with tracks in the Multitrack Editor and Mixer panel
  • Editing the soundtrack of video
  • Performing surround mixing
Subjects:
Audio + Music DAWs Mixing Video Audio for Video Music Editing Post Production
Software:
Audition
Author:
Garrick Chow

Using Automatic Speech Alignment

In my exercise files folder I have a folder called Speech Alignment, and in there is a movie called iphone_intro.mp4. This is a clip from my iPhone Essential Training course, which incidentally you can find on the lynda.com Online Training Library. Let's listen. (male speaker: Hello and welcome to iPhone and iPod Touch Essential Training. I'm Garrick Chow. The iPhone is one of the most popular, powerful, and easy to use smartphones on the market today. And the iPod Touch is basically an iPhone without the phone, running the same operating system and apps. In this course, we're gonna take a detailed look at all the most important features of both of these devices.) Okay, so the audio here is pretty bad and pretty much unusable.

Now although we've seen that Audition has some great clean-up tools, sometimes you are most likely going to be better off re-recording dialog that was either recorded poorly or that might have been ruined by unwanted or unremovable sounds. In this case, my voice is kind of echoey, plus there's sort of this hum going on throughout the clip. I've already dragged this movie into Audition and placed it into a multitrack session. If you're following along with me, this is just a regular multitrack session. I saved it at 48 K and 32-bit, and I've dragged the video and the audio file into their own tracks.

(male speaker: Hello and welcome to iPhone and iPod Touch Essential Training.) And I've already re-recorded my dialog in a studio environment and saved it as a WAV file. It's called garrick_ADR, I'm going to drag that into my Files panel, and here I'll drag it on to track 2. I'm going to let Audition convert the sample right so it matches the session. Now we have garrick_ADR on track 2. ADR stands for either Automatic Dialog Replacement or Additional Dialog Recording, depending on whom you ask, but basically it refers to the process of having usually actors go into a studio after they've shot their scenes--maybe in a noisy outdoor setting--and having them re-record dialog in a controlled studio environment where the recording engineer can then replace the original audio with a new clean audio.

So I'm going to mute this original iPhone_intro audio track and play my new voiceover, and let me just expand the video panel here, make it a little bit easier to see. I'm going to make that as big as I can here. So let's play this and see how well they match up. (male speaker: Hello and welcome to iPhone and iPod Touch Essential Training. I'm Garrick Chow. The iPhone is one of the most popular, powerful, and easy to use smartphones on the market today. And the iPod Touch is basically an iPhone without the phone, running the same operating system and apps. In this course, we're gonna take a detailed look at all the most important features of both of these devices.) So that's actually not too bad.

It's a little out of sync at the beginning, and it gets out of sync at the end here too. Let's watch this again. (male speaker: In this course, we're gonna take a detailed look at all the--) So it's definitely out of sync there when I say in this course. And when I say out of sync, I mean the audio is not synching up with the shapes my lips are making in the video. Now for these situations, Audition CS6 has a brand-new feature called Automatic Speech Alignment, and what that does is compare the original audio to a clip of re-recorded audio and then analyzes them and tries to make the waveforms of the re-recorded audio match up to the positioning of the waveforms of the original.

And it works pretty well. Prior to this, getting audio to fit required all kinds of filters and effects to stretch and compress the audio manually. You can still do these things, but it's probably a big time saver to try the Automatic Speech Alignment feature first. To use it, first select the two clips in, the original and the replacement audio, and it has to be just two clips. If you have a track with more than one clip on it you'll have to first merge those clips together into a single clip using the waveform editor before you can use this feature. Also, this feature works best on clips that are longer than about 10 to 15 seconds. Short clips usually don't have enough content for the process to effectively work.

So I'm going to select the two clips by dragging through them with my Move tool. Now I'm going to choose Clip > Automatic Speech Alignment. At the top you want to choose which one is your reference clip. Basically, you're picking the clip of the original audio that Audition can use as a reference to adjust the replacement clip. So I'm going to make sure iPhone_intro audio is selected. If it's a Stereo file, you can choose whether to use the Right or the Left channel. My clip is stereo, but Left and Right are pretty much equally balanced, so it really doesn't matter which one I select here.

If you have a file where the dialog is primarily on the left or right, you'll want to pick the appropriate one. That leaves the replacement clip as the Unaligned Clip. Again, you can choose the Left or Right channel if the dialog is more prevalent on one or the other. Next, you want to choose how the alignment is going to be applied. Balanced alignment and stretching is probably a good place to start. If things don't sound quite right, you can always undo and come back in here to choose either the Tightest Alignment or Smoothest Stretching. A Tighter Alignment will have the best looking sync, but the audio might sound more unnatural.

Smooth Stretching usually sounds a little more natural, but might not be as in sync. So I usually start with the balance between the two. If one of the reasons you're replacing the dialog is because the clip has background noise, check Reference clip is noisy. That's true in this example so I'm going to make sure that's selected. I'm also going to make sure that Add aligned clip to new track is checked. So Audition will place the newly generated clip onto its own track. Let's click OK. It takes a few seconds, and I can see here I have a new track, garrick_ADR 48K aligned.

So I'll place the word Align here so I can easily tell which one is the aligned track. And even just looking at the waveform you can kind of see that it's a little more aligned to the original than my raw replacement. Notice the clip blanks are identical, but let's see how it sounds. I'm going to solo that track and play from the beginning. (male speaker: Hello and welcome to iPhone and iPod Touch Essential Training. I'm Garrick Chow. The iPhone is one of the most popular, powerful, and easy to use smartphones on the market today. And the iPod Touch is basically an iPhone without the phone, running the same operating system and apps. In this course, we're gonna take a detailed look at all the most important features of both of these devices.) So that's actually not too bad, and notice how much better the "in this course" phrase syncs up with what's on the screen.

(male speaker: In this course, we're gonna take a detailed look--) And because this is in its own clip on its own track, you're free to chop out the pieces that might not sound as good and replace them with parts of another re-recorded attempt or edit them anyway else you'd like. But if you have to replace dialog, I think you'll find that the Automatic Speech Alignment feature is pretty useful. It can also be kind of fun if you find the kind of things that I find fun to be fun, to replace dialog with a completely different voice. I have another audio file in here you might want to play around with called garrick_female. I'll drag that into my Files panel. I'll make that a little bigger so we can see it.

I'll drag that into its own track, track 3, convert it, and I'm just going to drag that under the original one here so they're lined up a little bit better. Just go ahead and select the original audio track in this new garrick_female track, and I'll run the Automatic Speech alignment again. Leave everything the way it is. So here's the newly-aligned track again. I'll solo that one up and we'll see how it did. (female speaker: Hello and welcome to iPhone and iPod Touch Essential Training.

I'm Garrick Chow. The iPhone is one of the most popular, powerful, and easy to use smartphones on the market today. And the iPod Touch is basically an iPhone without the phone, running the same operating system and apps. In this course, we're gonna take a detailed look at all the most important features of both of these devices.) Okay, so there you have the Automatic Speech Alignment command which is a great tool to help you replace dialog in your video clips. And once you have an aligned clip you're happy with, you can just solo it up, choose File > Export > Multitrack Mixdown > Entire session and then export the audio files so you can import it into your video editing applications.

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