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Pro Tools 8 Essential Training unveils the inner workings of the industry-standard software for music and post-production. Musician, producer, and educator David Franz demonstrates all the concepts and techniques necessary for recording, editing, mixing, and mastering in Pro Tools 8. He teaches how to create music with virtual instruments and plug-ins, edit with elastic audio for time and pitch manipulation, create a musical score, and mix with effects loops. This course can help any music producer, sound engineer, or hobbyist become proficient in Pro Tools 8. Exercise files accompany the course.
The process of creating an audio loop ties in many editing concepts, techniques and tools. In this video, we'll start with the whole file audio region and create a loop from it. First, let's make sure we're in Loop Playback. Let's go to Options, choose Loop Playback, or you can right-click the Play button and choose Loop Playback. Also, let's make sure that we have the All group selected. It will be highlighted or colored, like this.
This track that I'm editing here was recorded to a click track, so I'm going to make sure I'm in Grid mode and then I'm going to go and select four bars, exactly. Try to make a loop out of these four bars. I'm going to press Play and we'll listen to what we've got. (Music playing.) That sounds pretty good. If you don't want to have to listen through to the whole loop, to find out how the loop cycles around from the end, back to the beginning, go up to Options, choose Dynamic Transport. Then you can pull the Play Marker, close to the end of the region. Press Play. (Music playing.) And it will cycle just from the end back to the beginning. I'm pretty happy with the way that sounds. So I'm going to keep that highlighted as we have it here.
Now, I'm going to separate this region. Edit > Separate Region > At Selection. So I've got a four-bar phrase right here and I'm going to zoom in on the very beginning of this to check how the edit is. Now, it looks like the guitar is just a little bit ahead of the beat right here. So I'm going to smooth that out. What I ultimately want to do is trim the beginning of this region, so that the region starts immediately before a large transient in the Waveform, like right here.
So it's kind of picking up right in the middle of the transient and I'm going to bring the edit point out into here. So, I'm going onto Slip mode, grab the Trimmer and pull that out. If you want it to actually stay in Grid mode and temporarily go into Slip, you can press Command on a Mac or Ctrl on a PC and temporarily enter Slip mode. So now I've trimmed the beginning of this region. However, it's not on the Grid anymore. So go back to Grid mode and I'm going to take the Time Grabber, slide this to the beginning of this beat, bar 7.
Let me zoom out, and I'm actually going to go and zoom in on the end of this region. You'll see that it is no longer at the bar line. So I'm going to trim that off and let's listen to our region. (Music playing.) That sounds more natural to me. The guitars are lined up with the grid a little bit better and the transition from the end, back to the beginning is pretty smooth.
Now, what if I want to actually create multiple copies of this loop? Well, we can choose Edit > Duplicate for one copy or choose Edit > Repeat, and we can choose a Number of Repeats, say 2, or even better than that. We can go to Region > Loop. This is my favorite way to do it. We can select the number of loops. We could tell it how long we want it to loop. We can loop until the end of the session or the next region, and we can automatically enable crossfades between the loops. We can change the settings to whatever we want here. I'll check it out. We've got all these loops, with crossfades in between them. Let's hear how it sounds. (Music playing.) Pretty smooth transition from one to the next and it's right in time with the beat as you can hear with the click track.
So these are the basic steps to making an audio loop in Pro Tools. We used a lot of different editing concepts, techniques and tools for this process. As you get more familiar with Pro Tools, you'll be able to make loops like this in no time.
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