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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.
So, for now, let's just do this 30-second edit. This could be 60 seconds. It could be any other specific length. Perhaps you're working on a main title that needs to be 45 seconds or maybe 48 seconds. You can use the same technique for any length. Okay. So let's look at this. We want to shorten this cue down. It's got a fairly long intro--the intro is almost 20 seconds by itself--and it's got several sections of build, and then a nice long outro. So we're going to have to cut quite a lot out of this song to make it work. But the important thing is that we give the song the same natural arc and build that it already has.
So that's our goal here. We're going to cut out certain sections but maintain the phrasing as much as possible, try and keep at least one of the breaks, and at least some sort of an intro and outro, so that when you hear it, you recognize it as a piece of this full song, rather than just taking a 30-second chunk of it. Sometimes that can actually work. Perhaps we wanted a 30-second chunk. We could just go hey! There is 30 seconds, trim. We're good to go. By the way, that key command was Command+T or Ctrl+T, which we aren't really going to use too much but good to see anyway. So let's move on with our edit.
First, let's find a good short intro. (music playing) This is all really cool, but I think it's going to take us a little too long to get into the meat of the track for such a short edit. (music playing) So we may need to do something similar to what we did in our previous edit, and just grab a small intro. So let's snap this to the beginning of our first marker. I'm going to zoom in here and find the end of that bar. (music playing) Or rather that two bars, which is right here. And again, I'm going to make a cut right at the beginning of the transientm and I'm going to move forward to this first downbeat where the song actually kicks into full gear, make a cut at the beginning of that transient.
Select the region we're going to replace, and Ctrl+Click the region we want to move there. We'll zoom in, take a quick listen, and make a crossfade - (clip playing) Cool! So that works. One other thing I might want to keep is this cool little snare riff that picks up going into the downbeat. So let's see if we can make that work. (clip playing) So let's find a good, clean spot to bring that in, do a crossfade, and listen to it. (clip playing) Great! So we've got a good short, small intro now.
I'm going to zoom in, and I'm going to put a small fade in on the beginning of this region. Now, you can do this really easily and quickly with Command Focus enabled by pressing the D key. First, you want to locate your cursor to where you want the end of the fade to be, and by pressing the D key, a fade will be drawn using your default preferences from that point to the beginning of the region. Let's undo that, and look at a different way to make a fade-in. Using the Smart tool, you can place your cursor on the top left-hand corner of the region, and the cursor will change so you see this icon.
You can now click and drag. And since we're in Grid mode, we'll also need to hold Command or Ctrl in order to move this fade off of the grid, or in between the grid lines. So it's just a really small fade intended to just make sure we don't have any clicks or pops. So now let's move on. (clip playing) Cool! So this is a fairly long phrase. This cue has basically a two bar phrase before it changes. (clip playing) And even then it's not finished with the larger musical phrase.
So what we're going to do is condense these several sections probably into one, maybe two, so that this particular phrase builds throughout the progression of it. In the same way that the larger song builds throughout the progression of the song, we're just going to make it do it in much less time. So let's make our first edit after the first bar. (clip playing) It should be right here. Get in there really close, find the start of that transient, and let's look at what we want to cut to.
(clip playing) So that might be a good spot. Let's find the second bar of the phrase from that repeat. (clip playing) Two, cool! So let's get in there and find the transient again. Using that same technique, we can just select the previous region, Ctrl+Click to move it into place, and listen to what we've got. (clip playing) Cool! We may want to keep this moving quickly, so we're going to go and grab the next bar, and do yet another edit there. And we're probably going to have to take a section from the next piece after the first break to keep this building quickly enough to get done in 30 seconds.
(clip playing) However, this actually won't work that well because we have a melody introduced here. So let's look at another option. Let's listen to it again and get a sense of what happens going into this break. (clip playing) Okay, cool! So we may want to just have a very short intro and use this break right away and then jump straight to the melody.
So let's look at how we might do that. (clip playing) Let's find a good spot here to make our edit. I'm going to use the transient from the snare hit this time. So I want to keep that as a pre-lap, and let's look at where we're going to place it. (clip playing) That's right about where that snare hit would be on this side of the edit. So let's look at pasting it there, make our selection, and paste it in, tiny little crossfade, just to clean up any pops or ticks, and let's listen to make sure that works.
(clip playing) Yeah, it's cool! We've got a pretty long break right at the beginning of the cue, so we may want to shorten it. Let's see if that's even feasible. (clip playing) Yeah, maybe. Let's see what happens in the rest of the edit. If we need more time, we can come back and shorten it, but for now, let's leave it as it is. So picking up where we left off-- (clip playing) Some cool stuff in here.
So we're probably going to start changing this again pretty quickly. We've got a lot of material left in our song to incorporate. So let's look at this next chunk and see what happens on the second half of that phrase. (clip playing) Nice! So we've got another musical element introduced here that helps build the tension and helps build the cue. So let's use that, but we've got to make sure we keep our melody playing normally. So we're going to pick up from this next section of the song, right where we left off in the previous section of the song. So let's listen to that and find it. (clip playing) Okay, right about here. (clip playing) That's the downbeat of that spot, go ahead and find the transient, make our edit, cut it, paste it and listen.
(clip playing) Cool! Now, if we really wanted, we could shorten this even more and bring that in sooner, but I actually really like this little stutter break here. So I'm going to leave it in there for now. If we need to, we can come back to it and replace it, but let's try not to. We do still have a lot of material left though, so let's see how this is going to end. (clip playing) Okay. So this is actually pretty cool.
It's more or less the same vibe, but there's yet another element introduced. So we may want to skip to the second phrase at the end of this section and use that in place of the edit we just made. So let's look at doing that. (clip playing) So right here would be the same beat musically. So we'll zoom in, make our edit, select it, cut it, select the place we want to put it, paste it, and let's look at this because we have a remnant fade from our previous edit that we want to get rid of and create a new fade. I'll just press F. And let's listen to this and make sure this works.
(clip playing) Cool! It does work. Now, the only challenge is that this break comes right before the end, and this last section builds up again right before the end. So perhaps that's a good spot for us to start to mellow out the cue, rather than building it up again. So let's look at that.
Maybe one way to do it is to jump right to the end. Let's see if that's even a possibility by listening to the end. (clip playing) Sure! That could work. So let's go in here. I'm going to pick up the snare hit right before the end, rather than on the downbeat, just because the snare transient is more visible; it's easier to find more quickly. Let's find where we're going to place that. (clip playing) It should be on this snare hit, but again, since we're going to keep this snare hit, what I'm doing is I'm just using this edit technique as kind of a ruler.
So we'll keep the snare hit by dragging out the end of this region with the Trimmer tool and then clean up the edit on the other side here. We can see right here where the next beat started in the previous region, so we're going to cut that off, and snap this by Ctrl+Clicking into place. And let's listen. (clip playing) The music wants to pick up again, but I think that's also partly because we've heard it already and we know what it wants to do.
So let's see if we can make this work smoothly with the 30-second duration that we have to work with. So let's select this last region here and the little snippet that's left from a previous edit, and let's delete those. And let's listen to the end of our edit one more time from earlier in the track just to see how it feels. (clip playing) Cool! So that could certainly work.
It's not ideal because it does feel like it wants to pick up after that break. But let's keep this edit and do an alternate. So what we're going to do is make a selection that includes the entire edit. I'm going to hold Ctrl+Option and drag the region into one of the bin tracks. And by holding Option, we're making a copy of our edit. So now we have a copy of this version, and we can alter the copy that's up on our Edit 1 track without losing what we've already done, in case we want to come back to it.
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