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Print mastering and stem mixes

From: Audio for Film and Video with Pro Tools

Video: Print mastering and stem mixes

In this movie, we are going to go over how you can set up your final print mastering session so you can record or print your mix and separate your dialogue, effects, and music stems all in one pass. So let's say we are done with the surround mix. We are getting ready to finalize and print our work. In addition to the full 6-channel 5.1 mix we also want to separate out the mix elements into various printed stems for delivery. This gives us a lot of options later for any further edits, any rights issues that might come up with music, and broadcast specifications. So to be as flexible as possible we are going to want to deliver dialogue, effects, and music print stems as well as the full surround mix.

Print mastering and stem mixes

In this movie, we are going to go over how you can set up your final print mastering session so you can record or print your mix and separate your dialogue, effects, and music stems all in one pass. So let's say we are done with the surround mix. We are getting ready to finalize and print our work. In addition to the full 6-channel 5.1 mix we also want to separate out the mix elements into various printed stems for delivery. This gives us a lot of options later for any further edits, any rights issues that might come up with music, and broadcast specifications. So to be as flexible as possible we are going to want to deliver dialogue, effects, and music print stems as well as the full surround mix.

If your project is long, doing all these mixes can take hours or even days. But I am going to show you a way to route your session so you can output more than one stem and your full mix all in one pass. So first we need to make some record tracks. So down at the bottom of my session I am going to select the last track and I am going to make them at the end here and make 4 audio tracks. Shift+Command+N or Ctrl+Shift+N. 4 audio tracks and these are going to be full 5.1 tracks. These are going to be where we print our mixes to. And the first track we are going to name Mix Print.

That's going to be our fully combined mix of all the elements. I am going to hit Command or Ctrl for PC, right arrow to go to the next, and this is going to be called DX Print. This is where just a dialogue stem will be printed to. Command or Ctrl+Right-arrow, FX Print, Command or Ctrl+Right-arrow, MX Print, and we are done. So we've named our 4 print stems. So now we just need to route to these stems. I am going to start with just taking our dialogue bus and in its output we are going to use this feature to route to our dialogue DX Print track and we are going to do same with effects except we are going to take this one to our FX Print track, and the MX Bus we are going to send to our Music Print track.

So there we've set up our tracks to go to their respective print master tracks for recording our print masters. But we also need to do one more and that's to combine all the tracks to simultaneously go to the Mix Print track. So to do this, we are going to use something called Multiple Output Destinations. Multiple Output Destinations lets you assign output of a track to two places at once. So in addition to going to their respective print tracks, each of these dialogue effects and music tracks are also going to be simultaneously going to the Mix Print track and combine there.

So to make multiple output destinations, you hold Ctrl or the Windows key as you go into your output selector of your track. So I am holding Ctrl, I'm going into my output selector of the dialogue bus and I'm going to go into track and assign this also to the Mix Print track. Now, you see a plus sign appeared in the output Sselector. I am going to make this track medium so we can see what's happening. Actually, I'll make all the buses medium. So when you see a plus sign, that means that this track is indeed outputting to multiple output destinations. So if I click in here and I go under the buses that it's assigned to, I can see that Dialogue Print and Mix Print are both checked.

That's what we want. So we wanted the same thing with the FX Bus. So holding Ctrl or Windows key, go in here and assign it also to the Mix Print, and we're going to do the same for the music bus. Hold Ctrl and go down and assign it to the Mix Print as well. So all three, dialogue bus, effects bus, and music bus are going to both their respective stems to print and the final full mix to print as well. So now the next thing we want to do when we're listening back to this as we are printing, we don't want to hear all of these at one time.

It's going to be very loud and it won't be accurate representation of what we are actually doing. So we actually want to send the dialogue, effects, and music stem just to a dummy output, and we want to listen to the full mix as we print, just a quality check as we are printing. So let's go up to Setup > I/O and we are just going to go ahead and under the Bus window we are going to make a new path, and this will be a 5.1 path, and we will just call this Dummy. It's going to be our dummy output. It's really just going nowhere.

But it gives us a place to send our dialogue, effects, and music print. I am going to hold Shift to select all those and Option or Alt+Shift and I'm just going to send those to that dummy track I just created, so we won't have to hear those as we print. Now, we are going to want to record enable all 4 of these tracks when we're getting ready to print. One more thing that we should do before we do our final print is just go back to your Mix window and we want to make sure just double and triple check that all of your tracks are bussed to the correct stem.

So this is what we want to see, that all the dialogue buses are outputted through the dialogue bus, all the effects tracks are assigned through the effects bus. If you had one of these off or in the wrong place, then it's going to really mess up our stems because we'll get say for example a music track and our dialogue stem and we don't want that. So just a word of warning, you should double and triple check your routing before you do your final print master. So everything is ready to go. Now, we just want to roll to before the show starts, say at the 2pop, and start recording.

So hit 3 on my numeric keypad and we start rolling and there we are. So zoom in a little bit, and you can see that all four tracks are printing at one time, and we are hearing just our final 5.1 mix where the other ones are going to a dummy output, and again when you're done with this print master you are going to want to check your files and make sure that everything is there and send them off to the final delivery. So the print mastering stage is a good place to be. It means your creative work is done but it isn't time to tune out. The moves you make here in this stage have high consequences.

So make sure you pay attention and make sure you listen to all your stems before sending them off.

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 · 8855 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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