We are here for another tutorial in DaVinci Resolve! Fading out audio is a skill every filmmaker should have, especially when you are on those 48hr film festivals. Knowing how to do just about everything in-house is essential. Whether you are a filmmaker in the timed challenge space or working for a client, this article is for you. Today, I will show you how to fade audio in DaVinci Resolve.
Why Fade Out Audio?
The number one reason you want to fade out your audio is all about having fantastic audio quality. As enthusiastic filmmakers, the first thing they drill into us is that bad audio can wreck a movie. No doubt about it. That’s why it’s crucial to nail the audio right from the get-go.
Having great audio in a film is key to enhancing the whole viewing experience and immersing the audience in the story. It helps create a world that feels real and dynamic, adding depth and emotion to each scene. If you end up with crappy audio, it can mess with the impact of your film and leave your audience cranky. Nobody wants to pour their heart and soul into a movie only to have someone complain about lousy audio. Trust me, that’s the last thing you want to worry about.
When I talk about audio, I don’t just mean dialogue. Sound effects and the score also play a massive role in creating those mind-blowing stories. That’s why filmmakers put in a ton of effort and resources to make sure they’ve got top-notch sound. One of the tricks they use is something called ADR or Automated dialogue replacement.
Look, I get it. Things can go haywire on set. Too many planes buzzing overhead or a crazy schedule to keep. But starting off with the absolute best audio possible, especially when you plan on doing something other than fancy ADR stuff, is super important. That means finding the perfect microphones that suit your needs.
Method 1: Fading Out Your Audio Using The Audio Handles
This first method is going to be the easier way, especially if you need something basic and have a quick turnaround time. I have used this method in a lot of our projects for blending music and dialogue. With this method, you won’t be able to add any sort of fade changes to the middle of the clip. This method only works with the beginning and end of a clip.
- Adjust the height of your audio track on the left side by dragging the bottom of the track
- Hover over your clip and drag the now visible white marker on the left or right side towards the middle of the clip
- You’ll now see a slanted curve that your audio will follow. This takes your volume from 0 (not to be confused with 0.00db) to the current setting you have it at.
- To adjust your audio further, there is a white circle in the center of your slanted line. Click on that and drag it up or down to adjust the speed at which the audio changes.
For dialogue audio blends, cut your clips and drag one onto another audio track. From there, fade out the end of the top track and fade in at the beginning of the bottom one.
Method 2: Fading Out Your Audio Using Keyframes
What are keyframes? Keyframes are an essential part of the filmmaking process. They serve as anchor points or reference frames for animators and filmmakers, providing a framework for creating smooth transitions. By specifying the keyframes, filmmakers can establish the desired positions, orientations, and visual attributes of objects or characters at specific moments in time. Keyframes are an essential part of the filmmaking process.
You will want to use this method if you are looking to do more detailed audio edits. This will come in handy when you want to set specific music cue fades in the middle of a clip, as opposed to the beginning and the end.
You will notice, by hovering over your volume line on your audio clip, that your audio is automatically set to 0.00db. This is standard. If you drag that line up and down, you will see that it adjusts the audio of the entire clip, but we don’t want to do that. We want to select what’s in the middle of the clip only. We will start by making three keyframes, and we will go through those steps first.
- Select the clip you want to adjust
- Create your first keyframe by dragging your playhead to where you want it and click Cmd + [ or for PC Ctrl or Windows + ]
- For a more detailed approach to creating a keyframe, follow the steps below.
- Select your inspector window in the upper right-hand corner
- Then click on the Audio tab. (You must make sure your audio clip is selected first. Otherwise, the Audio tab will be greyed out)
- Click on the diamond next to Volume. You have now created your first keyframe
Now that we know how to create keyframes let’s place them where we want and then add the audio fade.
Adjusting Keyframe Audio
- Drag your playhead to where you want the fade to end and create another keyframe by using the keyboard shortcut or by clicking on the diamond once again.
If we want the audio to fade down to a certain point and then fade back up, we will need to make a third keyframe in the center.
- Drag your playhead to the center of the two keyframes and create another keyframe.
- Click on your center keyframe on your clip and drag it up or down to adjust the volume. You can also drag it right or left to finetune where you want the audio to fade and by how much
- You can also accomplish part of this in your Inspector window. Use your right and left arrows next to the keyframe diamond to navigate to the middle keyframe. Since we only have three keyframes, you will know you have the right one because there will be arrows on either side of the keyframe diamond.
- In your inspector window, you can then adjust the volume of your keyframe, and you can watch that being reflected in the timeline.
If you use the inspector window to adjust your keyframes as opposed to the timeline, you won’t be able to quickly adjust where that keyframe is (mentioned in step 9.) You can only adjust the volume.
FAQs About Fading Audio In DaVinci Resolve
Can I copy and paste the audio curve settings?
Unfortunately, If you are using the Audio Handles method, you cannot copy and paste this setting onto another audio clip.
Can you remove keyframes?
Absolutely, you can! Click on the keyframe you want to delete in the timeline and hit delete. You can also navigate to the proper keyframe in your Inspector window and then click the diamond. It will remove your keyframe for you.
That’s all there is to it! DaVinci Resolve makes it very easy to fade out your audio. I love that there are always multiple ways to do things which makes this an excellent program for a beginner or advanced user. Did you find these tips to be helpful? Let us know in the comments, and happy filmmaking!