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If you are cutting temp music, you may often want to time-stretch or time- compress a piece of music to make it meet the needs of your cue a little better. Sometimes a music may just be the perfect tone, but maybe just a hair too fast or a hair too slow to score the scene. In this example, you don't need special edit rights because with a temp track you are really just creating reference audio that will be used internally within the production to convey the type of music that you will be replacing with a new score or new licensed music later on in the process.
One example of a time where you will need edit rights to compress or expand a track is in perhaps a dance or a club scene. Now imagine you have people dancing onscreen to a specific tempo. Perhaps the song used when the scene was shot was exactly at 121 beats per minute. If the song you're cutting with is at 119 beats per minute, it's going to be just a hair too slow and it won't stay in sync with the dancing throughout the scene. So in a case like this, you could very accurately time-compress the song to make it play at 121 beats per minute, instead of 119 beats per minute.
And again, in a case like this, you will need edit rights since you're altering the original intent of the composition. Now let's look at a couple of ways in Pro Tools to time-compress or expand. The first way is using the Time Compression and Expansion, or TCE, trim tool. You can access this by pressing the F6 key repeatedly until you see a small clock icon over the Trim tool, or by pressing Command+2 or Ctrl+2. And once you have the TCE trimmer selected, you can either click near the beginning or the end of a file and simply click and drag shorter or longer to compress or expand the file.
And when you release, a new file will be created that compresses or expands the file. Now another thing to note: you can also use the TCE trim tool within the Smart tool, which is a very handy function. Let's undo that and look at another way that we can compress or expand with a little more accuracy. Let's go up to the AudioSuite menu, under the Pitch Shift submenu, and choose Time Shift. You may have other third-party plug- ins that allow time compression or expansion, but for now we are going to use Time Shift in Pro Tools.
So using our example before, we can enter our start tempo of 119 beats per minute and press Return to set it, and enter our desired end tempo of 121 beats per minute, and again, press Return to set it. And when you press the Process button, a new file will be created that changes the tempo of this song from its original tempo to the new tempo. Using the Time Shift plug-in you also have more custom controls to refine your compression or expansion.
You can change the speed, you can change your end or length times, and you can even pitch-shift, or transpose, the key of the song.
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