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How would you set up your Pro Tools session for producing about 20 versions of a concert intro video which has one VO line change for each different version?

There are 20 cities on the tour and each city gets their own version of the intro, but the rest of the video is exactly the same.

I'd like to try to keep the mixes in one Pro Tools session but with the stems and final mix files all in one, it might get kind of hard. So far, I've been saving as and doing the changes for each one - I think that's the safest way to do it.

I thought of playlists, separate tracks, etc, but with a Dia, FX and Mix runoff track for each version, that's 60 tracks down below.

How would you guys go about setting up a little factory for this sort of thing?

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This sounds a lot like promo work. Here's how I handle it in Pro Tools:

  • Enable your "all" group, select the entire duration of the mix
  • Advance in your timeline an appropriate amount of time. I usually like to start on the next even minute after picture end.
  • Plop a Marker down and call it the name of your distinguishing characteristic of the new mix. In this case it would be the name of your ALT city.
  • Paste the entire mix
  • Repeat for the number of versions you have. In your case, another 18 times. Each time calling the next marker the next name on your list.
  • Disable the "all" group.
  • Duplicate your VO track, un-check "Active Playlist" and "Alternate Playlist." This will give you the same processing and bussing on your new ALT VO track.
  • Rename it to distinguish it. I name mine ALT TAGS, or TAG VO you may prefer something else.
  • Go to each marker and edit in your alt line. Making sure that the ALT you edit in matches the Marker name.

Now here's where it depends on the project...

If it's a short promo, I'll just re-record the entire thing, double-click and rename the file according to the tag/code.

If it's longer ( >:30) I'll usually record the full mix to a track first and copy/paste it along into each marker. This allows me to just punch in the change for each version, check/crossfade the punch, select each mix, Consolidate Region (Cmd+Shift+3), and rename.

Check out this Promo Time Lapse video. It's very similar to the process that he goes through in the 02:27-02:41 - Tagging section.

  • Dear Steve, I totally should have thought of going later on the timeline. Thank you for the tip - very very helpful! – Utopia Feb 24 '11 at 21:15
  • No prob @Utopia, hope it helps others too. – Steve Urban Feb 24 '11 at 21:24
  • There is one drawback in that each one will be off when we go to lay it back to video but I can just re-set my timecode session start or move the mix to 1 hour each time. This works a lot better. – Utopia Feb 24 '11 at 21:35
  • @Utopia- If you're laying back to tape, change the offset in Session Setup under External Time Code Offsets. It's a lot easier than having to re-arrange your whole timeline. – Steve Urban Feb 24 '11 at 22:03
  • @Steve curious - do you use an external interface for your mixing control, or is is it all mouse+software? – VCProd Feb 25 '11 at 14:55
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You could make 20 different VO tracks, named after the city, if the VO is the only thing that changes. Then make all VO tracks except the one you're working with right now inactive. Bounce the mix to a file that includes the city's name, and then you'll have a folder with 20 final mixes, ready to be synced to the videos. Plus one session with everything accesible.

  • @Morten Thanks. You wouldn't want the run-off to be inside the session? I kind of have to run it off inside because I'm using some rack gear. – Utopia Feb 24 '11 at 19:32

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