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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.
The move from Pro Tools 8 to Pro Tools 9 is huge for all users, involving major revisions to not only the software, but the hardware requirements as well. In this video, we'll go over, point by point, the most relevant new software features in Pro Tools 9 that will specifically impact working on audio for video. First, let's talk about the global software changes that affect everyone using Pro Tools. Pro Tools 9 is now one big installer, no matter what version of Pro Tools hardware you're running. There used to be a discrepancy between LE and HD versions of the software. Not anymore.
Pro Tools HD and LE are now merged into a singular software package. No specific hardware is needed. When you're working on a system containing an HD core, Excel, or Native Card in a PCI slot on your computer, the software will run as Pro Tools HD 9, with the full Pro Tools HD feature set. In all other cases, it will run as simply Pro Tools 9, with a slightly smaller track count and some of the advanced features turned off. No version needs any specific Avid or Pro Tools hardware, only an attached iLok USB key with your authorization installed on it.
If you're using regular Pro Tools 9 software and want to unlock some of the higher-end features available with Pro Tools 9 HD, you can purchase or upgrade a software add-on, called the Complete Production Toolkit 2. This is authorized also with a USB iLok, and it gives you access to all the HD features without the necessity of using an HD PCI card. Most importantly in audio for video, this means more tracks, advanced surround- mixing capabilities, and post-production specific plug-ins like XForm and Neyrinck surround tools, all of which we'll cover in this course.
If you thought your music Pro Tools sessions have a lot of tracks, you'll see that in audio for video you'll need even more tracks. The good thing is that all Pro Tools 9 users get more tracks. You now have 96 playable tracks at the video standard sample rate of 48 kHz. You can see here in this session I've got, if I scroll down all the way to the bottom, 96 active tracks. If you have the Complete Production Toolkit 2, you get even more. You get 192 tracks, which is the same for an HD system with two HD hardware cards installed.
In addition to more tracks, you also get more internal connections. The busing capability is now up to 256 internal buses for all versions. If I go here in the output of one of these tracks, I can see under bus, I have two bus menus. Bus menu a, shows me down at the bottom, I can see that I have 128 active buses. Bus menu b shows me the remaining. Starting at 129, it goes all the way down to 256. That's a lot of internal connections for routing capabilities.
Another cool feature for Pro Tools 9 is the new Track and Send Output Selector command. Scroll up to the top here. If you go to track 1's output menu, we can choose a menu option called Track. Here I can route the output of this track to Aux 1. As you can see, it automatically routed the output of this track on a bus called Aux 1, and it routed the input of my Aux 1 track to the same bus. This is an extremely helpful timesaver for sending and routing your tracks quickly, something you'll do a lot of in post-production mixing, as we'll see.
Now also included as standard in Pro Tools 9, we get frame accurate time code reference, including Feet+Frames. We also get industry-standard video time code rates and pullup/pulldown features for conforming tune from the film. You can see this in our Session Setup window. Here are all of our different time code rates, and we also have the Pull Up/Pull Down features. Also in Pro Tools 9, we can import and export OMF and AAF file types.
Under the File menu, if I go to Export, you can see that option here. OMF and AAF file types are two ways to link your Pro Tools session to an Avid or Final Cut Pro video-editing software. This is an absolute must-have if you're working in audio for video. We also get the advanced DigiBase Pro features, which we can see under Window > Workspace. I'll close the Session Setup window, and here, if I click on the Search tab, we can see that you have a way to store, manage, search, and audition your sound effects libraries that you might be using in your audio for video sessions.
We also get delay compensation. I'm going to hit Command+Equals to show the Mix window. Here down at the bottom, we can see these numbers. This is a visual representation of Pro Tools's delay compensation engine. Delay compensation automatically time-aligns all of your tracks. It takes into account any delay offset your real-time plug-ins might cause. So, for example, track audio 1, if I insert an Expander/Gate plug-in, which because it has a Look Ahead feature, incurs a certain amount of delay on the track, you can see this visually represented by this number 96, which means it's 96 samples late, since the plug-in is incurring that delay.
But we can also see the delay compensation engine at work, because all the other tracks are now 96 samples later. This is a must-have for keeping your scenes in perfect sync with the video if you're using plug-ins. So now you've seen some of the new goodies we have to look forward to exploring in this course. If these features look exciting, stay tuned. We'll learn how to make the most of them, as we get into using Pro Tools 9 audio for video professionals.
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