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Sandy: July 2009 Archives

With the recent upgrade of Final Cut Studio, Soundtrack Pro has also been upgraded to help you edit and mix your audio even faster with new multitrack editing tools and easy ways to fix common audio problems.  You can remove unwanted background noise in just a few simple steps and you can quickly identify, preview and fix audio that contains pops, clicks, hum, DC offset, and more.

Soundtrack Pro analyzes an audio file for common problems like pops, clicks, and more and automatically removes the unpleasant sounds.  The Analysis Tab will remove such common problems.  You can fix one problem at a time, or repair all the problems at once by clicking on Fix All.

analysistab.gif Soundtrack Pro features a dedicated tool for removing background noise, like for example, wind.  Set a Noise Print for a sample of the background noise you want to remove, and selectively dial it out of the entire recording.  This way you are able to rescue audio that would otherwise be lost or unusable.

noiseprint.gifCheck out our Soundtrack Pro training classes to learn how to use the powerful new restoration tools of Soundtrack Pro 3!

A great new feature of Final Cut Studio 3 is the new iChat Theatre.  Now you can collaborate with your clients in real time, from anywhere!  All you need is a standard internet connection. 

From the View Menu, choose iChat Theater Preview > Start Sharing when you want to discuss a project with a client remotely. 

iChattheater.gifThen, simply invite them to a video chat.  From there, you will be able to review your edit together by hitting Play in the Timeline.  You can discuss changes face to face and make real-time adjustments to the edit as needed; then you can watch the changes simultaneously.  No need to wait to hear from a client anymore; now it can be instant!

iChattheater2.gifiChat Theater lets you preview a project from the Canvas or watch clips directly in the Viewer.  You can also activate the Timecode Overlay to make it easy for both viewers to make notes while viewing and editing the project.  With Final Cut Pro 7 and iChat Theater, working remotely on your projects couldn't be easier! 

Being able to find your used and unused clips within Final Cut Pro is so important in keeping your clips organized.  To figure out which clips you have used or not used in your sequence:  Select your sequence, then go to Edit > Find and under the For drop down menu, you can choose Unused Media or Used Media.

findfeature.gifOnce you have one of those options selected, click on Find All, and a new window will open showing you either the Used or Unused media in your project.  The Find Results Window Tab can be attached to another window, or the clips can be dragged to another folder or window.

findresults.gifThe Find feature's Find Result Window can also display thumbnail images in Icon mode, just like in the browser, in case you want to see what the clip looks like.

findthumbnails.gifOnce you have figured out your unused media, and you want to get it out of the way, check out this tutorial using the Media Manager to delete your unused media

spbee.gifStingers aren't just on bumble bees, they are in almost every movie.  One of the most powerful musical elements in crafting suspense is the Stinger.  You know, that subtle string sound that creeps into the scene and strings you emotionally without warning.  For example, imagine a scene that involves a character walking down the hall toward his apartment door.  He hasn't a care in the world.  He might be talking on a cell phone, and the only music is the light thump of a neighbor's stereo.  But a musical stinger begins as he approaches the door and fumbles for his keys, so tension is starting to mount for the audience even before the character notices that his door is already ajar.

What makes Stingers so effective is that they slowly creep into the soundtrack, and by the time the audience notices, their adrenaline is already pumping.  Stingers are used for instant suspense. 

Soundtrack Pro 2 has many Stinger effects in the library, but the one we're talking about is the one that raises the little hairs on the back of your neck is Designer Synth 07.aiff  Audition this sound and use it in any variety and watch how it can change the whole outcome of your scene.  Have fun with it and many others in Soundtrack Pro.

To get the best training in Soundtrack Pro and in Final Cut Pro, contact the representatives at GeniusDV for the next available class.
Did you know that all Mac computers have the ability to start up in Target Disk Mode?  What that means is, is that you can configure your Mac as a hard drive, which can be plugged in to another computer.  This makes it really easy to copy media between your computer and another system.  And, if you have a MacBook or MacBook Pro, you can configure your laptop as a hard drive that runs on its own battery.

How, you ask?  Well first of all you would have to completely shut down your Mac.  Hold down the T key when you restart your computer.  It will eventually display a FireWire symbol on the screen, which means it is ready to be hooked up to another computer using a FireWire cable.  The computer mounts just like any other computer's desktop.  Then you can copy media between the two!

firewireicon.gifAlso, be sure to check out this article about using Target Disk Mode to install Mac software.

DVD Studio Pro is Apple's powerful DVD authoring application.  With drag & drop ability to design menus and set up connections to your content, editors find it's easy to start a project, and create professional DVD's over time with awesome, intuitive tools.  And best of all, you can preview and test your work in real time, with no need to burn a disc.

Commonly, there are 6 steps involved in DVD authoring: 

  • Plan the viewer's experience (like in a storyboard)
  • Create your assets (Video, audio, and image files)
  • Import your assets
  • Assemble elements (into Menus and tracks)
  • Link the elements (creating flows from menus to submenus using buttons)
  • Build & Format the disk
As you create your disk, be sure to pay careful attention to how the viewer will navigate through the DVD with their remote control.  In DVD Studio Pro you can test how the different buttons will function using the Simulator. 

Like I always say, the more organized you keep your media, the quicker your Final Cut Pro project will go, and a much more efficient editor you will be.  That being said, the more information you enter while Logging your clips, the more organized you will be able to keep them. 

Because external hard drives are so inexpensive these days, editors can capture entire tapes and log afterward.  Once your footage is on your hard disk, you can review it more efficiently and logging will go a lot faster.  Most logging and capturing is done in the Log & Capture window, but you can also use the Browser to add your logging information to clips after you capture.

Some editors will first log their tapes and then batch capture using the Log & Capture window.  You could watch your footage by playing the tape in a deck or camcorder connected to Final Cut Pro.  You can set In & Out points and create clips that represent portions of your original media.  After you finish logging, you capture media for only the clips you think you will need for your project.

Now that we covered the basic principal of Log & Capture, let's focus on just the Logging portion of the process.  Take a look at the Log & Capture window (we find this under the File Menu); you will see 3 main tabs across the top of the window (right hand side), Logging, Clip Settings, and Capture Settings.

logging.gifThe Logging Tab is what you will use to add detailed information to each clip you log, for example, Reel name, In & Out points, scene number, markers, etc.  You can also add this information later on in the Browser, however, in my opinion, it's best to do early on in your "pre-editing" phase. 

Let's take a wedding video for example; when you are logging your clips to your footage, first enter the name of your project under the Log Bin, such as Lynch_Jones_Wedding; note the Tape number under Reel (assuming you've numbered your tapes before you even started shooting; this is a good habit to get into) then start adding details to your Description such as, rehearsal at the church, the rehearsal dinner, the guys playing golf the morning of, the bride and bridesmaids at the beauty salon, and so on, and so on.  For Angle, you might have shot this wedding from two different angles, like one view from the balcony, and one view from the pulpit.  Make sure to note these in this Logging Tab.  Making detailed notes under Log Notes, can only help you remember that there is a funny shot here where the best man is picking his nose, or the bride cries here, or something like that.  Also be sure to check the box marked Good, for a shot that is an absolute must-use for your project.  You don't want to forget about those later, and it is Final Cut's job to look for those clips marked "good" so that you won't miss them.

It is important to know that when you are Logging in Final Cut Pro, you are adding the information to clips, not media files.  Which means, that all of your logging info is stored in your Project File, not the media files on disk.  If you delete your project file, your logging info is deleted as well.

I know what you're thinking..."wow, this is gonna be time consuming", BUT, believe me, it can and will save you time in the long run.  By adding detailed notes, comments, and labels to your footage, it will help you and any other editors involved with the project to navigate a large amount of source material.  Logging information can reduce the amount of footage you have.  You can often eliminate a large amount of footage before you start editing.
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This page is a archive of recent entries written by Sandy in July 2009.

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