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In this course, professional audio engineer Scott Hirsch shows how to create an evocative sound mix for a film or video, built from basic audio collected during the shoot and transformed into a final mix using Pro Tools 9. This course shows how to set up and optimize a Pro Tools session template for projects with unique requirements, record Foley and ADR audio, layer sound effects, perform corrections such as noise reduction and pitch shifting, mix for stereo and 5.1 surround sound, and finally, how to format and deliver the finalized mix, whether destined for DVD, movie theater, broadcast, or the web.
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.
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