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There're many ways to cut, copy, paste, and clear--or delete--automation data in Pro Tools. For instance, let's look at some of the ways to delete automation data. You can remove a single breakpoint by Option+clicking in Mac, or Alt+clicking in Windows, the breakpoint with the Grabber or the Pencil tool. I'm going to take the grabber, come down here and press Option, and you'll see a little Negative sign. That means that if we click it, that data point will go away. With the Pencil tool, same deal. If I press Option on a Mac or press Alt in Windows, the pencil turns upside down into an eraser, and I can click and delete automation points.
You can remove several breakpoints at once, or all of them, by selecting a range of breakpoints with the selector and then choosing Delete or pressing Backspace. So here, I have selected some data points. Boom! They're gone. You can remove all automation for all automation playlists on a track by selecting a range of breakpoints with the selector and pressing Ctrl+Backspace in Windows or Command+Delete on a Mac. 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'll see that the Pro Tools adds in breakpoints at the ends of the selected area. So I'll go up here and choose Cut. I'll zoom in on that. So you'll see the breakpoints that Pro Tools added at that cut area. If I undo that, and then decide just to 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 section of the track while you are in the master view--that is waveform or block view on an audio track... we'll go to Waveform view--all of the automation data associated with that track section goes with the track. So if I cut this and then paste it over here and go back to the volume automation, you'll see that the volume automation was taken away from here, and then it was cut and pasted over here.
In addition to the regular Cut, Copy, Paste, and Clear commands, Pro Tools has Cut Special, Copy Special, Paste Special, and Clear Special, right down here in the Edit menu. These are used especially for editing automation playlists. Let's look at an example. I'm going to go down here to the synth track and check out the panning data that we have here. I'm to going to the select this area of the panning data and choose Copy Special > Pan Automation.
Then I'm going to go down to this area, select and highlight this whole big spot and choose Paste Special > Repeat to Fill Selection, and you can see that Pro Tools pastes in multiple copies, in a row, of that panning automation. The Paste Special command also allows you to paste to the current automation type, which pastes any type of automation data or MIDI controller data to any other type of automation or controller data type.
So with this data highlighted, I'm going to choose Copy, switch over to audio volume and choose Paste Special > To Current Automation Type. Now, that panning data is pasted here as volume data. There are many ways to edit automation in Pro Tools. Use the techniques and features shown here to creatively fine-tune your automation data.
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