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Audio finishing touches

From: Effective Storytelling with Final Cut Pro X

Video: Audio finishing touches

Just as you used video frames to build a multi-frame effect and combined story clips to create a composite image, you can also take a moment before finishing your project to improve the audio in your story. Let's take a look at how. In the Project Library, open the Final Audio Touches project. In this project, there are just a few clips. You might recognize the clips of Paul at the end. Oh yeah! They're back. We're going to have some fun with those. But let's start at the beginning of the project and take a look and listen to the clip that we've used before in the project and in the story.

Audio finishing touches

Just as you used video frames to build a multi-frame effect and combined story clips to create a composite image, you can also take a moment before finishing your project to improve the audio in your story. Let's take a look at how. In the Project Library, open the Final Audio Touches project. In this project, there are just a few clips. You might recognize the clips of Paul at the end. Oh yeah! They're back. We're going to have some fun with those. But let's start at the beginning of the project and take a look and listen to the clip that we've used before in the project and in the story.

(Video Playing) Male Speaker: How many kilos do you get from one plant? Just one kilo maybe? Female Speaker: Yes, one kilo. Diana Weynand: So if you remember, this clip is essential to the story of coffee growing because this is our baby coffee tree, and we need it to start the story, but we don't need that audio in the background. And in fact we don't want to use it. So in order to remove the audio from a clip that's already been edited, you can right-click and choose Detach Audio, or use the shortcut Ctrl+Shift+S. What will happen is, the audio will detach from the video.

Now you can literally click on the audio clip and delete it. Now when you listen to the clip or watch the clip in the project, you don't hear any sound, and in fact, you see there's no waveform beneath the video frames either. So we have to go sound hunting. Well, we could go into a Sound Effects library, but to make it really realistic, look for what you already have in your own footage, for example if we go to the Animals keyword collection and listen to the buffalos sound, see what you think of this.

(Video Playing) Personally, I don't see anything wrong with that as a background to this little tree. So let's try it. Okay so if we want to edit just enough of the buffalo sound to cover this length of this clip, well we could use a Range Selection tool, we could mark an in and an out, but another way to mark an in and out together is to simply press the letter X. Notice how those Range Selection handles appear on either side.

Now we don't have to worry about where the playhead is. So in the Event browser, let's select the buffalos clip. And let's choose Audio Only as the type of Edit. Notice that changes the icons of our edit types. Now when we go ahead and say Connect, notice that the buffalo audio is attached to this clip and it covers the exact length of that clip. Let's listen to this. (Video Playing) If I hadn't seen what I had just done, I would totally believe that this audio belonged to this clip.

Now if it feels a little too loud or too hot to you, you can lower it and that might make it even more believable. (Video Playing) That's great! Now we have got a video clip and we've got a matching audio clip, but they're separate. Notice that the other clips in the storyline are combined. Well, if you want to combine this baby tree with the buffalo sound, simply select them, right-click and make a new compound clip of the two of them.

Now they appear together as one single clip, you will hear the sound beneath it, you even have the ability to adjust that sound, just as you do any other clip. So that takes care of this clip. It makes this clip viable, it makes it fun to look at, you don't have to worry about dropping the audio out all together and it gives you something to use in your project. It creates depth by having that sound beneath this clip. Let's jump down to our Paul clips where we edited some of the ums and ahs out in order to move the story forward.

You will notice there's a little gap that's been added because there was a point between these two clips where it sounded like Paul was edited together unnaturally. Let's listen to this. (Video Playing) Paul: If people love their coffee trees, then the coffee trees are going to be -- Diana Weynand: And just to focus on Paul's sound, I'm going to select the pouring beans clip and disable it, so that we can hear just the audio from the primary storyline. (Video Playing) Paul: If people love their coffee trees, then the coffee trees are going to be taken care of.

Diana Weynand: Well, the truth is I like the pause, but I don't like how the sound drops out. When we play through the gap, you're hearing no sound and it becomes very obvious because there was a lot of background sound behind Paul, it's what we call ambient sound. (Video Playing) So what we want to do, is find some ambient sound just like we discussed before in the first clip. We are not going to go to the Sound Effects library for this, you've already got this somewhere. Some shooters will actually record a minutes worth of ambient sound called room tone before they give any action cues and that's a great idea.

But if you will notice in this original clip of Paul, the one that we used to edit these little bits, there are places where he doesn't speak, let's listen to those. (Video Playing) When you key into this, listen closely to the background. (Video Playing) So what you are hearing is the sound of the background, whether it's cars passing or the nature sounds, we do hear him start to draw a breath, that might work for us, or it might not. What we want to do is select a portion of this background ambient sound.

I am going to press R to select my Range tool, and just grab a little piece of that, about the same length of clip as this gap. Once I have selected that range, I am going to press Command+C to copy that portion of this clip. And now I can move my playhead down to this location and press Command+V to paste it. Now I don't need the gap clip, so select the gap clip and press Delete. Now let's see what this sounds like with the ambient clip inserted in between the two final clips.

(Video Playing) Paul: If people love their coffee trees, then the coffee trees are going to be taken -- Diana Weynand: Sounds pretty smooth. Let's turn on the clip above it and listen to it together. (Video Playing) Paul: If people love their coffee trees, then the coffee trees are going to be taken care -- Diana Weynand: Now I saw a little bit of a jump cut which means we simply need to extend the pouring beans, so that we don't see that. Let's listen to it one more time. (Video Playing) Paul: If people love their coffee trees, then the coffee trees are going to be taken care of.

Diana Weynand: Great resolution to a problem, gives you so many more options. You don't always have the pause you need when you make edits on these clips. So don't forget to consider the option of adding a pause from a different location. There are so many opportunities to remind your viewers about how great your story is even through ambient sound. So never stop looking for ways to improve your story until you actually export it as its own independent movie file.

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This video is part of

Image for Effective Storytelling with Final Cut Pro X
Effective Storytelling with Final Cut Pro X

39 video lessons · 11870 viewers

Diana Weynand
Author

 
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  1. 5m 54s
    1. Welcome
      1m 20s
    2. Using the exercise files
      4m 34s
  2. 16m 21s
    1. Exploring different types of storytellers
      7m 9s
    2. Identifying story elements
      5m 9s
    3. Finding the essence of the story
      4m 3s
  3. 15m 6s
    1. Organizing footage into folders
      5m 29s
    2. Creating a disk image as a contained workspace
      4m 51s
    3. Importing folders and stills as keyword collections
      4m 46s
  4. 22m 52s
    1. Adding keywords to make clips accessible
      3m 33s
    2. Using favorite tags to call clips into action
      7m 16s
    3. Making notes to capture observations
      4m 1s
    4. Performing a complex search
      2m 28s
    5. Prepping clips for editing
      5m 34s
  5. 28m 47s
    1. Finding the meat of the clips
      5m 11s
    2. Don't be puzzled over your first edit
      4m 27s
    3. Creating project versions and developing story diversity
      5m 16s
    4. Putting story threads in order
      7m 25s
    5. Sculpting the story within the timeline
      6m 28s
  6. 46m 5s
    1. Trimming distractions from a story
      6m 48s
    2. Compounding thoughts into one primary story project
      9m 52s
    3. Evaluating the project for story content and pacing
      7m 1s
    4. Fine-tuning the edits in a project
      7m 36s
    5. Refining the primary sound bed
      7m 55s
    6. Organizing separate story segments into independent storylines
      6m 53s
  7. 24m 11s
    1. Storyboarding a narrative script using placeholders
      7m 22s
    2. Recording a narration track to explore script ideas
      4m 40s
    3. Changing pitch in a temporary narration track to identify different characters
      5m 27s
    4. Adding sound effects to create depth
      6m 42s
  8. 41m 2s
    1. Embellishing the story with cutaways to B-roll footage
      9m 3s
    2. Finessing cutaways to enhance the story
      5m 3s
    3. Editing and arranging a still-image storyline
      6m 22s
    4. Applying the Ken Burns effect to still images
      6m 33s
    5. Altering your story's "look" using the Color Board
      8m 4s
    6. Applying effects to enhance story elements
      5m 57s
  9. 28m 57s
    1. Retiming to lengthen or shorten music and clips
      6m 48s
    2. Adding freeze frames to end or start sections
      6m 40s
    3. Video finishing touches
      8m 6s
    4. Audio finishing touches
      7m 23s
  10. 1m 7s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 7s

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