Track comping or vocal comping in Pro Tools isn't just a feature for music production workflows. With the latest features it now can be a very useful workflow for audio post-production workflows, especially with ADR and in this article, Avid's Application Specialist Dave Tyler gives an introduction to using the powerful playlist capabilities in Pro Tools in the context of an audio post-production workflow.
The ability to quickly and efficiently compile a master version from multiple takes is crucial for anyone working on ADR or VO recording and Pro Tools now offers a number of ways to achieve this.
Stage 1 - Recording ADR Or VO Takes
Before starting the recording session one useful tip is to create a new playlist. As Pro Tools automatically appends a take number to new playlists, e.g. “.01”, by starting with a new playlist, you’ll leave your original playlist free to be the one that you are going to compile on to.
The process of recording takes is simplified if you make use of keyboard shortcuts (see list below) to create new playlists and use the option to automatically name the new playlist. Alternatively, you can use loop recording which can be set up to automatically create new playlists with every pass. You can also rate the take from 1 to 5 as they are recorded to help keep track of which ones you particularly like or not.
Stage 2 - Editing And Comping A Master Take
In this second video, Dave Tyler shows two ways to work with playlists (i.e. "takes") in Pro Tools. Both methods can give audio post-production practitioners flexibility, especially when working with a large number of takes.
Now that your ADR has been recorded, you will have all of your takes on playlists. The 'comp track' is created by taking the best parts from each take and compiling them on a single track.
You can do this using the Playlist track view. In this view, you will see all of your takes stacked on top of each other. You can use the Solo button next to each playlist to audition that playlist and use either the Promote button (the upward pointing arrow) next to the playlists or a keyboard shortcut to send the selected audio to the main playlist to create your comp.
Alternatively, you can work in Waveform view. With this technique first, designate which playlist you are going to compile your master takes onto by assigning a Target playlist. You can then audition each playlist to hear the different takes in turn by using a keyboard shortcut (see list below) to cycle through the playlists. Again, you can make a selection in any part of the take that you like and use a keyboard shortcut to promote it to the Target playlist.
At any point, you can switch to the Target Playlist with a keyboard shortcut (see list below) to check on the progress of the comp and then toggle back to the playlist that you were working on.
Once you have assembled your takes, you can switch over to the Target playlist to fine-tune the comp. A really nice way of working is to use the new ability to audition in place. Say for example that you want to listen to alternate takes for just one word in your line of ADR. Select that word and then use a keyboard shortcut to cycle through the different takes of the word from the alternate playlists. When you do this, use Pre-Roll and Post-Roll to hear the word in the context of the overall comp.
Track Comping Keyboard Shortcuts In Pro Tools
|Function||Mac Shortcut||Windows Shortcut|
|Create New Playlist||Control + /||Start + /|
|Copy Selection to the Target Playlist||Shift + Opt + Up Arrow||Shift + Alt + Up Arrow|
|Move a Selection to the Target Playlist||Shift + Opt + T||Shift + Alt + T|
|Cycle Audio Within Clip Selection||Shift + Command + Up/Down Arrow||Shift + Control + Up/Down Arrow|