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Advanced mix automation

From: Audio for Film and Video with Pro Tools

Video: Advanced mix automation

When you are working in HD or with a complete production toolkit, you get a few advanced automation control features. While some of these are more centered around control surfaces, in this movie, we will go over some of the advanced features that can have an impact on mixing audio for video. Write on Stop is one of these advanced automation features. You can use it in your audio for video session to find a good sweet spot for music while you're moving the fader around, and then when you hit Stop it will write that automation setting to either before and after your location, from where you are to the end of the session, from where you are to the beginning of the session, or to the previous or next breakpoint.

Advanced mix automation

When you are working in HD or with a complete production toolkit, you get a few advanced automation control features. While some of these are more centered around control surfaces, in this movie, we will go over some of the advanced features that can have an impact on mixing audio for video. Write on Stop is one of these advanced automation features. You can use it in your audio for video session to find a good sweet spot for music while you're moving the fader around, and then when you hit Stop it will write that automation setting to either before and after your location, from where you are to the end of the session, from where you are to the beginning of the session, or to the previous or next breakpoint.

So, let me show you how that would work. We are going to set it to Write for the whole length of the session before and after. So, this would be kind of like an initial pass when you're trying to find just globally where the music should sit. The next thing you want to do is set this track into Latch. And what I am going to do is hit Play and I will move the fader until I find the sweet spot where I think it's sitting the best. And you will see once I hit Stop it will write that location to the whole session for this automation playlist. (Engines revving) So, finding the stop where I want to put it and let's say I like the volume to be there.

Now, when I hit Stop, it writes that location to before and after where we stopped the playback. I blew away any automation that was there before, so this would be kind of an initial thing just to get your bearings right and it does write a breakpoint. So, now that location and that position of your fader is written before and after. Remember you can write it just from where you are to the end if you want and not affect things before, or you can write it from where you are to beginning and not affect things after, or just to the previous or next breakpoint.

Let me undo that and so that's Write on Stop. And you have to know you want to do that and you set your button whichever one you choose before you hit playback and it works that way. There is also Manual Write. For Manual Write, you have to actually select one of these options while playback is occurring. So, let's say you're playing back and you're moving the fader around and you say oh, I really like this spot. Then at that point you can click one of the Manual Write buttons after playback has already occurred, and when you hit Stop it will write out the automation for that session just like we did on Write on Stop.

So, let me demonstrate that. So, let's say again we are still in Latch mode, but we are playing and we are moving the fader around and we like this position, for example. Now, I say oh, I want to write this to the whole session. So, I click Manual Write and when I hit Stop it gives me a little warning that it's going to affect all automation moves. I say OK and it writes that to the beginning and end. So, these two are kind of related. Just one is kind of premeditated thing where you know you want to do this.

The second one is, Manual Write is when you are kind of moving a fader around, then you say I would like to write this spot to the whole session and you can click these buttons after playback has occurred. So, I am going to hit Undo and we are going to go over a different type of advanced automation called Trim Automation. Trim Automation allows you to use previously recorded automation and trim their values up or down in real time while you maintain your original automation moves. So, to go into Trim mode, we can click in here where the other automation modes are and we just select this last option here, Trim.

So, trim works in conjunctions. So, now we are in Trim Latch mode for example. Or we can be in Trim Write mode for example. And you know you're in Trim mode when you see a yellow line running across your track. So again, Trim mode lets us just trim the moves that are already there. So, let's say we like these moves. I made these earlier and I like how it fades out. I like how it gets a little louder here in this middle section. But once I started adding effects in, I realized that the music is a little too loud and it all needed to come down a little bit, but I want to maintain these moves.

We can do this if we are saying Write Trim mode. Like over this section, I wanted this section to come down for example. So, I'm in Write mode and if I'm in Write Trim mode, I'm able to pull my fader down and when I hit Play, Pro Tools will take the existing moves and my new trim value moves and coalesce them into a composite, which included my old moves but it will be a little quieter. One way I like to work in Trim mode is up in the Preferences here I am going to set a certain setting. And this is under the Mixing tab in Automation.

On the right-hand side here, see this Coalesce Trim Automation. I like to set this to On Exiting Trim Mode. That actually shows me what it's going to be like and it doesn't actually coalesce my trim that I made with the existing automation until I leave Trim mode. I'm going to set it to that option. It's not set there by default and we will take a look at how that works. So, in Write Trim mode, again I can tell I am in Write Trim because I can see a yellow line and my volume fader is actually yellow as well. The yellow line represents what's called your delta value.

That's how much change is occurring. If I move this down as we are playing back, as soon as the pass is over we will see a blue line. And that's the composite of the original and our delta value, so how much we've trimmed it, and that will give us kind of a preview of the view of what we're going to get when we leave trim mode since we decided to coalesce after we leave trim mode. So, let's take a pass at it and see what happens. (Engines revving) Okay, so we zoom in here so we can really see what's going on.

I brought down the trim value to a lower point during this section, and again, the yellow is my delta value. That's how much it lowered. Now, the blue line which you can see right above the yellow line, that's where the composite result would be when my original move combined with my trim move is going to end up. And so that looks like it's what I wanted. I just wanted the whole thing to be lowered, but I wanted to keep the original breakpoints. So, now as soon as I leave Trim mode, just uncheck it here in the pulldown menu, it coalesces and my trim has been made.

That whole section maintained the original breakpoints, but it's all trimmed down by a certain amount. So, the last type of advanced automation I want to go over is called snapshot automation. And this way we can actually go ahead and just turn our automation to off and we can set up some values that we like just free form. So, we can just kind of playback and say oh I like the volume of the music to be there and I wanted to actually take the pans a little less wide.

I can set it up however I want over a whole section and then as long as I select that section, and say it's just this part of the scene, I can enable the parameters that I want to write as just a global snapshot. So, in this case, the Volume and Pan. So I want this Volume here and the Pan there for this whole section. Remember my Automation pulldown menu and everything is just turned off, so I can move these wherever I want. But even though it's turned off, I have set my parameters. I can go to the Edit pulldown menu, go into Automation, and say Write to All Enabled and that'll do a snapshot automation. That will write my current settings to any enabled parameters, in this case Volume and Pan. And there you go.

It just quickly writes those moves to that location. So, that's snapshot automation and that's a really useful thing if you wanted to just take it scene by scene and set up initial parameters throughout the session. Because precise control over automation is such an important feature to have on any audio for video mix, these advanced features that you get with the complete production toolkit or HD, they open up even more possibilities for control and most importantly the speed at which you are working.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Audio for Film and Video with Pro Tools
Audio for Film and Video with Pro Tools

51 video lessons · 8827 viewers

Scott Hirsch
Author

 
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  1. 6m 13s
    1. Welcome
      1m 3s
    2. Using the exercise files
      40s
    3. Using this course with Pro Tools 10
      1m 57s
    4. Relinking audio files
      2m 33s
  2. 18m 37s
    1. Understanding the new audio for video features in Pro Tools 9
      5m 17s
    2. Exploring the hardware requirements for Pro Tools 9
      5m 19s
    3. Understanding the audio components of a finished video
      5m 22s
    4. Understanding the audio production workflow
      2m 39s
  3. 25m 10s
    1. Understanding video formats, SMPTE timecode rates, NTSC, and PAL
      6m 21s
    2. Understanding video formats, codecs, and pull-up/pull-down
      5m 16s
    3. Setting up your Pro Tools session for video
      8m 44s
    4. Exporting OMF and AAF files
      4m 49s
  4. 32m 14s
    1. Importing OMF and AAF files
      8m 8s
    2. Importing and the DigiBase browser
      4m 0s
    3. Conforming the OMF import to your template
      6m 51s
    4. Setting up groups and windows
      6m 2s
    5. Spotting film and using markers
      7m 13s
  5. 52m 55s
    1. Organizing the dialog tracks
      5m 0s
    2. Optimizing the dialog in the first pass
      4m 30s
    3. Using room tone
      4m 10s
    4. Creating fades to smooth out audio edits
      5m 4s
    5. Understanding sound effects, ambiences, and backgrounds
      7m 12s
    6. Sweetening and hard effects
      6m 52s
    7. Processing tips for sound effects
      8m 46s
    8. Bringing emotion to the mix with music tracks
      5m 33s
    9. Leveraging clip-based gain in Pro Tools 10
      2m 51s
    10. Exploring AudioSuite enhancements in Pro Tools 10
      2m 57s
  6. 15m 29s
    1. Preparing the session for foley and ADR recording
      9m 19s
    2. Recording ADR and editing with VocALign LE
      6m 10s
  7. 45m 5s
    1. Noise-reducing hums, rumbles, and buzzes
      8m 11s
    2. Eliminating crackles and digital clicks
      5m 30s
    3. Taming plosives and sibilance
      6m 10s
    4. Reducing broadband noise
      9m 26s
    5. Conforming to video changes
      8m 36s
    6. Pitch shifting for effect or utility, TC expansion
      7m 12s
  8. 56m 19s
    1. Setting up for stereo mixing
      5m 11s
    2. Calibrating levels using an SPL meter
      7m 2s
    3. Mixing with automation
      11m 4s
    4. Advanced mix automation
      8m 0s
    5. Automating plug-in parameters
      9m 22s
    6. Mixing with reverb
      7m 20s
    7. Ducking techniques
      8m 20s
  9. 42m 4s
    1. Setting up a surround mix template
      11m 14s
    2. Calibrating for 5.1 surround mixing and bass management
      9m 2s
    3. Mixing and spatial techniques for 5.1 surround
      14m 9s
    4. Downmixing, encoding, and using Neyrinck plug-ins
      3m 38s
    5. Automating techniques for 5.1 surround mixes
      4m 1s
  10. 10m 6s
    1. Print mastering and stem mixes
      5m 47s
    2. Mastering delivery levels and dynamics
      4m 19s
  11. 5m 29s
    1. Backing up your final project
      5m 29s
  12. 18s
    1. Goodbye
      18s

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