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Music Editing for TV and Film in Pro Tools
Illustration by John Hersey

Mixing the edit


From:

Music Editing for TV and Film in Pro Tools

with Skye Lewin

Video: Mixing the edit

We're really close to finishing this edit, but we still need to finish the start. In order to do that, I do want to mix it a little bit, because the mixing will help sell what I'm trying to accomplish. So we're going to open the Volume graph on the Edit 1 track. You can do this by pressing the minus key on the keyboard, and you'll see that a black line is now visible over the entire track. Let's make a selection over our edit and move the cursor above the black line, and you'll see that a little bracket tool appears. What this means is that you can click and drag and you'll now be moving and changing the entire Volume graph for that selection.
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  1. 2m 49s
    1. Welcome
      52s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 32s
    3. A word about the film and music used in this course
      25s
  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
      38s

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Music Editing for TV and Film in Pro Tools
3h 29m Intermediate Oct 27, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Importing audio and video files
  • Creating and using sync points
  • Using snap editing commands
  • Customizing crossfades
  • Editing to acquire multiple sync points within the same cue
  • Creating a 30-second condensed edit
  • Exploring alternate edits and alternate songs
  • Mixing and bouncing down the edit
  • Compressing QuickTime movies
  • Conforming an edit if the length of a shot changes or if a scene has shifted
Subjects:
Audio + Music Film Scoring Video Audio for Video Post Production
Software:
Pro Tools
Author:
Skye Lewin

Mixing the edit

We're really close to finishing this edit, but we still need to finish the start. In order to do that, I do want to mix it a little bit, because the mixing will help sell what I'm trying to accomplish. So we're going to open the Volume graph on the Edit 1 track. You can do this by pressing the minus key on the keyboard, and you'll see that a black line is now visible over the entire track. Let's make a selection over our edit and move the cursor above the black line, and you'll see that a little bracket tool appears. What this means is that you can click and drag and you'll now be moving and changing the entire Volume graph for that selection.

So let's drop our Volume graph down, maybe around -6.2 decibels, somewhere in there. And let's listen to how that's sounds against our production track. (clip playing) It's actually still a little bit loud, so let's grab it again and drop it a little bit more and listen again. (clip playing) That's a little better.

It may be a little loud over the beginning where the dialog is and a little quiet once the action starts. So let's split the difference, and let's add an automation breakpoint. Using the Smart tool, you can hold the Command or Ctrl key and click on the Automation graph. You'll see that a new point is added. Now if we wanted to delete that later, you can hold the Option or Alt key and click the point and it will disappear. So let's recreate that point, and let's grab the point at the beginning.

If you use the Smart tool by moving it close to the point, you'll see that a finger appears on the hand, and you can click with that and drag to move the point. So let's make a little bit of a fade-in, but not a complete fade-in so that it doesn't start from 0. Let's listen to that. (clip playing) Now that's much better in that we can now hear the dialog. But we're actually using into the track a little late. So let's make a new breakpoint and raise the volume just a hair, right where the energy should pick up.

Now let's close this and finish our edit. We can close the Automation graph the same way we opened it, by pressing the minus key. I am going to zoom in and pull out the beginning of our region a little bit further and try putting a fade-in on it. I'm going to open the Volume graph again and just see if I can massage this fade-in to make it work. Maybe I'll try adding another breakpoint here and dropping the volume a little bit more at the beginning, and let's listen to that. (clip playing) And we're definitely going to be able to make this work by using automation to help sell our edit.

So that's really one of the most important reasons why we're going to use these Volume graphs in an editorial situation is that we want to make it look and sound as good as possible so that when anyone else sees it, they believe that it could actually work playing to the scene. We may extend the beginning of this fade a little bit more, so I'm going to have to close my Volume graph one more time with the minus key. I'll extend the fade by dragging it out a little bit more to the left, and I'm going to listen to that again. (clip playing) That's pretty good. I'm just going to drop the level just a little more so it fades in a little bit more softly.

(clip playing) So you'll notice that you can very clearly hear the dialog now, which is one of the most important goals. We also want to be able to hear through the scene the sound effects: doors open, doors close, that sort of thing. (clip playing) Right now, the music is a little bit loud, but we can still hear enough of the background and we're selling the fact that this is the action cue.

(clip playing) So perhaps what we want to do is drop the level just a little bit more throughout the scene, since it is a hair loud in spots, and maybe we will just raise it at the beginning to where we had it so that once Eli gets into the hallway on the third floor, we're not quite so loud, and once he finds his way into the morgue, we can come down a little bit more in volume. So we'll make another breakpoint here, and you can grab the entire piece of the Volume graph with this Trim tool and drag that down. And then you can Option+Click if you'd like to delete a breakpoint in between and that gives you a nice little fade. (clip playing) Perhaps that's a little too much, so maybe we'll move this up a little bit--split the difference essentially.

(clip playing) Great! The rest of that fade-out works really well, because we can hear the dialog coming through the door, and we really can tell that we're getting back into the rest of the movie after this cue has ended. So now that we've mixed our music using the Volume graph so that we can hear the production audio clearly along with our music, we can move on to the next step, which is going to be creating a QuickTime movie.

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