Join David Franz for an in-depth discussion in this video Exploring the Transport and Big Counter windows, part of Pro Tools 8 Essential Training.
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The Transport window on Pro Tools acts like the controls on a tape machine. You can open it up by choosing Window > Transport. Here we are looking at the smallest version of the Transport window and you can see the most essential controls. We have Return to 0, Rewind, Fast Forward, and Go to End, the Stop button, Play, and Record. You also have the Input Monitor Enabled and the Record Enable Status LED. This will light up, if any track is record enabled.
One thing to note to if you right- click the Record button, you can access all of the various record modes. We'll talk about that later. The same thing here. If you right-click the Play button, there are several options for playback which we'll cover later as well. Click the Transport menu button and we can start adding things into the Transport window such as the Counters. Here we have the Main Counter and we can select what our time frame is. Samples, Mins:Secs, or Bars|Beats. You can add MIDI controls. These buttons help you do all kinds of stuff in MIDI. Wait for Note, this is a type of recording that you can do in MIDI. You can add the click track, MIDI Merge, and the Conductor track.
You can add Synchronization. This Online button helps you sync with other devices and you can also Generate MIDI time code. If we add the Expanded Transport, we get a whole bunch of other features such as Pre-roll or Post-roll, our Play Selection Length area, our secondary counter and we can add a Count Off, we can see what the Meter is and the Tempo of the session is.
An easy way to open up this window is actually to press Command+1 on the numeric keypad for Mac or Ctrl+1 on the numeric keypad for Windows. You can show all of these Transport functions in the Edit window toolbar. If we choose Transport, we'll see the basic controls and then the Expanded Transport shows everything else that we need. Let's open up the Big Counter. Choose Big Counter from the Windows menu.
That is exactly what you'd expect. In fact, we can make it even bigger if we drag it our like this. To open this up quickly with the key command, you can press Command+3 on the numeric keypad with a Mac or Ctrl+3 on a numeric keypad in a Windows machine. Like the Transport window, the Big Counter is a floating window and it's handy for watching the time from a distance if you are far away from your computer and/or also for helping you find a sync point or just to make you more aware of the time.
People also use it in postproduction for watching time code, although that's only an option for Pro Tools HD systems and LE systems that have the DV toolkit. If we click this little button here, we can choose the time scale. Whether you are looking at the Big Counter, the Transport window. Or the Counter section up here in the Edit toolbar, if you press the asterisk in the numeric keypad, you can highlight the time starting with the unit farthest to the left. If you press the period, you can go through the time fields to the right.
Hit the Enter key to enter the time. If we close the Big Counter window and then do the same thing, pressing the asterisk, you'll see it hop into the Transport window. If we close the Transport window and do the same, you will see it hop up here into the Edit toolbar. Although the Big Counter in Transport windows have their uses, I usually just keep the Transport controls up here in the top of the Edit window toolbar for easy access.
- Exploring all facets of the Pro Tools interface
- Setting up Pro Tools hardware and software properly
- Recording and editing audio and MIDI
- Comping a track using playlists
- Importing data and working with video
- Working with automation and controller lanes
- Applying dither
- Archiving a session for storage