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Once you've created some tracks in Pro Tools, there are a lot of ways to view and manipulate those tracks before, during and after you record material on to them. We can click in the Tracks list, and if you click on a track, it will highlight the track's name down here in the Edit window. We can also hide tracks by clicking on this gray dot. Go to the Tracks list menu and you can choose to show all tracks, hide all tracks, hide certain tracks. Let's say we want to just hide all the auxiliary tracks. I'll go and Show All Tracks again.
If we want to reorganize the tracks in our session here, we can actually grab a track, and I'm going to click-and-drag it, move it all the way to the bottom. And you will notice that it moves here as well. If you go to the Mix window, you will also see that track has moved here too. If I click on this and drag it, I can move it anywhere I want as well in the Mix window. The same goes for the Edit window. Every time that I create a new track the first thing that I do is go and name the track, especially if it's an audio track.
If you double-click on the name of the track, this window pops up and you can rename the track. You can also add Comments. It's really good idea to throw some comments in here too because it can give you some details about what it is that you recording. For instance, say you are recording an electric guitar and you are going through a guitar amp, you are using a Shure SM57 mic and it's about an inch from the speaker. So maybe you want to type that in here. Shure SM57 1 inch from the left speaker.
Now to see those Comments, we'll go here to view the Comments, and this button right here is called the Edit Window View Selector. We can also view some other things here, Insert > Sends, the I/O. There are a bunch of commands that we can choose from the Track menu that apply to viewing and manipulating tracks. Let's say we want to duplicate this guitar track. So we'll choose Track > Duplicate. The Duplicate Tracks window pops up and we can decide whether we want all of these things to go with the Duplicate or none of them, we'll keep them all. And you will notice an exact copy of the track is right here with the name guitar.dup1. Let's rename that. Just as easily we can go up here and delete that track. So we'll choose Track > Delete and it's gone.
This track here, our Auxiliary track is a stereo track and we have the option of here to split a Stereo track into Mono. Why would you want to do that? Well, in case that you wanted to affect the left side of the stereo track differently than the right side. For instance, you might need to EQ the right side of the track differently than the left. One of the coolest features in Pro Tools is the ability to make a track inactive. Choose Track > Make Inactive and that will gray out the entire track.
You can still see it but you won't hear anything on it and it will not take up any computer resources. However, the settings for the track in any audio or MIDI data that's on the track will be saved with the session. To reactivate this track, simply go to Track > Make Active. You can also access this by going to the Track icon near the bottom of the Mix window, clicking on it, choosing Make Inactive. Now all these things that I just mentioned, we can actually access from the right-click menu. So if I go to the name of the track and right-click, you can see I can Hide it, Hide and Make Inactive, Make Inactive. We can also make new tracks, Rename, Duplicate and Delete all from the right-click menu.
Now maybe you want to see these tracks a little bit larger in size in your Edit window, well there is a lot of ways to adjust that. Scroll the mouse down to the bottom of the track, click-and- drag and you can expand it out. Or you can go over to the Track Ruler here, click and choose a different size. The final option is to go to the Track Options menu, click on that and choose the size. When the track size gets to be small or smaller than small down to the mini or micro then you'll see a lot more options in the Track Options menu, where we can change the timebase in Ticks. We can choose our Elastic Audio preferences, and the Track View whether we want to see the waveform, volume or any other automation.
And speaking of automation if we click this little arrow right here we can open up the automation lanes. So not only can we see the track material, we can also see the automation and we can add other forms of automation panning, mute, volume and show all those at one time and adjust all of them at the same time. Knowing all the ways to view and manipulate your tracks will enable you to be more efficient when using Pro Tools.
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