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Audio Post Workflow with Final Cut Pro X and Pro Tools
Illustration by John Hersey

Using crossfades effectively


From:

Audio Post Workflow with Final Cut Pro X and Pro Tools

with Scott Hirsch

Video: Using crossfades effectively

One of the most powerful ways to smooth out your audio is to make sure transitions between audio clips are as seamless as possible. In this movie we'll look at how to use Fades and Crossfades to smooth out these transitions in Pro Tools. It's an unwritten rule that for audio no clip should start or stop without at least a small fade. Without the small fades, even if they're imperceptible to the ear, you're in danger of pops and clicks that can occur between edits. First, let's open up Preferences to set up our default Fade settings.

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Audio Post Workflow with Final Cut Pro X and Pro Tools
57m 55s Intermediate Jun 21, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Transferring audio from Apple Final Cut Pro X to Avid Pro Tools and back can be a tricky endeavor when Final Cut Pro X doesn't support OMF transfers. But X2 Pro Audio Convert is a program that can make this exchange quick and easy. In this course, Scott Hirsch demonstrates how to transfer audio utilizing X2Pro Audio—an invaluable workflow designed to help optimize and finish the audio of your Final Cut Pro video project.. He imports the audio into Pro Tools and then demonstrates how to make a Pro Tools template for future transfer projects. The course also includes some key EQ and noise reduction techniques that can take your audio for video projects to the next level. The final chapters show how to mix down the audio and export it back to Final Cut Pro X.

Topics include:
  • Preparing the Final Cut Pro timeline for export
  • Exporting audio
  • Importing audio in Pro Tools
  • Choosing sources and assigning tracks
  • Adding sound effects and music
  • Enhancing the audio with crossfades and noise reduction
  • Exporting audio from Pro Tools
Subjects:
Audio + Music Video Audio for Video Post Production
Software:
Final Cut Pro Pro Tools
Author:
Scott Hirsch

Using crossfades effectively

One of the most powerful ways to smooth out your audio is to make sure transitions between audio clips are as seamless as possible. In this movie we'll look at how to use Fades and Crossfades to smooth out these transitions in Pro Tools. It's an unwritten rule that for audio no clip should start or stop without at least a small fade. Without the small fades, even if they're imperceptible to the ear, you're in danger of pops and clicks that can occur between edits. First, let's open up Preferences to set up our default Fade settings.

Go to Pro Tools > Preferences and click on the Editing tab. Here you see the Default Fade Settings for Fade In, Fade Out, and Crossfade. I've found that for audio postproduction, Equal Power fades work better than Equal Gain, especially when fading to clips of a similar material together. So let's change all three of these to be all Equal Power fades. Now all of our default fades will be equal power fades.

Now back in the Edit window, you can make fades in a couple different ways. If you use a Smart tool on the top left or right edge of a clip and pull it out you can fade in or out of the clip. While I am using a smart tool at the bottom of two adjoining clips lets you pull out a crossfade between the clips. For more control you can select over the area you wish to fade and type Command+F--you can make your settings and adjust the fade and hit OK to create the fade.

If you want to trim the length of an already- made fade, you can use the Trimmer tool to do that. If the Smart tool is active, the Trimmer tool appears as you approach the middle edge of clip. You can get back into the Fades dialog box by double-clicking the fade area with the Grabber or Hand tool, which appears in the Smart tools close to the bottom of the clip. Selecting a fade and typing the Delete key gets rid of the fade altogether.

When you have a bunch of clips stacked together as in the BD interview here, you may want to simply make sure they're no pops and clicks between the edits. For this kind of operation you can use Batch Fades. As long as your selection covers over more than one clip, as you're doing here, when you type Command+F you get the Batch Fades dialog box. Here we can choose the type of Fade Pro Tools will make between all regions in the selection. Let's choose Equal Power, 3 milliseconds, and uncheck Adjust existing fades to leave any previous fades alone.

This should help smooth out any edits between clips, and since these fades are happening so fast you won't hear them as audible volume changes over the cuts. Now that we've made them, if we zoom in really close you can see that there is tiny fades in between all these clips. Fades are a very useful tool in the Pro Tools arsenal, and it's not unusual to have at least a small fade on virtually every clip in the session to avoid pops and clicks. With the Batch Fades feature, this can be extremely fast. Definitely take the time to know and use fades and use them to enhance the smooth out the audio for your video.

There are currently no FAQs about Audio Post Workflow with Final Cut Pro X and Pro Tools.

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