How to Use the Strip Silence Tool in Pro Tools
Thursday June 14, 2018. 12:57 PM , from Audiotuts+
IntroductionIn this tutorial I'll show you how, and when, to use the Strip Silence tool. Strip Silence is a useful tool that speeds up workflow. It helps to clean up a track, synchronise the track to the beat, extract only the silent areas, rename the clips, split a clip into various pieces amongst other things.Strip Silence also helps to reduce the size of a clip and make tracks sound cleaner.When to Use Strip SilenceWhen working on a mix or a voiceover, there might be a lot of background noise or leak that gets into the recording. Rather than using a noise-gate and increasing the workload on the computer, it's easier and visually useful to use the Strip Silence tool to clean tracks.In many cases, the silent areas in the clips are not required and might add unwanted noise to the final product. I always use strip silence when conducting Automated Dialogue Replacement, ADR, or for voiceovers. This gets a cleaner sound and more time for editing such as gain makeup or equalisation. Manually removing the noise and breaths in between the clips is tedious, especially if working with large files.In some cases, you use the Extract Silence option to extract only the silent parts and use it to create room tones and mix it with other effects.The Rename option is very useful to give proper names to clips rather than random names created by Pro Tools. If you're working with Microsoft PowerPoint, to insert voiceovers for slides, renaming the files according to the slide number helps to insert the audio into the slides very easily.Basic SetupStrip Silence Dialog Box in Pro ToolsStrip ThresholdThis slider sets the minimum threshold for a clip to be as silence or as audio. Audio that is lesser than the threshold value is considered as silence and ignored by Pro Tools. The remaining audio is treated as audioMin Strip DurationThis value sets the minimum duration for the clip to be considered as silence. Adjust this value so that there are not too many small clips of silence and audio. Smaller values are suitable for vocal cleaning and larger values for instruments and other audio with sustain.Clip Start PadThis adds some time before the audio above the threshold so that you can keep the beginning of the audio. It is important to keep a safe value so that there are not accidental cuts that might have been useful for the audio. You can use it for keeping the breaths and other subtle effects if the track requires.Clip End PadThis adds some time after the audio above the threshold, which helps you to retain the sustain and decay of the clips. Use this while editing cymbals or hi-hats that have sustain, that might be required for the track. It is wise to keep a minimum start and end pad so that there is less risk of losing the audio.Renaming ClipsTo rename clips when you clean the track, use the Rename option. This gives you a list of options to configure the way for renaming the clips.The Name can help you to set the base name for the clip. What you type in here will be the starting name or the base name for the clips. Here, you can give a meaningful name to the list of clips and it applies all the clips that used Strip Silence.The Number tell you on what number the renaming will start. Set this to the minimum value for most cases. This prevents confusion and helps you speed up your workflow.Number of Places tells you the number of zeroes that appear before the number on the clips. This is useful if you are dealing with a very large file and there are many cuts and splits on the clips. The zeroes will help you get a better idea of the number of clips.To add text or number at the end of the clip, add that text to the Suffix option. This is useful when you are working with the same file on different projects. It gives you a better idea of the files that you are dealing with.Extract SilenceExtracting silence from a track is simple when using Strip Silence. Set the Strip Threshold and other settings according to requirements and click Extract.Pro Tools removes the other elements in the clip and leaves you with just the silent areas. This can be used for designing the ambiance of a room or for other creative purposes.Separate ClipsSeparating clips splits the audio into silent clips and clips with sound. This allows for the separation of silence and manual deletion of those sections.This is useful when editing audio that has some nuances that you might like to keep. It also gives a visual aid as to how the track splits into areas with silence and sound.Strip SilenceThis is the most useful feature that almost everyone loves. It removes the silent areas in the clip leaving just the required material for editing.Adjust the Threshold level so that the required audio is fully selected in the rectangles. The audio inside the white rectangles is retained and the rest of the audio will be treated as silence and removed. You can retrieve the audio back by grabbing the ends of the clip and dragging it to the left or right.Set the Minimum Strip Duration and the remaining options so that all the audio that you require gets inside the white box. The remaining audio data, which does not fall under the filters, is considered as silence and removed.Click the Strip button and only the audio selected in the rectangle will remain visible.After cleaning the track, add a fade in and fade out on all the clips by using Command-A to select all the clips. Press Command-F to open the Fade Dialog Box. Adjust the fade value to around 20 or more depending on your need and press Enter. This ensures that there are no pops and clicks due to the Strip Silence plugin. You can also press F to add a fade-in and fade-out on the clips.ConclusionStrip Silence is a useful tool that helps speed up workflow by removing unwanted audio and silence from audio clips. Batch renaming is also possible with this plugin. Create room tones from the dialogues using Extract. There are so many uses for this plugin. Let me know how you use it in the comments below.