Join Christopher Brooks for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting up a basic session for video, part of Film Scoring with Pro Tools.
Pro Tools 8 gives the user the flexibility to work in a variety of sample rates and bit depths. Choosing these options is based on several factors. Choose a Sample Rate based on both your desires and the project delivery requirements. The standard in film and television is 48k with either a 16 or 24 bit depth. I suggest always working in 24 as the truncation, if necessary, is easy and the added resolution in the processing is advantageous.
Working in higher sample rates sounds slightly better but requires more storage, cuts down on your track numbers and your processing power. If you're working with a sample library with virtual instruments, you should also consider the base sample rate, usually 44.1. You can choose whatever you want and can always convert later, but it is always best to think from the end, knowing what your delivery requirements are and how best to achieve them. Before we name our session, let's talk about file names for a second.
Creating a score for a film usually requires the generation of many different file names. There are all sorts or working files, such as theme and variations, sketches, maps, underscore cues, revisions, format music, etcetera. It's important to keep the folder information at the Finder level clear and well defined. If you're working with others, make sure that you have a method of sharing your work while keeping your individual files separate. The exact format of a name is not important as long as you and your teammates understand and agree on the convention.
Some of the important elements that you might put in a cue name for instance would be the cue number, the real number, a start code, a unique title, a version and a date. We will call this cue 1m1. This is a traditional film convention that represents the reel, 1. m stands for music, and 1 is the first cue in the reel. So the first cue in reel 2 could be 2m1, but the second cue in reel 1 would be 1m2, etcetera.
We are also going to add a version number, a title, which in this case is Title, because it's going to be over the main titles and a date. Making and keeping your sessions, cues, and versions organized will save you many sleepless nights and potentially some embarrassing moments. Now let's choose the Session Setup Window with Command+2. Properly choosing the settings on the Session Setup page is the Pro Tools equivalent to working and playing well with others.
The settings pertain to either keeping your session consistent with files that have been given to you, or locking to and communicating with the outside world. Let's start by setting the Session Start. I am going to set this to 1 hour even. The convention in film is that the hour number reflects the real number. Let's also set the Time Code Rate. This should match the incoming video that you are going to import. Same with the Feet and Frames, more on Time Code 2 later. The settings that we've established in the Session Setup Window are for display only.
These settings make the Timeline display and the primary and secondary location displays match the incoming video that we will be working with. The other half of the settings available on the Session Setup, those pertaining to synchronization, will be covered in a later chapter.
- Importing and displaying video for scoring
- Setting up inputs and outputs
- Working with picture sessions and OMFs
- Importing MIDI data such as tempo and meter maps
- Matching tempo and beats to existing music
- Using Elastic Audio
- Printing guide stems from cue sessions for use in live recording
- Exploring Pull Up and Pull Down
- Multitrack recording
- Mixing tracks
- Preparing for final dubbing