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Pro Tools Essentials

Lesson 4 of 31

Segment 4 - Editing Drums with Elastic Audio

 

Pro Tools Essentials

Lesson 4 of 31

Segment 4 - Editing Drums with Elastic Audio

 

Lesson Info

Segment 4 - Editing Drums with Elastic Audio

So our next sex that we're gonna do is we're going to learn how to edit a drum performance using elastic audio. So we've already built a drum loop. We've imported specific loop that already sounded great by itself. We didn't want to alter the loop because it was already a great performance. Now we're gonna pull up a recorded performance and use elastic audio to be able to go through and clean up some of that performance and make it a little bit more polished. Make sure the drummer was on a little bit better. I'm gonna go ahead. I've pulled up a mix here. I'm just gonna play just a little bit of the drums just by themselves again. I've made a group with all the drum tracks, and this song, specifically musically, is a very driving song. We want to make sure that the kick drum hits air really locked in and really create a solid sense of rhythm. But I also want to make sure that it does retain the feel of a live performance so I could use be detective and be able to go in and chop up every...

individual track and then snap to the grid, maybe adjust the strength a little bit. But I want to have a little more control than that. And elastic audio gives me that. So what I want to do is basically base. It's called promoting tics, and I'm gonna go through each of these these clips, you'll see an elastic audio and decide which ones I want emphasis to be snap to the grid and which ones, maybe just to leave alone. So we're going to do that. Um, so first thing we're gonna do is I want to be able to look at the grid of the actual beats of the song, not the time. If you notice the counter appear at the top is set to the times, I'm going to switch that back to bars and beats and switch the grid to We'll start with eight notes and kind of see how that goes on. We'll switch the nudge to eighth notes, so I'm gonna go and zoom in on this part of the song again. I recommend the same thing of only working on chunks instead of trying to edit the entire song once. So if you see, we have the drum tracks here. They're sort of split out into different sections of the song that are different takes, but that allows us to edit those separately without making huge changes downstream in the rest of the song. So we're going to a little more than here than we did last time. We've got kick snare. Hi, hat. I'm sorry. Hi. Hi, Tom Low, Tom and overheads. So we're gonna go and listen to this again, Just real quick again. I don't have all these tracks group so that I'm editing them all at once. Um, the first thing I'm gonna do is I'm going to select this region of time and I'm going to turn on elastic audio. So first switch to ticks, remember? And the next thing is to switch to polyphonic mode. Um, now what's gonna happen is it's gonna read each of those files, which is done, and I'm gonna grab way for Makoto warp. And if you see now, it's gone through and selected a whole bunch of different tracks. But the thing about drums especially, is there's bleed from other instruments, so it's not gonna be perfect. If I went and tried to Kwan ties this I might have varying results as far as how accurate it would be with each of those. There's a couple different ways to do this. What I'm gonna try to do is Onley promote the kick drum hits first. So I'm gonna go in and zoom in a little bit closer, and I'm going to hold down the shift key. And if you see the shift key whenever I click on a specific region it is going to or a specific hit, it is going to highlight just that hit. Now, if you notice it's also selecting all the other tracks around, it s so what I'm going to do is turn off the, um, the drum Group and only focus on this track here because I just want to isolate these tracks specifically, um, so if I select shift, it holds on the whole region between each of those notes. If I hold on to control, I can promote individual kick. It's right here. You have to be kind of careful because you can't actually move some of those kick. It's a little bit. I'm just gonna go through this like all the kick drums and these are gonna be the focus of what the elastic idea is going to look at when it starts to Kwan ties again. You could say I missed one there, so you got to kind of be careful. And, you know, a lot of people would say, Well, why would you go through to do all this work specifically if you're only, um, if you could just go and click Kwan ties that you'll fix them. But again, I would remind that you have to go through and make sure that quantities didn't screw up any of the beats while you were doing this. So doing it in advance, just save the time of the end, and it gives you more control to say the rest of the fills in between each of the kick drum hits, I want to have a little more natural, which I'm gonna show you in a sec kind of some of the performance that he has that he does with the high hat specifically in between. Each of the kick drum hits is pretty detailed, and I want to retain some of that sort of like, natural feel instead of trying to grid that out and taking away some of the live element again. This is a little bit of a longer section that we're doing here, Zach. Them I know you're going to cover the polyphonic in the rhythmic the different algorithms that it uses for sure. Why are you on polyphonic for drums now? I would have thought to be on rhythmic. That's a great question. So I can actually show you. What we'll do is we'll do both, um, the warping with polyphonic mode on the warping with with, uh, with rhythmic Moz, you can hear cause you could Actually, this is a good example. You can actually hear the difference in the performance. Um, and how it changes based on each of that, you hear two is just select a smaller region of time. Um, well, we'll start with this. So if you see, what I've done is I've gone through and I've basically promoted all the kick drum hits that that's what I want to focus on. Um, Now I'm going to go up to event in click want Watt Kwan ties, and I'm only gonna click eighth notes because I want them to only focus on these. So I'm gonna hit apply those little high hat trails that he does. I want to retain some of the feel of that. And as he gets more and more into the performance, they become more and more common now is taking all those kick drum hits and snap those to the grid so the down beat a really solid, but the rest of performance in between each of those eighth notes has a little more fluidity, and it feels a little more human. So that was with the polyphonic mode. Let's go ahead and try to undo that really quick, and I'll switch back to rhythmic mode and you can kind of hear the difference, especially if we pull out the kick and snare. See if you can kind of hear right there. If you could hear there's a little bit of artifact left right? Is that Cymbal crash. It's loud versus if you do it in polyphonic mode. It's a whole lot cleaner. I don't if you can hear that some of those little tiny details I just noticed that the Polyphonic mode has less artifacts than the rhythmic mode, which is why I always try to use polyphonic whenever I can if it's just like the shells of drums, and I know it's really specific, and I'm just locking them in to a grid really quick. Sometimes I'll use rhythmic mode, but it's usually safer. Just use polyphonic cause I feel like there's less artifacts again introduced. Yeah, that's a great question. OK, so we've covered drum performance with elastic audio. Now we're gonna do is we're gonna do the exact same performance using beat detectives so you can kind of see the difference. A Pro Tools has different ways of doing it, be detective and with elastic audio, and they have different benefits. So what I was able to do with elastic audio is used specific, only focused on the kick drum hits and then keep the separate fills in between with the high out, especially separate from the grid. So it retained some of the field, and I was able to do that pretty manual and pretty easily be Detective does allow you to do something like that, but it's a little more complicated on how you do it. So we're gonna walk through this, too. And again, if you want a complete guide to drum production, we have some awesome classes on creative lab that you can check out a special ale levies class with drum production is really great. And it has a much more in depth guide to producing drums from tracking all the way through the editing and mixing. You know, he comes that a lot more. This is just more specifically using in his example in pro tools. So I'm going to turn off elastic audio on all these tracks. Um, if I turn it off after there's been editing done, it gives me this warning. Lasting idea clips can be maintained cannot be maintained when disabling lasted audio processing. Do you want to commit warped? I'm gonna revert because we're going to just show an example. We go back to what it was before. So now this is before any elastic audio was done. Um, we're back in the same spot. The drum tracks starts here. I'm gonna go up to event and open up beat detective on be detective is sort of a different way. This has been around for a little bit longer. Pro tools is used. Instead of assigning each one of those hits to a specific beat point on dragging them in real time. Be Detective actually goes through and separates. Every single hit has a separate region and then moves the regions and then fills and cross fades between them. So what kind of see how that goes? The other thing. It's a little bit tricky about beat detectives. You have to be really careful about the selection of time that you're using and where you're telling it to move the tracks. That's why it gets a little more complicated, but we'll go through that. So the first step is I want to go ahead and select the region of time and I'm going to start with and again I want to select just of region and work Chunk by Chunk. I don't want to try to the entire sun all at once, so I again droop the group, the drums. I'm gonna start with the very, very beginning. I want to make sure that the first hit is exactly where the transient starts on that first kick drum, and I'm gonna hold down, shift and slide the selection all the way. The other thing about me, detective, is it's really a lot easier if you select even bars, like two hours, four bars or eight bars and not like, you know, four bars plus three beats of the next bar. That gets kind of confused. When it does that, we're gonna go ahead and select. We started eight. We're gonna go straight to 13. So the 1st 4 bars. I'm sorry, State. 12. Very at 13. So what? A 13 beat one. So I'm gonna find the first beat on the next downbeat and get as close as I can to that now, Keep in mind, this is not accurate to the grid yet. It's hasn't been snapped. So where the selection is might not be where the actual grid starts and as you can see and be, detective, when I go up here and I hit capture selection, it says it's four bars. It's from Bar, but it's far. 8 to 4 vs Bar to bar 12. Beat four. And I wanted to start a Barton nine. Beat one. So I'm gonna manually change that and, um, go to actually going to go the end of bar and this is going to go. So the selection will go to bar 14. Beat one just getting That's five bars. So we're gonna go back struggling with my math a little bit here today. I was right the first time. So this is bar 13 beat one. So now we have exactly four bars. If you see, it's not exactly in the temple yet, cause we haven't graded it yet, but that's musically where we want it to end up. So once I have this region selected, I'm gonna go ahead and start with clips separation, and I'm gonna hit the selections captured. I'm gonna hit, analyze, and it's gonna go through each of these. And as I bring up the sensitivity, it's gonna notice where the beats lie. Um, again, it's it's wise to try to keep as separate is possible without getting, too. If I go too crazy, it starts pulling in all these subdivisions and some of those could get really confusing, and it starts to sound way more mechanical than I want. So I'm gonna try to keep it so that only the eighth notes are clipped. And once I do that, I hit separate the next section of this go to conform, conform. And then the last section is edit, smoothing and I want to make sure it's Phil and cross fade and had smooth. And so now what it's done is found. Each of those hits separated them in separate regions, conform them to the grid and then filled in cross fade. So we'll listen to that. So again, I wanna go to the next section. Um, there's a couple of ways to do this. I usually want to make sure that the transit doesn't get lost on the next hit, which is often. What happens is you can see here. So I'm gonna go ahead and drag that back and then go ahead and select the next four bars. And so this is going to go to, uh, see, we're starting on bar 13. So you want to go to the end of bar right up into the edge. But we want a label that in beat detective as 13 while I can hit capture selection. But it still thinks it's the end of Bar 12. In the end of our I wanted to be the beginning of Bar 13 in the beginning of Bar going to go to clip separation. Analyze. Check it out. It looks like they're they're separate, conform that and smooth that not to be too derogatory towards be detective because it is really helpful out of times. But even just listening to that performance versus the elastic audio performance, I can tell that the high hat fills don't sound natural to me anymore. They sound like they're to grit it out. I don't know if you can hear that, especially that second and third open fills that he does. It feels to me like they are a little bit off. I could go back through and slide those around individually, but it's a lot of trial and error. And when you start to separate all these regions out, it gets a little messy. That's why I really like elastic audio when you're just specifically fine tuning a drum performance. Yeah, so basically, you do that over and over. You go throughout the rest of the song and greed that out with be Detective um, in Pro Tools 11 and beyond. What's really helpful is that the Fade files actually are calculated in real time instead of being written his new files. It used to be that they were separate files on the fate files. And so when you opened a session that had the detective heavily used, you had hundreds and hundreds of fade files on the each of those individual drum tracks, and it often took a long time to load sessions. So some people would actually go back through at the very end when they were finished, finished editing all the drums and they would consolidate each of those performances in the one long way form and then say that is a new session. That way they wouldn't be loaning those fade files every time again. That's not so much a problem anymore as Pro Tools. 11 is a little bit faster, but it definitely helps. So, yeah, that's basically editing with beat detective editing, drums and any questions during. We do have one question high. Great master classmates. Eso What about if you move the kick drum right? What about the bleed from the overhead Mike's? That's a great question. Um, yeah, let's go and look at this. If you move the kick drum, where does the overhead Mike's lineup and I have to be? Really? I wasn't really clear about this, that even though I'm prioritising the kick drum with elastic audio. It's still moving the overhead Mike's, too. It's just only focusing on the beats from the kick drum. So if you look right here, the kick drum starts right at the downbeat. It's snap to the grid. If you scroll down to the overhead, you can see that there's actually a little bit of time until the case in the overhead picks up that kick drum because it takes time for the sound to travel from the kick drum mic up to the overhead so you don't want these two, naturally be separated, which is why we group the tracks in the very beginning so that those drum tracks always stay consistent. And then, as I move the drums, they all move in time together, even though only the kick drum is being moved so that the overhead is consistent with the drum. That's a great question. What if you're playing with the drummer that is has irregular like if you need to fix a snare, for example, do you fix that? You fix it? You would fix it with all of them still locked karaki online. You always want to make sure that the drum tracks Air Group Because if you start sliding them around, is there off? Not only does it screw up the tracks, but you can have some really serious phase problems. Is all those Mike start sliding off of time from one another? So any time you're editing drums, you always want to edit them. Is a group actually, Any time you're editing multiple mikes of the same instrument, you want to make sure you edit them all, it's a group.

Class Description

Learn the ins and outs of Avid's Pro Tools HD, the recording industry’s most comprehensive DAW, with Zach Varnell. Zach is an industry veteran, who has worked in dozens of studios throughout Seattle. In this comprehensive guide to Pro Tools, he’ll share the best practices he's picked up over the years.

In Pro Tools Essentials, Zach will walk you through the entire mixing platform including the intricacies of bussing, VCA groups, key input, HD functionality, and notable plug-ins. He’ll also show you how to create custom impulse responses from time-based outboard gear and rooms.

You will learn about Elastic Audio and Beat Detective along with a comprehensive workflow and track management process and how it can be applied to a studio session with a band or film scoring with triple-digit track counts.

If you are ready to take your Pro Tools game to the next level or just want to brush up on some time-saving techniques, don’t miss Pro Tools Essentials with Zach Varnell.  

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