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Creating fades to smooth out audio edits

From: Audio for Film and Video with Pro Tools

Video: Creating fades to smooth out audio edits

Fades and crossfades are huge helpers we can use as we smooth over the transitions in our dialog tracks. But before we use any fades, let's look at our default fade preferences. Go to Pro Tools > Preferences and in the Editing tab we have our Default Fade Settings. Let's take a look at the Crossfade, for example. By default, Pro Tools sets it up as an Equal Gain crossfade. Actually, what we want to be using mostly in post-production is an Equal Power crossfade. On an Equal Power crossfade, the midpoint attenuates 3 dBs, and we should use this for crossing two regions that contain separate material.

Creating fades to smooth out audio edits

Fades and crossfades are huge helpers we can use as we smooth over the transitions in our dialog tracks. But before we use any fades, let's look at our default fade preferences. Go to Pro Tools > Preferences and in the Editing tab we have our Default Fade Settings. Let's take a look at the Crossfade, for example. By default, Pro Tools sets it up as an Equal Gain crossfade. Actually, what we want to be using mostly in post-production is an Equal Power crossfade. On an Equal Power crossfade, the midpoint attenuates 3 dBs, and we should use this for crossing two regions that contain separate material.

There may be a time when we use Equal Gain crossfades, but we really only want to use them when we are cutting two sections on the same piece of audio, fading and overlapping the same sound. It attenuates 6 dBs at the midpoint and prevents any unwanted increase in volume at the cut. So let's change that back to Equal Power, and we will change our fade in and our fade out to Equal Power as well. Let me hit OK. Now to get the most out of your fades, you have to memorize the following key commands: D, F, and G. Let me show you how these work.

If I make a selection over two regions, even across separate tracks, I can hit the F button and it automatically creates an Equal Power crossfade based on the default fade type we just set. The D and the G keys come in handy when you're fading in and out of a region. So if I go to the beginning of this region I want to fade in, I set the cursor at the point I want to fade in to, and I type D. It does an Equal Power fade in. Same with the end of regions. If I go to a region I want to fade end out of, type the cursor into that region where I want to start the fade, type G, and it does an automatic Equal Power fade out.

Now if you do want to change to an Equal Gain crossfade, you can. Just use the grabber tool and double-click on a fade, and then you get back into the Fades dialog box and you can change it to Equal Gain, if you want. Now I want to show you another handy technique while dialog editing. When you're using your nice room tone to cut into a particular spot, you can use a special clipboard paste command called Paste Special. So, for example, here in this region we have got a little breath we need to take out. Let's solo this. (Character: We're losing one of the best--) So let's take out that breath, and it will leave a gap there.

But we can fill that with room tone. So let me zoom out and grab a bunch of our room tone, which is down in our Edit track, and I don't need to worry about how much I am grabbing. I am just going to grab more than I would need. So I select that much, type C to copy it to our clipboard, and let me go back up to that gap. So there is a gap there. So with the Special Paste command, I can just select over the boundary and use Edit > Paste Special > Repeat to Fill Selection.

It will actually just size the room tone on my clipboard to fill this gap. If it's too long, it will shorten it. If it's too short, it will actually repeat it. This one is probably going to be too long, so I will show you what this looks like. So there, it just fit it to fill the gap. Now, the next thing I want to do, again, using our fades that we just learned, select, a little selection between the two, after crossfade, and again on the other side, after crossfade, and we have a seamless fill. (Character: Expenses. We're losing one of the--) So what happens if we want a paste longer than our selection? Let's say I needed to paste room tone in to fill this whole area here.

I will go back to Edit > Paste Special. It's also Option+Command+V, Alt+Ctrl+V. In this case, Pro Tools asks us to put batch fades because it has to repeat the room tone twice, maybe three times, to fill that gap. So again, let's choose Equal Power, and five milliseconds works. So we will hit OK, and what it did is it pasted it in there and did a crossfade where it needed to repeat. Again, remember, repeating room tone can be dangerous, so watch out for repeating sounds.

One last thing I wanted to show you is when you're nudging. Say you have piece of fill like we have here and you have fades on either side. You can still use your Plus and Minus keys to nudge this room tone around. I am going to set my Nudge value to quarter frame. You can see as you're nudging, the fade will actually lengthen and shorten to compensate as you nudge your piece of audio around. Another cool trick to know is to hold Ctrl+Plus or Ctrl+Minus. This actually doesn't move the audio from left to right, but it moves the contents inside a region.

Much like a slip edit in Pro Tools, this technique slips the internal content of your region without changing its location and time. It's perfect for finding room tone without artifacts in a region. So, if I hold Ctrl and I hit plus or minus, it's hard to see because there is not a lot of waveforms to look at, but what it's actually doing is moving the contents of the region inside without moving it left or right. As you've seen, good solid transitions between our tracks are essential. Now we can quickly use fades to make those transitions seamless.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Audio for Film and Video with Pro Tools
Audio for Film and Video with Pro Tools

51 video lessons · 8841 viewers

Scott Hirsch
Author

 
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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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