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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.
First, let's work on the start of this cue. I'm going to zoom all the way out, and you can see over here on the left there is a region that we left from before. This has all the material from the beginning of the cue. So let's bring it a little closer to the rest of our edit and zoom in again, and let's listen to that and see what we might want to use. I'm going to solo this track. (clip playing) So any of that could work.
I'm going to try taking a section of the beat here and use that to lead into the downbeat on our cut to the door. (clip playing) I really like that filter sweep, so I probably will grab the very end of that and make the end of that filter sweep end right on the cut to our door. So let's find which of these three phrases we want to use. (clip playing) So let's go ahead and grab that last one. So what we'll do is we'll zoom in to the next beat here right at the end of that filter sweep, and we'll cut with our S key command.
We'll cut the end of that region off. We'll tab to the beginning of the next region, which is on the cut to the door open. I'm using the key command Ctrl+Command or Ctrl+Start and clicking the file will snap the end of this region so that it lines up at the beginning of the next region. So now if we watch the way our cue plays-- I'm going to un-solo this so that we can hear it with the production audio-- we can see how this transition into the cue will work. (clip playing) Cool, and that's actually going to work.
So let's go to that edit, make sure that our alignment is good. Then we want to clean up the crossfade. It's like we may need to pull it back just a hair to get that first transient in the right place. We'll take this transient, do the same type of edit we did before, and we'll put a tiny little crossfade on it just to make sure there is no clicks or pops and listen to make sure it's clean. (clip playing) And sometimes you may want to solo just the music, just to make sure you're really hearing it properly. (music playing) Now let's look at the very beginning of this set.
There is a couple ways we can do this. One would be just to start right on the beginning of this beat and let it play from there. (clip playing) (Male speaker: Seventh floor. The subject is now armed.) And that actually works quite well. Let's see how that looks from the beginning of the picture. So we'll go to our picture Start marker, .3. and see what this looks like. (clip playing) (Male speaker: Man down, seventh floor. The subject is now armed.) Cool! If we wanted, we can even shorten this phrase a little more so we come in after the dialog line that says, "Subject is now armed." So let's find that next find that next beat, which is about halfway through. I believe this is it, but let's listen.
(clip playing) (Male speaker: Subject is now armed.) Yeah, so if we wanted to shorten it, we could literally start it right there on that transient. So let's select and mute this region by Command+M or Ctrl+M, and it'll essentially not play that piece of audio as we move over it. (Male speaker: Man down, seventh floor. Subject is now armed.) (clip playing) Cool, and that works, but it feels like we need something else to kind of get us into the piece. So what we're going to do is look for another piece, maybe perhaps something from the very beginning, to use there.
So let's listen to the very beginning one more time. (clip playing) Yeah, that's pretty cool, and that won't get too much in the way of the dialog, so let's look at that--here for our first zero crossing. And since it's kind of hard to see the zero crossing in the waveform, I'm going to zoom in vertically. Now that we can see this. We can make our edit, zoom back out, and locate to where we want to go. I'm going to zoom back out vertically, so I can see this little better. So what we want to do is take this section out and put the end of the region we just cut up against the beginning of our previous region, so we'll use our Ctrl+Command+Click technique to snap it there, and let's see what that looks like.
(clip playing) (Male speaker: Man down, seventh floor. Subject is now armed.) Yeah, and that works. It may need a little mixing, which we'll get into later, but let's leave it there for now. Put a little crossfade on it, and let's look at the end. So the way we left it, let's just take a look. (clip playing) It actually does a nice transition in a pretty good place.
We may just want to shorten it, so that it actually ends a little bit sooner. So let's look at some different pieces of this ending that we might pull up and use earlier. (clip playing) Yeah, so many of these could work, so let's take this one here. And we'll get the very beginning that beat. I'm going to zoom in vertically, so I can see it better, and grab it here in the first part of the attack.
Zoom back out vertically, select it, and cut it, and then we'll find a spot to put it. So we're going to paste it on here, a little bit earlier in the track. (clip playing) So let's try it on the third repeat, which may be too late, but let's see what it sounds like. So we'll paste it in the same place on the waveform at a zero crossing and just before we do a crossfade, let's just test it and see if it works. It looks like visually it may be too long, but let's hear it. (clip playing) Yeah, it is a little too long, but we can cut some of that off and it will still work.
So let's go right before this beat here starts, cut it off with the S key command. It looks like we've got some audio behind that, so we can select it and delete it. We'll zoom in there and put a fade on the end. There are a couple of ways to do a fade-out. One is to click where you want to put the fade and use the G key in Command Focus to fade from your cursor to the end of the region. And this will make a fade based on the fade that you have specified in your preferences. For this case, that's not quite the right type of fade that I want to use, so I can select the fade, either Shift+Tab from my current location or by double-clicking or by the Grabber tool, and edit it by pressing Command+F or Ctrl+F. So with the right arrow I can change the type of fade-out and press OK, and let's listen to that.
(clip playing) Cool, so that works pretty well. The only thing we may want to do is make that ending happen a little sooner. It may take a little too long to get there. So let's try moving it one phrase earlier. So instead of putting it where it is, we'll go to this second repeat, and we'll move it up. And again, we can literally just Ctrl+ Click it to snap this last piece to the cursor. Zoom in, make sure it looks right, and preview it before we put a fade on it.
(clip playing) That works better, and we could even extend our fade-out a little more if we wanted to. It might or might not work, but let's try it. (clip playing) Yeah, cool enough for now. So now that we like it, let's put a fade on this last little bit and zoom out. We could select all and use Option+F or Alt+F to zoom.
We can see our entire edit. And let's really quickly just watch the entire thing from the picture start through and see if we still like it. But before we play this back, let's make the video window a little bigger. So I'm going to drag this out into the middle of the session and expand the size so that we can see it better. All right, let's listen to what we've done. (Male speaker 1: Man down, seventh floor. Subject is armed.) (Male speaker 2: Look out!) (clip playing) So I'm going to put the video back, make it smaller again.
And before we move on, I wanted to talk about a couple more things. Sometimes you'll run into a situation where the track that you're working on doesn't have the right start or the right end. Sometimes what you'll need to do is create an ending. Sometimes you can find a break in the middle of the song and use that as the ending. Sometimes you can find a natural downbeat in the song and put a reverb tail on it to create a fake ending that sounds musical. And for the start, sometimes you can fade the song in. Sometimes that doesn't work and you'll may need to find a downbeat in the song and ease it in by mixing it to make it sound natural.
There are all kinds of other ways to work around the fact that the song you're working with may not have all the elements that you need to build a good start or end. So if you find yourself in that sort of situation, just remember to have fun and be creative.
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