Scott goes over some techniques for opening and working with an AAF and reference movie in Pro Tools. By locking and saving a copy in the session, you can safeguard the original edit in case you need to get back to it.
- [Instructor] So, here are our two golden tickets to embark on our journey into our audio project. I want to show you a couple of useful tips on importing these files into Pro Tools to optimize your workflow. You want to start with your AAF file. Now, there's two ways to deal with this. One is to double-click on it, forcing you into a Pro Tools session from where you'll import your post-production template and get to work. The other is to start with a preexisting Pro Tools session, and then import the AAF into that. Perhaps that Pro Tools session already contains your template.
Now, it's really up to you. They'll both get you to the same end goal. But one reason I like to start by double-clicking the AAF is that it forces your session sample rate and other parameters to match what's going on natively in the AAF. So we'll do it that way. Now one note: You might have noticed I mentioned this template a lot. This is, in my mind, a huge piece of the puzzle to working efficiently and consistently in audio post and I'll be covering template techniques in the weeks to come. So I've double-clicked the AAF. Now, before I hit Create, I want to just append the name with a -PT so I know that it's my Pro Tools session as it names it.
Now I'll hit Create and it brings me into the Pro Tools session and this is our Import Session Data. This is where we can choose what parts of the AAF we're going to bring in. Now, when you bring an AAF over from Premiere, for some reason, it gives you a video track to import. But remember, we're importing the video separately so we're going to uncheck this. But we're going to keep everything else checked. These are all of our audio tracks from the original Premiere project. Now, one more thing, and this is a technique that I've come to learn is very helpful over the years and that is: I'm going to go down to Track Data to Import and I'm going to be a little more specific about what I'm grabbing from these tracks.
Click on Choose and I want to make sure that Main Pan and Main Mute Automation are unchecked. For some reason, these bring in anomalies, I've found, that can mess up your workflow by having written pan automation and written mute automation in your session. So, I'm going to make sure those are unchecked. It's just kind of a workflow thing. It'll make you happier in the long-term. So, I'm going to click OK and now I'm going to click OK here, and it's going to bring us into our populated Pro Tools session.
So, here we are in our Pro Tools session and we have our AAF neatly arranged in all of these tracks. Now, here's a technique I want to show you that I've used for many years and this is a good one: Before you hit save or do anything else, what I like to do is select all of the tracks. So, holding down Shift, select all the tracks and I'm going to right-click on any one of them and select Duplicate. This makes a copy of all the tracks. You want to duplicate all of the data, so have all of these check marks enabled.
Click OK and we've got a duplicate version of all of the tracks. Now, before I do anything else, I'm going to select all the regions in these tracks and I'm going to type Command L to lock them in place sync-wise. So, I've got these duplicated tracks, the regions are locked, and I'm going to go ahead and hide these and make them inactive. What this does is it preserves an untouched copy of the original AAF before you've made any changes.
It's sort of a Save As inside your session and it's incredibly useful later if you want to return to an original element of the AAF. So, now that I've made this, I'm going to go ahead and just right-click on any of the tracks, Hide and make it inactive. They're there, in our Tracks window. We can bring them back at any time. But they're just a hidden reference of our original AAF. Next, let's import the video. So, I'm going to go up to File, Import, Video. I'm going to go ahead and grab our reference movie and we're going to pull that in.
We want to start it at the Session Start. We're going to put it on a new video track and we're going to import the reference audio from the file so we can compare it to what we're brought in from our AAF. And we're going to choose Audio Files folder from this session to place the reference audio. And here, we have our video. So, it comes in on a track, our reference audio is on another track. Let's check sync. So, I'm going to zoom in and make sure our 2-pop is perfectly lined up with our AAF 2-pop, which it looks like it is.
And I'm going to go over to the tail pop and make sure that's lined up as well. And as you can see, the 2-pop is lined up perfectly with that frame of video. And then last thing is we want to listen. We want to listen from the AAF against the reference movie. And here is we're going to use your ears to check sync. So, if you hear a little bit of phasing, that means you're in the ball park, you're in sync. If you hear any sort of echo, it means that you've got more than a frame out of sync and you have to investigate why your sync has changed from your reference video to your AAF import.
Let's go ahead and take a listen and we're going to be playing back the reference and the AAF all at the same time. (peppy piano music) - Susan, five. - [Instructor] Okay, so, I'm not hearing any sync anomalies. I can turn off the ref and turn it back on and all it does is just make the volume a little louder, meaning that we're perfectly in sync. So, that's it. Our AAF and our reference movie is now in place and it's time to get working on this audio.