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Pro Tools 10 Essential Training
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Utilizing fades and crossfades


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Pro Tools 10 Essential Training

with David Franz

Video: Utilizing fades and crossfades

To create smooth edits while editing audio clips in Pro Tools, you should utilize fades at most clip beginnings and endings and crossfades between adjacent clips. Fades and crossfades are used to prevent pops, clicks and sudden changes in sound at clip boundaries, as well as to smooth transitions between clips and create special audio effects. Let's listen to where we need to apply some fades and crossfades in this session. Let me start by playing this clip down here. And what you're going to hear is the sound of it going from empty space right into this sound, and let's hear what happens.
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  1. 13m 44s
    1. Welcome
      1m 20s
    2. Exploring the different versions of Pro Tools
      3m 22s
    3. Optimizing your computer before installing Pro Tools
      4m 18s
    4. Troubleshooting
      2m 19s
    5. Using the exercise files
      2m 25s
  2. 36m 55s
    1. Installing and authorizing Pro Tools
      1m 49s
    2. Connecting your Pro Tools system
      4m 31s
    3. Powering up and powering down
      58s
    4. Choosing the Playback Engine and Hardware settings
      5m 55s
    5. Optimizing Pro Tools' performance
      6m 26s
    6. Utilizing Automatic Delay Compensation (ADC)
      3m 36s
    7. Setting essential preferences
      2m 35s
    8. Creating a Pro Tools session
      4m 31s
    9. Identifying elements in a session folder
      2m 36s
    10. Creating new tracks
      3m 58s
  3. 42m 5s
    1. Exploring the Edit window
      6m 44s
    2. Exploring the Mix window
      3m 11s
    3. Exploring the Transport and Big Counter windows
      2m 57s
    4. Using the Color palette and window arrangements
      2m 35s
    5. Investigating the menus
      3m 22s
    6. Understanding samples and ticks
      3m 34s
    7. Viewing and manipulating tracks
      4m 31s
    8. Selecting inputs, outputs, and busses
      3m 58s
    9. Selecting an I/O settings file
      4m 12s
    10. Understanding signal paths and gain stages
      3m 46s
    11. Utilizing keyboard shortcuts and Keyboard Focus
      3m 15s
  4. 21m 11s
    1. Using DigiBase and the Workspace browser
      4m 14s
    2. Importing audio
      3m 0s
    3. Importing MIDI
      2m 48s
    4. Importing session data
      5m 34s
    5. Importing tracks from a CD
      2m 51s
    6. Importing video
      2m 44s
  5. 56m 46s
    1. Recording audio
      6m 13s
    2. Playing back audio and Edit window scrolling
      4m 52s
    3. Creating a click track
      5m 24s
    4. Overdubbing and using the record modes
      8m 52s
    5. Recording with playlists and Loop Record
      4m 6s
    6. Punch recording and using the monitoring modes
      4m 14s
    7. Dealing with latency and ADC
      4m 58s
    8. Creating a group
      6m 5s
    9. Adding effects while recording
      5m 16s
    10. Creating a headphone (cue) mix
      4m 29s
    11. Assigning disk allocation
      2m 17s
  6. 1h 28m
    1. Understanding nondestructive editing and region types
      3m 19s
    2. Using the Selector and Grabber tools
      3m 37s
    3. Using the Trim and Scrubber tools
      7m 5s
    4. Using the Zoomer tool and zoom presets
      5m 51s
    5. Using the Pencil tool
      3m 10s
    6. Using the Smart tool
      1m 27s
    7. Understanding the Edit modes
      5m 51s
    8. Arranging clips
      6m 40s
    9. Undoing an edit
      2m 44s
    10. Utilizing fades and crossfades
      9m 41s
    11. Building a comp track using playlists
      5m 17s
    12. Locking and muting clips
      2m 48s
    13. Special Edit window buttons
      7m 15s
    14. Creating an audio loop
      5m 19s
    15. Editing a voiceover
      9m 41s
    16. Using Elastic Time and Elastic Pitch
      9m 12s
  7. 17m 21s
    1. Working with clip groups
      4m 33s
    2. Using time, tempo, meter, key, and chord
      5m 37s
    3. Creating memory locations
      7m 11s
  8. 33m 10s
    1. Setting up MIDI on a Mac
      4m 17s
    2. Setting up MIDI on a PC
      2m 14s
    3. Setting up MIDI in Pro Tools
      2m 44s
    4. Recording MIDI data
      3m 14s
    5. Recording multiple MIDI tracks with one virtual instrument
      2m 17s
    6. Recording options for MIDI
      6m 21s
    7. Using Step Input
      4m 35s
    8. Making a drum loop with MIDI Merge
      3m 36s
    9. Composing with virtual instruments
      3m 52s
  9. 57m 1s
    1. Using the edit tools for editing MIDI data
      10m 0s
    2. Editing MIDI data in the MIDI Editor
      7m 31s
    3. Working with the MIDI Event List
      2m 12s
    4. Editing MIDI data with Event Operations
      8m 33s
    5. Quantizing MIDI tracks
      12m 16s
    6. Creating and using Groove Templates
      5m 35s
    7. Utilizing real-time properties
      5m 50s
    8. Using MIDI Learn
      5m 4s
  10. 17m 30s
    1. Exploring the Score Editor
      5m 49s
    2. Using the Score Editor
      5m 5s
    3. Setting up a score
      4m 48s
    4. Printing and exporting a score
      1m 48s
  11. 25m 39s
    1. Writing and editing automation
      6m 40s
    2. Drawing automation with the Pencil tool
      4m 2s
    3. Editing automation with the Trim and Grabber tools
      2m 58s
    4. Cutting, copying, pasting, and clearing automation
      4m 12s
    5. Turning automation on and off
      3m 52s
    6. Automating plug-ins and virtual instruments
      3m 55s
  12. 1h 49m
    1. Setting up a session for mixing
      8m 50s
    2. Setting up an effects loop
      9m 30s
    3. Working with plug-ins
      4m 33s
    4. Utilizing ADC while mixing
      9m 8s
    5. Applying EQ
      12m 43s
    6. Adding compression and limiting
      14m 25s
    7. Using delay effects
      6m 52s
    8. Applying AudioSuite plug-ins
      6m 24s
    9. Adding reverb to your mix
      6m 50s
    10. Bouncing down a mix
      4m 15s
    11. Making an MP3 for iTunes and SoundCloud
      2m 53s
    12. Setting up a session for mastering
      4m 58s
    13. Mastering a session
      10m 37s
    14. Bouncing down master recordings with Dither and Noise Shaping
      7m 24s
  13. 9m 59s
    1. Importing and displaying video files
      2m 38s
    2. Adding music, foley, ADR, and FX
      4m 29s
    3. Bouncing down video and audio together
      2m 52s
  14. 4m 0s
    1. Archiving an entire session
      4m 0s
  15. 58s
    1. Further recommendations
      58s

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Pro Tools 10 Essential Training
8h 54m Beginner Jan 20, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Pro Tools 10 Essential Training with musician and producer David Franz illuminates the process of recording, editing, mixing, and mastering in Avid Pro Tools, the industry-standard software for music and postproduction. The course covers recording live audio and adding effects on the fly, creating music with virtual instruments and plug-ins, editing for time and pitch manipulation, creating a musical score, and mixing and mastering a track.

Topics include:
  • Exploring the Pro Tools interface
  • Selecting inputs, outputs, and busses
  • Understanding signal paths and gain stages
  • Setting up Pro Tools hardware and software properly
  • Importing audio from multiple sources
  • Recording and editing audio and MIDI
  • Adjusting time, tempo, meter, key, and chord in arrangements
  • Mixing and mastering a session
  • Setting up an effects loop
  • Importing and displaying video
  • Adding music, Foley, ADR, and FX
  • Archiving a session
Subjects:
Audio + Music DAWs
Software:
Pro Tools
Author:
David Franz

Utilizing fades and crossfades

To create smooth edits while editing audio clips in Pro Tools, you should utilize fades at most clip beginnings and endings and crossfades between adjacent clips. Fades and crossfades are used to prevent pops, clicks and sudden changes in sound at clip boundaries, as well as to smooth transitions between clips and create special audio effects. Let's listen to where we need to apply some fades and crossfades in this session. Let me start by playing this clip down here. And what you're going to hear is the sound of it going from empty space right into this sound, and let's hear what happens.

(Music Playing) Did you hear the little click that happens right at the beginning? (Music Playing) That's an unwanted sound and I'll tell you why it's made. Let's zoom in even closer. Ideally the waveform would start at a zero crossing, so somewhere right in here; and this is the zero crossing line right in the middle of the waveform, and this is the left and right sides, so really the line exists on both parts of the file, the left and right side.

And any time that the waveform strays from the center line, then it means it has amplitude or volume, and that's what we are seeing here. So the problem is that we're going from no amplitude whatsoever here, automatically up to this higher amplitude. And when that instantaneous change happens that's when you hear the click sound. And that's why we use a fade in to eliminate that click sound. So with the Selector tool here I am going to the click and drag, and now go to the Edit menu, choose Fades > Create, and the Fades dialog box opens up, and here this is what our fade is going to look like when we apply it.

We can click and drag in here and adjust it ourselves, or we can choose some pre-existing curves that they have here. I will just go back to the standard shape. There is also a slope, equal power and equal gain, and I'll explain those a little bit later in this movie. So I am going to hit OK, and now our fade is created. And you'll note that the waveform starts at zero now and fades in, and let's take a listen to what that sounds like.

(Music Playing) Notice how there's no click sound at the beginning. (Music Playing) Now let's check out a fade out. I'm going to zoom in on the end here. I'm going to play this back and we will hear what it sounds like without a fade. (Music Playing) It's pretty harsh, it just drops right off. (Music Playing) What I want to do instead is create a fade out, so that that's not as harsh of a dropout.

So I'm actually going to use the Smart tool, which we have selected here, go up to the top of the waveform and click and drag. And here we have our waveform that is being faded out automatically; we didn't have to open up the fades dialog box. If we do, we'll see what are settings are, and we'll see that that is the default setting. I am going to talk about how to set the default in a minute. So let's a take a listen to this. (Music Playing) Not too bad.

Now if we wanted to extend this, we can use the Trimmer as part of the Smart tool to extend or shorten this fade out. So I am going to just position it here, and click and drag, and that extends out the fade out, if I want it. Now I can actually shorten that as well, if I need to bring it back down to being very short, and that's pretty handy way to edit the length of our fade out. Now I want to talk about making a crossfade. So I am going to zoom back out, and we are going to take a look at what happens between these two clips.

Since I've already got the Smart tool highlighted, I'm going to go down here between the two clips and click and drag, and I am going to create a crossfade. One thing you will note about this are the colors and how they overlap, and we can either turn on or off by going to the View menu > Waveforms > Overlapped Crossfades. If I turn it off, then that's what we see, not as interesting as showing the overlap crossfades, so let's show those.

And now to access the Fades dialog box, I can mouse down here and with the Grabber tool on the bottom half of the waveform, I can double-click, and that opens up the Fades dialog box. And while we are checking this out, I want to talk more about some of these buttons in here. We have got link parameter, which enables you to choose the fade out and fade in curves used in a crossfade and have them be linked together. That's usually what you'll want to have happen. And then we have some options for that, we have Equal Power, you choose Equal Power when you're creating a crossfade between two completely different types of musical material, so that there's no volume drop, as their might be with an Equal Gain crossfade.

You should choose Equal Gain when creating a crossfade between two identical types of musical material, like repeated drum loops, and this is to avoid clipping that might happen if you use an Equal Power crossfade. Now I have actually found that the opposite works well in certain circumstances too, so you should experiment between these two. You can also choose None when you want to edit the fade out and the fade in separately, meaning, that there is no link. Let's touch on a few more of the buttons in this window.

You can change the size of the waveform to look more at the details by using these buttons. We can show what the two waveforms mixed together looks like, and we can take the waveforms out of it altogether, not really sure why you'd want to do that, but there is the option. Finally, we have the Audition button; you can use this to take a listen to what our crossfade is going to sound like. (Music Playing) Now if you were paying attention to that, you heard that there were two notes that crossed over and were happening at the same time, and that's usually something that you wouldn't want to have happen on your bass track, and what that means is the crossfade is too long.

So I am going to cancel this, and I am going to adjust the length of this crossfade, bring it way down. Now let's take a listen to it. (Music Playing) Still too long, so let's go in here and I'm actually going to select it, hit the Delete key and get rid of it altogether, and now I will go in and create a very short crossfade.

Now let's hear what that sounds like. (Music Playing) That works a little better, so we have no overlap of the notes. When we are using the Smart tool to create crossfades and fades, it relies on the fade preferences that we have set, and we can set those up in the Setup > Preferences > Editing tab, and right here in the fade section, down here we have the Default Fade Settings, and if I click into crossfades, I can say, oh, we want Equal Power, these are the shapes that we want and hit OK.

And then, whenever I create a crossfade with the Smart tool, that is the setting that it's going to use. Another thing that you might want to keep checked is the Preserve Fades when Editing, what that means is if you decide to trim a clip, the fade will stay with the clip, so that you don't have to make a new one. So I am going to hit OK. So as you may know, the reason that we can make a crossfade is because there's audio material that extends beyond the clip's boundaries. So in this particular region, there is audio that extends over what is hidden underneath this red region, the same goes in vice versa this way.

Now if we don't have the audio that's underneath or extends beyond the regions, then we can't make a crossfade and that's what happens over here, let's take a look. With the Trim tool I am going to try to extend this clip, and Pro Tools won't let me. That's because there's no more audio that extends beyond this clip's boundary. So what happens if I try to make a crossfade? I'm going to use this Smart tool here, click and drag, Pro Tools brings up this warning, it says, One or more fade requests are invalid due to insufficient audio data within the fade bounds.

You may skip the invalid fade request(s) or adjust the balance for those fades where possible. So if we skip it, then Pro Tools will pretend like we never asked it to make a crossfade. However, if we adjust the bounds, Pro Tools intelligently tries to create a crossfade if there's audio material available to do so. So let's see what happens when I had Adjust Bounds. So it looks like there was audio material over to the left, so this blue clip had some audio beyond its clip boundary.

And here we have our new crossfade. So as you can tell here fades and crossfades are essential tools for editing digital audio. Use them well, and your audio edits will be super smooth.

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