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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.
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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