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Upcoming Pro Tools Training

Live Online Instructor-Led Courses
PT101+110 Weekend: Sept 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25
PT101+110 Evening: Sept 12, 13, 15, 19, 20, 22, 26, 27
PT101+110 Weekday: Sept 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22
MIDI Music Production Weekend: Oct 1, 2, 8, 9
PT201+210M Weekend: Oct 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30

** 3-4hrs per day **6-8 Day Course

Register: 888-277-0457
Create Fades In Pro Tools | Video Tutorial

Create Fades In Pro Tools | Video Tutorial

Fades are an essential component of the editing workflow in Pro Tools. After trimming, editing, and comping audio clips, fades help mask the boundaries between clips, ensuring smooth transitions and seamless playback. This video tutorial, and article will show you different methods of applying fades in Pro Tools.

A fade is a steady volume ramp that you can create a on a clip boundary, allowing you to add a gradual increase in volume at the beginning of a clip or a gradual decrease in volume at the end of a clip. A crossfade is a transitional type of fade that spans the end of one clip and the beginning of the next. Fades have myriad applications, such as smoothing out edits on comped playlists, creating seamless clip overlaps, or building volume fade-ins and fade-outs for music and sound effects. Whether you’re working in a music session or a post-production session, fades are essential for audio editing.

Creating Fades

Fade-ins and fade-outs can be created at the beginning or ending of an audio clip, respectively, using a selection that touches or crosses the clip boundary.

To create a fade at the beginning or end of a clip, first toggle on the Selector Tool in the Edit Tool cluster at the top of the Edit window.

Make a selection across a clip’s boundary to match the desired fade. The length of the fade is determined by the selection length and the clip boundary. To create a fade-in, select from at or before the beginning clip boundary; to create a fade-out, select up to or across an ending clip boundary. Fade-ins always begin at the head boundary, and fade-outs always end at the tail boundary. Extending a selection into a blank area beyond a clip’s boundaries will not change the fade length.

Once you have made a selection for your desired fade, choose Edit > Fades > Create… or press Command+F (Mac) or Ctrl+F (Windows).

After choosing Create…, the Fade dialog box will open, giving you the ability to adjust various parameters of the fade. The Fade In dialog box will display the fade-in slope as red; the Fade Out dialog box will display the fade-out as blue.


Fade-In Dialogue Box


Fade-Out Dialogue Box

Within the Fade dialog box, you can make adjustments to the slope and shape of your fades. The In Shape and Out Shape sections allow you to choose the shape to use for a fade-in or fade-out, respectively. Both sections offer the same selections for their fade types.

  

  • Standard: This option creates a single continuous general-purpose fade curve, which can be edited by dragging the curve in the Curve Editor.
  • S-Curve: This option selects an S-shaped curve. This fades faster at the curve’s start and end and slower through its middle. S-shaped curves can be useful with material that is difficult to fade effectively. You can edit S-curves by dragging in the Curve Editor.
  • Preset Curves: Various preset curves are available under this pop-up menu. These can also be edited in the Curve Editor.

The Slope section of the Fade dialog box provides Equal Power and Equal Gain options. Fades with Equal Power slopes retain more of their amplitude for a greater portion of the fade, in comparison to Equal Gain fades

When you are ready to apply your fade to the selected clip with your desired settings, click OK. Your selected clip will now have a visual representation of the fade at the beginning or end point.

Creating Fades With The Smart Tool

The Smart Tool can be used to add, edit, or delete fades on a clip without needing to open a dialog box. This can be extremely useful for streamlining your workflow when working with audio clips.

With the Smart Tool active, position your cursor at the bottom corner of either the beginning of the clip boundary or the end of the clip boundary. Your cursor will turn into a half-square with two diagonal lines across it—this is the fade icon when using the Smart Tool.

You can now quickly add a fade by simply clicking and dragging from outside of the slip boundary to the middle. The length of the fade will adjust according to how far you drag your mouse in the process. 

Once a fade has been added to the clip, you can edit its length and slope with the Smart Tool as well.

Edit Fades Using The Smart Tool

  • With the Smart Tool active, position the mouse cursor over the fade graphic at the point where the Fade icon appears (half-shaded square for fade-ins and fade-outs).

  • Click and drag left/right on the fade curve. The fade graphic will be replaced with a yellow preview curve while you drag.

  • Release the mouse when the preview represents the desired shape.

Apply Batch Fades

The above methods of adding fades work perfectly well when working with one clip at a time, but there may be times when you want to add fades to multiple clips at once. If you have comped together a vocal playlist from a variety of different takes, you will want to apply fade-ins and fade-outs to each audio clip in that playlist. Using Batch Fades will greatly speed up this process.

To apply Batch Fades to multiple audio clips:

  • Select one or more clips on one or more tracks.

  • Choose Edit > Fades > Create… or press Command+F (Mac) or Ctrl+F (Windows). The Batch Fades dialog box will open.

Configure the fade in, crossfade, and fade out settings as desired.

  • The Length fields allow you to specify the length of the fade to be applied. Fade lengths are specified in milliseconds.

Click OK to apply the fade settings to the selected clips.

No matter what type of work you are doing in Pro Tools you'll see that Fades are an import, and necessary part of your workflow. They are utilized in Post Production, Music Production, and Podcast Editing, to help make your audio smooth and polished. Once you start using fades you'll notice that most of the process becomes muscle memory, and you'll develop your own preferences for length, shape, and workflow.

Alex Thomen

Author: Alex Thomen
Composer & Music Technology Instructor
ProMedia Training, LLC
www.protoolstraining.com

888-277-0457


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Alex Thomen
Alex ThomenComposer / Arranger / Music Technology Instructor
Alex Thomen is a producer, composer, pianist, mixing engineer, and music educator. He attained his Master's Degree in Commercial Music Composition and Arranging from Belmont University in Nashville, TN and taught as an instructor in Music Production at University of Miami Frost School of Music. From small-scale chamber groups and rock bands to full symphonic orchestra, Thomen arranges, produces, and mixes for a variety of ensembles and styles. Thomen’s education and experience have helped refine his skills in contemporary music production for Film/TV/Games. From ambient, musical soundscapes to fantastical, orchestral pieces, television commercials, and more, Thomen’s creative output evokes a vast variety of moods, settings, and themes.

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ProMedia Training is the premier authorized Avid Training Center since 2002, having prepared more students in Pro Tools than any other organization. We teach Pro Tools on all levels as well as offer exam preparation for Pro Tools Certification exams for those studying audio engineering, recording, mixing and related multimedia training for musicians, producers, recording engineers, worship facilities and corporations. ProMedia has been leading the way in short term, Pro Tools Immersion courses which focus in all areas from beginner to advanced Pro Tools Applications.  Our beginners learn the software for music production, recording, editing, audio engineering, and mixing. Our advanced users focus on cutting edge highly complex HDX systems, new concepts as well as workflow improvements. We also provide on-site training for corporations, Universities, Schools, and worship facilities where professionals can advance their skills while learning in their own working environment. ProMedia also participates in many of the musical associations and related organizations related to the recording arts including ASCAP, BMI, NAMM, TAXI A&R, Youth Organizations, NAB, Promo Only, and more.

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