2 useful tricks in Soundtrack Pro

| October 17, 2011

It could seem outdated to publish any tutorials or “tricks” in Soundtrack since FCPX decided to phagocyte this software (alongside Color (rip)), but until FCPX will unveil its secret of sound editing here’s 2 things useful to know in Soundtrack Pro: Adjust amplitude and Noise reduction.

You’ll need to adjust amplitude when you’ve been too conservative in you recording level and realize that you bumped up the level in FCP and the background music is still overpowering this amazing sound bite you got. You could always put down the level of the music track but you over all dB level will be floating around -20dB when you want it to flirt with the 0dB. Therefore you need to adjust the amplitude of your original sound clip before you can use it in FCP… and that’s when Soundtrack Pro comes in. Very Easy, if you are in a Multitrack Project just double click on the clip, it will open the audio file then go to Process and Adjust Amplitude. Enter the amount you want, make sure the wave doesn’t peak and voilà.

The other good feature of SP is the Noise reduction that needs few more steps that the amplitude. You want noise reduction when your Zoom for example has picking up the AC while you were doing this Bono’s interview. You basically need to isolate that background noise and then remove that noise from the main track. Here’s the steps:

1- You need to set the Noise Print (to isolate the background noise), in order to do that you have to find a place in the waveform where there is no dialogue (between 2 “bumps”) andselect that part of the wave.

2- Then you go to Process > Noise Reduction > Set Noise Print

3- Then Process > Noise Reduction > Reduce Noise… and you get a window like this: what you need is to play  with the noise threshold principally. You’ll hear that more you reduce the background noise more the voice becomes “roboty”. You basically have to find the best compromise between the 2.

4- From there you can save the audio file as a .wav file and import in FCP.