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Music tracks are a key component to any audio for video project and part of our three main mixing stems. A lot of the time, music will come in as temp music from popular CDs from the picture edit. While this provides a soundtrack to edit to, it's not always possible to get the rights. Therefore it's called temp music. It does, however, put us sound people in a bind, because we're left with trying to fit music we do have the rights to in the edit originally intended for the temp music. Here's an example. After removing the temp score, we secured the rights to this drumbeat for the motorcycle race.
Let me solo the track and let's take a listen. (drums playing) As you can see, the intro part doesn't quite match up with the beginning of the race, and let's even check the end to make sure it works. (drums playing) So this music might sound right in context, but its timing doesn't quite match up.
So our job here as a music editor in this case is to make this music work in time with the track. So here are some tips to making it work. First of all, find a beginning, a middle, and an end to hit. As you can see, I've already dropped some markers in here of significant events. The music begin should be about this point. The race should start about this point in the video, and the end should hit right about when the crash is about to start. So we are going to do just some simple editing to this music track and see if we can make it work.
We are going to move the start point over just a tiny bit, and we are going to take the Selector tool and make a quick edit right before the drumbeat starts to get faster. I am going to use b to make an edit there, and let's see if we can move that over a teeny bit, so it will start right at that second marker I dropped. And then the last hit we want to happen right when the crash is about to occur. So here we are going to have to get a little tricky and kind of make an edit right there before that last beat.
I used b again to make that edit. And using the Grabber tool, I'll pull this over, and we might have to do a couple of crossfades to make this work. So using the g key, fade out and maybe a quick fade-in here, using the d key, and let's see if this works. I'll play it with the whole track. (motorcycles revving) (drums playing) (Vietnamese dialogue) So that intro seems to be working.
Let's check the middle section. (motorcycles revving) (drums playing) Okay, that works pretty well, and let's check the end to make sure that works. (motorcycles revving) (cymbals playing) Good! We have the hits in all the right places now. So in this case we got pretty lucky. We were able to edit it and it worked. Another approach we could've attempted would have been to time-stretch the audio out so it's a little longer.
When you do any kind of time-stretching to audio files, the sound quality really goes out the window. Another way you might be dealing with music in post-production is with MIDI tracks. A lot of composers write temp scores using score-editing softwares like Sibelius or Finale. Some use Logic or Digital Performer to compose. In all these cases, you could be given MIDI tracks to import into your Pro Tools session. MIDI features work pretty handily along with video in Pro Tools, and they're much easier to edit than audio files in terms of stretching. Here I have two MIDI files.
I am going to mute this music track, and I am going to make the MIDI files active again by right-clicking on them. So these MIDI files also contain a drumbeat, but I just want to show you how easy it is to work with MIDI in Pro Tools. Again, they are kind of out of sync like our original audio track was. (drums playing) So let's watch the end and we can see how it's out of sync. (cymbals playing) Okay, so in this case, instead of editing like we did with the audio, we could actually use the Timestretch Trimmer tool.
That's the Trimmer tool with the little clock in it, and because we're dealing with MIDI notes and not actual audio files, we should be able to time-stretch this out and we won't have any audio artifacting, and it should land somewhat in sync. Let's try it. Hold Shift and pull out both of these tracks a little bit, somewhere around there. Now let's see if that works in time. (drums playing) So there you can see MIDI is very flexible, and you can just seamlessly stretch it or shrink it with the Time Trimmer and you don't lose any audio quality like you would with the audio file.
Another thing you can do with MIDI tracks in Pro Tools 9 is print out a score. So if you really liked how this is working, you could actually open the Score window, which is in our Windows menu, called the Score Editor. So we have a lot of rest, but eventually we get to the music, and here are those MIDI tracks presented as a musical score. Now if you wanted to print this out because you were going to have musicians perform this, it's pretty easy to do that. You can go up to File and go to Print Score, and you can actually have a written score to give to musicians to play this music.
As you can see here, there are some powerful tools for editing music to picture with Pro Tools.
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