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Pro Tools 7 Session Secrets Chapter 7: Post Production and the World of surround Pro Tools Recording techniques in this chapter include: How to Prep and Audio Session from a Video Project Syncing to External Video Decks How to Calibrate Monitoring Working with Stems Postproduction Editing Tricks Surround I/O Setups and Formats How to Prep an Audio Session from a Video Project Prepare a dummy-proof list to give to the video editor or producer outlining exactly what you need to do you job. This is called a list of deliverables. Ask for an OMFI file generated from the Avid or Final Cut Pro systems. OMFI format was created by Avid and Digidesign to make useful and efficient transfers between video and audio editing systems. Digital audio files should be 16-bit/48kHz AIFF because this is currently the standard video format. Make sure that all video editing is complete and there are no changes to be made. Syncing to External Video Decks Pro Tools HD systems employ SMPTE time code in order to sync to video and film. SMPTE is much more accurate than MIDI time code. Time code can be written to a blank track on an audio tape deck or into an hidden area of a video frame. Digidesign makes a hardware unit called the Sync I/O, which allows communication between your Pro Tools system and external video decks. When Pro Tools is slaving, session playback is controlled and consequently moves in sync with an external machine. How to Calibrate Monitoring When you are mixing a video or film session, your mix will need to translate properly at playback venues other than your studio. Pro Tools output level can be relative to whatever system it is calibrated to. You can use Pro Tools’s internal Signal Generator to make sure that you are listening at the proper volume so your mixes arrive at the appropriate levels. Buy an SPL loudness meter and use it to determine levels where you are listening. Working with Stems In postproduction, the three different elements of a sound track are broken down in to smaller groups called stems. The three typical stems are dialog, effects and music. Make a custom I/O setup for stem mixes Use Pro Tools internal busses to set up aux submixes for each stem. When your mix is complete print all of the stems separately as a stereo mix. Separate stems allow for international versions, music adjustments or remixing with individual elements. Postproduction Editing Tricks Control+Click / Start+Click any region with the Grabber tool and its start point will jump directly to where your edit cursor is. Control+Shift / Start+Shift any region with the Grabber tool and it will move the regions start point to the edit cursor. Command+Control / Ctrl+Start any region with the Grabber tool and its end point will align with your edit cursor. Use blank regions to spot Foley. Surround I/O Setups and Formats Surround mixing starts in your I/O setup. There are three types of surround output formats you can use to determine which output of Pro Tools is going to which channel of the surround speakers. After you setup your I/O any audio track can be output in surround. For film and video postproduction, the multichannel setup is most often used to establish a spatial effect. Surround is HD only but you can trick an 002 into doing it.
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