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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.
Crossfades are a very important part of any editing, and we're going to be using them fairly in depth in this course. Let's look at some of the preferences and options that we have with our crossfades. Let's look under the Setup menu > Preferences and under the Editing tab, we can find our Default Fade Settings. For the fade-in, I generally leave the default. If you want to change it, you can do so by toggling the check box or by using the left and right arrow. Let's click OK to leave this dialog. So now let's look at our Crossfade preferences. This is an equal gain crossfade, which is actually quite useful for most scenarios, but we may want to change that.
One way that I like to work is to change this to a customizable crossfade, which is already set for easy editing. So using the up or down arrows, we can change the link type to Equal Power or None. We can also edit the incoming and outgoing fades. Using Ctrl+Left and Ctrl+Right, we can change the outgoing fade type, and using Option or Alt, left or right, we can change the incoming fade type. I like to set my preference like this, because it allows me to quickly and easily edit the crossfade while I'm working. So if you want to leave it this way, feel free to do so; if not, set it how you like it and let's move on.
And the fade-out, this is also very practical, but using the left arrow, I often change it to this type of fade-out, because its sound more musical for long fade-outs. The other type of fade-out, the default, is quite useful as well, but for now I am going to set it here. So now we can close our Preferences, and let's look at a couple of other ways that we can customize our crossfades. So first, let's make a little cut in the audio file that's on our Edit 1 track. You do this with the Command+E or Ctrl+E key command or just the B key, if Command Focus is enabled.
And then we're going to make a selection around our edit and invoke the Crossfade command with Command+F or Ctrl+F. A pop-up window opens up with a default fade. Now if you want to change the Link type, you can do so by clicking the options, or you can also do so using the up and down arrow keys. If you want to change the outgoing and incoming fade types, you can do so using Ctrl, left and right arrows, or Option or Alt, left and right arrows. I am going to except this much like we did in the Preferences, to no Link type. I am going to leave my incoming fade as it is now, and I am going to change my outgoing fade so that it looks just like this. And when I hit OK, we're going to have a crossfade that looks just like what we specified, created across the edit.
Now let's make another small cut somewhere later in the region and make another selection around it, and let's try a different way of making a fade. This time, instead of using Command+F or Ctrl+F, just press F. This is going to enter a crossfade based on your default preferences, which we set earlier in the Pro Tools Preferences. Now if we want to try a third type of customization, let's make a third cut and another selection, and again, let's use Command+F or Ctrl+F to open the dialog, and now we can further edit our type of fade.
And the reason why I like to leave this as my default fade type is because I can now click and drag the beginnings or ends of any one of these fades to really fine-tune them and get a very custom fade. So perhaps I want the starts and ends of the fade-ins and fade-outs to be a little bit different than normal, and maybe I want a slightly different outgoing fade. I can just use those key commands to toggle it, get it exactly where I want it, and when I am ready, I press OK, and now I have a customized fade on that edit.
Another nice feature about crossfades in Pro Tools is that whenever you use Command+F or Ctrl+F to create a crossfade, if you use the same key command again, it will repeat the last crossfade that you made. So let's do one more example. We'll make one more cut, one more selection. Command+F or Ctrl+F will pop up and execute the same crossfade we just did. If you undo that and just press F instead, it's again going to enter just the crossfade that we've specified in our preferences. Let's undo these, since we don't need these in our session, zoom all the way back out with Option+A or Alt+A, and we'll look at one more unique feature in Pro Tools.
Let's say, for example, that we had several edits throughout the course of a track--and again, these are just quick rough, for example, we're not actually making a real edit here; we're just cutting and then reading. But lets make a couple of cuts in this track, and then let's select the entire thing which you can do by placing your cursor anywhere on the track, and using the key command Command+A or Ctrl+A to select everything on the track. If you press the F key like we did before to create a fade, it's going to fade in, fade out, and apply a crossfade to every single point in that selection.
So now we've just pressed the F key, and let's zoom in so we can take a look. So I am going to navigate with tabbing like we've done before, zoom in using the 4 key, and you can see the first fade-in and tab to the next sync point, tab to our first crossfade, tab to our second crossfade, third crossfade and our fade-out. And you can see that the fade-out is used from our preferences and the crossfades are used from the last crossfade we applied using Command+F or Ctrl+F. Now that we've seen that, let's undo, until those are all gone, since again, we don't need to keep those to move forward.
Now I am going to show you one last way to very quickly make a crossfade using the Smart tool. So let's zoom in, make a selection first, zoom in using the 4 key, and make a cut. And then if you place the Smart tool near the bottom right-hand corner of the outgoing region or the bottom left- hand corner of the incoming region, the cursor turns into a little Crossfade tool. You can see this box with what looks like a pyramid from the top. Using that tool, you can click and drag to stretch a fade. And if you want to work on fades that are outside the grid, at anytime just use the Command or Ctrl modifiers and release, and you've now created a crossfade.
So again, we don't need to keep these, so let's undo that and let's use Option+A or Alt+A to zoom all the way out. Now that we've gone through and learned most of our and maneuvering tools that we're going to need to use for the rest of this course, let's move on to the next chapter and start actually cutting some music.
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