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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 look at some of the ways to delete automation data. You can remove a single break point by Option+Clicking on the Mac or Alt+Clicking in Windows with the Grabber or the Pencil on a break point. So I will take the Grabber here. If I go down to this break point here, press the Option or the Alt key, you see the little negative sign show up by the Grabber pointer, and now if I click it, that data point goes away. Same goes for the Pencil tool.
If I go down to an automation break point and I press the Option key or the Alt key, the pencil switches over to the eraser and now if I click on any points here, that will be erased. You can remove several break points at once or all of them by selecting a range of break points with the selector and then pressing the Backspace or Delete key. So I am going to select some here, press Delete, and all of the data points are gone. You can remove all the automation for all of the automation playlists on a track, by selecting a range of break points with the selector and then pressing Ctrl+Backspace in Windows or Ctrl+Delete on a Mac.
So you could highlight this, use the key commands, and delete all of the automation that exists for every type of automation right here. In contrast to the deleting automation data, removing data with the Cut command creates anchor break points at the boundaries of the remaining data. Let's look at the difference. If I select this area right here and now choose Cut, you will see that Pro Tools adds in break points at the end of the selected area, right in here. I will zoom in and we can take a look.
Now if I undo that, you will see that those break points didn't exist before we cut the data. Now, if I decide to delete this data, 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. And note that when you cut, copy, or paste a section of the track while you're in the Master view, that is, waveform or block on an audio track, all automation data associated with that track's section goes with the track.
So for instance, if I select this area of the waveform and choose Cut, and then I paste it over here, the automation data travels with that cut and paste. So now I go back to the volume and you can see that the automation data here came along with this cut clip. In addition to the regular Cut, Copy, Paste, and Clear commands, Pro Tools has Cut Special, Copy Special, Paste Special and Clear Special Commands in the Edit menu.
These are used specifically for editing sutomation playlists. Let's look an example. What I want to do here is scroll down to this area on the synth track. And we are looking at panning data, so what I am going to do is select this area and now go to Copy Special > Pan Automation. Now I am going to go to later in the track and select this whole area, go back up to the Edit menu and choose Repeat to Fill Selection, and now you can see that Pro Tools has pasted in that previous data from here and has basically looped it all the way to the end of the selection.
The Paste Special command also allows you to paste to 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 all highlighted, I am going to choose Copy and now I am going to switch to the Volume Automation playlist and then choose Paste Special to Current Automation Type. And as you can see, that pastes the panning automation onto the volume automation playlist.
So 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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