How many times have you had to deliver multiple versions of a 30 second ad? Community member Scott Gillen from Auckland in New Zealand had to deal with 45 different versions, and developed a clever workflow in Pro Tools, which he sent in for inclusion on the Pro Tools Expert Podcast. We mentioned it in Podcast 241 and promised that we would make a story of it so I followed Scott's instructions and took screen grabs along the way to help illustrate Scott's tip. Over to you Scott.....
A few weeks ago I needed to make 45 30 sec radio spots and as we all know time is at a premium so I needed to be as efficient as possible while still guaranteeing the quality of the spots. Normally I mixdown one spot at a time while listening to be sure it all sounds the way I expect it to. But with 45 spots to do all with the same music bed would get a bit tedious. The first option would be to line them all up with gaps in-between and do a real-time mixdown. Then cut them to length. As they all need to be 30sec on the nose I would then need to time check and perhaps adjust the length. I also would have wasted the time spent listening to the silence between the spots which adds up when making a large number of spots. Here is my solution
1. Make sure the music bed is exactly 30sec.
2. Copy it 45 times along the timeline with say 5 or 10 sec gaps.
3. Place the voice overs In place and get the mix the way you want it.
4. Do an offline bounce and import the mixdown into the session.
5. Duplicate the mixed audio to a track just below. So you have 2 copies of the mixed audio, directly above and below each other.
6. Set the Edit mode to Slip and set the Grabber tool to "Object".
7. Select all the 30sec music beds and copy them vertically onto the first track of mixed audio.
8. Hit Delete. This leaves just clips of the gaps between the audio on the first mixed audio track.
9. Select all the clips of silence and copy them vertically onto the 2nd track of the mixed audio.
10. Change Edit mode to shuffle and hit delete.
11. All the spots will be 30sec and you can listen to them back to back without wasting time with the silence between.
Perhaps this is old news but it worked for me and hopefully it is of use to someone else.
Thank you Scott for this tip. It is very clever and makes sure everything is consistent.