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Pro Tools 8 Essential Training unveils the inner workings of the industry-standard software for music and post-production. Musician, producer, and educator David Franz demonstrates all the concepts and techniques necessary for recording, editing, mixing, and mastering in Pro Tools 8. He teaches how to create music with virtual instruments and plug-ins, edit with elastic audio for time and pitch manipulation, create a musical score, and mix with effects loops. This course can help any music producer, sound engineer, or hobbyist become proficient in Pro Tools 8. Exercise files accompany the course.
In this video I'm going cover what the Trimmer and Scrubber edit tools can do. I'll start with the Trimmer. This is the Trimmer tool right here and if you click on it you will see there is the Standard tool, the TEC tool, and the Loop tool. TCE stands for Time Compression Expansion, we'll get to that in a second. Let's start with the Standard trimmer. If I take the Standard trimmer down here to this region, I can click-and-drag and edit the front half of that region off of there.
You can also click-and-drag the end of this region, if I click-and-drag it and extend it beyond, that's no problem either. I can press the Option key on the Mac or the Alt key on a Windows machine to reverse the direction of the Trimmer tool. So that can be handy if I want to make this region much shorter like that. The Trimmer tool can also be used to lengthen and shorten MIDI notes. So if I go up to this instrument track here, looking at in notes view I can take this Midi note and drag it either way. I can also use the Trimmer to scale automation and controller data up or down.
First, I'm going to get the Selector tool here, I'm going to select a portion of this automation. Then I'll go back to the Standard trimmer, click-and-drag and it will take all of that same curve and bring it down by the same amount. And you can see that as it goes up it has the db, which is the volume level. And then the little triangle, it says + 5db right there. That's the delta value, or the difference between where it was and where the new value is.
Let's move on to the Time trimmer or the TCE trimmer. Again, TCE stands for Time Compression Expansion. The TCE trimmer uses the Time Shift AudioSuite plug-in to alter the length of an audio region and create a new audio file. You can use it to time compress or expand a region for matching the length of another region or to fit a region better to a tempo grid or for a special effect. Let's try it out.
I am going to take this piano part and really compress it. Notice the processing window that was just there, Pro Tools actually has to make a new file for this. It creates a brand new audio file. Let's take a listen to it. First, I'm going solo it. (Music playing.) Well, we compressed it a lot, so there is a lot of audio artifacts in there but it certainly does sound interesting. We can actually adjust the settings for the Time Shift plug-in, if we go up to Setup > Preferences, and in the Processing page we see our TC/E area right here. We see the Time Shift is the default TC/E Plug-in, and we can choose our Default Settings.
Now it looks like there is a whole bunch of different settings here. And for this case we'll probably use a Piano. Click OK. You can also create your own TCE settings, if you go to the AudioSuite menu > Pitch Shift > Time Shift. And that will open up the Time Shift plug- in window. Now I'm not going to get into this here, but that's where it is if you need to create your own settings.
Let's move on to the Loop trimmer. If you take the Loop trimmer tool and position the trimmer over the top half of the region, it will be in Loop Trim mode. You see the difference in the icon there. So I'm going to click-and-drag and you will see that it creates multiple loops right in a row of this particular region. If you position the cursor at the bottom half of a region, it will go back to the standard Trim tool, like that.
To quickly access the different Trim tools, you can either right-click the Trim tool button or you can repeatedly press F6 and it will scroll through all three options. Let's move over to the Scrubber tool. Scrubbing is a technique used in analog tape editing, where an engineer rolls the tape back and forth over the playhead at slow speeds with his or her hands to find a particular location on the tape, usually the location for a splice.
And the purpose of the Scrubber in Pro Tools is to emulate the scrubbing process on digital audio. By scrubbing over an edit point you can find the exact edit point which may not be obvious just by looking at the waveform. Let's look at a different part of the audio here. So I'm going to click-and-drag and you will hear the scrubbing action. (Music playing.) Notice now you can go forward and backwards. If you scrub over the middle of a stereo track, you can hear both sides. (Music playing.) Press the Command key on a Mac or the Ctrl key on a Windows machine, if you want to scrub at finer resolution. (Music playing.) That sounds great. You can press the Option key on a Mac or the Alt key on a PC, and you go faster. And this is called Scrub Shuttle mode. (Music playing.) Use the Scrub Shuttle mode to scroll through a long track to find a specific part of that track.
Now if you want to access the Scrubber, well you have got the Selector engaged, just press the Ctrl key on a Mac or the Start key on a PC to change the Selector to the Scrubber. You can also access Scrub Shuttle mode if you press Ctrl+Option on a Mac or Start+Alt on the PC. I find the Scrubber to be my least used editing tool, but its features certainly are cool and helpful from time to time. On the other hand I use the Trimmer all the time to edit regions. And I imagine you will too once you get the hang of using all of its features.
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