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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.
In their simplest form, a memory location can just 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. I have already got a few already made in this session, as you see here in the Markers ruler, and in the Memory Locations window. To see the Memory Locations window, just go to the Window menu and choose Memory Locations. There are several ways to create a memory location. You can hit the Enter key on the numeric keypad on your keyboard.
If you have a Mac laptop, you can press the Function key, and hit the Return key. You can also go to the Markers ruler, and click the Plus sign. If Pro Tools is stopped, the memory location is placed at the current cursor position. In this case, it would be right at the very beginning of the session. If Pro Tools is playing a recording, Pro Tools will place a memory location right where the cursor is located without stopping playback or recording; this is called dropping in a memory location on the fly, and let's try it.
(Music playing.) So we just created a memory location right in the middle of that playback. I am going to open up that marker and take a look at the Memory Location window. We've got a lot of choices to make here. Let's first talk about the time properties. A marker recalls a particular location in the timeline of your session. The Playback cursor immediately moves to the marker's location when you recall a marker memory location.
Markers are either reference to bars and beats or to absolute time. When you choose Bars and Beats, it's tick-based. In this particular case, we have a Bar and Beat marker, and it's at exactly measure 29, beat 3. If I change the session tempo, the marker will move to follow the tempo change. However, if I choose Absolute, the marker will be set in an absolute time, and will be sample-based. So if I change the tempo, the marker will not move.
Markers appear in the Marker ruler, with thin yellow lines extending down through all the tracks in the Edit window. Let's take a look at this. I am going to zoom in here. If I actually trim some of this away, you'll see the yellow line extending all the way through the track. Additionally, markers have different appearances depending on which timebase they are using. As you can see here, chevrons denote Bar and Beat reference markers, while diamonds indicate Absolute markers.
So you've got a chevron here and a diamond here. Now, I am going to click on the start marker, and bring us back to the start. I am also going to double-click on this to open up that memory location. If instead of choosing marker as the time property, and we choose selection, this stores a highlighted area in your session, like four bars in a song's verse. Like markers, selections can be referenced either as Bar and Beat or as Absolute. A third memory option, None, recalls no time properties at all, and it's 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. The Zoom settings recall 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. So whatever we see here in our Edit window is what we're going to see if we check the Zoom Setting. If you rather have it be more zoomed in or zoom out, you should do that before creating the memory location.
The Pre and Post Roll Times recalls pre and post roll times but does not indicate whether they are enabled. This option is useful for recording multiple takes of a solo or a vocal part, and you'll see the pre and post roll times indicated down in the Transport. The Track Show/Hide recalls what tracks are shown or hidden in the session. You can use this property to display specific tracks for editing and mixing. Let me show you an example. I am going to cancel out of here. If I hit this memory location, it hides all of the audio tracks and shows only the instrument tracks.
We'll go back to the Start memory location, and I'll double-click it. Track Heights in the general properties recalls all of the track heights that are shown in the session. This is even more powerful when used in tandem with zoom settings for editing tasks. Let me just show you an example here. If I hit the Sitar Enters memory location, you'll see that these tracks here are zoomed in, and have a much higher track height. The Group Enables recalls which edit and mixed groups are enabled, and Window Configuration recalls any saved window configurations that you have in your session.
Let me show you an example. But first, we see that there are two possible window configurations available for this session that we've saved. This is the first window configuration, shown here. If we go to this Organ Enters memory location, you'll see a different window configuration. The Mix window is showing now, and the Transport window has moved. Any memory location can store up to a maximum of 255 characters as a comment, and whenever you mouse over a marker, those comments show up.
Let's take a closer look at the Memory Locations window. When working in a session with a lot of memory locations, it's useful to keep this Memory Locations window open almost all the time. You can click on a Memory Location to go there. You can double-click to edit the memory location. Let's take a look at this organ2 selection. This is a selection memory location, and you'll see that there's no marker indicated in the Marker ruler.
However, we do have a selection of 16 bars, shown right here. If we click on the Mini Grand ZOOM memory location, that's actually a General Properties memory location, and it's zoomed all the way in. It also does not have a marker associated with it. Finally, we can choose from a lot of different options in the Memory Locations pop-up menu. We can filter what we see, we can show counters, we can sort by time, we can create, and edit, and delete markers, and a number of other things.
So now you know a ton about memory locations. Use them to quickly organize, navigate, and edit your Pro Tools sessions.
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