Join Scott Hirsch for an in-depth discussion in this video Dialogue editing: Part one, part of Pro Tools: Mixing a Short Film.
At this stage of the project we have taken the time to break out the OMF clips into all of our template tracks. As you see here we have narrowed our session down to only the necessary clips and they're all neatly organized in the timeline, checker boarding back and forth in the dialogue tracks between scenes. In this movie we'll explore some techniques that will help finesse these newly organized clips into coherent dialogue and sync tracks that play seamlessly throughout a scene. The first thing we should do here is hide all of these muted clips we didn't use from the original OMF import.
All that's left here are the muted clips on these tracks, and there will be placeholders in case we ever need to get back to them. So let's select all of these tracks by holding down Shift, then we'll right-click on any one of them and say Hide and Make Inactive. Good, we'll be able to get back to these if we need to, but they're gone from our view. This second scene of the movie is a standard dialogue track layout. On the top track dialogue 6, I have edited only the Boom Microphone Source, it's by far the most natural sound, but it does have a bit of room echo in it.
The two tracks below it contain the two Lavalier tracks for the scene. The top one on dialogue 7 is the assisting characters Lavalier and the dialogue 8 contains the young architect characters Lavalier mic. We'll use these Lavalier mics to fill in against the Boom when the actor speaks. So let's clean up the Boom tracks edit, and make sure it's seamless without any skips or bumps. So let's solo it and make sure it's nice and wide by clicking on the thin track ruler and changing it to large.
The Trimmer Edit tool will be very useful here, which if you're using Pro Tools Smart tool, identified by when all three tools are lit up in blue, will become active as we move the cursor to the edge of regions. Alternatively, if you dislike working with the Smart tool, you can type F6, and that'll give you the Trimmer tool. F7 gives you the next tool, the Selector tool and F8 gives you the next tool, the Grabber tool. We'll demonstrate the trimmer here on this clip where the assistant says, well, 6 p.m.
The line is off camera, and we'll decide to keep just the laugh, and we'll remove the well, let's take a listen to it. (male speaker: Well, 6 p.m.) So again, we want to take out the well and just keep the laugh, we can use the Trimmer tool to remove this, and we'll drag in the preceding shot like this. Now let's listen. (male speaker: Six p.m.) Okay, now that worked, but there's a little talking from the preceding clip that you might here.
Your first instinct might be to just cut it out, right, and hit Delete, but remember our goal here is to make it seamless, no dropouts, so we have to fill it in with some room tone. We can select some room tone from the empty areas such as right before the clip, with the Selector tool. I just want to make sure that there are no other sounds going on, it's just the room itself. Then we'll type Command+C to copy it to the clipboard. Next, we can make a selection only where we want to paste it. This time type Option+Command+V, this is called Paste Special, and it only fills in the space you selected with the clipboard contents, it's a very useful paste command to know when you're making this kind of edit. Great. Now let's listen.
(male speaker: Six p.m.) Next, we want to make sure that every edit has at least a tiny crossfade between them. Again, to avoid any bumps in the road, we don't want any clicks or pops going on between our clips. Fades can also be made with a smart tool by going to the bottom of the overlapping clip and pointing it out a little, or you can make a selection over the intersecting point and type the key F to make a quick crossfade. So now we'll continue to work through the Boom Mic clips on the scene checking each edit and making crossfades over each one.
We'll also be copying and pasting room tone where necessary, to make it as clean as possible. To check what this looks like, take a look at the end version of the session file, to show the end result of our work.
- Setting up your project
- Exporting audio and video
- Editing dialogue
- Fixing hum and broadband noise issues with processing
- Synchronizing sound effects (SFX)
- Automating volume
- Printing the final mix stems