Learn about options for separating clips on the grid and creative uses for grid-based editing. Explore absolute and relative grid modes.
- [Instructor] Working on the grid can be very useful when you're composing in Pro Tools and experimenting with an arrangement. By working in specified grid increments you can easily rearrange and position parts as needed while keeping everything in time. Here I'd like to create a variation on the congas part by rearranging this two bar pattern that I have selected. I'll start by separating the pattern into quarter note pieces. I can do that easily by first setting my grid value to quarter notes, which it's already using in this case, and then selecting separate clip under the edit menu and choosing to separate on the grid.
This command brings up the pre-separate amount dialogue box where I can specify a handle to use as padding at the separation point. That option might be useful for example if the conga hits are slightly ahead of the beat so I don't cut the attacks in half by separating right on the grid lines. In this case here I leave it set to zero and click okay. So now I have individual quarter note pieces of the pattern to work with. Let's listen to the current pattern before we start making changes and I'll clean up my screen a little bit by closing that.
So here's what we have on the congas. (conga drum beating) Okay so, at this point I'll activate shuffle mode so that I can rearrange the pieces to swap their order. And because all of the pieces are the same grid size I don't need to worry about things moving out of time as they might otherwise do in shuffle mode. And for this I think I'll use the smart tool so that I don't have to constantly change tools as I work. So let's zoom in a bit and I'll resize the track a little bit as well, and let's try some changes out.
(conga drums beating) So this gives me lots of possibilities and you can keep editing until you're happy with the result. Once I find an arrangement I like I can group it by selecting the pieces and using the clip group command and then I can loop it by using the clip loop command if I'd like.
The grid is also useful for arranging clips as you're editing. By enabling grid mode I can enforce the grid as I work. Now as I move a clip from on bar beat location to another it's easy to make sure that it starts on the beat. But sometimes using grid mode will actually move a clip out of time. This can occur whenever a clip is not trimmed to start on a grid line or a bar beat location.
The first clip on the Funky Chords track is an example. So let me zoom in and make this track a little bigger. And in this case the impact occurs on the beat, but the clip begins ahead of the beat. Let's un-solo and listen. So here's how that sounds by itself. And as you can hear the first chord appears right here on the beat at bar eight.
But you can see that the clip doesn't start on the grid. Changing the grid to eighth notes won't help, or even sixteenth notes because the clip still starts in between grid lines and plus I'd like to stick with quarter notes to make it easier to see where each quarter note beat is located. So in a case like this, I can switch from absolute grid mode to relative grid mode to move the clip while keeping its contents aligned to the grid.
In relative grid mode clips move in grid increments maintaining their offset from the grid. So in this case, what I really want to do is make a copy of this clip for use again later at bar 10. Holding the option modifier while dragging a clip allows you to create a duplicate copy. So I'll option drag this clip over here to bar 10. And if you're working on Windows you can use the Alt modifier for this instead. Now bar 10, this clip will need to be pitch shifted down a whole step in order to work, which I covered in the chapter on elastic audio, so be sure to make that change if you're following along using the exercise files.
So those are some ideas you can try out for editing on the grid. Separating clips on the grid is a quick way to slice up a clip for rhythmic editing, working in grid mode is perfect for moving and arranging clips on the grid, and working in relative grid mode will keep your grid contents aligned to the grid whenever the clip start falls between grid lines. So setting your grid options properly will help keep your clips perfectly aligned regardless of the situation.
- Starting a new session
- Customizing settings
- Optimizing the performance of Pro Tools
- Importing loops and tracks
- Working with meter changes
- Recording multiple takes
- Changing the track timebase
- Editing MIDI clips
- Warping sound and tightening rhythm with Elastic Audio
- Using the Smart Tool
- Color coding tracks
- Editing on the grid
- Working with AudioSuite plug-ins
- Working with sends, plug-ins, and master faders
- Working with track subsets
- Finalizing and exporting media