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Pro Tools 9 Essential Training with musician and producer David Franz demonstrates concepts and techniques necessary for recording, editing, mixing, and mastering in the industry-standard software for music and post-production. The course covers creating music with virtual instruments and plugins, editing with elastic audio for time and pitch manipulation, creating a musical score, and mixing with effects loops. Exercise files accompany the course.
Residing just below the Edit tools in the Edit window are a number of buttons that enable you to do some special things in Pro Tools. Let's take a look. We'll go from left to right. The first one is Zoom toggle. We've discussed that in a video about zooming. Next to Zoom toggle is Tab to Transients. When it's active, the button is blue, like shown here. Tab to Transients allows you to use the Tab key to navigate from one transient part of an audio waveform to the next, making it easy to find edit points on a drum track or other tracks with obvious transients in their waveforms.
Let me show you an example. We have a drum track down here, and I'm going to hit the Tab key. You'll see that it's bouncing from transient to transient. Let me zoom in for more detail. To move backwards, you can hit Option+Tab on a Mac, or Alt+Tab on a PC. You can press Shift+Tab to highlight and press Option+Shift+Tab on a Mac or Alt+Shift+Tab to highlight backwards.
This is a great tool for defining the area to create a loop. Just highlight from downbeat to downbeat, separate the region, and you've got a nice loop. Let's try it out. (Music playing.) Sounds like a tight musical loop to me. Next in our list of buttons is this one called Mirrored MIDI Editing. Now we're actually going to cover this in detail in a video about editing MIDI data later in this course, so we'll skip it for now.
Next to that, we've got the Link Edit and Timeline Selection button. This enables you to set, play, and edit ranges by selecting in the tracks playlist. Usually, you want to keep this linked, like this is right now when it's turned blue, so that what you choose in the Timeline reflects what you want to edit. You can see this right here. We've highlighted this area in the edit playlist, and it's reflected in the timelines up here. If we click this, we'll unlink those two.
Now we can make edit selections without disturbing the Timeline selection. So notice now we have four beats highlighted up here and only two beats down here. So what happens when we press Play? (Music playing.) Playback follows the Timeline. However, we can edit separately from the playback in the Timeline. This becomes even more useful when we choose to use the Dynamic Transport.
Now I can de-couple the playback's start location from the edit location as well. So I can bring this all the way over here if I want, (Music playing.) and begin playback at any point during the timeline selection. However, I can still edit here. So I'm going to play back this bar but then edit a smaller portion of that while it's playing back. (Music playing.) Now I usually just keep the Link Edit and Timeline Selection button highlighted, but when you're recording and editing loops, it can be handy to unlink it and use the Dynamic Transport mode.
Let's go to the next button up here. With the Link Track and Edit Selection button highlighted, you can select track material and the track names of each associated track will become highlighted too. So if I go down here, click and drag with the selector and I go across multiple tracks, you'll see that the names of the tracks become highlighted. So this makes it pretty slick to be able to quickly highlight a number of tracks, and then you can apply any track-level command--such as making all the tracks inactive--all at once.
So if I go up to Track > Make Inactive, the ones that are selected become inactive. The next button is the Insertion Follows Playback. Now we discussed this in the video on playing back audio, so I'll just show a quick example of how this works here. First, I want to turn off Dynamic Transport. I'm going to relink like the Edit and Timeline Selection. So I'll begin playback right here.
(Music playing.) With this deactivated, the playback cursor comes back to where we originally started playing. However, if I activate this, you'll see something different. (Music playing.) The playback cursor is now placed where we stopped the playback. So depending on how you want to work with Pro Tools, you can either activate or deactivate the Insertion Follows Playback.
One final button that I want to talk about is the Keyboard Focus button, and there are several Keyboard Focus buttons here in the Edit window. We have one here, one here for the Regions list, and one here for the Groups list. We'll come back here to this one. These buttons enable you to use the alpha keys on your keyboard to access a wide range of single key shortcuts. This specific button, the Commands Keyboard Focus, provides a variety of single key shortcuts for editing and playing. These shortcuts are listed in the keyboard shortcuts document, but I'm going to show you a few of my personal favorites.
When you hit the Minus key, the track view toggles between volume and waveform. When you hit the E key, we activate Zoom toggle. When you hit the R key, you zoom out horizontally. When you hit the T key, you zoom in horizontally, and when you hit the B key, you separate a region. I use those ones all the time. The special editing buttons shown here demonstrate some of the unique powers that Pro Tools has for editing audio.
If you can master the features of these buttons, you'll really be an efficient Pro Tools user.
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