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Post-Production Workflows for Podcasters

Lesson 4 of 5

Different Sessions for Different Stages

 

Post-Production Workflows for Podcasters

Lesson 4 of 5

Different Sessions for Different Stages

 

Lesson Info

Different Sessions for Different Stages

I use different sessions for different stages. The importance of that is we break up the work, we allow ourselves to focus on the recording when it's a recording session without 60 tracks there, we focus on the mix without having to look at all the raw audio all the time, and then I also have multiple segments within one show. For that, I want to have a final show mix that I'm working with. Again, breaking up the works, I don't have to work too hard at any one of those stages. You can divide the work up. You can always be able to reference the original stuff. In my template, I also have just a place where people, at 100 minutes, can park their raw audio. Reason being for that is if they say, "Oh yeah, the choice tape is at 6:07 in," I know it's at 106 minutes and 7 ... It's really easy to do that math in my brain. So I break these things up in a way that's more manageable. It also allows other people to have a role, too. I could say to an assistant, "Why don't you pull all the select t...

ape from this interview, get it into a session, and edit it together so that we've got these blocks, these chunks that we can set up." And then the next stage, we've got this checkerboard edit of studio voice and tape, studio voice and tape. It starts to add up really quickly to the finished product. Importing session data is one of the cool things that we'll just take a look at in Pro Tools right now. I mentioned that I work from a template. In this template, I've got ... You can see these particular tracks are derived from the template. I've got these different plugins that are being used on it. When I got the audio, it didn't come that way. It probably looked much more like Al's track up at the top with no ... Nothing going on; it's not even being routed within the template. It's going straight to the main outs before going to my meters, for example. That's a problem for me. Here I can overlay something from the template that's just Al lessons presets. I know he sounds pretty good every time with these. I'm going to my session template folder. This is also where, if you're loading from a template for the first time, it'll come up and it'll just give you a bunch of blank tracks that are of that template. But also this is a sneaky end-around if somebody's already got a very complex session that I can overlay these elements on top of it. I look at the title of that track, Demo 1. I'm gonna go with my Al main tracks preset. Pro Tools now has this really customized, "What do you wanna add from that track?" I don't wanna add the audio because I don't wanna replace the audio that's already in there. I just have this format to template, so I'm making my work conform to the template. Hit OK. Pro Tools talks about the different tracks in terms of playlists. We'll look at that a little bit later, but the main idea is whatever is on here is your main playlist. So we don't want that to overwrite with any new audio. We wanna take that audio and put it through our template path. You see that now it changed color to conform with my color-coded template that I have. I got some different plugins available. You'll hear quickly how different ... Every case is different and complicated, but ... These are just a few things that I always leave on in my template. Every case is different and complicated, but this nation's economy was built largely on black farm labor and bondage for hundreds of years. Headphone listeners will really hear the difference here, but what I'm doing is as I'm ... We talked about dynamic range, lessening that. For broadcasts, it's really, really important in our final deliverable. And obviously for podcasts, too, we don't want people to be adjusting. I'm just managing a little bit of what's going on. I've got my mouth de-click plugin here. These kinds of things just ... They're built into the template. They really help us out a lot. You gotta omit the unimportant stuff when you need to. I'm gonna just make visible all this stuff from the template. (laughs) When you look at the template, it's got all of these blank tracks. I'll cut out this plugin here. Got all these blank tracks that stuff can be brought into. This would be more for somebody ... If they wanna start from what's in the template, they've got an easy road map. I'd advise renaming this, like this is Jim, this is Steven, so on and so forth. Or maybe Steven is in two different spaces; Steven at home, Steven in the car, that kind of stuff. That's great; it's good to have all that stuff. I've also got way more tracks than I need. Show and hide in Pro Tools can be really useful. You can see that I've got these tracks that I've even made inactive so they don't use any system resources, but again, they're just available there for people to use if they have that much audio. That would be a ridiculously complex session, but I try to give people everything they could need. But you can see how hiding a lot of these elements, I can just do that with a control-click here, can make the session look a little cleaner. I've still got a high number of tracks here. But you can see an overview of everything. You can see how if you have to look at too much at once, it can certainly get overwhelming. (laughter) Save yourself with templates. Got a template for each scenario. We've talked about that a little bit. The good templates have really easily duplicated elements. They have all the important tools at hand. You can see that, here with these Al tracks, I've got a couple of things that are inactive. They're grayed out here. Hopefully you can see that on the screen. Those are ready and they're available, but they don't need to be used. If they don't need to be used, they don't. But there are things that often do end up needing to be used, like I've got to do a little bit of noise reduction, a little bit of EQ, that kind of stuff. And then color-coding as you saw in there just allows us to break things up for the eye. It's also like I know every time I come to my mix session every week, I've got that dark blue track; that's Al. I've got my orange music tracks. You start to create a visual ID with your track types and you know when you're looking for music, you know where to go. Even if you're moving things up and down around the session, because a lot of times we like to view things adjacent to one another just so we can really fine-tune our edit or we need to move those two things together. But the color-coding will help you out there when it gets hairy. The good templates, too, will just have the set it and forget it stuff in there, like your buses. With this version of Pro Tools, there's a next-level logic to the templates, which is great. I can pull that up for a second and show you. There's a tool called the Soundbase, which one thing it does is just allow you to search for a lot of your audio. But I also broke up my template here. This is one of the cooler things that they've come up with. I need an extra stereo clips track, just drag and drop it. If you're trying to build from a more limited set of tracks or you've just got three or four things but you need one more, you can get it set up with all the routing that you need and always have it available. I find that supremely useful, that drag and drop operation that just makes things really efficient.

Class Description

For those just starting out in the world of podcasting, post-production is often the most intimidating aspect. The technology and tools can seem overly complex to those who are more focused on creative storytelling, especially if they have little experience with audio and editing.

Jim Briggs, lead sound designer and engineer for “Reveal,” offers this comprehensive overview of the post-production process to take the mystery out of audio editing and mixing. He’ll help you get familiar with the key terms and concepts in the post-production workflow, setting up your workspace, and navigating and managing edit and mix sessions, so you feel comfortable and confident with this critical phase of podcasting.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Understand the story flow, from green light to mix.
  • Evaluate and gather the essential tools you need.
  • Use templates, tracks, repetition, and mixer functions.
  • Look at frequency, waveform, and stereo.
  • Create good collaborative and organizational practices for audio.

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