Join Skye Lewin for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding the edit modes, part of Pro Tools 12 Essential Training.
- The Edit modes determine how clips behave when you edit. I've been working in Grid mode primarily up until this point, so let's move on now and checkout the Slip mode first. You can select the Slip mode by clicking up here or we can use the key command F2. In Slip mode, we can click and grab any clip and move it freely. We can move it to exactly where we release it because it will not be constrained to a grid like in Gride mode. With the grabber tool, we can also move clips so that they overlap. Let's go to the waveform view. Let's look at the volume for a moment.
If we enter a few points, I'm going to select the grabber tool, and just add a few points by clicking, maybe drag one. Then switch back to the waveform view. Notice how when we move the clip, and then change the waveform view back to volume, the automation actually follows the clip. This is the default behavior in Pro Tools, but we can turn this on and off from the Options menu by toggling Automation Follows Edit. I'm gonna leave it on for now. Let's set our view back to waveform, and I'm gonna switch to the trimmer tool.
In Slip mode when you're using the trimmer tool, just like the grabber tool, you can freely trim without being constrained by the grid. Notice how the trim point is in between grid lines. This applies to all the other tools as well. Now let's talk about Shuffle mode. First, notice how there's a little lock symbol to the left of Shuffle mode on my computer. This is called Shuffle Lock mode. We can toggle Shuffle Lock on or off by pressing and holding command on a Mac, or control in Windows and clicking on Shuffle mode. When it's locked, you will not be able to select Shuffle mode.
When it's unlocked, we can select Shuffle mode or we can use the key command F1 to select Shuffle mode. Shuffle mode restricts the placement of clips so that they snap to each other, end to end. This can actually be really useful in certain workflows. Let's take a look. I'm gonna zoom out a couple times and if I click and drag, we can see a little yellow indicator that snaps to the ends of the Rhodes clip telling us that that's where the clip will go when we release it. Likewise, if we switch to the trimmer tool, and we trim the beginning of a region, it will automatically shuffle all the way to the left.
I'm sure you can imagine how in certain workflows, this can be really useful, but also it can mess up your session if you don't intend to use it. That's why we have shuffle lock. Now let's go to Spot mode. We can click or use the key command F3. With the grabber tool, we can click on any clip and the Spot Mode Dialog will open. Spot mode facilitates placing or spotting a clip to a specific location. In the Spot dialog window we can tell Pro Tools where we want the clip to be placed in bars and beats, minutes and seconds, timecode, feet and frames, or samples.
We can also tell Pro Tools to move the clip back to the location of its original timestamp. The original timestamp location is the location in the timeline that the file was either originally recorded or originally created. By clicking the triangle to the right of the original timestamp here, the file will be spotted back to its original location when we click OK. While our clip is back to its original time, notice that its still on the wrong track. Spot mode will only effect the timing of a clip and not that track on which it resides. Now let's select the Grid mode by clicking the button or by using the key command F4.
In Grid mode, your edits and selections are constrained to the grid like you've seen in previous videos in this course. The grid will be based on the time scale and the grid size we have set in this session. So currently our grid size is set to 1/8 notes. We can change this if we wanted to make it a larger value or a smaller value. In this session, our time scales is set to bars and beats so everything that we select will start on a grid line and end on a grid line. We can see this in the main counter here. If we select the off beat rhythm guitar clip, we can see that when we move it, we're constantly going to be on a grid line, but let's even zoom in a couple layers and you can see that by moving the clip, it's gonna snap to the nearest grid line.
If we change our grid value to something smaller, we can move the clip in smaller increments. And if we change our grid to something larger, like one bar, we can only move our clip to the bar line itself. With any tools including the selector tool, or the trimmer tool, any edits or moves you make will be constrained to the grid when you're in Grid mode. Notice that there are two types of Grid mode. We have Absolute Grid and Relative Grid. Let's switch to Relative Grid. You can also switch to Relative Grid by pressing the key command F4 again.
If we press F4 multiple times, or toggle between the two grid modes. Unlike Absolute Grid mode, which will snap any edit that you make to the nearest grid line, Relative Grid is a little bit different. The clips will move in the same increments as the grid value, so in this case, a whole bar, but the clip's start point doesn't have to snap directly to the grid. Instead, it'll still move in increments that are based on the grid, but it will always remain in the same amount before or after the nearest grid line. In other words, it will remain the same distance from the grid relative to the grid when you make an edit or move it.
If we trim the piano tool with the trimmer tool, instead of snapping to bar two like we would normally see in Grid mode, making this edit in Relative Grid mode will trim the same distance from bar two as we were from bar one. The same behavior will apply to any of the other tools. If we click the grabber tool, and move the piano clip, it will move by the same amount relative to the grid. This can be really useful especially when you're working with songs because you can move sections of songs that may have a pick up note that start before a down beat without having to be right on the grid with the clip itself.
In review, we can activate Shuffle mode with a key command F1. Slip mode with the key command F2. Spot mode with F3 and we can toggle between the two different grid modes, Absolute Grid and Relative Grid with F4. Hold command on a Mac or control in Windows, and click Shuffle mode to enable Shuffle Lock. If you're using Grid mode and you wanna temporarily suspend Grid mode and switch over to Slip mode while you're making an edit, all you need to do is press and hold the command key on a Mac or the control key in Windows.
With the grabber tool, normally, we can only move by the grid amount. However, if we use this modifier key, we can move within the grid amount without having to switch out of Grid mode. Again, this behavior applies to any tool you use in Pro Tools. Now you know just how useful the various edit modes are in Pro Tools. Understanding the edit modes is extremely important when editing effectively in Pro Tools. I would definitely suggest spending a little time working in the different edit modes and you'll really grasp their different functionalities.
- Exploring the Pro Tools interface
- Connecting hardware
- Adjusting preferences and settings
- Selecting inputs, outputs, and busses
- Understanding signal paths and gain stages
- Defining input and output settings
- Importing audio
- Recording and editing audio and MIDI
- Composing with virtual instruments
- Adjusting time, tempo, meter, key, and chords in arrangements
- Using delay compensation
- Mixing and mastering
- Exporting to MP3
- Setting up an effects loop (sends and returns)
- Importing and working with video
- Working to picture with music, Foley, ADR, and FX
- Archiving a session
- Using cloud collaboration in Pro Tools 12.5
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 09/25/2015. What changed?
A: We updated seven videos for Pro Tools 12.2.
Q: This course was updated on 11/24/2015. What changed?
A: We added six new movies and updated three more to reflect changes in Pro Tools 12.3. This version of Pro Tools includes Track Commit, drag-and-drop MIDI Track Commit, batch fades, and many other enhancements.
Q: This course was updated on 04/29/2016. What changed?
A: We added three tutorials covering the cloud collaboration features in the Pro Tools 12.5 update, and updated one video to reflect the cloud-based options for creating a new session in Pro Tools 12.5.