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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.
On bigger productions it's common to perform pre-dub or premix prior to the final mix or re-recording session. This practice allows you to cut down the number of tracks and simplify our track count for the final mix. You would for example combine all your dialog tracks, background fill, ADR, and production effects onto six or eight checkerboard tracks for your final mix. Although when you do your premix you'll be printing your volume levels and some processing like EQ and compression, you should keep it somewhat minimal to keep some possibilities open when all the elements are heard together in the final mix.
Here is an example of how you'd set up your dialog pre-dub. So I have my dialog tracks split out here for two scenes like we talked about for doing the dialog edit, but down here I have the tracks that I'm going to premix too and I'll show you how I've broken them out. I gave myself three dialog tracks, Dialog A, B, and C. So Dialog A is going to be your primary print track, say for the first scene. So any normal dialog, in this case all of this dialog-- There is nothing out of the ordinary. There are some perspective changes and things like that.
They're all going to combined onto our Dialog A track. Then for the next scene, we have three more tracks, also normal dialog. It's been edited and filled with room tone and all that good stuff, but in the premix we're going to combine them and they will go onto Dialog B. So we're still checkerboarding, but we're minimizing the track count. So Scene 1, all normal dialog, we go to Dialog A. Scene 2 all normal dialog, we'll print down to Dialog B. Now I made one more, Dialog C, and that would be for anything out of the ordinary.
If there is a special needs dialog that we want to separate out for the final mix or something that needed to be append in a different way, you could put that on Dialog C. I have some other premix tracks to print to, if I had ADR, I would put them on A and B by scene, checkerboarded. I also have some production effects tracks down here. So if you wanted to take the time to split out all the production effects from the original dialog tracks, much like we did here where we took out the sound of him unrolling the paper and putting the coffee cup down, you could print that stuff down too production effects A and B, again checkerboarded by scene.
By separating out the production effects it will save you a lot of time later when you need to make M&E, which is a music and effects only version for foreign distribution. So you have the opportunities to do that here in your premix. Another option you have is if you wanted to you could print your reverb also to separate tracks. So that you wouldn't have a reverb running in realtime. You could actually print the reverb and you can bring that up or down in the final mix if you wanted to. The next step in this process, we made the tracks and I just want to go through how you would route this kind of thing to these final print tracks.
So for the first scene, which goes from here to here, we would route all three tracks. Again, remember I said these are all normal dialog tracks. There is nothing strange about them, there is no special needs dialog. These will all be printed down to Dialog A. So I would select all three of these tracks and by holding Option+Shift or Alt+Shift, I can route their outputs to that Dialog A track using the new quick routing feature in Pro Tools 9. And now they're routing down to Dialog A. Its input is set to that same bus.
And for the second scene, I'll take all three of these tracks, which again also they're normal dialog tracks, and I would Option+Shift or Alt+Shift and send those to Dialog B. And if I wanted to split up the Production FX, I would take that and I would send that to my PFX A track. Then we've got our dialog. You can see that all of our dialog tracks are bussing to an aux track for reverb, and if we wanted to print that, we have the option here too. I could take the output of the dialog verb track and print that to our dialog verb print track down here.
So once you have all your tracks routed, you just need to record enable any tracks that you're recording to. In this case Dialog A, Dialog B, Production FX A, and Dialog verb, and you simply just record as you play through the scene. So I would hit numeric keypad 3 on my keyboard to begin recording and as it rolls through the scene, you can see I'm printing these tracks down. (Male speaker 1: Hi Charlie! Again! Good to see you.) (Male speaker 2: Good to see you!) (Male speaker 1: So what did you bring me here?) (Male speaker 2: Just what you suggested we cut back to save on expenses. We're losing the one in the back?) So when we're done, we'll have these 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 tracks with our reverb will be combined into four tracks, which we'll bring into the final mix and that will make the final mix a little bit simpler to deal with.
And the mixer can have his or her finger on one fader for the main dialog and for the next scene it will be the next fader next to it. So this is just one example of how you might prepare your mix for a premix. Of course if you're working with a re- recording engineer, you want to confer with him or her about how they prefer the tracks to be prepared. Everybody has their own personal working methods, but this is an example of how you can route and perform a pre-dub.
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