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Let music editor and producer Skye Lewin show you a selection of audio editing techniques for cutting music to picture in this course on Pro Tools. He covers the basics of timecode, syncing a QuickTime movie with the Pro Tools timeline, alignment of music to picture, editing music, and editorial techniques that may require editing rights. The course also covers creating alternative edits, conforming edits, and exporting QuickTime movies for presentation.
When you're working on a project in TV or film, or in any other media, it's very possible that the picture will change after you've already created several edits and when that happens, you'll need to alter your music to match the new picture, and this is called conforming. So what we're going to look at now are a couple of ways that conforms can affect you. The first type of conform is a simple one. Perhaps the picture change was before or after your music cue. If it was before your cue and more footage was added, your music cue would need to be moved later to match up to the picture that it was originally cut to.
If footage was deleted, that scene would then be moved earlier and your music would need to be moved earlier in order to play properly over the scene again. What we're going to do now is look at an example of a scene that has been shifted later so that we need to conform our music edit to play in the proper place. Let's zoom out all the way. Option+A or Alt+A. view our session. First, make a new bin track to save our edit. We're going to close the video window with Command+9 or Ctrl+9 using the 9 from the numeric keypad. I am going to create a new track, Shift+Command+N or Shift+Ctrl+N, and using Command+Right Arrow or Ctrl+Right Arrow, we are going to choose Stereo and click Create.
Now we get our Audio 1 track here. Let's move this to the bottom, rename it BIN 4, and deactivate the track. Now let's go back to the last edit we made, turn off our Volume graph with the minus key, select the edit, and Ctrl+ Click and drag down onto our a new bin. If you want to be consistent, you can Ctrl+Down Arrow to shrink the track to match the height of all the others. Now what we want to do is import the new video file, and this new video file is an example of what you might see in a conform.
So go to File > Import > Video and select Clip 2 from your Video Files folder. If you're asked to remove the previous movie from the session, click OK. You can choose Session Start if you want, and also make sure you Import Audio from File. Click OK and choose wherever you want to save the guide tracks. I am going to choose the Guide Tracks folder again and save those, and we now have a new video file in our session with a new audio track.
So let's spot this like we did before: F3 and click the file. We can type in the first frame of the picture, which is exactly the same as it was in the other video file. We'll spot the picture there, and we can also spot the audio to the same place. We'll go back into Grid mode. If you want, you can lock the picture file. If you want to change the view settings like we did before, you can do that. Ctrl+Command+Left Arrow or Ctrl+Start+ Left Arrow and Ctrl+Down.
Now let's make sure we mute the audio from the old clip so we only hear the audio from the new clip playing. Just by looking at the two tracks, you can tell in the new picture file the sound and picture appear to be later. So let's just take a quick look by scrolling across the track. And you can see, where our Picture Start marker was, the picture no longer starts. The picture now starts much later. In fact, in this case it looks like it starts about five seconds later. And we can check that by just zooming in and nudging back and forwards.
So we can see now that the first frame of picture is five seconds after where it used to be. So, in this example we're imagining that five seconds has been inserted in the picture before this scene. So what we need to do is move our music that we already edited five seconds later to now match with the new picture file. There are several ways that you can move your music or any audio later within a Pro Tools session. One is just simply select, grab, and move, but that's really slow and very inaccurate, so we're not going to do that.
My favorite way to do this is using the Shift key command in Pro Tools, which is Option+H or Alt+H, and this brings up the Shift window. You can choose to shift cues earlier or later. In this case we would want to move them later. You can choose to shift cues by amounts of Bars & Beats, Minutes & Seconds, SMPTE timecode, Feet and Frames, or Samples. So in our case we want to move it five seconds later, which appears to already have been entered. So we can type in our exact amount if we want and just like the other timecode entry fields in Pro Tools, whatever numbers you type in will cycle from right to left.
So if you make a mistake, you can just continue typing from the start again. So now that we've entered our desired offset, you can click OK and the cue has been shifted later. So if we want to move batches of several at a time, we can just select three at a time--Option+H. It retains the last selection, and we can shift them all. In order to check and make sure this looks right, we can grab one of these. Ctrl+Option+Click and drag a copy of it up onto our main edit track, and let's watch it and make sure it looks like it's in the right sync.
(clip playing) (Male speaker: Man down, seventh floor.) [00:05:5.00] (music playing) (Male speaker: Subject is now armed.) And we know it's in the right sync because it's already hitting the right cut, and we already know, in our imagination, that there have been no changes within this cue. So using this Shift feature in Pro Tools is the simplest way to conform a cue when you simply need to shift it earlier or later to adjust to changes in picture.
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