Join Skye Lewin for an in-depth discussion in this video Using memory locations, part of Pro Tools: Music Editing for TV and Film.
Memory locations are a very, very useful part of Pro Tools. They can help us store specific locations in our session. They can help us store specific selections within our session, show and hide specific tracks, and even zoom settings, and more. One very useful way to use markers is to help them with our edits. So in order to do that, let's create a new marker. First, let's open the Marker window. You can open it from the Window menu or by pressing Command+5 or Ctrl+5 on the numeric keypad. You can see that we don't have any new markers, so let's find a good place to create one.
So first let's zoom in and let's find a spot near the beginning of the audio from our example movie, and let's just look at this. I am going to mute the music so that doesn't play on top of what we're hearing. (Male speaker: Man down, seventh floor. Subject is now armed!) So let's make a marker on the cut to the door just before the main character bursts through the door. We can click and scrub along the Pro Tools timeline until we get close, and we can zoom in any of our techniques. And using the plus and minus keys, we can nudge back and forth by whatever our nudge value is set to, which in this case is one frame, until we find that first frame.
So here we're one frame before it and there we're on it. So let's make a new marker. The way to do this is by pressing Enter, not Return. If you press Return, you're going to be returned to the beginning of your Pro Tools session, and you will lose the current cursor selection that you have just made. So make sure you press Enter. It's on the bottom right-hand corner of most keyboards, but on some laptops you may not have an Enter key, and you may need to use Function and Return to get the same result. So let's press Enter, create a new location. So let's make this a marker which will reference an exact location in the Pro Tools timeline.
We'll leave our Reference to Absolute and the leave all of the General Properties unchecked. You can now see that a new memory location has been added to the Memory Location list, and you can also see it on the marker location in the timeline. Also, you can see that the grid line has turned yellow where our marker is. One point to make here is that if you make a marker in between gridlines, you'll have a yellow line where that marker lives, even if it's not on the grid. Now let's say we want to name this marker. There are several ways to do that. First, you can Ctrl+Click right on the marker in the Marker timeline, and you'll see a little handful with the finger pop up and that will bring you in here to rename it.
So let's call this Door Open and click OK, and we've now got a marker called Door Open. The second way to edit the name or edit the marker is to hold Ctrl again and move your mouse until your mouse icon turns into a pencil and then when you Ctrl+Click, it'll bring up the same Edit Memory Location window. So now we've made a memory location, let's see how we can use it. First, let's zoom out and view the whole session using Option+A or Alt+A, and let's click somewhere else in our timeline. Now in order to recall this memory location, there is a few ways that we can do it.
One, we can simply click on the memory location; two, we can click on the memory location in our list; and three, we can invoke it with a key command. To open this with a key command, you're going to press the period key on the numeric keypad; the number, which is just to the left of the name of the memory location; and then period again. So using the numeric keypad, let's press .1. and we can see that our timeline has jumped back to the location of that marker. Now that we have made a marker, I can show you how we can use this to make editing move more quickly.
So let's say we want to move the sync point on this song so that it lines up with the marker that we've just created for Door Open. The first thing we need to do, if you're not already there, is return to that marker location. Once your cursor is at that location, we'll use the key command we learned earlier to snap the sync point to a location. Shift+Ctrl and click the region and it will snap that sync point directly into that location. That's a very useful technique to align a specific piece of music with a specific point in your Pro Tools timeline or in the picture which is synced up with your Pro Tools timeline.
Another use for markers is for storing selections. So if you don't already have a selection, let's make one. For now let's select the entire audio region on the ELI clip 1.1 track. Now let's zoom that selection is the full width of the screen with the Option+F or Alt+F key command, and let's make a new marker by pressing Enter. Here, let's call this ELI Clip. You can make a selection marker by choosing Selection under the Time Properties, and again we'll leave all the other settings just as they were. And we now have a new marker that's called ELI Clip.
So now anytime we invoke this marker, we'll return to that selection. So let's make another selection somewhere else in the timeline, and now let's recall the marker that we just created. And you can see that that selection is now brought up when we invoke that key command, .2., or when we select the marker through one of the other available options. Another great use for memory locations is the Zoom and Track Show/Hide settings. So let's edit our ELI Clip marker again by Ctrl+Clicking the name in the Memory Locations list, and let's add a zoom setting.
You can do this by simply clicking the Zoom Settings check box under General Properties and click OK to save the marker. Now no matter where we zoom in or out in the session, when we recall that marker, it's going to return to the zoom setting that was saved with that marker. So perhaps we want to save the zoom setting so that the entire clip is centered in our timeline and takes up the entire width of our Edit window. So let's re-center with the Option+F or Alt+F key command, and let's edit our marker by Ctrl+Clicking and simply save it to save the new zoom settings.
Now if we zoom out and recall that marker, it's going to return to whatever zoom setting we saved with it. Let's make one new memory location, and we'll also add the use of showing and hiding tracks, as well as a few other things. So for this one let's locate to the very first frame of picture. We can either scroll there the same way we found the door open, or we can simply type in the timecode. Typically, a picture file is going to start with the first frame of picture at one hour even. So we can type this in by pressing the equals key on the numeric keypad and typing in 01000000. And just like it does in the Spot window, you can see that the numbers cycle from right to left.
Now press Enter and the cursor will snap to that first frame. And you can double-check that you're in the right place by nudging forward or backwards, and you can see that there, right at one hour, is the first frame of our picture. So let's make a new marker here and let's call this Picture Start. Let's make this a marker. Let's keep our Zoom Settings, and let's keep our Track Show/Hide settings, and let's save it. So now the Picture Start marker shows up above the other markers we made, because right now the list is set to sort the markers in order.
And you can change that order, too, by number or any number of other sorting methods, but we're going to keep it in order from the beginning to the end of our session, which is the default behavior. So now to see what we've done with the Show/Hide marker, let's hide a track. Perhaps we want to hide our Edit 1 track, and perhaps we change our Zoom Settings--we've been working on something else--but we want to go back to that Picture Start marker that we made and we want to see everything that we had set in that marker. So let's recall the marker by pressing .3. on the numeric keypad, and you can see that the hidden track returns to view and the Zoom Settings have returned to where they were when you saved the session.
If we want to edit this and perhaps zoom in so that next time we recall this marker it's zoomed into this level, we can edit the marker and simply click Return to save the setting. Now when we recall the marker, we're brought back to the exact same level of zoom. Now if we look one more time in the Edit Memory Location options, you can see that there are several other general properties: Pre/Post Roll Times, Track Heights, Group Enables, Window Configuration. We're not going to go into detail on these options in this course, but feel free to play around with them and if you'd like more information, check out Pro Tools 9 Essential Training.
- Importing audio and video files
- Creating and using sync points
- Using snap editing commands
- Customizing crossfades
- Editing to acquire multiple sync points within the same cue
- Creating a 30-second condensed edit
- Exploring alternate edits and alternate songs
- Mixing and bouncing down the edit
- Compressing QuickTime movies
- Conforming an edit if the length of a shot changes or if a scene has shifted