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Creating a Composite track, otherwise known as a Comp, where you edit together the best parts of several takes into one master take is a quick process using playlists in Pro Tools. Let's take a look at this session. I've got two guitar tracks up here playing chords. I've got Lead track and I've got a Harmony track, and on this Harmony track, I've got three recorded playlists. We know that because we're looking at the Playlist Track View, instead of the regular that hides the playlists.
We'll look at the playlist view. So to get a handle on starting to edit these, I want to actually loop the playback, so that I can hear each one of them. So I'm going to the Play button and right- click it and choose Loop. So I've got Loop playback on and I'm going to double-click with the selector here to highlight this region. Now, when we play this back, first we're going to hear, the Harmony 1.01 track, because it's in the main playlist for this track. And then when we want to switch to the other playlist, we hit the Solo button. You can only have one of those, lit up at a time. Another way to activate the S button here is to click in the track or make a selection in a track and press Shift+S. So, if you're working in a track, you can just press Shift+S and then you can hear it. So, what I'm going to do now is playback the track on Loop playback, and then cycle through all of the playlist and pick out some pieces that I like. So that I can build my comp.
(Music playing.) Okay, so I've got pieces from each playlist that I want to edit together into the Master Comp track. So, how do we do that? First we'll go over here to the Playlist Selector and create a Duplicate of the current playlist and I'm going to name that Harm COMP. And so what that does is create a fourth playlist and it moves the one that was current down one, so now this is the main playlist and it's a direct duplicate of this first Harm 1.01 playlist. How do we add pieces to this comp, to actually make it a comp? Well pretty easy! Check this button out. It's the Copy Selection tool button and since I already know that I like this region, I'm going to click this button and it automatically moves that up to the main playlist. I'm going to do the same for this section. And actually, instead of having to go to this button, I can right click and choose Copy Selection to Main Playlist and it pops up right up there for me. So that's pretty easy way to build a Comp.
There is one more feature that I'm going to tell you about that might help you build Comps, especially if you're working with a lot of playlist and you get kind of confused about which performances are best. You can use rating of each of these regions to help you remember which ones are good. So go to View > Region > Rating and you'll see Ratings for each of the regions in here. So I'm going to double-click this and actually right-click it, and I can rate that right here. Rate it couple more, we know that these ones are good.
You can do this while you're playing back and recording as well, if you press all three, the modifiers. So on a Mac that would be Ctrl+Option+Command and then press a number so we've got just like this. On a PC, we start Alt+Ctrl and that's how you rate a region, and then if you really want to get fancy, we can right-click the track name and filter out any lanes that we don't want, if it's a bad rating. So we can filter out everything except the 5s. So let's try that out. There you go.
Now, we only see regions with 5s on them, and these are the playlists that have 5s on them. So that can really help you filter out when you're looking for the best performances. So, this comping process is really slick. Recording to and editing with playlists are part of my usual music production technique and I strongly encourage you to add these features to your production arsenal as well.
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