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Author: Troy Dreier | Website: http://

If you haven't read Part 1 of this series yet, skip back and discover how easy it is to clean your video's sound. In this second part, we're again aided by Ernie Schaeffer, a fifteen-year media industry veteran, and a trainer with all4DVD.com. Schaeffer teaches classes on Soundtrack Pro at all4DVD's training center in Irvine, California. Visit the site for more information.

Video editors need to be conscious not only of the frequencies of the sounds in their videos, said Schaeffer, but also of how things are planted in the stereo spectrum. Panning sounds correctly makes the vocals clearer and the whole effect more pleasant.

Your video's dialog should be panned to the center. This is what you want your viewers to pay the most attention to, so it should be equally strong in the left and right channels.

Natural sounds, if not recorded in stereo, should be panned slightly to the left or right, so they don't conflict with the dialogue.

Prerecorded music will conflict with the video's vocal track, because the music has already been mixed so that its own vocals are in the center. That's why you need to follow the equalizer setting instructions in Part 1 to lower the frequency range that conflicts with the video's dialogue (500 Hz to 1 kHz) and carve out a space for it. When you're done, pan the music to the left and right.

If you're creating original music for a video, using an application like Soundtrack Pro or GarageBand, keep your instruments panned to the left and right. Mid-range instruments, which will conflict with the video's dialogue, should be panned even further left and right to create space.

Starting with Soundtrack Pro
Apple Soundtrack Pro 2, which is included with the Final Cut Studio 2 suite, is "an amazing tool," said Schaeffer. It works seamlessly with Final Cut Pro, allowing round-trip editing, and allows editors to fine tune their audio mix.

To send your audio to Soundtrack Pro's audio project area, right-click on the audio track and select the option to send it. The audio project area offers a detailed and powerful history list, like Adobe Photoshop. With it, you can undo one action in your history without having to undo everything that came after it.

The noise reduction tool is tremendously easy and useful, said Schaeffer. To use it, highlight the portion of your audio track that contains only the noise that you'd like to remove. Go to the Process menu and choose Noise Reduction. Set the noise print, which samples the highlighted area. Next, select the whole track and again select the Process menu and choose Noise Reduction. You'll now see an option to reduce noise. This is a plug-in with three knobs: adjust noise threshold, reduction, and tone control. Adjust the knobs until you have the desired results and your unwanted noise has been removed. Hit the Apply button, save your file, and return the audio back to Final Cut Pro when you're done.

If you're working on a multi-track project in Final Cut Pro, you can click to send the entire project to Soundtrack Pro's multi-track project area. This sends the video and all of the audio tracks so that you can adjust the mix with the program's professional audio mixing tools. Most of the plug-ins, Schaeffer noted, are the same as with Logic Pro.

When you're done, go on to Part 3 of this series to learn how to perform final mixing and mastering of your audio.

» Level Intermediate

Added: 2009-01-25
Rating: 0 Votes: 0
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