Pro Tools: Audio Editing

When it comes to audio editing, Pro Tools is the leading standard for working with and

manipulating audio, especially in the post-production process. If you were to turn on

the T.V. and started watching any documentary or drama, there is a good chance that

the background music and sound f/x you hear were mixed using Pro Tools. Not only is

Pro Tools heavily used for post-production in the film industry, but Pro Tools is the top

choice among recording engineers as well. So what is it about Pro Tools that makes it

the industry standard?

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 7.49.02 PM.png

Pictured above is the main waveform view in Pro Tools; the Edit Window. For those who

are familiar with video editing software such as Final Cut or Premier, this interface may

look somewhat similar.

The main tools used for editing are the grabber, trim, zoom, and selection, and are all

represented by the icons below.

Tool 2.png

The grabber tool is used to select both individual sections, or multiple

sections by holding “shift”.

Tool 3.png

The zoom tool is obviously used for zooming in and out to view the waveforms. I use

this to identify the first initial pulse of waveform data.

Tool 4.png

The selector tool is very useful in that it allows the user to click and drag anywhere

within the parameters of a waveform.

tool 1.png

The trim tool is used for cutting out any undesired audio, such as distorted noise from a

guitar amplifier.

Volume Fade In/Out

When it comes final mixing stages of a project, one of the best tools in Pro Tools is for

attaining smooth transitions between fade ins and fade outs. This is volume automation.

Think about some of your favorite songs. You have probably noticed that when the song

comes to an end, the volume slowly decreases and fades out.

Fades.png

The descending row of dots represent the decreasing volume level on this piano track in

Pro Tools.

Click the link below to view a quick tutorial on volume automation:

http://youtu.be/ixewf5XHWR8

Grouping

When it comes to working with a large session, meaning a project that contains many

tracks, grouping is your best friend. Basically, grouping does it exactly what it sounds

like. For example, when I am in the final stages of mixing drums, I group tracks together

so that any adjustments I make are applied to all the individual tracks within the group.

The picture below shows a group of drum tracks that are indicated by the highlighted

names of each track.

Grouping pic.png

Click the link below to view a tutorial on how to group tracks in Pro Tools:

http://youtu.be/-sUXJsLsn3c

Conclusion

Pro Tools is praised for being the industry standard audio editing software. Other

platforms such as Logic and Reason are great DAW interfaces for composing, but when

it comes to final mixing and editing, Pro Tools is the best choice. In the competitive

world of audio production, it is not only essential to be able to produce good music, but

getting projects done quickly, efficiently, and in a timely manner are necessary for a

successful career as an audio engineer/producer.