Timeline FX: Audio

Uploaded by SmokeHowTos on 11.06.2012

In the previous videos, you have been focusing on the visual aspect of the sequence.
We will now turn our attention to audio.
Audio tools in Smoke comprise of a few components.
You already know that you can import audio in stereo and in mono.
The first component to the audio tools is in the sequence where you would deal with audio tracks and audio effects.
The second component of audio is the AUDIODESK that deals with Audio mapping including mixer inputs and outputs.
We'll go through the second component in greater detail in a few minutes.
Let’s start off in the sequence.
You can turn Audio Waveforms on and off in the timeline.
To display your waveforms, select the AUDIO pull-down menu and choose “Show Waveform with Effects”.
To scale the size of your waveforms, you can either click the audio track and drag it down to make the track bigger
or you could also go back to the AUDIO pull-down menu and choose to increase or perhaps decrease the size of the waveforms.
Now lets do some audio work…
Here I have a piece of audio in the timeline. Let me play this for you.
As you can hear the audio comes in quite sharp and I would like to fade the sound in.
Move the focus point in line with the relevant audio track and navigate to the beginning of the segment.
Make sure that nothing is selected by clicking on the grey area beneath the sequence.
You can click on the Transition box in the menu bar and choose FADE.
This will apply a transition to audio segment and you can adjust the length of the fade.
The same will apply when fading a clip out.
If I want to cross-fade two audio segments together, the same principles applies.
Navigate to the cut-point between the two audio segments and
apply a transition between the two segments. Let’s listen.
So that sounds good.
Now I would like audio level on the middle segment to be lower, so the audio on the other tracks can be heard.
Smoke has a whole variety of audio tools that you can work with directly in the sequence.
All you need to do is select the segment, right-click and add effect.
This brings up the FX ribbon for audio effects.
Here you can apply Audio time-warps, noise gate, compression, EQ, audio gain, reverb, Delay and Modulation.
I’ll select the Gain Audio FX for the segment and the tool bar will display the gain slider, the autokey frame button and the edit button.
Pressing play, you can hear the sequence as well as adjust the slider to hear the sound changes in real-time.
You could also turn on auto-key and animate the gain during playback.
This functionality works for all of the Audio Timeline FX.
However, when it comes to the Gain AudioFX, you can also adjust the volume with rubber banding in the sequence segments.
For the moment, I’ll turn the audio waveforms off so you can see this more clearly.
I’ll enable edit and ensure Auto-key is turned on.
I’ll right-click on the gain slider and set a keyframe.
I’ll move further down the sequence and adjust the gain slider again which will set another keyframe.
At this point you can click and drag the keyframes in the segment to adjust the audio level.
Holding SHIFT and dragging can constrain the adjustment either vertically or horizontally.
Please be aware that you can only adjust keyframes and not the line between the keyframes.
Moving further down the sequence again, I will set another keyframe using the set key operation.
And finally at the end of the segment I’ll set the gain slider back to 0.
So essentially I created a fade up and fade down in rubber banding.
If you go to the audio pull-down menu and turn on the waveform with effects,
you will see that the generated waveform displays the changes.
The final Audio FX I would to quickly show you is the audio EQ tool.
I’ll select this segment, add an effect and choose AUDIO EQ.
You can adjust the parameters in the toolbar above the sequence.
But let’s go into the advanced editor and do the adjustments there.
I’ll ensure Auto-key is turned on and I’ll scrub to the beginning of the segments.
So I’ll press play and adjust the audio during playback.
So If I scrub back to the beginning and play the segment, you can see and hear the audio animations.
With auto-key on, you can record and rerecord the adjustments as many times as you like.
This new recording will replace the previous animation with the new one.
And finally you can always access the Animation editor to adjust the animated curve.
One little extra piece of knowledge worth knowing is
that you can generate animation based on audio through
the animation editor but I’ll save that video for another time.
Now that you have seen a lot of audio functionality in the sequence, let’s shift our focus to the mapping input
and output path of audio in smoke using the AUDIODESK.
To see the AUDIODESK, you must go to the viewer drop-down menus and choose to see a single player.
In the viewing options pull-down menu, you will be able to enable the AUDIODESK.
Please note that you can only see the AUDIODESK in a single player.
Looking at the AUDIODESK, you might refer to this as an audio mixer in other software.
In Smoke you can play up to 32 tracks of audio and this can all be mapped to the AUDIODESK.
Each audio strip represents an audio channel and also acts as digital VU meters for your Audio.
The audio strips can also be paired up for stereo audio. So looking at strip 1 and strip 2,
you can pan the sound to the correct outputs for doing stereo mixing.
You can also mute and solo specific audio outputs in the AUDIODESK to only hear certain sounds.
The audio strips control the overall volume for its assigned track in the sequence.
This is different to applying a gain timeline FX to segment which only adjust the volume for that particular segment in the sequence.
Like the audio timeline FX, you can turn on Auto-key, and keyframe the input volume of the audio track.
You can also play this in real-time and do your audio adjustments on the fly.
Now I would like to spend some time on clarifying the path of audio with Smoke or what I call Audio mapping.
At the bottom of the strips are numbers assigned for audio inputs.
Imagine these are the input connectors on a physical audio mixer for microphones etc.
At the top of the strips are the audio outputs from the mixer.
Imagine these are the output connectors on the physical mixer that you would patch into a VTR or audio recorder.
The general idea is that audio is fed into the inputs of the AUDIODESK and then you can pipe the mixed audio to any output from the AUDIODESK.
So how does this work in the context of Smoke?
Well, audio first starts in the sequence as audio tracks.
You will notice in the patch panel that each audio track has a small square block with a number.
The numbers are the audio inputs feeding into the bottom of the AUDIODESK.
These are matched to the numbers at the bottom of each audio strip in the AUDIODESK.
For example, audio track 1 in the sequence is going into audio input 1 on the AUDIODESK.
This is the path of the audio for audio track 1 in the sequence.
You can click and drag the box to the left and right to choose which audio input in the AUDIODESK
you would like this particular audio track to be patched to.
If there the box is empty, than this audio track is not patched to the AUDIODESK inputs
therefore you will not be able to hear the audio segments on this audio track.
Normally Smoke automates all the audio mapping for you.
But it’s important to know about this because these outputs are the audio channel outputs on your hardware
or discrete channel outputs for files exported from Smoke.
The final topic I’d like to cover in audio is how do you know what you’re actually hearing through your audio speakers?
Even though your audio could be patched to 8 outputs via the AUDIODESK, you can still monitor all the audio
through a stereo pair of speakers.
In the preferences menu, the default setting for audio monitoring is set to stereo mix down.
This is simply to hear your audio correctly.
It does not mess with the final audio outputs.
In the next video, you complete your getting started journey into Smoke by learning how to export your clips and sequences.