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In their simplest form, a Memory Location can simply be a marker used to denote the beginning or ending of a musical section. However, Memory Locations can be used for so much more as you'll see here. There are several ways to create a Memory Location. You can hit the Enter key in the numeric keypad or in Pro Tools you can click this little plus sign in the Markers ruler. If Pro Tools is stopped, the Memory Location is placed at the current cursor position. However, if Pro Tools is playing or recording, Pro Tools will place a memory location right where the cursor is located without stopping playback or record. This is called dropping in a memory location on the fly and let's try it right now. (Music playing.) So there you go, we just dropped in the bass in Memory Location at bar 3 and we did it on the fly. Let's open up that marker. I'm going to double-click to open the Edit Memory location window.
In this window, we've got a lot of options. Let's start with the Time Properties. A marker recalls a particular location in the timeline in your session. The playback cursor immediately moves to the marker's location when you recall a marker memory location. Markers are referenced either to bar and beat or absolute time. When you choose Bar|Beat, it's tick based and in this particular case, we have a Bar| Beat marker and it is at bar 3 beat 1. If I change the tempo for this Bar| Beat marker, the marker will follow the tempo change. However, if I chose Absolute for this marker, the marker will be set in an absolute time and will be sample based. If I change the tempo, the marker will not move.
As we can see over here, markers appear in the Markers ruler within yellow lines extending all the way down through the Edit window. This is helpful in editing and aligning track material. Additionally, they have different appearances depending on whether they are Absolute or Bar|Beat markers. Here is the Bar|Beat marker, here is an Absolute marker. This one's a diamond. The other one's a yellow chevron. Let's go back to the Time Properties. If we chose Selection, that's different than a marker. A selection memory location stores a highlighted area in your session, like 4 bars in a song's verse. Like markers, selections can be referenced either as Bar|Beat or as Absolute.
A third memory location option, None, recalls no time properties and is referred to as a general properties memory location. I'll show you more about this type in a moment. Let's move down to the General Properties. Zoom settings recall the horizontal and vertical zoom values for both audio and MIDI tracks. This option is very useful in switching between totally zoomed in and zoomed out views while editing. Pre and Post Roll Times recall pre and post roll times in the Transport window but don't indicate whether they are actually enabled.
This option is used for when recording multiple takes of a solo or a vocal part. Track Show/Hide recalls which tracks are shown or hidden in the session. Use this property to display specific tracks for editing and mixing. It's great to use this in mixing so you can focus on specific groups of tracks like showing all of the drums or just the guitars. Track Heights recalls all the track heights in the session. This is even more powerful when using it in tandem with the zoom settings for editing tasks.
Group Enables recalls which edit and mix groups are enabled and Window Configuration recalls any saved window configuration that you have got in your session. Here I have got two different ones and those two show different setups on your screen of the Edit window, the Mix window, and any other windows that are open. Finally, below that we have the Comment section, where you can type comments up to 255 characters long. A cool detail about this is that the comment shows up when you mouse over the markers in the Markers ruler. Let me cancel this for a second. And we'll look at the Memory Locations window. You can open the Memory Locations window by choosing the Window > Memory Locations.
In this window, we see all of the memory locations here. We have got a number of markers, a selection and our general properties memory location. When you are working in a session with a lot of memory locations, it's useful to keep the Memory Locations window open at almost all times. Let me click through a few of these memory locations I have got. So here's the Start marker, you can see that a few things are saved with this. We have Zoom Settings and we have the Track Show/Hide and Track View, and the Window Configurations. Let's check out a few of the other ones. Here is the Sitar Enters marker. You see that we have different Zoom Settings and Track Views.
Let's go further down, we'll zoom back out for the Break marker. Let's check out a selection memory location. If we click there we can see that although there is no marker, we do have a selection and that is a selection on the Organ track here. Now let's check out a general properties memory location, the Mini Grand Zoom and that's zoomed in very largely on the Mini Grand MIDI track here. So we go back to the Start that zooms us all the way back out. So it's pretty cool to be able to switch between these different memory locations for zoom levels and track heights and all that stuff. Makes it easy for editing and for song organization.
Another feature of the Memory Locations window is the menu right over here where we can filter out what we see in the Memory Locations window. We can show counters so we can see where the actual marker takes place. We can see the comments if we want to and we can add new memory locations, we can edit them, clear them, delete them and a few other options here. One last thing, I want to mention is that you can use keyboard shortcuts to go to memory locations. If you go to Setup > Preferences and if you go into the Operation side here we can go to the Numeric Keypad. If we set the Numeric Keypad to Classic, then all you need to do is hit a number and then the period in the numeric keypad and that will take you to any of the memory locations.
If you set the Numeric Keypad to Transport, then you need to hit the period, the number in the numeric keypad and then the period again and that will take you to a memory location. So now you know everything there is to know about memory locations. Use them to quickly organize, navigate and edit your Pro Tools sessions.
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