Exploring alternate edits of the same song

show more Exploring alternate edits of the same song provides you with in-depth training on Audio + Music. Taught by Skye Lewin as part of the Music Editing for TV and Film in Pro Tools show less
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Exploring alternate edits of the same song

When you're cutting music to picture you're almost always going to have alternate takes or alternate edits of the piece of music or various pieces of music that you're cutting. So now what I want to do is explore a different edit using the same song that we've already cut to picture. So one way to do this is to start with our existing edit as a basis, Ctrl+Option+Click and drag it up to our edit track, and quickly have a listen to remind ourselves of what we did. Actually, we're going to start from our picture start marker .3.

(Male speaker: Man down, seventh floor. Subject is now armed.) (music playing) (Male speaker: Look out!) So what if instead of having our edit play the way it does on the scene, we wanted to change that? What if we wanted instead of having a break here when Eli goes inside the morgue room, what if we wanted to have that music stay continuous, or what if we wanted to change the sync of a piece of the music against a certain spot in the picture? So that's what we're going to explore here.

So again, one way you can do that is by altering an existing edit if you've already made one. Another way to do it is by starting from scratch. But for now let's start with this edit that we've already made. So one thought that I had when watching it back is that it might be cool to do an alternate version that brings the melody, this section-- (video playing) --and place it earlier over the first section where the beat comes in. (video playing) So let's try this. Let's select the very first transient of this section.

(music playing) I'm going to Shift+Tab to select the rest of that section that we have in this region, copy it, select the region where I want to paste it, and paste it. Then we can listen to that. (Male speaker:--now armed.) (video playing) So we're obviously going to need to continue that, but before we do, let's crossfade the first edit. We're going to zoom in here and we're going to have to delete the old remnant of the fade that was there, make our selection, press F to fade, and then we'll look at the end of the region in our new edit.

(Male speaker: Look out!) (video playing) And it's actually kind of cool that we now have the stuttering effect over the sparks flying. So let's continue that phrase. We are going to grab this next piece. (video playing) The music we continued. Let me just double- click to copy it, double-click and paste. We'll zoom in here and double-check that our edit is going to work musically. So let's just make sure that this is a clean edit. I'm going to make sure that our transients line up, which they more or less do. It's a little bit different here, so we may want to try and moving it a sample back, but no, that's too far.

So let's undo, put it back where it was, and put a crossfade on it, and let's listen to this. (video playing) Cool! So now what we've essentially done is followed the same arc and build that the cue already had, only we've cut to the melody earlier in the cue. And we're still maintaining a break as Eli like comes to the door on floor 3. (video playing) So now what we need to do is delete this section that we've already used earlier in the edit and find a way to fill the rest of that space.

So let's drag out the end of the region that we cut to and see what plays from there. (video playing) Some cool stuff in there that actually plays nicely. I like this little echo-y, stutter-y thing that happens after Eli closes himself in the morgue. I am going to cut the very end of that section on the transient of the next section and delete the section that we're not going to keep. Then I'm going to drag forward the beginning of the region from the end of our edit so that it lines up with the end of the rest of our edit.

So what we want to do now is hold the Ctrl key and using the Trim tool, we can click and drag past to that edit, but while the Ctrl key is held, it will not drag our region on top of the other region. It will stop when it reaches the region boundary, which is another handy way to edit quickly. So let's listen to this and see if it works. (music playing) Cool! So the edit itself seems okay.

Let's just make sure everything is still in phase. Now it looks like we may have to adjust this slightly. So let's find the beginning of the transient, select through the end, cut, zoom back in, find the beginning of the transient where we want to line this up, and paste, and again put a crossfade on. And let's listen again through the rest of this edit just to make sure that it's still going to play musically. (video playing) Cool! So that does work.

There is a little bit of something going on here at this edit that I'm not sure I like. (music playing) I mean it does work. It sounds like what we have is a little bit of a pickup or some sort of a cymbal, but it's actually in the music already. So we hear it carrying over, and it made me think that there was something going on with our edit, but it's really actually part of the music. We can look at it here, and we can look at it here, and we hear that it does the same thing in both cases. So now let's look at our new alt.

I'm going to go to the Picture Start marker again, .3., and I'm going to play. (Male speaker: Man down, seventh floor Subject is now--) So one other thing we're going to change in this edit is the very first bit that plays at the beginning of it. I want to take this off so we have a slightly different start than our other variant. So I'm going to just select it and delete it. I'm going to put a new little crossfade on the beginning of this transient. And when you make a fade-in you have to have at least four samples selected.

So sometimes when you try and make a fade, it won't happen. If that happens it's because perhaps you're zoomed into far and there is not enough material selected. So here we have at least four sample selected; here we don't. So let's make our fade with four samples and listen to the new beginning of the edit. (Male speaker: Man down, seventh floor Subject is now armed) So this is good in that it clears the dialog line, it picks up after the dialog line, and it's a slightly more quick lead-in to the action. So this is one alt, but perhaps we wanted to make several other alts.

Typically, when you're editing your music you're going to decide as you go that maybe this one thing could be cool. I'm going to explore that later. This other thing could be cool; I'm going to explore that later. Sometimes you make an edit and you find that it's just as good as it's going to be with that particular song. So really just follow your intuition and you'll find which things may or may not work, and you can explore them until you're happy with every different version.

Exploring alternate edits of the same song
Video duration: 8m 17s 3h 30m Intermediate


Exploring alternate edits of the same song provides you with in-depth training on Audio + Music. Taught by Skye Lewin as part of the Music Editing for TV and Film in Pro Tools

Audio + Music Video
Pro Tools
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