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Setting up groups and windows

From: Audio for Film and Video with Pro Tools

Video: Setting up groups and windows

Audio for video sessions have many, many tracks. In this movie, we will go over some quick ways to group tracks by type and display them quickly and easily. Groups are managed in the box in the lower left of the Edit window and Mix window. By default, Pro Tool starts you off with an All group, which can be used at any time to control all the tracks in your session. If I click on the All group and I go to Mix window, you can see that all faders are being controlled. Deselect the All group. To create a group, we can type Command+G or Ctrl+G. This is the group's dialog box.

Setting up groups and windows

Audio for video sessions have many, many tracks. In this movie, we will go over some quick ways to group tracks by type and display them quickly and easily. Groups are managed in the box in the lower left of the Edit window and Mix window. By default, Pro Tool starts you off with an All group, which can be used at any time to control all the tracks in your session. If I click on the All group and I go to Mix window, you can see that all faders are being controlled. Deselect the All group. To create a group, we can type Command+G or Ctrl+G. This is the group's dialog box.

Instead of the All group that's in there by default, I want to make an All my tracks group to control the tracks that are just in our current view, not everything. Remember, we have some hidden OMF tracks over here that, as you can see by this display, aren't part of the tracks that are currently in the All my tracks group that we are about to create, and we want to leave it that way. So in this tracks tab we can see all the members that are about to add to your group, plus any available tracks that you could potentially add if you wanted to. You also see that there's a group ID. This is ID a from bank 1.

There are four groups of alphabetical list of groups you can make, with a total of 104 groups for any Pro Tools session. Then we can go over to the Attributes tab. Here, I would think that we would probably want to control Volume and Mute. Those are kind of the default things that you'd like to control with a group. So I am going to check those for now. You can also add send levels for any of your 10 available sends. You can add send mutes. You can add pan to your group attributes. For now I am going to keep these two checked, and we'll click OK. You can see the All my tracks group appeared in our groups list.

Let's make some more groups. Let's make a group just for the dialog tracks, for example. Command+Click or Ctrl+Click to unselect that dialog track, click again to select it, and we'll Shift+Click to select just the dialog tracks, and we will type Command+G or Ctrl+G to start a new group. We will call this one 'dial' for our dialog group, and you can see its ID b. Click OK and let's make one for all of our effects tracks. Select the top FX track all the way down to the end of our FX tracks.

Command+G or Ctrl+G, 'All FX'. Now we are going to make some subgroups within those all FX groups. So we'll make one just for production FX. We'll call that Prod FX. Click OK. And we will make one for just the mono FX, and we will make one for the stereo FX as well. So we would go on and make different groups for even things like music tracks, ambience, and so on.

Now let's take a look over at the Mix window so we can see what these groups look like here. Right now, we are in Narrow Mixed view, so we can't fully see this little pulldown window here that tells us about our groups. Let me get us out of Narrow Mix view by going to View > Uncheck narrow mix, and now we have our wider mixed tracks. We can see this pulldown menu, for example, on the DX1 track shows us that this track is part of the All my tracks group, and we can see those tracks here. You can see that it's also part of group b, the dialog tracks group. You can see those tracks containing the eight dialog tracks. You might also notice here that it has a capital A. Whenever you see a capital letter as a group ID it means that that track is in more than one active group.

In this case, the dialog track is in the All my tracks group and the dialog group. For example, the reference movie is just in the All my tracks group, so it has a lowercase a. Here is where it gets cool. Setting up these groups is a little tedious, but you can now use the groups to quickly show, hide, and even select members of a group. Let's go back to the Edit window to see how this works. So in our groups list at the left here, if I click on this narrow colored strip to the left of any group, I can quickly select just the members of that group.

If I click on the green strip next the dialog group, scroll up a little bit to see what happened, all my dialog tracks got selected. I am going to do the same for the production FX. Just those tracks get selected. This is really handy if you want to select tracks quickly and route them to a different output or a bus. You can use this trick to quickly select all the members of that group. You can also use the groups list here to show and hide different members of a group. To do this, you hold down Ctrl or the Windows key as you click on the group name.

So, if I do this for the dialog group, every other track quickly gets hidden, and we just see the dialog tracks. You do it for same Mono FX, Prod FX, or All FX, and then we can use the All my tracks group to get back to original view. Again, I was holding down Ctrl or Windows to do that as I clicked on the group name. Now let's select all the FX groups. You might notice these odd little circles on the left-hand column of the groups list. These tell you what members of the group are currently selected.

So right now we have all of the FX tracks selected. If we see a close dot, it means that all members of that group are selected. If we see an open dot, like we are seeing in the All my tracks group, it means that some, but not all members of that group are selected. Finally, if we see a filled-in open dot, like we see on the Prod FX, Mono FX, and Stereo FX, that means that all members of a group are selected, plus additional members outside that group. So it's a handy way to tell what members of the group are currently selected.

One last thing: if you need to edit the members of a group, you double-click also in that leftmost column. So if I wanted to edit the members of the dialog group, for example, I double-click next to dialog in that column and I get the group dialog window again. Here now, for example, if I wanted to take dialog 8 out of this group, I can remove it, and it no longer becomes member of that group. I can click it again and add it back. So you can edit the members of the groups that way. When you're working, the faster you can get an idea from your mind to your Pro Tool session, the better.

So using groups like we did in this video really helps you speed up your audio for video workflow.

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 · 8940 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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