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Welcome to the exciting world of creating sound for film, video, and multimedia. Pro Tools is the professional standard for creating dynamic and provocative soundtracks for movies, television, and a variety of Internet media, including Flash movies.

This book will help you master the features in Pro Tools that allow you to take a multi-media project from creation to completion. Sound for picture is a terribly complex task fraught with technical traps that can leave audio engineers pulling their hair out. Pro Tools has the features you need to conquer sound projects. The book will prepare you for the challenges involved and give you an understanding of how Pro Tools will help you get through them.

Music recording engineers will find helpful explanations of film and video technology and how it relates to the audio studio. Film and video editors looking to do more complex audio productions can learn how to export projects into Pro Tools for advanced editing and mixing capabilities. Web designers and programmers will be introduced to the world of multi-track audio and digital mixing.

Pro Tools is capable of performing many audio-related tasks, but it is particularly well suited to audio post-production. It has become an international standard in the audio post-production community. This book will teach you how to use Pro Tools as an audio-for-video tool and will help you understand the complete creative process for audio in film, video, and multimedia.

What You’ll Find in This Book

This book is designed as a guide to producing audio for film, video, and multimedia using Pro Tools. It is not meant as an introductory tutorial on Pro Tools itself. A basic working knowledge of the software is needed prior reading this book. I will discuss advanced features in Pro Tools and how they are applied to film, video, and multi-media specifically.

After reading this book, you will know how to do the following:

  • Work with SMPTE time code and its variations in Pro Tools.

  • Synchronize Pro Tools with videotape, QuickTime movies, and other audio sources such as DAT machines.

  • Record narration, dialog replacement, foley, and special effects.

  • Mix audio down to multi-channel formats.

  • Print your final mix onto a VTR , DAT, audio CD, or QuickTime file.

  • Work with directors, editors and production sound mixers/recordists.

  • Interchange audio data between Pro Tools and video editing software such as Avid’s Media Composer.

  • Use cue sheets to create marker lists into Pro Tools in order to place audio events quickly.

  • Use pitch shifting to create unique sound effects.

  • Use EQ to correct for mic placement.

  • Remove unwanted noise from production audio.

  • Place audio to specific timecode positions.

  • Use Pro Tools in a laptop for location recording.

  • Calibrate and use reference levels.

  • Calibrate multichannel sound systems for proper monitoring.

  • Organize your project workflow in Pro Tools.

  • Integrate your work into larger productions.

  • Use automation to create a dynamic and compelling mix.

  • Back up and archive your data.

Who This Book Is For

Pro Tools for Video, Film and Multimedia will be a useful—perhaps indispensable—guide to using Pro Tools for the following people:

  • Music engineers moving into the field of audio for film, video, and multimedia.

  • Film and video editors wanting to create more complex audio productions than is possible in current-generation video editing software.

  • Independent film makers who plan to do all of their post-production in house.

  • Musicians composing for film, TV, and Internet media.

  • Web designers wishing to add dynamic sonic content to their web pages.

  • Anyone who wishes to know how to use Pro Tools to create stunning, professional, and creative audio for their films, commercials, music videos, Flash movies, Web pages, corporate media, animation, and much more.

How This Book Is Organized

The following is a breakdown of this book’s nine chapters:

Chapter 1:Film, Video, and Multimedia Technology.” This chapter starts with a brief history of the audio-visual arts beginning with Thomas Edison’s Kinetoscope and ending with today’s Internet streaming video technology. Includes an extensive discussion of SMPTE timecode and its variations.

Chapter 2:Audio for Film, Video, and Multimedia.” You’ll get a tour of what’s involved in creating audio for multimedia. You will learn how Pro Tool’s unique feature set is well matched for this task and follow a mock project workflow from beginning to end in order to familiarize yourself with many of the terms and concepts you will use throughout the book.

Chapter 3:Synchronization and SMPTE Time Code.” This chapter is dedicated to a thorough explanation of SMPTE in its many formats and uses. The origin and history of time code and how it is used will be explored, providing some background to help make sense of SMPTE’s complexities. Synchronization concepts and details will be covered.

Chapter 4:Getting Started with Pro Tools and Video.” This chapter covers all the necessary equipment you will need in order to use Pro Tools with video. I’ll get you up and running by creating a new session, importing video and audio files, and checking sync between audio and video.

Chapter 5:Recording to Picture.” In this chapter I will show you how to record each element of a soundtrack from dialog and foley sounds to special effects and music. Each element will be covered in detail, including mic setups, organization of multiple takes, and importing existing audio.

Chapter 6:Editing to Picture.” Pro Tools has many unique features that help you move audio around precisely and quickly. This chapter is filled with useful tips and shortcuts to help get your audio trimmed and timed efficiently.

Chapter 7:Processing Audio Using Audiosuite Plug-Ins.” This chapter explores the processing of audio outside the mixing environment, including noise reduction, vocal alignment, time stretching, pitch shifting, and special effects.

Chapter 8:Mixing to Picture in Pro Tools.” Here you will learn about multi-channel mixing formats and how to set up Pro Tools to mix in surround sound. You will learn how to calibrate a multichannel monitoring system using Waves plug-ins, in accordance with Dolby guidelines. I’ll also talk about using automation to fix problems and create a dynamic mix.

Chapter 9:Delivery of Master Recordings.” This chapter deals with getting your mix back together with the master video, film, or Internet media. Film mixing formats are covered extensively here. This is a critical step in the process and I’ll break it down for you.

In Appendix A you'll see a storyboard script for the fictional commercial discussed in Chapter 2, and in Appendix B, you'll check out a graphic representation of how sound recordings move through the post-production process.

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