Let’s be honest, audio is the most neglected, or at least under appreciated area of video production, and DaVinci Resolve 16.2 aims to ‘resolve’ this. When Blackmagic Design added Fairlight to Davinci Resolve it marked a milestone in incorporating one of the most comprehensive audio editing suites within any existing NLE. Much of the focus in recent updates to Resolve have been to the video editing side. While the company has just made some upgrades to its hardware, this time it’s the turn of audio editing within Resolve.
New features of Davinci Resolve 16.2
For a start a new edit selection mode unlocks functionality that was only available previously on the hardware Fairlight console. As a result of this editing is said to be much faster than before. The new mode also makes adding fades, cuts, and moving clips far easier. Further still user can now zoom in without adjusting the volume thanks to the new scaleable waveform.
Audio is an exercise in layering, therefore a new function lets users add a selection of clips vertically to the timeline as opposed to just horizontally. Multichannel tracks can also be converted into linked groups right within the timeline.
Frame boundary editing improves export compatibility for film and broadcast deliveries. Modifier keys now make clip duplication across timelines easy.
It’s all very well having great editing abilities, but sometimes you just need that perfect sound effect right now. Davinci Resolve 16.2 includes support for the Fairlight Sound Library, which supports metadata based searches. Search results display both the filename and the description so this should make for a highly accurate system.
These effects can also be sorted automatically into category, followed by native or third party plugins. Favourite sound effects can also be marked.
The new update also includes support for MPEG-H 3D surround sound audio, with full bussing and monitoring workflows supported.
Editing improvements to Davinci Resolve 16.2
Similar to video editing, the edit index is now available on the Fairlight page. Drag selections for mute, solo, record enable and lock, and visibility controls are now supported.
AAF sequences can now be imported with the ability to add an offset value if the current project features a different timescale. AAF export now supports industry standard broadcast wave files. In addition audio cross fades and fade hands are added to the AAF files that are exported from the application.
“This is only a taste of the overall improvements to the software.”
In addition to the functionality improvements, speed has also been improved. If, for example, you are handling over 1000 media files, speed should now be improved drastically.
Audio mixing has also received attention with a new EQ curve preset that allows the removal of difficult frequencies.A new FairlightFX filter is the meter plugin, which adds a floating meter for any track or bus so that you can keep track of levels even of the monitoring panel or mixer windows are closed. Lastly a new LFE filter will smoothly roll off the high frequencies when you are mixing for surround sound.
The Fairlight audio editor has been upgraded to allow panning up and down, which with the latest surround systems is an essential addition. All attributes including EQ, automation, and clip gain are now copied with the copy & paste function. Sound engineers can set up their own individual preferred workflow with their own presets for clip EQ.
An interesting addition is that clip levels can be adjusted relatively. This means that you will be able to adjust the overall gain while respecting existing adjustments.
This is only a taste of the overall improvements to the software. But what is clear is that with Davinci Resolve 16.2 Blackmagic Design is taking sound editing seriously. Fairlight is most certainly the most comprehensive sound design and mixing interface that is currently integrated within a NLE system. Even if you cannot afford to have the full physical interface, it is reassuring to know that this sort of power is on tap. You’ll hear it a lot from the Vibliotech, but it’s worth reiterating, sound is the most important part of what you do as a video maker. These sorts of tools should be celebrated, especially at the price!
For the full list of improvements to Davinci Resolve 16.2 visit the Blackmagic Design website.