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Pro Tools 9 Essential Training with musician and producer David Franz demonstrates concepts and techniques necessary for recording, editing, mixing, and mastering in the industry-standard software for music and post-production. The course covers creating music with virtual instruments and plugins, editing with elastic audio for time and pitch manipulation, creating a musical score, and mixing with effects loops. Exercise files accompany the course.
The process of creating an audio loop ties in many editing concept techniques and tools. In the session, we're going to start with several audio tracks and create a loop with all of them at once. To start with, I want to make sure we have Loop Playback on, and we do. I also want to make sure that we have All group highlighted, which we do. That means that whenever we select anything, it will select all of the tracks. That's what I'm going to do right here.
I'm going to select four bars and make a loop from it. Now you'll notice that I'm in Grid mode, and I've got exactly four bars here. And I know that this music was recorded to a click track, so I'm hoping that it's tight with the click track. Let's take a listen. (Music playing.) That sounds pretty good with the click, and it actually loops around pretty well. So what I'm going to do is tighten this loop up even more.
So first, I'm going to separate this four bar region; Edit > Separate > At Selection. Now I'm going to zoom in. So I'm going to take the Normal Zoom tool, zoom in at the region boundary and make sure that we're at a good editing point. Now, to me, it looks like the guitar is just a little bit ahead of the beat here. So what I'm going to do is trim this just a little bit. I need to go to Slip mode, and we'll bring that just back here like that.
Usually it's a good idea to trim the region, so that the region starts immediately before a large transient in the waveform. A large transient looks like this--a big event happening. This is the beginning of a chord that's on the downbeat. If you chop off the beginning of that, then that can actually reduce the impact or the power of that transient. So let's get it right before that large transient. Because we've trimmed this, now it's not tight with the grid anymore. So what we want to do is go back to Grid mode, and we'll take the time grabber, select it, and move it towards the grid.
Now this loop is starting on the grid again. However, the end of the loop is not on the grid anymore because we moved it. So let's trim it to the grid. Now we've got a perfect four-bar loop again. We'll zoom back out, and let's take a listen. (Music playing.) This sounds very tight with the grid, and there's a smooth transition from the end of the region back to the beginning.
So let's duplicate this region, so we can hear a few loops in a row. We can go up to Edit > Duplicate, and that'll create one, or we can do Edit > Repeat, and type in the number that we want-- we'll type in 2. Or, even better-- let's scroll out here-- we can go to Region > Loop and we can set the number of loops that we want, the loop length, we can loop it until the end of the session or the next region, and very cool feature: we can turn on Enabling Crossfades and set the crossfades the way that we want them.
You'll notice that we can set the length here too, and I like 10 milliseconds. It's pretty short, but we don't need a long one here. So I'll click OK, and OK. Now we've got a lot of loops of this region, and we can see that it's looped with the Loop icon here and each one of them has crossfades in between. Let's take a quick listen. (Music playing.) These are the basic steps to making an audio loop in Pro Tools.
As you can see, you use 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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