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There are many ways to cut, copy, paste and clear or delete automation data in Pro Tools. For instance, let's first look at some ways to clear automation data. You can remove a single breakpoint by Option-clicking on a Mac or Alt-clicking in Windows on the breakpoint with the Grabber or Pencil. Let's try the Grabber. If I press the Option key on a Mac or the Alt key in Windows, you will see a little minus sign, show up by the Grabber's pointer icon and that means that it's ready to delete that piece of automation data. So if I click on it, it goes away. If you go to the Pencil tool, you will see that when you press Option or Alt, the Pencil turns around to an eraser and you can erase data points that way.
You can remove several breakpoints at once or all of them on a track by selecting a range of breakpoints with the selector and pressing the Backspace or Delete key. So, let's go to the Selector, and let's say I want to get rid of those data points. So, now I'm going to hit the Delete or Backspace key and they are gone. You can also remove all automation for all automation playlists on the track by selecting a range of breakpoints with the Selector and pressing Ctrl+Backspace in Windows or Ctrl+Delete on a Mac. So I'm going to highlight all of this on this track and when I press Ctrl+ Delete or Ctrl+Backspace, it's going to get rid of all the automation on all of the automation playlists on this track. Let's undo that.
In contrast to deleting automation data, removing data with the Cut command creates anchor breakpoints at the boundaries of the remaining data. Let's look at the difference. If I select this area and choose Cut, you will see the Pro Tools adds in breakpoints at the ends of the selected area. However, if I undo that, and then decide to just delete it, Pro Tools connects the dots between the two closest automation data points, but does not create new ones. It's a slight difference, but one that you should be aware of. Note that when you cut, copy or paste a selection of a track while you are in the Master view that is on an audio track when you are viewing waveform or blocks, all the automation data associated with that track section goes with the track.
So, if I highlight this and then I choose Cut, all the automation data goes away. Now let's paste this back in actually and you will see the automation travels with it. In addition to the regular Cut, Copy, Paste and Clear commands, Pro Tools also has the Cut Special, Copy Special, Paste Special and Clear Special commands and these are made especially for editing automation playlists. Let's look at an example.
Down here, I'm actually going to choose this panning automation, and I'm going to choose Copy Special, Pan Automation. Now let's use the Paste Special command in a cool way, I'm going to select this area, choose Paste Special, Repeat to Fill Selection. Pro Tools actually copies and pastes this automation data multiple times to fill that selection. Another cool thing you can do with the special pasting command is paste automation to a different type of automation track. So in this case, I'm going to paste panning data on to a volume automation track. So I choose Paste Special to current automation type. And there we have it. There are many ways to cut, copy, paste and clear automation in Pro Tools. Use the techniques and features shown here, to creatively fine-tune your automation data.
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