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Thread: Editing audio, scene by scene or all at once?

  1. Default Editing audio, scene by scene or all at once?

    Hi all,

    This is really a editing question as well as an audio one but how do you go about the process? As a whole or bit by bit?

    I'm leaning towards editing the footage alone scene by scene with just dialogue only then rendering down to do the other audio parts as a whole for the entire film. I have found I like doing all my audio editing in Cubase due to the extensive plug ins and grouping availability plus the handy jogwheel on my audio interface makes life easier. I would do two Cubase projects, one for scoring and one for foley and when they are done I would mix them down and import into sony vegas where I would have 3 audio tracks, one for dialogue, one for score and one for foley and automate there as I see fit.

    Is there a better or standard way to go about this? Do you import all the footage and edit the film as a whole then do a render and reimport and start on all the audio or do you import shot footage for one scene at a time in it's own project get that edited and the audio done and rendered then piece all of them together at the end for a final render?

    I can see the advantage of doing a footage only scene by scene edit but for scoring and foley I think the levels would be off for each project plus getting overlapping music from scene to scene would be hard.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Questions for some Pro Editors, perhaps . . but It may depend on how comfortable you are with the Video Editor.
    (I didn't see that).
    I use Sony Vegas Movie Studio and understand that Historically it was an Audio Editor first, then Sony rebuilt the Video side. Now they have Sound Forge which I use regularly to adjust levels, remove (often supress to retain sync.), but I don't have any knowledge of Cubase (I though it was a Music prog).... but if you are able to use it, you have an advantage over starting again.

    In Vegas MS you can apply effects to a whole timeline track - so you can adjust Volume/Panninig and you can tweak this using the Rubber-banding (Volume) anywhere along the Timeline on each track independently. - - and Vegas Pro offers other effects too. However, I'm unfamiliar with effects like reverb/freq., etc. which are present in Sound Forge (which is somewhat like Audacity, IMHO). If they are in Vegas, I've not found/needed them.

    Can you tell us what effects these clips are likely to need . . . volume levels is an obvious one and maybe Pan . .. but what else are you adjusting?

    Good Luck.
    Last edited by vidmanners; 06-04-2013 at 01:00 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krenzathal View Post
    Hi all,
    Hi Krenathal,
    An excellent question and one which i've often wondered.

    Personally I do it all in one hit in Vegas, but i'm far from certain that's the "best" way.

    However, idea of mixing/treating the audio separately fills me with dread. There's the risk of accidentally introducing sync errors. Then there's the complexities surrounding decding late in the day to change a sequence - either to shift visual edits slightly to better coincide with the music bed (which would mean replicating this edit in the dialogue and foley tracks) or swapping some shots/sections. If it's all on one timeline, this is much easier.

    But, of course, the pros do it separately - so I'd love to know how this is all controlled.
    Tim

  4. Default

    Thanks for the reply's everyone.

    I'm not unhappy with what I'm doing as it seems to work fine but if there is a better way out there then I'd like to know. ATM I'm just working on score and foley for a friends college project which is a 7 minute zombie film and any changes that he has made are easily sorted because I just re import the new video file in Cubase and make slight changes to fit. Even the test stuff I have shot around the house with my iPhone I put it together in Vegas then put sound on in Cubase. It seems to cut down on processing power in Vegas as well to have all the audio processing happening in a other program then just do a mixdown of a single wav file to import into Vegas.

    It's really just to know for when I get my own gear because I plan on shooting horrible amounts of footage for projects I'm writing and I want the best workflow when it comes to piecing it all together.

    Thanks!

  5. #5

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    try to do it...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krenzathal View Post
    Thanks for the reply's everyone.
    I'm not unhappy with what I'm doing as it seems to work fine but if there is a better way out there then I'd like to know. ATM I'm just working on score and foley for a friends college project which is a 7 minute zombie film and any changes that he has made are easily sorted because I just re import the new video file in Cubase and make slight changes
    That's the bit I don't totally understand. So you've got foley you've created throughout the film, let's say some footsteps on gravel, a lovely fleshy/bone crushing "Crunch" sound of a zombie being hit over the hear, plus loads of minor noises - door handles, taps on windows many of which are barely audible.

    Your friend comes back with a fresh edit (presumably complete with dialogue - although I guess you'll need to terat all that again). how on earth do you ensure that all the minor noises still sync with the new edit (which may have only been changed by a few frames in some places)? I'd have thought the chances of missing something are extremely high.
    Plus, it's a hell of a lot of work as you'd have to do this every time there's a change - Whereas if it's all done within Vegas (or other package) so long as you group the foley with the appropriate video, it all moves together.

    Again, I realise that the big houses do it this way, I just don't quite see how.
    Tim

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    I usually like to complete the visual side of the editing before touching the audio. That way you shouldn't run into problems Tim listed above. It could of course be harder if you have different person editing the visual aspects, so perhaps you should wait untill he has some kind of "final" cut available?

    The workflow of the audio side depends a lot on the lenght of the video. If it's only few minutes long I'll just do it all in one project and one sitting. If it has multiple scenes shot at different times, I like to edit them as soon as I have shot them. In those cases I may have seperate projects for seperate scenes, but I don't render them out as you suggested, but import the projects to a new project that combines them later on. I try to avoid rendering something first, then adding something like music to it and rendering a second generation copy of it. Of course, you could do it all losslessly, but it takes too much hard disk space for my liking.

    So, usually for me it goes:

    1. Edit the visual aspects.
    2. Render expendable version that you can use for sound editing in different program
    3. Import the audio project without the expendable visuals version to the original program.
    4. Render the good-quality version with the audio project as the soundtrack.

    As with the others, I'm not saying it's the best way, but it's a way that has been working fine for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SSCinema View Post
    I usually like to complete the visual side of the editing before touching the audio. That way you shouldn't run into problems Tim listed above.
    Ahh - I see.
    I invariably work the other way round. I guess most of my stuff takes the lead from the audio - so I tend to start with that (eg a documentary with a voice-over or an interviewee telling a story - the voice dictates the pace of the cutting, including the parts where there is no voiceover).
    But even with a fiction, once i came to add the music, I'd want to tweak the cuts (and therefore all the other sounds would have to move too) to match the beats or peaks and troughs of the music. Somewhat easier if you're composing your own music i guess, but even then, unless you've cut the original to to a metronome I'd have thought it would be full of cuts which were "just off".
    Tim

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    Oh, that's actually a good point. Voice-overs didn't even cross my mind as I haven't had one in a film for a while. So, let's add to the previous post; it also depends a lot on what kind of scene you are editing. I'm most certainly not above returning to the editing table to change the pacing if I really want the audio to work well with it.

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