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Audio for Film and Video with Pro Tools

Automating techniques for 5.1 surround mixes


From:

Audio for Film and Video with Pro Tools

with Scott Hirsch

Video: Automating techniques for 5.1 surround mixes

The first thing everybody wants to do when they mix in surround is to fly sounds around the room wildly. Once you realize that this accomplishes nothing more than making the audience sick, you will notice that some movement for key sounds across the surround speakers is useful. In this movie will talk about how to use glide automation to automate a sound in the surround channels. Let's take a listen to this clip here. You've got a motorcycle quickly rushing from the right of the screen to the left of the screen. (Zooommmm) So we're going to want to actually automate this in surround so it starts from kind of behind us to the right and moves across the screen to the front-left.
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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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Audio for Film and Video with Pro Tools
5h 9m Intermediate Jun 14, 2011 Updated Apr 04, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Understanding video formats, codecs, and timecode rates
  • Importing OMFs and AAFs into Pro Tools
  • Spotting film and using markers
  • Using room tone
  • Creating fades to smooth out audio edits
  • Sweetening and hard effects
  • Recording ADR and editing with VocALign LE
  • Editing out plosives, crackles, and hums
  • Mixing with automation and reverb
  • Calibrating for 5.1 surround mixing and bass management
  • Mastering delivery levels and dynamics
  • Understanding the Audio Suite enhancements in Pro Tools 10
Subjects:
Audio + Music Video Audio for Video Post Production
Software:
Pro Tools
Author:
Scott Hirsch

Automating techniques for 5.1 surround mixes

The first thing everybody wants to do when they mix in surround is to fly sounds around the room wildly. Once you realize that this accomplishes nothing more than making the audience sick, you will notice that some movement for key sounds across the surround speakers is useful. In this movie will talk about how to use glide automation to automate a sound in the surround channels. Let's take a listen to this clip here. You've got a motorcycle quickly rushing from the right of the screen to the left of the screen. (Zooommmm) So we're going to want to actually automate this in surround so it starts from kind of behind us to the right and moves across the screen to the front-left.

Here we're going to use glide automation to actually automate without the use of a control-panning joystick. Now if you have a surround-panning joystick, automating this move would be pretty easy. You can go into Touch mode here and you could watch this scene and move it from the rear right to the left really quickly. But this is a really fast move. So it might be hard to get it right. Here we're going to use glide automation to accomplish this task. So remember when you're automating something in surround you're controlling more than one axis. It's not just moving a left to right panner. You're actually controlling front axis, a rear axis, and a front/rear axis.

For a stereo source track, you have that on both the right side and the left side. There are actually six controls that are at play when you're trying to make an automation move. So drawing them in with a mouse isn't really practical either. This is where glide automation is useful. So let's get into it. Here I would make first a selection around this section. Then I'm going to automate. This allows us to make some default values so that anything down the line at the next region over here, anything before, won't be affected by this move we're about to make.

So I've made the selection around the region. I'm going to go up to Edit. I am going to say Automation > Write to All Enabled. So because the Pan automation is the only enabled parameter, Pro Tools just wrote some breakpoints for all six parameters before and after the region. Let's take a look at one of those. Let's just go to pan left, the front position and you'll see we have some breakpoints in there at either edge of our selection. So, again this just makes it so that it will return to its default value after we're done working here.

So next we want to get our in-points. So that's where we want to this pan move to start and I'm going to start at right before the sound starts, right here. So I'll just click into the track right where you want it to start and I'm going to move the automation parameter to the rear-right. That's where this sound is going to start. And I'm going to go back to Edit and say Automation > Write to All Enabled once again. So it's going to put a breakpoint in there to lock this position in. Next thing I'm going to do is step through this scene one frame at a time with the plus key on my numeric keypad.

You can see the motorcycle going by and right about here at the end once it's past the screen is where we would want the end of the move to be. So I've got our selector in there right at where it needs to be. Now I just need to move the panning parameter over to the front-left which is where we want to end up and at this point I'm going to go back to the Edit window > Automation instead of saying Write to All Enabled, this time I'm going to say Glide to All Enabled. So that'll glide a straight line from our original point to this point. So we have done that.

Now let's actually take a look. I have all six of our automation lanes actually hidden as automation playlists underneath this track. We can see that all these front rear, front rear for the left, and front rear and front rear for the right have all been moved via this glide automation altogether. So it saved us a lot of steps. You can see it glided from our original point to our end point. Let's take a listen to hear what this sounds like. (Zoooommm) As we listened, you could see that panner starting from the right and going to the left and you would hear it in surround going from the rear-right to the front-left.

(Zoooommm) So glide automation is a good way to carefully control your surround pan moves. You can use these tips to create complex surround mix moves even without a surround mixing panner.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Audio for Film and Video with Pro Tools.


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Q: This course was updated on 4/04/12. Can you tell me what changed?
A: This update was initiated when Avid released Pro Tools 10. It explains that this course can be taken with either Pro Tools 9 or 10 (the exercise files are compatible with both), and we also added movies that explore the enhanced clip-based gain and Audio Suite features in Pro Tools 10, both of which are useful when building a soundtrack.
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