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In this course, professional audio engineer Scott Hirsch shows how to create an evocative sound mix for a film or video, built from basic audio collected during the shoot and transformed into a final mix using Pro Tools 9. This course shows how to set up and optimize a Pro Tools session template for projects with unique requirements, record Foley and ADR audio, layer sound effects, perform corrections such as noise reduction and pitch shifting, mix for stereo and 5.1 surround sound, and finally, how to format and deliver the finalized mix, whether destined for DVD, movie theater, broadcast, or the web.
As you work through your first dialog pass, sometimes you'll find that some of the dialog regions come in way too quiet from the original OMF. You may need to use the AudioSuite Gain plug-in to get them in the same ballpark as the other regions. In this movie, I'm going to show you a special way to do this. You can maintain handles for later crossfading. So this region here is a little bit quieter than some of the other dialog regions. Let's take a listen. (Character 2: And that adds ten seats to the theater. And that adds ten seats.) Okay, so here's how we're going to do this. We're going to copy this region down to our Edit track first.
Use the Grabber tool, F8, and I'm going to Ctrl+Option, which is Windows+Alt on a PC and drag this down to one of our Edit tracks. That way we held control so it didn't slide left to right and by holding Option, we copied it down. Next, what we're going to do is pull out some handles on this region. So I'm going to get the Trimmer tool and pull out a little bit of a handle on the left, a little bit of a handle on the right. Now if I zoom in really close here, you'll notice that there's some crossfades at the beginning and end. I'm going to select those and just delete them by clicking the Delete key.
So now we've pulled out the handles from the original region and it's on our Edit track. So we're going to go up to the AudioSuite. We're going to go to Other and choose the Gain AudioSuite plug-in. So you have to ask yourself how much we're going to gain this region up. There's a handy button on the Gain plug-in called Find Level. Let's click that. It tells us where the peak level of this region is. In this case, it's at -14.9 dB. So if I use the slider, I'm going to drag this up till that reaches about 10 DB. -9.5 is fine.
So we're going to gain it up 5.4 dB. That's a good spot for dialog to be peaking out at about -10. So I'm going to hit Process, and you can see the waveform got bigger. Let's take a listen to it. Solo the track-- (Character 2: Good!) (Character 1: And that adds ten seats to the theater.) Sounds good. So now I want to trim it back to its original size. So I'm going to go back up to the original region, double-click it, and I'm going to use the semicolon to move the selection down to that Edit track. At this point, I can hit Command+T or Ctrl+T to trim the region to its original size, and before I drag it back up--I'm going to close the AudioSuite plug-in-- I'm going to make an alternate track in the alternate track playlist on this dialog track.
So I'm going to select Duplicate. It will make a duplicate track. It will be called DX A3.01. That way we can keep the original region just underneath, on a playlist right below. So we'll go down to our edited gained-up region, holding Ctrl on the Mac to drag it up, and it takes the place of the old one. So now if I listen through, it seems to match the level a little better. Unsolo that guy down there. (Character 1: Took out the kitchen.) (Character 2: Good!) (Character 1: And that adds ten seats to the theater.) So, there we go, and we also now if I use the Trimmer tool, have handles on this region, which we wouldn't have had unless we did this workflow.
That's through your dialog pass. Another thing you might be looking for is you want to identify the best single source for each bit of dialog. So if I go and do about 28 seconds of this sequence, I hear another problem. Let's take a listen. (Character 1: More money.) (Character 2: Exactly.) (Character 1: Right.) Okay, so that 'right'. That's on the close-up of character two, and it's character one that says it. Let's hear that again. (Character 1: More seats, more money. Right.) (Character 2: Exactly.) So let's see if we can pull out the region from dialog one and find a better version of that piece of dialog.
I'm going to use the Trimmer tool and I'm going to pull this region out, and let's take a listen. I think I see visually which might look like the word right. (Character 1: More money. Right.) (Character 2: Exactly.) Solo up the track to hear it by itself. (Character 1: More money. Right.) (Character 2: Exactly.) That's a much better 'right' than the one that's down here. So we'll do a couple of simple editing tricks. We're going isolate this. Just actually chop it off by hitting B on the keyboard so it has its own region. And using the Trimmer tool, F6, I'll drag this back to where it was, and I'll use the Trimmer tool to take off the old 'right', and let's make sure it's in the right spot.
Unsolo the track. (Character 2: More money. Right. Speaking of money...) (Character 1: Exactly.) Well, that works pretty well. So you can use some simple editing tricks like that to kind of reveal other parts of other takes which might be more appropriate to clean up your dialog edit. These small tasks you do in your first dialog pass are the foundation you'll be building on, so it's good to take your time and be diligent in this stage of post-production.
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