Join Joe Godfrey for an in-depth discussion in this video Importing audio and separating it into regions, part of Pro Tools 7 LE Essential Training.
- [Narrator] So our goal for this chapter is to input some audio, chop it up into it's pieces, reassemble it and export it. So, we're going to go to the File menu, and make a new session. I'll call this clockwork. We're going to be working with the little clock sound that we looked at in an earlier chapter. WAV, 48, 24. If you need to know about these, these are in an earlier chapter. I'm just going to use the settings that we talked about earlier.
I have an edit window and I'm ready to go. So, File, Import, Audio. I'm going to go to my external drive, my exercise files for chapter 3 and there's the clock that I need. We covered the import interface in an earlier chapter. If you don't understand what this is, and whether to use convert and what the blue triangle does, you'll find those in earlier files.
So convert, done and choose and the audio goes to a new track and we're ready to edit. I want to look at minutes and seconds and nothing else across the top of my ruler. So I'm going to switch to minutes and seconds from bars and beats. Just click it, turns blue, highlights and from there minutes and seconds is now greyed out, I can't get rid of my default ruler so it's greyed out but I want to show nothing else so I'm going to select none.
Now I have a nice clean ruler across the top with nothing but minutes and seconds. We'll be working in shuffle and slip modes to do this exercise but right now I think I'm going to go into shuffle mode and I'll use this double arrow at the bottom on the left-hand side to clear away that menu and I'll use this double arrow to clear away the Regions menu and now I have a great big editing area with nothing in my way.
You can maximize the real estate, let's call it, for editing by going to this little arrow next to the word waveform and saying fit to window and that adjusts it in a vertical way. You can get to that same menu, there's a little shortcut here, if you just click on this sort of ruler looking area here, you can have the same choices and to get the audio to go to maximize our real estate to the right I'm going to use Command and on PC this is going to be Control and the right bracket on the keyboard, it's usually under the Delete key.
So, right bracket tap tap tap, zooms it in. Tap on the left bracket, Command or Control on the PC, Command + Left Bracket pushes it out, so much that you can barely see it, and Command + Right Bracket zooms it in so that's about, that's a comfortable place for me to work. If you don't know anything about digital audio, you can at least see that there's little patterns happening here and I'm going to the Regions selector for the moment and let's hit the Spacebar and play this audio.
So it's a little ticking clock, something new happens here and something very big happens here and there if you're looking in the little, I'll let the clock finish out these are the peak things that we set earlier in the preferences. You notice that peak held for three seconds, you notice also that it didn't clip because if at any point during this sound file it had clipped it would be lighting red right there and telling me that it had clipped so our peak held right there at the top, that's great.
This is the loudest point in the sound file right there it reaches it's full amplitude and most of the sound is quieter but then there's a sort of event here and then we get the loudest part of the file right there. So what we're going to do is to chop I'm going to zoom out one little piece here. What we're going to do is to chop this into it's pieces and then reassemble.
So , here's how we do that. We're going to click and drag one of these little pieces of ticking and going to play from the beginning and by the way the return key if you happen to be have your playhead out here in the middle somewhere and you want to instantly jump back to the bgeinning hit the return key, just like the carriage return on a typewriter, on a word processor, takes you back to the beginning. Alright, I think I'm going to start on this second little event right here and drag to the next little event right there and just listen to it.
Spacebar only plays what we've selected. And that's perfect. That's one rotation of the ticking, let's call it. Pro Tools was kind in how they named this because to make an edit we do Command + E right, the first letter of edit is E, easy to remember. And to name this little piece that we've selected we want to use the hand and double-click on the region, that's a region, we've just defined a region.
And we'll call this T-I-C-K, whoops, T-I-C-K-I-N-G and now we have a ticking region. If you're not great right now at selecting the beginning of this one and the beginning of that one and just before this one but not quite before that one, don't worry about that, your skills get better as you do this sort of work in Pro Tools. So, just practice your selection technique and I promise you'll get better as you do more of it.
Now we need the regions selector again and we're going to select just before this windup and right up to but not including the first little blip of the chime. My mouse gave out on me here, select this and right to there. Again, Command + E if you want the menu command for that go to the Edit menu and Separate Region At Selection I think that's a fancy way of saying edit, Command + E, I like that Command + E part better myself.
Command + E now we need our hand again double-click and we'll call this windup because the clock is sort of winding up so that it can chime. Now I'm going to Command + Left Bracket again to zoom a little bit and we don't have to Command + E the last part because when we Command + E that part we created this part the chime itself and the nice little ring out part of the chime and the ticking resumes so all we need to do now is to name this C-H-I-M-E chime and we've created a ticking, a windup and a chime.
Now this is one of the most fun things about Pro Tools. Select all Command + A on a mac, Control + A on a PC select all and hit the Delete key. And you're thinking, "What happenend? "Why did we do all that work only to delete it all?" and its just so that I can show you that if we hit the double arrow on the right all of the little pieces that we just created are all stored in the Region bin.
Earlier when we talked about importing we said something can be in the Region bin and the timeline here's a perfect example of that. There's the ticking. Now how did I get it to play? I hit the Option key, Alt on a PC and click it and it plays it as long as you hold down the mouse. You let up the mouse it goes away. So it's kind of an auto scrub and so when your auditioning pieces in the region, deciding if they're worthy of getting on to your timeline that's how you do it.
- Understanding the file structure
- Editing a simple sound effect
- Recording and editing an announcer
- Using the grid
- Creating bar- and beat-based markers
- Placing lyrics on a timeline
- Choosing and installing plug-ins
- Tracking and overdubbing
- Recording and modifying MIDI
- Importing visuals into Pro Tools
- Experimenting with automation
- Mixing and saving mixing templates