Advice on loud music plus quiet dialog editing

I’m a noob with WL pro 9, but not to audio editing.

The first project I’m attacking with WL is editing a backlog of music masterclass recordings, and I’d appreciate any tips from power users.

The recordings are a mix of distant-mic’d talk/lecture and music. The music is a lot louder than the dialog. In many cases the dialog has a shit-ton of reverb from the concert hall it was recorded in. I need to bring up the dialog so it can be heard, and bring the music down. I should add that the fidelity is not overly important - as long as one can hear what is being played.

My initial approach is working, but it’s tedious:

  • For each recording, load in a Montage with the very loud music in one track, and the dialog in the other track

  • Normalize dialog to bring it up (but that’s not enough), because there are loud transients that need to be smashed to allow dialog gain

  • Then use a plugin chain like this: limiter->gain->gain (because one gain plugin is not enough :wink:

  • Also using the Izotope RX reverb removal plugin, either after or between the gain stages.

  • There should also be a cross-fade at each cut between tracks, but I haven’t figured out how to do that quickly at each cut. (can I enable automated cross-fades between overlapping regions in separate montage tracks?

This stuff is inherently tedious, and sometimes it just is what it is. But can anybody think of ways to make it less so? A given session might go 1.5hr with 30 or more cuts between tracks. It would be super-awesome if I could avoid the manual track-splitting.