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Let music editor and producer Skye Lewin show you a selection of audio editing techniques for cutting music to picture in this course on Pro Tools. He covers the basics of timecode, syncing a QuickTime movie with the Pro Tools timeline, alignment of music to picture, editing music, and editorial techniques that may require editing rights. The course also covers creating alternative edits, conforming edits, and exporting QuickTime movies for presentation.
Now that we are comfortable navigating the Edit window with key commands, let's talk about sync points. A sync point is a very handy marking system within Pro Tools that allows you to place a marker on a region or audio file that will follow the region or audio file. So it's different than a typical marker in Pro Tools. It's more of an identifier that says, at this point, at this sample, in this region, remember this location so that I can return to it quickly using the navigation techniques and the spotting techniques that we've covered and will cover further in the next video.
So let's talk about making a sync point, and let's actually walk through the steps of doing it. It's pretty simple. We have already got a small selection on the region from the song Leebock 2, so let's use the E key command to zoom toggle and bring that up to full-screen, and let's zoom in again by selecting the Zoom tool--Command+1 or Control+1--and let's zoom in a couple of times so that we can really see the waveform well. We don't want to clip the beginning of the waveform off when we do this, especially with a transient like a beat in music.
Now that we've got this visible, we can either revert to Slip mode by pressing F2 or we can stay in Grid mode and Command+Click or Start+Click right at the beginning of that transient. Then to add a sync point we press the key command Command+Comma or Control+Comma, and you'll see a small green triangle added to the left and the right region of this audio region. That indicates that you have a sync point now added to that region. So let's zoom back out to the whole session--Option+A or Alt+A--and we can still see that there is a sync point at that point.
So if we want to move the sync point to a different location, all you have to do is find the location and use the same key command to essentially add a sync point, and I will remove it from the first location and move it to the second location, because you can only have one sync point in any given audio file. If you have multiple regions of the same audio file, you still can only have one sync point in any one of those regions, because they all refer to the same audio file. So using the navigation commands that we have learned in the previous video, let's see what happens now that we have a sync point.
If I tab to the end, it still tabs to the end; if I Option+Tab or press the L key to move earlier, this time it stops on the sync point instead of going all the way back to the beginning. So essentially a sync point acts with navigation the same way the beginning and end of a region do. So you can quickly navigate to that point in the region or audio file. So just like we can spot to the beginning or end of an audio file, we can also spot to a sync point. So we go to Spot mode, which is F3, and we click with the Hand Grabber tool in the bottom of the region, we can now enter Time Code or Bar/Beat or whatever type of grid we want to use in this Sync Point field and it will move that audio file so that the sync point is at that location, which is a very handy and quick way to snap audio files to a specific location rather than moving until you get it right.
So we are not going to do that for now, so let's exit that and go back to Grid mode and exit zoom toggle and save our session. So you can see how sync points are a very useful tool in aligning your sound or music to a specific point in the timeline, which can save you a lot of time and guesswork.
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