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Pro Tools 10 Essential Training with musician and producer David Franz illuminates the process of recording, editing, mixing, and mastering in Avid Pro Tools, the industry-standard software for music and postproduction. The course covers recording live audio and adding effects on the fly, creating music with virtual instruments and plug-ins, editing for time and pitch manipulation, creating a musical score, and mixing and mastering a track.
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. We've got two guitar tracks here, we've got a lead guitar here and a harmony track, and I've got three recorded playlists of this harmony track. And we can see that because we're looking at the Playlist view and it's showing all three takes. So to get a handle on starting to edit these, I want to actually loop the playback so I can hear each one of them.
And what I want to do is comp together the best harmony guitar track that we can make from these three playlists. So I'm going to go up to the Play button, right-click it and choose Loop playback. I'm going to highlight by double-clicking this clip. And now when I begin playback, I'm going to listen through to all three of these takes, and I will solo them using the Solo button, that'll allow each one of those takes to play.
Or what I can do is click once inside of the clip and use the keyboard command Shift+S and that will activate the Solo button for this particular playlist. So now I'm going to play back the track with Loop playback and then cycle through all the playlists and pick out some pieces that I like to build my comp. (Music Playing) Okay, so I've got some pieces from each playlist that I want to edit together into the master comp track.
So how do we do that? First I want to create a duplicate playlist, and I'll do that right here, and I'm going to call it Harm COMP, so that I know that it's the comp track. And what that does is it pushes down this Harm1.01 track down here, and now we have a duplicate copy of that one here. And I want it to keep this particular clip right here on the comp track and you'll see that it's already copied up there because I duplicated that playlist.
But I want to bring some other pieces like these three pieces up into the comp. And how do we do that? There's a few ways. So I've highlighted this now, I double- clicked on it, and I can use this button which is Copy Selection To The Main Playlist. Click that once and it moves it automatically up into the main playlist. I can do that here again. And even simpler, if we double-click on the clip, I can now right-click and choose Copy Selection To Main Playlist, and it moves it up there.
So now I've created my entire comp right here. Now there's 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 playlists and you get kind of confused about which performances are best. Well, you can actually use a rating system and you can rate each of these clips to help you remember which ones are good. So first, I'm going to go to the View menu, Clip > Rating. And now you can see that the ratings are shown here and there's no ratings on any of these clips.
And I'm going to double-click this clip, and go up to Clip > Rating and I can choose whatever I want here. I'm going to choose 5, and we'll say that 5 is the best. You can also, once you've selected a clip, right-click it and go all the way down to this rating right here and choose that. And let's do one more for good measure. Choose 5 right there. Now if you want to rate a clip while you're actually playing back a recording, you can press all three of the main modifiers, then press 1-5.
So that would be Command+Option+Ctrl on a Mac or Control+Alt+Start in Windows. And then if you really want to get fancy, you can right-click the track name which I'll do right here, and you can filter the lanes. And that means that we can show only lanes with clips rated 1-5, and then we can choose 5 and that just cuts it down to the playlists that only have ratings of 5. So that can really help you filter out everything except the best performances.
This comping process I think is pretty 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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