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- Importing audio and video files
- Creating and using sync points
- Using snap editing commands
- Customizing crossfades
- Editing to acquire multiple sync points within the same cue
- Creating a 30-second condensed edit
- Exploring alternate edits and alternate songs
- Mixing and bouncing down the edit
- Compressing QuickTime movies
- Conforming an edit if the length of a shot changes or if a scene has shifted
Skill Level Intermediate
The first thing that we are going to want to do is we are going to set up a template. What this allows us to do is have a starting place so that when we work on future projects, we don't have to set up all of our preferences and our track layouts every time. What we will do here is create a new session, which you can do by selecting New Session, under the File menu in Pro Tools, or by the key command Command+N on Mac or Ctrl+N on Windows. And we are going to create a blank session. We are going to use the audio file type broadcast.wav, or .wav, with a Sample Rate of 48 kilohertz and a Bit Depth of 24 bits. And under our I/O Settings, let's select Stereo Mix, since we are going to be working in stereo on this course.
And you can save this anywhere you want on your computer. Let's call this "template," and I am going save it to the Desktop. And so now we've got a blank session. It looks like some of the settings have carried over already, so I am just going to walk you through some of these important settings that are kind of key for a video or post-production project. The first thing that I like to do in a session is to enable Shuffle Lock, at least when I am not going to use it, which we are not going to use it in this course. And the way you do that, we are going to Command+Click or Ctrl+Click that button to enable that mode.
You'll see a little lock icon to the left of the word Shuffle when it's enabled. The next thing that we are going to do, if it's not already selected, is enable what they call Single Zoom mode in Pro Tools. And so you can see, by clicking on it and holding, you'll see Normal Zoom and Single Zoom, and Single Zoom has a little arrow icon, kind of like an alias icon, to the top-right of the magnifying glass icon. What this tool allows us to do is, every time we zoom in by clicking with the Zoom tool, it will return us to our previously selected tool, which is a very handy way to quickly zoom and then get right back to work.
Another tool that I like to use in Pro Tools is the Smart tool. It allows you to use the three basic editing tools in Pro Tools, all from the same tool, based on where you place the cursor on a track, or over a region on a track. And so we are going to enable the Smart tool by either clicking this cursor bracket around the three tools or by pressing the F6+F7 or F7+F8 keys at the same time. This essentially gives us the Trim tool if you place the cursor to the left- hand side of a region; the Selector tool if you click in the middle-top part of a region; and the Hand Grabber tool, if you click on the bottom part of a region. And we can see all this a little bit later, perhaps in another video.
But for now let's enable that. And the next thing that we want to do is create four new tracks. You can either select the Track menu and choose New, or you can use the key command Shift+Command+N on Mac or Shift+Ctrl+N on Windows. And we are going to set this to 4, so just type in the number 4 and it will automatically create four tracks. We want to make the stereo tracks, so you can use the key command Command+Right Arrow on a Mac or Ctrl+Right Arrow on a PC to set them to stereo, and then you can hit Return or Enter to create these tracks.
So now we have four new tracks, and two of these are going to be edit tracks, so we can just call them Edit 1 and Edit 2. So to rename, double-click on the first track and type in Edit 1. Now to get to the next track to rename it, there is a couple of ways to do this. One is to hit OK and to double-click the next track, but that's a little slow. Maybe a faster way to do this would be to double-click the first track and name it, and then use the key command to get to the next track. And on a Mac, that key command is Command+Down Arrow; on a PC, it's Ctrl+Down Arrow. And that will automatically take you to the next track in the list without having to exit the dialog and restart.
If you want to get back to the previous track to rename it without exiting the dialog, you can hit Ctrl+Up Arrow or Command+Up Arrow, and it will do the same thing. So let's rename the second track as Edit 2. The third and fourth tracks we want to use for something that I call a bin. It's more of a storage track than it is an actual track, in that we are going to deactivate it so that it will not play back audio. It's just a place to store finished edits. So let's call these BIN 1 and BIN 2. You can call them whatever you want; this is just how I like to name them. And then hit OK or Enter or Return to select it.
Now we have our four tracks. The next thing that we are going to do is select the two tracks that we want to deactivate, and we are going to right- click on the track name and select Make Inactive. You can see the tracks become grayed out. That means that they are no longer active, and they are no longer consuming the system resources. When you play a Pro Tools session, any audio that's stored on these tracks will not play; you will not hear it. Another way to do this is to go to the Mix window--Ctrl+Equals or Command+Equals will take you to the Mix window-- and at the bottom, near the bottom of the faders, you will see a small waveform symbol.
You can Ctrl+Command+Click or Ctrl+Start+ Click that button, and it will activate or deactivate those tracks, just like we did with a right-click. And one last setting that's already set in this session that we do want to set just for ease of navigation is Link Track and Edit Selection. So this button here, if it's enabled when you select a track, it's going to highlight automatically. When it's disabled, it doesn't. And I personally love this option. It makes it really easy to quickly see which tracks you are working on, so let's enable that in our template.
Next, let's go into our Session Setup and make sure we have the Session Start time and the frame rate set properly. You can access this a couple of ways. One is to go to the Setup menu and select Session or Command+2 or Ctrl+2 to pop it open. And here you can see the Session Start is already set to where we want it, but we want it to start usually about two minutes before the picture start--and usually picture start is at one hour even--so we are going to set our Session Start to 58 minutes, so you can type in 00:5:00:00.
You will see the numbers cycle across from right to left and then hit Enter or Return to set the selection. And the last thing that we are going to want to do is make sure our Time Code Rate is correct in our template. We are going to be working at 29.97 frames per second in this course, so let's make sure that's set, which it is. And you can close this window the same way you opened it: Command+2 or Ctrl+2, or by selecting it from the Setup menu. The next thing I want to point out really quickly is that we want to make sure our grid is enabled.
So when it's highlighted like this, that means it's enabled. And we want to set our grid to 1 frame, and we want to set our Nudge value to 1 frame. That means that basically the gridlines that we see behind the video and the audio are set to 1 frame each, and when you nudge a file or a region or any piece of the video or audio right or left, you are going to be moving it right or left by one frame on the timeline. The last thing we are going to want to do is bring up the Memory Locations window, which is already up in the session. But you can access it by pressing Command+5 or Ctrl+5, and you can see it pop up here.
You can store this anywhere in the session that you like. I prefer to keep it on the right side over the Regions list because it's kind of out of the way. It's not on top of anything. Everybody does it differently, so feel free to put it where you like it. And once we have that in place, you can save your template, and we have a good starting place to proceed.