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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.
Here we have our OMF file and a video reference movie imported. All is in sync, and it's working great. Now it's time to begin our audio work. In this movie we'll go over the first steps. We will try to take the audio out of its original OMF tracks and get them into your pre-made audio for video template. The first thing I always do before anything else is to duplicate all of the original OMF tracks, lock them, and hide them. That way I will always have the original OMF tracks to go back to, in case something slides out of sync. To do this, I am going to select all the tracks, right-click on any one of them, duplicate them--and I am going to keep all of this data as I duplicate.
Then with these duplicate tracks I am going to select all of the regions. I am going to type Command+L to lock. That will be Ctrl+L for windows users. And then I am going to hide the tracks, again right clicking on any one of the tracks and saying Hide and Make Inactive. That way they will be hidden, and they won't use any DSP power as you are working. The next step is to import your customized post-production template. We made one together in the movie called "Setting up your Pro Tools session for video." So let's go up to File > Import > Session Data, and we are going to choose, in our Exercise files, under 03_03, our A4V template.ptf.
Click Open, and it is going to give you a warning that the source session time is earlier than the current start time. That's fine. We are not doing anything with the timeline. We are just bringing in track from our template. Click OK and here we have our Import Session Data dialog. This should look familiar because it was the same dialog box that we saw when we imported an OMF, only the Source Properties up at the top left are different since we are looking at a session and not an OMF. So what we are going to do here is we not going to worry about any of the media options, we are just going to take tracks. So click down here and select All Tracks.
For Track Data to Import, we are going to include All data. That way we will import things like track colors that we made in our original template. Click OK and our whole template comes in, including all of the routing. So up at the top we've got our original OMF, and below that we have got our track template. One organizational thing I like to do is to put the video and the video reference in between our original OMF and our template. That way we have a visual barrier and we can know which tracks are OMF tracks and which tracks are our template tracks.
I am also going to mute the video reference track for now. Now it's time to organize. Our job here is to go through and listen to every region and every sound from the original OMF and place it into the appropriate tracks from our postproduction template. That way the right sounds will already be bussed to the appropriate stem output. Let's take a look at one of these regions here. I am going to click on these top two tracks here. And we'll see that it looks like we have some doubled up tracks. As you start working with OMF material, you'll probably notice that you get duplicates from the original video editor.
So you'll need to make sure that you're not bringing two of the same thing down into your post-production template. This is the big part of breaking out the OMF into your template. One easy tip to help you check this is to go into the Options menu and change your Solo Mode, instead of Latch where you can listen to two things at once soloed, to X-OR, which cancels the previous solo. That only allows you to solo one track at a time. So I can solo this track and listen to it. (inaudible speech) Solo the next track and listen to it. (inaudible speech) Sounds the same, but is it? You have to be careful here, because we might want to take across two different files if one was a lavalier and one was a boom.
One way to check if it's really the same thing is to zoom way in on the timeline and look at the waveform. I am going to make these tracks median to double-check this, so I can see it better, and I am going to zoom out a little bit on the waveform height. Now you can see here, it looks like it's identical. There's no variation between the top waveform and the bottom waveform. This is a clue that this really is the same material doubled. Now I want to show you another way to check this, and that's to bring something like this onto a stereo track.
So I am going to take the grabber tool, select both of these, and I am going to drag it down to a stereo track. As I drag these regions down, I am going to hold a helpful key command, which is the Ctrl button on a Mac and the Windows button on a PC. That will ensure that it doesn't move from left to right as I drag it down. It will stay in sync. So I am just going to drag this down to an available stereo track, like this FX.ST1 track. Now I want to use the help of a plug-in called PhaseScope to check if this is truly a mono file or stereo file.
Go into my Inserts > multichannel plug-in. Phase Scope is under Sound Field. This plug-in actually shows us a PhaseScope, which helps us check if it's mono or stereo. Let's see what this region looks like on the PhaseScope. We saw a vertical line. That's an indication that it really is not a truly stereo file. Just to see what a stereo file would look like on the PhaseScope, I am going to drag one in from the Finder, and we can check it out. And here I have a stereo file that I can bring into Pro Tools.
I am just going to drag it right into stereo track. So this was recorded with a stereo pair of microphones, and it represents what a stereo region should look like if it was truly stereo on the PhaseScope. Whenever we see that scattered display, it means that it has a true left/right content, as opposed to the straight line from this multi-mono file. Once we are done assessing that, we are going to grab this region, I am going to Ctrl+Drag it back up to its original OMF, and from here we'd want to bring this into a dialog track.
So what we are going to do is grab the first region, include the second half of it, and Ctrl+Drag this down into our DX1 track. The other one we are not going to use since it's the same thing. So we are just going to Command+M, Ctrl+M on a Windows system, and mute that track for now. So for the rest of the OMF we are going to go through each of these regions, assess what it is, make sure it's not a duplicate, and drag it down to our template. So, here's what we will see when we are done. We will see a bunch of muted regions that we didn't use because they were doubled in the original OMF tracks, and we will see that we have pulled down the regions to the appropriate tracks.
We have got dialog regions in our dialog tracks. And we've got ambience that was recorded on set in our FX production tracks. At this point, I want to make sure we didn't forget anything in our original OMFs. It looks like we have got everything. Now we can go ahead and right-click and also hide these OMF tracks. As you can see, our work is done. We've broken out the original OMF into our template. Along the way, we listened to every production sound element, which is a good place to be, because now you are even that much more familiar with the sounds you are going to be working with as you finish this project.
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