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Mixing with reverb

From: Audio for Film and Video with Pro Tools

Video: Mixing with reverb

One way you can use reverb in your mix is to use it as sort of a glue that holds scenes together. In this movie we'll explore how you can use snapshot automation for an impulse response reverb to change over different scenes to create a subtle but important space around the action. In the motorcycle footage for this scene, there are four distinct locations where the action unfolds. First we have an alleyway scene, then we have the motorcycle race itself, then we have a hospital scene briefly, and then we have in the end where he is on a river.

Mixing with reverb

One way you can use reverb in your mix is to use it as sort of a glue that holds scenes together. In this movie we'll explore how you can use snapshot automation for an impulse response reverb to change over different scenes to create a subtle but important space around the action. In the motorcycle footage for this scene, there are four distinct locations where the action unfolds. First we have an alleyway scene, then we have the motorcycle race itself, then we have a hospital scene briefly, and then we have in the end where he is on a river.

So I've marked these locations with memory locations, as you can see. TL Space is the reverb we'll use to bind together these scenes. TL Space uses a technology called impulse response or IR. An impulse response is an actual acoustic sampling of a real space like a concert hall, a church, corridor, and so forth. Engineers send a test signal into the space to excite and capture the acoustic reflections. Then the sound of the test signal is removed, leaving only the acoustic response in the space.

This impulse response is stored as a setting in the plug-in. So here we have a setting that's a sampling of a church. You can see there's different rooms like a ballet school for example and so forth. TL Space uses this concept called snapshots and this workflow is made almost for audio over video in mind, because it allows the user to automate different IR settings over the course of the timeline and we only need to use this one plug-in. So here in TL space, let's go into Snapshot mode by clicking on this SS button.

As you can see, we have 10 snapshots possible. So we're going to set these snapshots up for each acoustic space of our sequence. First of all we'll leave Snapshot 1 empty. So we'll go on and start with Snapshot 2. That way we can always come back to a reverb setting that doesn't have any acoustic response or doesn't have any IR built-in to it. So in Snapshot 2 that's going to be our alleyway scene. Sso to do that we're going to use a setting. It's going to be under Chambers > Concrete Stairwell > SameFloor.

That'll be a good impulse response to create the acoustic nature of an alley. Snapshot 3, that's the race itself, so we're going to need an outdoor setting for that one and there is one under Post Production, under Outdoors. There is a Meadow and we're going to do Meadow at 25 feet. Then the next one, Snapshot 4, is in the hospital. So for this one, we want a corridor and there is a Corridor Rear Facing. We're going to choose that one. And finally Snapshot 5 we're back outside on the river and we're going to choose the Meadow once again, but we'll use a different setting, the Meadow at 50 feet.

So here we have loaded up each of these settings into the different snapshots, leaving one empty at the beginning. Now we can go back to the Picture view, so we can actually see the pictures of some of these spaces that were sampled. So the next thing we need to do if we want to automate Pro Tools to move between these snapshots is to make the Snapshots parameter an automatable parameter. So down here where it says Snapshot 5, that's our Snapshot settings and we're going to make that an automatable parameter by going Ctrl+Option+Command or Windows+Alt+Ctrl on a PC, click here, and Enable Automation for "Snapshots." So you can see it turned green, meaning it's now a parameter that can be automated out in your timeline.

So I'm going to close the reverb for one second here and now in our automation parameters list, we see that Snapshot is available. So let's select it and here now our automation line we can move between these different snapshots. So we'll take the Trimmer tool, F6, and we'll poll the snapshot automation line down to Snapshot 1, which is empty, so that'll be our home base. And then we're going to go through and using these markers I'll be able to select, if I click on Alley and then I hold Shift and click on Race, I'll be able to select just that section between. And remember that's our alley snapshot that was Snapshot 2, so I'm just going to pull up the automation to Snapshot 2, then I'll click on the race and I'll go to the next section.

So, over the course of the race that would be Snapshot 3. Then we have the hospital after that, flow from the hospital to the river. We're in the hospital and we're going to up to Snapshot 4 and then from the river on out to the next scene or whatever, will be the river so that'll be Snapshot 5. So now if I open up the plug-in, we can see as I work through, starting with empty, nothing and we get to the Alley scene, we have our Stairwell impulse response again. He's in an alleyway, he's obviously not in a stairwell, but the acoustic nature of this reverb works pretty well.

It doesn't have to be the exact same space obviously. So then we have our race and we go out to the Meadow impulse response, which works well for an outdoor sound, and then the next section we have our Hospital and in the hospital we'll use this Corridor impulse response and then we go back to the river and we're back out in the Meadow from a farther distance for the river acoustics. So we've got our snapshot set up and now as we play through the scene, TL Space will just quickly move between those different settings.

The last thing we need to do is send us some of our tracks through this reverb. So these are all returning on an AUX track called FX Verb and if I go over to my Mix window, you can see that all of my FX tracks, for example, are on a send, going to that same reverb. So if I want to control all these all at the same time, just to bring them all up together for an initial setting so we can see how this sounds like, we can use our groups to do that. All we need to do is go over into our Groups menu down here under FX and double-click to the left of the FX and we're going to change the attributes of our group to include Send levels. Good, I got that.

Now I just need to activate the group itself. There we go. Now all of these send levels can move up and down. So we'll move them up just a bit. You know, again this is just an initial raw setting, just to see if we can detect and hear what these reverbs are doing as we move through the scene. And we'll take a listen to them and remember it's going to be a really subtle effect. It's just a way to almost subconsciously get the viewer into these different spaces and it might even work on a subconscious level, but it's a good technique to use in your film. So let's listen to a little bit here.

(Background noise) And as we listen, I'll bypass and un- bypass the plug-ins so see if you can detect a difference. (Background noise) So that's the alleyway. Here is the race. (Engines reving) And we have to the hospital. (Background noise) And we go out to the river.

(Background noise, water sloshing) So again this reverb here is not used as a dramatic effect by any means. It's just a kind of subtle glue that going to tie together your different effects in this scene.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Audio for Film and Video with Pro Tools
Audio for Film and Video with Pro Tools

51 video lessons · 8986 viewers

Scott Hirsch
Author

 
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  1. 6m 13s
    1. Welcome
      1m 3s
    2. Using the exercise files
      40s
    3. Using this course with Pro Tools 10
      1m 57s
    4. Relinking audio files
      2m 33s
  2. 18m 37s
    1. Understanding the new audio for video features in Pro Tools 9
      5m 17s
    2. Exploring the hardware requirements for Pro Tools 9
      5m 19s
    3. Understanding the audio components of a finished video
      5m 22s
    4. Understanding the audio production workflow
      2m 39s
  3. 25m 10s
    1. Understanding video formats, SMPTE timecode rates, NTSC, and PAL
      6m 21s
    2. Understanding video formats, codecs, and pull-up/pull-down
      5m 16s
    3. Setting up your Pro Tools session for video
      8m 44s
    4. Exporting OMF and AAF files
      4m 49s
  4. 32m 14s
    1. Importing OMF and AAF files
      8m 8s
    2. Importing and the DigiBase browser
      4m 0s
    3. Conforming the OMF import to your template
      6m 51s
    4. Setting up groups and windows
      6m 2s
    5. Spotting film and using markers
      7m 13s
  5. 52m 55s
    1. Organizing the dialog tracks
      5m 0s
    2. Optimizing the dialog in the first pass
      4m 30s
    3. Using room tone
      4m 10s
    4. Creating fades to smooth out audio edits
      5m 4s
    5. Understanding sound effects, ambiences, and backgrounds
      7m 12s
    6. Sweetening and hard effects
      6m 52s
    7. Processing tips for sound effects
      8m 46s
    8. Bringing emotion to the mix with music tracks
      5m 33s
    9. Leveraging clip-based gain in Pro Tools 10
      2m 51s
    10. Exploring AudioSuite enhancements in Pro Tools 10
      2m 57s
  6. 15m 29s
    1. Preparing the session for foley and ADR recording
      9m 19s
    2. Recording ADR and editing with VocALign LE
      6m 10s
  7. 45m 5s
    1. Noise-reducing hums, rumbles, and buzzes
      8m 11s
    2. Eliminating crackles and digital clicks
      5m 30s
    3. Taming plosives and sibilance
      6m 10s
    4. Reducing broadband noise
      9m 26s
    5. Conforming to video changes
      8m 36s
    6. Pitch shifting for effect or utility, TC expansion
      7m 12s
  8. 56m 19s
    1. Setting up for stereo mixing
      5m 11s
    2. Calibrating levels using an SPL meter
      7m 2s
    3. Mixing with automation
      11m 4s
    4. Advanced mix automation
      8m 0s
    5. Automating plug-in parameters
      9m 22s
    6. Mixing with reverb
      7m 20s
    7. Ducking techniques
      8m 20s
  9. 42m 4s
    1. Setting up a surround mix template
      11m 14s
    2. Calibrating for 5.1 surround mixing and bass management
      9m 2s
    3. Mixing and spatial techniques for 5.1 surround
      14m 9s
    4. Downmixing, encoding, and using Neyrinck plug-ins
      3m 38s
    5. Automating techniques for 5.1 surround mixes
      4m 1s
  10. 10m 6s
    1. Print mastering and stem mixes
      5m 47s
    2. Mastering delivery levels and dynamics
      4m 19s
  11. 5m 29s
    1. Backing up your final project
      5m 29s
  12. 18s
    1. Goodbye
      18s

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