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Adding sound effects and music

From: Audio Post Workflow with Final Cut Pro X and Pro Tools

Video: Adding sound effects and music

In the previous movie we concentrated on organizing our sound clips in Pro Tools. In this movie we'll look at adding outside audio to our project to enhance it. So let's say we decided we want to chain one of the music cues in the piece. I'm going to show how to import audio from outside Pro Tools and place it in the timeline. The method that offers the most control is to go to File > Import > Audio. Here we see the import dialog box. In this box we can audition the source audio and even control the volume as we listen.

Adding sound effects and music

In the previous movie we concentrated on organizing our sound clips in Pro Tools. In this movie we'll look at adding outside audio to our project to enhance it. So let's say we decided we want to chain one of the music cues in the piece. I'm going to show how to import audio from outside Pro Tools and place it in the timeline. The method that offers the most control is to go to File > Import > Audio. Here we see the import dialog box. In this box we can audition the source audio and even control the volume as we listen.

(music playing) We can also see info about its properties. Notice the sample rate is 44.1 kilohertz and remember our session is at 48 kilohertz. Once we decide this is the audio we want, we will choose Convert. It should be converted rather than added since it has a mismatching file type and sample rate. But you could choose Add and Pro Tools 10 will now allow mismatched audio types all in one session, though I like to keep everything the same if I can.

We'll choose Apply SRC, which stands for Sample Rate Conversion, to make the file 48 kilohertz to match our session sample rate. Pro Tools asks you where do you want to put the file, and it defaults to the Audio Files folder for the current session. This is what we want. Next, Pro Tools ask you if you want to put it on a New Track or in the Clips List which is the big list of clips to the right- hand side of the Pro Tools edit window. Let's choose New Track and Pro Tools will create a new track for us. It'll name the track the name of the source audio file as well.

Now we want to place this music about halfway where the other music is, so we'll place it there. If our Edit tool is still a Smart tool, which is all three tools combined, we can go to the end of the clip, and we will trim and fade each music to make two music cues. If you go to the top right or left of the clip and pull down, you can fade it in and out. If you go to the just the side of the clip, you can trim it.

Now we will go over the Volume view of this track, and we will adjust to Track volume as necessary. You can also just click and drag in the following display to change the volume of the track. Next, we want to import some background sounds to enrich the audio in some of these outdoor shots. This time we'll try another technique for importing. We will just drag and drop audio straight into Pro Tools. But first, we should set one preference. Go to Pro Tools > Preferences and then click the Processing tab. Choose the options Copy Files on Import and Convert Copied Files to Session Format.

These will ensure that anything we drag and drop into Pro Tools we be properly converted and added to our Pro Tools Session folder. This is good practice to get into. Next, let's make a stereo track for the ambient sound effect to go on, use Shif+Command+N and select Stereo Audio track. Now we will go to the Finder, and we will drag this Birds Morning file right into the track we made. Again we can adjust the volume as necessary, you can also copy and paste it to make it longer if we need it.

As you have seen in this movie, adding music or sound effects from outside Pro Tools is really easy, and it's really helpful to enrich your audio tracks. In the next few movies we will take closer look at editing, fixing, and mixing your audio tracks.

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