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Editing audio for on-air promos

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Evan John
Editing audio for on-air promos
on Jun 24, 2009 at 3:18:44 pm

Hey everyone -

Most of work revolves around cutting on-air promos for cable networks. An area I would like to improve is my music editing capabilities.

To elaborate I will have a 30 or 15 second spot, and I need the music to end with a sting at the end of the promo. I seem to have difficulty matching the beat to get the sting to end precisely.

I do use the waveforms in the sequence to match the beats, and can usually hide the transition from the music track to the sting with SFX, VO, or SOT, but I want to master this to point where I feel I can do this comfortably.

I obviously do not have a background in music, but I am aware of the four count on a nominal level. Can you recommend any books/websites/videos that can teach me what I am looking to achieve?

Thanks,

Evan


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grinner hester
Re: Editing audio for on-air promos
on Jun 24, 2009 at 10:08:38 pm

ditch the waveforms.
Go dancing. Catch a beat. Boogie like an idiot in your home if you have to. This is the practice you need if not a musician.
Then, play your timeline. Your beat is the kick drum and you need to hit it to the frame on the fly. Yes, you can scrub a couple of frames as you get better at this but you will soon be able to hit the attack of that kick on the frame. That's it. Now you backtime the sting and do the same. Booya.
On spots where these beats don't line up to perfect running time, you'll find you can easlily hide a 10 frame fade under some dialog while the music is at half volume.



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Juris Eksts
Re: Editing audio for on-air promos
on Jun 25, 2009 at 9:43:53 pm

Grinner is right, get dancing and drumming.
At the beginning, get the mark button onto the keyboard and use that to mark the beats. (Around the outgoing section and the incoming section.) Measure the distance between the marks and that will give you a guide as to the frames per beat. Work out which of the marks is at the beginning of a phrase or a new section of the music and cut there.
You can also try back timing from the end sting, - it may be easier to do a music edit at the beginning rather than the end of the music.
If you need the start and the end of the music, it may be possible to put in a double beat under dialogue, but keep a basic beat going.

Mainly you just have to practice, trim, adjust, do it again and again till it sounds right.
And sometimes it's just not possible!

Juris



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Stace Carter
Re: Editing audio for on-air promos
on Jun 30, 2009 at 6:40:47 pm

Evan - as mentioned, backtiming is everything. I started as a musician and music editor, so I find that experience useful, but in the world of NLEs all you gotta do is start where you want to end, and work it from there.

Another trick or place to practice is editing the library tracks you're using. When working with needle-drop material, I often find that massaging and editing the longer cuts gives me more to work with than just pulling the standard :30's and :60's off the shelf.

Downbeats and X-fades. have fun!



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Ian Johnson
Re: Editing audio for on-air promos
on Aug 12, 2009 at 3:55:51 pm

I know this is a bit late, but I just saw it. I made a tutorial on editing music for promo a while ago, but haven't gotten around to posting it anywhere because I hadn't spent the money yet for the full version of the screen capture software. If you don't mind a giant watermark, here it is-

http://www.iankjohnson.com/Music_Editing.mov

One thing that helps a lot is to find out how many frames a measure is. If you have a music edit that needs to move earlier or later, move it by even multiples of that amount and you will get within a frame or so of a clean edit on the first try.

Put markers on well defined downbeats. If one measure is 54fr, then + or - 54fr from those markers to find places where you can cut. You can also get by with 27fr intervals, or maybe even 13fr if you need to. It's likely that your measure will actually be 54.5 frames long, so you might need to fudge the numbers a little.

If you have a cut in the middle of a measure that you can't quite dial in, move the incoming clip to a different track and back the head up until it includes a solid downbeat or a drum hit that you can mark. Then scrub the outgoing clip around that area until you find a similar beat and mark it. Slide the incoming clip until the markers line up, then trim the head back to where you want the edit.


Have a look at the quicktime and let me know if you have any questions.

Ian


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