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Pro Tools 10 Essential Training with musician and producer David Franz illuminates the process of recording, editing, mixing, and mastering in Avid Pro Tools, the industry-standard software for music and postproduction. The course covers recording live audio and adding effects on the fly, creating music with virtual instruments and plug-ins, editing for time and pitch manipulation, creating a musical score, and mixing and mastering a track.
Residing just below the edit tools in the Edit window are a number of buttons that enable you to do some very special things in Pro Tools. Let's take a look. We'll go left to right. First we have the Zoom Toggle. Now, we've discussed this in another video, but what it does is toggles between the current Zoom view and the preset Zoom Toggle view. So if I click it once, you'll see that this whole track zooms out and blows up, and then I'll click it again and we go back to the normal current Zoom view.
Next is Tab to Transients, and this 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 drum tracks and other tracks with obvious transients in their waveforms. Let's take a look at it. With it active, it's blue. When it's disabled, it's not blue. So we'll make it active, and now when I press the Tab key, you'll see that Pro Tools moves along to each of the transients. Let me zoom in so you can see that a little better.
We're tabbing to each of the transients here. If you want to go backwards, you can press the Option key on a Mac or the Alt key in Windows. And we'll go backwards. If you want to highlight while you're tabbing to transients, you can press the Shift key and Tab. And if you want to highlight backwards, you can press Option+Shift+Tab on a Mac or Alt+Shift+Tab in Windows, and we'll go all the way back to the beginning of that measure, and we'll highlight this entire measure right here.
So we've got one full measure highlighted using our tab to transients. And let's take a listen to this loop based on Tab to Transients and see how it sounds. (Music Playing) Sounds pretty good! Now let's go to the next button. Here we've got Mirrored MIDI Editing, and we're going to cover this in a video later in this course. So let's move over to Automation Follows Edit. And what that means is, when this option is enabled, the automation events on a track are affected by the edits made to the audio clips and MIDI notes on it.
However, when it's disabled, automation events on the track are not affected by edits to the audio clips or MIDI notes. So let's take a look. I'm going to use the Selector tool, and go down to this section of the track. And with it on, if I delete the audio, then the automation goes away as well. I'm going to undo that, turn this option off, select a little bit here. And when I delete the audio here, now the automation actually stays, and that's what the difference is between turning this feature on and off.
Next we've got the Link Timeline and Edit Selection button. And this enables you to set the play and edit ranges by selecting in the track's playlist. And usually you'll want to keep this linked, like this, when it's blue so that what you choose in the timeline reflects what you want to edit. So if we look down here, we've selected this beat and it's also selected up here in the timeline. I'll select an even larger piece. Now if I disable this, and I unlink the Timeline and Edit Selection, watch what happens.
I could go in here and create an edit selection, meanwhile the timeline selection doesn't change. So it's going to play these three beats, but I can edit separately down here in the track. So if I press play now, we're going hear these three beats play, but I can edit separately from that. (Music Playing) I can make selections like this. (Music Playing) I can even delete.
So that's what it means to have those two unlinked. I'm going to undo that, and link them back up, and now when I do that, you'll see that the edit selection and timeline selection go back to being linked. Next we have the Link Track and Edit Selection button. And when that's highlighted, you can select track material and the track name of each associated track gets highlighted too. So if I go down here with the Selector and I select on this track, and then I go down to this one and keep the selection going, you see both of these tracks are highlighted.
If I go back up to this one and just click in here, now that's highlighted, only that track. And I like to use this feature for creating groups. So if I go down here and click across these tracks, now these are already highlighted, and if I go to make a group, they're already ready to be grouped. Next up in these Edit buttons we have the Insertion Follows Playback. Now, I've already discussed this in the video about playing back audio and I'll just show you a quick example here of how it works. When it is not active, as it is now, I press play, Pro Tools will play, and then the cursor will go back to where we started.
(Music Playing) So the cursor is here. If I activate this, press play, then the cursor is going to pick up where we stop and that will be the new cursor position. (Music Playing) So I stopped it here and the cursor stayed right there. (Music Playing) So that's the difference between having Insertion Follows Playback on or off. In addition to the regular key commands, Pro Tools has a feature called Keyboard Focus that enables you to use the Alpha keys on your computer keyboard to access a wide range of single key shortcuts.
And that button is located right over here. In fact, there are three of them in this window. We've got this one here, we've got one in the clips list, which is right here, and we've got one here in the groups list. But I'm going to highlight the Keyboard Focus right here, and you'll notice that you can only have one of these active at one time. All of the commands Keyboard Focus shortcuts are listed in the keyboard shortcuts document, but here are just a few of my personal favorites.
Look down on this track and I'm going to hit the Minus key and that switches the track view between waveform and volume. It's pretty handy. Another good one is the zoom toggle, and that's E. You'll see that the button highlights here every time you hit the E key. I also like to use the R and T keys to zoom horizontally so I can zoom out, zoom in, and I'm using the R and T keys to do this. And one other personal favorite is the B key, and that's used to separate clips.
So all these special editing buttons here demonstrate some of the unique power 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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