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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.
So we've seen how to use sync points and navigation commands to quickly move regions, and we've seen copying and pasting and spotting to move regions, but let's look at some of the snapping features that are built into Pro Tools. There are some very functional and very handy features that allow us to quickly move a region to a very specific location in our timeline. So first, let's place our cursor before the first region on the Edit 1 track. If you press and hold the Ctrl key while clicking with the Grabber tool on the region, the beginning of the region will snap to the cursor's location.
The same thing will happen if you have a selection. So let's make a selection before the first region, hold the Ctrl key, and click the region with the Grabber tool, and the region will snap to the beginning of our selection. You can also snap a region to its sync point or end in the same way. In order to snap to a sync point, you'll need to use a key command Shift+Ctrl. So let's place our cursor somewhere in the middle of this region-- it doesn't have to be on the same track; it could be-- hold Shift+Ctrl and snap the region to the sync point.
Now the region is still selected, because we just moved it. So if you wanted to move this sync point to where the beginning of this region currently lives, you could use that same technique to snap it there. So Shift+Ctrl, click it with a Grabber tool, and the sync point will move to where the start used to be. Now to the move the end is very similar; it's just a slightly different key command. So let's zoom out once, place the cursor after the end of the region, and press and hold Command+Ctrl or Start+Ctrl, and click the region with the Grabber tool. The end of the region now snaps to the location where our cursor just was.
Using the Command Focus keys, there is one other quick way to paste and move a region that will allow you to make a quick edit. So first let me walk you through it, and then I'll show it to you. This is something that I use many, many times in the day, so hopefully you'll find it helpful. It saves a lot of time. So first let's make a selection here. I am going to zoom in first using the Zoom toggle so I can see the region better and then zoom in again using the Zoom tool. I am going to click my region before the sync point and tab to it, so I start my playback right from that beat, and I am going to press the spacebar to play.
(clip playing) I want to solo this track so I can just hear the music. (clip playing) Okay. So I found the next downbeat, which is where I want my selection to end. So I am going to zoom in to that again, play it one more time, and we're going to find the downbeat of the next bar: one, two, three, four downbeat. So that's our downbeat. We can see in the waveform. Let's zoom into it a couple of times to get really close and make sure that we've got an accurate selection. So using our Command+Click or Start+ Click to click off the grid right on the beginning of the transient, we've selected the downbeat where we want our selection to end.
So let's zoom back out so we can see where we're at. I am going to use this zoom level 3 by pressing 3 and then using Shift+Option+Tab, I am going to select back to my sync point. And then I am got a copy with Command+C or Ctrl+C or just plain C. The reason that this is handy is because it allows us to really quickly place at the end of this selection at whatever location we want to move it to. So say I wanted to build this one bar into a bigger section of the music. I can quickly place at there. Let's go to a later selection in the music where we want to move it.
I am going to zoom in here and find a selection of this downbeat using the same technique as before, and using the semicolon key we're going to drop to the track below. We're going to paste using V or Command+V or Ctrl+V and using the K key on the keyboard, we can snap the end of this region that's selected to where the beginning currently lives. What this allows us to do is to paste and move quickly the end of our region to our cursor's location. It would be very useful to have a key command that we would do this all in one step, but it's pretty simple to do this with these two key commands. And then the next thing we do is move this region up onto the track with the rest of the music and finish the edit.
So let's zoom out a couple of times so we can see this better, or you can use one of the zoom levels. And here's another really useful technique for moving a region between tracks but keeping the sync perfectly intact. Now if you click and drag a region, it's going to drift left and right. So let's undo that, because we didn't want to do that. If you want to move this region to the track above without it drifting left or right, hold the Ctrl key, click the region, and drag it up. Even if you move the Hand Grabber tool left or right, it's not going to slip left or right.
So you're keeping it perfectly in sync. So once you've see that it's in the right place, you can let go and the region has now moved to where you want it to be. By using Option+Tab, I can now snap my location back to the beginning of that region and I can listen to what I have done. (clip playing) Cool! So it's right where we want it. In the next chapter, we'll get into this technique a little bit more, and we'll also go into using crossfades to clean up the edit between the two regions, but for now I just wanted to show you why this is a useful technique.
By combining these snap techniques with the spot and navigation techniques, we can very quickly maneuver within our session and precisely align a region with the timeline in the process of editing this music to our picture.
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