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Near the top of the Edit window are the Timebase Rulers. The Timebase Ruler provides timing reference for all of the track material. You can choose to view any or all of the time based rulers in the Edit window, using the Ruler View Selector button, right here. Notice that all of these have checkmarks, so we're seeing all of them. The Timebase Ruler that's highlighted, in this case the Bar and Beat ruler, is the current main time scale. This determines a time format used in the Transport window down here, also up in the Edit selection area and even in the Grid and Nudge values.
If you're working with musical materials that align with Bars and Beats, like working with the Click track, I would definitely choose Bars and Beats as your main timescale. I use Minutes and Seconds really only as a time reference, and I rarely concern myself with Samples. But as you can see, when you change these, all of these time references change with them as well. Below the Timebase rulers are the conductor rulers. We have Tempo, Meter, Key, Chords, and Markers. The Tempo controls the speed of the song, the Meter conducts the time signature, the Key Signature ruler keeps track of any key changes. The Chord ruler shows chords and the Marker ruler labels specific points in time. Like here we have the Start marker. We have where the sitar enters and so on.
When you open a brand new Pro Tools session, the default tempo is usually 120. I have changed this tempo in the session to 100 and it's easy enough to change the tempo many other times in the session. All you got to do is hit this little plus button to add a Tempo Change. In this window, you can tell Pro Tools where to change the tempo and to what BPM, as well as the resolution. You can also do that for the meter, can change the Meter. You can add key signatures, you can add chords, and markers. We're going to talk more about markers and memory locations in another movie in this course. Now what happens if you don't actually know the tempo that you want for your session? Well you can tap in the tempo. Try this.
Go down to the Transport window and make sure that you see the MIDI controls in your Transport window, unhighlight the Conductor track, and that puts Pro Tools into Manual Tempo mode. You can see that indicated right here in the Tempo ruler. Then place the cursor into the Tempo area right here and click to highlight the Tempo. Then start pressing T to get your Tempo, or you can press a key on a MIDI keyboard.
Once you've pressed the key eight times or less, Pro Tools will determine the new BPM. If you actually want to make the Tempo change, here is what I recommend doing. Take Pro Tools out of Manual Tempo mode by pressing the Conductor track button and remembering the number that you chose here, you can go and Add Tempo Change. So first let's listen to what we have at 100 BPM. (Music playing.) Now, if we change the Tempo, starting at that particular location, Bar 3, Beat 1, we change it to 154, like we thought we wanted it. Let's check it out.
Notice that all the MIDI tracks move because they're tied to the Bars and Beats, and if we press Play, we'll see what happens. (Music playing.) Whoa, that's pretty fast. Let's undo that. If you would like to make some fine-tuning to your tempo, go down to the Tempo Editor, by clicking this little button right here and expand it out. In this Editor, we can actually draw in tempo changes. So I'm going to click the Pencil tool, click-and-drag and there you go. You've got an accelerando from 100 BPM to 117.
If you want to create some more complicated tempo and meter changes in your session, you can up to the Event menu and choose from the Time Operations and Tempo Operations. Let's open up the Tempo Operations window. In this window, we can stretch time, we can scale it, we can create curves, constant time changes, all kinds of options. Take some time to explore the Tempo Operations window. But I'm not going to go into a lot of details about it here. Also visit the Time Operations window, where you can change meter, insert time, that is, put an extra amount of time somewhere in the session. You can cut time out of the session and you can even move the song starting position.
Pro Tools offers limitless ways to customize your session. Use the Conductors Rulers to create tempo, meter, and key changes, as well as to display chords and show markers.
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