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In Pro Tools 10 regions have been renamed clips to create common nomenclature with Avid's video software packages. With the change in name comes a big new feature, useful in both post-production and mixing applications. It's called clip-based gain, and it enables you to easily adjust and match the gain, or volume, of an individual clip before the clip signal is routed to any plug-ins on the track and before it hits the track's fader. While similar to volume automation, clip gain is only associated with the clip, not with the actual track that the clip is on.
From the View menu, we can choose Clip > Clip Gain Line, as well as Clip > Gain Line Info. You can see the Clip Gain Line here as well as the Clip Gain Fader icon in the lower-left corner of the clip. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+Equal on a Mac or Start+Shift+Equal in Windows to show or hide the clip gain. With no change in the clip gain, you'll see 0 dB as shown here.
However, I can adjust the clip gain by clicking on the fader and dragging up or down. I can also use the Trim tool to change the gain. You'll see the Clip Gain Trim icon as I click and drag and the clip gain changes. Notice how the waveform reacts in size according to the amount of gain. Now this is called static clip gain because the gain applies to the entire clip; however, if I use the Grabber tool to adjust the gain, this is called dynamic clip gain because the gain changes over the length of the clip.
I can also use the Pencil tool to draw in clip gain. You can edit clip gain just like any other type of automation, even copying and pasting clip gain like this. If you right-click on the Clip Gain Fader, you can bypass, clear, or render the clip gain as well as show or hide the Clip Gain Line for all clips.
Now you can adjust the Clip Gain Line between -144 dB and +36 dB and that Clip Gain setting stays with the clip, even if you move or copy or paste the clip, and clip gain can be imported from AAF and OMF sequences and exported with AAF sequences, but not OMF sequences. Let's look at what happens when I create a crossfade between two clips that have different clip gains. So first I'm going to change this clip gain right here. Now, I'm going to create a crossfade between these two regions. Look at that.
We see two Clip Gain lines. That simply means that the clip gains for each clip carries through the crossfade, and the crossfade will act like normal, mixing the two signals at their clip gain levels. A simple but handy new feature in Pro Tools 10 is that you can right-click on any clip in the clips list to reveal the file in the Finder on a Mac or in the Windows Explorer in Windows. And here's that clip. Finally, since regions have been replaced by clips, region groups have been replaced by clip groups. S clip group simply consists of several clips grouped together, like this.
With a bunch of clips highlighted here, I can go up to the Clip > Group command and now they're all grouped together. With the new clip group name, there's also a new file format .cgrp, which replaces the region group file format. Region group files can be imported from sessions made in previous versions of Pro Tools, but clip groups are not backwards compatible with previous versions of Pro Tools, because they contain clip gain settings. So now you know all the ins and outs about using clips and clip-based gain in Pro Tools 10.
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