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Improving the 30-second condensed edit

From: Music Editing for TV and Film in Pro Tools

Video: Improving the 30-second condensed edit

So, another possibility would be to extend the first section of the song, maybe make it play twice as long, and then end the song right after this break. So let's look at that. (music playing) Because of the musical phrasing, we would either have to make it double its current length, or we could potentially lose the break there and just let the break at the end actually be the ending rather than a break.

Improving the 30-second condensed edit

So, another possibility would be to extend the first section of the song, maybe make it play twice as long, and then end the song right after this break. So let's look at that. (music playing) Because of the musical phrasing, we would either have to make it double its current length, or we could potentially lose the break there and just let the break at the end actually be the ending rather than a break.

So let's look at a couple of ways we could do this. First, let's try extending this whole middle section. What I am going to do is I am going to select the three regions after that section so that they're all selected together and move them later, just so we have some room to work. Then I am going to pull out the region, the end of the previous section, and listen. (music playing) So there is the timing that we ended with, only we had a break before that ending.

We are going to use the S key command to cut off the end of this region, zoom back out, and now I am going to extend the beginning of the region that we had previously cut to, and let's listen to that. (music playing) Okay, cool! So there's a downbeat here. We'll pick up where we left off. (music playing) Let's find the transient and use the A key command to cut everything to the left of the region. Then we want to select the rest of the edit, which you can do by holding Shift and clicking after it, or which you can do by holding Shift+Tabbing until you select the entire thing.

We can cut it, Option+Tab earlier and V or Command+V or Ctrl+V to paste it, and let's listen to that. (music playing) Cool! So that works much better. We are going to put a fade on that edit, zoom back out, look at the whole thing.

Now the only problem here is that our ending is much longer, so we need to shorten the cue a little bit more. So one thing we may do is cut the intro in half. (music playing) Which will work great. So let's try that. Let's find the downbeat here that we are going to want to cut to. I am going to zoom in vertically so I can grab a little bit before the actual transient, and let's put a fade right on the beginning of this. Let's zoom back out, zoom back out vertically, and listen to this.

(music playing) Cool! It's a very short intro, but for a 30-second edit that will work. So this sounds great, (music playing) but there was a sound at the beginning of our last version that I really liked. Let's pull this back up so we can hear it. So I am going to select it, copy it, use the P key to bring it up, and paste it. I am just going to listen again. There is a cool little sound effect in there. So we may want to keep that. So one way to do that would be just to find the transient of the snare attack on beat two, cut that region, find the transient of the snare attack on beat two where we want to place it.

Let's cut everything to the left of it. And then using a technique that we went over earlier, we can go down to the track below, using the semicolon key, paste and use K to snap the region earlier. Let's zoom into that with Option+F or Alt+F, Ctrl+Click and drag it up, and let's listen to what we have. (music playing) Cool! So this will work. However, we notice that the filter shifts very drastically on beat two. So what we are going to do need to do is cheat that by crossfading a larger amount of musical material so that it sounds more natural.

We've already got our fade-in on the beginning here, so we are good there. So let's see if we can do this. One thing we've got to be very cautious of is making sure that we don't have any phasing introduced, and that can happen if the first and second regions aren't perfectly aligned. So let's try it, see if it works. So we select the amount that you want to put the crossfade on, probably a pretty big amount, so that when you do put the crossfade on, the filter sweep sounds natural. Then I am going to use the F key command to place a fade, and let's listen. (music playing) Not bad.

There are a couple of things we can do to edit this. We've gone over editing our fades before, so let's do that. Select the fade, Command+F or Ctrl+F. And I want to edit the incoming fade so that it is a little softer in level than the outgoing fade, and this will help the filter sweep sound a little more natural, and it would also keep the level of the two files as they play together closer to the level of the original master. What can happen sometimes when you do crossfades is that the level of the two files playing at the same time through the crossfade can add up and become louder than it actually was in the original track.

So this will help us with that as well. (music playing) And that's totally acceptable. We don't hear any bad phasing in there. Now let's move this entire edit earlier to our 30 second start market. So let's select the whole thing, cut, locate our 30 second start marker, .5. and V to paste. Now we can see that our ending is really close to where we want it to be. So let's listen the whole thing and figure out how we are going to end it. (music playing) But before we do, now that we've extended this intro, we don't have to jump to this next section quite as early. And by moving it later, we will have a little bit more musical of a build.

So let's extend it two bars so that it starts on the next part of the phrase. (music playing) And we'll listen one more time. (music playing) Yeah, I am going to put this on this downbeat here. So I am going to zoom in, just find it really quickly, and make sure our transients are matching. So here is this transient, and we are right on, so we can do a quick fade, and let's listen to it again. (music playing) Yeah, that's a lot more natural. (music playing) Cool! So now we are going to have to end this slightly differently, because we can't play this additional material.

We are already out of time. So we can take it off and either end it like this-- (music playing) --which we probably want to put a fade on if we were to do that. But since it's not fading, that means there must be a small fade already on the end of this region. So let's zoom in, look at the end, zoom in a little more, look at the end--again I am using the W key to center the end of our selection. You can see that there is indeed a small fade there. So let's select it by using Ctrl+Tab and Delete.

Now we can zoom back out in say zoom level 3 and put a new fade on here. Let me zoom in a little more actually. But now we can use the G key to create a fade from the cursor to the end or undo. You can select to the end by pressing Shift+Tab, creating a custom fade by Command+F or Ctrl+F. So it's an acceptable ending. It's not great, but let's see if we can improve it. (music playing) So it might be cool to cut off this last beat altogether and let it end at the bottom of that filter sweep.

So let's look at that and see if that will work. Find the beginning of that snare beat, cut it off with the S key command, and listen to this break without that. (music playing) Yeah, that will work, but we do have a little remnant. So I am going to scrub in there and find it. And it sounds like it's this last little chunk has a bit of some snare pickup in it. So one way around this would be to literally cut this entire section off, put a fade-out on the end, and then use a little reverb tail to get us across to the end of the edit.

So let's look at how we could to do. Let's make a selection, and in our AudioSuite menu we can find one of a reverbs. Open the Reverb, get a setting that's roughly where you want it, and press Process, and this will render a reverb file. Now you can see this is probably going to be a little bit longer, just so I have more to work with. So I am going to undo that, I am going to extend my selection, and process again. I can close the Reverb once I've got something I like. I am not sure if this is going to be perfect, but it's good for the example.

Then in order to edit between the reverb tail and our natural music, we are going extend our music right up until the last minute that we can make it play without hearing the section that we don't want to hear, and then we are going to put a nice long crossfade across the two. So we will make our selection, Command+ F or Ctrl+F to edit it. And I am going to edit the incoming fade to be louder this time and the outgoing fade to be a little softer this time, and that will allow the reverb to feel more natural. So let's listen to that. (music playing) Okay, so that could work, but the reverb is actually a little bit loud.

So what we want to do is go back and get a better-sounding balance on the reverb level. So I am just going to undo a few times until I have the selection, go back into my AudioSuite > Reverb. Maybe use a Medium room this time, maybe use a Plate instead of a Hall. You can try whatever you want to get the right setting for this specific piece of music that you are working on. I'm going to extend this selection and process one more time. It still looks a little loud, so I may want to make the reverb softer, which you can do by dropping the Input Level, and let's see how this will feel. And that's a little closer.

That will work better. Again, it's probably not perfect, but you get the idea. So we will recreate our edit one more time, take out the section that has little the little bit of snare noise. And one more time we will recreate that last fade and again by pressing Command+F or Ctrl+F, we will get the exact same fade that we already did so we don't have to recreate it, and let's listen. (music playing) Cool! That could work. Now let's put a fade-out on that reverb since we don't need the whole thing, maybe shorten it a little bit since it's a bit long, and listen to the end one more time.

(music playing) Cool! That certainly is an acceptable ending for this edit. We could probably find other ways to improve it. The bottom line is that we've got a nice 30-second condensed edit of this song. Another thing I really quickly want to point out is that while the end here is a little bit longer than our actual 30 seconds. You do a little bit of leeway because typically there's enough room on a radio spot for that tiny little bit of a reverb tail. Or if it gets cut off in broadcast, it's such a small amount of volume that you're losing that it's never even noticed.

So I would say as long as you're under 3 to 5, maybe 7 frames, over or under you're generally considered good with a 30- or 60-second edit. So before we move on, let's listen to this one more time so we can see what we've done. (music playing) So while most of this cue is really actually pretty good, I'm not happy with the ending yet.

So let's look at one other way that we can end it. We are going to take some of the elements from our previous edit and see if we can use them here. (music playing) Cool! So this first little chunk would be a good way to end the song. So I am going to cut off the tail. I'll select it and cut it and find a place to place it on our edit. (music playing) And probably right here, musically, which is a beat in the song, and we'll paste it. We are going to remove the first little fade that's already on there from our previous edit, and I Ctrl+Option+Tab to select it and delete it.

I am going to put fade on it, maybe too big as you can see that in that crossfade we've got some of the downbeat, which we are not going to want. So I am going to move it left so that we don't get that, and let's listen. (music playing) We've got a little region here at the end. We can put a fade on this, edit the fade to make it a little bit more appropriate, and probably shorten this fade here, and even make the outgoing fade a little bit louder so that it feels like it cuts off more abruptly on that change. And let's listen to that. (music playing) So let's listen to that in context.

I think we've got a much more functional edit now. (music playing) Cool! Yeah, that definitely is a more natural ending than the reverb tail idea.

So now that we've gone over some of these techniques, you can use these to cut music, one, to picture, or two, without picture, just to any length that you may need to cut a piece of music to. So maybe you just want to make a ringtone, or maybe you're going to cutting 30- or 60-second versions of your own music for a music library. There are any number of reasons why you might be making a condensed musical edit of a song. But some of these techniques are very helpful in doing so. Really, the bottom line is you've just got to trust your own musical instincts. So every time you do this you're in charge, and you are making those decisions.

So go out there and have fun.

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This video is part of

Image for Music Editing for TV and Film in Pro Tools
Music Editing for TV and Film in Pro Tools

35 video lessons · 3273 viewers

Skye Lewin

Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 49s
    1. Welcome
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 32s
    3. A word about the film and music used in this course
  2. 25m 4s
    1. Creating a template session for working to picture
      7m 29s
    2. Importing a picture file
      3m 17s
    3. What is time code?
      4m 17s
    4. Syncing picture to Pro Tools
      6m 58s
    5. Importing audio files
      3m 3s
  3. 48m 36s
    1. Using the Zoom and View commands
      9m 54s
    2. Utilizing the edit modes
      7m 59s
    3. Navigating with key commands
      7m 57s
    4. Creating and using sync points
      3m 20s
    5. Using the snap editing commands
      5m 16s
    6. Using memory locations
      8m 12s
    7. Customizing crossfades
      5m 58s
  4. 1h 11m
    1. Auditioning music to picture
      10m 21s
    2. Editing to acquire multiple sync points within the same "cue"
      6m 2s
    3. Editing to maintain or change the arc/build of the cue to fit the scene
      15m 11s
    4. Editing the start and end of the cue
      9m 55s
    5. Setting up for a 30-second condensed edit
      4m 5s
    6. First pass of a 30-second condensed edit
      11m 17s
    7. Improving the 30-second condensed edit
      14m 41s
  5. 26m 49s
    1. Exploring alternate edits of the same song
      8m 17s
    2. Editing different songs to the same scene
      18m 32s
  6. 11m 25s
    1. Mixing the edit
      5m 26s
    2. Bouncing down the edit
      2m 47s
    3. Compressing the QuickTime files
      3m 12s
  7. 12m 19s
    1. Conforming the edit to picture if the scene has shifted
      5m 27s
    2. Conforming the edit if a shot's length changes within the scene
      6m 52s
  8. 10m 34s
    1. Removing profanities by reversing audio
      2m 8s
    2. Removing profanities with instrumentals
      2m 36s
    3. Keeping a song in sequence
      1m 19s
    4. Layering audio
      1m 36s
    5. Time stretching
      2m 55s
  9. 38s
    1. Goodbye

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