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Using time, tempo, meter, key, and chord

From: Pro Tools 10 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 Timecode, Timecode 2, and Feet+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 Timecode, Timecode 2, and Feet+Frames.

The time-bases ruler that's highlighted, in this case the Bars and Beats ruler, is the current main time scale. 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 time scale, especially if you're working with a click track. I personally only use Minutes and Seconds as a time reference and rarely concern myself with the Samples ruler. You can change the main time scale in the session as many times as you want without affecting anything except what's shown in the main time scale. Below the time-based rulers are the conductor rulers; you 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; you hit the plus, the Chord Change window will open. And if we hit the Add Marker Memory Location, we'll get the New Memory Location window, and 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. (tapping) 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 eight 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'm 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'm 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 10 Essential Training
Pro Tools 10 Essential Training

108 video lessons · 15418 viewers

David Franz
Author

 
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  1. 13m 44s
    1. Welcome
      1m 20s
    2. Exploring the different versions of Pro Tools
      3m 22s
    3. Optimizing your computer before installing Pro Tools
      4m 18s
    4. Troubleshooting
      2m 19s
    5. Using the exercise files
      2m 25s
  2. 36m 55s
    1. Installing and authorizing Pro Tools
      1m 49s
    2. Connecting your Pro Tools system
      4m 31s
    3. Powering up and powering down
      58s
    4. Choosing the Playback Engine and Hardware settings
      5m 55s
    5. Optimizing Pro Tools' performance
      6m 26s
    6. Utilizing Automatic Delay Compensation (ADC)
      3m 36s
    7. Setting essential preferences
      2m 35s
    8. Creating a Pro Tools session
      4m 31s
    9. Identifying elements in a session folder
      2m 36s
    10. Creating new tracks
      3m 58s
  3. 42m 5s
    1. Exploring the Edit window
      6m 44s
    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 35s
    5. Investigating the menus
      3m 22s
    6. Understanding samples and ticks
      3m 34s
    7. Viewing and manipulating tracks
      4m 31s
    8. Selecting inputs, outputs, and busses
      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 15s
  4. 21m 11s
    1. Using DigiBase and the Workspace browser
      4m 14s
    2. Importing audio
      3m 0s
    3. Importing MIDI
      2m 48s
    4. Importing session data
      5m 34s
    5. Importing tracks from a CD
      2m 51s
    6. Importing video
      2m 44s
  5. 56m 46s
    1. Recording audio
      6m 13s
    2. Playing back audio and Edit window scrolling
      4m 52s
    3. Creating a click track
      5m 24s
    4. Overdubbing and using the record modes
      8m 52s
    5. Recording with playlists and Loop Record
      4m 6s
    6. Punch recording and using the monitoring modes
      4m 14s
    7. Dealing with latency and ADC
      4m 58s
    8. Creating a group
      6m 5s
    9. Adding effects while recording
      5m 16s
    10. Creating a headphone (cue) mix
      4m 29s
    11. Assigning disk allocation
      2m 17s
  6. 1h 28m
    1. Understanding nondestructive editing and region types
      3m 19s
    2. Using the Selector and Grabber tools
      3m 37s
    3. Using the Trim and Scrubber tools
      7m 5s
    4. Using the Zoomer tool and zoom presets
      5m 51s
    5. Using the Pencil tool
      3m 10s
    6. Using the Smart tool
      1m 27s
    7. Understanding the Edit modes
      5m 51s
    8. Arranging clips
      6m 40s
    9. Undoing an edit
      2m 44s
    10. Utilizing fades and crossfades
      9m 41s
    11. Building a comp track using playlists
      5m 17s
    12. Locking and muting clips
      2m 48s
    13. Special Edit window buttons
      7m 15s
    14. Creating an audio loop
      5m 19s
    15. Editing a voiceover
      9m 41s
    16. Using Elastic Time and Elastic Pitch
      9m 12s
  7. 17m 21s
    1. Working with clip groups
      4m 33s
    2. Using time, tempo, meter, key, and chord
      5m 37s
    3. Creating memory locations
      7m 11s
  8. 33m 10s
    1. Setting up MIDI on a Mac
      4m 17s
    2. Setting up MIDI on a PC
      2m 14s
    3. Setting up MIDI in Pro Tools
      2m 44s
    4. Recording MIDI data
      3m 14s
    5. Recording multiple MIDI tracks with one virtual instrument
      2m 17s
    6. Recording options for MIDI
      6m 21s
    7. Using Step Input
      4m 35s
    8. Making a drum loop with MIDI Merge
      3m 36s
    9. Composing with virtual instruments
      3m 52s
  9. 57m 1s
    1. Using the edit tools for editing MIDI data
      10m 0s
    2. Editing MIDI data in the MIDI Editor
      7m 31s
    3. Working with the MIDI Event List
      2m 12s
    4. Editing MIDI data with Event Operations
      8m 33s
    5. Quantizing MIDI tracks
      12m 16s
    6. Creating and using Groove Templates
      5m 35s
    7. Utilizing real-time properties
      5m 50s
    8. Using MIDI Learn
      5m 4s
  10. 17m 30s
    1. Exploring the Score Editor
      5m 49s
    2. Using the Score Editor
      5m 5s
    3. Setting up a score
      4m 48s
    4. Printing and exporting a score
      1m 48s
  11. 25m 39s
    1. Writing and editing automation
      6m 40s
    2. Drawing automation with the Pencil tool
      4m 2s
    3. Editing automation with the Trim and Grabber tools
      2m 58s
    4. Cutting, copying, pasting, and clearing automation
      4m 12s
    5. Turning automation on and off
      3m 52s
    6. Automating plug-ins and virtual instruments
      3m 55s
  12. 1h 49m
    1. Setting up a session for mixing
      8m 50s
    2. Setting up an effects loop
      9m 30s
    3. Working with plug-ins
      4m 33s
    4. Utilizing ADC while mixing
      9m 8s
    5. Applying EQ
      12m 43s
    6. Adding compression and limiting
      14m 25s
    7. Using delay effects
      6m 52s
    8. Applying AudioSuite plug-ins
      6m 24s
    9. Adding reverb to your mix
      6m 50s
    10. Bouncing down a mix
      4m 15s
    11. Making an MP3 for iTunes and SoundCloud
      2m 53s
    12. Setting up a session for mastering
      4m 58s
    13. Mastering a session
      10m 37s
    14. Bouncing down master recordings with Dither and Noise Shaping
      7m 24s
  13. 9m 59s
    1. Importing and displaying video files
      2m 38s
    2. Adding music, foley, ADR, and FX
      4m 29s
    3. Bouncing down video and audio together
      2m 52s
  14. 4m 0s
    1. Archiving an entire session
      4m 0s
  15. 58s
    1. Further recommendations
      58s

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