Here is a collection of things I regularly ask video editors to do (or in many cases wish they would do) when preparing to produce AAFs or OMFs so we can complete the sound track lay and dub.
- Please put burnt in timecode (BITC) into the guide video, yes I know it takes time but it is a reliable check to know there aren’t any problems like dropped frames
- Please make sure that when you use stereo tracks please put the left track on on odd numbered track and the right track on an even track.
- Please don’t mix mono and stereo content on the same track. This is a real pain for sound people as you can’t move whole sections of stuff and move them onto the appropriate tracks in our dubbing session. if there is mono content in amongst stereo stuff it really slows us up.
- Please be consistent in your track laying. If you have a number of interviews consider putting each interviewee on their own track. This is especially useful if the interviewee makes multiple appearances within a programme. Put music on a pair of tracks and if you need more than one pair then have a second pair of music tracks but please don’t put other stuff on the music tracks. If you can do this you save our client time and money and that is good news.
- Please include the sync sound for any cutaway shots and put the cutaway stuff on a dedicated pair of tracks. It really looks bad if we can see activity on a cutaway shot but we have no sound for it.
- Add handles. Please set you handles to at least 6 seconds rather the default 2 seconds.
- Please use embedded AAFs or OMFs as it reduces the chance of leaving bits of media out. The only time its OK to not have an embedded AAF or OMF is if the sound department has access to all the media drives on the network.
We appreciate this maybe not what you would ideally like to do as you have limited track space on your GUI, but wouldn’t it be cheaper to get your edit assistant to split the audio tracks into this kind of format and then create the OMF, than us having to spend time working out what belongs to what and splitting it out? The chances are that your edit assistant doing it is going to be cheaper for our client than me doing it.
We are still running a special offer on X2Pro from Marquis Broadcast that can take xml exports from FCPX and convert them into AAFs that can be imported into Pro Tools so we can complete the audio post production in Pro Tools from an FCPX session. But hurry as this offer finishes on Sunday October 25th.