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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 editing music in film and TV it's very common that you are going to make several edits of the same song, but it's also very common that you're going to edit several songs to the same scene. The reason that we'll do this is because the producer or the director may want to choose the best possible song to score that scene. Sometimes the first song is the best one and sometimes it's not. So let's import another song and cut a different song to this scene. First though, let's save the second edit we made of Leebock 2. Let's select the edit, hold down the Ctrl key, and click and drag the audio file down to our second BIN track. Just a reminder: when you hold the Ctrl key, it prevents you from accidentally slipping the edit out of sync.
So now I am going to save the session, and import via one of the methods we talked about before. I am going to use Shift+Command or Shift+Ctrl+I. I am going to choose the second song that we're using from our Example Music folder in the ELI_Session folder. This song Right Here, Right Now (Caukizzle Mix) by composer Simon Heselev, who also wrote Leebock 2, we're going to add this to our session and close-- Command or Ctrl+W--and we're going to add this to the Region List, so click OK. I am going to close the Memory Locations window, find the new song that we just imported, and bring it out into our Pro Tools timeline.
You can bring back up the Memory Locations window if you want. Let's quickly just have a listen. We're not going to listen to the whole song, but we'll just skip around, get a few sections of the song by looking at the waveforms to familiarize ourselves with it a little bit. Now if you do want to listen to the whole song, please feel free to do so. I am going to solo this track and have a listen. (music playing) Cool! So we can see here is about where the action is going to pick up.
I'm going to go ahead and make a sync point there, just as a reminder for myself. (music playing) Find a good spot near the start of this. I am going to make the Sync Point with Command+Comma or Ctrl+Comma, and we can-- (music playing) By the waveform we can kind of tell what's going on in the song, and we kind of know that this is all part of that groove. So we're going to skip ahead here and see what changes. (music playing) So that's a cool little break, and then it comes back in to the groove again but develops it a little further. (music playing) Yet another build, more of that.
(music playing) And we can see here is a big change coming up. (music playing) This could be a great break to use if we ever need a break in the song. And also, if you need an ending, this kind of material can make a great ending. Now I am going to listen to the end of this break getting back into the song. (music playing) Great! So this has got a lot of good action here.
Since I've already made a sync point, I may just want to make a cut in the audio file. That way I can remember right here is the next section. I mean I can see it as well, but by making a cut, it's really easy to find it again. Let's see what changes here. (music playing) Cool! Still cool beat, but it calms down a little bit from before, and then again at the very end let's take a listen. (music playing) So it's got a fade-out at the ending of the song.
Now let's look at assembling an edit that follows the same arc from what we built with the first song, but we can change things as needed to make it work better with this particular piece of music. So the first thing that we're going to want to try and do is start with a piece of music that has a great groove kicking in right as that door opens and Eli comes running down the stairway. So first, let's locate to the door open marker; .1., and second, let's snap our region to that point by using the sync marker. And again that's Ctrl+Shift and then clicking the region with the Grabber tool.
So you can see we've lined up the region that we marked before with the sync point to that point. So we can take a quick look and see what this looks like. (music playing) So that works. That kicks in at the right spot. And we want to start our intro now and work on our intro right away. So let's see what we can do to shorten this intro up and make it start in the right place. (music playing) So, it's a pretty long intro.
We may want to just start it right with the beat after that first line of dialog. So let's see what that looks like. I am going to cut off the rest of the intro and play from our Picture Start marker with the edit track un-soloed, just so I can hear this in context. (Male Speaker: Man down, seventh floor.) So I think that will work. We're going to have to mix it a little bit so that it plays better with the dialog. We're going to get into that in the next chapter, but for now let's just get the alignment of the edit right. (music playing) So that does work, but it is a little bit harsh.
So we may want to consider perhaps fading in up to that point. Let's see what that sounds like. (music playing) Interesting! We'll definitely need to mix this to make it work if we do end up putting a fade-in on it. So for now let's leave it how we had it, with a short intro, and we'll come back to this intro when we work on the mix. (music playing) Cool! So we have a snare hit in the music naturally like when Eli comes through the door on the third floor.
So we can take advantage of that in our editing. We'll probably want to change the music there as well. So let's see if we can find another spot where the music can either pick up in intensity or change when Eli comes through that door. (music playing) So we could use this. (music playing) And introduce the synth there. That's one way we could it. Let's see what that sounds like. (music playing) Okay. Here we go! That's our downbeat. Let me find a good zero crossing, cut it. And here I have made an edit on that snare beat.
(music playing) We're actually going to be pasting this on the downbeat after the snare beat to keep the music in time. So let's look at that, find the similar zero crossing, and listen to what we have with this edit. (music playing) So that works in the sense that we've got the synth now coming in on top of the groove as Eli comes through the door, but I did hear a cool little snare riff in the music leading up to that.
So we may want to use that in our edit. I am going to drag out to beginning of this region, remove the remnant of the fade that was there from before, and listen to this. (music playing) We might need to get a little bit more. Let's listen again. (music playing) Cool! So now I've got that snare riff in there. While that's cool, it does drop out a certain element. We hear that a certain synth sound disappears when we cut to that snare, which is not a bad thing in this style of music, especially; that can be very common.
But we can also explore ways to keep it in, should we want to, one of which is to use a crossfade. So we can select the beginning with a crossfade and extend the end to where we'd want that sound to continue through to and bring up the crossfade menu with Command+F or Ctrl+F. And we can literally just extend the start of our outgoing fade to allow more of that sound to come through, while our incoming fade does exactly what it did before. Now let's see if that works. (music playing) And yes, it does work; however, we've cut off the beginning of that first snare note because our incoming fade is now going longer.
So we're going to want to bring this further towards the start to allow more of that note to play, and we can still see here's the snare note. The fade is ending after it. So we need to now extend the beginning of the fade so that that fade-in lets us hear the beginning of that snare note. (music playing) There we go! So that will work. The only other thing we may want to do is maybe make this fade a little bit less long and a little bit less loud, since the doubling up of the two pieces of audio is going to make the audio louder in this part of the track than it is normally.
(music playing) So now it's a little closer to the normal level. Let's see what the rest of the scene is going to look like. (music playing) Cool! So I can see that there's already some natural sync in the scene.
We hear some musical change happening. We hear a cymbal crash as Eli closes the door behind him once he gets inside the morgue. We may not use that piece of music, but we can tell because of the placement of it and the timing of it that if we were to edit something else there we would have a nice sync with picture. So let's see if we can find another section that might be better used there. (music playing) So if we want to go to a break there, we could cut perhaps directly to the break that's naturally in the song.
Let's see if that works. So I am going to select it, make a cut, and cut it into the clipboard and find that section again. (music playing) And we'll paste what we have on our clipboard in the right place, which I believe is right around here. (music playing) And I can see that I am a little early by about one wave cycle. So I am going to move and adjust that to put it in the right place, and let's listen to that. (music playing) So now we have a really nice change on this section; however, we may not want the music to continue playing so to build back in to the track.
So we may make this an actual ending. One way to do would be to cut it off before the build starts again and to put a fade on it. I am going to move this later, just to get it out of the range of what we're going to be hearing, and let's listen to that. (music playing) And that's pretty cool. It works, although you can hear the drum hits ramping up again still through that fade-out.
So if we were to do this, we'd probably need to shorten the fade-out and make it end a little sooner so that that's not as noticeable. (music playing) Okay. So this is an okay edit. It's maybe not ideal, so let's look at something else we could do with an ending here. Before we do that, I am going to move the picture.
We can open and close the picture window by Command+9 or Ctrl+9 on the numeric keypad. So now I can see the tracks that are hidden by it. And I am going to make a new track. Shift+Command or Ctrl+N, Command+Right or Ctrl+Right to make it stereo. And I am going to call this BIN 3, and I am going to deactivate it like we did before and I am going to shrink it to match the size by using the key command Ctrl+Down Arrow. So let's select this edit. Ctrl+Option or Ctrl+Alt+Click and drag it down, so we have it just in case we want to use that, and let's look at a better way to end this.
I am going to delete the ending and I am going to see what else is in the rest of this song. (music playing) Ah! That's right. We forgot about this section. This section has a lot of great energy, so maybe we want to use this earlier in the edit. So let's cut it and go back to right after this first change. (music playing) And let's see about putting it in there. But first, let's open our picture window again. Command+9 or Ctrl+9 so we can see what we're doing.
So let's look at using this new section when Eli comes through the door on the third door. (music playing) So instead of the synth that comes in now, we'll hear the new section. I am going to cut this out, snap this there, and this is a remnant of the old audio. So let's hold Ctrl and drag this over and listen to the change. (music playing) Yeah, I like this. (music playing) Let's see if there's a fill going into it like there was in the other part.
(music playing) Yeah! That's even better. So let's see. (music playing) By bringing out the beginning of the fill, we've got a nice little transition as Eli comes through the door. So we're going to use that, but I can also see here that I need to bring this audio region a little further left to keep it in sync, because I can see that the waveform doesn't match up exactly with the end of the region that we're editing this onto. So I am going to select and make a crossfade and listen to this new edit. (music playing) Cool! So now what we need to do is just find a good way to end this.
So I am going to make a cut just as a kind of reminder placement of where I am going to be--roughly where that is in the timeline, because I can see it, and I am going to find another piece of the song to be used as an ending. When I listened to this song before, I remember that this break had a nice change of intensity, so it might be a good option to use for the ending. So let's listen. (music playing) Yes! This is going to be perfect. So I am going to find this cymbal crash, essentially the hit where it starts, get into the transient here, make a cut, select, and cut that region.
I am going to go back towards where my visible marker is, so I can quickly find it, and find the exact same point in this region, (music playing) which is pretty much right where the edit I made was. So I am going to go in and find the actual spot now, cut off the end of the region with S, and paste what I have in the clipboard. That's going to replace whatever else was underneath it on the track. Now let's listen to that. (music playing) Cool! So that could work, but it also might be cool to have this instead come as Eli puts the broom through the door handles.
So let's see if I can make that work. (music playing) And we're going to be able to; we just need to edit it more smoothly. So let's find the right part of this region, cut the head off with A, snap it into place, and clean up the fade. (music playing) Because we have this long kind of cymbal sound that transitions across that downbeat, I don't want to cut that off abruptly in the middle of my edit.
So what I am going to do is extend that region into the next region and make my edit on the other side of that sound, since the music is very similar on both sides. Again, just make sure that I am staying in phase, put a fade on it, and let's listen. (music playing) Great! Now we're pretty much there.
The last thing that we'll do is we'll just end our cue, and with a cue like this we'll probably going to just make a big fade-out, and let's listen to how it ends. (music playing) Cool! Now we can adjust that fade and make it perfect. This is actually pretty good for our edit. So to finish this cue, we're going to need to finish the start of the cue.
So in order to do that, we'll need to do a little bit of mixing, which I will be covering in the next video.
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