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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.
The Zoomer tool is mostly used like a magnifying glass, just as its tool icon indicates. You can 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. I am going to go here and click on the Zoomer tool, and if I go down into the track material and I click once, I will zoom in one level. Now if I press the Option key on a Mac, or the Alt key in Windows, you'll see inside of the Zoomer tool, that you go from a plus to a minus, and that means now with this key pressed, I'll zoom out one level.
If you click and drag with the Zoomer tool, then you'll zoom in on just the area that you've selected. A cool feature that's right below the Zoomer tool is called Zoom Toggle. And this enables you to define and toggle between a 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 we can set that in the preferences. So if to go to Setup > Preferences, and in the Editing tab go down here to the Zoom Toggle area, we can setup our Vertical MIDI Zoom our Horizontal Zoom, our Track Height, and let's do that.
Let's choose fit to window, and we will actually change the track view to either waveform or notes depending on the type of track. And we have some other options down here, but let's just keep these to show this off pretty easily, I'll click OK. And now I'll highlight this Mini Grand track and we will see that it's showing clips right now and it's at this particular track height, and when I hit the Zoom Toggle, it expands to fit the entire window, and you'll also see that the track view has changed from clips to notes.
I will click the Zoom Toggle again, and it will go back to the way it was previously. Zoom Toggle has a keyboard shortcut, if you press Ctrl+E on a Mac or Start+E in Windows computer, you can toggle between the Zoom Toggle view and the regular view. Even easier, if you go to the keyboard focus button and that's right over here, click this to make it active. Now all you need to do is press the E key and that will access the commands keyboard focus command for the Zoom Toggle. 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 have just selected.
So let's do that. There we go, and we'll go back to our regular view. Now there are two versions of the Zoom tool, there's the single zoom and the normal zoom. The normal zoom just stays active allowing you to do multiple zooms in a row. However, if you're using another tool doing some other editing and then use the single zoom, Pro Tools will actually return you to the previous editing tool after using the single zoom once.
So let's check this out, let's say we're doing some selecting, we go to the single zoom, we zoom in a little bit, then you'll notice that Pro Tools automatically goes back to the Selector tool. And as usual, we have a keyboard command for selecting the Zoom tool. If we select F5, we can get to the Zoom tool and we can cycle through single zoom and normal zoom by hitting a F5 multiple times. Now I want to talk about the Zoom Controls, and those are shown right here. If you don't see these, then you need to go to the Edit window toolbar and make sure that they're checked off here in this menu.
So what we have here are the zoom buttons and five horizontal zoom presets. The zoom presets are pre-programmed and the first one is a pretty big scale view, usually it lets you see all the stuff that's in your session. As we go up in numbers, we are zooming in closer and closer and by zoom preset 5, we are zoomed in all the way to the sample level. We'll zoom back out to the big picture. Up above, we have the horizontal zoom in and out, and what's great is that we can click and drag right here to do a continuous zoom.
So check this out, I am clicking and dragging my mouse to the right, and now to the left, and we have got this cool accordion zoom effect. With the audio zoom in and out buttons, we can make the waveform shorter or higher, so check out this Atmo Pno track, as I make the waveform shorter and larger. I can also do the same with MIDI, and if we show the notes track view, I am going to zoom up and make them smaller, make them larger.
Without having to open the Zoom Controls, in fact, let's hide them, we can use these buttons to do those same tasks. So there we go, reducing and enlarging the MIDI notes, and finally, I want to mention my two most favorite zoom features. If you go up to the Zoom tool and just double-click it, you can bring the entire session into view, that is the entire length of the session. You won't see every track potentially, if you have more than just two, but you'll see the entire length of what's in your session.
My second favorite one is using the R and T keys to zoom in and out, and we can use those when the commands keyboard focus button is active. You press R to zoom out and T to zoom in. So as you can see here there are tons of zooming options, from using the Zoomer tool to using the zoom presets, to using zoom keyboard shortcuts. Use them all in combination to get around Pro Tools really quickly.
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