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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.
In this movie, we are going to build and work through our Pro Tools session that's optimized for recording or referencing video. ADR or Automated Dialogue Replacement is a process where production dialogue is replaced by the original actors in a controlled environment. Foley is the act of performing sound effects by a Foley artist to match specific movements on the screen. Both of these processes require similar Pro Tools workflows. So here we'll learn how to set up this specific type of session. As you can see, I have a pretty customized session here. I have got the video in the top track and then I've got four tracks below that.
I've got my Beeps track, which is where we are going to put beep cues. This is a way to cue actors to know when to perform. Then I've got my Record track, which is where we are actually be recording to. Then we have our Edit/Process track and that's where we can pull recorded takes that we like and edit them, and finally we have our Hero track. That's where we put our final edited takes at the end. So as you can see, we have two spots marked with memory locations. Foley (FLY) footsteps and Foley (FLY) Helmet. These are two spots where we want to record some Foley.
So here in addition to having the markers hold the place, we are actually going to create something called a slug, which is a place marker. It's an actual region with nothing in it. It's going to hold the place of where the recording will occur and this will let us line up, create a duration, and name our recordings easily. So I am going to walk you through on how to make this kind of slug. The way to do it is to actually just record a bunch of silence somewhere at the end of your session. So I am going to put the cursor in the Record track. Record enable it and go ahead and hit numeric keypad 3 to start recording.
So basically, it doesn't matter what's in this Record track. We just need to have something. It's just going to be silence right now. We want probably about ten seconds or so of some type of recorded media, in this case, just silence. So once that's done, we are going to actually go ahead and take your Grabber tool, double click, and name it slug. We actually don't want there to be any media in this region. So here's a little trick to make that happen. It kind of tricks Pro Tools into doing this.
We are going to actually save our session here, Command+S, and we are going to close the session and go ahead and save it one more time. So in our session folder Audio Files, we should see the slug media we just recorded. I am going to actually go ahead and just trash that and when we reopen the session, it's going to complain that it's not there and that's fine. We can just go ahead and skip it. What we have is what we wanted. just an offline region. See, it's grayed out. it's offline in our REGIONS list. That's fine.
We are going to go ahead and copy this to our clipboard. So select it and type C. And we are going to lay it in where we want the Foley action to occur. So clicking on the marker gets us right to the spot. I am going to type V to paste that slug in there and here we are going to use the Trimmer tool, F6, to create this slug for the exact duration of the footstep. So you can see this guy's footsteps start there and end somewhere around there. And we are going to do the same thing for the Helmet audio. So we are going to Foley in the taking off of this helmet and agai, get it to the start point, which I've already designated with my marker.
Type V to paste in our slug and I am going to trim for the exact duration of the helmet, so it starts about there and it ends right about there. So we are going to go a little longer with that because the helmet is still going to be rolling around in the ground. Next thing I am going to do is name these slugs. So double-click on it and this first one was going to be called FLY, for Foley, footsteps and the second one is going to be called FLY helmet. So now, instead of just having a marker to mark the start point, I am going to actually have a blank slug that gives us duration and a name for each of these Foley effects we are going to record.
The next order of business is to line up our Beeps track, the cues I was talking about earlier that cue the actor went to record. So I have a pre-made Beeps track in my REGIONS list and basically what it is, I'll drag it out here, if we listen to it, it's just tree beeps and then a second. So it sounds like this. (Beep beep beep...) So the actor will hear beep, beep, beep , so they'll have an audio reference of when to start recording. So in order to line up these beeps to where the action will occur, we can use a key command and to do that, we are going to take the Grabber tool, select the region we are going to record to and then by holding Command+Ctrl on the Mac, single-click on the Beeps track, and it back aligns the end of the Beeps track region to the front of the currently selected region, which was the slug. I'll do it again.
Let me Option+drag or Alt+drag the Beeps track to do it for the second cue. Again, you select the region and Ctrl+ Command, click once, and it back aligns the Beep track to that spot. So now when the actors are about to record, they'll hear-- (Beep beep beep...) Action! For both of the Foley spots. So we are going to actually start with recording the Foley helmet sound and another cool use of these slugs is that you can double-click on it to get the name to appear and Command+C to copy that text and go to our Record track and actually double-click there, paste that text in there, and now our Record track is quickly named what the actual item we are going to record.
So as we record, all of our regions that we are going to record will have the name FLY helmet 01, FLY helmet 02. So another great use of these slugs is that you can use it to quickly rename the track every time that you record. So, a couple more items of business before we actually roll and that is to show our Transport window and set up a couple of recording options here. We do want Pre-roll and Post-roll and we want those to be three seconds long. So just turn those on by clicking on them and type in 3, Enter, and 3 seconds here, Enter.
It will give us some Pre-roll and Post-roll. 3 seconds is the best option because it will roll back 3 to the beginning of our beeps and then recording will start here. The next thing we want to do is make sure that our record mode is in Punch mode. See the little P inside the red dot. To toggle through that, it's Control in Windows and you get to all the different Record modes. We want to make sure we are in Punch mode. That way even in pre-roll, Pro Tools will secretly be recording and if the actor jumps the gun a little bit, we'll actually still have that in the recording. So once we've got that taken care of, we are ready to roll our takes and I am going to record enable the track.
We are in Punch mode and we've got the Pre-roll lined up three seconds back. So I am going to type 3 in my numeric keypad to initiate recording and here we go. (Beep beep beep) Great! So that's our first Foley and it came in nicely. Here's our second record take. (Beep beep beep) And let's do one more take.
(Beep beep beep) Okay, great! So we've just done three Foley takes. I am going to show you a quick way to look through these takes so you can find which one you like the most and that's to use something called matching takes. If I take the Selector tool and I Command +click on this region, I actually get a list of related takes. Now you can actually change the match criteria, so that Pro Tools knows what you are trying to match.
So let's look into the Alternate Match Criteria for a second here. And if we match Track Name and Region Start, since these all started recording at the same spot, we should get even easier to look at list. So again Command+click or Ctrl+click on this region and there're our three takes. We can actually look at and listen to the first take. I am going to take off pre-roll. That's Command+K, Ctrl+K on a PC. So I have Take 1. And Command+click, Take 2.
Command+click, Take 3. So I think I like Take 2. It'll take a little editing, but that's fine. So I am going to take the Grabber tool and pull it down to thetrack below, which is our edit track and record enable there. And we'll do a little editing here. so we basically just need to cut out a little bit and make the helmet hitting the ground line up a little better, something like that. Great! That looks good.
So we are done recording, we are done editing, then I would take this and just drag it down. I can even Option+drag it, so it makes a copy into my Hero track, and we are done. So now at the end of this workflow, you can import your Hero track items into your main session using session data import. So these tips should make your ADR or Foley sessions as productive as possible and you should use this workflow. It makes things very easy and very straightforward.
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