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One of the features of Pro Tools that makes large scale editing and song form arrangement so easy is region groups. A region group is a combination of several audio and/or MIDI regions that act like a single region. Creating a region group is really easy. All you have got to do is highlight a bunch of audio and MIDI material. Choose Region and Group. Here's your region group. Let's say this region group makes up one verse of your song, but what if you want to hear what your song sounds like with a double verse. Here's where region groups are really useful for song arrangement purposes.
First, I'm going to choose Shuffle mode and then Edit > Duplicate. This inserts a copy of the region group into the song and shifts everything after it to the right. Pretty slick. I don't think it'll work for this song though, but it's easy enough to test it out. So let's go back to the original form. This region group contains both Audio and MIDI regions and that's indicated by this little icon right down here. If we make a region group from just MIDI we'll get a little MIDI region group icon, and if we make one for just Audio, we have a little waveform guy down there.
And of course, there are keyboard commands for region groups. To make a region group on a Mac, press Command+ Option+G. On a PC Ctrl+Alt+G. You can also choose to ungroup a group that we make Command+Option+U on a Mac, or Ctrl+Alt+U in Windows, and that just returns us to the status that we had before we made the Group. Now if you need to edit one region within a region group, you should ungroup the region, like we just did here, edit the region, and we can hit Regroup.
Command+Option+R, or Ctrl+Alt+R on Windows. And that reestablishes the region group here. Once you make a region group, it actually shows up in the Regions list and you can see them down here along with their icons. Once you've created a region group you can do all of the same things that you can do to other types of regions, including selecting, trimming, separating, naming, moving, cutting, copying, pasting, muting, locking, adding fades and crossfades, looping, and even using tab to transience.
So let's take a look, let's trim this one and we can cut sections out of there, we can even create fades. We'll zoom in. You'll notice that fades and cross fades only apply to the audio regions within the Group. However, if you ungroup the region group those fades and crossfades will be removed. Let's ungroup it and see that. See they are gone. If we regroup them, the fades will be back.
Now what happens if you decide to record on to a region group? We'll put this track into record. Let's get the Transport controls up here and we've recorded a little bit. And you'll notice that the new recording is not part of region group. In fact all MIDI editing and certain audio commands create new regions over the region groups. So, if you actually want to record into this region group, you need to ungroup the region first, then record, then Regroup the region.
Another interesting tidbit about region groups is that they have the same time based format, that is, Samples or Ticks, as the tracks that they contain. Mixed region groups like the one we're looking at here can have both Sample based and Tick based tracks. And if you change the Tempo in this session, the region groups in the Tick based tracks will adjust there length by moving all included regions. But the audio will not. Let's check that out. I'm going to change the Tempo and you should see the MIDI tracks get a little bit shorter because I'm increasing the Tempo, but the audio will not.
And that's just what happened here, the MIDI regions are now shorter than the Audio regions. And as soon as we did that, our region group became a separated region group and you can see that by this icon right here. Now, if you need to review the differences between Samples and Ticks, visit the video about it earlier in this course. One last thing about region groups, Pro Tools can import and export region group files. The file format is rgrp. To export them go to the Regions list and we can choose Export Region Groups, if we have one actually selected. Right there.
We can also import region groups. If we go to File > Import Region Groups. This is a great feature for bringing multi- track loops into a pre-existing session. Region groups are helpful organizational tools for arranging the parts of a song. I make use of them all the time, and I'm sure you will too.
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