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Understanding the new audio for video features in Pro Tools 9

From: Audio for Film and Video with Pro Tools

Video: Understanding the new audio for video features in Pro Tools 9

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.

Understanding the new audio for video features in Pro Tools 9

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.

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 · 8657 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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