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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.
The Zoomer tool is mostly used like a magnifying glass, just as its tool icon indicates. You use it to view the fine details of a track, or in the opposite way, to look at the big picture of a track in a session by zooming out. Here is the Zoom tool. You can press F5, or just click on this to activate it. With the Zoom tool in the Edit window, if you click once, you'll zoom in one level. If you press the Option key on a Mac or the Alt key on a Windows machine, you'll see the inside of the zoomer switch from a plus to a minus.
And if you click once, then you'll zoom out one zoom level. You can click and drag with the Zoomer, and the zoomed area fills the entire edit window. A cool feature right below the Zoomer is called the Zoom toggle. This enables you to define and toggle between the current zoom state and a saved zoom state that includes track height, track view, MIDI and audio zoom in and out, horizontal zoom, and the grid setting. And you can set different track heights for each type of track--that is for instruments, audio, et cetera.
So I want to click this once, and you'll see that the Mini Grand track expands to the full size of the track area in the Edit window. The reason the Mini Grand did this is because it was highlighted. Now if I click the Zoom toggle again, it will go back to the zoom level that it was at before. You can set the Zoom toggle setting, if you go to Setup > Preferences, and in the Editing page, you'll see the whole area down here, Zoom Toggle. We can set the vertical MIDI zoom, horizontal zoom, track height, and you'll see that here is set to fit to window, the track view, and a few other settings.
Zoom toggle has a keyboard shortcut. If you press Ctrl+E on a Mac or Start+E on a Windows computer, you can toggle between the Zoom Toggle view and the Regular view. Even easier, if you go to the keyboard focus button, which is right here, and make that active so that it's yellow, as you can see it here, then all you need to do is press the E key, and that will access the keyboard focus command for Zoom toggle. So I'm just pressing the E key now. Taking this one step further, if we select an area on a track and we hit the zoom toggle, it blows up that area that we just selected.
So I am going to highlight this area, hit the Zoom toggle, and there you go. And that can be very handy for editing. Now there are two versions of the Zoom tool: single zoom and normal zoom. Normal zoom just stays active, allowing you to do multiple zooms in a row. So I can go down here, zoom in, zoom in, zoom in, zoom out, zoom out, and the Zoomer tool stays active. However, if we choose Single Zoom, Pro Tools will actually return you to the previous tool that you were using after you do your single zoom.
So if say we're using the grabber and we're going to move some stuff around with the grabber, we go to the Single Zoom, we do a single zoom, and it moves us right back to the Grabber tool. There are some other useful zoom features in Pro Tools, and they're located right over here, in the Zoom controls. If you don't see these in your session, you can access them from the Edit window toolbar > Zoom Controls, right here. So what we have are the zoom buttons and five horizontal zoom presets.
The zoom presets, I am going to click through. You can see that they're at various levels of zooming. With the zoom preset 5, it zoomed all the way in, and zoom present 1 is zoomed all the way out. To save a zoom preset, zoom to the level that you want and then click and hold one of the Zoom Preset buttons. When you click and hold, you'll see Recall Zoom preset or Save Zoom preset; choose whichever you want to do. Above the presets, we have the Zoom In and Out buttons, so you can zoom in/zoom out.
We can also make the waveforms taller or shorter using the Audio Zoom In and Out. We can also make the MIDI notes shorter and taller, if we choose Notes view, and then click the MIDI Zoom In and Out. One of my favorite features in the zoom controls is clicking and dragging on these horizontal zoom ins and outs, and you can kind of create an accordion effect here.
And this works for either the horizontal Zoom In or the Zoom Out button. If we hide the zoom controls, we can actually do that continuous zooming. If we press Ctrl on a Mac or Start in Windows, and then we can click and drag on a region. And you'll notice that some of the zoom controls are actually doubled up here, where we can use Audio and MIDI Zoom In and Out.
My two favorite zoom features are double-clicking on the Zoomer tool, which brings the entire session into view, and then the second one is to make sure that the commands keyboard focus is on and pressing the R and T keys to zoom in and out. So as you can see here, there are tons of zooming options, from using the Zoomer tool to using the zoomer presets to using zoomer keyboard shortcuts. Use them all in combination to get around Pro Tools really quickly.
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