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Understanding the audio production workflow

From: Audio for Film and Video with Pro Tools

Video: Understanding the audio production workflow

Let's get into the basic workflow of an audio for video project and see how Pro Tools integrates. First, the production phase. The video is shot. While Pro Tools can be used to record audio on a set, typically location audio recordists use a separate hard drive or flash recorder. Then we have the Picture edit. In this step, the video, along with production sound, is imported into video editing software, such as Final Cut Pro or Avid Media Composer. During this period of time sound engineers can gather and record other sound effects that might be useful for the project, or go through sound effects libraries, storing sounds, editing, and compositing them in Pro Tools, gearing up for sound work that lies ahead.

Understanding the audio production workflow

Let's get into the basic workflow of an audio for video project and see how Pro Tools integrates. First, the production phase. The video is shot. While Pro Tools can be used to record audio on a set, typically location audio recordists use a separate hard drive or flash recorder. Then we have the Picture edit. In this step, the video, along with production sound, is imported into video editing software, such as Final Cut Pro or Avid Media Composer. During this period of time sound engineers can gather and record other sound effects that might be useful for the project, or go through sound effects libraries, storing sounds, editing, and compositing them in Pro Tools, gearing up for sound work that lies ahead.

When the picture editing is complete, the picture is said to be locked. There may be still graphic, special effects, or other picture manipulations, but the timing of the cuts are solid and fixed. The next step is the OMF or AAF transfer, where the sound is separated from the picture and brought into Pro Tools. OMF or AAF files are generated from the Avid Media Composer or Final Cut Pro Timeline. The picture editor also delivers a separate reference video, which is imported into Pro Tools as a video track, and it's referenced while the work takes place.

Once the sound has been imported into Pro Tools from the OMF or AAF files, the audio edit begins in separate stages. Dialog, including production audio is edited, noise-reduced, EQ'd, and optimized, Backgrounds, ambience tracks, and the sonic world of the film is created. Sound effects are placed, foley is performed, sweetening of production sound effects occurs, ADR, dialog replacement is recorded if it's needed, temp or file music is brought in, while the music soundtrack begins recording.

Once all of this is completed, if there are many tracks, premixes or pre-dubs are performed to make the final rerecording mix simpler. Then the final rerecording mix occurs. It's named this because stems are combined and rerecorded to make the final tracks, or print masters. Various versions can be mixed. Some may be for Internet, some for TV, some for DVD, some for surround, and so on, depending on the project's needs. Complex deliverables might be asked for also, such as versions called M&E or Music and Effects, with no dialog for foreign versions.

Then the final layback to tape occurs. This is where the sound is married back to the final picture and completed for the final delivery. So now you have seen how Pro Tools fits in to a video workflow. These days it can play significant role in any video soundtrack, and it really let us fine-tune all of these stems and their individual elements as we work.

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Audio for Film and Video with Pro Tools

51 video lessons · 9240 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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