Learn about clip groups and their purpose and the advantages of using clip groups over consolidating clips. Discover how to group clips, create nested clip groups, ungroup and regroup clips, and ungroup all nested clips.
- [Instructor] After completing any substantial work in a session, you're bound to have many clips and subclips littered across your tracks. And while there's nothing wrong with this from a sound quality perspective, it can make the session untidy and cumbersome to work with. One way to help clean things up is to employ the use of clip groups. So, let's take a look at how clip groups work. I've been working on the song Crash Down by The Pinder Brothers. In this session, I've made some vocal edits starting near bar 62 on the vox 2 and vox double tracks.
So, let's have a listen. ♫ And it's breakin' me up ♫ I'm first up - [Instructor] So, you can see the edits I've made on the two tracks involving several small clips. Now selecting and working with these clips isn't really a problem when I'm zoomed in like this, and that works great for fine-tuning and micro-editing, but when I'm zoomed out for large scale editing, having lots of tiny little clips can create difficulties.
The clips become hard to see, and hard to select, and moving sections of audio around may be more work than we'd like. In cases like this, some Pro Tools users like to join their clips together using the Consolidate Clip command here under the Edit menu. Now, the problem with this command is that if I need to make a change later, I may not be able to easily revert back to the original audio. Additionally, the Consolidate command creates a new parent file consuming additional disk space, and any handles I had in the original audio are lost, meaning I can't trim out the start or end of the clip to recover underlying audio.
So let's undo that. The Clip Group command provides many of the same benefits without any of these associated problems. To create a clip group, I can select the clips that I want to join together, and then choose Clip Group, and let's do the same thing with these clips down here. Now I can easily select those clips to play them back or move them around even when I'm zoomed out. And as a bonus, I can ungroup a clip group at any time.
Let's zoom back in and I'll show you. Simply select a clip group and go back to the Clip menu, choose Ungroup, and we're back to having individual clips. Now, your clip groups don't have to contain only audio, we can also make a selection that includes blank space and create a clip group. And I'm just going to use the keyboard shortcut here to save time. That's command option G on the Mac, or control alt G on Windows. Including blank space can be useful to ensure that your clips start and end on the grid.
Now, it's also possible to create a nested clip group by including one clip group inside of another. This lets you create building blocks in layers that get bigger as you work. You can also create clip groups that span multiple tracks. This makes it easy to rearrange parts across multiple tracks at once. Once you've created nested clip groups, you can ungroup again one layer at a time using the Ungroup command, or you can ungroup through all the layers with the Clip Ungroup All command.
Then, you can make any necessary changes and regroup the result. So, that's an overview of clip group functionality. Once you start using clip groups, you'll find many great uses for them. Clip groups let you join multiple clips together while maintaining the flexibility of keeping the original parts in place. You can ungroup a clip group at any time, even days or months later. And when you're done making changes you can easily reassemble the pieces with the Regroup command.
With this powerful option in hand, you may never look at the Consolidate Clip command the same way again.
- 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