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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.
In this video, I'd like to give you an overview of the viewing and zoom features and tools in Pro Tools. I'm sure that David Franz's Pro Tools 9 Essential Training course covers most of these tools, but I'm going to go over them-- specifically the ones that we're going to use through the rest of this course. So the first one that I want to point out we touched on briefly before, is the Single Zoom tool. And in the top of the toolbar here, you can see the Zoom icon without the arrow is Normal Zoom, and what this does is it allows you to use the Zoom tool and stay on the Zoom tool after having used it.
So you can click and you're still with the Zoom tool if you want to zoom again. If you hold Option or Alt and click, it'll zoom out. If you change the Zoom tool to Single Zoom, it's going to return you to the previously selected tool after you zoom. So if you click, it will return you to your Smart tool if that was the last tool you had selected. Now, the next thing I want to show you are a couple of ways to get to and toggle between the different Zoom tools without having to click with the mouse. So the two key commands that will access the Zoom tool are the F5 key command--and if you press it again, it will toggle to the other Zoom function--and the other key command is Command+1 or Ctrl+1, which does exactly the same thing.
So you can quickly get to your Zoom tool and back to your other tools by pressing either of those key commands, doing your zoom, and ready to edit right away. The next thing I want to show you is how to zoom in and out with the key commands for zooming. The most common ones are Command+Left Bracket or Ctrl+Left Bracket to zoom out, and right bracket to zoom in. If you have Command Focus enabled, which you can see with this little yellow A to Z button on the top-right of the Edit window, just next to the Region List, you can then use the R key to zoom out and the T key to zoom in.
If you want to zoom in on your waveform vertically, the key command to do so is Command+Option+Right or Left Bracket or Ctrl+Alt+Right or Left Bracket. Left bracket will zoom you out, and right bracket will zoom you in. This is particularly useful when you're trying to find a zero crossing or a very small detail in the waveform. You may often need to zoom in to see it, because it may not be large enough to see without zooming in. One other way that a lot of people like to zoom and navigate within the session is using the scroll wheel on the mouse.
If you hold the Shift key and scroll up or down, it will scroll your session view left and right. If you hold the Option or Alt key and scroll up or down, it will zoom your session view in and out. If you hold the Shift+Option keys or Shift+Alt keys and scroll up or down, it will zoom your waveform in and out vertically. There are two more features that I want to discuss, which are quick keys to allow you to quickly see large sections of your session. One of my favorites is the key command Option+A or Alt+A. By pressing this key command, it's going to zoom from the very beginning of your Pro Tools timeline to the very end of the last region in your session.
So here I go pressing Option+A or Alt+A, and I can now see my entire session in one view. A second key command that does a similar function is the Option+F or Alt+F key. If I want to just view a selected region perhaps I want to just view the audio from my video, I will select it by either double-clicking with the Selector tool or single-clicking with the Hand Grabber tool and then press Option+F or Alt+F, and it'll zoom just that selected region to the width of my Edit window. One other tool that I find extremely useful that I will definitely be using further in this course is the Zoom Toggle feature.
What this does is it allows you to zoom in, much like Option+F, on any single track. However, you can set the height of the track as well, so you can zoom in to a much larger view. So this is accessible by using the E key with Command Focus enabled, and you can also see a button up on the top-left of the toolbars called Zoom Toggle that allows you to enable or disable this function. So if I wanted to zoom my entire music file to a larger view using this Zoom Toggle Feature, I would press the E key. And it zooms not only the left and the right ends of the file to the same width as my Edit window, but it also makes the track as tall as your Zoom Toggle preference is set to. And you can change this by making the track larger or smaller with Zoom Toggle enabled.
You can tell it's enabled when the button is blue, or highlighted. So if I want to make the track larger, there are a couple of ways to do this-- one is to literally click and drag the track. At the bottom end of the track here, you can click and drag it and make it larger or smaller. Or you can use the Ctrl+Up Arrow to make the track larger or the Ctrl+Down Arrow to make the track smaller. So for now we're going to set it right about here, and by pressing the E key again, I can toggle back to my previous Zoom state. And then I press Option+F or Alt+F again to view just the selection.
One last very useful feature in Pro Tools is the zoom presets, and you can see these up here just to the right of the grid modes and just to the left of the tool modes. You see the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, and those allow you to set and recall different zoom states or different levels of zoom very quickly. So if we press the 1 key, we're going to see what that zoom setting is. If we press 2, we'll see the next zoom setting. 3, 4, and 5. So you can see that right now they're set to progressively zoom further and further in.
I am going to return to the previous view by pressing Option+F or Alt+F. Now, the other thing that you can do with these is you can set them to exactly the level of zoom that you want to use. So the way you do this is by pressing and holding Command or Ctrl and clicking the Zoom button that you want to set while you are at that level of zoom. So if I wanted to make zoom level 1 the same view that I have, or the same level of zoom that I have currently displayed, I would Command+Click the 1 button, and it will flash, indicating that it has been changed.
So now I can zoom in or out with any of the key commands that we've covered and press 1 to return to that same level of zoom. You'll notice that it's not the same centering because that is using a different key command. If I want to return to that same centering, again with the file selected, I would use the Option+F or Alt+F key command. Now, I know this is a lot of information, and I know we've covered it very quickly, so please feel free to go back and re-watch this video if you want. But it is very important for any editorial circumstance, because we're going to be, in many of these cases, needing to quickly be able to zoom in, find what we're looking for, zoom out, and go about our work. And we don't want to be slowed down by having to click the mouse to find the buttons or tools that we want to use, so we need to be able to quickly get about our business.
So an example of how we could use all of these zoom techniques to navigate our session in a real-world example, if I wanted to quickly find a point in this song to make an edit, perhaps make a selection and copy a section of the song--whatever the purpose might be-- I'm going to want to get there quickly rather than having to click with the mouse to find the tool. So perhaps I want to go to a specific location in this song. The first thing I might do is use the E key to open up my view, use the Command+1 or Ctrl+1 key to select the Zoom tool, and I'll make a selection to zoom in.
Perhaps I want to find the first transient of where this section starts. I can click there, maybe zoom in with a different Zoom tool to get a little closer. There I used Command+Left Bracket or Ctrl+Left bracket, Right Bracket, or the R and T keys with Command Focus enabled. And perhaps I want to make my edit there or make a selection and copy. When I'm done, I'll use the E key one more time to zoom back out. So E, Command+1, Zoom, click, T, T, T, selection, maybe I want to copy it, E, zoom out.
One more thing that I wanted to show you is how to resize the video window. Perhaps you have a very small display or a very large display or a second monitor and you want to put it on a different monitor altogether. One way to do it is to right-click on the video window and you can choose many settings from in here. Perhaps you want to make it half size, actual size, double size--all these ways are quick ways to resize the video. Or perhaps you want a custom size in between, so take your mouse to the bottom right- hand corner and you'll see the mouse turn into a Resize tool, and you can simply drag the video to the desired size.
The last thing I want to show you is how to close the Track and Region lists should you perhaps need more space on a small screen, or should you want to open them. There is a small arrow with a line next to it on each side of your Edit window. By clicking that arrow, it's going to close the associated window. And you'll see again, by clicking it once it's closed, it will open that window. So now that we've gone over the View and Zoom commands within Pro Tools, I want to show you quickly how to use them to customize your session.
You can leave it however you like. I'm going to set this one up in a particular manner that's a little easier for me to view. So perhaps we want to make this smaller window down in the bottom corner so we have more edit space above. Another thing that I like to do is make the video region smaller. By clicking on it, using the key command Ctrl+Command, or Ctrl+Start+Left, we can turn off the Thumbnail Previews, and Ctrl+Down, which we did before, will shrink the video. And because we don't need to see that track, it makes it a little easier.
You reclaim more space on your screen. And again I will resize it two bin tracks using the Ctrl+Down key command, so that they don't take up so much space. So feel free to set the session up in whatever way makes it most comfortable for you. I've gotten mine to a place where I am happy with the layout and so now I'm ready to move on.
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