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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.
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.
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