Avoid pitfalls as you make the transfer from the video app to the audio app. Scott covers how to best prepare the video sequence to make the most seamless AAF and reference movie transfer to an audio workstation, such as Pro Tools.
- [Instructor] Anytime we work on audio for video we'll need to transfer any existing audio from the video editing software into our audio software. I call this crossing the video to audio threshold. Let's take a look at the key items you'll need in place to make this transition as seamless as possible. You're going to want an AAF file and a QuickTime video ref file. The AAF is a special interchange file that preserves all of the audio edits, the audio itself, as well as other metadata, like volume info from the video editing software.
The two video editing softwares I see most in the field these days are Avid and Adobe Premiere Pro. Both support AAF output. You might also see a file type called OMF, which is essentially an older version of the same thing. AAF, by the way, stands for Advanced Authoring Format File. You'll also need a video reference with embedded audio. Ideally, this reference will have timecode burned in, so you can check sync and also easily communicate ideas with editors, producers, and other people overseeing the project.
This ref video doesn't have to be super high res. Usually just some form of ProRes, or H264 works well for the video codec. You'll see here this video ref has a countdown leader and it has what we call a two-pop, a sync pop, two seconds before the first frame of the video. (beep) And then we have the video itself, with burned in timecode. (upbeat instrumental music) And why does the reference video need embedded audio since we're going to be working on the audio ourself? Well, two reasons.
By comparing the embedded guide track from the ref movie you'll be able to compare your new work in your DAW against the concept and design of the rough mix. You can also confirm sync as you move into the audio DAW. Now one more tip. By properly preparing the video sequence before exporting the AAF and ref video you can save major headaches in your project workflow as you move back and forth from the audio software to the video software. Let's take a look at this Premier Pro sequence to see how we should set that up.
Now here's an unprepared sequence. It's just a video edit and you can see the audio below. Now I want to move over to another sequence that's been properly prepped for AAF and video ref export. Here we have 30 seconds of black before the movie starts. We've got our universal Adobe counting leader with a sync pop right at 59:58, two seconds before the first frame of the video. And notice I have copied the two-pop down into all of the tracks, so you can use that for sync as you move into your DAW.
Next we have the video itself with a burned in timecode. You can see the timecode track above here. And finally at the end, we have a sync pop across all tracks two seconds after the movie with one frame of video to confirm sync on the tail end of the video. (beep) So that's how to properly prep your sequence for export. Now let's do the actual export, just so you can see how that looks in Premiere Pro. So I'm going to go out file export and first we'll do the AAF, so we're going to look here.
And just a couple settings I want to go over. One is you can choose your sample rate, bit depth, et cetera. You can choose to embed the audio into the AAF file, which is preferred, and that just makes one file to deal with, rather than many. And the other thing I want to look at is here where it says render, you can choose to include the complete audio files, but that's not recommended if you have very long takes because it's going to include the entire file. Sometimes it's more preferable to say trim and I like to give myself a handle of at least 300 frames, which is 10 seconds of handles on the beginning and end of each audio file, which is usually more than enough to grab room tone, or do your fades, or cross fades.
So we'll say okay, and we'll pop out our AAF, I'll just put it on the desktop for now. And that leaves us with our last task, which is to export the reference movie. So it's also under file export media. And here we're going to choose QuickTime and we can choose, like I said, ProRes usually works great. And you want to also, obviously, include the audio as I said for a reference. So once we get all of our QuickTime settings, we're good to go. We'll hit export and we'll export our AAF.
And that's our first audio technique. It's all about getting the audio out of the video software the proper way. From here on out, we'll be exploring all the things we'll be doing to optimize that audio until we send our final mix back, once again, to be married with the video.