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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've cut our first cue to picture, let's go off on a little side tangent. Oftentimes you're going to need to cut music but not cut it to picture. So, for example, perhaps you're cutting music for a commercial or maybe in the main title of a TV show or a film or even the end credits. For any number of reasons you may need to create a shortened version of a piece of music that is a specific length. And I wanted to talk about that, because oftentimes you're not going to be cutting that to picture. So the first thing that's useful in doing this is to make a visual representation, or some sort of a marker system, that gives us our in and out points so we can see exactly how long our edit needs to be.
So let's go to one hour and one minute. We can do so by pressing the equals key on the numeric keypad and typing in the timecode we want to go to. You can see, just like in our Spot dialog, the timecode numbers will cycle from right to left as you type them in. So if you make a mistake, you can just start over and keep typing. Once you get the number you want, press Enter. And let's make a new marker there, and we'll call this 30 Sec Start. And it's just a marker; we don't need to change any of the other settings.
And now let's hold Shift and click later in the Timeline to make a selection, and you can see to the right of the timecode counter we see a start, end, and length. What we want to do is set that length to 30 seconds even. So right now it's 0 hours, 0 minutes, 19 seconds, and 5 frames. So by holding Shift and clicking and dragging, we can extend our selection until that number reads 30. We may need to zoom in to get it accurate enough, because we're zoomed out a little too much to get this exactly where we want it from here.
There are a couple of key commands we can use to do this, or we can zoom in and simply drag it until we get the right resolution. But since that still didn't work, even with zooming in, let's use one the key commands. On a Mac, if you hold Shift and Command and type the plus key, you can see that it retains the start of the selection but lengthens the end of the selection. Likewise, if you press the minus key while holding Shift+Command, it will shorten the selection. The modifier keys on the Windows would be Shift+Ctrl+Plus or Shift+Ctrl+Minus.
So now that we've made our selection, we can create a new marker at the very end. While we do this, there are several ways to do it, but since we've got our selection, I'm going to show you a quick and easy technique to get there. We probably want to zoom in so we can get down to that frame resolution and get our marker right on the frame. So let's use zoom level 5, and then we're going to use a very handy shortcut in Pro Tools, but first make sure your command focus is on. If you press the W key, you'll see that the end of the current selection snaps to the center of your screen. Likewise, any selection that you have made will snap to the beginning by pressing the Q key.
So we've got our selection. We can press the W key, we can click near that frame, and we can make our marker right on the end of our 30-second selection. So let's call this marker 30 Sec End. Now let's zoom back out and using Tab and Shift+Tab, I can verify that the length is indeed 30 seconds even. Now we have a quick visual reference that will allow us to visually see the length of the Q that we're trying to create. Before we proceed, let's do one other thing. I'm going to zoom all the way back out to the full view of the session, Option+A or Alt+A. I'm going to select the edit that we made previously, and I'm going to drag it down into our bin track.
So I'm going to hold Control, click and drag so that it doesn't slip left or right. The other thing I want to do is bring out an unaltered version of the track. One way to do this is to go to the Region list. I am going to close our memory locations, and I'm going to scroll through the list until I see the bold version of the song name. When we see it in bold, that means that that's the actual audio file. So that's going to be the full song, as opposed to the non-bold versions, which are regions from that song from our previous edits.
So I don't need that last region. I'm going to take it back out by pressing Undo, and I'm going to bring back up the memory locations. And we now have the full song that we can start doing our new edit with.
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