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Using time, tempo, meter, key, and chord

From: Pro Tools 9 Essential Training

Video: Using time, tempo, meter, key, and chord

Near the top of the Edit window are the time-based rulers. The time-based rulers provide timing reference for all track material. You can choose to view any or all of the time-based rulers in the Edit window using the Ruler View Selector button, which is right here. Click it once and you'll see the whole list. The ones that are checked are the ones we're viewing here. Now you may not have some of these options in your system, including the Time Code, Time Code 2, and Feet and Frames.

Using time, tempo, meter, key, and chord

Near the top of the Edit window are the time-based rulers. The time-based rulers provide timing reference for all track material. You can choose to view any or all of the time-based rulers in the Edit window using the Ruler View Selector button, which is right here. Click it once and you'll see the whole list. The ones that are checked are the ones we're viewing here. Now you may not have some of these options in your system, including the Time Code, Time Code 2, and Feet and Frames.

The time-based ruler that's highlighted, in this case the Bars and Beats ruler, is the current main timescale. This determines the time format used in the Transport window's main counter, down here, the Pre and Post-Roll Times, the Edit Selection area, up here, and even the Grid and Nudge values. If I switch this to Minutes and Seconds, you'll see all of those areas switch to showing minutes and seconds. So you see up here we have minutes and seconds. The Grid and Nudge also have minutes and seconds.

Let's switch back to Bars and Beats. If working with musical material that aligns with the bars and beats, you should have Bars and Beats as the main timescale, especially if you're working with a click track. I personally only use the minutes and seconds as a time reference and rarely concern myself with the Samples ruler. You can change the main timescale in the session as many times as you want, without affecting anything except what's shown in the main timescale. Below the time-based rulers are the conductor rulers: we have Tempo, Meter, Key, Chords, and Markers.

The Tempo ruler conducts the speed of the song, the Meter ruler conducts the time signature, the Key Signature ruler keeps track of any key changes, the Chord ruler displays any chords, and the Marker ruler labels specific events or points in time. When you open a brand-new Pro Tools session, the default tempo is 120 beats per minute, or BPM. To change the tempo of the session, you can just click on this Plus, and that will open the Tempo Change dialog box.

Here you can choose a location and a different BPM, as well as the resolution. You can change the meter by clicking the Plus here and inserting a meter change. You can add a key change. Clicking the Plus will open up the Key Change window. Same with the Chords; if you hit the Plus, the Chord Change window will open. And if we hit the Add Marker memory location, we get the New Memory Location window.

I'll talk about this in much more detail in another movie in this course. Now, what happens if you don't actually know the tempo that you want for your session? Well, you can tap it in. In the Transport window, we want to go to the MIDI Controls. And if you don't see this in your Transport window, you can choose View > Transport > MIDI Controls, or use the dropdown menu, and choose MIDI Controls from the Transport menu.

Now, we need to put Pro Tools into Manual Tempo mode by clicking the Conductor Track button on the Transport window, so that it's unhighlighted. Now it's unhighlighted. And if we click into the Tempo area just once, and highlight the tempo, we can now press the key T on your keyboard at the speed that you want the tempo to be. Instead of tapping the T button, you can also play a note repeatedly on your MIDI Controller.

Either way, after you've tapped several times, Pro Tools will calculate the BPM using the last 8 or fewer taps. This new BPM value appears in the Tempo field. Right here, we have 133. Now, to make this active in the session, what I prefer to do is reactivate the Conductor track, and then either create a tempo event or double-click on the starting tempo marker right here, which is set to 100, and then type in our new tempo.

Notice that the location is right at the beginning. Any changes made to tempo and meter are automatically reflected in Pro Tools internal click track. Now, if you'd like to fine-tune your tempo track and make some very specific tempo changes, we can go into the Tempo editor by clicking this button right here. At this point, we can actually use the Pencil tool and draw in tempo events. So I am clicking and dragging and drawing a bunch of tempo events.

You can also create some more complicated tempo and meter changes in your session, if you go up to the Event menu and choose Time Operations, where we can change the meter, insert time, cut time, and move the song start. Or in the Tempo Operations, and I'll open up the Tempo Operations window, where we can stretch the time, scale it, create different curves, or make constant tempo changes. Now, I am not going to go into a lot of these options here, but as you can see, Pro Tools offers limitless ways to customize your session.

Use the Conductor rules to create tempo, meter, and key changes as well as to display chords and show markers.

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This video is part of

Image for Pro Tools 9 Essential Training
Pro Tools 9 Essential Training

106 video lessons · 11359 viewers

David Franz
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 13m 13s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. Exploring the different versions of Pro Tools
      2m 30s
    3. Optimizing your computer before installing Pro Tools
      4m 6s
    4. Troubleshooting
      2m 18s
    5. Using the exercise files
      3m 3s
  2. 31m 3s
    1. Installing and authorizing Pro Tools
      1m 50s
    2. Connecting your Pro Tools system
      4m 1s
    3. Powering up and powering down
      58s
    4. Choosing the Playback Engine and Hardware settings
      4m 13s
    5. Optimizing Pro Tools performance
      5m 52s
    6. Utilizing Automatic Delay Compensation (ADC)
      1m 38s
    7. Setting essential preferences
      2m 35s
    8. Creating a Pro Tools session
      3m 43s
    9. Identifying elements in a session folder
      2m 33s
    10. Creating new tracks
      3m 40s
  3. 42m 9s
    1. Exploring the Edit window
      6m 52s
    2. Exploring the Mix window
      3m 11s
    3. Exploring the Transport and Big Counter windows
      2m 57s
    4. Using the Color palette and window arrangements
      2m 36s
    5. Investigating the menus
      3m 13s
    6. Understanding samples and ticks
      3m 34s
    7. Viewing and manipulating tracks
      4m 31s
    8. Selecting inputs, outputs, and buses
      3m 58s
    9. Selecting an I/O Settings file
      4m 12s
    10. Understanding signal paths and gain stages
      3m 46s
    11. Utilizing keyboard shortcuts and keyboard focus
      3m 19s
  4. 19m 31s
    1. Using DigiBase and the Workspace browser
      4m 22s
    2. Importing audio
      3m 1s
    3. Importing MIDI
      2m 46s
    4. Importing session data
      3m 44s
    5. Importing tracks from a CD
      2m 44s
    6. Importing video
      2m 54s
  5. 1h 0m
    1. Recording audio
      6m 14s
    2. Playing back audio
      10m 0s
    3. Creating a click track
      5m 25s
    4. Overdubbing and using the record modes
      8m 29s
    5. Recording with playlists and Loop Record
      4m 3s
    6. Punch recording and using the monitoring modes
      4m 17s
    7. Dealing with latency and ADC
      4m 58s
    8. Creating a group
      4m 52s
    9. Adding effects while recording
      5m 17s
    10. Creating a headphone (cue) mix
      4m 29s
    11. Assigning disk allocation
      2m 17s
  6. 1h 19m
    1. Understanding nondestructive editing and region types
      3m 3s
    2. Using the Selector and Grabber tools
      3m 29s
    3. Using the Trimmer and Scrubber tools
      8m 16s
    4. Using the Zoomer tool and Zoom presets
      5m 41s
    5. Using the Pencil tool
      2m 46s
    6. Using the Smart tool
      1m 28s
    7. Understanding the Edit modes
      5m 9s
    8. Arranging regions
      5m 33s
    9. Undoing an edit
      2m 8s
    10. Utilizing fades and crossfades
      7m 22s
    11. Building a comp track using playlists
      4m 50s
    12. Locking and muting regions
      2m 52s
    13. Special Edit window buttons
      6m 47s
    14. Creating an audio loop
      4m 13s
    15. Editing a voiceover
      8m 37s
    16. Using Elastic Time and Elastic Pitch
      7m 38s
  7. 19m 27s
    1. Working with region groups
      6m 39s
    2. Using time, tempo, meter, key, and chord
      5m 37s
    3. Creating memory locations
      7m 11s
  8. 30m 47s
    1. Setting up MIDI on a Mac
      4m 7s
    2. Setting up MIDI on a PC
      2m 13s
    3. Setting up MIDI in Pro Tools
      2m 37s
    4. Recording MIDI data
      3m 7s
    5. Recording multiple MIDI tracks with one virtual instrument
      2m 17s
    6. Recording options for MIDI
      5m 44s
    7. Using step input
      4m 14s
    8. Making a drum loop with MIDI Merge
      3m 36s
    9. Composing with virtual instruments
      2m 52s
  9. 54m 25s
    1. Using the edit tools for editing MIDI data
      9m 47s
    2. Editing MIDI data in the MIDI Editor
      8m 17s
    3. Working with the MIDI event list
      2m 13s
    4. Editing MIDI data with event operations
      8m 35s
    5. Quantizing MIDI tracks
      12m 16s
    6. Creating and using groove templates
      5m 35s
    7. Utilizing real-time properties
      3m 49s
    8. Using MIDI Learn
      3m 53s
  10. 17m 44s
    1. Exploring the Score Editor
      5m 56s
    2. Using the Score Editor
      5m 11s
    3. Setting up a score
      4m 48s
    4. Printing and exporting a score
      1m 49s
  11. 25m 45s
    1. Writing and editing automation
      7m 21s
    2. Drawing automation with the Pencil tool
      3m 58s
    3. Editing automation with the Trimmer and Grabber tools
      2m 26s
    4. Cutting, copying, pasting, and clearing automation
      4m 2s
    5. Turning automation on and off
      4m 0s
    6. Automating plug-ins and virtual instruments
      3m 58s
  12. 1h 33m
    1. Setting up a session for mixing
      7m 53s
    2. Setting up an effects loop
      9m 30s
    3. Working with plug-ins
      4m 33s
    4. Utilizing ADC while mixing
      9m 11s
    5. Applying EQ
      9m 25s
    6. Adding compression and limiting
      13m 27s
    7. Adding depth effects: Delay and reverb
      12m 45s
    8. Applying AudioSuite plug-ins
      4m 14s
    9. Bouncing down a mix and making an MP3
      5m 44s
    10. Setting up a session for mastering
      4m 36s
    11. Mastering a session
      7m 35s
    12. Bouncing down master recordings with Dither and Noise Shaping
      4m 52s
  13. 10m 6s
    1. Importing and displaying video files
      2m 42s
    2. Adding music, foley, ADR, and FX
      4m 32s
    3. Bouncing down video and audio together
      2m 52s
  14. 4m 22s
    1. Archiving an entire session
      4m 22s
  15. 52s
    1. Further Recommendations
      52s

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