Join Scott Hirsch for an in-depth discussion in this video Importing and the DigiBase browser, part of Audio for Film and Video with Pro Tools.
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In this movie, I'd like to go over an import scenario where you aren't working with an OMF file, but rather importing directly from a production audio field recorder. These days most location sound recordists use hard disk recorders which are able to attach metadata, or specific additional information, to each audio file as broadcast wave files. Information such as timecode stamps, scene and take number, even circled takes can be edited and stored along with the broadcast wave audio files as metadata. Pro Tools has the ability to fully identify and display this info in a special window browser called DigiBase browser.
Let's open the DigiBase browser. Go to Window > Workspace, or Option+Semicolon, to open up the DigiBase browser. Here I am going to navigate to a folder that was copied to my hard drive straight from a Sound Devices Field Recorder, which is a very popular field recorder that a lot of location sound recordists use. I am going to my Mac hard drive, under Users > scotthirsch > Desktop > Exercise Files, and we are in 03_02, and here I have a folder called 10B.
This is that folder that was copied from the Sound Devices Recorder. If I open this up, you can see there is two files in there. We are going to customize the view of the DigiBase browser so we can see some of the metadata. If I go to the right window pane over here and I right-click at the top, I can customize the types of metadata that I am going to see. So if I scroll all the way to the bottom, I will start with NONE and I will build out from there. So I am going to choose to see Scene, Take, Frame rate, Project, and Waveform.
You can see it goes off the screen, but I can pull the window pane over a little bit, and now I can see the metadata in there. I can see the waveform of the original file. I can see the clip name, 10BT01. I can see that it's scene 10B. I can see that it's take 1 and take 2, and I can see that the project name is GRAVITY, which is the name of the film that we are working on. I can even use the DigiBase browser to audition the files before importing them into Pro Tools. I am going to click on the Play button and the waveform display. (Male speaker 1: Chloe?) (Chloe: Yeah?) (Male speaker 1: Roll sound. Call it.) (Male speaker 2: Ten Baker, take one.) You can even skip around the file as it's playing.
(Male speaker: Chloe?) (clunking sounds) If you click right in the 0 digit display, you can pull the fader up and down as it's playing back. (Male speaker 1: Chloe?) (Chloe: Yeah?) (Male speaker 1: Roll sound. Call it.) Now to import these files into Pro Tools, it's simple. You can drag and drop them, either into the timeline or into the Regions list on the right. I will minimize this window a little bit. I am going to Shift+Click both of these files, and drag them both into the Regions list, and they come into my session.
If I open the Regions list a little bit, you can seen here that the metadata also came across. You can see in parentheses I have S:10B. That's Scene 10B, T1, Take 1. You can see this information as long as in the Regions pulldown menu you say Show > Channel Name, and Scene and Take. Now one more thing, back in the DigiBase browser--Option+Semicolon-- we can customize this view and store it for later. So if I wanted to come back to seeing this specific metadata, I can use these five screen presets at the top.
All you need to do is Command+Click on say number 2 and it will store this view for later. So if I was looking at some different information, such as Preset 5, I wanted to come back to see the view I just created, I can click on 2, and it brings our customized view right back. Audio with metadata can be very useful if you need to search through original sound reels to find specific audio as you work. When you use the DigiBase browser to manage these audio files, you will never be more thankful for metadata. It can really save you time.
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