Creating Fades and Crossfades in the Timeline

One of the most common tasks of a sound editor is adding fade-ins and fade-outs to individual clips and crossfades between clips to smooth the overall sound of a video or motion picture soundtrack.

Tip: Fades and crossfades can be applied using keyboard shortcuts. For more information, see Soundtrack Pro Keyboard Shortcuts.

Types of Fade-Ins and Fade-Outs

This list describes the different types of fade-ins. The reverse behavior is true for fade-outs in the logarithmic and exponential cases.

Note: The default fade type is +3 dB. Choose Soundtrack Pro > Preferences > Project to change the default fade type.

Figure. Fade Switcher HUD.
  • Linear: The rate of attenuation stays constant over the length of the fade.
  • Logarithmic: Starts quickly, then slowly tapers off toward the end.
  • Exponential: Starts slowly, then moves quickly toward the end.
  • S-curve: Eases in and out of the fade, with the midpoint at 0 dB.

Creating Fade-Ins and Fade-Outs in the Timeline

Soundtrack Pro lets you easily add fades and crossfades and adjust the fade type directly in the multitrack Timeline.

To create a fade-in or fade-out on a clip in the Timeline
  1. Move the pointer Over the top-left edge of the clip (for a fade-in) or top-right edge of the clip (for a fade-out).

    The pointer becomes a fade pointer.

    Figure. Clip with fade pointer before adjustment.
  2. Drag from the corner toward the center of the clip.

    A fade is superimposed over the clip.

    Figure. Clip after fade adjustment.
  3. Drag the edge of the fade left or right to adjust the fade duration.

To adjust the fade type
  1. Double-click the fade in the Timeline.

    The Fade Selector window appears.

  2. Click one of the four buttons on the left side of the Fade Selector to select a fade type.

The fade in the Timeline is updated to reflect your choice of fade type.

Figure. Clip displaying fade selection.

Adding Fades to Audio Clips

Soundtrack Pro lets you fade in and fade out to clips in the multitrack Timeline using the Fade command. You can either fade in or fade out clips to the position of the playhead. You can also use the mouse to create and adjust fades in individual clips. For more information on creating and adjusting individual clip fades, see Creating Fade-Ins and Fade-Outs in the Timeline.

Note: If no clips or tracks are selected, using the Fade command applies the fade to all clips under the playhead.

To fade in selected audio clips to the playhead
  1. Set the playhead at the point where you want the fade in to end, then select the clip or clips you want to fade in.

    You can fade in multiple clips in the same operation.

    Figure. Multitrack Timeline showing playhead.
  2. Choose Clip > Fade In to Playhead (or press Option–D).

    Every selected clip under the playhead now fades in from the beginning of the clip to the position of the playhead.

    Figure. Multitrack Timeline showing fade in applied to clip.
To fade out selected audio clips from the playhead
  1. Set the playhead at the point where you want the fade out to begin, then select the clip or clips you want to fade out.

    You can fade out multiple clips in the same operation.

    Figure. Multitrack Timeline showing playhead.
  2. Choose Clip > Fade Out from Playhead (or press Option–G).

    Every selected clip under the playhead now fades out from the position of the playhead to the end of the clip.

    Figure. Multitrack Timeline showing trimmed clip.
To fade in audio clips on selected tracks
  1. Set the playhead at the point where you want the fade in on the clip or clips to end.

  2. Select the track or tracks containing the clip or clips you want to fade in.

  3. Choose Clip > Fade In to Playhead (or press Option–D).

    Every clip under the playhead on the selected tracks now fades in from the beginning of the clip to the position of the playhead.

Note: Any clip selections supersede track selections; if both clips and tracks are selected under the playhead, Soundtrack Pro fades in only the clips.

To fade out audio clips on selected tracks
  1. Set the playhead at the point where you want the fade out on the clip or clips to begin.

  2. Select the track or tracks containing the clip or clips you want to fade out.

  3. Choose Clip > Fade Out from Playhead (or press Option–G).

    The Out point of every clip under the playhead on the selected tracks is moved to the position of the playhead.

Note: Any clip selections supersede track selections; if both clips and tracks are selected under the playhead, Soundtrack Pro fades out only the clips.

To fade in audio clips while playing a project
  1. Do one the following:

    • Select the clip or clips you want to fade in.

    • Select the track or tracks containing the clip or clips you want to fade in.

  2. Play the section of the Timeline containing the clip or clips you want to fade in.

  3. While the project is playing, press Option–D.

    The clip or clips are faded in to the position of the playhead.

To fade out audio clips while playing a project
  1. Do one the following:

    • Select the clip or clips you want to fade out.

    • Select the track or tracks containing the clip or clips you want to fade out.

  2. Play the section of the Timeline containing the clip or clips you want to fade out.

  3. While the project is playing, press Option–G.

    The clip or clips are faded out from the position of the playhead.

Creating Crossfades Between Audio Clips

Crossfades let you create smooth transitions between one audio clip and the next and avoid clicks or sudden changes in loudness that can result when placing audio files one after another.

One of the ways to create a crossfade between audio clips is to use the Timeslice tool to select a timeslice, then use the crossfade command. Another way is to set the project to crossfade mode, then drag an audio clip so that it overlaps another clip. A crossfade is created for the length of the overlapped area.

To use the crossfade command
  1. Choose the Timeslice tool (or press W).

  2. Select a timeslice overlapping two clips in the Timeline.

    Figure. Crossfade Mode button.
  3. Choose Clip > Crossfade (or press Command–F).

    The crossfade appears in the area selected by the Timeslice tool.

    Note: This command works whether your multitrack project is set to crossfade mode or truncate mode.

To set the project to crossfade mode
  • Click the Crossfade Mode button, located above the Global Timeline view.

    Figure. Crossfade Mode button.

In crossfade mode, when you drag an audio clip so that it partially overlaps another audio clip in a track in the Timeline, a crossfade is created for the overlapped part of the two audio files. You can adjust the boundaries of the crossfade in the Timeline.

To create a crossfade
  • In the Timeline, drag an audio clip so that it overlaps another audio clip.

    The crossfade appears in the overlapped area of the two clips.

    Figure. Two overlapped clips with a crossfade.

As with other edits you make in the Timeline, creating a crossfade between two audio clips does not change the source audio files.

You can adjust crossfades in several ways. You can change the edges of the crossfaded clips or move the position of the crossfade without changing its length.

To adjust crossfade boundaries
  1. Move the pointer over the left or right edge of the crossfade.

    The pointer becomes a crossfade pointer.

  2. Drag the edge of the crossfade to adjust the crossfade boundary.

To move the crossfade without changing its length
  • Drag the lower area of the crossfade left or right.

To adjust the crossfade type
  1. Double-click the crossfade.

    The Fade Selector window appears with two columns of the four fade type choices.

    Note: For descriptions of the four fade types, see Types of Fade-Ins and Fade-Outs.

  2. Click one of the four buttons in the column on the left to select a fade-out type for the left clip.

    The crossfade in the Timeline is updated to reflect your choice of fade type.

    Figure. Fade Picker HUD.
  3. Click one of the four buttons in the column on the right to select a fade-in type for the right clip.

    The crossfade in the Timeline is updated to reflect your choice of fade type.

    Figure. Fade Picker HUD.