Normally we leave notes in our sessions using markers. It’s what they’re for, after all! But one big problem with markers is that they aren’t specific to any track; they just mark across the entire session at a given time. Also, you can’t stack two or more at the same exact timecode and read them easily.
So here’s a quick tip I got from an FX editor that I work with for leaving notes in sessions using clip groups.
Clip groups exist in order to combine several smaller clips into one larger clip for easier management, editing, etc. Normally you select a series of clips…
Then hit command-option-G…
And they’re now combined into one big clip! Note that this can span across tracks, as well as across clips within the same track.
It turns out that a clip group doesn’t actually have to contain any audio clips at all; you can create one out of entirely empty space. Just take an empty selection like this:
And once again just hit command-option-G
And you’ve made an empty clip group. This clip is completely silent (of course, because it has no audio!) It also takes up no drive space (of course, because it has not audio!)
So it turns out that empty clip groups like this are really handy for leaving notes. Allow me to show you an example.
Here’s a section from a show I did recently that includes a scene in a space ship that’s breaking up.
Using clip groups, I can note it this way:
This is just one example of how to use this technique, but clearly it’s quite versatile. It’s very helpful when you have multiple characters performing a similar action (such as a gunfight), where you want to easily identify the different sounds that belong to each character. It’s also a great way to identify alternate versions of the mix for a given section.
And it’s incredibly helpful for an editor to label things in this manner before delivering to the mix stage. It’s a great way to communicate the intent of the edit.
So go ahead and use some empty clip groups to leave yourself some notes!