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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.
The process of creating an audio loop ties in many editing concepts, techniques, and tools. In this session I'm going to start with several audio tracks and create a loop with all of them at once. So first, I want to go over and check to make sure that we have the Loop Playback feature on, which we do. I also want to make sure that the ALL group is selected, and that means that all tracks will be grouped together so that any edits that I apply to one track will be applied to all of them, and that also means that when I highlight something, it will be highlighted on all of the tracks.
And that's what I've done here is I've highlighted 4 bars, and that's exactly 4 bars because I'm in Grid mode, and you can see those 4 bars highlighted up here. Now, I know that this music has been recorded with a click track. So I'm going to press play and see how this loop goes as it is to the click track. (Music Playing) Now, if you don't want to have to listen through to the whole loop to find out how the loop cycles back around from the end back to the beginning, we can just go up to the Options menu and choose Dynamic Transport.
Now I can click this playback marker here and go towards the end of the loop, and when I press play, it's going to start here and then loop back around. (Music Playing) That can be really handy when you're working on loops. For this particular example I'm actually going to turn it back off, but now you know that's where it is. So I'm pretty happy with the way that this sounds. So I'm going to go ahead and keep the highlight the way it is and separate these clips.
So I'm going to go to Separate Clip > At Selection, and now I've got a 4 bar loop here. However, I want to go a little bit deeper here. I want to zoom in and make sure that this is really tight with the grid, and now zooming in I can see that these notes right here are actually a little bit ahead of the grid. So I want to smooth that out. I'm going to zoom in just a little bit more here, and I'm going to go over to the SLIP mode and use the Trimmer tool and slide this back just a little bit, because I want to make this edit before the transients on the clip here.
It's usually a good idea to trim the clip, as I've done here, so that it starts immediately before these large transients. If you chop off the beginning of a transient, then that can affect the impact or the power of that transient. So, because I've trimmed this, now we actually have the full power of this transient at the beginning of the loop. So what I'll do now is go to Grid mode and with the Grabber tool I'll slide this over to the beginning of the bar and now it starts right on the beat. I'm going to zoom back out.
And because we've slid this over to the right, the end of the loop is now not on the grid anymore. So let's fix that. I'm going to use the Trimmer tool and we're in Grid mode, and chop that back. Now let's take a listen to the loop. (Music Playing) It's a minor change but it certainly shows off the technique of what you need to do to make sure that your transients fit within your loops.
And this actually sounds pretty good to me. So now we're ready if we want to actually duplicate this loop and make a few in a row and there's a few ways to do that. First, we can go to the Edit menu and choose Duplicate, and that creates one new duplicate. Zoom out a little bit here. Another way to do it is to choose Repeat and we could set up a number of duplicates that we want here in Number of Repeats. Click OK, and now we've got two more duplicates.
And let me undo those just for a second. And now I want to show you probably the easiest way to do the loops is we go to the Clip menu and choose Loop. We can choose the number of loops that we want; we can set the loop length and change it if we want to. But the most important one down here is we can enable crossfades, and so that will actually add crossfades automatically for us when we loop our clips. And we can set the settings here. Maybe we want our crossfades to be Equal Power.
And we can tell Pro Tools where we want the crossfade to be placed, as well as how long we want it to be, and in this case 10 milliseconds sounds pretty good. It's pretty short, but that's actually pretty good for this. So I'm going to click OK. And we'll keep the number of loops as 8, click OK, and now we've got 8 copies of our loop, and you can see the loops indicated down here by this little icon, the Loop icon. So now you know the basic steps for making an audio loop in Pro Tools.
As you can see, you can use a lot of different editing concepts, techniques, and tools for this process. And as you get more familiar with Pro Tools, you'll be able to make loops like this in no time.
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